Tumblr Art Directors

POSTED BY Andy Kribbs on Nov 17, 2011

I've been noticing an interesting trend lately. I'm calling them "Tumblr Art Directors." They're creators, or curators — Not really sure which (That's another blog post) but all with a disturbing similarity to each other. 

It's like Mario Hugo delivered a baby in an Urban Outfitters. Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff. Mysterious photos, nifty line work, lots of grays and blacks. But I keep seeing variations on this "X" logo pop up in places Cargo and FFFound. Enough times to make a blog post about it. Enough times to realize it's having a significant impact on the direction of design at large.

So who's calling the shots now, Tumblr or Communication Arts?

WRITTEN BY Andy Kribbs

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Mar 15, 2012 at 10:59am

About time... http://hipsterbranding.tumblr.com/

Gregory Althoff

Nov 30, 2011 at 7:15pm

Totally agree with you Andy / Joseph but ..

I think you forgot to add:
- the Triangle (both pointed up or down)
- Orman Clark rip-offs
- Owl icons / graphics


Nov 28, 2011 at 10:00pm

The crazy thing is everything is cool all at once these days, and the moment something "new" comes on the scene, it is disseminated (often globally), culturally translated, reworked, parodied,and outright copied. It's like a dance club full of DJ's all remixing each other's mixes in real time. But is anyone dancing?


Nov 21, 2011 at 4:28pm

Spot on Andy, not creators or curators. I've been noticing this for a while, even before the rise of the reblogging culture on Tumblr, or the proliferation of Cargo, Behance, Dribble or name your favorite design-porn watering hole. I've always seen it as a fundamental confusion between design and illustration, or illustration lacking editorial purpose. The pioneering aesthetic of a few illustrators has been appropriated by thousands of other 'designers' and certainly for commercial purposes in placed like UO. It's probably been happening forever, but lately with such ferocity because of instant consumption/regurgitation in our internet culture. It's often purely decorative, lifting from the latest visual meme or aesthetic, lacking any real concept, and most certainly having no regard for creating something new to solve an actual problem. I was just in NYC and observed this pseudo-macabre X treatment on numerous stickers, printed pieces and apparel throughout the city.