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This article is part of a series on the Frutiger Family

Frutiger Metro (also known as Flat Frutiger Aero, Vector Metro, or Vector Vomit) is a broad design aesthetic that encompasses the "Frutiger" vector-based graphic designs of the 2000s, utilizing glossy textures, abstract flourishes, humanism, nature, gradient blocks, and bloom elements. It combines flat, minimalist graphics with a maximalist design philosophy, typically catering to a pre-teen/teenage demographic. Frutiger Metro shares a lot of similarities with Frutiger Aero and other aesthetics of the time; unlike Frutiger Aero which has a large focus on detailed glossy 3D designs, Frutiger Metro is flat.

Frutiger Metro's name is derived from it's cousin-aesthetic, "Frutiger" Aero, which it bears a heavy resemblance to; the second part of it's name, "Metro", is named after the Metro design language created by Microsoft which was utilised in Windows 8 (Frutiger Metro's most prominent appearance). This is similar to Frutiger Aero being named after Windows Aero (featured in Windows 7). It was formerly classified as a subgenre of Frutiger Aero, however, Frutiger Metro's increasingly broad nature distinguishes it from Frutiger Aero and establishes it as an aesthetic in its own right.

History[]

Beginnings (c. Early/Mid-2000s)[]

Frutiger Metro's lifespan was from the Mid-2000s (c. 2004) to the Early-2010s (c. 2013, 2015 to an extent), largely popular alongside Frutiger Aero. Frutiger Metro was also popular in the realm of corporate design, as well as internet culture as a whole featuring many variations and sub-aesthetics due to its broadness and widespread appeal.

Prime (c. Mid-2000s/Early-2010s)[]

Frutiger Metro's prime encompasses the Late-2000s, as this was when the Frutiger Family of aesthetics reached their cultural peak. During this time, Frutiger Metro experienced immense popularity alongside Frutiger Aero, being used in numerous faucets of popular culture, everyday life, internet culture, media, and corporations.

Decline (c. 2012-2017)[]

Frutiger Metro's most notable and defining use was in Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system released in 2012. This version of Frutiger Metro contained a slimmed down less detailed version of the aesthetic, which became to be known as Flat Metro. This was during the beginning of the end of the "Frutiger" era and a transition period to design philosophies such as Flat Design, hence the 2D-esque flatter design. Flat Design was fully established by 2017, as well as Corporate Memphis, signifying the end of Frutiger Metro's as well as the Frutiger Family as a whole's mainstream popularity.

Neo-Metro/Aero (2022-present)[]

Since 2022, Frutiger Metro has made a slight comeback via TikTok videos, similar to the Y2K Futurism revival. it is also likely a "Neo-Metro/Aero" movement is currently underway or will be underway in the future. This is an example of the "20 year nostalgia cycle", as Frutiger Metro and Frutiger Aero began triggering mass-nostalgia for people around 18 years after its emergence.

Visuals[]

Frutiger Metro, similar to Frutiger Aero, makes use of glossy textures, "humanism", nature, Skeuomorphism, bokeh, and bright and vibrant colors. Frutiger Metro is dissimilar to Frutiger Aero in its use of bloom elements heavily based around the use of flowers, flourishes, gradient blocks, and occasionally animals; this is similar to Frutiger Aero's naturist and humanist motifs. However Frutiger Metro designs are used on exclusively flat, yet maximalist patterns, contrasting Frutiger Aero's 3D depth filled, glossy designs. These bloom elements are made by using digital graphic tools, which enables designers to manipulate images and forms, creating a more intricate and blooming-like pattern, similar to Vectorbloom. Frutiger Metro also uses shades of color and design elements that are similar to Four Colors (a Frutiger Aero and Superflat Pop subgenre), employing saturated colors to invoke a sense of vibrancy. Splats, speakers, and elements of music are also prevalent elements of Frutiger Metro.

