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Jessica Helfand

Ten Things That Need to be Redesigned




Everyone has a list of things that need to be fixed. There are small things, like styrofoam containers that leak last night’s leftovers all over your desk, and then there are bigger things — the American health care system, for instance. There are potholes and computer glitches and the complexity of online travel bookings, which increasingly seem to require a PhD to understand. And there’s more, much more, from maps that mislead to, well, politicians who do the same. (Good luck fixing them.)

Naturally, big problems generally require big solutions — and even though logic and experience tell us that we should, in truth, not sweat the small stuff, it’s the small stuff that mounts up.



1. Lottery Tickets
A photographer I once knew referred to the purchasing of lottery tickets as "the stupid tax." And indeed it may be: but smart people buy them, too, and are clearly not put off by the fact that they're so hideous-looking — big and bold and bright and so jam-packed with information you can't imagine. (Or maybe you can. But can you imagine designing one?) I suppose if you win it doesn't matter a hoot how garish those color and font choices are, but given the odds stacked against you, the greater likelihood is that you will simply spend an inordinate amount of time looking at them. Ergo: shouldn't they look better?



2. The Hearse
In all honesty, this is no time to suggest introducing design challenges to an industry about to go belly-up: but how is it, in a field that prides itself on innovation, that hearse design does not appear to have advanced one iota since the Eisenhower administration? What, just because you're dead means you can't ride in a good-looking car? And for that matter, what's up with the curtains? The person in question (okay, the corpse in question) is already in a box, so it can't be on account of modesty. Or maybe it's some sick design metaphor that nobody ever questioned — you know, "it's curtains for you!" (Okay. Maybe not.)



3. Monopoly Money
Unrealistic. Not enough zeroes.



4. TV Remote Controls

Annoying. Too many buttons.



5. The State of New Jersey
With apologies to Felix Sockwell, Eric Baker and others — this was sent to us by a friend, who explains, "because you have to drive through it to go anywhere. Like Ohio." Members of my family who will remain nameless (but have been contributors to this site) have been known to drive miles out of their way to avoid it. (No, I am not making this up.)



6. Political Lawn Signs
Where is it written that all political candidates must have lawn signs that are red, white and blue? Are there party rules — or worse, demographic statistics suggesting that people won't venture out to the polls if, say, a candidate were to go with a nice orange sign — something with a burnt sienna background or some nice olive green type? The notion that voters can be swayed by lawn signs is sort of odd to begin with — scaled, as they are, to the height of the average garden gnome — but, assuming they have some intrinsic merit, why the incessant fidelity to the same patriotic palette?


7. Childrens' Ski Jackets
And while we're at it, where is it written that kids' ski jackets have to be so ugly? To have red stripes? To be graced with four thousand pockets that no human fingers can actually pry open? And a detachable hood and lining that you don't dare detach for fear that you'll never remember how to put it back together? Mostly, though, it's the stripes. And the logos, a cross between Hello Kitty and Nascar. And the itchy, fake fur around the hood. (Regrettably, not detachable.) And don't even get me started on lunch box design.



8. Kennedy Airport

Nominated for reasons which are, I think, self-explanatory: runners up include Miami, Philadelphia and Yerevan, Armenia.

9. Blister Packaging

Wrap rage
— the ire and injury that comes from struggling with those annoying plastic
blister bubbles — is now an official pathology with its own Wikipedia
page. (Acording to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of
6,000 people a year end up in the emergency department for
packaging-related injuries.) But does it take visits to the ER to affect design change? (If this is the case, be afraid: be very afraid.) In happier news, things are looking up for those impatient and/or accident-prone gift enthusiasts: following the lead begun by Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, companies like Fisher-Price, Mattel and even Microsoft are participating in a new initiative called Frustration-Free Packaging. Next up? Frustration-free kids' ski jackets! (Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?)



10. IRS Forms
Though given a significant face-lift in the early 1980s by the designers at Siegel and Gale, tax forms are as dreary as they are dense: indeed, the very act of filing taxes remains an inescapably grim milestone of early winter. On the bright side, at least they're not set in Comic Sans.

