Commonwealth Games Uniform or Textile Design Exercise?

At a time when all our eyes are focussed on Scotland, the design of the Commonwealth Games uniform has hit us right between them.

All of us who’ve had responsibility for a team of designers, no matter what the discipline, know that the design concepts submitted for the Games uniform, could not have been put through the commercial critique that the creative industry applies to any design proposal intended to have a positive impact upon the image of any business or organisation.

We must look beyond this inappropriate finished design solution and question both the brief and the criteria on which the final approval was based.

Design isn’t fine art. The visual manifestation of a completed piece of work must reflect a strategy that was developed out of a detailed brief – what was the brief and who wrote it?

Whilst I appreciate that design competitions have their place, I question the wisdom of such an important project being allowed to escape the rigorous challenges that design professionals subject their work to.

Perhaps a compromise would have been to invite the winning student to work with an experienced designer to produce an appropriate solution and in turn to learn about the realities of commercial design.