Pretty Ugly


Ugly can now be defined as beautiful thanks to Pretty Ugly, a book dedicated to rediscovering classically ugly art. Filled with commonly known unattractive art pieces Pretty Ugly posed the question, “what really is ugly?” Opposed to the minimal, monochromatic design style that is popular today Pretty Ugly is a collective of all the designs opposite to that. Due to horrid color pairings, unnecessary graphics, and seemingly meaningless photography style the pieces featured couldn’t be farther from what is currently trending. It’s what these pieces do not have that cause them to stand out. The lack of conformity the work expresses breaks the tradition design style mold. By creating a book that glorifies a variety of art forms, from photography to graphic design that have been recognized as ugly, they have us wondering why we were so quick to categorize these pieces unappealing? The colors are bright, the typography indecipherable, and the graphics are a little crazed, but somehow this ugly style of design is so different one can’t might find it appealing. This book features work that you’ve been told to hate, from loud prints, to contemporary color schemes, and layouts that leave you feeling so confused you start to love it. There is beauty to this madness. Pretty Ugly encourages design identity. By accepting commonly despised art they are opening up the floor for out-there designs. This book is a reminder that creativity and unique style beat inside-the-box design every time.

Pretty Ugly can inspire the uninspired and add flare to any book collection. Recognizing the artwork you don’t typically see hung in galleries and displayed on billboards, it sheds light on what would otherwise be ignored. Editor, Martin Lorenz and his wife Lupi Ansesio have succeeded in creating a book that does more than just sit on a coffee table. Published in 2012 Pretty Ugly has set the standard for new, individual, rule breaking design styles for years now. The common ideas of beauty have been shattered, making room for more broad definition. Pretty Ugly is filled with over two hundred pages of incredible art that you’ll find inspiring, and just a little bit ugly.


Text by Kendal McInnis