The Case for Ugly Design: Why Designers Are Ditching Traditional Styles of Beauty

ugly design

Fun fact, the average designer doesn’t typically strive to create an “ugly” design. Beauty, or aesthetically pleasing, is a normal goal for designers. It’s what’s considered a vital aspect of a “good” design.

But, recently, the idea of “beautiful” and “good” has evolved into “basic,” and “boring” – the repetitive elements and aspects of design are becoming culturally undesirable, leaving room for “ugly” design to thrive.

With cultural demand evolving, it’s even more important for you to understand the pros and cons of sticking with (or ditching) traditional design styles and beauty ideals. Here’s the truth behind “ugly” design and why designers are ditching traditional styles of beauty.

What is Ugly Design?

Ugly design is a design that breaks the traditional (or popular) style and rules of design. You’ll often see awkward or oddly spaced typography, contrasting colors, pieced-together graphics, and abstract shapes or styles.

Design that has been deemed “ugly” fights against the norm, often forcing and encouraging other designers to be freer in their designs. It’s less about destroying the rules and more about expanding the rules to be more inclusive of outside ideas and styles.

There is no standard “ugly design” instead; it will always be a design that contradicts what’s popular at the moment.

To be Ugly is to be Free

There’s a certain expectation associated with a “beautiful” design. The minimalistic styles and stand typeface has already made an impression on the viewer, and there’s no need to look further. The opposite can be said about ugly design.

Since there is no standard to ugly design, there’s no preconceived message or relationship with the viewer. It starts a new train of thought that’s entirely influenced by the designer rather than cultural relation. Ugly designs allow designers to be free and utilize their creativity in their design – and what they want to convey in their message.

“Ugly” Design Works Better… Sometimes

For a designer, there’s a time and place for everything, like ugly design. Design is about communication – specifically what you’re communicating and what the best method of communication is. Sometimes, that’s an ugly design.

Beautiful designs are what consumers like to buy, and designers want to show off, but at the core, communicating a specific idea to a particular audience might work better using an ugly design. For example, a loud, un-elegant, blunt design might have better conversions over a minimalistic, elegant design. It all depends on the audience.

Should I Use Ugly Design?

Yes and no. Design only thrives when it’s communicating the right message to the right audience – ugly design for no reason turns into bad design… there’s nothing good about a bad design.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be creative or unique in your design, simply do what’s best for your business and target audience.

If you’re ready to be more authentic and creative in your business, contact StellaPop for your own “ugly” brand design today.



See Also:

Ditch the Dream: Be An Original Doer In All Your Creative Work

More Than Meets the Eye: Back to Graphic Design Basics

Got a Problem? Talk to a Brand Designer

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