You’re Only As Diverse as What You Choose to Look At

Morgane Santos sees (and feels) the unbearable homogeneity of design:

Here’s a random sampling of the top posts on Dribbble at the time of this writing. We have lots of illustrations done in the exact same style: evenly weighted lines, flat, minimal, geometric, symmetric. A few samples of mobile design that were carefully edited to look slick and show the best possible state. Lots of blue: a nice, safe color.

At some point, any one of these work samples would have been revolutionary. At this point, not a single one of them is. And yet! This is what we think of as “good design”.

Hold up.

I’m with Sacha Greif:

In that screenshot I see an awesome circular badge with great composition, an illustration inspired by church stained glass, a 50s-style illustration with a great color scheme, some kind of blackletter-inspired logo, a very weird illustration that looks to be animated, a set of vintage-style badges, and an amazing psychedelic drawing.

I’d also like to add that popular design runs the risk of looking homogeneous because it’s just that: popular. This is the same reason popular (pop) music sounds all the same and one reason (of many) I haven’t listened to FM radio in a very, very long time.

Finding culture—music, art, design—that isn’t homogenous takes effort. You literally (or metaphorically) need to dig through crates of records to find the good shit. If you’re lazy you check out the news aggregators that compile the popular stuff. I find the great influences of my favorite artists are long dead, but I make the effort to dig up their work because more often than not it’s worth it. I don’t necessarily look for or expect great design to always be happening right now.

I think Morgane Santos is giving Dribbble too much credit. For me, Dribbble is but one of many sources of design news. The same goes for design trends. Trends are trends. Don’t try and eliminate them, because new ones will always pop up like wack-a-moles.