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The Design Police

You’ve heard of the fashion police, why shouldn’t there be such a thing as the design police? Is there such a thing as bad design or is it all a matter of opinion?

I think it’s fair to say that different types of design appeals to different types of markets. A flyer full of colour and vector images may be applicable for a 70’s night at your local night club, however it could be considered bad design as a flyer for your local solicitors. So first point covered – design is relative to the market place.

So is there such thing as bad design? Say I have picked up my brightly coloured flyer promoting a themed evening at the local social dwelling, if I can’t read the opening times due to small font, bad colour choice, ridiculous positioning, that surely constitutes bad design. So, point number two, there is such a thing as bad design, however I feel that there maybe some grey areas…

The design-police.org have created a range of stickers for you to cut out and stick onto bad designs. Judging by the stickers it is clear that there are some obvious faux pas when it comes to design:

1. Clip Art and Word Art – Microsoft’s answer to Photoshop for the office wannabe designer. Clip Art is a lazy way of adding images to documents to try and lift their heavy content. But it’s when Clip Art ventures into the world of logo design and corporate identity where us graphic designers and illustrators stand back in horror as words and images have no meaning and are launched into utter obscurity.

2. Low Resolution Images – There is no reason for pixilated images unless they are there for an artistic reason. Images should never be made bigger than they are, this looses impact of the image and just looks plain poor.

3. Stretched Images – Same as above if you have a rectangle space and needs a rectangle images, choose a rectangle one, don’t try and change the dimensions of the image. Squashed faces and fat bodies look ridiculous.

4. Cliche Images – Consumers are becoming increasingly numb when it comes to the image of the girl with the headphones on waiting for your call, or the image of a piggy bank with coins falling into it. These types of images are now becoming redundant and are being thought of as bad design.

5. OTT Design – We all know that you can use every filter and layer effect in photoshop, but is that any reason to include them all in one design? Sometimes the message is lost due to OTT use of design elements that are simply not needed.

I’m sure we could easily quadruple this list with examples of bad design or at least our opinion of what is bad design. But this merely touches the surface of bad design. For example, bad web design…wc3 compliancy….typography….etc…etc….

Posted by Lu

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Posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 at 11:02 am
Posted In Graphic Design | Tags: ,

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