I am on the crystal goblet side for this argument, but at the same time, I’m a gaudy goblet person. After all, I’m guilty of creating complex and detailed graphic designs to cover the fact that my concept isn’t as strong as my classmate. I understand both sides of the argument, but I mostly agree with Beatrice Warde.
The crystal glass the place more importance on the function then the aesthetics of the font. To this, I greatly agree. A designer job is to project their client’s message to the masses. However, if the public takes home a different message as compared to what the client wanted, the campaign has fallen through. You have just wasted your time and your poor client’s money. Without an emphasis on the message, how can it be a good design? Legibility and readability are crucial in a design. Legibility refers to the ability to read the words correctly and readability refers to how fast you can read the text. Both are equally important in a utilitarian design. In today world, everything is moving at an extremely fast pace. Give the masses a convoluted text, they would spare no glance at the design. Information is being passed at such an incredible speed that readability and legibility is an indispensable part of the design.
However, the crystal glass is too monotonous. By laying itself bare, all of it looks the same. There is no creativity. It’s rather stiff and rigid. 10 works done, it still looks the same. The gaudy goblet, on the other hand, offers something new every time. It’s fresh and new. The play of the text may take away the legibility and the readability, however, it adds to the context of the work. Take a look at Paula Scher noise poster. The experimental text adds so much to the poster. The text is funky and it looks as if its almost moving and popping to the music.
All in all, I believe that everything has a place and time. While I agree that a utilitarian design is important, it isn’t everything. Both goblets have their own merits and demerits. You just need to be able to leverage on them. One can always marry the two. They just need to find the balance. Hey, who says I can’t enjoy wine in a fancy embellished crystal goblet.