Is skeuomorphism dying?

The most notable change in design throughout the past decade has to be the rise of flat design, and consequent fall of skeuomorphism.

Anyone who is keeping up to date with the latest design trends will notice that minimalism is in, especially in digital design.

Who better to set the trend than apple! – ios updates are the perfect example of this transition away from realism and detail. Just looking at the app logos and calculator display shown below you can notice the difference instantaneously, and naturally we prefer the updated versions.

I think one reason for this change, other than the general desire for designs to look more ‘clean’ and ‘minimal’, is that consumers have been using technology for long enough now for realism to no longer be as necessary (we don’t need a detailed illustration of a Canon to know how to access our camera).

Flat icons are seen everywhere nowadays and look pretty sharp. They have scrapped the shadows, highlights and fine lines and moved towards bold and simple.

I will be doing lots more research into the subject area as I approach my dissertation because it is one of the biggest things to happen to design and I am fascinated by this search for simplicity.

I am doubtful that skeuomorphism will die eternally but it is definitely being overshadowed by flat designs at the moment.

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Quirky Techniques

These projects I came across on Pinterest reminded me of all the quirky, different ways of achieving effective design.

Whilst I might not have been given that many opportunities during my placement so far to use such techniques, they have inspired me to think more out of the box and create more textural designs to make my work more unique.

Playing around with paints, stains, laser cutting, letterpress etc. are all things that interest me and should definitely be explored by designers. Perhaps we are too comfortable with our tablets and macs and this is stifling our creativity?

Cool designs like the ones below have reminded me to explore different ways of reaching a final design and they lead to designs with more of a story behind them. Last year I did experiment with screen printing at University but these techniques below are more unexpected and powerful.

Keep it quirky.

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Playing Around With Handwritten Typography

With a few hours to spare yesterday I decided to play around with my Wacom tablet to create handwritten fonts. Inspired by the countless quote images I have seen on Instagram I made a range for myself.

Pairing two styles of fonts together was the biggest challenge but the process became easier and quicker in time. Similarly, the ease of using the tablet to create effective fonts came with practise.

I must say that making cheesy, inspirational images didn’t come very naturally to me as I don’t personally follow any of these quote accounts and I find them a bit too cliché but it was a great way to try out different handwriting styles and improve my graphics tablet skills. I would recommend this as a fun way to get better at writing with a tablet and creating a few nice images in the mean time.

 

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Alchemist Branding

Ever since I went with a few friends for some cocktails at The Alchemist Bar in Leeds I have loved their identity.

Their branding is everything that is ‘in’ right now and appeals to all audiences everywhere.

With a huge focus on geometry, The Alchemist designs are detailed, artistic and clever. The intricate line illustrations are powerful and entrancing, with both new and old influences.

This bar is trending alongside its quirky, smart designs that stray from the usual bar/restaurant identity, giving you something more interesting to look at on your menu when you’re choosing which cocktail you’re in the mood for.

 

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