Steven Heller: The Cult Of Ugly: Typotheque Article
"How is ugly to be defined in the current Post-modern climate where existing systems are up for re-evaluation, order is under attack and the forced collision of disparate forms is the rule? For the moment, let us say that ugly design, as opposed to classical design (where adherence to the golden mean and a preference for balance and harmony serve as the foundation for even the most unconventional compositions) is the layering of inharmonious graphic forms in a way that results in confusing messages."
"The layered images, vernacular hybrids, low-resolution reproductions and cacophonous blends of different types and letters at once challenge prevailing aesthetic beliefs and propose alternative paradigms."
"Does the current social and cultural condition involve the kind of upheaval to which critical ugliness is a time-honoured companion? Or in the wake of earlier, more serious experimentation, has ugliness simply been assimilated into popular culture and become a stylish conceit?"
"Ugly design can be a conscious attempt to create and define alternative standards. Like war-paint, the dissonant styles which many contemporary designers have applied to their visual communications are meant to shock an enemy – complacency – as well as to encourage new reading and viewing patterns."
"Extremism gave rise to fashionable ugliness as a form of nihilistic expression."