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I am not an artist, just a simple engineer. I noticed in the recent years, some big corporations such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, use these type of design for characters:

  • This one

  • And this one

just to name a few.

  • Why those seemingly weird characters are popular? The leg sizes, hands are very exagerated, very small heads, etc.

Could someone please explain what's this type of drawing is called? and if possibly why it's so popular?

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    This is quite an opinionated question, as their reasoning is probably not all the same. My guess is it is similar enough to being human but abstract enough for all people to relate to them. Dec 21, 2021 at 16:28
  • @ZachSaucier: I suggest you take a look at this website tour on the section of what kind of questions to ask.
    – Amazigh_05
    Dec 21, 2021 at 17:24
  • Fashion. Why do all 30's ads look deco, everything in the 80's looked like a cross between Blade Runner & Dallas… etc etc.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 21, 2021 at 17:30
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    @Tetsujin - I blame the Beatles LOL ;)
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 21, 2021 at 18:45
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    @BillyKerr - LOL, I hadn't thought of Yellow Submarine. I shall now think of it every time I see this new [lazy] styling on everything by every bank who never had an original idea. It will improve my day ;)) & 'worse'… my brain is now singing Cheese & Onions at me, whether I like it or not ;))
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 21, 2021 at 18:47

2 Answers 2

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I think I have found an interesting article about it on Wikipedia:

Corporate Memphis is a term used (sometimes disparagingly) to describe a flat, geometric art style, widely used in Big Tech illustrations in the late 2010s and early 2020s. It is often considered to be uninspired and dystopian.

Common motifs are flat human characters in action, with disproportionate features such as long and bendy limbs, minimal facial features, and bright colors without any blending.

Facebook adopted their own version, called "Alegria," in 2017.

The style has since been criticized for being generic, overused, and attempting to sanitize public perception by presenting human interaction in utopian optimism. Illustrators working in this style refer to it as flat art. It is also known as the Alegria style, Big Tech art style, or Humans of Flat.

The term is a reference to the Memphis Group, an Italian architecture group from the 1980s known for its designs that are often thought to be garish.

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Because they are neutral.

It would be difficult for any group - race, gender, economic, educational, etc - to claim a company was being biased if they use overall nondescript, clearly merely representational, character illustrations.

No one can scream they are being detrimental to their "group".

Also.. they can be faster and often easier to produce than more realistic depictions. So, there's a higher probability that one can find a broader range of images if searching royalty free stock services.

In short: Because in today's society, it's a minefield to depict any people as illustrations. It's too easy to offend some. The more realistic an illustration of a human becomes, the greater the odds of offending.

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  • About your last sentence it's really strange to see some people hating this kind of drawing. Even worse there a dedicated subreddit for that please feel free to delete this link if you think it's not appropriate here.
    – Amazigh_05
    Jan 13, 2022 at 19:30

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