Less Apple. More Core.
You’ve seen it everywhere, from website design, to package design, and all the matter of touch devices in between, audiences love Apple, and big businesses love taking a bite.
While the notion of imitation as a gesture of flattery holds some truth, so too is it a fundamental sign of complacency and a lack of imagination, if not courage. Instead of investing the proper amount of time and bravado necessary for creating products, communication platforms, branding initiatives or experiences with meaning, the shortcut is taken.
How do I know this? I know this because I started my career as a young communication designer overly-concerned with studying and aping what was considered to be the best instead of putting more value into trying to figure out why the heck it was great work to begin with. After finding out exactly what was going on and realizing what it really meant to create and express with conviction and elegance is mind, my own signature “voice” began to emerge. Then came good old experience disguised as failure to help show me the ropes and offer some atonement. At the core of it all I was lacking some serious fundamentals that ran way deeper than any art class, seminar, or workshop could have shown me; I lacked the truth, or rather my truth. I lacked respect for my own instincts and this caused me lots and lots of delay and much-needed hard lessons in order to really see and best undertake my creative pursuits.
While it’s a good idea to imitate and, at times, maybe even steal ideas, I believe that the real crime being committed by the copycats is their own blind-ignorance of missing the point. They’re reacting to mis-perceived external forces that are subverting their potential best efforts. Instead of focusing on crafting a story or viable “points of engagement” based upon their own authentic understanding, the path of least resistance is taken. Ask any pop-psychologist, and they’ll gladly tell you that the best stuff is inspired from truth, no matter how bad a given situation or topic may appear.
Simply put, you just can’t steal culture. Eventually, you will be found out and be made to look ridiculous or meaningless.