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How The Great Gatsby Changed Design

As a design enthusiast, I'm always looking for inspiration on popular and trending topics in the entertainment world (entertainment being the primary source for "share-able" and trending content). This particular search focused on design concepts that are new or even forgotten sources of inspiration. 

In this search, I stumbled upon the new movie, The Great Gatsby based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. After an hour of research online (movie trailers and cliffs notes on the book), I realized that his could be a design gold mine. From the cars to the attire, this movie seems to get the juices flowing as to how people will perceive the movie and even a movement. 

Yes. A movement. 

I believe that this movie has a hidden call to action in the design community. There are a couple of areas that I see this affecting. Here's the list:

Lifesyle - In the movie and book, we see a fast-paced environment that pushes the envelope of many social circles. It allows all characters to throw inhibitions to-the-wind and live for the now. These attractive lifestyles, portrayed by the characters, encourage new everything. From clothes to cars, we see an adaptation throughout the book (and hopefully movie) of all characters to live lavishly. I believe our designs will soon follow. Taking the subtle nuances the film provides, we will be encouraged to shift our focus of music, fashion, and, ultimately, social interactions to mimic this movie and era. Instead of old design tactics where we ride concepts and "see-them-out", we will see a shift of impatient creation.

Men's Fashion - Even though it was mentioned above, I feel it's important to have its own section of this blog. As important as it is today, how we dress will change after the movie hits the entertainment scene. The 1920s were all about tight, colorful suites. This allowed our characters in the movie to stand out. In the trailer alone, Gatsby has 5 different colored suites. With the emphasis to stand out in today's world, especially the working and social categories, our design has to catch up. THIS is just the push we need to take that next step into a fashion change - for men. Sorry women, but I don't think those floppy hats and dresses will ever be back in style.

Conversation - An often overlooked area is the design of our words. Being the most commonly used form, many forget that first impressions, opinions, and chatter determine how the world sees us. Just as all designers hope they can create something that's unique and interesting, people do the same in social circles. With the introduction of social media, we often ramble opinions and events that we determine is "news." After this movie hits, this will stop. How we design our words and other forms of communication will be more controlled and thought-out. You can expect to see a level of sophistication in our communication, partly due to the character interactions in the movie.

To get an idea of the movie and what to expect, do a little research and see how it's effected design already. I found this infographic on the movie (the only one I could find) at Electric.com. It gives you an idea of the times and what to expect when you watch the movie.

Even if you don't agree with my interpretation of its impact on design, still go see the movie. I'm sure it will inspire you to throw a 1920s themed party, go buy a suite, or maybe, just maybe, you might even tweet about it.
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About keithpatterson711one of us since 10:06 AM on 05.06.2013

Freelance blogger and designer. I love all things green.