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I have a question for those involved in corporate design.
Is there a reason (better still, a good reason) why business documents are so badly prepared? I'm not talking about glossy annual reports, which get a real design treatment (though they're often awful too, but differently awful), but about ordinary reports, etc. These are in many businesses (such as mine: I'm a lawyer) the "product". This is the only tangible thing a client ever actually gets for the many thousands of pounds/dollars/euros they pay professionals like me. But they generally bear the brand of their origins, in the form of unadjusted Word setting. Often right down to the smallest gory details (huge bold italic arial headings, nasty little superscripts for dates etc).
Why should this be? I realise Word cannot produce typographical beauty, but it can be set up to produce something less horrid than it normally does. And there must surely be room for fonts other than Times and Arial, which between them account for 95% or more of such stuff.
Do businesses hire designers to advise them on how the software should be set up (margins, justification, font-size, leading, styles for headings etc) and what fonts would be appropriate? If not, should they? If they do, why is the result of this process a uniformity of dull nastiness even more grim than that which prevails in book design? Is it thought necessary to be "familiar"?