The Eli Schiff Problem

Fellow members of The International Cabal to Destroy Design, I write you today because we stand atop a precipice, faced with the threat of annihilation. The rogue Eli Schiff has been systematically exposing our wicked deeds in an attempt to derail the Modern Minimalist plot. I’m sure you remember this piece from last year:

This move towards the design engineer has excited designers like Cap Watkins and 3000 of his supporters who advocate for an ideal “lazy” and “boring” designer who never experiments and “Chooses obvious over clever every time.” A perfect designer who compromises their vision to fit what is easiest to produce, not what is best to produce. Most of all, as a manager, Watkins reveres supplicatory designers who “rarely stand their ground.”

Cap’s article seemed well-reasoned and constructive. It fell perfectly in line with our deceptive narrative that you should design things by thinking about their purpose rather than injecting illustration for no reason. Our excuses seemed plausible, even mature—until Eli came along, and the sheep finally understood that we were undercutting ourselves on purpose. Reducing our own value. For evil.

Well, it’s gotten worse. Just yesterday he posted another explosive bit of journalism:

On the other hand, there was significant resentment among modernist designers and journalists who felt that Instagram had not sufficiently prostrated itself to the cathedral of modernism. Since 2013, designers and journalists proceeded to shame Instagram for not keeping up with trends. As the whig historians at WIRED put it, “Why the thorough makeover? Because it was time.”

Verily, it is a great blow to our cause that Eli has exposed WIRED as being a mere shill for Modern Minimalism. And how did he know of our Cathedral? Perhaps there is a spy amongst us?

Furthermore, this is only Part I! What terroristic designs will he uncover in Part II? Has he divined our end goal—namely to not use as much ornamentation as we used to, in an effort to control the minds of the weak and effect world domination or something?

We cannot allow this. We must act. We will draw fewer lines! We will use even fewer pointless flashy effects! We will fight with all we have, pixel by pixel, to realize our hateful vision of doing things differently than Eli would prefer them to be done!

Go forth and design things badly on purpose. For evil.

Ever your brother in wickedness,
Daniel De Laney


Published May 19, 2016.