Which raises an important question about design and redesign: not to denigrate the importance of function (or even to suggest that what things look like and how they perform are mutually exclusive) but if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, just how many beholders do you actually have to get before you redesign something? In truth — with economic belt-tightening the order of the day, and much more critical world problems deservedly pulling focus — redesigning lottery tickets because they're visual eyesores is unlikely to galvanize change any time soon. Nevertheless, yearning for beauty remains a fundamental human need. (Designers, it would appear, possess this human need in spades.) As John Cage once observed, "the first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is: why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason."


Posted in: Branding, Graphic Design, Ideas

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Comments [83]
check this: www.lonelyengineer.com
heath
01.14.09
01:05

how about running shoes?

http://stuff.tv/csfiles/blogs/sport/asics-gel-kinsei.jpg
lumedia
01.14.09
01:36

Tax forms. Mostly vestigial, by now.

Many if not most of us use TurboTax, TaxCut or some other digital means, and only see the form if we choose to export it that way.

A candidate for the "end of print" category?
John McVey
01.14.09
01:56

I agree with everything but the lottery tickets and the hearse. Leave those two alone; they are lovely.
Richard Rodriguez
01.14.09
02:04

In general you're right about the political signs. That's why I was surprised McCain went with a blue and gold look. Not too far of a stretch - and a little cub scouty - but at least he went an inch or two out on a limb. I've noticed candidates for smaller local offices being a little more daring with green signs and purple signs.
Brendan Marnell
01.14.09
02:06

Lottery tickets are wonderful. I agree with Richard. They are perfect the way they are.

Check these out:
http://ilovemylifethewayitis.com/
nick
01.14.09
02:09

DEFINITELY the Philadelphia Airport.
L.Vazquez
01.14.09
02:16

Ha ha I never thought of those things but I completely agree. Many things need to be redesigned. Times change and design concepts should change with it. I'm sure there are a ton more out there too. Thanks for bringing these up.
logo designs
01.14.09
02:22

Definitely agree on tax forms. I briefly delved into trying to redesign them as part of a school project.

The nutrition facts label could use an update.

Bus schedules and maps. Those things are horrid to figure out.

Manga publishers Tokyopop need all of their design software taken away and given to those more capable.

What would a classy lottery ticket look like, by the way?

Nicole
01.14.09
03:29

i think article needs to be redesigned... no real suggestions, just general dismay over things... i suppose the hearse could use a facelift... but lottery tickets? isn't the point to be shiny and attention grabbing? and ski jackets? try harder next time.
drew
01.14.09
03:38

I agree with other the comments that lottery tickets don't need to be changed, especially since there's so many varieties. I'm not sure what your suggested design would look like, but if it involves lowercase san serif fonts, empty space, or anything "2.0" related then no thank you.

And regarding the Hearse, maybe you haven't done your research? http://www.hearse.com/sales/new/pages/landau_coach.html

Looks redesigned to me.
Patrick T
01.14.09
03:58

Remote controls. Can we just get decent OSD menus to get some of those never used buttons off the remote?

Next: OSD for TV/DVD players. Why did I just spend a couple grand on something that looks like I just started my TRS80 when I go to configure the audio?

You can always tell Japanese designed A/V electronics by their love of extra buttons and the seemingly random placement the button groups get on the face of your new receiver. Gladly, good menus and OSD are catching up here. There's always MacIntosh.
Philistine
01.14.09
04:06

I agree with just about everything but the Hearse. Last thing I want to see is some New-Beetle-esque pill shaped thing hauling around dead people. Curtains in a car? Hell yes. The curtained car window is one of the coolest vehicular acoutraments out there.

Lottery tickets are hit or miss for me.
Gregory Wm. Jacobson
01.14.09
04:10

New Jersey is just too hardcore for most.
Ryan Artell
01.14.09
04:22

I have to disagree with most of the things on this list. The forms and the packaging could use redesigning for functionality; but by applying "design principles" to every single facet of our lives, many unique aesthetics, and unique experiences, would inadvertently be killed off.

(I can remember picking out jackets exactly like those when I was younger, because I liked the bright colors. "Design consciousness" would have led me to be too embarrassed to even consider wearing jackets like these.) ( I like the sensation of riding in the car with my family, so I don't really mind being lost for an extra hour or two.)

I'm thankful for visual aesthetics that are always counter-intuitive to the current design trends. It would be awful to wake up one day and have the world feel like it belonged in a Target commercial.

