Field Guide to Overused Design Elements 2

You know what that red strip means – EMPHASIS HERE!!!!

This dry brush technique has been around for an awfully long time. While it was used at least back into the ’60s (as far as I know), it really hit its stride in the 80s & 90s. Don’t believe me? Fatal Attraction. There, you just saw it flash into your mind. No? Ok… Lethal Weapon – the good movie.

The funny thing is that it wasn’t in either – but it seems like it!

It is also used as an allusion to women’s lipstick (not like there’s a man’s lipstick…or is there? I don’t know) so you see it a lot in makeup ads and such.  Perhaps that’s the fatal attraction connection? Didn’t she write something on the mirror in the bathroom with lipstick and being that it was kind of creepy it had the secondary feeling of blood?

There was a lady who wrote stuff on the mirror of Drayton Jackson from How to Be a Player. Not creepy but there it was, and there was EMPHASIS!!!

Anyway, all that aside. it’s really overused and certainly another graphic design crutch that probably should be avoided, unless you work for Urban Outfitters and are part of the crew regurgitating the 1980s in a ham-fisted, capitalist way.

Keep your eyes peeled for them, as it points out Baby Boomer designers. They can’t get enough of the…

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