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Your Thoughts on Corporate Art Styles

Nexus Cabler

Conduit of Synergy
I've noticed a trend growing here in the U.S where advertisements and major tech businesses all use similar art styles, consisting elements of minimalism, unrealistic proportions etc. I'm not sure what caused this to grow in popularity. Perhaps they want relatable...or maybe not so relatable to anyone figures and characters, with exaggerated features, that don't resemble any real life examples. It feels empty to me, lacking humanity or emotions.

I might even go as far as to saying this invokes a sense of dystopia, a feeling of a forced illusion of happiness.

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I simply don't see people when these images appear. It feels alien to me.

One that really struck me were these unpleasant Google-Fi adds playing on Youtube. The music of choice, with the monotone, that I believe 'attempts' to mimic what they believe are independent smaller artists, (I think) in hopes of seeming like it understands everyday people, the common citizens, fails miserably to me...


Perhaps they knowingly make these adds so visually depressing to generate feedback, even if it's outrage and disapproval. Regardless, I'm open to others thoughts and ideas on why this is becoming so common, and if there is anyone who finds these appealing for reasons I myself don't understand.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
It's uglification.

The reduction of art to clipart. Not even cute clipart.

I don't mean to demean the artist (if there is one) but... it's so utterly devoid of anything that art typically triggers in my brain that I can't call it art.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
Neutral, simple, I guess it holds the attention of a viewer as long as the message/story is delivered well.

I've never been fond of styles like this. Too 'Steven Universe'. XD Not saying I wouldn't congratulate them on their successful takeoff though.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
There's a kind of... revulsion in my mind to this. It's a similar sort of feeling to the one I get when I see "uncanny valley"-tier stuff like those "super realistic" robot doll things. Similar but not same.

Like, I imagine I'd get the same feeling from seeing a perfectly baked and decorated black forest cake and taking a bite only to realize that it's some kind of flavorless sculpting foam/clay. It looks like something not alive, pretending to be alive.

Neutral, simple, I guess it holds the attention of a viewer as long as the message/story is delivered well.

I've never been fond of styles like this. Too 'Steven Universe'. XD Not saying I wouldn't congratulate them on their successful takeoff though.
My biggest gripe with CalArts style is that it's so incredibly prevalent and is an obvious case of trendchasing. It tends to be very visually uninteresting and shows that use it are generally carried by other aspects if they're successful at all (Gumball is just a really cute/funny show and the way the animators put in other oddball stuff like characters that are literally CGI balloons or paper cutouts is actually oddly endearing).
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
Oh, so I'm not the only one vexed by this!

I think there are several things at play. One is this "modern minimalism" whose overuse everywhere annoys me to no end - sure we don't need to go full blast skeuomorphic on everything, but reducing the image/icon/whatever to a few unrecognizable dashes which you can't identify without a tooltip is much worse.

Second: the ease of mass-producing. It takes no time to draw and animate such a simplistic thing.

Third, and the most speculative: I'm no specialist on this one, but I think some of the feminist/socially progressive/modern left art uses such simplified figural style. So the corporations are copying it in order to evoke association with being inclusive, progressive etc.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
Oh, so I'm not the only one vexed by this!

I think there are several things at play. One is this "modern minimalism" whose overuse everywhere annoys me to no end - sure we don't need to go full blast skeuomorphic on everything, but reducing the image/icon/whatever to a few unrecognizable dashes which you can't identify without a tooltip is much worse.

Second: the ease of mass-producing. It takes no time to draw and animate such a simplistic thing.

Third, and the most speculative: I'm no specialist on this one, but I think some of the feminist/socially progressive/modern left art uses such simplified figural style. So the corporations are copying it in order to evoke association with being inclusive, progressive etc.
The idea that more classical forms of art carry some kind of inherent "nonprogressiveness" absolutely infuriates me. The idea of washing away past bodies of beautiful work in every field of art simply because it reflects some aspect of our past is one of the most dreadful things I can conceive of. Forgetting and obliterating history by choice because you cannot mentally cope with humanity's past misdeeds well enough to appreciate the glimmers of gemstone within that rubble. Awful.
 
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Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
The idea that more classical forms of art carry some kind of inherent "nonprogressiveness" absolutely infuriates me. The idea of washing away past bodies of beautiful work in every field of art simply because it reflects some aspect of our past is one of the most dreadful things I can conceive of. Forgetting and obliterating history by choice because you cannot mentally cope with humanity's past misdeeds well enough to appreciate the glimmers of gemstone within that rubble. Awful.
I couldn't agree more.
 

