Advice for Designers: Learn from other Designer’s Mistakes
Successful environmental graphic designers and architects know all to well that just because someone owns a copy of Adobe Creative Suite, it does not qualify the person as an experienced and competent designer. Before we throw too many large rocks about designer’s making mistakes, we should all agree that the house we live in as designers are made of plate glass (random mental thought of Billy Joel’s Glass Houses album cover…that should tip you off to the age of this writer.)
No, Billy Joel in a leather jacket and 1970’s-tight blue jeans is not the design fiasco in question. Look, many of us had to live through the 70’s. Please give us some grace on matters of fashion from that decade…and the subsequent transition to the 80’s.
But back to the point: we’ve all made design mistakes, but it’s still fun to gaze through the windows of our glass house and giggle at other people’s design disasters, faux pas, and fiascoes.
Fun with Photoshop: Make Sure to Proof Your Work
Now, if you were the art director for Mr. Joel’s album cover, you might have thought about “photoshopping” flying rocks or shattering glass flying all over the place. Reality would have saved you from those disasters because Photoshop wasn’t created until the 1990’s; and reality would have forced designer’s to work within the boundaries of what can be staged in front of a camera and photographed, which helps avoid a lot of creative production mistakes. With that in mind, check out these Photoshop disasters.
ADA Signage and Wayfinding Mistakes:
There is a chance that this post will reach the designer or architect that made the design faux pas for the interior signage for the Houston Museum of Natural Science (click to see for yourself). All we have to say is please make sure to carefully review the current ADA Guidelines.
While we’re at it, let’s talk about wayfinding solutions that use color coding or popular brands and logos. We like them — when they work — but as we have talked about on this blog until we are blue in the face, you need to consider the audience and be consistent in its application of your wayfinding graphics. If you’d like to see clever examples of wayfinding solutions that use color and symbols, click here.
If you’d like to giggle at an example of wayfinding failure, click here.
Great Post about Wayfinding: Arrows Are Not Message Bullets:
Bravo, GScottDesign for crafting an easy to understand demonstration of how designer’s over-use arrows on a wayfinding directional or directory signs. Be sure to click the link to read the post. For your convenience, we have extracted a key bit of information from the post:
- Clear. Simple. Uncluttered. The minimal information provides maximum comprehension.
- The layout reinforces destination and direction.
- This is the layout we strive to use in our wayfinding programs.
The bottom line is that sign layout matters. Good layout can improve—sometimes dramatically—the user’s comprehension and speed of comprehension. Putting together a sign face and wayfinding program takes skill and thought. It requires understanding the complete user experience: Where are they? Where do they want to go? What do they need to do? It is not just making a pretty sign.