Tacky advertising

Yow-zaa! This is like a tangible flash ad. I halfway anticipate this advertisement to shout, “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’VE WON A FREE IPHONE…”

I remember when I took my first graphic design class in college. It was called Graphic Design 1 (makes sense, right?). Inexperienced design students, I learned , tend to go overkill on everything. They have superfluous redundancies upon unnecessary aesthetics. I know, I know – I just made a handful of redundancies in that sentence…that’s how redundant they can be.

This advertisement would give those superfluous design students a run for their money. My gosh! I take one glance at this and I feel disdain in the pit of my stomach as though I’ve been called a racist or a chauvinist pig or something worse – a Gleek (a fan of Glee).

Since the name of my blog is a pun on kerning, let’s begin there. Needless to say, it’s bad. The 3D text is not working. I know 3D text is really trendy right now but just because something is trendy, doesn’t mean it’s the solution. Keep in mind that there are some wonderful 3D text designs out there:

But this is clearly different from the above examples. The most obvious difference – this is bad. This is a result of letting the computer become the designer. A computer is a tool for the designer, that is all. The moment you allow the computer to be the designer, it looks like pure, unadulterated crap. I mean it! Don’t. Do. That.

Is the phrase “20% to 50% off” on fire? What’s going on here. Maybe it’s a…wait for it…SIZZLING summer sale? No, no, no. This is just despicable.

I could go even further in critiquing this design, but let’s not overdo it. This is still a brand new blog. Research has shown that users prefer short blog entries, so I’m going to try to keep my entries short for you. If I were to to explain leading (not leading as in a good leader but leading as in lead in a pencil) and how this is horrid leading, if I were to explain flush left text and centered text and how this is inconsistent, well…we’d all be here for a while. Besides, I have to leave some room for mystique, right? I want you to come back.

Now we’ve made it to the back of the advertisement. Congratulations, you brave souls who were able to venture this far. I know, it hasn’t been pretty.

Don’t put “website:” before a website. This is redundant. The web is ubiquitous – it’s a part of our daily lives. When we see several words squeezed together without word spacing and “.com” at the end, we know it’s a website. As in bargainstopdiscountstore.com is undoubtedly a website. Never, ever, ever be redundant in graphic design.

(You should check out their site if you have time. It’s about what you’d expect.)

The same goes with email. We all know that when we see “@” we are talking about an email address. Well, we could also be talking about Twitter, but anyone can differentiate the two. Don’t say “email: bargainstop1000@aol.com” we know it’s an email address. Am I making sense about avoiding redundancies at all costs?

By the way, what’s with the URL and the email address? They should probably change those as well – change them to something that’s concise and easy to remember.

I think this is probably a good place to stop. The main point of this entry – never be redundant. I don’t know why small stores like this are so commonly victimized by bad design. They usually dispense some of the worst advertising designs I’ve ever seen.

‘Til next time, I’m just a humble designer named Nik Parks, trying to make the world a better place by exposing bad design and educating the public. You’re welcome, citizens. You’re welcome.



Filed under Advertising, Art, Critique, Graphic Design

2 responses to “Tacky advertising

  1. awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks.

    My site:
    DSL Vergleich http://www.dslvergleichdsl.com

  2. nikparks

    Why thank you, good sir. I certainly do.



    I checked out your site and saw that it’s originally in German? I have a very good friend who actually just studied in Berlin.

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