Yes, there is a lot of bad design out there, but great design is just as prevalent. Great design does so much that we never even notice — it can take an issue we're familiar with and reframe it in a way that makes it suddenly new. It can take an object we use every day and make it suddenly more functional. It can even make us smile by making something normal suddenly beautiful.
But when the design is really working, we don't even notice its effects — we just have our opinions of whatever's been designed subtly shifted. That's why we thought we should take a moment to highlight some great examples of design — both in print and out in the real world — that do their job of changing our perceptions without beating us over the head about it.
So check out these instances of great design — some of them are so clever, you might consider getting into design yourself.
"Computer, enhance. Oh, you can't? Oh. Guess I should do something then."
via: RedditEach picture is made of as many pixels as that of the endangered species population. They were designed by Yoshiyuki Mikami. - hpolsek
Man, humanity is the Titanic.
via: RedditIf great design takes an issue we don't spend a lot of time thinking about and reframes it in a new way, this cover about the issue of plastic waste in our oceans is an absolute success.
Click it or, well, it's much worse than a ticket.
via: RedditWe all know seatbelts save lives, but this striking image makes it visceral instead of a bullet point.
Yes, I understand what all this means.
via: RedditOne aspect of design we don't think about is this notion that some people have problems we don't and finding ways to solve it. This bit of organic chemistry homework was made so much easier because a notebook designer thought about someone who wasn't a notebook designer.
An incredible illustration, in every sense.
via: RedditIf the difference between empathy and apathy is understanding, this poster helps make tangible how difficult just getting around can be for some of us.
The best trade anyone will ever make.
via: RedditListen, the illustration of the dog is very cute, but honestly? I also think that is a very cute illustration of a gun. It looks like it shoots BBs or something.
For some reason, this table makes me want to tell everyone what I ate for breakfast in 140 characters or less.
via: RedditThis is the best kind of design because it took me a second to understand what made this table special. When I did, it brought an immediate smile to my face.
Get to the point already.
via: RedditNo Name is the gem of Canada. Every product is so unbelievably ominous I really laugh my *ss off every time I go shopping. - TheSupremeNu
This works for me.
via: RedditThis bench that looks like it was ripped from the ground. - FabulousN
Now you have my attention.
via: RedditI found the use of the handle as a sort of "magnifying glass" to highlight key text quite ingenious. - Wish_Dragon
Retro futurism is the best futurism.
via: RedditBuckminster Fuller's 1938 Dymaxion. - 5_Frog_Margin
It's a subtle story, but it's clearly being told.
via: RedditSCMP, a HK newspaper, has a logo that is based on international maritime signal flag "Kilo", which means: "I wish to communicate with you." - NecroHexr
It's like doing a puzzle on easy mode.
via: RedditAll the logos fit together no matter what direction they’re facing. - yeahokaaay
Makes me feel smart.
via: RedditDiscreet but brilliant title design for Chomsky's book. - ValerieK93
It's subtle, but it's there.
via: RedditThe bubbles inside the cup outlines the city of Hong Kong. - NoodleSlayer008
Dinosaurs are only cute. That's all they've ever been. Jurassic Park was a lie.
via: RedditBiosaurus chips display shaped as a dinosaurus. - Tillafanni
Which one of his "friends" painted this?
via: RedditPainting on the ceiling in a smokers room. - FedericoRO
Imagine ever choosing an aisle seat...
via: RedditUnited Packaging Shaped Like an Airplane Window. - the_perpetual_snort
Fear came home.
via: RedditResident Evil 7 was the best Resident Evil since Resident Evil 3.
Dear god, it's the same arch four times...
via: RedditMastery of the Minimalistic Font for upcoming movie Dune. - MoistDirector
Dip tastes its best when its shared with friends.
via: RedditTwo people dipping a chip in the Tostitos logo. - cval7
And it never really got better.
via: RedditJanuary 2020 has been a crummy month so far. - SerialKiller45609
via: RedditSimple yet incredibly disconcerting poster for the upcoming film Swallow, which follows a woman suffering from a compulsion to consume increasingly dangerous objects. - KalebAT
Minute Rice is both the hero we deserve and the hero we need right now.
via: RedditMinute Rice prints the directions on the lid in case you get rid of the box. - meineaccount
Helpful and gorgeous.
via: RedditThis coffee house menu that explains beverage composition. - galupa
via: RedditThe insignia for the 56th Engineers Searchlight is neat (as seen in the World War I museum in Kansas City). - d_b_cooper
Why does Mickey wear shorts and not a shirt though?
via: RedditWith 2020 being the year of Mouse, this is the best red envelope design I've ever seen. - thankyou9527
Not enough erasers turn into tiny versions of other things as you use them.
via: RedditEraser that turns into a tiny Mount Fuji after some time of use. - MarshallTan
Those post office guys know how to stay on-brand.
via: RedditFloor tiles at the US Postal Museum. - ligbag4
via: RedditIf you're driving home and see this billboard, what choice do you have but to start using electricity wisely? That's right, none. No chance whatsoever. Its that smart a design.
