Monday, October 3, 2016

Flat vs 3-D Design

This logo reflected a design philosophy that represented an attempt to bring realism through technology. We live in a 3-dimensional world,

The logo was created for a gaming system for Sony. This video game system sparked a revolution in not only the gaming industry, but also heavily influenced and reflected a design revolution mimicked by other influential design companies as well.

Apple, under the leadership of Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ives took a very 3-dimensional approach to their design philosophy. Not only did their logo reflect their desire to reflect real world objects such as glass, but so did the design of their operating system for their computers, phones, tablets.

Even Apple apps  had a very real world textural feel. 

In the design world we call this...

 There are design limitations to working with skeuomorphism or 3-dimensional design. Most notably is it necessary? Does it slow the viewer down and harm design efficiency?  Is the illusion of skeuomorphism worth the trouble to design versus the needs of the intended audience?

Microsoft would ask this question when they redesigned their logo.

Not only would microsoft redesign their main corporate logo, but also they would change their design language for all their products.

These new tiles or windows was also reflected into Microsoft's windows operating system. 

Instantly, the design world took notice including Microsoft's largest competitor Google who changed their logo. 

 Even Apple took notice and starting dropping their skeuomorphic design in favor for flat design like Microsoft. 
The skeuomorphic design on the left represents Apple's old operating system for its devices. The flat design represents their current flat design philosophy championed by their rivals first. 

Not all flat design is successful. Sometimes classical connection to a logo is such a strong association that a flat design fails to represent a brand properly. 

Though one could argue that flat design has been a huge success mostly because of one word...efficiency. Speed and effectiveness in communication is critical. Ultimately, efficiency should win, even if that efficiency in design sometimes calls for 3-dimensional design. 

For further fun and explanation check out...