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Insights & Thoughts

This Week in Photoshop Blunders: Old Navy, The Limited and More…

By Hanssie on March 22nd 2014

Oh retailers…will you ever learn?

A few weeks ago, Target had their very widely publicized, very embarrassing Photoshop gaffe, which was seen and mocked around the world. This week, it’s another three retailers who, luckily for them, in the shadow of the retail giant, have skimmed by virtually unscathed in the media for their Photoshop blunders.

For me, I am amused at the extent of poor retouching. I am sure photographers worldwide can attest to the blood sweat and tears we’ve devoted to painstakingly retouching our work. Some fashion photographers will spend upwards of 8 hours on a single image! So, it’s humorous to see when a company with millions of dollars at their disposal make errors that make them look oh-so-foolish. Now, I know that these things are not done intentionally. Photoshopping an image probably isn’t seen as a very important task for companies, especially when you have thousands of items to clean up and advertise on a site. I am sure that someone somewhere probably had many projects on a tight deadline and quickly finished their work so they could check it off their ever growing to do list. And people make mistakes, of course. But, then again, this is advertising. This is your brand. This is what the world sees.



I like Photoshop. It can create wonderfully magical portraits and it can hide a blemish or imperfection that may distract from a photo. And when it’s used incorrectly, it can be amusing. This week, there were a few retailers that had some blunders.

1.’s Warped Corset 

This very strong corset, not only will make your waist itty bitty, but the bonus feature will open the space-time continuum. I’ll take three please.


2. The Limited’s Broken Elbows

You can probably chalk this one up to the case of an overworked graphic artist who hurried through and missed the fact that people’s elbows don’t really work that way. Oops.


3. Old Navy’s Thigh Gap Controversy

This one is just subtle, but a few of the photos advertising Old Navy’s plus sized jeans, appeared to be poorly Photoshopped in the thigh area on a mannequin. Angry debating ensues about body image, thigh gaps, unrealistic standards for beauty, et al. It seems that pins are the ones to blame for this, while in post production, the pins that pinned the pants onto the mannequin were hastily and poorly removed, resulting in the gaffe.



Old Navy’s reps released this statement: “At Old Navy we strive to show our customers the most accurate representation of how product fits the body. This includes pinning garments on body forms to show how they will actually appear. While we do remove these pins in post-production, we do not use any photo-altering techniques to deliberately distort the actual look or fit of our product.

Thanks for entertaining us another week, retailers. Perhaps it’s time for a Photoshop tutorial? We have a few we could recommend.

via @Jezebel

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Peter

    Some people should be banned from Photoshop.

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  2. Kim

    Never good, a Friend posted this one on Facebook, sent in a marketing email from Zulily. how it got past the editor I’ll never know.

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  3. Kishore Sawh

    I never quite know if to laugh or just shake my head at these occurrences. I agree, that this is what the world sees. Like a chef who doesn’t care about plating, the food can be wonderful but forget the details and they don’t remain small. Also proves that these companies assume the public won’t care, and are are made to prop up the economies of the third world countries they are often manufactured in.

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    • Hanssie

      Well, I supposed these companies make so much money, it really doesn’t matter. But it’s amusing to say the least :)

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