Corporate Memphis

Corporate Memphis is a term used (often disparagingly) to describe a flat, geometric art style, widely used in Big Tech illustrations in the late 2010s[1] and early 2020s.[2] It is often criticized as seeming uninspired and dystopian.[1]

Illustration in Corporate Memphis style from humaaans design library

OriginsEdit

Corporate Memphis is considered to be rooted in a style which has been dubbed flat art- a broad category of illustrative styles characterized by flat shapes and exaggerated proportions.[2] However, the inception of Corporate Memphis as its own style is often attributed to Alegria, an illustration system commissioned by Facebook from design agency Buck Studios in 2017.[3]

The style's title, which has been colloquially assigned, is a reference to the Memphis Group, an Italian architecture group from the 1980s known for its designs that are often thought to be garish.[2] It is also known as the Alegria style,[1] or Big Tech art style.[4] Illustrators working in this style often refer to it as flat art.[2]

Visual characteristicsEdit

 
Corporate Memphis style artwork featuring characters with blue and purple skintones

Common motifs are flat human characters in action, with disproportionate features such as long and bendy limbs,[2] small torsos,[5] minimal facial features, and bright colors without any blending. Skin tones are often depicted in a non-representational manner, with colors such as blues and purples being employed in order to create a sense of inclusivity.[6]

ReceptionEdit

The style has since been criticized for being generic,[7] overused, and attempting to sanitize public perception by presenting human interaction in utopian optimism.[1] Criticism of the art style has also been thought to be rooted in critiques of capitalism.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Hawley, Rachel (2019-08-21). "Don't Worry, These Gangly-armed Cartoons Are Here to Protect You From Big Tech". Eye on Design. Retrieved 2021-02-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e Gabert-Doyon, Josh (2021-01-24). "Why does every advert look the same? Blame Corporate Memphis". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  3. ^ "Facebook Alegria". Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Corporate Memphis; the design style that quietly took over the internet". shots. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  5. ^ a b Posture, Julien (2022-01-13). "What the Think Pieces About "Corporate Memphis" Tell Us About the State of Illustration". AIGA Eye on Design. Retrieved 2022-05-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "What is Corporate Memphis and Why is it Everywhere?". t-art magazine. 2021-04-05. Retrieved 2022-05-11.
  7. ^ Quito, Anne (October 26, 2019). "Why editorial illustrations look so similar these days". Quartz. Retrieved 2021-02-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)