Flat Design was here before

Just found this illustration of some of the work we did for apple in 1992. That was just after we started MetaDesign in San Francisco and it involved a complete design system for the Mac OS. All flat.

Mac OS design system 1992. All flat.

Mac OS design system 1992. All flat.


  1. Samo

    It may be because I am getting old, but it’s getting really tedious to keep being bombarded with “the next big thing” regarding design that keeps flooding everything from Dribbble to Twitter when designers discover the “big truth” that the current fad is the only “proper” way to do design.

    Design is supposed to solve problems, and that means it has to use _all_ the tools available. iOS 7 is a perfect example of the a design fad being taken to the extreme, where functionality and the cognitive ability of recognize the visual elements suffer from a—pretty inconsistent and schizophrenic, at that—push for a thinner and flatter design.

    *stops ranting about kids these days and leans back in his recliner*

    Having said that, the flat design language that Meta used for the Mac OS was great. But that’s, I guess, because it was chosen to solve a problem, not because the intern spent too much time on Dribbble… :P

  2. No! Microsoft invented the style with their Window 8 Flat Design! (and all the junk behind it which is still same as Windows 95). :)

  3. Flat design is such a lazy term. The web world needs to grow up with these silly trends.

  4. Hurray for the return to flat. Don’t know why it needs a new name, maybe because I’m old-fashioned. I called the first jelly-colored iMacs and accompanying interface and Windows prompt imitation with WinDex and those highlighted, drop-shadowed, epileptic fit-inducing, 1970s-office-supply-product-imitation visuals “goobily” design.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.