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Beware of hidden messages when designing

fox-bannon-baghdadi

For the majority of Western people, a red cross means you've got something wrong, and a green tick means you've got something right.

That's why FastCoDesign, along with me and lots of other people, were a little troubled by Fox News' comparison of Steve Bannon and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Has Bannon behead journalists? No! Big fat tick for Baghdadi on that one!

Has Bannon order mass executions of Christians? No! Another point for the leader of ISIS!

Quite aside from the fact that it should be obvious that Bannon isn't as bad as the leader of a group responsible for innumerable atrocities (right?), the use of crosses and ticks gives the unnerving impression that Bannon has won some kind of battle of the baddies.

Whether you're designing a logo, a website or an infographic for a news show, beware of any hidden messages.