The worst design fails of 2022 to date

We’ve seen some great design so far in 2022, but we’ve also seen some terrible design fails. From an unfortunately placed joystick to an unintentionally gory logo and a strangely absent film title, we’ve already seen plenty of oversights and blunders, even from Apple – usually the epitome of fine design.

Whether it’s product design or logo design, success requires a lot of iterations and seeking plenty of second opinions. And even with that, it’s still possible that a lot of people will be unhappy – especially on Twitter, where people are unforgiving of even the smallest design gaffes. You can see some timeless examples in our roundup of the design fails that were so bad they’re good and the worst logos of 2022 so far.

The Sonic controller

Sonic Nintendo Switch controller

Sonic’s excited about his new film (Image credit: Hori)

First on our list of the worst design fails we’ve seen so far this year is this rather maximalist Sonic controller. Video game controllers come in all shapes and we’ve seen some shockers over the years – the Gucci Xbox collab comes to mind. Now, in time for the new Sonic film, Hori has announced a Sonic-themed Nintendo Switch controller, and the design is anything but minimal.

Launching on 9 June, the officially licensed Horipad controller has an awful lot going on. You’ve got Sonic on the right-hand side, speeding towards the left. One joystick is bright red, the other bright blue. There are two logos: a big Sonic logo and a slightly less big Hori logo, and a bunch of diagonal blue lines for good measure. 

It all makes McDonald’s DualSense design look very refined. As ever, Twitter made its feelings known, most notably about the unfortunate placement of the joystick. “Hey Sonic, is that an analogue stick or are you happy to see us?” one person tweeted.

Super Bowl LVI logo

Carnage at the Super Bowl (Image credit: owns)

The Super Bowl is one of the US’s most important sporting events, so it’s important to get the logo right. But some American football fans though this year’s Super Bowl LVI logo looked a little bloody. The deep red shapes were intended to look like palm trees during a Californian sunset, but the trunks did look somewhat streaky, and the leaves rather, er, splattery, so we could easily see why, at a distance, fans were wondering whether if they were something from CSI.

This one was a definite case of ‘once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it’, and for plenty of people on Twitter, the trees were definitely blood. See our pick of the best sports logos for a selection of more successful endeavours in this field.

The Northman poster

The Northman movie poster with missing title

The movie looks great. Erm, what’s it called? (Image credit: Isaac Butler on Twitter)

This one still leaves us unsure about whether it was a design fail or an intentional marketing trick. When the poser for the film The Northman appeared in New York last month, it had a lot of the elements you’d expect to see the poster for a violent period epic. There’s beefy lead Alexander Skarsgård looking fierce fresh from battle, and earnest-looking Nicole Kidman dressed in furs. The names of the cast are there along with the obligatory tagline that says nothing about the film too. 

Keen cinemagoers were ready to run out and book their tickets. The only thing holding them back was not knowing what the film was called. In an apparent oversight, the title of the film was inadvertently left off the poster, leaving many people wondering what the poster was for. It’s possible that the resulting debate earned the film more publicity than it would have go had the title appeared in the poster, leading us to wonder whether this was a blunder or an intentional ploy. Either way, plenty of people were willing to fix the poster, reworking it to feature titles ranging from Tarzan to Finding Nemo 3. Now Finding Nemo 3 starring Alexander Skarsgård is a film we’d pay to see.

The Northman movie poster with the title changed to Tarzan

Coming to cinemas soon (Image credit: @SamVanivray on Twitter)

Apple’s Magic Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse 2

Is this a logical place for a charging port? (Image credit: Apple)

One design decision that for us is clearly one of the year’s design fails is Apple’s not so magic Magic mouse. And what makes this one all the more surprising is that it comes from Cupertino’s finest, which – notches aside – usually get it so right. From the iPhone to the Apple Watch, Apple products usually just work. However, it does sometimes make the occasional design mistake, and none of them seems to rankle the internet quite as much as the Magic Mouse 2.

It’s a typically sleek-looking Apple peripheral at first glance. The problem is when you need to recharge it, at which point it instantly becomes useless. The lightning port is on the bottom of the mouse, rendering the device unusable while being charged
– something that continues to leave users flabbergasted every day. Just search ‘worst Apple design’ on Twitter, and you’ll be met with countless photos of upside-down Magic Mice.

Most bizarrely of all, Apple decided to stick with the unpopular design decision when it launched a new black version of the Magic Mouse this year. If you’re looking for alternatives see our guide to the best mouse for Mac.

Need some examples of fantastic design to counter all this negativity? Just turn to our guide to the best logos ever. And if you’re looking to create yourself, make sure you have the software you need. See the best current prices on Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of apps below.

Read more: