Yes, we’re still talking about the Oscars gaffe

My husband shared a video released by Vox today on bad typography. The relevant draw is the 2017 Oscars gaffe in which the Best Picture winner was incorrectly announced and ultimately corrected. My husband and I had the pleasure of watching this infamous event live.

I presented on engaging slideshow design two days after the Oscars and used the mix-up as a concrete example when discussing the concept of discriminability. I argued that perhaps the gold text on the red background of the Oscars envelope was the culprit. The above video takes it a step further by critiquing the content of the envelope which look something like this:

Oscars envelope content

When it comes to the psychology of how we perceive and process information, a lot of poor design choices are present in the envelope content. In addition to discriminability, the concepts of perceptual organization and salience come into play. The order of the content itself, the use of all caps, the use of bold, the use of italics, font size of varying elements, and center alignment are all things that scream out at me.

Watch the video for their tips on better typography and other examples of the impact of poor design choices.

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