Y2K Chic
May 9, 2018 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Metallic, blobby, transparent and neon: the A-Z Of Turn Of The Century Design
posted by The Whelk (35 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
God I miss my T Wires
posted by fullerine at 9:27 AM on May 9


george michael deserves more than an honorable mention, this is an outrage and i am outraged.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:31 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


If you're into this sort of stuff, the Y2K Aesthetics Institute is a fun Tumblr to follow
posted by themadthinker at 9:37 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Finally, a listicle for Gen-X.

animated gif free, see how they know us
posted by missmobtown at 9:45 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


MODO!

When I first moved to NYC for college in September 2000, those modo adds were everywhere. A friend and I found a full page sticker ad (seen in the link in the article here) in a magazine, enjoyed the stickers, and were so confused as to what modo was. I never found out. Until now.
posted by millipede at 9:48 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Jesus Christ, nostalgia really does work in 20 year cycles, doesn't it? I am definitely not participating in Y2K nostalgia.

And by definitely not I mean I probably will, if someone else posts a worthy reminiscence first.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:49 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Tbh the only things that actually resonate with me on this list are Hype Williams videos and nokia bricks. My y2k nostalgia is a haze of cheap mitsubishis.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:54 AM on May 9


I think people are usually nostalgic for the time when they were in high school, so Gen X nostalgia would be for the late 80s/early 90s. The grunge aesthetic certainly seemed to be a thing a couple of years ago.
posted by AFABulous at 9:59 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Man, remember when the iMac appeared and then everything looked like an iMac for years ... this is Apple's true genius of course, take something that exists already and apply design and usability to it so that your granny wants one.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 10:00 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Somebody once told me the world was gonna roll me...
Don't forget that Guy Fieri hair.
We were lookin kinda dumb
With soul patches no bigger than our thumb
Despite the Tom Green Show going off the air....
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:01 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Man, remember when the iMac appeared and then everything looked like an iMac for years

The '98 Ford Ka was like driving an iMac, it was extremely weird.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:03 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Now stuff I remember gets a hagiography!
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 10:08 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


If you're into this sort of stuff, the Y2K Aesthetics Institute is a fun Tumblr to follow

I can confirm that the desktop wallpaper I used on my mom's iMac looked exactly like this.
posted by theodolite at 10:28 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


This is great, and raises a related question for me: how would the design paradigm for our current moment be described, and who's most succintly commenting it right now? I suppose the long answer is "current design websites and magazines" and "everything now at the store, being constructed, and on TV," but where can I find more distilled meta-commentary, in the vein of this post, about design trends right now?

I ask because as a non-designer it can be tough to see the forest for the trees in the present day. Don't mean to derail, and happy to make an AskMe question out of this if it's out of place on the blue. Just curious is all.
posted by Rykey at 10:30 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


i was going to say i was nostalgic for the y2k era because it was the last few days before the madness of the post 9/11 era, but that's just my white male privilege talking, so i'll just conclude by saying the world is shit and has always been shit, it's just different numbers on the bristol scale
posted by entropicamericana at 10:44 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Hah. I may or may not have installed a custom "depthcore" media player skin in the 90-00's, complete with Red Hot Chili Peppers playing. I also played around a lot with changing the default color schemes on our home computer, and making the cursor look like a butterfly, etc. I really thought customization of computer interfaces were cool, and not super annoying.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 10:50 AM on May 9 [11 favorites]


The 20th Anniversary of the iMac has some folks in the Apple community moaning about the current hardware designs and how Apple's industrial design has no whimsy anymore. Honestly, fuck whimsical product design. Especially for personal devices. If you want whimsy, do it yourself. Mandated, commercial, corporate whimsy sucks. While the iMac was nice in that it broke the staid old beige box thing, I still think the original iMacs are really ugly, even if the results of that ugliness were beneficial to the computer industry and its industrial design.
posted by SansPoint at 11:00 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


E is for... Émigré: They link to the Michael and Janet Jackson video for Scream, and also mention the Dead History font - in both cases the designer was P. Scott Makela. Scott died suddenly and tragically young in 1999 so he didn't even make it to Y2K.

Here's a video of Laurie Haycock Makela's 2013 talk at MCAD "Dead History: an era, a typeface and a love story" on her late husband and their collaborations.
posted by larrybob at 11:55 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Previously
posted by Monochrome at 12:11 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I was a little disappointed to see no mention of The Designers Republic under D, a little worried tDR might show up under T, and then completely satisfied by how they worked them into W.

