For infrared vision only: really terrible exhibit labels

When we visited Venice, the 2010 international Architecture Biennale was under way. We weren’t that impressed with the exhibits themselves, which were mostly self-promotional, self-congratulatory, and/or superficial offerings from dozens of leading architecture firms and many nations.

We were impressed, in a way, with some really, really bad labels. As in totally unreadable.

Ridiculously faint, no? Pale tan on white. But it gets worse. Next to it is an even more unreadable label.

Do not adjust your browser – there is text there, to the left of the tan text: off-white on white, in a smaller face.

In contrast, so to speak, there were standard black on white labels at a nearby exhibit —  but no light by which to read them.

Yes, there is a label there, to the right. This is not an underexposed image — that was pretty much the ambient light level. No flashlights were provided.

Here’s another one.

In this case, your eye adjusted to the brighter light in the background, rendering the darkened label in the foreground a blur.

These labels serve as reminders that even highly paid, extensively educated design professionals can design, or approve, or at least be associated with designs that are downright laughable in their hostility to humans and human comfort.


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