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Blame ‘Best Picture’ Fail at the Academy Awards 2017 on Bad Graphic Design

Last night’s Academy Awards (aka The Oscars) fail wasn’t just an error because of a duplicated envelope, personally I think it was the fault of poor design. No different from the infamous “Steve Harvey moment”.

As we all watched Warren Beatty’s hesitation to announce the winner of ‘Best Picture’ at the 89th Academy Awards, you knew something was definitely off. Faye Dunaway seemed to have been completely oblivious, no fault of her own since part of the problem was being handed the wrong envelope. However, the real problem was ‘bad design’.

Good design would’ve eliminated that colossal fiasco that was the presentation for ‘Best Picture’. All it needed was a better layout and simple adjustments in specific font size for the award category (Best Picture/Best Actress) and film title (Moonlight/La La Land).

Here’s a closeup of the design layout used versus my interpretations of how the cards should’ve been done.


The actual design used at the Academy Awards showing the real winner, Moonlight

Good design should facilitate clear communication. The reader should be emboldened to read without second-guessing what’s presented before them.

For your consideration, my design alternative that uses the same information with just slight tweaks in the layout and font size, where applicable.


Notice the order in which the information is displayed from top to bottom

Increase the font sizes for the most important information and change around the layout.


This should’ve been how the result cards looked

Here’s the result! Done! Oscars…you’re welcome.


Good design applied to the Oscar moment looks completely different



Writing Funny One-liners for a Single-frame Comic Is Hard Work

“Hit or Miss?” I lost count how many times I asked my friends that question yesterday. The jury was split. Some found it hilarious and other didn’t. The latter group wanted an explanation. Once they got one, they laughed. It sucks having to explain a joke.

I started this comic, “Jus’ fa laffs” on Facebook page back in 2009 and it had a pretty decent following of 135 people (101 are friends). Somewhere along the line I lost steam and didn’t produce a single-frame/single panel comic until now (see below).

You never know if your one-liner will be a hit or a miss

You never know if your one-liner will be a hit or a miss

I wrote in a recent blog that I was testing out the Intuos pen and touch tablet and I figured what better time to get back into illustration again. So below is one of the first comics in about three years. I must’ve written at least seven possible “funny” one-liners aiming for the classic set-up and then a solid punchline. It’s always scary to put yourself and your work out their for public scrutiny, because the truth is you want to have your work liked and appreciated.

On the flip-side, if the reviews are all negative then you know maybe you need to change your tactic, work harder and try again. Either that or the viewers just don’t appreciate great comedy! I’m not serious [a little serious]. Ultimately you need to just follow your art and eventually you’ll find a following (audience).

I’d love to hear what you thought, so feel free to like and leave a comment below.

One Basic Rule to Create a Good Marketing Strategy and Responsible Graphic Design

Bad marketing and graphic design… what does it look like? Well I think it looks a lot like this advertising campaign recently launched in South Wales, United Kingdom for the bus company New Adventure Travel. First rule: Always create ideas with your audience in mind. That’s key.

The campaign slogan plus imagery just took the wordplay a tad too far

The campaign slogan plus imagery just took the wordplay a tad too far

Always consider the current realities and societal issues. In this case gender equality and gender discrimination (sexism) are topics trending globally. Ultimately there are those who will say the campaign was a success assuming you by the cynical phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Milton Glaser is one of America's most celebrated graphic designers known for iconic logo and poster designs

Milton Glaser is one of America’s most celebrated graphic designers known for iconic logo and poster designs

However, if you want to take the high-road then craft both socially conscious and socially responsible marketing strategies and promotional material. Well-known Graphic Designer Milton Glaser (the “I ♥ New York” logo guy) once said, “There are three responses to a piece of design—yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” Keep that in mind and at the end of the day, you’ll avoid a lot of online backlash and money lost.

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