Design So Bad, It’s Good?

Yep, it’s another article shamelessly inspired by Reddit, but here’s the kicker – the above sign front was discovered on the r/CrappyDesign subreddit – however, this sign is anything but that.

At first glance, the exterior of this Toronto burger joint appears poorly conceived, with the same vibe as a beat-up old van with “Free Candy” scrawled on the side in shaky text.

Not only that, but it looks like someone took a note out of John Mulaney’s guide to signwriting.

“Sure, I don’t need to trace it. I know how big letters should be.  Let’s start with a Big ole H, a Big ole A, a big ole M and… Oh No…”

But when you look closer you realise these choices are deliberate. The signwriting and internal artwork is a collaboration between Extra Burger (the actual name of the burger joint) and local artist Justin Broadbent.

Source: @extraburgerto

Broadbent’s design is clever, capitalising on the idea that little holes in the wall always have the best food. (Either that or you’ll be in hospital after the first bite – there is no middle ground).

Plus, it’s eye-catching, many people will do that initial double-take – wondering what kind of business owner would let their alcoholic uncle Bob have a go at the signwriting. As one commenter put it: “A $10 marker pen or a $1000 professional sign… You decide.” And it’s that’s a second take that most other dime-a-dozen burger joints will never get.

Even their website follows that same “handmade” feel. It’s big, it’s loud; but it further succeeds in tying together the whole theme and is reminiscent of Broadbent’s own website. On its own, it’s not one of those websites a developer would regularly make for its clients, but it’s a perfect example of being fit for purpose.

Source: @extraburgerto

The interior is simple, modern industrial. Yep, it’s another one of those grungy hipster joints with interesting combinations – in this case; pairing fine wine with fast food.

Somehow, when you take everything into consideration, there is synergy here. All the slightly sketchy elements that go into making HAMBURGERS, are together, a fantastic example of something being “greater than the sum of its parts.”


Villain Now An Award Winner

Villain is proud to announce its first major award sharing in a Bronze PICA (Print Industries Craftsmanship Award) for best offset printed brochure or book after having the Villain designed & managed Aquis Farm Stallions 2016 booklet submitted to the Print Industries Association Australia (PIAA).


Print manager Dave Guyatt who nominated the Aquis Farm project for its nominated category was naturally rapt with the award.

“I was thrilled to receive the award. Many long hours and a tight schedule were part of this job and for it to come away with a bronze was a great result for my team as well as my client Villain and obviously their client Aquis Farm.”

Designer and Project Manager Chris Ahern said it was a fantastic team effort that required foresight and a ‘gutsy approach’ from the client in addition to a ‘can-do’ attitude from print and paper suppliers.

“Dave (Spot Productions) and Corinne (K.W.Doggett Fine Paper) were fantastic throughout the process. After the initial brief with Aquis Farm management, it was made clear to us that this particular piece was not only going to be the major marketing vehicle for their new stable of world-class stallions, it was also going to be the flagship promotional item of their new brand identity.”

Initial Concept Mockup

Initial Concept Mockup

“It needed a quality design and a sophisticated finish and we set about preparing the team that could deliver that.” “Turns out, that team is now an award winning one which I couldn’t be prouder of.”

“It has fuelled the fire for us to get more of our great work in front of some industry eyes in 2017.”

From concept to completion, The Aquis Farm Booklet carried the emerging Aquis Brand through purposeful embellishments, thoughtful paper stock and an earthy, tactile finish befitting a dynamic and prestigious industry steeped in tradition. Ahern said the Stallions booklet for 2016 is the first piece of the puzzle in creating that level of sophistication the brand needs to thrive in an industry where others don’t seem to have positioned themselves accordingly.



“We’ve worked hard with Aquis Farm throughout 2016 to develop an emerging identity within the thoroughbred racing industry that positions them as the Premier Thoroughbred Farm In Australia.”  “We identified an opportunity for Aquis Farm to leapfrog some competitors and this seems to be happening already.”

“To be a leader in its space is a long-term goal for Aquis Farm but one which seems attainable at an ever-increasing pace because of their rapid success.” This is all down to the forward-thinking staff at Aquis Farm which always brings out the best in us.”

“They challenge us and we challenge them… it’s a healthy, robust relationship that keeps us producing good work at a fairly sharp rate.”

The case study behind the production of the Aquis Farm Stallions Booklet can be found here.

Villain whole-heartedly thanks all involved in the process, especially the PIAA for recognising the work.