Well its even worse... Its not only about size of product, its also about more then one person working on it, its about dependencies. I guess that it is encountered in design world too. I just doubt you encountered it yet because its about teamwork mostly or building peaces for something larger.
Example from drawings world would be lead designer picking slightly wrong general style for some large project. And as a lead designer various subordinates would be working to stay in "tune" with this main design vision. And then turns out that lead designer left some unpolished "kinks" in design, like made it too mature for core auditory, or too childish. And now later not only his work must be redone, it also effects all other related works that were depending on it. That's why its called dependency.
Soo... I may be wrong but it seems to me its a lot less of an issue in visual design world while in software development its every day reality for all projects. Even for those projects where there is only one developer, because still he depends on frameworks, tools, libraries etc built by others.
Actually this brings me to another good example. File formats. Imagine that Photoshop creators made a mistake(or were just lazy to do good job) in PSD file format, and after years problem grew unnoticed.
And now it got uncovered and stands on the way for improvement of Photoshop.
Can you imagine the consequences? Aether success literally disappears as you can't improve or you make incompatible changes to the format which may make older works not usable...
Of course in reality it does not happen, not as bad at least. You just can't open newer works in older version. But still it I think gives a better picture of what is meant here.