Lamar Graphic Design Blog

Lamar University's Graphic Design Department Blog

Because Anybody Can Design by Diana Chavez

In this piece, author, Diana Chavez, explores the negative effects of the easy accessibility of graphic design software. Chavez challenges readers to think, just because everyone can design, should they?

Design Problem #1

Why are there so many strokes…

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.28.12 AM

Is it necessary to place a stroke on every word and object to make people read or look? You can not just pick colors out of thin air. The text and objects awkwardly float around the composition. What I get out of this is that if the design is horrible the party is going to be just as bad.

Design Problem #2

The sweet talk it is not effective.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.31.05 AM

“I tried to keep this really simple and have text that is readable. However looking at it now I’m not too sure whether the white background was best, maybe a pastel colour would be more effective.  I also like how my “chaos on film” has a yellow background which I picked out of the lamp shade. I tried to fit all the writing in in the least possible space as then the picture has space to read and I feel the text layout has sort of worked but I feel I could play about with it more to get it perfect. I also tried to make the text, when merged like that, clearer by putting bold letters and larger capital letters for a new point. I feel this was effective. I also like the picture I have chosen and think it goes well with the chaos theme.”   –Belle

Designers do this a lot, especially in critiques—people are afraid to give negative feedback. By not giving truthful compliments we will keep encouraging people like this to design. If someone is a bad graphic designer they should have the right to know so that they can become better or leave it to the professionals.

Design Problem #3

Too much diversity in skills, not enough quality…

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.34.09 AM

Color, Design and Music?… She should stick with music.

This is a portfolio made by a designer Arti Kaul, and she has a degree in graphic design. However, the design of this web portfolio is poorly constructed. This design simply looks like a vanilla cake with colored sprinkles and a few dots of colored icing. The text is off and there is that ugly rainbow in the type.  Her resume reads like this…

“I have a Degree in Graphic Design and a good understanding of, Typography, Production and Layout, Graphic Design Concepts, Drawing, Photography, Color and Design as well as proficiency in all the graphic design programs like Pagemaker, QuarkXpress, Photoshop, and Illustrator and also in the web design programs like Frontpage and HTML, in PC and MAC.”   –Arti Kaul

It is easy for people to say they understand graphic design without really knowing how design works.

Design Problem #4

What is this mess…

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.36.52 AM

“I woke up today and thought about what the worst design would look like. I think I got pretty close with this one.” – Craig Keeling

I have seen a lot of non-designer work similar to this. Random people are making designs and making professional designers look bad. The use of awkward rainbow backgrounds, unnecessary strokes, the misuse of type choice, strokes and misplaced shapes. These are only some elements of design that could be avoided.

Design Problem #5

Just because you can do it in Photoshop, does not mean you should.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.39.27 AM

Why does he look like he is in a pool or bath tub with toy boats…

In this album cover titled Vind I Seglen or “Wind in the Sails,” I see the wind in the sails but do not fully understand why Kraghe is huge and walking underwater. Kraghe is also poorly photoshoped, and it looks like someone cut him out of a picture and glued him in the sea. The text could be aligned better and the word med is awkwardly floating by itself. Also why is his face the same color as his hair? It is the smallest details that make a big difference.

Just because you own Adobe software or Microsoft Publisher does not mean you are a graphic designer. This post was written to show people that they can not just hire any random person to design. Also because I have seen people who are not designers make graphic design work and have no background in the arts what so ever. If we allow people to design bad graphics we are letting society believe that anyone can do it. We should be open to critique and if you do not like something don’t be afraid to say it. Let the designer know so that they can become better or take a different route.

You can learn more about author, Diana Chavez, and her work here:


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This entry was posted on June 7, 2013 by in Graphic Design, Student Writing.
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