Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Why Does Every Advert Look The Same?

Josh Gabert-Doyon wrote:

It involves the use of simple, well-bounded scenes of flat cartoon figures in action, often with a slight distortion in proportions (the most common of which being long, bendy arms) to signal that a company is fun and creative. Corporate Memphis is inoffensive and easy to pull off, and while its roots remain in tech marketing and user interface design, the trend has started to consume the visual world at large. It’s also drawing intense criticisms from those within the design world.

I quite enjoy it when opinionated designers loose their cool. It makes them seem more human and not on the pedestal they often put themselves on. But on this occasion I do somewhat understand the annoyance, but they fail to communicate it very well.

Dubbed Corporate Memphis, we’ve see this coming for a long time. Todoist introduced the tiny heads illustrations that seemed to leak into every other app and now the same style is everywhere. Brands are loosing their uniqueness out of laziness more than anything.

There is a high level of pattern matching going on, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn this style to display your brand. As someone that uses this style a little it has made some of our more information dense work more approachable by displaying images that customer are used to seeing, and I am certainly not put off using it because other designers get a bit snooty about it.

Using this style indeed makes the barrier to entry of designing something professional much smaller, and as with photographers, that tends to hurt creatives a little. Yet I can understand the argument at least a little.

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