“. . In-house designers make up a majority (around 60%) of all graphic designers practicing in the US today. If you add in industrial designers, who typically work in a corporate environment, the number of in-house creatives is probably high”—
I’m going through my old bookmarks and I find myself deleting the homepages and work examples of designers I used to idolize. Just like fine art movements, graphic design ebbs and flows with the trends of the moment, it’s just harder to pinpoint. It’s easier for me to take a hindsight approach to figuring out what the movements are (which is quite obvious…seeing that’s how most movements are defined- in the art world, in history…although movements and events seem to stake out their namesake faster than ever these days, mostly because of the 24 hour news cycle. Weinergate anyone? Hacktavism?)
And so I find myself defining what is in and what is oh so out these days, by clearing a browser history, little cyber breadcrumbs of inspiration that no longer apply. I make these decisions instinctively, with no check-list of design cliches…just the kick in my gut that lurks about when I stumble upon lens flares and rainbow sparkle dust. And what’s so interesting to me is that these were all design techniques that I loved and yearned to emulate.
And so, I’d like to shake hands in gratitude and point towards the exit door the following design styles:
Rainbow Art Nouveau Swirly-Girlies
The above was done by Adhemas Batista, an amazing artist. Aside from being a kick-ass illustrator, he worked on advertisements for well-known products such as Coca-Cola and Havianas. There was a time when I made his art my desktop background, struggled to create those swirls and that movement. Unfortunately, quite like an over-played song on the radio, this particular style has become so popular and ubiquitous that it just doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. I don’t feel inspired…it just reminds me of billabong and roxy and cheap vodka.
Lens Flare Colors on Crack
Chuck Anderson is the master when it comes to those rainbow, sparkle-infused mists outlining silhouettes in both black and white. I think I was attracted to this style for the same reason I can’t help stopping at a Tiffany’s Window. Ooooooh sparkly! It’s the closest thing I’ve found to literal eye-candy, and it was a style I was desperate to mimic. Looking at it now, with older eyes, I can see why I was drawn to it, why it pulls at you with all its sweetness and sugar and sprinkles. But is it classy? is it sophisticated? Or does it look like skateboard bottoms in Val Surf? The style is just too much of a style, a movement, to last forever.
Overly-ornate ornamentation ornaments!
I really think Ryan McGinness is the father of the swirl (though I know he is not the first or last to use it). And while I absolutely love him and he has inspired me more than anyone (I even have his book on my dresser) I don’t know if this trend is over, but it really should be. I’ve spent hours on illustrator tutorials, trying to learn how to create the perfect swirl. In an art history class I wrote my term paper on the cyclical nature of art nouveau, and how it has returned again in the form of swirly leafy vines and flowers and excessive ornamentation. However, a trend as popular as this one has the life-span of a decent drama on network television (i.e. none). When a style is too malleable and pervasive as the swirls and flourishes, it gets old real fast. When everyone is using it (from concert flyers to cheap wedding photographers) it means the style has already expired. (I have, of course, used this style many times in my designs, none of which will find its way into my portfolio).
As soon as I learned you could create this look with one, (count it, one) step in photoshop I was done with it. Which means everyone else should be done with it too. If I can look at someone’s design and count exactly how many photoshop filters, or generic brushes they used, I shall scoff and raise my eyebrows snootily and proclaim it amateur…don’t pretentious assholes love using that word?
ENOUGH! We’re done with you. You got your movie, your american apparel ads, your hipster minions. Now quietly back off and take your ironically boring angles with you.
Grungy dingy dirty eeeew
Another style I used to love- I now find grunge style in design as outdated as grunge-style in clothes and music (and no- I swear flannel doesn’t count). Looking at it now I see it as a very bad soup that someone tried to save by throwing in tons of salt and spices. If you add enough and distract enough, people won’t pay attention to what it’s lacking. And while it can be used sparingly here and there (at least I hope so, since I have downloaded tons of grunge brushes), an all-over grunge style feels the same to me as the jeans-on-jeans style that’s trying so hard to become cool right now. It’s just overkill.
ugh. “1“‘s are such boring numbers design-wise…and it feels like everything I’m designing right now involves multiple “1“‘s. I hate to be a nerd and complain about typography but seriously one’s have no curves or interest and I needed to rant.
seriously- sometimes tumblr makes me feel like an idiot. why is the comment module so freaking messed up? i have no idea how to reply to a comment and it took me forever to get the ability to have comments on my blog and the fact that you have to go to a third party is ridiculous.
dear tumblr- please catch up with the world
(or someone explain to me that i’m being a total idiot and why)
“For a moment, upon waking, he had no idea at all who he was. It was a tremendously liberating feeling, as if he were free to be whoever he wanted to be: he could be anyone at all–able to try on any identity; he could be a man or a woman, a rat or a bird, a monster or a god.”—Neil Gaimon, Neverwhere
i really wish i took more pictures. but there’s that constant balance of how much you can participate in life when taking pictures that i always fight with.
i took today off because i knew i would be in no way productive at work today after this past weekend. but as i have been skulking from one lazy nest of blankets and internet to the next i realize i would probably have been better off just going- and working, as i am literally a waste of space at this moment.
oh- and i don’t expect these to be entertaining for anybody but me.
at winston’s on santa monica- honestly…i’d skip that place
ya no really- this wasn’t planned. it’s like some midwestern uniform.