The Funny Side of Graphic Design: The Mistakes - Part I

mona-lisa-and-paper-airplaneLook, Laugh, and Learn
In The "Funny" Side of Graphic Design: The Mistakes, we've gathered examples of graphic design boo-boos from various sources.

Some of them are humorous and seem obvious but when you take into consideration tight project deadlines and quick turn-arounds, it is amazing that more graphic design gremlins do not slip through the cracks.

Graphic design schools give students the training needed to understand graphic design principles and techniques.

But the best education from a graphic design college cannot prevent design mistakes; it can only minimize them by helping students to pay closer attention to details.

English poet Alexander Pope said, "To err is human, to forgive is divine," but for art directors and graphic artists this could be rephrased to say "To err is human, to fail to catch it is a crime."

It Even Happens to the Big Guys


This October 2007 issue of Time magazine looks crisp and clean. The water reflections look great and the ripples on the water are realistic.

But what is wrong?
If you look at the iceberg in the photo it looks amazingly good until you notice that it is defying gravity by sitting on top of the water. Real icebergs have 9 tenths of their total mass below the waterline.

The iceberg may have just been a studio prop, but only a few minutes of Photoshop retouching could have improved the realism of the cover art.

Lighting Does Matter


Philips is a large manufacturer of lighting equipment and products. This ad for its Imageo line of LED rechargeable candle lights is composed with a nice scene of a couple camping while using the ambiance of the low-level lights. Nice advertisement. Nice layout. Nice setting.

But what is wrong?
The art director wanted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Imageo candle lights for outdoor use. The idea is good, but the lighting of the scene and how the models are staged is awkward.

There is a very strong light that shines down on the couple as they look up and stare into it. Could it be coming from an UFO? Are the aliens about to abduct the smiling couple?

Improper lighting of the set has drawn the viewer's eyes away from the product and squarely on what the couple is looking at.

Next Time...
The importance of image editing software cannot be overemphasized as it provides powerful tools for graphic designers, photographers and illustrators to manipulate, design, and create images. But as we'll see next time, "with great power comes great responsibility."

Until then, keep on designing!

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Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design
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AAS Graphic Design
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