Designers Hate…

Welcome to a new series where we pour out our somewhat obsessive overreaction to small-but-hugely-irritating-to-us design decisions. They could be graphic design, product design, or anything that bugs us. Yes designers hate stuff sometimes…

None of these things are probably life threatening, life changing, or even noticeable. Rather they’re just things that we notice and can’t stop noticing… 

First Up
The Mini is a popular car, no doubt. And the earlier models were small, nimble, pretty good looking (the 2ndgen definitely), but then someone felt they needed to get bigger and bigger and bigger. They made huge, out of place rear lights, massive bulky feeling interior designs and generally did a lot to make a Mini anything but.

But, and this kills me, it really does. Look at the picture of the back of the car. Now look at the word Clubman. Now do you think that’s centred? In this image you can see how far off it is.

Now you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

Design is the bringing together of different shapes, textures, colours, words, graphics, and more to form a cohesive whole. The details of that whole made up of those parts is important. And it’s the small details that make things just feel right; whether that’s the hierarchy of text feeling right, or the way a selection of items lines up on a vertical or horizontal plane.

It’s not always grand pieces, huge eye-catching elements that make a design right. Rather it’s so often the harmony of the details all fitting together to form a comfortable, functional, hopefully arresting piece of design work.

Sometimes Weird Works
Occasionally, breaking a rule, or setting something at an unusual or uncomfortable angle, a strange colour and similar, can really make a piece really stand out. But at other times it just looks wrong, usually because you didn’t go far enough with that idea.

For me, this small detail (when I can tear my eyes away from those rear lights which are far too big) just sticks out in an unpleasant, we-didn’t-think-about-this-did-we sort of way.

Like I said, no one died, no one had their lives changed for the better. But good grief, why…?

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