Bad Graphic Design Examples

As we all know, a visual design’s goal is to convey the exact vibe you would like people to have when you describe the business or company they represent, whether it be through logo designs, outdoor signage, advertisements, or website designs.

The fact that individuals are willing and, more significantly, braver to upload a logo design in the $100 area is still somewhat shocking. Some even exhibit enough contempt for the artistic community to reduce their rates to $50 per design. The worst part of this narrative, however, is not only that some clients frequently set cheap pricing; it’s also the reality that many designers agree with them.

Beyond this, it appears that no one believes that only graphic design fail will result from that endeavor.

 examples of bad graphic design

Do you have a small business, and are you considering DIY design? Then you should check out these design examples. People spend years studying fields like interior or graphic design for a reason—there’s more to them than first appears.

It might be the awkward positioning of the text, a lack of end-user sensitivity, or just a glaring lack of aesthetic quality. Bad design can make it difficult for you to convey the right message and hurt your business badly.

Of course, you may find many humorous instances if you go down the Reddit crappy design thread’s rabbit hole. But in this article, we want to combine entertainment with knowledge. So, following some of the most frequent causes of design system failure, here are some humorous examples.

 bad examples of graphic design

Let’s start now!

What Constitutes Good or Bad Graphic Design?

More than ensuring something is fine, a designer’s job is to ensure it looks fine.

First, you must understand what factors determine whether a design is excellent or terrible. Then, you should know that eliminating the primary damaging design elements can elevate your creation to a level above the ordinary. We’ll list these components later. Find the detailed guide about what is graphic design.

The following common mistakes must be avoided because they can lead to design failures.

User Experience

We’ve all seen those visually stunning compositions, but it takes a lot of effort and nerve to understand the significance of some design aspects.

That’s something else you should stay away from, especially in the UI/UX industry, as graphic design is meant to make it simpler for customers to understand the objective of the product.

It would help if you didn’t focus on the aesthetic appeal of your arrangement when designing. Instead, you should consider your design from your client’s standpoint to see if it simplifies his life. But, of course, it’s not always possible to evaluate your creations objectively.

As a result, getting feedback and assistance from those familiar with graphic design’s intricacies is a terrific idea. Find the difference between, UI/UX and graphic design.

White Space

Maintaining adequate white space in your design is essential because it will significantly improve readability and maximize the user’s experience. Additionally, it will enhance the elegance and style of your design.

We frequently notice how busy or, on the contrary, empty some websites are because bad designers don’t know how to balance the information and white space. Yet, balancing content blocks with white space is the secret to creating legible and appealing information.

 bad examples of alignment in graphic design

Typography and Fonts

A fundamental understanding of typography is essential for all designers. If this subject could have been presented in two or three pages, there probably wouldn’t have been as many typography books and articles. It is a complex subject that takes time to understand, and the results of ignoring it can be shocking.

 bad examples of proximity in graphic design

Everyone has heard the advice to avoid using typefaces like Comic Sans and Papyrus. However, thousands many fonts can entirely ruin the image of a business if not employed correctly.

Just remember that using the right font will give your composition more style. In addition, you may dramatically improve the quality of your design by matching the font you use to the rest of the composition.

The use of numerous different fonts will result in a cluttered design.

Colors

You should remember that some color combinations don’t work well together when we talk about colors because their combinations are crucial to the whole project. And you can go through that without experiencing significant visual difficulties with just a little understanding of the proper combinations.

The most challenging element is picking the right colors for a specific product. You can comprehend each hue’s effect on the human brain using basic psychology research and a proper understanding of color trends and then choose the used spectrum following that knowledge.

 bad graphic design portfolio examples

Placement

Combining text and graphics is the most significant error that can destroy your entire notion. Because you inserted a larger image, it is not aesthetically attractive for customers to read a word with only half of a letter.

It’s critical to consider the ultimate product and not only the visual qualities of each component to avoid those issues. Remember that the font, photos, and text should all look great together in the composition, not separately.

 bad examples of repetition in graphic design

25+ Epic Design Fails Graphic Designers Can Learn From

A good design strives to be both functional and visually beautiful. Even though funny design blunders make us all smile, coping with poor design choices in real life may be upsetting.

A good designer must consider the complete user interface (UI) of a specific piece of design, whether we’re talking about interior design, packaging, or website design.

Sometimes a design achieves the desired result and conveys the desired message (in writing at least). However, even the most well-intentioned ideas can result in epic design fails because context is critical.

If you don’t think about how or where it will exist, even the best design—one that is user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, on-brand, etc.—will fall short.

Let’s take a look at some bad graphic design examples:

Website Stock Photo Failure

 Website Stock Photo Failure

Have you seen the movie The Invisible Man? This might be a novel technique to make him noticeable to others! Nothing more to say, just a reminder to the designers: always check your stock photos twice, thrice, or even a hundred times!

Apprenticeships

 Apprenticeships

This doesn’t imply anything if you’re seeking an apprentice. However, this design can make sense if your target audience is a large group of individuals shopping for app rentals, ice ships, or ice on ships.

