During the NBA playoffs, OKC resident Jason Zimdars pointed out design professor Jim Watson’s post on The Oklahoma City Thunder’s logo and why it’s a poor identity (no relation to thunder/Oklahoma, poor typography, etc.). Here he explains why that’s so frustrating for the city:

The logo was unveiled and we realized the opportunity to convey excellence was blown. The stereotyped image of Oklahoma might remain a little longer.

Unfortunately, the more bad design the public sees (Thunder, Walmart, La Quinta, Holiday Inn, to name a few), the more numb the public gets to bad design. The average person doesn’t understand nor discriminate enough without the guidance of corporations, cities, and the design community. If the corporate and design communities accept work such as the Thunder logo, then, heck, anyone can become a designer. One doesn’t even need much training or a design sense.

When questioned, almost all Oklahoma designers agreed that its an awful logo but were unwilling to do anything about it. Mantras in Oklahoma include If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Let sleeping dogs lie, Don’t rock the boat, Don’t make waves, Its good enough. All of these attitudes result in low standards of design. Maybe we got exactly what we deserved.

Watson’s site is filled with other interesting, strongly worded observations on design. Improvements to signs at rest areas points out how existing signs are poorly designed…

...suggests an improved version…

...and then compares the two.

Please print the day of the week along with the date also offers a nice A/B comparison.

Lots of other interesting nooks and crannies — design and otherwise — at Watson’s site. (And yes, his site could probably use a UI overhaul itself. Cobbler’s shoes and all that. Nonetheless, worth a visit if you’re into this kind of stuff.)