And plus I think Monopoly money looks tight.
Wil
01.14.09
04:33

Jeez ... designers are so serious! I think this article was funny. Of course we all have opinions about what should and should not be redesigned. But, redesign this article?

I don't know about the money from Monopoly, but I have to say that I love the property cards - and have used them as influence to design a couple of invites. I generally purchase the railroads because I think they're the nicest-looking deeds.
Jason
01.14.09
04:44

I'm going to come out of the box on this and admit to being the family member who will drive hours to avoid passing through New Jersey. I will fly rather than taking Amtrak for this very reason. I know Newark is a lovely airport, but I'll stick with LaGuardia. (And I have lived and voted there, so not the perspective of a foreigner.) New Jersey definitely needs fundamental redesigning: maybe it should be four states -- the northern oil emirates, Princeton, and a lovely southern coastal area with Cape May as capitol, and just give the rest to Philadelphia to create a new city state. Afterwards, the N.J. Turnpike should be turned into a 118-mile park.
William Drenttel
01.14.09
05:28

I usually wear as much black as possible so as not to clash if I happen to have a close encounter with any of this stuff. Black is also good for sukulking around at night; but be very careful when crossing a street... they can't see you. Oh, and don't try this at home.

Very funny observations, all airports should be included, except those small island hopping ports in Hawaii and some foreign resort destinations... you're just so glad to be there, a cavity search is incidental.
DPBKMB
01.14.09
05:50

Thank you to the redesign:
Rain pants/chaps.
Bicycle helmets.
Lower back tattoos (oh wait, they just aren't a trend anymore).

Not to be redesigned - perfect as they are (like lottery tickets):
Claw vending machine dolls.
Gogurt packaging.
Cabela's store layout.
Gem sweaters.
martha
01.14.09
07:00

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's TV anchorman/weatherman hair needs a major redesign

(I thought the article was very funny)
Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
01.14.09
07:03

I guess being placed next to beef jerky, pork rinds, gum, and cigarette packages, the ugliness of lottery tickets lost on me.

I like kids' jacket and tv remote. When I was very young, a remote is the first thing that makes me realize someone designed it to be as easy to use as possible. It is my first acknowledged experience with design.

My closest friend from design school forced his dad to return HDTV from LG simply because every time he watches a movie he will have to look at that human face logo. I didn't buy the very nice design LG's Chocolate phone a couple of years back because of this reason also. To me, that logo needs to be redesigned.
Panasit Ch
01.14.09
07:27

Remote controls! The bane of my life.
Someone, somewhere, gets PAID to design these.
jim
01.14.09
08:12

Wonderful.

Maybe the lottery tickets are just the way they need to be. In the greater Western PA area, they use a animatronic groundhog to sell PA Lottery tickets...not because it's a good idea...but rather because its wrong on a few different levels that people here simply respond to. I'm not saying it's right...it just is...and if it works? Well, you get the gist.

Thanks for the great list anyway!
Daniel Pipitone
01.14.09
10:21

Also, some really well designed remote controls are entered each year to Red Dot design award.
Panasit Ch
01.14.09
10:31

They have the most ingenious ketchup packets here in Australia. No chance of your fingers slipping and tearing open that foil so fast that ketchup flies like spattered blood!

The superior Australian product is aptly called "squeeze mates" and you just pinch the two ends together. Sheer genius.
ecs
01.14.09
11:16

Hearse design seeming ancient has very little to do with the aesthetics of modern Hearses looking identical to how they looked 50 years ago and everything to do with the fact that they're used so little that the ones purchased 50 years ago still run perfectly.
awa64
01.14.09
11:18

Enough with the Jersey bashing already! It's sad so many people think it all looks like Newark or Elizabeth. And come on, I always thought the state was a very appealing shape.

So it's in your way as you rush off to Ohio? Are you seriously pitching Ohio as more desirable than NJ?
Peter
01.14.09
11:33

if all things were equally beautiful, then would there need to be a beautiful anything?

so are these your new year's resolutions, ms. helfand?


Gong Szeto
01.14.09
11:40

Actually.. maybe the problem with NJ is that it really is hard to cross. The whole state is kinda North South oriented... it is sort of based on a spine/axis of traffic between Philly and NY.
Peter
01.14.09
11:46

My Bang & Olufsen remote is very well designed.

