Computer glitches as a visual style


Minnesota Twins | The Underestimated from Los York on Vimeo.

This was primarily me noticing a trend in designing happening at the moment, this glitchy, broken computer effect. I’ve seen this used in the Minnesota Twins branding for the 2021 season, on collectors cards within the NBA 2k1 video game and through a variety of design plugins that rough up designs (through photocopy, bleeds, distortion, etc). I thought it was interesting how the Minnesota Twins were spinning the style as “bringing nostalgia of 8-bit games to a modern digital world”. Visually it has an impact, especially in how the Twins pair it with a gritty soundtrack and use the style in a rugged manner to get people excited, but at times to me it looks simply like someone dropped their computer and needs a new monitor. It almost seems like the design pendulum is swinging away from the 2010 aesthetic of flat, minimal design back to the 2000’s where layers, textures and drop shadows were the norm to make visuals seem more lived in and less polished.”

– Jonathan Schmitt, Associate Visual Director

It’s a visual trend that’s jumped to TikTok over the last several months as well. Earlier this summer, 17-year-old Vanessa Clark, known as the Glitch Queen, popularized glitching as a dance trend on the platform. The style hinges on making subtle movements that make dancers look like they’re malfunctioning, but on beat to the music. What’s now a trend seems eerily familiar to those who grew up in the early ages of the world wide web. (The music used in accordance with this trend also takes us back a couple decades — to Missy Elliot circa 2001.)

– Raina Bradford-Jennings, Content Marketing Manager