This looks like future money.
via: RedditThere is one problem with this otherwise striking 20 dollar bill design — it does not feature any triangle eyes, so I don't know how we'd know we are secretly ruled by an all-powerful and illicit group known only as the Illuminati.
Can I take your coat?
via: RedditNot all elements of great design have to be overtly gorgeous. Sometimes, it's enough to take an annoying problem — like not having enough hooks to hang all your stuff on — and solving it in an elegant way.
Collect them all!
via: RedditThis is so cool. I wonder if it also tells us when the world will end now that we've gotten past 2012?
via: RedditAnother ad bringing up the idea of plastic and pollution in our ocean, this ad makes it clear how grave the problem is by putting our very sushi at risk.
I keep a squeegee in my shower for just this reason.
via: RedditThis frosted mirror from Ikea is, in one sense, incredibly gorgeous and smart. But on the other hand, I would always always always want to grab that squeegee and wipe off the rest of the mirror. I could not have this in my home.
I could talk about this cover for hours.
via: RedditIt captures not only the idea of 1984 as a book about being watched, but the hint that the bad actors doing that watching are putting almost no effort into hiding it.
This took at most 10 minutes to make, but at least 10 years to know how to make in 10 minutes.
via: RedditHere's my favorite comment from the Reddit thread about this interesting logo: I love how it’s the same shape just turned. - philipgoffinet
"Honey, come look out the window. Is that a big Time magazine, or am I losing my mind?"
via: RedditMaybe we'd all be less anxious about drones if they really did every once in awhile swarmed together to make interesting pieces of aerial pointillism.
THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN!!
via: RedditI love how excited the person who posted this image got about these measuring cups. Their headline: THESE MEASURING CUPS ARE DESIGNED TO VISUALLY REPRESENT FRACTIONS FOR INTUITIVE USE! - blaizzze
Sometimes, the simplest logos can be the best logos.
via: RedditI defy you to forget the word "grill" next time you're at a buddy's backyard barbecue. that's never happening again.
via: RedditThe designer of this business card correctly identified that, if we mention our name and our website printed once, we don't need to print them over and over again to get in all the Instas and email addresses we need our connections to know.
One sign of great design: making two things into one thing.
via: RedditThis Japanese restaurant logo is simultaneously a Japanese crane and a hand holding chopsticks. - all-night
So simple and so thoughtful.
via: RedditI would've liked to see this designer throw in a third flip for those of us who celebrate Chrismukkah, as made popular by The O.C., but this is pretty good nonetheless.
In what sense is this the "best?"
via: RedditLook, this is an undeniably cool way to design a building, but I do think it looks like the building has begun to fall apart, which is not the sign of the "best" building.
via: RedditImagine buying any kind of Adidas shoes other than genuine, confirmed Adidas shoes after seeing this ad. That's it. You can't. It's just not possible anymore.
Heyyy, I get it brah.
via: RedditAnother image that took me a moment, but Willie Nelson's head here cuts off "Rolling Stone" just right so as to spell out "Roll one."
How do you even come up with something like this?
via: RedditGonna be honest here — I want to do nothing more for the next 25 minutes but stare at this logo.
We all need a little support from others sometimes.
via: RedditAs a man with a general fear of giant people, this bridge is disquieting. Good design though.
I'll say you are.
via: RedditDesign doesn't have to be beautiful, it just has to make its meaning clear. You can't look at this ad and — whether you're a graphic designer or not — want to help out.
That rune B sure looks like a normal B though.
via: RedditThe Bluetooth logo is the combination of "H" and "B," the initials of Harold Bluetooth, written in the ancient letters used by Vikings, which are also called "runes." - jacksback88
Great, now I'm unsettled.
via: RedditThis poster is so great it almost makes me want to go back and rewatch the entirety of Penny Dreadful.