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
I mean, it's an art style like any other and advertisements don't always call for artwork on the level of Van Gogh or Monet. Stock photos and pictures exist for a reason. Minimalism is its own style of art, to be loved or loathed according to taste.

I'm neutral towards most of these advertisements and their art since neither has much on my life and how pleasing they are is matter of preference. To me, some of that artwork mirrors the styles found in current cartoons, so if you flipped the context and put the artwork in service of animating a narrative, you may very get a different reaction.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
I mean, it's an art style like any other and advertisements don't always call for artwork on the level of Van Gogh or Monet. Stock photos and pictures exist for a reason. Minimalism is its own style of art, to be loved or loathed according to taste.

I'm neutral towards most of these advertisements and their art since neither has much on my life and how pleasing they are is matter of preference. To me, some of that artwork mirrors the styles found in current cartoons, so if you flipped the context and put the artwork in service of animating a narrative, you may very get a different reaction.
To the latter half, when it's just illustrating a narrative... well, that's the visual component serving as one part of a bigger piece, and that's fine.

This stuff in the OP is bland and weird without any real aim other than "be inoffensive and sell some kind of idea". It's inoffensive to the point of being offensive. Kind of like serving strained peas from a jar to a gourmet. The proportions are weird without any real purpose for being so as near as I can tell - it's not like a cartoonish exaggeration of a feature that serves a purpose, or has a meaning, and it's not like some of the abstract works rooted in cubism (which I'll admit I'm not fond of).

It honestly reminds me of what would happen if you fed a mixture of Modigliani and proto-cubism through an AI and asked said AI to mix them, wash out any of the interesting aspects of either and mass produce the result.
 

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
To the latter half, when it's just illustrating a narrative... well, that's the visual component serving as one part of a bigger piece, and that's fine.

This stuff in the OP is bland and weird without any real aim other than "be inoffensive and sell some kind of idea". It's inoffensive to the point of being offensive. Kind of like serving strained peas from a jar to a gourmet. The proportions are weird without any real purpose for being so as near as I can tell - it's not like a cartoonish exaggeration of a feature that serves a purpose, or has a meaning, and it's not like some of the abstract works rooted in cubism (which I'll admit I'm not fond of).

It honestly reminds me of what would happen if you fed a mixture of Modigliani and proto-cubism through an AI and asked said AI to mix them, wash out any of the interesting aspects of either and mass produce the result.
A key part of marketing is to make ads that either appeal to segment of the market you trying to expand into or ... create advertisements that appeal to as wide a consumer base as possible.

I'm not certain if the art for the OP was deliberately designed to be inoffensive, but if you're trying to market a product or service, having inoffensive messaging to avoid controversy distract from selling your product or service is a smart way to go.

I feel some people are reading too deeply into this.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
A key part of marketing is to make ads that either appeal to segment of the market you trying to expand into or ... create advertisements that appeal to as wide a consumer base as possible.

I'm not certain if the art for the OP was deliberately designed to be inoffensive, but if you're trying to market a product or service, having inoffensive messaging to avoid controversy distract from selling your product or service is a smart way to go.

I feel some people are reading too deeply into this.
There's an area between where this lands and that realm of "unnecessarily provocative" and it's not a narrow band IMO, but art tends to be subjective and perhaps this hits a sweet spot for some... but definitely not for me. It's very much like a children's book illustration but without the things that make such illustrations interesting regardless (the fantastical and for lack of a better term "zany").
 

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
There's an area between where this lands and that realm of "unnecessarily provocative" and it's not a narrow band IMO, but art tends to be subjective and perhaps this hits a sweet spot for some... but definitely not for me. It's very much like a children's book illustration but without the things that make such illustrations interesting regardless (the fantastical and for lack of a better term "zany").
It's certainly your right to have that preference regard to what you consider good art and advertisement.

It's just kind of paradoxical to say that something is offensive because you feel it is deliberately inoffensive.
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
Degenerate?
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
It's certainly your right to have that preference regard to what you consider good art and advertisement.

