Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Smell of Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a broad term, meaning to me at least, the latest batch of semi-inter-related websites that not only have a functioning business model, but use participatory features like tags, blogs, and comments. Wikis are a great example.

Since many of these companies and services rise from the same kinds of minds, and the desire to be trendy, but not so revolutionary that they can't bring in investors, their logos tend to look similar, as evidenced by the collection shown here.

Common design elements include:
  • Gradient backgrounds
  • Large colourful icons, often with reflections and drop shadows
  • Large text (especially in comparison with the emphasis on very small text in earlier designs)
  • Diagonal hatch background
  • Glossy three-dimensional elements
  • Apparently random highlights and call-outs in text
So "standardized" are these logos that parodies easily arose, like this "Levi's" logo from Jack Shedd.

A whole gallery of these parodies can be seen in the flickr group yay2dot0logoparody.

Even Homestar Runner, who tries to keep their pop cultural references in the 70's and 80's poked the Web 2.0 beast with the Strong Bad Email #153, "Redesign."

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