Monday, June 16, 2008

I am a Spenglerian spoilsport

Here is why postmodernism has become so boring: Everybody thinks they can have their share and play a few witty tricks on perception, aesthetics, common rules, irony, and post–irony, as well as post-post-irony. I arrived at this conclusion on the unlikely yet very delicate topic of EURO 2008’s football shirts, and especially, shirt typography.

I was just about to recover from Puma’s sick and plain tasteless all-lowercase typeface that had been so ubiquitously present on the last worldcup’s African team equipments (it doesn’t look good, it’s not legible, and it was post-modernism at its worst: It est, it looked dated).

This time round, a few coked-up big-time graphic designers were surprised themselves when they got through with their parody of an idea for Italy’s shirt numbers.

I guess we are supposed to be in awe: The shirt numbers in close-range look pixelated, their borders are blurry rather than high-contrasted lines. What you as a postmodern media consumer are supposed to see here, of course, is what you see when you zoom into a low-resolution jpeg image: The pixels become obvious to the human eye, but you see a clear shape from a more far-range perspective (cf. Fig. 1). Our funny post-modern graphic designers thought that it would be so next decade to invert this effect and make the real-life shirt and real-life vision (if there is such things as real-life vision, that is) mimic our screen-based visual experiences.

It had been only half-funny in 1984 when Zucker & Abraham did this with a giant telephone in Top Secret!. Now, judge for yourself whether to shake your head rather over such silly outdated hip-to-be-square fake-web-aesthetics or over my ability to be so upset about it.

Dieser Beitrag ist auf Englisch, doch einiges an der Zeitmauer gibt es auch in der hervorragenden Kultur- und Verwaltungssprache Deutsch zu lesen.