For hundreds of years new artistic styles have been established through aesthetic upheaval—as the initial repugnance for now seminal works by those such as Picasso or Stravinsky demonstrate. But while art was allowed to be ugly, design had to function. Trends in graphic design and visual communication were, until very recently, all variations on what was generally considered to be appealing. It is only in the last few years that those working in applied creative disciplines started to rebel.
Against this background, Pretty Ugly is a diverse collection of recent aesthetic, methodological, and conceptual rampages by the trailblazers of tomorrow’s design. The variety of examples range from graphic design and visual communication to product design, furniture design, art, and photography. The unusual or negatively perceived forms, colors, and perspectives shown here may still be considered by some to be ugly, but they are already influencing the creative vanguard of the future.