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Oh no!

Some of you might remember this comment from one of this site’s biggest fans (Steven G): “I wanted to leave when you made fun of the 3D Photoshop stuff. Yes it does mean something! But not to you because you don’t know how to do it.”.

Few things annoy me as much as the proliferation of these meaningful 3d/vectorized/exploding pieces of “artistry”. When this came out, it was just like a big, fat slap in the face.

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ENTRY DETAILS
ARCHIVE ID 1238 FILED UNDER Discussion
PUBLISHED ON Sep.19.2002 BY Armin
WITH COMMENTS
Comments
Steven’s comment is:

HA! That is what you get for ripping the 3D/photoshop crowd. No seriously, is it just me or did every one of those examples from each cd look EXACTLY the same with different colors?

The first couple of times I saw this style, I thought it looked pretty cool and maybe it fit the person's concept. Now, hell everyone does it just to put it up there. It is very tired indeed.

But, I can't do it either, so it must mean that I don't understand it.

On Sep.19.2002 at 10:30 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Just for the heck of it, here is some more

On Sep.19.2002 at 11:40 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Now, really, how does someone go about doing one of these? is it just photoshop? KAI's power tools? some 3d program? lots of acid dropping? no other solution for a design problem?

On Sep.19.2002 at 02:54 PM
Todd’s comment is:

I can't for the life of me think how you would do that just with Photoshop.

I must have missed it the first time around, but why exactly do you hate the style so much? Is it the style itself or that fact that it has become so pervasive?

On Sep.19.2002 at 03:10 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>but why exactly do you hate the style so much?

It's not the style itself, because it can look really cool and dynamic at times. What bothers me the most is the way it's used and the people who decide to use it. I have seen brochures with those illustrations and they have nothing to do with the item or service being sold. A lot of web designers figured out how to do these illustrations, and just like in any other field, you sometimes get asked to do things that are similar to what you do, in this case somebody asked a web designer to do print design, and without having any better ideas just decided to use this "cool" graphic.

These illustrations were started by the Attik, if not by them, they made it popular. That's when every designer wannabe started copying it, just like everybody copied David Carson to get into print design.

I probably have some other, deeper, issues towards these illustrations, but I really, truly despise how they are used.

Once I also saw a web site where a guy had a bunch of these things, with names like "despair, sorrow, winter". And they all looked exactly the same.

On Sep.19.2002 at 03:23 PM
rorie’s comment is:

I agree. Attik started this 'trend' - I didn't like the style when they did it - and I still don't. I don't know why people think this is so 'cool'!

With the exception of Attik, I believe this style of illustration is done by folk who have the same grasp on Design as that of an ape, or in other words, Web Designers. Let's just blame it on the Mac Monkeys...

Maybe if we close our eyes it will all just go away...?

On Sep.20.2002 at 03:49 AM
ale’s comment is:

Ehm, please don't shoot at me, I like that style.

Ok, sometimes it's a bit overvalueted and it's becoming more than a deja vu, but I think that used with 'brain' it's very attractive.

And, as a web designer, I have to confess I'm actually an ape.

But, you know sometimes animals are just way better than humans.

On Sep.20.2002 at 06:25 AM
David’s comment is:

I think the style, when done right, is design at its purest form: compositions of pure shape and color. At its most successful, these pure abstracts CAN convey mood or time or "season" just like any abstract painting.

I've seen sites making fun of the style, with "3D shapes" and some Photoshop filters, and a tagline saying something like, aren't i cool, anyone can do this. Only it looked awful, and only proved that NOT anyone can do this. Adobe and Kai don't make programs to do it, so you can stop looking, it takes vision and craft, to do it well anyhow.

As for the DIGITAL VISIONS cds, someone could just as easily take a stock photography or stock illustration cd and do some equally bad design.

On Sep.20.2002 at 12:20 PM
Armin’s comment is:

David, you make some good points, and I agree on all the things about the style. It's not easy to make them, I haven't tried, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to pull it off. And I think some of them are really nice.

But, like I've said, it's a shame to see it being copied without any meaning. Also, what bothers me the most is that some people call themselves designers just because they figured out how to create this illustration. I wouldn't go as far as calling them apes, and i think web designers have contributed a lot of interesting visual ideas to web and, sometimes, even print.

