We fix 10 of the biggest design fails!

At Generate UK, we firmly believe that design makes all the difference.

There’s no such thing as bad design, but some creatives could certainly do with a bit of TLC…

We firmly believe that design makes all the difference when it comes to making the best first impression with your customers.

However, sometimes even the best intentions can have some unfortunate results.

We thought we’d test Leigh, our in-house design guru, and his problem solving skills, with updating some examples of internet-dubbed ‘design fails’ to show you the power that well thought out design can have in transforming a business.

Along the way, Leigh has broken down what was holding back the previous designs, and why they’ve recommended particular alterations – enjoy!

App rent ice ships

I’m sure there’s already a mobile app to hire arctic trawlers but this designer unfortunately missed the point of the message in this poster.

Splitting a word across multiple line is rather a trendy fashion at the moment but deconstructing a trademarked logo is probably not the best idea.

Our approach is a more engaging poster using friendly real-life apprentices and, more importantly, using the logo in the way the original designer intended.

Nothing is possible?

There’s a chance that on screen this design looked more legible . . . however, in reality not only is it hard to read the second line it’s also unfortunately placed to create a second meaning.

Luckily, there was an easy solution. Put a darker background behind the text (either use Photoshop to clone the background or . . . . find a better background!)

Excuse me?!

Something about the placement of the runner turns this gym from inviting to insulting.

Rather than trying to force an idea to work, sometimes look for an alternative. Here a kettle bell replaces the O and space is introduced between the 2 words to save any confusion.

Coming up trumps

Again, a classic case of a designer trying to force an idea and not stopping when realising that it doesn’t work or spotting the unfortunate faux pas.

The fact it was allowed to get to the sign stage is a mystery.

A simple approach. Using the same font so you can keep the vibe and style but with the words separated to create 2 lines, making it easier to read.

Always consider your font choices

Designers love fonts, sometimes they love them so much that they want to use them on their project . . . without really looking at the letterforms they produce!

The answer is to just spend a bit more time looking through font libraries, making sure to test the word in the font before choosing the right one to use.


We know what the designer was trying to do, but the human brain can be a bit traditional at times and just likes words appearing in the order they need to be read.

A simple reshuffle and the shirt looks almost identical, but is now 100% more motivational!


There’s nothing people like more than getting in early for the New Year SASA LELE . . . there are some real bargains to be had.

Just one row would have been enough to be honest but if you did have to have a full window display then words appearing as they are designed to be read and the correct amount of space between letters and lines always helps.


The sun’s out, your sipping on your cold glass of Leemoon and all is right with the world . . .
apart from this design mishap.

The extra E’s and O’s add nothing to the design, the illustration is lovely enough. Just write the word lemon and if you have to add some design elements just drop in some bubbles to add interest.

Tea anyone?…

Not sure anyone would want to take their Granny here for a spot of afternoon tea. Again a time honoured mistake of picking the wrong shape.

No reason the idea has to change, just use a more suitable shape that represents the letter you are replacing.


Most designers will freely admit to being more visual people than wordsmiths, so sometimes using a good copywriter is not the worst idea in the world. Sometimes an errant full stop can transform a message’s intent.

Initial caps are a strange phenomenon that has steadily been appearing over the last few years, not only is it flying in the face of standard English conventions, it also makes it harder to read.


When it comes to setting your business apart from your competitors, delighting your audience and increasing sales, design makes all the difference.

In a digital landscape that’s more congested than ever, standing out, for the right reasons, is crucial to delivering growth.

Creativity and innovation is central to everything we do.

Whatever your project requirements, our design and development experience, coupled with a strong commercial understanding, allows us to create marketing assets that make a difference for your business.


Generate growth through marketing with an award-winning, full-service digital marketing agency based in Berkshire.

We are the UK’s only digital marketing agency to hold the Customer Service Excellence+ Accreditation, and are committed to achieving clear, measurable returns from your marketing, delivering engaging designs and smart development solutions, whilst providing you with the highest level of customer service.

Let’s have a chat to discuss how we can help you generate growth through marketing.