Book ’em

Scrapbooking is the purview of sad old ladies with too much time on their hand. Its too cute, too chaotic, too colourful. The fonts are all wrong. They try to hard. There are too many accessories. They try to do things like make pompons from paper. Its not abstract enough. Its for children. Why don’t you leave the design up to the professionals–and woe be to any professional who tries to use the design of scrapbook–they actually might look silly. This is what the bitch from Design Observer says here:

Scrapbook is done by our mothers, like quilting was done by our grandmothers and samplers were done by our great grandmothers. It is a communitie’s way to store memories. It is done to preserve rights of passage (weddings, baby births, graduations). It features the bright and joyful spirit towards life, a radical view that foregrounds the importance of everyday domestic. There is nothing wrong with cute, because cute has more honesty then hygienic modernism, cute is lived.

Less is bore said Venturi–but he thot too much about it and every time I walk into a scrapbook store, I get a grand formal hard on. How many ways can you have blue (the sea, the sky, the lake, the feather of a mallard, the t bird of an old Chevy, uniforms, serge, denim, garbage trucks–its all there). Everything is fun, everything pops from the page–the fonts are used for maximum visual impact, an impact bomb to the back of the cornea–but after seeing everything in polite san serifs, in greys and blacks, in sly ironic winks and wincing irony–the cornea needs an impact bomb. Let the impact hit us directly–let us live with a maxium of surrivived experience.

The children do this of course, but then everyone does. The one scrapbooking class I took everyone was there–infants to grandmothers. They supported each other–they gave each other tips. There was an exchange of information, of help, of websites and of magazines. (the grand thing is how quickly these people have developed the webs–many of them share patterns over bit torrent and p2p–they are not naive and they are not overly simplistic–there is a well honed sophistication.) There is a sophistication of the design too–but a refusal for that simplicity to leech out anything. A compounding then.

I say let us keep the venacular, let us hire the relief societies for our design–lets add colour and cute. Lets fire the designers who think they are too good to note how everyone else gets things done.