What’s With the Current B2B Startup Art Style?

Austin Meyer
Aug 14, 2020 · 3 min read
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UGH.

The first time I saw it, I thought, “Huh. Kind of interesting, I guess.”

And then I saw it again. And again. Did the B2B gods get together and mandate this art style? Why would they do this?

Every time I see this artistic monstrosity, I feel a tiny burst of blood-curdling rage.

Let’s break this down. There must be a reason so many companies are rustling my jimmies.

  • The characters are doing something. The activity shows how much more productive you’ll be while using the product. This makes sense, and I don’t hate the concept. But often, the characters aren’t actually doing anything productive. Look at this guy below. What is he doing? Playing with blocks? That tower isn’t even going to stand up; you can’t balance a triangle on a circle.
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It’s going to fall over, dummy.
  • It looks like a child drew it. “Hey, look! We’re approachable and fun! Anyone can use this product, even a kiddo!” You’re trying too hard, dude. I’m not looking for a playful MVP. If I’m going to give you my money, I want your product to be clean, tight, and well thought-out. Shouldn’t your art look as nice as the product itself?
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This is not fun for me.
  • The heads are way too small, and the bodies are way too big. I’m baffled on this one. Are they trying to say you don’t have to think to use the product? Is that even a good thing?
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Please stop. Please.

I have good news. Intercom, one of the first offenders to use the style, has removed all the caricatures from their site. I’m hoping the trend now is to trash the faux-third-grader drawings and make sites that actually look nice.

If you’re considering adding art to your website, pause. Please look at the sizes of the characters’ heads and think about how angry a curmudgeon like me is going to get. And then do whatever you want, it’s your site.

Just know that I’ll be sitting here with a disgusted look on my normal-sized head.

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