There is an alarming trend in the art and design. Not in the artists and craftsmen, but in the clients. The trend is, an insistence on mediocrity. It is often an attempt to make something universally appealing. I honestly don't think that's possible. Both fine art and good design can evoke emotion, often strong emotion. You have to realize though, that they induce both positive emotional responses, and negative ones. Some people like them very much, but others will dislike them. The only way to eliminate this negative response group is to lower or eliminate the emotional impact. This can only result in mediocrity. Let's consider this in terms of color. Can you name an intense, universally appealing color? The answer is no, you can't. Some people will love red, while others will hate it. Want to make it more universally appealing? Dilute the emotional response, by diluting the color. Diluting and mixing the colors won't get a universally appealing color though. It will get you beige. The solution? Don't try for universally appealing. Try to please you. Not a personal design, but a design that appeals to you personally. Like red? Then use it. While you can't make something universally appealing, you can make it appealing. Don't be afraid to make a statement, even if it isn't a strong one. Concerned about that negative response? It is something to keep in mind, but don't let that fear define the design. The only way to rule out the possibility of a negative emotional response, is to remove any chance of an emotional response. That path leads to emotional beige, it leads to mediocrity. Don't go down that path, don't insist on mediocrity.