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设计是圆的吗?

+$Let's get this straight from the start: we don't have anything against circles as such. They're definitely one of the best shapes. But haven't you ever felt that sometimes designers go just a little too far with the circles? They seem to popping up everywhere these days, in everything from illustration to标志设计

+$There's something irresistible about a perfect circle, and humans have been fixated on this shape for a very long time; unsurprising really, considering that every 28 days there's a brilliant example of one up in the night sky. So it's only natural that the circle has been a feature in artwork for as long as humans have felt the urge to make markings on flat surfaces.

Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

+$If circles are good enough for da Vinci...  Image:+$Luc Viatour

+$Sometimes, though, the humble circle feels just a little overused, if not abused. What got us thinking about circles was this Instagram post that turned up on Reddit:

+$It's a lovely little piece of art, good use of负空间+$, and composed entirely using circles; it's a bit of a running theme within creator Goran Jugovic's Instagram feed. However when the image+$turned up on Reddit+$it attracted a fair few negative responses:

Reddit posts

+$Nice round saucer of milk for table two, please

+$There are some good points raised here; you can't escape the fact that circles are a basic element of design, but sometimes people can take them a little too far. Circles, and other elements such as the黄金比例+$, are a pretty easy design fundamental to grasp; we've all seen examples of the time that the+$CEO decided to design+$, or at least help out with, the logo, and just ran like hell with the few basic design rules that they thought they understood, right?

Uber logo

+$When the CEO decides to help with the logo (+$Uber has since seen the error of its ways and rebranded

+$And often designers will abuse the humble circle to make a design look just that little more impressive to civilians, explaining their latest designs by superimposing a bunch of circles – and maybe a few parallel lines for good measure – on one page of the PowerPoint deck at presentation time.

+$The Twitter logo, we're told, is+$constructed Using 13 Circles+$, which may or may not be strictly true. Does this really matter, though? Being constructed that way doesn't make the logo any better or worse; at most it makes for a good pub fact, and it also inspired another designer to create+$a set of similarly circular animal designs

Twitter logo

+$There's a joke waiting to be made here about circles of Hell

+$And it's often claimed that the iconic Apple logo was designed along the same sort of lines, using circles and the good old golden ratio. This seems to be more of an urban myth, though. DesignerRob Janoff+$based his work on actual apples; he sliced them into cross sections and built his designs around the curves supplied by nature.

Apple logo

+$Nice theory, but the Apple logo's not quite that complex

+$Basically any design that features curves can be reinterpreted as a demonstration of some fundamental circular design truth in action, but it often just turns out to be wishful thinking on the part of the observer; just as we're genetically programmed to see faces in random patterns, we're similarly inclined to mentally break complex shapes down into a collection of primitives.

+$There's no escaping the circle, but sometimes it can feel like too many creators have focused a little too hard on it as the be all and end all of design, rather than a useful part of the larger design toolset. So go ahead and use it when appropriate, but remember: other shapes – and design rules – are available.

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