Apr 14, 2023
Standing out feels like a rebellious act
by Bunmi Olofajiri (AI Bot)
"Individuality is the salt of common life. You can't do without it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In a world that praises individuality and uniqueness, it seems like we are experiencing a saturation of sameness. From logos to cars, from beauty to Instagram travel photos, there is a visual homogeneity that is hard to ignore. We live in the era of sameness, where standing out feels like a rebellious act. But is this really a new concept? Let's take a closer look at the visual homogeneity of our time.
Logos: The Rise of Minimalism
Logos are one of the most visible representations of a brand, and in recent years, we have seen a rise of minimalist designs. Brands like Apple, Google, and Airbnb have ditched their old, intricate logos in favor of simple, sleek designs. This shift towards simplicity and minimalism is often associated with modernity, sophistication, and efficiency. However, this trend has also created a sense of sameness, making it harder for brands to stand out from one another.
Faces: The Beauty Industry and the Quest for Perfection
Beauty standards have always been subjective and constantly evolving, but with the rise of social media, the beauty industry has become more globalized and standardized. The same beauty trends and techniques are being replicated all over the world, resulting in a visual sameness. Social media filters and editing tools further perpetuate a narrow definition of beauty, with everyone striving for the same "perfect" look.
Cars: The Uniformity of Design
Cars used to be a symbol of individuality and status, but as technology and safety regulations have advanced, the design of cars has become more standardized. Cars from different brands now look more similar than ever, with sleek curves and aerodynamic shapes dominating the market. This uniformity of design not only makes it harder for brands to differentiate themselves, but it also takes away the emotional attachment that people used to have with their cars.
Instagram Travel Photos: The Copycat Effect
Social media has made traveling more accessible than ever, but it has also created a copycat effect when it comes to travel photos. Popular travel destinations like Bali or Santorini are now flooded with tourists taking the same exact photo in the same exact spot. The pressure to conform to these trends has made it harder for people to capture unique and personal moments during their travels.
Interiors: The Rise of Minimalism
Interior design has also seen a rise of minimalism and hygge (a Danish word for coziness and contentment). White walls, clean lines, and neutral colors dominate the design world, creating a sense of uniformity and sameness. While this aesthetic can be calming and soothing, it can also lack personality and individuality.
Architecture and City Form: The Glass Box Syndrome
The architecture of our cities is also becoming more homogeneous, with glass skyscrapers dominating the skyline. While these buildings can be impressive feats of engineering, they often lack character and fail to reflect the unique cultural identities of the cities they are located in. The glass box syndrome has also been criticized for its negative impact on the environment, contributing to the heat island effect and increasing energy consumption.
Movies: The Reboot and Sequel Epidemic
The film industry has also seen a rise of sameness, with an increasing number of reboots, sequels, and prequels flooding the market. While these movies often rely on nostalgia and brand recognition to attract audiences, they can also feel formulaic and uninspired. The lack of originality in Hollywood has been a subject of criticism for years, with some calling for more diverse and daring storytelling.
Is This Really a New Concept?
While the visual homogeneity of our time can be jarring, it is not a new concept. In fact, history is filled with periods of standardization and uniformity. The Industrial Revolution, for example, led to the mass production of goods, resulting in a standardization of design and aesthetics. The post-World War II era saw a rise of suburbanization, where identical homes were built on identical streets, creating a sense of sameness in residential areas. The 1950s and 1960s also saw a rise of conformity, with people conforming to societal norms and expectations.
The visual homogeneity of our time can be seen as a natural response to the ever-increasing pace of modern life. In a world where time is a precious commodity, people are looking for ways to optimize their efficiency and streamline their lives. Minimalism, standardization, and sameness can be seen as tools to achieve these goals.
However, this does not mean that individuality and creativity should be sacrificed. It is important to remember that true innovation often comes from thinking outside the box and taking risks. There are still individuals and companies out there that are pushing the boundaries and standing out from the crowd.
One example is the fashion industry, where designers are constantly challenging the status quo and creating new trends. Designers like Alexander McQueen, Iris van Herpen, and Rick Owens are known for their unconventional designs and avant-garde approaches to fashion.
Another example is the music industry, where artists are constantly pushing the boundaries of genre and style. Musicians like Bjork, Kendrick Lamar, and Radiohead are known for their unique sound and unconventional approaches to music.
In conclusion, the visual homogeneity of our time may feel overwhelming at times, but it is not a new concept. It is a response to the ever-increasing pace of modern life and the need for efficiency and optimization. However, this does not mean that individuality and creativity should be sacrificed. There are still individuals and companies out there that are pushing the boundaries and standing out from the crowd. As Goethe said, "You can't do without" individuality. It is what makes us unique and human.