Now this is beautiful.
Now this is beautiful.
Khoi Vinh noticed that tech marketing adheres a very specific, somewhat infantilized illustration style. I call it safety minimalism—Vinh sees in it the rise of a monoculture.
In my experience, the vast majority of them are quite similar in their aesthetic: the colors range from primary to bright pastels; the figures are cleanly drawn and almost always rendered with vectors; the details are highly abstracted and shading is geometric if it appears at all; the compositions are generally minimal and only occasionally feature very limited background elements. ... It probably wouldn’t be far off-base to assume that a lot of these illustrations were done not by professional illustrators but by product designers who also have some illustration talent themselves.
Just as likely is the genre's systemic occupation of cheap stock illustration sites, which aggregate semi-skilled hackwork into a convenient business-to-business service.
Either way, Vinh poses an important question about "the prevalence of a single, monocultural aesthetic" by every startup, tech firm and personal brand monster: surely some other voice, or even another "modulation" of the same style, would be more appropriate for at least some?
UPDATE: First comment from Moosemalloy points out some important art history: "I submit that this style is redolent of and still influenced by the flattist pastel-y images that Adobe Flash tended to produce and that hence proliferated in early-to-mid web history. Flash is discontinued but still, I suspect, casts its shadow (or lack of shadow!) over web imagery generally, and this is a manifestation of same." Read the rest
Izac Moores: "This reference riddled project has been in the works for almost a year. If you can't quite figure out where something is from, a labelled version of the video is available here: https://youtu.be/SGdnN8W30ho." The track is Pop Culture by Madeon [Amazon].
Previously: Justice - DVNO
Feeling a certain way, but not quite sure of the best word for it? The wheel of feelings is a literary (or thereapeutic) tool for lending precision to fear, anger, disgust, sadness, happiness and surprise.
Read the rest
This wheel diagram from English teacher Kaitlin Robbs helps you find the right word for the right feeling from the inside out. Start out with a basic emotion and then move outward until you have the best synonym for the job. The wheel itself isn't exactly groundbreaking in the world of vocabulary, but it's a nice reference for those that have a hard time being specific about how they or others feel.
Watch Talking Heads legend and happy mutant superhero David Byrne's delightful new lecture earlier this month in New York City! The subject, "Reasons to be Cheerful," is intertwined with Byrne's first album in 14 years, "American Utopia," due out in March.
He's just announced that he's taking the talk on tour for a series of free shows in Europe.
“I began to look for encouraging things that are happening anywhere in the world, and if they have been tested, if they have been proven to work, if they can be transferred and adopted in other places, if they can scale up,” Byrne says. “[T]hen, I thought to myself, why not hold them up for consideration, and also invite others to add to this project. There are actually a LOT of encouraging things going on around the world – they’ve given me hope, they’re a kind of therapy, given what’s happening in the world, and I’d like to share them."
(Thanks, Julie Muncy!)
Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran amped up the color and contrast of images of Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere as captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft. Below, for, um, comparison, Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night" (1889) and Edvard Munch's "The Scream" (1893).
More of Eichstädt and Doran's stunning work here.