Improving poor taste in upper leadership is almost as difficult as treating severe paranoia: people who don’t value taste and design will rarely recognize these shortcomings or seek to improve them. With very few exceptions, companies that put out tasteless, poorly designed products will usually never change course.
A truly fascinating tale from Ralf Herrmann that is part road trip, part design experience, and partly a research project:
I set off, driving thousands of miles across Europe to explore the legibility of these signs and typefaces, first hand. Once I even ended up in a holding cell at the border crossing to Norway, because the customs officers just wouldn’t accept that someone would drive all over Europe simply to take photographs of traffic signs.
That said, [I] have to admit being a bit baffled by how nobody else seems to have done what Apple did with the Macbook Air—even several years after the first release, the other notebook vendors continue to push those ugly and clunky things. Yes, there are vendors that have tried to emulate it, but usually pretty badly.
I, too, have been amazed at how poor the MacBook Air’s competition is. However, it’s not a surprise when you look at the focus of Apple versus that of their competitors.