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oh, the ironies of patriotism

Posted on by tyler

labor day weekend i found myself meandering through a buffet line when i picked up a napkin before retreating to my seat. that napkin was designed to look like an american flag. "well," i said to myself ironically, "isn't that simultaneously patriotic and cute?" only when i began to utilize my napkin for its intended purpose did i realize the implications of such a design.

in the graphic design department at kansas city art institute, we talk a considerable amount about "the user's experience" and how important it is to plan for. use, context, process, attitudes, etc are all very important factors in how the designed artifact is utilized and the meaning that is gleaned from it. after wiping my mouth a couple of times it became painfully clear that the designers of this napkin had not thought about "experience" at all. so here i am, soiling "the flag" with veggie burger juice and other food residue, wondering about the good people who bought these napkins in some attempt to express a love for their country and if they thought the same things as me when they wiped their faces.