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Design Student's Orgasm

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This is something of a fashionable and stylistic approach in visual media. Overwhelmingly, these designs are made with vector graphics, to create solid areas of colour with crisp, geometrically neat outlines. Usually involves vivid colours over a monochrome background (white has preference as a neutral colour, but it can easily be black). The colour patterns can also be switched for the negative space, while the solid colour becomes the foreground.

It's easier to show than to describe, hence the picture. Look for examples of this rather abstract art in commercials and opening credits. In animated works, designs may flow outwards from a central point, gaining variety and complexity as they grow.

Compare this visual trope to the literary-only Purple Prose. Failure to maintain focus on the product can result in What Were They Selling Again? Video versions of this trope might employ Blipvert as well. Contrast Ascetic Aesthetic, Face on the Cover & Minimalistic Cover Art (although this can also be done in a very striking and artistic way).


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  • This commercial from Microsoft describing what they think the future will be like has lots of computer screen images popping out all over the place.
  • This anime-style Louis Vuitton ad from Japan, starting at about 1:16, features a trippy world filled with colorful patterns.
  • A number of television commercials in the UK for HD TV sets use this trend, using "arty" graphics over a white background. Usually in slow motion and with a calming acoustic guitar soundtrack. The tag line usually being some variation of "look at this amazing image and how detailed it is in HD". Which is fine...unless you are watching in standard definition in which case it is no more detailed than any other ad.
  • An "a.s.i.c.s." sneakers commercial stars a jogger running through a drippy white M.C. Escher room, leading to his apartment. Wait, will someone explain the pillar jumping and the squishy ground and the gravity problem? Please?
  • Packaging for Wacom pen tablets. Simple backgrounds with the common artsy stuff. The Bamboo Pen & Touch Comic Edition pretty much covers the entire front with cartoony stuff with only small bits of white background showing through.
  • Comcast commercials show inexplicable, joyously erupting rainbow scenery that turns into letters. It's Comcastic!

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Hetalia: Axis Powers credits fit in as many colours, random shapes, and movement as is watchable within 30 seconds.
  • The ending of the first season of K, the title of which translates to "Alone in a Cold Room", features one of the main characters sitting alone - presumably in a cold room - naked and sad, while flowers in this style pop up and swirl around her.
  • The "dream" sequences of Black★Rock Shooter are basically this, complex designs and scenarios, with lots of color motifs and use of CGI. All employed to illustrate the conflicts of the main characters.
  • The opening and closing sequences of Tatami Galaxy. Additionally, the black and white background with selective coloring in the opening sequence prevails through the entire anime.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Thief and the Cobbler: Everything is extremely stylized to the point of being super weird. Lots of Amazing Technicolor Population, Unmoving Plaid and Deranged Animation. What makes this more amazing was that this was done without CGI.
  • In Coraline, the other world starts to look like this — geometrical, sometimes fractal trees rendered in black and white — the further you go away from the house. The house itself turns into Design Student's Orgasm once the Other World starts to fall apart.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • James Bond films often have very strange opening credits. Most feature a design motif related to the preceding scene or with the plot of the movie, and many feature scantily clad (if not entirely nude, in silhouette) women dancing to the film's particular theme. They became even more elaborate when they Shifted to CGI.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture features a distractingly fancy and lengthy transporter effect, far more extreme than any of the other movies or the shows. The film also has lengthy lavish depictions of a space cloud.
  • The "past" poster of The Last Witch Hunter is rather baroque, incorporating dozens upon dozens of inerwoven, intricate details, each of them somehow referencing witchcraft as depicted in the film.
  • Precious has several posters where the artist was allowed to create a very abstract or impressionist style of an overweight woman's silhouette.

