Design Gone Wrong: Gradient Rollacoaster Magazine’s Pharrell Cover

Category : Design

It was about 5am as I shuffled through my Google Reader hoping to get through the 1000+ items that have been patiently waiting on me since September 21st. I abused my PageDown button as I scrolled past news about Skype, John Legend, iPad, Mark Zuckerberg and then “Ooo, Pharrell on new mag cover!” I was unfamiliar with the magazine but eager to view and possibly share what I expected would make me say “Hm… nice!”

Pharrell Williams posed for the cover of Rollacoaster magazine

Pharrell Williams posed for the cover of Rollacoaster magazine

Instead as I glanced at the post via ConcreteLoop my brow furrowed and my chest began to burn! My jaw dropped and my eyes started to water as the extreme and total misuse of gradient took over my sight! I tried to focus on the adorable Mr. Williams which worked for a few seconds but the diversion wasn’t enough. The most bothersome is that the cover actually went to print and was really distributed at one of the largest fashion events in the world. I tried to remember the last time I’d seen anyone actually use a gradient like this… THE HORROR! [end scene]

Gradient Example

While I realize that gradient is not the easiest of tools to master, it is therefore all the more important to do. In the image above you see the difference between one gradient that has not been properly adjusted and one that has.

More Examples of Proper Gradient Use

click to view larger

images via SixRevisions

Getting It Right

Whether using Photoshop or Illustrator, the techniques are both achievable and useful. Below is a list of tools and tutorials:

Feel free to add additional resources below!