This is the second part of Mirror Images. Head over here to read the first.
Only two years ago, we witnessed the LogoGate scandal, when it was noticed how strikingly similar the Squarespace and Mutual Mobile logos were. During LogoGate, the first recommended step to avoid such confusion was to "use real designers." Frankly, the two logos covered during LogoGate were not the half of it.
The popular app Overcast has many great features, and is my go-to app for podcast listening. According to the developer Marco Arment, for Overcast to be marketed as visually standing apart from the crowd post-iOS 7, all it took was a custom typeface, orange accent colors and a subtle equalizer. These might seem like quite minor details to visually differentiate one's app, but things get worse.
In Fall of the Designer Part III, I noted how Twitter apps were becoming visually homogenized to the point that they were virtually indistinguishable. I could not have imagined it could go further. Following a recent update by Twitter for their native iOS client, it seems all three apps might as well have been designed by the same person.
Quora finally removed their deformed bust and replaced it with a human. GoSquared and Google went in the opposite direction and adopted alien greys.
In an unnecessary attempt to appeal to a mass audience, Facebook continues to remove all individuality from its brand. This despite the fact that Facebook has proven successful at mass appeal thus far, boasting an audience of over 1 billion active users. Similar to the removal of the memorable Klavika typeface, Facebook is now literally rounding out the design of all graphic elements, in this case the iconic friends glyph. The calculus is as follows: round = nonthreatening.
It seems there is a rush to appropriate the Windows 98 aesthetic with horizontal gradients. Seen here are Stripe, Twitter and Google's interpretations.
It is hard to pinpoint who proposed this first, but many are now noticing a resemblance between the 1996 Space Jam website and the Apple Watch homescreen.
Last but not least, it turns out that Erik Spiekermann may well have been the model for American Gothic.