Apple’s WWDC Artwork Has Creatives Wondering If It’s Departing From Flat Design

Image via Apple Newsroom

This week, Apple announced that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held in June at San Jose. The event aims to introduce guests to Apple’s newest OS features and updates.

The teaser artwork for 2018’s conference features an all-white getup with glossy, elevated elements—a refreshing change from the flatter aesthetics of the years before.

The surprising 3D look has left creatives guessing if Apple is finally moving on from flat design, a theme that has stuck since iOS 7.

“Hopefully, it marks the start of a UI refresh for Apple’s software!” tweeted graphic design studio Brio Media.

Twitter user Koby Lementino mused, “A lot of rumors circulating around the design of the WWDC wallpaper design from Apple. Maybe a new design in iOS 12? Hope so!”

It’s better to take the promotional artwork with a pinch of salt, though. Designs from past years were not accurate depictions of what Apple eventually brought to iOS or MacOS.

If anything, the 3D look could be a hint that Apple is diving deeper into AR. Designers have also speculated that the company might be creating a universal design language system for iOS and MacOS, which corroborates with a rumor that surfaced three months ago.

Check out some responses from the creative community. Do you think Apple’s campaign implies at a massive UI redesign?

This animation for Apple’s #WWDC is super nice! Take a bow the design team at Apple who worked on that. Hopefully, it marks the start of a UI refresh for Apple’s software!

— Brio Media (@briomedia) March 14, 2018

Every frame of that WWDC video is 🔥, props to everyone involved! Really hope to see some of that propagating into iOS design 🤞

— Sash Zats (@zats) March 14, 2018

You can’t read too much into Apple’s WWDC announcement design, but I’ve been right before. This clearly seems to say that they’re bringing depth back to user interfaces.

— Mike (@mikbre) March 14, 2018

This year’s WWDC Tea Leaf Reading:

The 3d forms = a large AR push

UI elements = a significant design change to iOS

Anything I’m missing?

— Timothy Buck (@TimothyBuckSF) March 13, 2018

Man, the graphic design is strong with this year’s invite. Fingers crossed that the OS refinements are strong too #WWDC

— Karthik (@ksubs1) March 13, 2018

Stop playing with my emotions Apple.

— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) March 13, 2018

does this mean flat design is over now

— George Kedenburg III (@GK3) March 13, 2018

The @Apple WWDC 18 logo embodies the design trend of white on white objects with elevation. I think this signifies the beginning of the end.

— AJ Kueterman (@ajkueterman) March 13, 2018

A lot of rumors circulating around the design of the WWDC wallpaper design from Apple. Maybe a new design in iOS 12? Hope so!

— Koby (@KobyLementino) March 14, 2018

I dunno though – that WWDC poster design … the team may not know what’s being announced but I’ll bet they’re at least given some keywords to design around. Like “shiny new UI elements, maybe a little 3D too”. 🤫

— Joshua Nozzi 🇺🇸👬👨🏻💻 (@JoshuaNozzi) March 14, 2018

The WWDC illustrations have almost never correlated to what the actual announcements are, so I’m not seriously getting my hopes up here. All current rumours point to iOS 12 being a ‘boring’ release design-wise.

— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) March 13, 2018

3) If you think this promo asset (and the accompanying WWDC animations, print materials, etc) indicate a return to skeumorphism in design, I doubt it. While Apple could probably get good use out of a Material Design-like realignment, they’re not going back to leather and wood.

— Jason Stoff ☕️ (@jstoff) March 14, 2018

It’s purely speculation from the WWDC promo art. But like press-event invitations, the WWDC promo art doesn’t correlate strongly to the actual content or major themes.

People think it’s always a big hint, but it’s often not.

— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) March 14, 2018

[via Twitter, cover image via Apple Newsroom]

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