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Art Deco 101 - What Isn't Art Deco?

What isn't Art Deco? That's one damned interesting question. By following the rules of Art Deco, you should at least get something that feels like Art Deco, but maddeningly, you don't, which is why I spent so much time hammering on the rules, and even with all that hammering, failed to capture Art Deco.

Look at an ordinary window. It follows most of the rules of Art Deco, but nobody would say that it's Art Deco at all. Even changing it to black and gold won't help you. Why? I don't know.

All tires have rims. Why aren't these Art Deco? I don't know. What about grills? I don't know.

The Olympic Rings should be Art Deco. They aren't. Why? I don't know.

Is a compass rose Art Deco, or isn't it? I don't know.

Why isn't a bull's eye Art Deco? I don't know.

When examine why something is Art Deco, it's just as useful, if not more so, to ask why some design isn't. Part of writing this work was to examine this subject, which is why you see discussions that you won't see anywhere else. I am always striving to answer this question better, and every time that I get an answer, using that answer to help you.

Return to: Art Deco 101

Douglas Milewski is a fantasy writer who liked drafting class too much. In his recent artistic struggles to produce art deco for his own covers, he found no internet sites dedicated to the technical underpinnings of the art. Seeing a niche that needed filling, he has documented his hard learned experiences. He doesn't claim that he's right, and would very much appreciate it if someone more competent would save him from his own folly.

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