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9 things designed by people who had no f**king clue what they were doing

Avert thine eyes.


Luke Winkie

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 2, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 6:58 am CDT

Hey, let me teach you a quick magic trick.

Go to any highly specific subreddit. You know, something away from the ultra-broad BuzzFeed-bait on the main page. Click the “top” button, and sort by “all time.”

Congratulations! You’ve now uncovered the best of the best for a particular community. Subscribers here have unconsciously elected these links as their legacy. It’s kinda cool! Even if you’re not interested in, like, C++, it’s still interesting to see what topics are in the pantheon. Reddit is a place where passions are divided into millions of different concentrated districts, and that can make for some pretty great sightseeing.

So today, we here at the Daily Dot are launching a new recurring feature where we delve into the top-voted archives of some of Reddit’s more off-kilter neighborhoods. We’re starting with r/crappydesign—home to inexplicable choices, garish colors, and comic sans. Let’s see what we find!

We’re off to a flying start: at 6,386 upvotes, it’s the FUN boat!

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No safety, smoking first! I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment. I really hope this boat belongs to Slurms McKenzie.

At 6,805 upvotes, the world’s first syntactic clarification subtitle.

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That means it didn’t work. That means you showed “S&MAN” to a bunch of test audiences, and they responded with a collective “Um, is that sampersandman? Sexman? I’m confused.”

At 6,975 upvotes, drink up!

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Yeah, that’s floor cleaner. That’s not, like, Fanta or whatever.

At 7,717 upvotes, dirty minds always prevail.

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Here’s a tip. If you are ever drafting a slogan, have a 16-year old read it first just to make sure you aren’t missing something obvious.

At 8,270 upvotes, we bring new meaning to the term “off the glass.”

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This is what I love about r/crappydesign. Yeah, most of it is focused on poor color choice, hilariously bad semantic pairings, and other graphic design faux pas. But it can also shed light on critically poor mechanical choices.

At 8,595 upvotes, easily the most forced acronym in existence:

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How am I supposed to read this, exactly? “Kids Adults Real Anti-Abduction *HEEE-YAH* Everyone”?

With 8,770 upvotes, I present: the accidental Venn diagram:

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I just.. I don’t understand. Even if this wasn’t cached in terrible visual context, why on earth would you ever put “our values” off and to the right? Good job on taking some boilerplate bad design to the next level.

And, finally, I think we can all see why this post cracked 9,500 upvotes.

You can burn hours gawking at all the bad ideas uploaded to r/crappydesign every day. In fact, I reckon it’s probably more compelling than whatever tryhard “good” design communities are lurking on Reddit. 

But before we go, we need to illuminate one last thing. The following GIF is this wonderful subreddit’s most upvoted post. There’s a subway exit in New York with one step a fraction of an inch higher than all the others. So…

This subway has one step a fraction of an inch higher than the others.

The devil really is in the details.

Photo via Timothy Allen/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 2, 2016, 11:00 am CST