And I think children's ski jackets are fine the way they are.
Although it would be really funny to see a 10 year-old going down a slope in a black peak-lapel cashmere chesterfield coat.
Howard
01.15.09
02:23

Well, I agree with you at most points.

But you know, lottery tickets won't be ever good-looking than now - because their appearence indicates that 1) they're impossible 2) they're rubbish. Impossible - you know, you can hardly win, but you think you're special, so you buy them. Rubbish - that when you lose, you just through them away, that all.

But imagine, you win - do you want to spend some of this money making lottery tickets look better? I think no - that's why when you don't need something good-lookng, there's no need to spend money on it. And design of lottery tickets is cheap and functional - because design doesn't implies making something beautiful, but something useful.
George Zakharov
01.15.09
02:42

Everyone loves to pick on Jersey, but if you're going to call state shapes out as design flaws, New York is the first culprit and you know it.

NYC has no business being in the same state that BORDERS CANADA.
Joshua Blankenship
01.15.09
07:40

Yay! Let's do it!
pat Taylor
01.15.09
09:15

I think old hearses have an inherent cool factor. If it's going to be your last ride you might as well go out in style. Gimme an old Link embellished with dagmars and fins any day. Of course, the Harold and Maude Link is the bees knees.

I do wonder what a redesigned lottery ticket might look like. Lottery tickets are like truck stops in Arkansas... they're so far out, strange, ugly, gaudy and bizarre that I wouldn't change a thing.
Andrew
01.15.09
09:34

I once read that remotes are huge and packed with dozens of buttons only because market research said that Americans want something that LOOKS like it can do a billion things— even if they actually use only 5% of it's functionality.

(Why can't they all be like the Apple remote: 1 button controlling an OSD?)
Chris
01.15.09
10:10

They have redesigned Monopoly money. The Here & Now edition uses debit cards and much higher numbers
Dave
01.15.09
10:54

Some of your choices are appropriate; remotes, IRS forms, and blister packaging. In their current form these items do not solve as well as one which has better design. However, the other items you say need to be redesigned have no design flaws, but rather, do not appeal to your aesthetics. For example, lottery tickets are "hideous-looking", and kid's ski jackets are "ugly" because they have red stripes.
Jason
01.15.09
11:45

I thought the IRS form was design to make everyone, but accountants, feel stupid while filling it.
adora
01.15.09
11:56

I think lottery tickets are designed juuuuuust right. I've examined a lot of them. Sure, they're not gorgeous, but they definitely appeal to their target market, and I have a lot of respect for the game designers. Just think - a lottery ticket needs to:

1. create a new game concept - and include visual hints about how you're always almost winning
2. brand it
3. explain how to play it, in the simplest possible terms, in absolutely bulletproof language
4. AND find a way to include all the legalese about odds of winning. Often, there are instructions about how to play another game, the second-chance drawing, on the back. And that includes a form to fill out!

That's some serious design work there. And that's leaving out all the math and probability of the game itself, which I assume is handled by economists in thick glasses.
matt kirkland
01.15.09
12:05

Ugh. I come here to escape my daily workload. And yes, my daily workload is designing lotto tickets. Glad to see it at No. 1. It proves that i am NOT crazy. I have tried (many times) to get away from the vegas style in-your-face annoyance, but it never gets approved. The problem is with the state commissions and the distributors. They are the least creative people in the world! And if the tickets look different than what they are used to seeing, they don't want them. Sorry to rant. This just hit too close to home. On the plus side, ugly design can be cranked out FAST which leaves me more time for design observer.

itc_james
itc_james
01.15.09
12:24

"Warns Roscoe L. Egger Jr., commissioner of U.S. Internal Revenue: 'The U.S. form still won't be simple and easy to complete. We cannot have a truly simple tax form until we have a thoroughly reformed, simple tax law.'" -Time Magazine

This was the problem I encountered when redesigning a 1040 for a school project. A great number of problems arose because tax forms refer to each other on a line by line, box by box basis, so to redesign them, you must redesign the whole system of annotation and tabulation. There is also something to be said for user familiarity: CPAs know just where to put the number of miles you drove for work related purposes. Why force them to learn where to find it all over again?.

