Right Royal Rubbish

It’s been a while since the last blog entry. This is due to all sorts of things: work got in the way with a couple of new clients, I updated my website, was really poorly with a virus that knocked me out for nearly two weeks, a visitor from a distant shore arrived and Eurovision of course happened. All these things have now passed and the country is now firmly in the grip of Jubilee and Olympic frenzy – christened the ‘Jubilympics’ by some heretics.

Anything and everything that can be customised and themed as a jubilee product has been. The Olympic name and brand is tightly controlled by guidelines and protective copyright legislation which means that only officially sanctioned items make it to market, but there’s no escaping the slow, steady jog of the flame across the UK, which at times isn’t lit and is occasionally even transported in a van out of public sight.

To express indifference to these things is considered in some quarters as curmudgeonly, unpatriotic or at best one is just labelled as a party pooper! I don’t consider myself any of these things. Enforced jollity and celebration packaged up in red, white and blue tat for me just isn’t something that I can get excited about.

From a design perspective, this stuff is tasteless and crass. Surely anyone who really considered themselves patriotic should be offended by our great flag being abused and appropriated in the name of commercial brand-fill and anyone who is a royalist should quiver in distaste at seeing the Queen’s image used and abused with little regard for quality or an appreciation of the historical importance of the occasion.

I guess it’s a great time if you need an ice cream scoop where the Queen’s head is replaced by the scoop itself or you really need a pack of royal tissues to blow your nose on, but I struggle to see how any of this is worth literally buying in to. I’ve not got anything against the Jubilee or the Olympics, they’re both undeniably great for the country and are history in the making, but I can’t get behind the relentless marketing. Opting out isn’t an option when the restaurants you eat in, phone contract you have, supermarkets you shop in and utility suppliers all insist we must all be part of it.

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