What is it about retro design that people gravitate toward? Craftsmanship and quality would apply to the pre-digital era.I certainly have an appreciation for the attention to detail in hand rendered work. You could see the human touch is those designs. In our current design project, many people are opting for retro designs from a whole range of eras.
What is up with the early digital era retro designs? That old Dire Straits music video for “Money for Nothing” looked awesome to audiences in 1988 with its early 3D computer animation, one of the first examples of attempts to render human forms digitally. I think the video would look awesome to audiences today too, but in a different way. I’m not sure if irony quite describes it, or is it so bad its good? Case in point: minecraft. The design of this game makes it look like it came straight out of 1988 and people go crazy for it. I remember a time when a new game would come out and people would marvel at the graphics, amazed at how realistic it looked compared to its predecessor. So what happened? Is there some sort of realization that we will never get digital design to look as realistic as reality and therefore we should throw the baby out with the bathwater? Or is digital design getting so realistic its creepy? yahoo answers offers a range of answers: The simplicity of the graphics allows people with crappy computers to play without lagg time; the guy who made it didn’t have a graphics person and just did it himself, lack of funds, its a game about building so the inspiration comes from lego etc.
Like any trend, minecraft has influenced other designs. The designers from “party for your right” an Australian consumer rights awareness website have won honourable mention for best design web design of 2013 using blocky digital animation similar to minecraft. Another honourable mention, also from Australia, “born in 82” an online designer’s portfolio looks like space invaders. It would seem that design has a complicated lifecycle.