The trope “Don’t Dead Open Inside” came to the internet’s spotlight more than ten years ago when it was first used in a promo poster for The Walking Dead. The line, which initially made zero sense to anyone reading it line by line, perfectly captured ensued hilarity. It stirred a whole trend of memes featuring posters, boards and signs that played on the brink of making sense (if read counterintuitively) and making no sense (if read intuitively).
There’s a whole Reddit community dedicated to such oddly amusing linguistic mishaps known as r/deadopeninside. So get ready to roll your eyes, turn your head, read it twice and thrice, calling a friend and looking for answers on Google, because we have selected some of the most head-spinning examples below.
And if there’s anything we're gonna learn from this post, it's how not to overcomplicate your message. At any cost. Psst! Our previous post with hard-to-read signs can be found right here.
Although signs and posters collected in this list follow the internet’s trend of obsessing over the “Don’t Dead Open Inside” trope, in reality, such designs speak little to people and fail to deliver their message. By not communicating their message clearly, brands, products and companies are losing their potential clients. So in order to see what an expert had to say on such hard-to-read designs, Bored Panda reached out to Portugal-based graphic designer Laura Vanagaite, who specializes in branding and illustration design.
Laura said that when it comes to advertising, whatever format it may be, it has to be clear to the potential client. “It needs to be catchy, which means the brand needs to introduce their product and actually make the person get interested in it. So normally designers can play with font sizes, but still keep it simple and readable.”
They Must Have Added The Arrows After Realizing How Steamy It Was Originally
The graphic designer explained that sometimes a style that is too modern can be understood wrongly and the whole project will lose its value. “Type of font, letter size, spacing between the letters and positioning the text” all play a crucial role in a good sign design.
Moreover, “colors play a huge part as well. Red, as we know, catches our attention immediately but yellow, green, or black and white combinations are equally eye-catching.” Whatever the design, it’s crucial “to keep it simple but sophisticated since balance is the key,” Laura explained.
So I Fart Old Dust
When it comes to readability, Laura said that making sure it works and conveys the intended message has to be done prior to handing the sign to the production. “The designer is the one that handles the project but if there is a chance, always represents the rest of the team. It can be tricky when different opinions come, but try to ask if it is easy to understand. Teamwork is a very important thing.”
If you’re working on a project alone, Laura suggests “printing the work on an A3 paper (I know, it is not the same size) so you can get a good look at the text and determine if it’s readable, also if the colors are well-combined.” But tight deadlines, client’s requests, and too many opinions put huge pressure on graphic designers and in these cases it’s best to “take a 5-minute break and then return to the project and see if it still looks good,” concluded Laura.