‘Why does everything look the same?’ One man breaks it all down: ‘This is an American phenomenon’ 

Alex Murrell, Strategy Director at the brand agency Epoch, has garnered attention for his post entitled “The age of average,” in which he draws attention to the fact that everything — interiors, architecture, cars, people, media, brands — is starting to look the same.

TikTok user Ashwinn (@shwinnabego) has taken to his platform to discuss Murrell’s piece, and encourage others to read it.


An analysis of ehy everything looks the same design

♬ original sound – Ashwinn 💡 brand, biz, mkting

“If you’ve ever wondered why everything is starting to look the same, this is a post for you,” Ashwinn begins. “Why is all of our branding looking like this? Why do all of our interiors look like this? Why do all coffee shops look like this? Why are we doing this with books? I mean, look at these movie posters.”

Why is this the case? Per Murrell’s piece, it’s essentially easier to conform to “strikingly similar formulas,” rather than take on the risk of trying something new.

“The kind of TLDR reasons for why everything looks the same, it’s combination of risk aversion, focus groups and testing things like movie posters to see what resonates,” he explains. “Cost and manufacturing, so if a style becomes popular, it becomes cheaper to create and produce those parts… and just an increasingly globalized world where it’s easy to find visual inspiration online.”

The whole basis of drawing inspiration is to reference other things that have the look you desire and want to achieve.

“We often define how we want things to look based on how other things in that category look,” Ashwinn explains. “And to do something different or off kilter or off the beaten path just feels increasingly more risky.”

“This is an American phenomenon. Just got back from Portugal and it was a visual feast of color and texture.”

“the moodboard effect,” one user wrote.

“My PM: let’s be innovative with our designs but also make it look like everything else in the same sector,” another TikToker said.

“This is an American phenomenon. Just got back from Portugal and it was a visual feast of color and texture,” someone replied.

“Capitalism fails to bring any sort of creativity,” another commented.

The potential pay off of thinking outside the box, it seems, doesn’t outweigh the risk involved in doing so.

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