Ray William Johnson, take a design class. Now.

Here’s a collage I made from Ray William Johnson’s youtube channel. These are the thumbnails to his videos. Wow, where do I even begin?

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t know the guy personally so I can’t personally attack him. He’s an entrepreneur and I respect the crap out of that. He’s a professional speaker, another thing I respect. And he’s pop culture savvy—I love pop culture. In case my blog doesn’t make it evident, I also hold very high respect for comedy.

However, and this is a big however, I hate, hate, hate, HATE his videos. I despise his persona. I’ve never been able to finish one of his videos and I’ve given him more chances than he deserves. He’s not funny—he doesn’t make me laugh. And for the love of all that is sacred and holy, take just one design class, man! His “hypnosis meets a Mexican diner meets Perez Hilton wannabe” brand just doesn’t do it for me. Granted, each of his videos has millions of views…but I suspect he appeals almost exclusively to adolescent boys with ADD.

Hey, maybe it works for the guy. He’s the one with millions of followers, not me (yet, mwahahaha). Maybe I should take a page out of his book and learn a thing or two. Keep in mind, if we were talking about a literal book, I’d take one look at it and use it to fix a wobbly table at best.

Guys, if any of you has an argument for Ray William Johnson’s image, I’d love to hear it.

Here’s my argument: there is a difference between inexpensive and cheap. This guy is cheap. I’m talking Turkish flea market kind of cheap.

Take the Gap, Inc. for example. They own Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy. These brands range from luxury to inexpensive respectively.

Above is their most expensive line: Banana Republic. I love this brand, love it! It’s chic and clean. It’s obviously high quality. Their use of photography and white space is phenomenal.

Above is Gap. This is lower quality and less expensive than Banana Republic, but it’s still very nice clothing. This site contains less content and less photography. The color palette isn’t as much of an earth tone palette as Banana Republic’s. Instead, we see some orange and blue-green in the palette.

This is the main point I’m trying to make: above is Old Navy (the lowest quality and least expensive of the three mentioned brands). This is more affordable. It’s great for a younger demographic. If I were to think from a parent’s perspective, this would be the ideal choice? What kid needs luxury wool and cotton? They’re just going to outgrow it in three days anyway, right?

The color palette isn’t made of earth tones. We’re seeing playful blues and oranges. I think this is terrific branding for a not-so-luxurious brand of clothing. This is the perfect example of inexpensive, which is much, much, much more than I can say about:

What’s with the ALL CAPS, you hooligan? I feel like you’re screaming at me and pressuring me into doing something I don’t want to do. Just shut up and leave me alone.

Wow, that is the single most distracting freakin’ background I have ever seen. My eyes just don’t know where to go.

Ladies and gentlemen, I feel as though my eyeballs have just taken an aerobics class (don’t think about the biology of that statement and the joke is funnier). My eyes are exhausted after writing about this mess. I think I’m going to put a spoon in the freezer, take it out when it’s cold, place it on top of my eyelids, and call it a day.

P.S. Julian Smith dances circles around this guy in terms of comedy, presentation, and branding.


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Filed under Advertising, Art, Branding, Critique, Graphic Design, Web Design

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