See my redesign here

and presentation I gave to my class on on my rational here
David Yanofsky
01.15.09
12:44

Great post. I agree that political design has become very one note and expected. This past year with Obama's campaign was probably the best presidential campaign of our time. Hopefully future political candidates will recognize and adopt this trend.
Robert
01.15.09
12:45

christmas tree stands need to be massively overhauled as well.
thx | mhs
matthew.harrison.smith
01.15.09
01:10

i hate new jersey too.

there is an intersection where 78 meets the 1 & 9, Garden State Parkway and a few others (it's the worst) coming from Manhattan. How my friends ever make it out here I will never know but I'd love to redesign it. In fact, I would kill to redesign all of the signage in New Jersey simply to draw a few more creative types to Maplewood, the safe haven. THere aren't many small progressive townships like Maplewood (aside from South Orange, Mont Claire is too big).

This week we are designing routes and methods for our new local food co-op for the neighborhood. John Gall, I'm looking at you pal... and Andy Berndt too.

felix sockwell
01.15.09
01:29

I can think of a lot of other airports that need redesigning... ie. Heathrow Terminal 4, Sydney, Philadelphia...etc. Nothing short of developing transporter technology (Star Trek) will solve this problem.
Daniel Swartz
01.15.09
01:30

Jessica!

Are you badmouthing New Jersey... Home of Philip Roth, Yogi Berra, Frank Sinatra, Tony Soprano AND Bruce Springsteen???

What about: Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon I, lived for 17 years in the South Jersey town of Bordentown.

You BETTER WATCH it!

E.
Eric Baker
01.15.09
01:43

Lottery tickets look like Las Vegas. Isn't that just perfect?

T
Tom Froese
01.15.09
02:53

You're more than welcome to stay out of New Jersey. But you can't, can you, you poor sap? You hate it because you love it. Because you're better than New Jersey, aren't you? You're so much more sophisticated, so much more mature, so much more... more EVOLVED than New Jerseyites. You are you little bugger!

But for some reason, you just... can't... ignore... New Jersey. It attracts you. You are the moth and New Jersey is the flame. You love it. You hate yourself for loving it. If New Jersey was a woman, you would bad mouth her to all of your friends, talk about how she was beneath you. But you love coming home to her.

And those people! How are they still ALIVE!!! How do they MANAGE! Those savages! They are not like your home state. They are ANIMALS! They violate your Purritannical precepts of humanity so thoroughly that you feel dirty just thinking about it, don't you? And then you realize you kinda like the dirtiness of it, the humanity of it, the attitude and the ambition of such a small state jam-packed with so much. 'Why is my state so bland?' you wonder, and then you wonder where that thought came from. Because those people are, indeed, beneath you, but somehow they PERSIST and they INSIST on being EVERYWHERE!!! Oh God.

So you're doomed to go completely Howard Hughes over an entire population of people that don't even know you exist.
Gregg
01.15.09
03:33

Most of these have already been redesigned. I just bought a new Vizio tv and the remote has maybe 10 buttons on it tops all of the other functions that you never use anyways are built into a menu on the TV itself. It's great! As for the hearse. No one ever really designed the hearse its just an existing model with the trunk hacked off and the roomy coffin door glued on. I have seen some nice hearses lately made by Mercedes Benz but they are still just hack and slash versions of existing cars. I totally agree with you on political signs though I saw a few light green signs this past year. I think we'll have a revolution on that subject in the coming years.

This topic is great and I wish that more people would do the same thing. The first step to fixing a problem is identifying it!
Jim
01.15.09
03:45

Most of these have already been redesigned. I just bought a new Vizio tv and the remote has maybe 10 buttons on it tops all of the other functions that you never use anyways are built into a menu on the TV itself. It's great! As for the hearse. No one ever really designed the hearse its just an existing model with the trunk hacked off and the roomy coffin door glued on. I have seen some nice hearses lately made by Mercedes Benz but they are still just hack and slash versions of existing cars. I totally agree with you on political signs though I saw a few light green signs this past year. I think we'll have a revolution on that subject in the coming years.

This topic is great and I wish that more people would do the same thing. The first step to fixing a problem is identifying it!
Jim
01.15.09
03:57

Being a new father (16 month year old boy), a skier and designer... I have to agree that toddler ski jackets deserve to be on this list.

