It is incomprehensible why some designers seem stuck in the gaudy days of 1980’s, and why young designers today cannot get enough of design experimentation. They are too into garish colors in awful contrasts, abstract lines and circles, and unfathomable gifs that have nothing to with the overall concept of the design. And if shoulder pads and mullet hairstyle can be embedded on the webpage, without any doubts, they will absolutely do it without hesitations.
Perhaps for these young kids, 1980’s is an imaginary world, a world full of overflowing artistic expressionism and impressionism, yet for us who’ve grown in this era, the 80’s–the fashion sense, the pop music, and the entire period–is nothing but an awful stage of life.
So for some designers, especially for those who spent their teen years in the revolutionary years of the 80’s, they long for something simpler and classier. They go for something quieter and tamer in terms of design elements. They look for something that is relatively boring.
The good side of Boringness
Brandon Flowers of The Killers is a boring guy. He sports the regular classy 1920’s Vegas outfit. He has a non-rockstar military haircut and he is a member of a strict religious group. But when he starts singing and performing on stage, all these boring attributes automatically converts into an oozing salacious appeal. Girls–and other sexes—of all ages love him for that; they love Flower’s innate dullness and dreariness. And that makes him sexy and charming.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with the 1980’s color combination. Neon colors and flashy contrast can be beautiful, too. Expert designers like Airey and Nielson have nailed awful combinations before, and it is no question that other fine designers out there can do the same thing as well. Yet there are still young designers these days that thought of designing as a form of expressionism, (something that is abstract) which is a major taboo in design, especially in commercial designing. And speaking of being commercial, abstract has no room in corporate clients mindset. Corporate clients want designs that are classy, elegant, and stylish–even if contains two or more contrasting colors.
Boring design is not just being in black and white like the recent Apple and Nokia TV ads, or being silent, like Twitter and Facebook’s home pages. Even well-colored sites like the Cadbury website are boring, too. Yet it still expresses mystery even though everything is in childish colors, because it conveys a feeling of subtlety and silence that makes it appealing to people.
Boring is mysterious, and being mysterious is branding.