On 90s Web Horror and Ways to Improve Your Skills


This article shows some “before and after” style views on some large companies’ websites from the 90s to recent times. It shows how what’s considered good design can change drastically over a decade or so. I think part of the problem, however, was that 1996 didn’t have the CSS technology we have now. However, they did have .gif technology and dancing babies, so they clearly decided that they were going to do everything just because they could. We now know that it’s not a good idea to just use every type of technology all at once and make a scattered navigation page out of the home page, but who’s to say we have the cleanest and most useful web design now? Perhaps in 10 years the decade from 2010 to 2020 will be considered yet another terrible decade in web design. But then again, we weren’t the 1990s. And it’s especially interesting to see how far Apple’s come- they’re supposed to be streamlined and neat, but apparently that wasn’t the original plan.


How NOT to do graphic design… and somewhat how you actually should. As far as this article goes, I can agree for pretty much all of it. I’m not entirely certain that the centering looks better- but that’s probably just their example. A poem actually would be centered by its lines. The rest of the body copy however would likely not be centered unless you’re compiling a poetry anthology. I would not commission the author of this article to do that.

However, the rest of the article seems rather sound. It has good advice that applies to print, and maybe a little bit to web. Don’t use comic sans unless you have a really good reason to, and don’t use the same generic computer font every time- unless you have a really good reason to, such as a sales report.

I think the main issue the author in this article is having is that “once you know the rules, then you can break them”. There are times and places for doing different things with design, and if you have a really good reason to do something against what is commonly accepted as a guideline, then go ahead and do it. You’re not going to put a 50-page sales report in 10 different fonts for the sake of not using a standard font constantly. Using more “interesting” fonts could detract from the information.


This article outlines a summary of how not to behave as a graphic designer. I really wanted to use an article on “keming” which is to say, bad kerning, but unfortunately that was a bit risqué for school (you’d be surprised at what people don’t notice until it’s too late). Anyway, with that you could easily add to this list that a bad designer doesn’t proofread.

I like how the article mentions that you should use correct software. That is key. However, as long as your software is doing the job, there shouldn’t be too much problem with deviation. For example, if you need a .jpg image resized for the web, you’re already using raster and GIMP will do the job. It’s just more important to make sure you’re using the right file type and the software that will give you that file type.


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