It's just kind of paradoxical to say that something is offensive because you feel it is deliberately inoffensive.
I'm aware of the apparent paradox but think of it as someone handling you with kid gloves, as if you were incredibly delicate and fragile physically/mentally when you know you're no such thing. That's where the offense comes in. Barring some very specific and rather atrocious IMO examples of offense stemming from revolting subject matter (various forms of vitriolic, pernicious hatred sullying canvases metaphorically or literally, or the less specific forms of 'this stuff makes my skin crawl' that crop up particularly in the fandom) I'm certainly capable of not letting potentially provocative art get lost in my own visceral reaction to it.
 

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
I'm aware of the apparent paradox but think of it as someone handling you with kid gloves, as if you were incredibly delicate and fragile physically/mentally when you know you're no such thing. That's where the offense comes in. Barring some very specific and rather atrocious IMO examples of offense stemming from revolting subject matter (various forms of vitriolic, pernicious hatred sullying canvases metaphorically or literally, or the less specific forms of 'this stuff makes my skin crawl' that crop up particularly in the fandom) I'm certainly capable of not letting potentially provocative art get lost in my own visceral reaction to it.
You're inferring that the creators of the advertisement are treating you with kid gloves and as though you are fragile; you can't possibly know that for certain.

The art for advertisement could've been used for a variety and combination of reasons. The marketers might have wanted a modern look to the advertisement. The art could have been selected from stock images for the sake of turning around a quick ad campaign. Marketing departments might be mimicking each other styles across companies.

Another thing to consider is if you're offended this inoffensive content, maybe the marketers are playing it safe because more controversial art might offend you even more.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
Another thing to consider is if you're offended this inoffensive content, maybe the marketers are playing it safe because more controversial art might offend you even more.
Unless the controversy they're invoking is "you're too feeble and weak to handle something with substance" I do not think that will be the case. Aversion to risk in art is a terrible trend and leads to this copying of notes between companies/artists. Everything is the same bland pseudo-art mush and the only message that ever comes through loud and clear is "Buy/use our stuff." Not the why of it, not any kind of real appeal to the customer or end-user, just a command wrapped up with a thin, very fake veneer of relatability.
 
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Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
Unless the controversy they're invoking is "you're too feeble and weak to handle something with substance" I do not think that will be the case. Aversion to risk in art is a terrible trend and leads to this copying of notes between companies/artists. Everything is the same bland pseudo-art mush and the only message that ever comes through loud and clear is "Buy/use our stuff." Not the why of it, not any kind of real appeal to the customer or end-user, just a command wrapped up with a thin, very fake veneer of relatability.
I feel we're starting to circle here, but it's the primary purpose of ads to market something, not to relate to people. Ads can relate to people to sell a product or service, but it's not necessary to connect with people to make sales. Having sufficient ad coverage and microtargeting can drum up business as well.

Aversion to risk in art is one thing, but ads are designed for business so it's not necessary for them to be artistic.
 
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aomagrat

Well-Known Member
It looks like it's just a rehash of the UPA art style that ruined theatrical cartoons in the 1950's.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
I suspect the simplicity and exaggerated forms are because corporations want their logos to be clearly visible when viewed on a tablet or mobile phone screen.

I don't have any artistic opinions on this content; it's not meant to be 'art' afterall. It surprises me that there are people who are upset about it; of all the evils tech companies are up to, any artistic subtext to their logos isn't really high on my list of concerns.

It's certainly your right to have that preference regard to what you consider good art and advertisement.

It's just kind of paradoxical to say that something is offensive because you feel it is deliberately inoffensive.

What I don't really get about a lot of angry art criticism anyway is that this is the period in time where the largest and most varied quantities of art are being produced,
and a huge amount of historical stock has been digitised and is freely available.

People could be browsing these online libraries of paintings they say they would enjoy, and that they feel angry are not being celebrated.

Instead there is a debate about whether facebook's advertising is too abstracted.

Here is an online link to the digitised painting collections of the UK's National Gallery:

You can look at high-resolution scans of Diego Valesquez or John Constable's work for free.
 
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Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
I don't have any artistic opinions on this content; it's not meant to be 'art' afterall. It surprises me that there are people who are upset about it; of all the evils tech companies are up to, any artistic subtext to their logos isn't really high on my list of concerns
It's just insult added to injury. I have strong opinions on how corporations like Google conduct business but that's a whole different tangent.
 

Filter

ɹǝʇlᴉℲ
It's what art might look like if designed by a focus group or committee, which it probably was. The history of advertising is full of stuff like this.
 
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