I always disliked that style, even as a kid growing up in the 90s.
Me too! It felt too much like clip art to me
or does clipart feel too much like it.
Me too! It was because of Photoshop filters. They started evolving and all of a sudden everyone was embossing and drop shadowing text everywhere. Watermarks galore as well.
I was born in 72.... so i have a pretty clear memory of the late 70's...and the 80's was my 'growing up' years....high school etc.... so i have a VERY clear memory of the aesthetics of the 80s...
the 90's for me was college and then starting work in ad agencies and design firms. I can definitely remember this style. It was all over the place. One of my first projects in my first ad-agency gig was working on an ad that totally used that style of design. ( I think it was for some carpeting company, now long out of business lol)
Don't worry if you don't recognize it (it hardly matters now)... but some of us older folks definitely do though :)
Got any old visuals leftover? Maybe you should contribute!
Top five all-time styles I hate.
This makes me think of the SNL Papyrus sketch.
I loved this style! Surely David Carson deserves a mention in your blog post? Not really a tribal illustrative style but his experimental typography work in the 90s definitely rode that wave of rejection against the squeaky clean consumerist 80s style.
Where in the world was this popular? I spent years 10-20 of my life in the 1990s on the East Coast and I don't remember any of that stuff being "omnipresent" let alone all that popular at all.
I remember it being in a lot of places, generally coffee shops and small cafes and things in the 90's. This was in New Zealand though so who knows. It also kind of reminds me of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins.
Dang. Definitely forgot about that album cover but that is spot on. Most of what I remember of the 90s aesthetic seemed to be like everyone was trying to pretend the 80s never happened at all.
As a 1990s born baby I remember this featuring prominently in my childhood in Sydney, Australia
Maybe it was more a west coast thing?
I started to work in an ad agency far away in Switzerland in the early 00’s. Some of their earlier work was in this style and all the Graphis and Étapes Graphique magazines in the studio were filled with “global village coffeehouse” showcases. I had never heard of the term until today but it’s a fitting name.
If I recall many cliparts for MS Word in the 90’s were in that style as well.
Apparently emulating other cultures designs in your own is seen as an inherently bad thing? "Cultural appropriation" is the death of creative freedom.
I think he articulates it quite well: This particular strain of GVC also generated designs that are problematic in hindsight: ‘globalization gaze,’ tribal figures shown carrying executives, serving coffee, or holding up a stool accompanied by the caption, “designed for those who hanker for the days when porters took the load off their feet.”
Enough time has passed to look back and see the influences clearly and says so much about what was going on at the time. It's nice to read a thoughtful well written article about design that isn't just a nostalgic buzzfeed article