They are, originally, phrases which are so overused they are predictable and therefore boring. In design, solutions which have been used so often they elicit a groan when proposed.
However, because they are so well used they often are clearly understood, and can be concise, and this can,in certain limited circumstances, be a good method of communication (if they can be used in an innovative way).
Have a look at this for further information on the appropriate use of Clichés. http://thefederalist.com/2014/
In essense, you should avoid all hackneyed, boring, dull use of cliche, but you can occassionally get awy with cliche by using them,knowingly, cleverly, or by subverting them.
Here is one article on cliche and design
com/2011/02/21/clich-s-and- idea-generation-how-to-turn- clich-in-a-successful-visual- solution/
cliche is a bit like kitsch, avoid like the plaque (but used cleverly can be genius).
So have a look at http://www.lifestylecn.com/
the-genius-of-cliche/. Some would say the narrative world of Harry Potter was full of clichés
Labels: narrative environments