A traditional design fail is splitting up words that shouldn’t be broken up, but breaking up one long phrase into four fragments that are also their own words is epic.

This advertisement is made worse (and more depressing) by the fact that not only are they attempting to recruit clients, but they are also a graphic design firm.

However, we don’t want to completely discourage designers from using the technique because, when done effectively, it may be beneficial.

But exercise caution when using it. Keep your content concise and avoid using kerning to create actual words. The audience can put together the sentiment more quickly and the shorter it is.

 poster bad graphic design examples

Zombie Apocalypse

 Zombie Apocalypse

Can you think of a plausible scenario? Bad designs may bring about the zombie apocalypse!

Daily Mail

 Daily Mail

The Daily Mail perfectly illustrates the kind of news website overrun with adverts, videos that play automatically and click bait articles designed to catch your attention.

The site is a jumble of articles, self-playing videos, popups requesting permission to receive notifications, connections to social network profiles, other clickbait headlines, clickbait pictures of attractive ladies, and other things. Simply said, it’s a tricky tangle to traverse.

There is no difference between the various news stories. However, in between paragraphs, there are usually clickbait links to other articles, and it takes a long time for the images to load.

News websites typically function in this way; The Daily Mail is not the exception to this rule.

For instance, free news websites sometimes overstuff their sponsored articles and videos to boost revenue and compete with subscription-based services like the New York Times and the Washington Post.

As a result, the website is challenging to use and navigate.

Double-check everything

 Double-check everything

Graphic design is currently only a tiny part of the design of marketing efforts. Campaigns today frequently incorporate UX and the entire UI into more interactive initiatives meant to increase client engagement. However, this type of marketing needs to be carefully considered.

This poor graphic design sample gained popularity. Unfortunately, the user was unaware that the Coca-Cola bottle customization tool restricted the usage of certain words, including Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community.

Thomson Reuters’ values

 Thomson Reuters' values

This was a bit of a misstep for the media giant Thomson Reuters. The picture appears to be a Venn diagram, a diagram intended to highlight logical relationships between distinct sets by overlapping curves.

The goal was probably to convey that the ideas on the left reflect the group’s fundamental ideals. However, when seen in this light, the graph seems to demonstrate that there is only a tiny amount of overlap between the values on the left and the similarly minute values of Thomson Reuters.

Where Magazine

Where Magazine

This issue of Where—”Where” that’s with two Es—magazines demonstrates the significance of layout and composition in graphic design. Although the photographer completed their task, what about the cover designer?

It’s a shame that she must be defamed by design fail because the poor woman appears thrilled to have had a successful shopping excursion.

Book Cover Design Fail

 Book Cover Design Fail

While this may not be her best work, wishing her death seems a bit much.

Designers are responsible for more than how things look; they must also be aware of contextual errors. That entails merging the title and author name on a book cover in a way that doesn’t convey any connotation that isn’t intended.

This book cover’s arrangement, with the title and author name in the same color and font—with the name appearing above the title—was a simple oversight. Check some best book cover design ideas.

Bella Chic Tote

 Bella Chic Tote

Cursive writing’s ambiguity has long been the bane of well-intentioned designers. Still, few have fallen victim to it, like Belle Chic, whose girly-cute purse unintentionally turned into a piece of neo-nazi propaganda.

The apparent meaning of this glittering typeface isn’t “glitter” since the cursive G is a little too high, the L is a little too close, and the second T’s cross is obscured by the big, white letters above.

But, astonishingly, nobody saw this error before it was released; any one of those typographical mistakes would have raised red flags in the minds of a professional designer.

Don’t Be Happy

 Don't Be Happy

A good graphic design urges you to let go of your troubles and to be happy. Poor designs accomplish the exact opposite.

Hiring Mr. Bean as Your UX Designer

 Hiring Mr. Bean as Your UX Designer

Unquestionably, this is one of the worst UX design fails ever. Of course, we’re all guilty of making things too complicated. Even still, it’s hard to see how anyone could have believed this was the best way to provide phone numbers.

Sauces or Car Clean Products?

 Car Clean Products

These sauces have a cleaning-products appearance. This, in my opinion, is not the mood the designer wanted.

Poorly Placed Advert

 Poorly Placed Advert

Even with meticulous planning and terrific design and copy, the unpleasant truth is that you still risk having a design disaster. It would help if you had graphic designers who would evaluate how your designs will be used universally because of this.

Fashion Fart

 Fashion Fart

The designer didn’t intend this to happen, but too bad.

Mama’s Baking

 MamaΓÇÖs Baking

The combination of the image of the titular “mother” and the image of the oven where she supposedly bakes her delectable cakes and bread makes sense for this Greek bakery. The issue is that it appears to be different because of the oven’s flame’s position.

Maybe the creator wanted to light a fire down there? Okay, maybe this doesn’t seem strange in Greece, where this café is located.

Aint Wet NYC

 Aint Wet NYC

The authors removed everything that wasn’t essential to achieve a minimalist design.

This website’s design is identical to that of the Metro Card machines used to purchase subway tickets in New York City, so if you’ve ever ridden the subway there, you’d be familiar with it.

