While Microsoft was flattening its interfaces as if it were a child pushing down on a bulge of putty, its competitors – including Apple and Facebook — were focused on skeuomorphism, a type of look in which, say, a note-taking feature on a Web site or in an app would look like a spiral-bound notebook, a reference to the real world look of a notebook.
Apple really has pushed hard for skeuomorphism, something I never warmed to. As the article notes, phone screen limitations have been a big influence on the current trend, but it seems more accurate to say that touchscreen interaction has been the true driver of flattened interfaces.
Video footage of blues musicians is spotty before the ’60s folk revival dug a lot of them up. That’s part of what makes this clip of Big Bill Broonzy special. For even more captivating footage, see Howlin’ Wolf in 1951.
John Mayer’s album cover is a beautiful pastiche of turn-of-the-century style, and I enjoyed watching the video that details the design process and craftsmanship involved. It would have been appropriate to mention Tom Wilkes’ cover for Neil Young’s Harvest at some point.
Leonard Bernstein had an early television show called Omnibus that explored classical music and opera in an approachable way. In the first episode (1954), he demonstrated how Beethoven arrived at a final version of his Fifth Symphony.
I have no idea about what is standard practice, but this post by comic book artist Colleen Coover on how she digitally colors her work is nifty.
Speaking of comics, this short film called Malaria is a respectable take on mixed-media storytelling.
The Edison Phonograph came with a demonstration cylinder accompanying all units for salesmen to play for potential buyers. It starts, “I am the Edison phonograph, created by the great wizard of the New World…” and lists the many benefits of recorded sound. (Listen to the full recording.)
In a time before radio and film, this widely-circulated 1906 cylinder helped to establish the “Transatlantic accent,” an affected, clear way of speaking well-suited for early recording technology.
For a modern take, see Jennifer Jason Leigh’s fast talkin’ dame with Coen brothers discourse.