Art is very subjective. One person’s favorite is another’s hated reject.
But when art meets commerce — what used to be called, “commercial art,” there is another standard. It must communicate.
The artists behind the signage of the new Littleton Village, a residential and commercial development near my home, crossed the edge a little too far:
1. At each edge of the main corner’s signage area, there are two obelisks that look like something from a science fiction movie.
2. During the day, shadows hinder readability of the development’s name.
3. What’s with those white vertical stripes? Before the development name went up, I thought they were giant adhesive strips to adhere the development’s name. No. They are not lighted, either. And then there are a bunch of holes that look like ventilation for an underground chamber.
Why not make things better than what real life offers?
That’s the idea Andy Hildebrand applied to sound when he was working for Exxon. His technology has been applied to alter the sound of a tune so that the pitch is always perfect. But like many good things, it can be overdone. A tune can be altered to sound like a robot is singing.
Many popular musicians love this technology. When applied minimally, it can improve a musician’s ability to hit a note properly. When applied to the maximum, it will produce that robot effect.
And I get to hear robots every day. The building I work in has a Muzak music subscription service, and they chose the Auto‐Tune channel to play all the time — in the halls and in the bathrooms.
Thankfully, Auto‐Tune does not intrude into my office. Never shall it pass those doors.
(And I’ve written about this before. It’s a subject that is near and dear to my heart.)