• 01.05.17

Ladies And Gentlemen: The Biggest Design Fail Of 2017

A mistake, but a symbolic mistake.

Ladies And Gentlemen: The Biggest Design Fail Of 2017

The first week of January isn’t even over and we already have the most epic design fail of the year. The Washington Post Express illustrated its cover story on the Women’s March on Washington using the Greek sign for Mars–commonly used to represent men–rather than the circle and cross that represents Venus, the traditional symbol for women.


The mistake made it all the way to print, with the issue of the Washington Post‘s free daily paper landing in the hands of thousands of Washingtonians this morning. Readers were quick to share their disappointment (and amusement) on Twitter:

Given the nature of the election and the disregard for women shown repeatedly by the president-elect and some of his followers, the mistake looked more symbolic than accidental. Many Twitter users have called out the cover as an indicator of systemic bias, and others have wondered if Express has female editors on staff.

The publication realized its mistake, apologized, and tweeted out a corrected cover.

Welcome to 2017.

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About the author

Katharine Schwab is a contributing writer at Co.Design based in New York who covers technology, design, and culture. Follow her on Twitter @kschwabable.