“I was just kidding”

The haute couture designer who brings out a few designs that look like they came from a truck stop.

The fancy chef who sends out a chocolate-dipped Oreo as part of dessert.

The book designer who uses Comic Sans as the type on the cover of a prize-winning novel…

In each case, they can get away with it because we know they're capable of so much more. In each case, the irony is apparent, they're not hacks–they're only pretending to be hacks.

Before your digital work is shipped, you need to understand whether people will look at your blog or your lens or your ebook or your landing page and say, "hack," or "wow." It takes a while before you can claim your LOLcat or bizarre tweet was just a joke, not the acme of your taste.