Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Cigar: Chapter One

Sometimes, one small thing can tip the balance of a design from good to not so.

A nice ad, and part of a decent campaign. It’s so close, but sorry, no cigar. I trust most of you see what’s wrong here, but seeing as how the designer of this piece missed it, I’ll go ahead and point it out. The first quotation mark is upside down.

Hardly an award-winning masterpiece, but a mostly solid ad. Still, close but no cigar. If you’re looking at this photo of the cute kid with muddy hands, and not thinking, even for a fleeting moment, that that ain’t mud, then you’re not a parent. If you’re still wondering, I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason this example is number two.

Notable for being quite different than most movie posters, and certainly eye-catching, but there’ll be no cigar for this one either. I think most designers would agree, multiple layers of meaning are important, especially when the design is as simple as this. Sadly, the designer here gave us only one layer of meaning: it’s a gun. Made of guns. Not a gun made of... I don’t know... anything else! Or an anything else made of guns, for that matter.

On another note, how many different Hollywood euphemisms do we need for a hired gun? Mechanic, fixer, cleaner, professional, liquidator, asset, eraser, Chow Yun Fat. Anyone got any others?


  1. you've got some high standards there, but I could agree with your "the mechanic" boringness of putting gun in a gun...

  2. contractor, mercenary (merc), hit man, assassin...

  3. 69 people. 69. it's ssssooo easy to remember.