John Maeda’s book Simplicity arrived the other day. It’s small, so I sat down to read it over breakfast. I hit a brick wall here, on page i (not page one, page eye, in the preface, I guess):
My early computer art experiments led to the dynamic graphics common on websites today. You know what I’m talking about â€” all that stuff flying around on the computer screen while you’re trying to concentrate â€” that’s me. I am partially to blame for the unrelenting stream of “eye candy” littering the information landscape. I am sorry, and for a long while I have wished to do something about it.
Is he really taking credit for having created web graphics? Oy vey. Only a designer unable to adjust their ego would make such a remark. Boy. I took a short-term gig at Agency.com around 1996. One thing they used to assert in their pitches is that they invented animated graphics on web sites through server-push. I immediately sputter and choke anytime anyone says they were the first at anything. Even if they could prove such through a patent paper trail or a dated notebook, the conceit of being the extra special “one” makes me reach for an antacid.
I’m selling my copy on Amazon if anyone’s interested.