Originally Posted by rpsx
i went to Art Center
15 years ago. never skipped class, though fell asleep in quite a few from exhaustion. fun times. of course the 50s and 60s were highly significant. modernism is the foundation of contemporary design. herbert bayer is why i haven't used a capital letter in personal writing for...um... maybe since school. however, design has certainly continued to evolve, and in this digital age the brandmark/logo is hardly the end all be all of a brand. it seems to be for apple, but clearly not now for microsoft.
Great school. I considered going there in the early 80's, but instead went to Parsons downtown, and also took classes at USC. It's at both of those schools that I made acquaintances that later allowed me to get a Mac in '84. In '85 I started working for the agencies, as well as on some films and music projects... with my Mac in tow. Sadly, I never graduated with a degree.... HOWEVER, I met and worked closely with so many great professionals in photography, film, graphics, typesetting, music engineers, etc.... I maintain to this day, that it was the better "educational" choice by far! I showed them what could be done on the Mac... and they showed me what problems they wanted solved, and what would make their profession, easier and better. Absolute "win - win" experiences.
Critique: Capitalizing properly in the language you're writing in is for "communicating quickly" your thoughts. It allows the person/people you're trying to communicate with, the luxury of "speed reading" to find relative places, people... and other main subjects to refer back to.
Herbert Bayer: it could be theorized that at the time (early 1900's), Communism and Marxist philosophies were the rage among intellectuals. By choosing to bring everything down to "lower case", thus communizing type and communicating ideas, it could be argued that Herr Bayer was making a political statement with his typography and graphics. Fitting that he also lost that fight, considering that capitalization (Capitalism) won the battle on all fronts for good reason....uhm... regardless of how it has evolved.
Off topic: actually, the underlying principles of Communism and Capitalism are "pure" philosophically... until you mix in the impurities known as the "human factor and condition". It's only then that the practice of either philosophy becomes... well, rather flawed. You could apply this to design as well.
of course it won't be as iconic as the apple logo. it would almost be stupid for them to try to compete at that level. which is likely why they did not. i don't really get how it is disliked. here, on an apple rumors message board where 98% of the people are fanboys, sure. everywhere else? and, often, initial polarization of opinion is a sign of something good. and, without a doubt, microsoft now owns the square. not only is it an iconic AND highly functional foundation to their UI work, it is now part of their branding.
Read the above posts from others that have pointed out how many ways MS is trying to copy Apple... and even Goggle... their 2 main rivals.
And no, Microsoft does NOT now own the square. Just as much as Apple does NOT own rounded corners and is not claiming to (sorry to p** on the Android fans... but really, Apple is not maiking that claim at all. Google: "sum of it's parts" for explanations).
Question: have you taken a trip to Europe, and/or visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands... or Scandinavia?
I'm writing this from Germany, and have lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe for 23+ years now. If you haven't been here before, you would not believe how much ALL of the design in the Germanic and Scandinavian countries, still take their design cues from the Bauhaus movement. The "square" has been re-invented, colored, and used so many numerous times, that Microsoft has to be extremely careful what they do with their "square" here in Europe, especially if they ever choose to use one color. There are many trademarks and logos that they are already coming painfully close to mimicking: major banks and corporations, assorted non-profit organizations, museums and public works, national identities even.
never in a 1000000 years would i have imagined that microsoft would come to represent purity and minimalism when it came to design or UI. but, they are definitely heading that way, in a good way. i think it is just a short matter of time before the metro UI team starts integrated and influencing the core windows UI team. have you read their UI guidelines? i checked it out when windows phone 7 was new, and the voice is really well defined, and i gotta say, stronger than the OSX and iOS HIGs.
I'm going to agree with you, that at least they are trying to pull the "pieces into a whole" concept. However... as much as I love minimalism.... you have to still know why and where it should apply.
Apple has recently caught some flak over their insistance to use gray icons in the Finder window sidebar. That choice has caused many users to bemoan the fact (for them), that it is too difficult to "quickly" differentiate the icons, and then becomes a GUI liability, rather than a "user friendly" enhancement. Regardless of the fact that it adheres to Apple's "minimalism" design philosophy, it flies in the face of SJ's desire to always consider the USER first, and the function/feature later. (Note: I personally am not hindered in any way... but some users are.)
Microsoft will run into the very same problems sooner rather than later. The rigidity of the square dictates that eventual fact. People will become "lost in a sea of squares". Is that desirable? Immersive is an adjective that has opposite meanings depending on the context: drowning or engaging.
i think sagoe looks more contemporary than helvetica, specifically because of its sharp points and such. helvetica i love, but it is not the end all be all. it is quite possible a timeless modern design, but it still shows its age. i want my devices to accomplish tasks, i want them to be precise and fast and consistent tools. i don't want them to be all over the place. you can't argue that apple's design experience now looks unfocused when compared to microsoft's. helvetica on iOS. lucida sans on mac. garamond in print and advertising, along with myriad also. and, as you mentioned, basically off the shelf adobe fonts, that they clearly didn't adjust themselves to make better (again, apple helvetica's number kerning irks me so much).
If you haven't done so already, you really must take a look at Helvetica: The Documentary
and, trust me - if years ago me knew i'd be lauding microsoft's graphic and UI design approach, i would have been shocked. i am. i think they are doing everything right. i have a classmate working there for the last couple years, and a previous UI/UX design coworker working there (he knows his stuff). my impression is they have been stocking up over the last 2-4 years on pretty high quality creative folks, and it is starting to show. not sure if their CEO gets that at all, but at least he seems to get it enough to get out of their way and let them do what they need to do.
Again... it's laudable for trying only. MS is applying an all encompassing and rigid design philosophy to a very complex and flexible (at it's core) set of devices and software. Yes, they've done a 360... but have not truly considered the implications down the road. They are trying to "be cool" and re-imagine themselves... but their fans and user-base, by choice or by situation (work), may just decide it hinders productivity rather than enhances it. What then?
btw, frutiger is quite nice. and, thanks for the real thoughts. this thread has actually been worth reading thanks to posters like you. usually, it is 100% fanboism. cheers.
... I still disagree about Frutiger...
... I take your fanboism quote as a bad generalization, since there's some really, REALLY smart and influential people on these AI forums. Look up posts by Dick Applebaum, mdriftmeyer, Marvin, solipsism, etc.
... I thank you for the compliment... and say "Cheers" in return since you're buying
Finally... you need to take a closer look at the "who, what, why and where" regarding your chosen design philosophy to follow. You make the same mistake as Microsoft by not applying it for a good and solid reason, other than for "design's sake".