The Kitschy Guide
THE KITSCHY GUIDE
1. DON'T BE A SNOB! BE A KITSCH MAN!
TURN YOUR BACK TO GOOD TASTE!
2. DON'T HALF DO IT, OVERDO IT!
3. DON'T TRY TO FIND MEANING!
4. BE EXTRAORDINARY STEREOTYPICAL!
5. MORE, MORE, MORE! WE WANT MORE!
6. DON'T BE EMBARRASSED, USE YOUR GRANDMAS STUFF!
YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT!
7. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Minimalism is dead!!!
Long live tacky extravagance,
performative excess, artless
luxury, and all forms of
long live bad taste!!!
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The Kitschy Guide is a zine that explores kitsch and how we can find beauty in ugliness in order to design tasteful kitsch!
Nowadays, we are bombarded by kitsch and over the top aesthetics. In other words, an overall playfulness can be observed in the design world. This trend has affected all the creative disciplines. Some examples include the recent Gucci campaigns, the Camp theme of the 2019 Met Gala event and the rise of the infamous ugly shoes. Therefore, we live in an era where the line between beauty and ugliness is very fine and we all need to reconsider what we find of good and bad taste.
This guide firstly defines and explores the kitsch phenomenon. Kitsch is a borderline case of beauty and ugliness. Then, it examines beauty and ugliness in order to apprehend the balance that is achieved in kitsch aesthetics. Thirdly, it seeks to explain the recent revival of kitsch. Lastly, it gives practical advice on how to design for kitsch aesthetics. Thus, the ultimate goal is to help designers analyse, decode and critique the kitsch phenomenon in order to successfully design for this demanding and
From my personal point of view, I was always intrigued by the aesthetics of kitsch and this was the perfect opportunity to broaden my knowledge on the topic, re-evaluate my aesthetic boundaries and test my practical skills. My work as a graphic designer has been categorised as extremely minimal and clean cut. I had been looking for an opportunity like this to step outside my comfort zone.