> someone could just as easily take a stock photography or stock illustration cd and do some equally bad design.

I guess. A good example might be that retarded photo of the hand shake, how many times can somebody use the same shot? and make it look so bad each and every time.

On Sep.20.2002 at 12:39 PM
jlt’s comment is:

A) ugly.

B) why would anyone spring for the $XXX DV et. al. are charging for this shlock? What's the point of these giant multilayer files?

C) how is it done? I assume extruding vector shapes in illustrator/freehand and then making layers in photoshop, but...? I bet I could do better if I knew how.

On Sep.23.2002 at 01:55 PM
ale’s comment is:

C)they're actually made with 3D apps, usually 3D Studio Max, and Photoshop.

On Sep.23.2002 at 02:01 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>why would anyone spring for the $XXX DV et. al. are charging for this shlock?

To be cool JLT... to be cool.

On Sep.23.2002 at 03:48 PM
pk’s comment is:

they're not hard to make. my boyfriend, who is completely untrained in the visual arts (but has a keen eye) created one within an hour of picking up my copy of cinema 4d. twenty minutes after that, he added some commentary.

what pains me most is that most people who do that kind of dribble don't ever get to the commentary part.

On Sep.24.2002 at 01:57 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>what pains me most is that most people who do that kind of dribble don't ever get to the commentary part.

When they do, they have to do what's really cool and make the type 3 pt. so that nobody can read it. But it looks soooooo cool.

On Sep.24.2002 at 01:59 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Yeah baby!. The trend is still alive.

On Oct.12.2002 at 05:09 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

Wow, you guys must really hate 2advanced!

Call me ignorant, but I can see the talent in this kind of work.

As for the other work, even if you hate it, it has already influenced you.

On Nov.19.2003 at 04:28 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

There are never any closed threads. Love it.

Wow, you guys must really hate 2advanced!

I don't know if I hate them because I got sick and tired of 20 seconds of animation after every freakin' click. So I guess I hate them for that. ;-)

On Nov.19.2003 at 04:43 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Don't know if this counts as the same type of work, but For Office Use Only has a new site. FOUO is one guy. And a damn nice guy too. Talent indubitable.

As for the rest, I admire it immensely, especially WDDG. The talent and commitment are obvious and the execution is excellent. Why be uptight about it? A lot of this work is more beautiful than these guys' (which is just my opinion, natch).

On Nov.19.2003 at 05:03 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

Sam, don't you follow the trends? KW's got a book out. You have to like them.

WDDG's stuff is very nice. And it's not hidden behind ridiculous wasted animation.

On Nov.19.2003 at 05:16 PM
Sam’s comment is:

KW is so last summer, man. The book party is tomorrow, btw, at some place called the Diesel Style Lab Store in Soho. All you groupies and hipsters perk up! (I think Armin might've just soiled himself.)

On Nov.19.2003 at 05:24 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Sam, how can I put this mildly and friendly? Kiss my soiled...

Kidding aside, KW have talent and wit and humor and don't necessarily have to create beautiful work to be effective. More than I can say for many of today's designers. Also, those are attributes that I would never apply to WDDG or 2Advanced. But WDDG's website is absolutely amazing. In a different way. 2Advanced's is just too much, very well executed, but whatever.

On Nov.20.2003 at 09:55 AM
jonsel’s comment is:

KW have talent and wit and humor

Is the Sagmeister mancrush expanding to his protegés? ;-)

I've been meaning to pick up their book and check it out. Similar to Sagmeister, I have a feeling they are going to be very popular among the design crowd while the outside business world will be very ho hum.

On Nov.20.2003 at 11:21 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> Is the Sagmeister mancrush expanding to his protegés? ;-)

Some ass-kicking might seem in order if these accusations continue´┐Ż

> I have a feeling they are going to be very popular among the design crowd while the outside business world will be very ho hum.

Not all graphic designers are here to serve the outside business world.

On Nov.20.2003 at 01:02 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

Not all graphic designers are here to serve the outside business world.

Really?

; )

On Nov.20.2003 at 02:08 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Ah, ya know what I mean.

On Nov.20.2003 at 04:31 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Outside business world

Yeah, like there's any money in that.

On Nov.20.2003 at 05:20 PM