Today, We Are Born as Individuals, and It Is Our Job to Seek Communities Instead of Attention

Nothing special

…special things are useless, and running for the latest novelty that attracts likes on Instagram is a mere waste of time. It is useless to escape from the flattening of taste: so accept the banality of the most obvious choice. After all, the truth is no one cares about which version of Helvetica was chosen for that canvas tote mock-up.

Designers’ profession, especially in the digital world, has been wrapped in so many layers of false complexity (aimed, somewhat understandably, at defending high budgets) that we feel obliged to label ourselves “UX specialists” or “brand strategists” not to feel left out. Good luck explaining to a customer that “UI/UX designer” is out of fashion and we are all calling ourselves “product designers” now.

“The markers of individuality are so plentiful and regenerate so quickly that it’s impossible to keep up”

Looking above all at web design, normality is not the product of the recent “brutalist” trend: it’s WordPress. Almost 40% of the Internet is a site with a WordPress theme, and if we include the sites that use the platform only for their CMS, the figure is closer to 64%. Ditto for graphics: the true face of normality is not the one sponsored on industry blogs, but what we find in flyers for dance classes, at village festivals and on pizza boxes.

The flight into individualism and the obsessive search for exclusivity are behaviours that belong to a past in which people were born in communities, and individuality was not so specific that it led to loneliness. Today, we are born as individuals, and it is our job to seek communities instead of attention.

(Emphasis mine.)

(As always, a read of the entire piece is recommended, I’m just capturing as much as I dare for my future self.)

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