Related Aesthetics & Subgenres[]

Related Aesthetics[]

Frutiger Aero[]

Main article: Frutiger Aero

Frutiger Aero (also known as Web 2.0 Gloss) is a design style and aesthetic that was prevalent in advertising, stock imagery and technology from roughly 2004-2013, following the end of the Y2K Futurism era and overlapping with the McBling, Surf Crush, Frutiger Metro and Electropop 08 aesthetics. It is characterized by its vast use of Skeuomorphism, glossy textures, cloudy skies, tropical fish, water, bubbles, glass, lens flare, sprawling patterns, "humanism", aero glass, bokeh, Frutiger fonts, auroras and bright, vibrant colors (usually greens and blues). Frutiger Aero and Frutiger Metro are very similar and adjacent aesthetics, both incorporating the same themes and being popular around the same time. The main difference between Frutiger Aero and Frutiger Metro, however, is that the former commonly makes use of 3D-depth filled graphic designs, while the latter uses 2D flat vector-based patterns and graphic designs.

Vectorbloom[]

Main article: Vectorbloom

Vectorbloom is a Vectorflourish sub-aesthetic that rose to popularity during the Early-2000s and maintained its popularity into the Early-2010s. It coexisted alongside contemporary aesthetics such as Frutiger Aero and Frutiger Metro, common characteristics including the use of flowers, flourishes, and occasionally animals, on exclusively flat, yet maximalist patterns that contain flat colors and gradients. Vectorbloom takes inspiration from 1960s psychedelic graphic designs and the early styles of Art Nouveau.

Subgenres[]

Vectorgarden[]

Main article: Vectorgarden

Vectorgarden (formerly known as Floral Metro) is a subgenre of Vectorflourish, Frutiger Aero, and Frutiger Metro. It is characterized by minimalist abstract flourish patterns, flowers, auroras, butterflies, bubbles, as well by the heavy use of gradients, transparent, and glossy textures. Vectorgarden was popular between the Mid-2000s and Mid-2010s, sharing a lot of overlap with Frutiger Aero since they share many of their visual motifs such as humanism, nature, auroras, and glossy textures. Frutiger Metro embodies many of these motifs, and also shares one of Vectorgarden's core characteristics of being used in an exclusively flat, maximalist style.

Funky Metro[]

Funky Metro is one of the most common sub-aesthetics of Frutiger Metro. Music and partying are the most defining themes of this sub-aesthetic, musical instruments, speakers, DJ mixers, headphones, microphones, and human silhouettes being prominent characteristics. It also shares a lot of similarities and overlap with Superflat Pop and Four Colors with the use of vivid and vibrant colors.

Rave Metro[]

Rave Metro is an aesthetic that lasted from 2004-2015. It has features elements that can be associated with raves, disco, and rock music. This can include (but isn’t limited to): large speakers, electric guitars, DJ mixers, microphones, headphones, music notes, electric auroras, zebra print, stars, etc. Rave Metro can sometimes overlap with Funky Metro and Grunge Metro, making it like a middle ground between the two. Rave Metro typically tends to lean into the more feminine side, hence why hot pink is such a common motif.

Grungy Metro[]

Grungy Metro focuses on the grungy elements of Frutiger Metro, which are often associated with the Emo, Scene, and UrBling aesthetics. Splats, overlapping vector patterns, and the heavy use of the color black are the the main visual motifs seen in this style.

Musica Metro[]

Musica Metro is an aesthetic that mainly focuses on soft music rather than loud and vibrant elements. It revolves all around music, with it’s most common motifs being music notes and bar-lines. Due to its heavy focus on music and fairly broad visuals, this aesthetic can often overlap with other Frutiger Metro sub-genres such as Funky Metro and Rave Metro, however, Musica Metro is separated from these aesthetics by its heavy use of pastels and much softer visual style, which is a lot closer to the likes of Vectorgarden.

Flat Metro[]

Flat Metro was conceived in the early 2010s, near the end of the "Frutiger" time period; due to this, it bears a heavy resemblance and pioneers elements of Flat Design (the aesthetic that succeeded Frutiger Aero)[1]. It was commonly used in UI/UX designs, pioneered by Microsoft's Metro UI design language from Windows 8/8.1 and early Windows Phones. It is categorized by blocks of flat color, contrasted by monochromatic backgrounds, simple vector-based patterns, and organic or geometric shapes. Frutiger Metro (more specifically Flat Metro) served as a transition from Frutiger Aero to Flat Design during the Early/Mid-2010s.

