Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hey Designer, Sick of Skulls Yet?

Skulls have been the de rigeur in design for the past several years. I really haven't had a problem with it because I personally really like skulls and other rock iconography. However, once you start to be concious of it, you find that they really are everywhere, and it becomes obvious that the whole emo thing has really got to go. Whether on a Motorhead T shirt or in terrible, vile movies (Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull), they are everywhere. Anyway, AIGA has a great article over at their site called Forever Skull concerning this whole phenomenom. From the article:

The skull is an elastic symbol, but it expresses a frustrated desire: we will never see our own skulls. The impossibility of this self-knowledge maddens and tempts us. So we flatten our skulls, misshape them, adorn and prettify them, wrap them in thorns and set them afire, make them scary, funny, silly, slick, put them everywhere, on everything, for whatever excuse comes to mind. On and on, we are doomed to representations, teasing ourselves with reminders of the limits of our perceptions. We will never see our own skulls. But we will always want to.

Go read the entire album, it's really fascinating.

BTW - the you should check out Damien Hirst's controversial piece "Diamond Encrusted Skull". Dig it.