From the wire: We need you to be a ‘crazy one’

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 12.44.23 AMBy Jonathon S. Platt
Web & social media editor

“…they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.”

These are my favorite words from Apple’s acclaimed “Think different” television commercial from 1997. [Full version]

In Monday’s New York Times, the newspaper challenged the status quote. Its interior sports section was like nothing I’ve seen the news giant produce. As I flipped through each section – honestly, looking for the SportsMonday portion to throw away – I stopped, confused by what I saw.

“Did they forget to drop in the art?” I wondered. “Oh my gosh. If the designer hit print and no one caught that he forgot to add art … I can’t imagine what’s gonna happen.”

I was concerned because I was looking at this:


Design is rarely heralded because, to paraphrase a friend of mine, great design isn’t noticed until it’s mediocre design.

This is great design to me. But it’s also great initiative.

News design is lacking in so many ways. Consumers are more and more looking to progressive print design, but newspaper is not providing it. The Times, typically an old-school establishment (see: its daily front page), has been poking and poking at the status quo lately with a massive interior redesign.

Intentionally, the designers are seeing things differently. And Steve Jobs said while “some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.”

Not everyone likes this design. Some call it cheesy. Some call it a waste of space. I say it’s art, but some disagree.

But that’s OK. Because the “crazy ones” aren’t looking for approval in their art, they’re only looking to make it continuous. [Sidenote: approval, support and community are a great benefit to making art that’s challenging, but not the reward.]

“…the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do,” ends the Mac commercial’s script. So, please, poke the box daily. Make a ruckus. Challenge and shape.

Because we need you.

[HT to Carol Perry, senior lecturer of journalism, public relations and new media]