END BAD DESIGN: Jane Gardner

END BAD DESIGN: Jane Gardner

Jane Gardner, student

Tell us a bit about who you are and the work you do:

I am a nineteen-year old student pursuing studies at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. Most of my work is graphic design based, although I greatly enjoy fine art and photography, both of which I try incorporating into my designs as often as possible. Having work experience at a New York based magazine and an advertising agency in the Twin Cities, as well as the work I’ve done for various small local music acts in the Twin Cities, the pieces I create are often more playful while maintaining a precise structure. I’m always drawn to bright colors, patterns, and unique fonts that I incorporate into my designs.


What is your go-to font or font combination as of late? Can you provide a screenshot?

I really like the aesthetic look of combining the typeface Clarendon Bold, as a headline, with Trade Gothic Light, as the main body of text. I appreciate font combinations that use two very different forms with strong contrasts between light and bold weights to compliment each other.


Why do you like that combination?

I like this combination because Clarendon is a very elegant, fun typeface that I believe works well as a large-scale title. The structured and contemporary feel of Trade Gothic compliments it nicely and I think either typeface would work well as a header or body text in contrast to each other. I also really admire the combination of Futura with Bodini, despite how the origins of both typefaces are very different. I like font combinations that are a little more playful but also sophisticated.


What font do you think is overused and about to go out of style?

Although there is not a specific typeface that I believe is overused or going out of style, I do see a lot of sans serif typefaces used in design today. I think the frequent use of sans serif typefaces will eventually lessen and design will incorporate more serif typefaces, reflecting upon the ornamental and skillfully made designs of the 18th or 19th century when styles required more hand crafted qualities. It’s not that I’m against sans serif typefaces, as I often use them myself, but I think there are many more interesting serif typefaces that would better substitute sans serif typefaces. The excessive use of sans serifs can easily become uninteresting.

What do you wish you could tell new designers to quit doing?

Being a new designer myself, I’m not sure my opinion is worthwhile, but I do wish the style of design in today’s culture wasn’t so simplistic. I personally like design that has more depth and incorporates some elements that are non-digital. Design today is about creating a visual message in the most simplified and clear way, which often leads to designs that are too basic. Of course simplistic layouts can be very elegant and nice, but they are frequently overused as a quick and easy alternative when trying to get the job done. To a certain extent, designs don’t necessarily need to be quite as simple and straightforward as they are today. They should be fun and interesting, making the viewer stop and think rather than glance and move along.



What’s the next trend?

As the design world continuously evolves and adapts, the way messages are communicated changes rapidly, therefore effecting new design trends. I think the next trend will expand on the simple designs that are already in existence, which are greatly impacted by technology and the rapid speed of surfing the web and glancing quickly at numerous websites and ads, among much more. Cleanliness and simplicity seem to be significant when it comes to design and technology, as messages need to be straightforward and directly impactful. I think design will continue to use clean interfaces and minimal layouts, but the use of more serif fonts and patterns will be in style.

Which trend is about to be over?

I often see a lot of swirly, ornate floral vector graphics used throughout design that have potential to look nice but often appear more tacky than trendy, a design trend that might possibly come to a halt. I think designs too often use vector illustrations that are downloaded from a website when they are actually quite simple to create and could be more unique to the design if given enough thought.

I think it’s important that all elements of a particular design are purposeful and relate to the content. The overuse of effects also contribute to this, as several effects, such as gradients and drop shadows, often become distracting elements and are not always meticulously rendered. However, when used properly, they look great and can really enhance a design.




What designer do you want to turn our readers on to?

One of my favorite current designers is Tad Carpenter. I recently discovered his work online and have been obsessing over his designs ever since. His work is very fun and playful, incorporating a variety of illustration, patterns, and unique color palettes, all of which I greatly admire. He is very influential and I think everybody should check out his designs.

Becky Lang

End Bad Design began when Becky realized she had learned a lot more about design from sitting next to a designer at work than from reading any book explaining what ascenders and descenders are. END BAD DESIGN is her attempt to give everyone that access to designer opinions.

Former editions:


Zara Gonzalez

Little Jacket

Travis Stearns

Caroline Royce

Chris Larson

Missy Austin

 Mike Davis

Elite Gymnastics