Making something “ugly” has been half therapeudic and half painful. My gut and years of design training and principles embedded in me kept telling me no, but my heart said HELL YEA. For more context, I’ve detailed what I thought of these trends in a blog post here. And this series is me applying some of these visual rule breakers to 3 lyrics posters.


Inspired by ugly design trends, I sat down with good ol’ Photoshop, cracked my knuckles and put some into practice. I kicked off with “It’s boring being the same”, lyrics from a song called Flamingo by Kero Kero Bonito and I think it’s pretty fitting for the mood of the series.

The Window

This one is “The Window”, a powerful song by Thrice. I interpret it as the difference between being in the confines of what you see around you, and having faith that there’s something better, or something else beyond the physical realm. I created this in 20-30 minutes – short timeframe but I think I did enough to get the message in. I chose a scrawled typeface, I think it’s pretty unique and fitting to the song.

Creature Comfort

This is probably my favorite but I am biased because I’m in love with this song at the moment (“Creature Comfort” by Arcade Fire). It just gets better every time I listen to it.

The headline font is pretty “Hollywood”, and skewed as certain aspects of the movie/entertainment industry tend to be. A happy accident¬†was the double exposure effect of the model and the walk of fame stars. This is probably the ugliest and scrappiest thing I’ve made in my entire design life (& I’ve made some pretty hideous things). And I’m pretty okay with that.

Closing Thoughts

One thing I can glean from this is despite the seemingly thrown-together nature of these visuals, certain elements can, or at least have the potential, to still have purpose and convey the message pretty well. For designers or artists, I recommend doing this every now and then just to flex your visual muscles. I realize much of web design these days is about solving problems but it’s nice to take a break from thinking about end users and push pixels for your own pleasure every now and then.