Design Critiquing

A Scripted Freelance Writer Writing Sample

Too many people have ideas about what constitutes good design. But if you ask those same people what constitutes bad design, many will draw a blank; some will stammer something about poor typeface selection, garish colors or ugly photos.

Many people who are fresh to the design world cannot tell you a single thing about what makes one design better than another. They can't put it into words; for them, it's simply a feeling — a perspective, a vision — and it varies tremendously from person to person.

I'm here to tell you absolutely that as a cultural critic who has an education in art history and a greater-than-30-year background in visual design, I'm immensely qualified to comment on your brand, logo, design or photo from the point of view of a Western-identified viewer or user. Whether you're attempting to appeal to an older or younger audience, American or European, high-brow or low-brow — I can give you keen, unique insights that will help you adjust your image and style considerations quickly and effectively.

You may be a numbers person, a business person or a content person who is not naturally given to aesthetic decision-making or, for that matter, to marketing or to advertising. You may be someone who is not versed in the graphic language used to communicate to modern users, viewers or consumer-arbiters. But whatever the hurdle, allow my historical and cultural understanding of multiple industries and markets (corporate, youth, retirees, women, children, military, academic, industrial) to guide you in presenting your products and services.

I will write a 500-word-minimum Design Critique of any document or set of documents you prefer (containing a maximum of 50 pages). I will summarize my initial thoughts and "second take" reactions and put into words my interpretation of your materials within a larger Western historical-cultural context. For most creators, it usually helps to get a detached, objective opinion from a disconnected source, preferably from someone who is an "old hand" observer (who nonetheless stays up-to-date with contemporary trends and perspectives), with long experience in Western socio-cultural norms and identities.

As part of my Critique, I will also make recommendations for any modifications or fixes that I believe would help you to market, present, tailor or otherwise communicate your products, photos, graphics, web pages, catalogs and/or brands to your target audience.

I've found that no matter how experienced the author and no matter how visionary the artifact, creative works are constantly interpreted (and reinterpreted) in new and unexpected ways, particularly by audiences whose lifestyles vary widely from those of the original creators. Allow me to anticipate your customers' feedback and save you costly revision expenses before you print, release, publish or advertise your product or service. I can help you eliminate expensive "vision problems" before they're reproduced.

If you disagree with my analysis, I offer a money-back guarantee (as long as you're able to back up your dissent with facts, figures and sound arguments). Understand that I'm not coming out of left field, but rather, I'm speaking as someone who's well-versed in the dynamics and demographics of American and European marketplaces. With my Critique, I can provide valuable input into your marketing and presentation collateral.


I've been writing digital content for over 30 years. I've also been a vice president in a Fortune 100 company, a hotel operator, a real estate executive, an ad agency art director and a freelance creative director. I do all of these things very, very well. Please see my website for my portfolio. I prefer to write about topics relating to politics, lifestyle, travel, entertainment, fashion, design, art, business and/or fitness. I prefer assignments that do not have to do with software, information technology, data analytics, and/or web marketing. If you have questions about whether an assignment might be right for me, please don't hesitate to send me a message.

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