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Disasters in Design (Series) Pt.1

Posted on July 1st, 2010

    We’ve all (as designers) experienced still see bad designs, layouts and just plain ideas that we thought would never run across any persons mind. These bad designs do cross over to the print district too. Ahh, so many bad flyers! I feel that this is important knowledge to a lot of business owners so that when they decide to get web design services (whether from us or not) that they know a few simple design standards that can easily turn into design disasters and what your business stands for. It’s also important for my fellow designers to check their design techniques along with their Techniques for Creating Flow In Design. Here is the beginning of the Disasters in Design Series. Oh prepare your eyes for some of the worst looking websites you possibly will ever experience. :)

    1. This and That Color


    Background and font colors should always be contrasted and always on the opposite side of the spectrum or color wheel. This isn’t just for looks but always for accessibility guidelines. Busy colors for backgrounds and busy background images are usual design disasters. They create catastrophe when the reader is trying to focus on the topic creating a distraction from the point of focus.

    2. Too Much of Anything

    Too Much Color

    Too many borders, too many drop shadows, too much of one color, all major disasters. My motto is that with design, keeping things simple will always be right. Too much becomes design overkill. Sounds funny huh? Well that’s exactly what it becomes. Think about designing a website or flyer like designing a living room. If you design the living room with too many pictures on the wall, while in the midst of the of the ugly bright neon paint on the wall the floor is crowded with too much furniture and a few rugs. Oh yes, the elements (graphics and information) consisting of the living room redesign may be nice but squished all together will just be a mess. There is a fix though called white space in Techniques for Creating flow in Design.

    3. Same-O Same-O

    This one is directed to all designers and this isn’t just an opinion but a fact. When you find yourself out of creative ideas, your time designing is up. Okay, that’s my opinion (smile) but the truth is that when your designing all turns out to look the same or even have the same elements, you need to search for inspiration. You don’t want your work to turn out like related, slightly different colored templates but more like a piece of art. Please don’t take the word creative lightly.

    4. Collage or Just Too Much?

    Way too much!

    Again, white space and simplicity with a mind (when drafting) of openness is golden when developing a draft for the web and print. No white space makes you look like an unseasoned designer. A pure solution to this is the 960 Grid System. It’s a instant problem solver for all major design programs.

    5. No Concept


    The last major disaster in the first part of this series is designing web and print especially logos/identities wit no concept. Sketching drafts for a design enables imagination to takeover. It makes me work harder to get more work when I see logos designed with no concept. For example, I’ll see a logo for a computer repair company but the symbol for the logo would be a money sign. Yes it’s fiction and possibly dramatic but trust, I will run across that same logo after writing this post. It’s such a disappointment to see these designs. Amazing.

    To Be Continued..

    Do you agree or disagree with my opinion. What do you think is the worst one out of these?

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