What a roller coaster ride!
posted by aubilenon at 12:12 PM on May 9


I had an inflatable couch in my room in middle school in the early 00s, and it was PERFECT kid furniture. Cost almost nothing, perfectly sized for me, made me feel like a grownup. Sure I stuck to it whenever I wore shorts and it didn't survive for long after we got kittens, but I have definite nostalgia for that thing.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:46 PM on May 9


I'm just the right age that I should be nostalgic for this aesthetic, but I can only remember hating it. I've come to appreciate some other trends that I didn't like much at the time, but this one just ... it's still just ugh to me.

Inflatable furniture, though, I'll give you that. Nothing is quite as fun as furniture you can accidentally pop (see also: waterbeds).
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:59 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


So what yr saying is, Pixelon.com is available?
posted by NoMich at 1:09 PM on May 9


Kutusuwanmushi: I'm in a similar boat, though I might be a little older than the right age. It all just feels so _busy_, and desperate to draw attention to itself. And there's a time and a place for things that need to draw your attention, but at least in the technology space, when I'm trying to use a device, I want the actual device to get the hell out of my way and let me do what I need to do. Despite my misgivings about the iMac G3's design, it at least did that.

All the crazy, circa Y2K graphic design, skins, and wallpapers, the "depthcore" stuff that was mentioned in the previous thread is too much. I'm not saying things have to be ultra-minimalist, either. I don't miss the days when cutting-edge web design was about teeny-tiny pixel fonts, low contrast color schemes, and other difficult to use nonsense, either. You can have some personality, but don't let the personality get in the way of the job that has to be done.
posted by SansPoint at 1:15 PM on May 9


I'm just the right age that I should be nostalgic for this aesthetic, but I can only remember hating it.

Same here. I tried a bunch of different WinAmp skins back in the day, but they were all just a bunch of noise. Some of the more skeumorphic ones were at least usable, but I preferred the plain old default WinAmp skin over all of them. It really whipped the llama's ass.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:17 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Keith Talent: Jesus Christ, nostalgia really does work in 20 year cycles, doesn't it?

And, of course, the 19A0s were an echo of 20 years before that...
posted by straw at 1:42 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


A lot of this seems like carry-over from the 90s, especially the rave culture aesthetic. I was 23 in 2000, and I'll be damned if I recall ever being influenced by any aesthetic specific to the 00's. I lived in Newport Beach so it's not like I wasn't exposed to everything. If you were to ask me what fashion or youth culture can be asigned to that decade, I would probably shrug. Is it just me, or was 23 too old to be relevant?
posted by Brocktoon at 2:03 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


19A0s Previously.
posted by larrybob at 2:22 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


ugh Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore were like the spirit animals of this fashion. Lordy, it was terrible.

Chunky highlights on pin straight flatironed hair with a zig zag part
Eyeliner and mascara on top lid only
Frosty pastel eyeshadow
Frosty pink blush
Frosty pink lipstick with gloppy pink gloss on top
Vanilla scented everything
Low waisted bootcut pants with a laceup instead of a zipper
The muffin top and whale tail twofer
T-Strap shoes. Naked shoes. Platform sneakers.
Clear bra straps. Clear dress straps. Clear tank top straps
Newsboy hats
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:53 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


You forgot the zig-zag crimping irons, for when you really really wanted to destroy your hair. And those super short skirts that were nothing but three gigantic layered ruffles.

Low waisted bootcut pants with a laceup instead of a zipper
The muffin top and whale tail twofer


That one commercial with the singing belly buttons still HAUNTS ME.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:04 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I don’t think those fashions are any worse than “contouring” and skinny jeans. As a short person, I thoroughly enjoyed the platform shoes, and would have gone full glitter eyeshadow had my allergies been less troublesome.

My turn of the century aesthetic: crying while seeing Radiohead and pretending it was because of the music and not my mascara.
posted by betweenthebars at 3:39 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


If B isn't for Beetle Adventure Racing, the list is garbage.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 3:39 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I never said they were worse than contouring or skinny jeans. I'm saying it isn't holding up well to time. I fully expect contouring to show up in an equivalent thread in 2038. I'll probably be the one making it.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:38 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


spirit animals

You couldn't find a better term than this?

I also played around a lot with changing the default color schemes on our home computer, and making the cursor look like a butterfly, etc

I was a kid at the time doing this same thing. I wonder if the later 00s/early 10s equivalent of gaudy Winamp skins and custom cursors was Rainmaker.
posted by Freeze Peach at 9:37 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


You mean Rainmeter, right?

Even before that, there were alternative shell environments around like LiteStep that provided both an overhauled base design and more customisation options for the Windows desktop.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:53 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


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