I'd agree that the Sydney airport could use a design bailout.
Jesse Korzan
01.15.09
04:49

Why isnt "iTunes" in this list? If I ever meet the half tard who designed that interface then I will smack his mama.
-d
davenix
01.15.09
06:31

Three words Jersey naysayers:

Jon. Bon. Jovi.
bad medicine
01.15.09
06:32

Doctors office posters. That shit makes you feel like you have every disease they mention.

G5s: Apple needs to start making slick wood cases for computers.

Don't get me started on the kindle. Looks like something a fed-ex employee hands you to sign your name.

About 50% of anything I design could use a healthy redesign. And absence of client input.

Mossimo Vignelli's website.

There, I said it!
ian b shimkoviak
01.15.09
08:39

I think Glen Danzig takes priority over Jon Bon Jovi, I mean It's fucking Danzig.
ryan artell
01.16.09
01:23

Certain things should just stay ugly. TV remotes, lottery tickets, IRS forms. They are all things best left alone as they are. After all, they are used and then thrown away—and that will always be their story. Nobody is gonna frame an IRS form...

The world is not gonna be a better place because a cigarette package got redesigned.
ian b shimkoviak
01.16.09
03:04

Um what does Jersey have to do with design... Honestly? Out of everything to pick out that is poorly designed, you haters single out NJ? The garden state gets enough abuse without you jumping on the bandwagon. I'd be more interested in original idea concerning design than NJ.

Next time you're driving through, don't. We don't want haters.
Jacquelyn
01.16.09
05:44

I thought for sure those self checkout machines at supermarkets would make the list. The most horrible user experience ever.
Sal
01.16.09
06:11

steve
01.19.09
08:59

Monopoly money has been redesigned lately, but in an awful response to the way society is today. MONOPOLY CREDIT CARDS!!!! Do people still know what cash is?

As far a New Jersey is concerned, the only effective way to re-design it is to level the whole place and start over, it may take some time, but I think it will all work out in the end, until the project is over I think the people of Jersey should be sent to Alaska, there is plenty of room up there and somebody should use it.

@Lumedia - I agree on the need to redesign running shoes. They are pretty much the only kind of shoes I buy, and every time I have been to the store lately they have been worse and worse. I am not sure what they need, but they do need work, and soon hopefully

Adam
01.20.09
02:22

I guess if you put some time and engery into thinking about redesigning anything then anyone could come up with list. But here is something to think about "one mans redesign was another mans brillant idea."
Michael Calderon-Cody
01.21.09
05:30

I like this post so much because I could think again about all the stuffs we have and it makes my idea rich. The Design World is so broad and there are so many things we can do.
Yeonji Park
01.25.09
06:42

a quick story during this last election I printed out some yard signs that looked like I was running for office but it had all my info for my design site. I got thousands of hits to my site and actually a got a couple jobs out of it. I thought it was funny and a great way to get some advertising for my self.

But back to this redesign issue those yards got to go. I have even thought of redesigning them for free just asking them to put my web address on the bottom. Might get some work in the future if they win.

David
Dodos Design
www.DodosDesign.com
David-Dodos Design
01.26.09
02:29

Great read for the start to my day. I giggled and laughed from #1 – #10.

But...I will always love to hate ugly lottery tickets.
Katty Neill
01.28.09
11:47

I would have to disagree with the NJ redesign. Unlike DC, CT or Delaware, which only have one or two road options before you're on a gravel path behind someone's garage, NJ has many alternate routes available for those stuck in traffic. I guess it's only the Jersey folk who have the guts to do a little exploring while everyone else is scared to leave the Turnpike for fear of the toxic waste-fuled guidos rumored roam the streets. And Delaware is by far the worst offender, with its mysterious traffic jams that have no apparent cause, which are clearly a ploy by their tourism board to get you to stay there longer than you have to!
Bean
01.29.09
02:40

Burgers. The bottom bun needs a lip around it so that the contents can sit snuggly inside without squirming out of the side when you take a bite.

Posters for 'serious films'. Is Trajan the only typeface allowed in Hollywood?

Advertising for luxury goods. It’s all the same. B&W here, bit of script there, blah blah.

Most Chryslers. Are they deliberately trying to offend?