  • Isaac Asimov:
    • The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories: The 1990 Gollancz cover has a white/grey pattern for the most part, with an enormous metal man lying down on the floor with sliding doors into their head where you can see a dusk-like sky, and skinny human figures made of solid colour are standing around with shadows. Pretty weird.
    • Tales of the Black Widowers has been published with multiple covers. One of the covers features a large spider, with seven human faces (one for each of the members) instead of eyes.
  • Das Zeitfahrrad: Curves and maybe circles are a recurring theme of the cover art, but why? Perhaps because "Das Zeitfahrrad" translates to "the time bike", but you could be forgiven for not realizing that the odd machine on the cover was supposed to be a sort of bicycle. It certainly doesn’t seem to have any wheels.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Vancouver Olympics graphics. There's spray paint, clip art, and origami-style patterns in them. The colors are springtime-y, but Vancouver's actually like that in February so that's understandable.
  • The 2008 on-air look for Oxygen, of which the primary motif seems to be flying things (such as cell phones, lipstick, disco balls and even lips).

  • Most of Roger Dean's album covers for Yes were depictions of lush psychedelic landscapes. Tales From Topographic Oceans, Fragile, and particularly Relayer are probably most representative of this style. Also his album covers for Asia. (The covers for Aqua, Arena, and Archiva were done by Rodney Matthews.)
    • The beautifully done flying elephants which became a group logo for Osibisa - a Take That! at slightly racist record company execs who snootily considered African music could never, ever, take off in the major markets of the West and any investment in a band based on African rhythm was a complete waste of money.
  • Everything Studio Killers does. The music video for "Eros and Apollo" in particular, ranging from 2D art to 3D CGI and adding pixel art to the mix.

    Video Games 
  • Pixel Junk Eden uses this almost exclusively, with copious amounts of wiggly, spiraling lines on an abstract patchwork background.
  • A lot of the gameplay in Audiosurf ends up looking like this, especially with the background color set to white, due to the graphics generation engine throwing dancing towers and colorful explosions around.
  • The Japanese box art for the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games consists of sparse compositions featuring noisy, abstract shapes in loud primary colors, which serves to draw attention to the character art. For example, the first game has Sonic standing next to his name, in a haphazard arrangement on top of a yellow circle, with "beams" radiating from it like a sun. There's also motivational text in Gratuitous English: for the first game, it's "Don't just sit there and waste your precious time. If you want to do something, do it right away. Do it when you can. It's the only way to live a life without regrets." Sonic Generations features a similar aesthetic in reference to this, with the same abstract shapes and loud primary colors decorating its menu screens (and even its logo, to a lesser extent).

  • An egregious offender is a particular trend in men's designer t-shirts, to cram as much random stuff on a square yard of fabric as possible. On one particularly offending sample: a skull with a rose between its teeth, five ravens, a statue of Justice, the innards of a cassette tape, a Shinto shrine, some more roses, a wreath of thorns, and what looks like a map of the coast of Norway. This is all on the same shirt.
  • There is a Guitar Hero shirt with a similar baroque-inspired take on this style, involving many vaguely organic shapes centered around a Gibson SG controller, with cherubs facing opposite directions holding Kramer Striker controllers.
  • Design students' orgasms aren't only limited to Western art, either; there are Islamic styles very prone to them such as 15th- and 16th-century Persian architecture. Almost every available surface was decorated with painted tile. Then there's Ottoman Turkish buildings, which don't look like this until you go inside them.
  • Pencil Vs Camera by Ben Heine. A photo background framing a drawing of random stuffnote  'exploding' out of the camera.
  • All the works by the aforementioned The Designers Republic/tDR from Sheffield are these. Their early works incorporates Russian Constructivism themes with Colorful inputs, rebellious themes, and awesome typography which boosted their popularity, while Their 90's works are mostly Animesque (though they are one of the early adopters of such style), but has flavors (catchy color palettes) and details (cute icons, shapes, and intentional Gratuitous Japanese) that popularized such style. Later works features minimalism and unique fonts that was regarded as the defining visual aesthetics of Electronic Music. Their works are highly regarded, to the point the studio became the most copied design studio ever existed. They are one of the only Graphic design studios who has a large following/dedicated fandom. They are currently dead,note  but their legacy and impact in the graphic design industry is huge.
  • The 2014 Football World Cup official poster provides a perfect example: vectorized graphics with a net outline made of a myriad of bright blue, orange, yellow, orange and green little Brazilian motives, all on a white background, which has Brazil's map shape. A textbook (and beautiful) example.