It’s hard work running a business. There’s so much more to do beyond the core product or service you offer – and costs can mount quickly. Which is why it’s understandable that some businesses like to save money where they can. Unfortunately, graphic design seems to be a popular place to try to make these savings – but is it really saving you money if the end result makes your brand look worse? Or is it costing you more in perceived value than you could ever hope to save?
We’ve had a cursory glance around the internet to pull together some pretty horrific graphic design fails for your viewing (dis)pleasure.
Hair today, riah tomorrow.
This hair salon in County Durham do a great job of haircuts, but their graphic design skills leave a lot to be desired. (To be fair, whoever applied the sticker takes the brunt of the blame, but that script font does not travel well over distance and the spacing is inexplicable).
That’s a wrap.
With Canadian politician Yves Levesque campaigning for precious votes, his team commissioned a striking full body wrap to be displayed on vehicles in a city-wide campaign. Sadly they didn’t quite put the required amount of thought into the practical application of the design – and the result leaves poor Yves looking like a cross between a muppet and the last prize winner in a pre-school egg painting contest. A cracking failure etc.
Pessimistic yoga mat.
The last thing you need whilst peacefully stretching your body into the shape of a dangerous animal is somebody telling you that your entire plan for the day ahead is an absolute waste of time. This designer will at least now know that – when it comes to keeping your inspirational messages readable – white text on white really isn’t that possible.
Renowned painter and decorator Pablo Picasso once said “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.” According to this stylish art shop somewhere in the world, some artists also rip one out from time to time. This example shows what can happen when the most basic idea for a logo – a giant first letter for a multi-word name – is put together by someone who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing. It just goes to prove that professional experience trumps amateur enthusiasm when it comes to graphic design.
It’s frankly amazing that this one slipped through the net. Presumably the makers of Grape Nuts didn’t request a proofing stage during their logo design. Maybe they did it themselves. Either way, nobody has ever joined Grape Nuts.
The 2014 Colombian Woman’s Cycling Team wore an outfit which cause quite a stir. It speaks for itself really, but we can’t help wondering why a ripped out flesh coloured section made it past the “curveball ideas we should definitely never develop” stage.
Swear by your content.
The less said about this ESPN graphic the better, we think. #NSFW.
Icon’t believe that makes you sad.
If you’re producing a web graphic asking whether someone has diabetes, you probably want to put a little bit of thought into how to get that much-needed click. Using a smiley face to positively affirm that illness isn’t the most impressive strategy, Einstein.
Amateur designers take stock. Although on second thoughts…
Stock images make it easy for businesses without thousands of pounds in their marketing budget to use professional quality, affordable photography on their literature and websites. When used correctly, they’re an affordable way of adding real value to your brand and positive reinforcement to your proposition. But the disembodied floating torso bloke offering a handshake whilst forcing what can only be described as ‘the smile of a killer’ is only really going to appeal to certified psychopaths.
What does your logo say about you?
Getting your logo design right is vital. Your business name should be set in a suitable font, with the correct spacing between letters and words. The colours should inspire feelings in your customers relating to the product you’re selling them. And if you’re using a symbol it should definitely not look in any way sexual*. Take a step back and look for the not-so-hidden images in this rogues gallery of intimate brand identities. And if your business is looking for it’s identity, check out what a professional logo design company can do for you.
* Unless of course, it’s entirely relevant to your business. You’ll not find any judgment here.