Category Archives: Web Design

Facebook Page within a Facebook Page within a Blog Post

I’ve recently created a Facebook page for I Kern’t Stand It. Yeah…I’m shamelessly promoting it. You gotta’ problem with that??

I found a fantastic Facebook page about building a following on your Facebook page. This is getting a bit like Inception…a blog post about a Facebook page about a Facebook page.

I don’t want to be too harsh because this page has some really, really good content—25 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Fan Page. But I just can’t let the main picture escape its well deserved critique. This is an atrocity that can’t be ignored.

What's your social net worth

Not quite sure why her legs have been chopped off…Call me superficial but levitating torsos creep me out.

If I could summarize everything that’s wrong with this design into one word, it would undoubtedly be PAPYRUS!

On my very first blog post, I used this “lovely” graphic to express the essence of Papyrus:

words of the na'vi

If you want to be a good designer—or just a decent citizen—there are three principles that should be practiced at all times.

1. Never use Papyrus.
2. Never use Comic Sans.
3. Use drop shadows sparingly and with the subtlety of a cat burglar.


In a very early post, I explained kerning—hence the name of my blog. Kerning is the space between the individual letters.


That’s a lot of freaking space!


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Filed under Art, Branding, Business, Critique, Graphic Design, SEO, Social Media, Typography, Web Design

3 reasons why Kayla is wrong about design

You see the atrocities below this paragraph? A young lady named Kayla uses these as examples of why “design is not all that it is made out to be”. Her argument: these ugly, yet successful sites prove design is unimportant.

Chris Guitars

Chris Guitars is a discount guitar site. Here’s an older post from my blog that will explain why a an inexpensive company needs an inexpensive looking brand.

MMFOB blog

This “successful” blog doesn’t seem to exist anymore…

Plenty of Fish

Yeah, this isn’t exactly sexy, but it isn’t horrid. Besides, check out their updated brand:


This is a decent leap forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if sales have increased.


Wikipedia is the epitome of a content heavy site. The entire concept is based on the encyclopedia, right? For a site that is driven by seemingly infinite content and links, this is excellent design.


Okay, does Kayla own a Delorean with a flux capacitor? Where in the world did she find this image of Google? Is this from 2000? This example doesn’t count.

Kayla, like many other people, thinks design is purely aesthetic—a designer just makes stuff look good. Allow me to rebuttal and explain that design is so, so, so much more than making stuff look good.

3 reasons why Kayla is wrong about design:

1. Good Design is clear communication. If the target demographic has to spend time deciphering, the designer has failed.

The documentary Helvetica features a “designer” (note sarcasm) named David Carson. By the way, Mr. Carson…your site looks like a myspace page from 2004. You might want to do something about that.

In the 80’s he worked for an experimental magazine called Ray Gun Magazine. His claim to fame was that he took an article and published it in Zapf Dingbats (or the 1980’s equivalent to the typeface), which was impossible to read.

Let me demonstrate what Zapf Dingbats is:


Obviously, an article published in Zapf Dingbats is bad design.

In my overwhelmingly humble opinion (ahem), this guy was just lucky. He’s not a designer. He was just an edgy artist in an edgy decade—the 80’s.

2. Good design is persuasive. My business partner and I had a meeting with a marketer last week. We discussed how design and marketing go hand-in-hand. The three of us completely agreed that if a pretty design doesn’t improve sales…it’s a failure.

Good design improves sales for the client. It has a call to action for the client’s target demographic. It persuades the reader to do something.

Bottom line: it persuades people to do what you want them to do. (Sounds a bit manipulative, huh? Mwahahahahaha.)

3. Good design is good SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is absolutely crucial. I’ve read many, many articles, ebooks, blogs, etc. on SEO. In a nutshell, a site with good SEO will appear on the top of a Google search.

I have a friend who is really getting in photography, let’s call him George Georgeson. I explained to him that he would be at the top of the search if someone Googled George Georgeson photography NYC. But good SEO would put him at the top of the list if someone simply Googled photographer NYC.

Keep in mind that I’m giving an overly simplified definition of SEO.

You want to be at the top of the first page on Google. It’s a very, very lucrative place to be and it’s very, very exclusive. If you’ve made it to the second page, it’s bad design. That’s like being in the front of the line at the hip club that won’t let anyone else in.

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

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

The other Kris Allen

The other day I had a shocking realization—every entry I have had on this blog has dealt with print. My degree is in graphic and web design. I’m not sure why I haven’t included any bad web design on this blog. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

There’s a preface you need to know because this entry is a goodie! You’ve probably heard of Kris Allen. You know, the heart throb singer/song writer from good-ole-friendly Arkansas (my home state). We actually know each other.

We met when I was a freshman in college. Because I’m also a musician, we used to play gigs together in the Little Rock scene (though I’ve always felt severely subpar to his vocal abilities). Not only did we have gigs together but we even went to Africa together.

In case you’re wondering if that disgusting thing that crawled on top of my head and died is real…yes. That is an all natural afro, my friends. It was fairly hot in Africa with that thing, to say in the least. You might be wondering what the frick was wrong with me…why would I have such long hair in such a hot place. I was a teenager, what else can I say?

After Kris won American Idol, it seemed like a good idea to try to follow up on his career. I just assumed that he owned the domain As luck would have it, it was already taken (his site is

So who owns This guy…yeah baby!

For the sake of clarity, we’ll refer to horseshoe mustache/mullet/cowboy hat Kris Allen as the other Kris Allen. I think it goes without saying that this guy is in fact, the other Kris Allen.

His site has been redesigned recently, which was probably the best decision of his life—aside from growing that horseshoe mustache. Thanks to internet archives, I was able to find the old site and take screen shots. Mwahahahahaha.

The new site (above) is, undoubtedly, a vast improvement from what I first saw (below).

Yikes! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? If you’re thinking, “Son of a freaking mother!” Then yes. But wait, it gets better.

This is still the same sight. A bit inconsistent, if I’m going to put it politely. And this level of politeness is kind of like willingly marinating my body before letting Hannibal Lecter eat me without a fight.

Excuse me while I vomit. Nope…not gonna make it…blech!

Nothing could be more epic than…THUNDER!!! (dramatic music plays amidst thunder and lightening.)

The other Kris Allen, I wanna party with you, man. I wanna party with you!

Did I mention that this site was “interactive”? I’m talking about moving backgrounds! Oh yeah.

Viewing the old site felt like tripping on acid, at least what I imagine it feels like to trip on acid. I think his new site is one millions times better but with the bar being so, so, so, so very low…that’s not actually saying anything. We’re talking about a low bar. So low, not even Hermes Conrad from Futurama could limbo under that thing. I think you get the picture.

Amurica, I love you. I’m glad this aint no China or Canda or no crap. This is the US of A. Stay beautiful. Stay cool. Use good design. Or else.


Filed under Art, Critique, Graphic Design, Web Design