Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Jul 2013 16:09 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "In its desire for authenticity, the Modern design movement curbed the ornamental excess of the 19th century, making design fit the age of mass production. Today, we're seeing the same desire for authenticity manifest itself in the 'flat' trend, which rejects skeuomorphism and excessive visuals for simpler, cleaner, content-focused design." Fascinating perspective on the whole digital vs. analog design debate by Dmitry Fadeyev.
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by TM99 on Wed 17th Jul 2013 08:03 UTC
TM99
Member since:
2012-08-26

as my wife is a graphics designer and a visual artist in several mediums and my professional experience applies as well.

Did Apple's over-use skeuomorphism? Absolutely! But this current movement is nothing more than the Western psychic tendency to 'pendulum swing' from one opposite to another.

No one can absolutely define 'authenticity'. This is a subjective or a culturally subjective concept. To the 19th century designer, excessive ornamentation was 'authentic' for them.

This is yet another example of corporate authority and austerity. Artists are not pushing this movement, corporations are. And for the love of everything holy, when did the words 'mass production' become synonymous with the word 'authentic'. Talk about double-speak!

So who is defining 'authentic' for us? Is it the 25 year old designer fresh out of school with no real-world experience? Is it the project manager at Microsoft desperate to push through his vision of tablet design everywhere? Or is it the computer programmer on a blog who thinks she somehow knows a little about design when really she should just stick to what she does know which is coding?

If this is supposed to reflect the 'authenticity' of computers and computer applications themselves, this makes no sense. GEM and DOS were authentic. Machine language is authentic. 1's and 0's are what the computer does. Designing a flat GUI shell for a DOS makes sense when you only have 1Mhz of processing power and less than 1mb of RAM. It doesn't when you have 8 core dual processors, graphics cards with more processing power than 10 computers from a decade ago, and gigabytes of available RAM on 64 bit computers.

This seems ludicrous. Even if it is to somehow reflect that tablets and phones are supposedly lower power then this is a specious argument as well. After all, we now have quad core Arm CPU's paired with quad core GPU's and GB's of ram powering 'retina displays' on these devices. And trying to transfer flat & empty design for tablets with lots of white space and big buttons to our large non-touch screen displays is fucking stupid. We now have this gorgeous 27" wide screen computer screens and the fucking fonts are big enough for a person across the room to read! The search button is so large a giant could touch it!

This technological power ought to give us more choices not less. As a musician, I am struck deaf, blind, and dumb day after day by how much more computing and technological power is available to me than what I had 25 years ago to make and produce music. And yet with all of this incredible technology, we predominantly make shitty music that all sounds alike thanks to autotune and heavy vocal processing. It is compressed and limited to hell and back so that it can be played predominantly in the lossy mp3 format on the worst possible device (iTunes on an iPod) through cheap Chinese earbuds with the frequency range of a gnat.

Now it is happening to art and design. The promise of digital painting, full 3D model rendering, transparencies, drop-shadows, etc. that comes with the computing power of today is now being thrown out for flat, sterile, design being sold to us with the corporate double-speak of 'authentic' and 'modern'. Yeah, right, bullshit.

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