Thursday, 23 January 2014

Individually the same

The other day, I came across the website of a self-confessed avatar collector who admits to having "too much free time on his hands." The man's name is Albert Huberts, he's from Holland and this is his site.

Next time you have too much free time on your hands, take a look. He's grouped avatars together by theme, from No Forehead Girl to Hair-stache. Fascinating, that we hear so much about social media with its continual parade of selfies being an outlet for individuality and self-expression, but so many of the avatars are similar. Mr Huberts remarks on 'the ease with which we surrender our individuality to the collective identity,' and quips that 'selfies are as individualistic as slices of bread.'

And it's not just a 21st century phenomenon. Albert Huberts points to 1920s family photo albums, which all look remarkably similar. And I don't suppose my 1970s teenage photo booth poses are too different to anyone else's.

Brand logos have the same problem. A lot of logos are interchangeable and are characterised by the design vogue of the decade in which they were created - or updated. There's the famous millennium  swish and swoosh, above, inspired (if one can use that word) by Nike. Or the chunky typefaces and orange/brown look of the 70s, the neon sign on black 80s style or all those badges and petrol blues from the 1930s.

The latest logo trend seems to be to remove the name of the brand. In a world of interchangeability, where will that leave us?

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