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17 Ways To Make Graphic Designers Cringe

These gaffes and cliches will make your designer friends flip every table in sight.

1. Bad kerning (spacing between characters)


See more examples at

2. This typesetting

3. These typesetting mistakes:

4. Medley of "attitude" fonts

5. Violating the Swiss Grid




6. Big Red Text on movie posters

7. The "I just learned Adobe Illustrator" look

8. The "funkiest bistro in Connecticut" look

9. Soothing corporate gradients

They don't work on anything other than electronics ads, airline TV, and business hotel pamphlets. Putting this on a website is the easiest way to make it look like a B-rate scam site.

10. Deviant Art cybergoth circa 2002

11. Photo-manipulated selfies

Another great cliche of the early 2000s rave/EDM imagery.

12. Way too twee

Overkilled in 2007.

13. Generic Nightlife Flyers

14. When clients suggest this

15. And other dumb client instructions...

16. The Pen Tool in Photoshop

Yes, internet, a shameful admission: I suck at this thing.

17. This