Arlington Pediatric Center

 Arlington Pediatric Center

Just now, I went to their website and noticed that they had changed their logo to one more fitting for a medical facility. It is no longer a center for pedophilia. However, it appears that the bears and crabs are saving something. A fresh defeat? Or merely marketing tactics?

Jerry Pournelle

Jerry Pournelle

Here is another terrible author’s website example: Even the last letter of the first link’s hyperlink has been omitted. Everything about it, from the layout to the color scheme, is antiquated and not very aesthetically pleasing.

Anal Malaysia

 Anal Malaysia

To promote shows available to watch on Malaysia Day 2020, the artwork is intended to say “Anak Malaysia,” which translates to “Child of Malaysia.”

However, the wording was stylized to include the crescent and star of the Malaysian flag, presumably because the designer thought they were too intelligent to make a mistake.

In addition to giving the impression that the phrase reads “Anal Malaysia,” the design also gives the impression that there is a figure squatting between the two words. We’re not sure exactly how this got through the approval process. We are left to wonder if anyone other than the original creator gave it a second glance.

Bolden.nl

 Bolden.nl

Sometimes sophisticated designs can hurt the user experience. Because we designers adore sophisticated ideas, this error is riskier. They are little graphic marvels that make us grin. But unfortunately, most people are not graphic designers. Sadly, not all brilliant designs are excellent, mainly when they cause issues with usability, discoverability, or accessibility.

Consider this example of the website of Dutch strategic design and development company Bolden. Unfortunately, this forms an essential part of the website, diminishing its usability.

Gates N Fences

 Gates N Fences

This is an example of a web page that is disgusting! There is a lot of small writing in tiny fonts that are difficult to read without straining your eyes, and the top green is very unappealing.

The site is not particularly scrollable overall, and the red menu on the left side is not at all intuitive to use. Instead, large chunks of text are randomly dotted with links.

Don’t design a website for a company that appears like this. Instead, emphasize and differentiate the advantages that adopting your services will provide potential clients.

A Secret Ingredient?

 A Secret Ingredient

What is a fail-safe design, exactly? A theory contends that designers must anticipate product failure while ensuring it happens safely (e.g., a light bulb burning out). Despite being more effective for industrial design, the concept can be used in graphic design.

The following example’s designer tried to keep the brand design consistent, which is undoubtedly essential. But imagine if your grandparents had both of these cans in her pantry. Then, you can see how it can be dangerous and unfavorable to mistakenly distinguish between these based on the package.

Cute Jeopard

 Cute Jeopard

This is another epic design fail. Although proofreading shouldn’t be a graphic designer’s responsibility, this may probably be prevented with a little common sense. Or even just the alphabetic code.

If, at First, You Fail

 If, at First, You Fail

The rails would likely stop people from bashing their heads on the stairs. But now it’s much more likely that someone will trip over these. The cones are thus intended as a temporary solution. Consider all potential outcomes before implementation because design mistakes can be expensive.

The “I didn’t know I was pregnant” test

 graphic design bad examples

This ad is a bit off!

Honey, I initially believed it to be merely holiday weight, but I have some fantastic news!

This commercial is so terrible that it almost seems adorable. But again, if you wanted to have kids, you’d probably think it was highly unprofessional and choose a different product.

Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

Over a decade must have passed before anyone realized the sign was suggestive. Also, check out some funny design fails.

FAQs

What is a good design?

A bad design is anything but simple and direct, which is the exact opposite of a good design.

For the optimum user experience, all design components are harmoniously connected. For example, an intelligent designer would know how to choose a color scheme and use it in a unique combination, not to mention the visual aspect. A great design has a straightforward tenet: UX comes first.

What is a bad graphic design?

An unpleasant color scheme, paying too much attention to the visuals, or paying little consideration to the user’s experience are all examples of poor graphic design. But unfortunately, these are not the only indications that creation is flawed.

This type of problem, where all the parts were misaligned, and the look was terrible, had occurred on many websites. It can be quickly fixed, though, with the help of some excellent design advice and a talented designer.

How is a bad design created?

Evil designs are easy to create compared to good ones. You should ignore the website’s premise, target audience, and the design’s purported message instead of concentrating only on visual weight.

The reality is that creating a quality design is not significantly more difficult. You only need to adhere to some design tips, exercise creativity, develop novel concepts, and, most importantly, avoid the blunders mentioned above.

Final Tip

Sometimes, non-designers want to try out creating fliers on their own during their free time. Some resort to using AI-generated designs, but either won’t work well.

This is because your concept and ideas can’t fully be implemented by design-making tools online or with zero experience. If you do this, your designs might one day be among the ones you laughed about above.

These examples are design fails you can learn from and avoid in your own projects or job. Avoid this by employing a designer to get the job done.

Several instances of poor graphic design are more subdued and less evident than those in this article.

However, if there is one thing this article should accomplish, it should motivate you to create a website that is as attractive and presentable as possible.

We genuinely hope that this collection of examples of poor design made you smile and gave you a better understanding of how important design can be.

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You need a quality design and top-notch job, and we are on the same page about this. So sign up with All Time Design and get good designs for fixed fees.

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