a perhaps more pervasive meme than is desirable

I have no formal training in graphic design…but it seems to me, if you’re going to use two very dissimilar sizes of type, necessarily the text in larger type will be emphasized. And it would seem to follow from that, that such text ought to accord with the overall message of the image. And finally (and maybe this is me as English teacher), it seems that if those emphasized words aren’t just a list of nouns, say, but if they appear to form a sentence, that sentence should be a well-formed sentence.

All of which goes to explain why this ad for United Way – seen here in a quick and dirty snap of the back of a bus, but also used on billboards – bugs me.WE RAISE IS EXPECTATIONS is not a grammatical sentence. What’s more irritating is that it would have been so very simple to make everything work, just by making that “is” smaller (the same size as the other type), possibly moving it.

Could be my inner proofreader is taking over my brain – but that ad just makes me cringe every time I see it.


It’s supposed to be in Lolcat! That’s it. I CAN HAS CHARITYZ?



Filed under art, langwich

5 responses to “a perhaps more pervasive meme than is desirable

  1. Janet ID

    funny lolcat! Boo United Way!

  2. 2fs

    It does, of course, go without saying that my criticism of this ad campaign’s graphics has nothing to do with whether United Way itself is a good or bad thing.

  3. Janet ID

    But it should be said that my disfavor of UW has nothing to do with this ad campaign’s graphics. I perceive UW as a workplace fundraising bully which doesn’t play nicely with non-UW charitable agencies.

  4. 2fs

    Janet – You’ll probably enjoy the note appended to the image at Flickr, in that case…

  5. Jeramey

    Is it possible that it’s designed to be worded poorly to draw your attention to it? I mean it would be ironic to talk about raising expectations, while at the same time making something appear to be grammatically incorrect.

    I think the point of the ad is not to make you realize that the United Way is trying to raise expectations, but to get you to talk about United Way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s