Hiding behind cuteness

Earlier, I shared an article about the cute infantilization of corporate logos. It seems there’s a corresponding drift towards patronising, cartoony blandness in illustration too.

Don’t worry, these gangly-armed cartoons are here to protect you from big techEye on Design
How do the cheerful, Mastisse-like illustrations that fill up the corners of any given Facebook page temper the expectations of people using these platforms? Their palpable joy is friendly, approachable, inviting, even—all of which translates to trustworthiness. Facebook has of course, proven to be one of the most untrustworthy public-facing companies in the world, repeatedly spying on users and leaking private data with impunity. Between the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other outrageous mishandlings like Facebook’s role in inciting genocidal violence in Burma, the company’s public persona is now more than ever in need of a face-lift. As a quasi-monopoly, Facebook seems to never pay for its sins in terms of usership decline—we’re all still there, staring at pages that have become cuter and bubblier as the company they represent grows more and more powerful.

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Author: Terry Madeley

I enjoy reading about art and design, culture, data, education, technology and the web. I'm confused by a lot of it, to be honest.

5 thoughts on “Hiding behind cuteness”

  1. Oh yes, well put Terry! This is so true. The cute factor really obscures the true malevolence of some of these organisations. Using primary colours and cartoonising everything is an easy marketing win that obscures the way they really make profit…through selling people’s data.

    Liked by 1 person

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