Media[]

Television/Films[]

  • All Grown Up (2003-2008)
  • A.N.T. Farm (2011-2014)
  • 6teen (2004-2010)
  • Winx Club (2004-2019)
  • Morangos com Açúcar Season 3 (2005)
  • Johnny Test (2005-2014, 2021-present)
  • The Backyardigans (2004-2013)
  • Zoey 101 (2005-2008)
  • Shorty McShorts' Shorts (2006-2007)
  • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! (2006-2010)
  • Happy Monster Band (2007-2008)
  • Sushi Pack (2007-2009)
  • iCarly (2007-2012)
  • More than a Game (2008)
  • Camp Rock (2008)
  • Troo (2008-2009)
  • CN Noods Era (2008-2010)
  • Domo TV (2008)
  • Chop Socky Chooks (2008-2009)
  • The Fresh Beat Band (2009-2013)
  • The Electric Company (2009-2011)
  • Barbie: Thumbelina (2009)
  • CJ the DJ (2009-2010)
  • Team Umizoomi (2010-2015)
  • Monster High (2010-2016)
  • CN CHECK it Era (2010-2016)
  • The Amazing World of Gumball (2010-2019)
  • Lucky Fred (2011-2018)
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012-2016)
  • How to Rock (2012)
  • Barbie: The Princess & The Popstar (2012)
  • Dude, That's My Ghost! (2013)
  • Rabbids Invasion (2013)
  • Julius Jr. (Paul Frank) (2013)
  • Hanazuki: Full of Treasures (2017-2019)
  • Violetta (2012-2015)
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil (2010)

Anime[]

  • Hetalia (2006-2022)
  • Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (2010)
  • Gatchaman Crowds (2013-2015)
  • Pop Team Epic (2018-2022)
  • Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga (OP) (2020)

Video Games[]

  • All Points Bulletin (2010)
  • Barbiegirls.com (2007-2011)
  • Beaterator (2009)
  • Beats (2007)
  • Block Breaker series (2002-2012)
  • Cytus (2012)
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (2010)
  • de BLOB (2008-2011)
  • DJ Hero 2 (2010)
  • dj star (2009)
  • Everythinggirl.com
  • Feel the Magic: XY/XX (2004/2005)
  • Friday Night Funkin (2020-2021)
  • Fruit Ninja (2010)
  • Hohokum (2014)
  • Jet Set Radio (2000)
  • Just Dance series (2009-present)
  • Katamari series (2004-present)
  • LittleBigPlanet series (2008-2014)
  • LocoRoco (2006)
  • Lumines (2004-2018)
  • Mario Kart 8 (2014-2023)
  • ModNation Racers (2010)
  • Moshi Monsters (2008-2019)
  • Motorstorm: Arctic Edge (2009)
  • Movie Star Planet (2009)
  • My Candy Love (2012-2021)
  • Need for Speed ProStreet (2007)
  • Need for Speed Shift (2009) (PSP Version)
  • No Straight Roads (2020)
  • Patapon (2007)
  • Persona series (2006-2008 and 2024)
  • Pixeljunk Eden (2008)
  • Rayman series (2008-2019)
  • SingStar series (2004-2017)
  • Skate Park City (2008)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll (2010)
  • Sonic Generations (2011)
  • Superbeat Xonic (2015)
  • The World Ends With You (2007)
  • Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (2005)
  • Wario: Master of Disguise (2007)
  • Zubo (2008)

Music[]

Technology[]

  • Microsoft Xbox 360 S & Xbox 360 E (2010-2013)
  • Microsoft Windows 8 (2012)
  • iPod Touch (2008-2010)
  • Android Jellybean 4.2 (2012)
  • Android KitKat (2013)
  • Barbiegirls mp3 players (2007-2010)

Artists[]

  • nohluhn on Instagram
  • ReaperXXIV on DeviantArt
  • Osamu Sato
  • kalvindesign on DeviantArt
  • Beatriz Milhazes

Toys[]

  • Polly Pocket (1985-Present)
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2005-Present)
  • iZ (2005)
  • iDog (2005-2009)
  • Kawaii Crush (2013-2015)
  • Novi Stars (2012-2014)
  • Barbie lines including Fashion Fever, Early Fashionistas, Mini B, ect.
  • MyMeebas
  • Pop Soft Plush
  • Harumika

Gallery (miscellaneous)[]

Videos[]

References[]

  1. Continuation (or, renaissance): Glassmorphism; by 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluent_Design_System, while started in 2013 with the release of iOs 7
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