Baseball sneakers. Big. Ugly. Stupid.

simon
01.30.09
05:45

I didn't understand the fur on the ski jacket thing until I moved to Montreal. The furry edge doesn't get as cold as the jacket material, so it's warm against your face. It also doesn't let as much wind in to chill the ears. Real fur is warmer, but morally and financially questionable.

However, if you're not often below -10C, it won't do much for you.

Lizzie
01.30.09
02:35

I completely agree that these things need to be changed. However, I have always questioned the appearance of forms, and all the serious documents that we all have filled out at some point. People argue that forms must all look generic and boring because of their function. They all follow a certain structure or system that someone had once developed. Perhaps it is time for a change? Personally, all forms of documentation and always scared me. Maybe it should be more users friendly, however still legible and well structured. Reorganize and finally use nicer type for a change!
sasha.y
03.10.09
08:10

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Margaret

http://lotterymegamillions.net
Margaret
09.03.09
09:03

Leave The Hearse Alone PLEEEASE
sq
12.12.09
11:55

Jessica you kick ass! Great article - I agree with you. I actually think hearses looked better in the 50s. And davenix is right on about iTunes. That interface was designed by a bunch of drunks.
Jimmy
12.21.09
06:35

Nice post
Shamima Sultana
12.29.09
11:28

The State of New Jersey - that gave me a good chuckle.
Tweedy Abbott
01.01.10
09:10

Penn Station!

Give a girl a bench please.
Bad_Self
01.06.10
07:26

great post - going to reference later today on my site!
Nicholas
01.07.10
10:46

I loved this article! These were everyday things that you do not really think of, that actually would be better off redesigned. I especially loved New Jersey :) Monopoly money has been redesigned over the years, however it still has its lame trademark feel. Kids ski jackets should definitely be a lot cooler..they're kids! :) Thank you for making me think outside of the box, I want to find more!
erica
01.19.10
11:03

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Leonard Okoth
02.03.10
06:21

I think that the IRS forms are great! Clear, concise typographic layout with swiss pedigree. What's not to like?
henry
02.08.10
01:00


Why not redesign the whole U.S.? Or the "rest of the world"?

Sure, everything is is progress, and designers will be clearly a part of it - and most times it will be better afterwards.

And than, we have to redesign it again. Who am I telling this?

But we still live in a world where designers are not to be asked and the most (all?) people think in terms like "beauty".

First try to change those everage thinking ... than will design have a right chance to do all the necessary redesigns you want!
David Grasekamp
02.13.10
10:48

Don't go claiming Yogi Berra is "from" NJ—he was born and grew up playing sandlot baseball right here with his pal Joe Garagiola in St. Louis. Yea—maybe he lived his adult life in NJ—but he's proudly "from" the Italian "Hill" section here.
John
06.29.10
09:35

Great post! I would agree with everything but the Hearse. Still cool from my perspective.
Much like Political Lawn Signs I always shake my head in wonder at who comes up with trashy Real Estate Agents' promotional material. Do these agents design their own stuff? At the very least they should book a professional photo session at a portrait studio. The ad material is junk as well as everything from postcards to lawn signs, business cards to calendars, all of which make it to the top of my "yuk" list of graphic design disasters.
My observation is from Toronto, Canada but I'm certain it's not much better in the US.
Lerna Chadwick
07.20.10
02:21

Zvartnots International? There must be someone here who has flown into Damascus? There's a place called hell and it's not the DMV. It's Damascus International Airport, I can tell you that much!
V. Janbazian
11.11.10
03:07

I have to agree that most things you listed need to be redesigned.
Lottery tickets, especially the scratch off kind, are designed simply to grab attention, be scratched and turned in and/or thrown away. To redesign these would almost be a waste of time, since they end up in the trash.
With regards to Monopoly money, if your only thought on redesign is more zeros, then I feel you missed the point Hasbro had for the game itself. Monopoly itself has been used to teach children about money. Hasbro referenced the currency of the time, utilizing realistic denominations.
I completely agree with your view on political yard signs. It would be nice to see some variety, in terms of color. Perhaps the color scheme is chosen to help enforce their patriotism.
In regards to the tax forms, I would say the Swiss style is aesthetically pleasing. Especially in the function of the form. I think trying to force a design, would make it more challenging for people to fill out.
Matt M.
04.20.11
08:38



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