May 14th, 2008

It’s no secret I’m a sucker for cute things–or for analyzed just about anything. That’s why, like a kid in an adorable candy shop, I’m really enjoying this blog Design Benign, which is part of “an ongoing research project about the role cuteness plays in the appearance, use, and, perception of products we use everyday–from iPods to cars to food.”

The most interesting part of the project, actually a senior graphic design thesis, is this “Taxonomy of Cute,” which attempts to break what we perceive as cuteness down to its basic properties. Included in that list are symmetry, bright colors, roundness, small noses, large eyes, and oversize accessories.

Also of interest for game cake lovers (and me, ’cause I’m weird and I love this issue) is an exploration of cuteness and food called “So Cute I Could Bite Its Face Off.” Of course baking goods fit into that discussion, but so do bento boxes, and just about anything that begs the question, “Why does cuteness seem to inspire a mind boggling desire for consumption and/or destruction?” Boy have we talked about that before

Tags: aesthetics, cuteness

8 Responses to “Studying Cute in Contemporary Design”

  1. Soulofaqua Says:

    There is another place that has “rules of cuteness” and for fun me and my lil’ sis’ tried to use as much of those rules as possible in one pose. We strangely did not look cute, infact we looked creepy so another cuteness rule simplicity!

  2. Soulofaqua Says:

    P.S. that site is and you can pick it in the categories on the righthand side under the name “The rules of Cuteness™”

  3. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    It would be fun to do drawings following the exact “rules of cute,” or to match up those rules with popular cute characters/images.

    As for those rules of cute, thanks so much for mentioning it. I’m having way too much time checking this out :)!

  4. Soulofaqua Says:

    No thanks for mentioning such a cute site for I had not given you thanks yet, So thank you Bonnie. Now I just remembered my own “research” about cherries wich I did after giving that name(Cherry) to a girl I know. Wich I did because of me and my other friend being named after sexual related stuff wich are not meant sexual.
    For example my name Soulofaqua used to be shortened by some Americans and English on a forum to SoA wich ironically means STD in dutch my native language. After a while I got used to it and I adopted it in real life too.
    Now then comes my friend Glijmiddelman wich would be Lubeman in English. We gave him that name after some sessions of campaigne mode on Halo 3 with him and another friend. He was the third player and thus he was one of the Elite in normal armor, but if you shine your torch on those Elite their armor shines with a syrup or lube like gloss. so me and the other person kept our torches on him and called him Glijmiddelman(lubeman) and eventually we kept calling him like that in real life.
    When we became friends with the now named Cherry we eventually thought that also she should have a name that incinuates something sexually but is not. After a while we still couldn’t think of an appropriate name that fitted the requirements. Now even before that Lubeman loved to say “This little fishy looks like he just got her cherry popped” after one of the first splicers you come across in Bioshock. Popping the cherry means to take a girls virginity. So we disaproved his use of the sentence. But because we couldn’t think of a name we eventually decided to name her Cherry with the excuse that she is female and she is the opposite of us two so her name should look decent but actually mean something sexual…

    wow to much about the names don’t you think.
    But well after that

  5. Soulofaqua Says:

    whoops accidentaly pressed the submit comment, wasn’t ready so I shall continue where I was.

    After naming Cherry like so I noticed how much the Indie and Alto sub cultures use cherries in their design, though this made me laugh because they had Hymen on their clothes. but then I thought more about why and understood why. First of all Cherries stand for Hymen’s wich stand for virginity and virginity stands for youthness and something young is usually considered more beautifull and cute. But as you might now Cherries also are very sweet and something to be sweet can also refer to something being cute.
    So a cherry is an important symbol of cuteness!

  6. Darkpen Says:

    the “so cute I could bite its face off” subject in question makes me particularly curious, as I’m sure a lot of us have come across our share of cute children who you just want to bite and nibble on for their adorableness D: Or even our loved ones as well. I mean, food aside, what causes the tendency to want to bite objects of endearment?

  7. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Darkpen, if you ask me, it’s a question of wanting to interact with the cute, to possess it almost by ingesting it. For me, it relates back to game cakes–wanting to take part in a fandom or appreciation by eating it. Hmm, some sort of real paper should be done…

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