are design tram-smashes in fashion?

While I was on a Road Trip last week, for long and complicated reasons I popped into an independent mens and ladieswear retailer in the Yorkshire Dales (which shall remain nameless because I think the owner is a friend of a friend of a friend…).

I understand that the business changed hands relatively recently and the shop front was certainly looking smart and fresh with a fairly subtle identity (which I’ve covered up so you’ll have to trust me).

Then I saw this in the window:

No, not a 1970s knitting pattern, their new brochure.  And this is the leaflet I found inside the store:

Somewhere, some kind of designer (however much of an artworker or printer they might really be) thought that this was an appropriate reflection of a relatively upmarket business (tasteful stuff aimed at an older market, with summer dresses at around the £100 mark).

And perhaps worse, somebody inside that business signed off the design work and thought it was OK.  Sometimes I wonder if we get the design we deserve.


Trying to cram all that information into a little leaflet maybe meant that the look of it had to suffer.  But if you can appreciate fashion, surely you can see a visual tram smash when it’s put in front of you for sign off?

3 thoughts on “are design tram-smashes in fashion?

  1. Perhaps you can suggest they look for a bit of inspiration from the Joules brand – consistent messaging, strong branding, clear positioning across all their communications.

  2. Pingback: with social media lowering the bar, are some businesses doing themselves more harm than good? « (almost) always thinking

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