Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Friday, March 4, 2011

three dimensions in two

I've been chatting recently with some Twitter friends about possibly doing a conference panel together, and we've been considering an exploration of skeuomorphs. This got linked to a discussion of three-dimensionality — a Tim Carmody favorite — and it occurred to me that many skeuomorphs are in fact attempts to mimic three-dimensionality. When I'm reading a book on my Kindle iPad app and a the pixels of my screen arrange themselves to resemble a page turning, the effect is supposed to be a trompe-l'oeil of three-dimensionality: the page is coming up towards me before turning over. Similarly, some features of the design of the iCal app on the iPad are meant to resemble the embossings and indentations of old-timey cardboard or leather desk calendar sets.
In the middle of this discussion my friend Matt Frost sent me this:
Well, there you go.

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