Sting like a bee the next time a butterfly layout floats into view

I’m collecting examples to show my students next year, warning of the dangers of simply copying visual fads. They’ll be told in no uncertain terms that if I see a single butterfly in their work, they’ll rapidly become an endangered species on their course

Has anyone else noticed the infuriating appearance of butterflies in graphic design and illustration in the past year or so? We seemed to be plagued by them, and far from wishing extinction upon any species, I’d be happy to never see another butterfly as part of a design again. Even last week’s issue (DW 7 July) contained two such examples. Prominent examples include Microsoft and Casio print ads. They are tucked in here and there, usually for no apparent reason, often fluttering out of some jumbled, ‘organic-esque’ mix of elements at the edge of the page. The illustration on the front of The Observer Review recently had meaningless butterflies floating within it. I’m collecting examples to show my students next year, warning of the dangers of simply copying visual fads. They’ll be told in no uncertain terms that if I see a single butterfly in their work, they’ll rapidly become an endangered species on their course.

Martin Schooley, Course Leader – BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration, University of Hertfordshire, Herts AL10 9AB

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