6: Retro chaos
The celebration of glitches, failures, errors and mistakes is driving a new style direction in graphic design. Designers are embracing chaos in their creative practices, and as a result we can see the rise of a growing trend towards an intentionally chaotic and confusing visual language. Michael Bojkowski, editor of the blog LineFeed, sees this new shift being driven by “nostalgic references to early digital design that might have first appeared in broadcast or online, or even as early digitally-generated clip art.”
Epitomising this trend is the unconventional identity for wine makers Casa Mariol, created by Spanish design agency Bendita Gloria. Aiming to reflect the handmade elements of the wine, the studio utilised tools such as Wordart, Excel and clipart, creating retro-inspired graphics.
Nostalgia is not the only driver for this trend. According to Bojkowski, “This new form seems to be based on unearthing the mistakes of the past and turning them into graphic motifs.” citing the corrosion of the gulf between professional and amateur designers, Bojkowski details how seemingly tacky Photoshop effects such as bevels, drop shadows, and rainbow gradients – once considered ‘mistakes’ by an older generation of designers – have now become coveted tools by a new breed of designer.