I'm a graphic designer, so I sell my own aesthetic taste as a service to my clients. I've never been comfortable with this idea because I'm a very logical person. Superiority of taste is not something that can be proven logically. And, I agree with Marshal McLuhan who said: "Good taste is the first refuge of the non-creative. It is the last-ditch stand of the artist." This means that in professions like mine, what we are selling has no real substance; it's a perception that we are selling. However, this does not mean that graphic design services are worthless and meaningless. Since the relationships between tastes stay relatively consistent, graphic designers who are keenly aware of these relationships can perform more consistently in terms of the effectiveness of their designs in business. For instance, they are keenly aware of where the trend is, as well as what timeless qualities are. It is this awareness that allows them to be more effective visual communicators. In other words, having good taste alone would not make a good graphic designer. It needs to be accompanied with the awareness of the tastes of others.

I created a simpler version of TasteMetrics in 2001, which was a stand-alone application (not a web-based application). The result allowed me to see who among the people I knew had similar tastes and dissimilar tastes. Interestingly enough, all of the graphic designers who took the survey had higher correlations to one another. That is, despite the fact that they might disagree about many aspects of graphic design, in comparison to non-designers, they are far more likely to agree with one another.

This application uses Pearson's correlation function to calculate the correlation between two samples. (The same as Microsoft Excel's CORREL function.)

Who am I?

My name is Dyske Suematsu. I'm a graphic designer by trade, and live in New York City. I create experimental websites for fun. I also created a similar site called AllLookSame.com where you can test your ability to distinguish Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. Over a million people have taken the test, and the articles about it have appeared in a variety of publications including Guardian, Business 2.0, La Repubblica, New York Times, and Le Monde. A museum in Torino Italy (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo) had an exhibit entitled "AllLookSame?" curated by Francesco Bonami for which I wrote an introductory text in the catalog.

I also created a site called Pain in the English, which became a forum for English grammar Nazis. I also write essays and publish them on DYSKE.COM My professional site is here.

Dyske Suematsu
September 2, 2007
Contact me at: dyske@dyske.com