Apple Realizes the World is Becoming Flat



At yesterday’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the company unveiled laptops with longer-lasting batteries, high-powered desktops that look like sleek rubbish bins and evidence that the era of light flares and drop shadows may be mercifully coming to an end.

Apple didn’t invent skeuomorphism but boy did they ever embrace it. Here’s a typical iOS 6 home screen. Not only do the icons feature lighting effects, shadows, gradients and reflections; nearly every mockup of an iPhone features light and shadow across the device itself.


With iOS 7, it appears that all the scuttlebutt about Forstall (Apple’s former iOS architect) vs. Ive (Apple’s head of design) was right.

It also appears that Microsoft was right. About design. Before Apple. Yes, you read that right. The company that launched the first Microsoft store 8 years after the first Apple Store beat Apple to the bunch in embracing the flat, minimal aesthetic that will define the next generation of mainstream tech.


Alright, so no one can resist a subtle light effect to show just how shiny their glass displays are, but business leaders take note: if you’re designing a website, an app or even an identity, choose your aesthetic wisely. We’ve formally passed a design tipping point, and from now on all those artificial effects will look dated and, well, affected.

*Think you’ll miss the light, leather and woodwork? Get your fix of standout skeuomorphic design here.


Comparison chart by nielsboey.

Now It’s Your Turn

1 Trackback

Corporate Culture
Remote Working as a Cultural Phenomenon

Remote working is now an established cultural phenomenon. From a societal and organizational point of view, a successful remote working policy must be a cultural imperative at an organization, with an intentionality behind it that strives to mitigate factors that weaken remote-worker success, such as poor communication, a sense of detachment from the organization, inadequate […]

Learn More
Culture, Trends
Strategic Thinking at the Forefront of Smart Cities Dialogue in Atlanta

On May 7th and 8th, BrandCulture enjoyed joining the Georgia Technology Institute Smart Cities Dialogue held in Atlanta, GA. Hosts Debra Lam, Joseph Bankoff and Claire Angelle convened an exceptional and diverse group of government, industry and academic leaders for a series of insightful discussions centered on developing smarter communities that think critically about urban […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture
For Employee Onboarding There’s No Second Chance for Day One

Like it or not, humans are hardwired to draw conclusions from first impressions. How fast? Try 100 milliseconds—a tenth of one second. In personal and professional settings throughout the day, every day, people you meet for the first time are drawing conclusions about you—fairly or unfairly—in the blink of an eye. No wonder some rank […]

Learn More
Brand Strategy
Hannover Messe – Branding at the World’s Largest Industrial Conference

The  Hannover Messe conference in Germany is the world’s premier event dedicated to industrial products and services. Think Siemens and its transportation systems, larger-than-life robots, machines that make machines and industrial internet platforms. Some quick facts: the annual 5-day event is held in Hannover, Germany, with over 215,000 visitors and 6,000 exhibitors. Filling nearly 30 […]

Learn More

Ready to talk about how your brand and culture can do more for your business?

Let's talk
Let's talk