Graphic Design – The Good, The Bad and…The Ugly Truth?

September 29, 2020





In a day, the average person interacts with hundreds of examples of graphic design. From the posts on your social feeds to billboards on the road, the packaging of your favorite products to the signs outside your favorite pub, there are so many ideas about design.

In today’s world, we are most likely to interact with digital design. It could be a flyer for your business, a post for your Facebook Page or a banner for your youth or social group.

The question is what’s the difference between good and bad design? The design process undergoes several steps and processes before it arrives before your eyes.

By virtue of you seeing a design, it means that someone thought it, pitched it, fabricated or created it and the final product was approved and most likely paid for with hard currency.

So how do ‘some’ designs get picked over others? Is every design good because it has been produced? Well, it boils down to perspective. The concept is abstract for sure, but there are some principles that can be applied to any design you have seen to ascertain this.

The Godfather of modern industrial design, Dieter Rams, developed some key principles to design that can give us a clue to the answer. Some of these are;

  1. Good design is aesthetic – First and foremost a good design must be pleasing to the eye above all. By virtue of being well-made, a design will be beautiful.
  2. Must make a product understandable – Though this applies to physical design too, any design must be easy to understand and engage with.
  3. And finally, good design must involve as little design as possible – Simplicity is the greatest complication. To create a design that is simply brilliant is the hallmark of a great graphic designer.


Good graphic design must have harmony in its internal logic. It must drive your eye to specific focal point with well-balanced elements but move you across it with rhythm.

Today, the web is the playground for our eyes to feast. It is a burgeoning and dynamic beast in apps, devices and conversations.

That’s why it is important to keep abreast with the latest in the design to avoid putting out work that is dated.

We have touched on the good and the bad. So, what is the ugly truth? Perhaps ugly is a strong word. The ‘murky’ truth sounds better. And that is simply, design is created by people and as such are fallible to the idiosyncrasies of the human experience. All the dynamic extremities of day-to-day life manifest themselves in the design around us.

Why might one object of design be pretty in the same space as one that is not? Simply because that is how we as humans are. What is murkiest of all is that somewhere in the midst of this confusion, there is a greater design that is beautiful. Our shared humanity on the same planet, Earth.


written by
Onechi Lwenje
Senior Account Manager
A lover of film, Onechi is a storyteller at heart. He loves nothing more than to discover your brand’s story and help bring it to life. His extensive marketing and media experience poise him in the best position to do this on both a local and international level.
Post by Onechi Lwenje

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