Brian Lam at the Gizmodo gadget Web site has an interesting rant today about plastic products that are painted silver.
If there's one thing that makes me vomit in my mouth, it's plastic gadgets painted silver. It's not the plastic. I like plastic fine. And painting with other colors, that's ok, too. It's just that the overriding reason for painting a plastic device silver is to make it look like metal. It's stupid! And it needs to stop as surely as wooden panels on station wagons needed to stop 30 years ago and why tofurky is a totally unacceptable replacement for either turkey or tofu.He blames the trend on cellphone designers, noting that now the cheapest devices on the market are made of silver-painted plastic, and the best are made of real metal.
Yes, the methods of turning a hunk of plastic into a shiny thing is getting better, so these piece-o-craps look better than ever close up. But contextually, they're not fooling anyone with half a brain. Everyone, everyone, EVERYONE knows that when they see a huge silver TV, even from 30 feet away, it's probably not made of metal but rather coated with Pantone 877c. And that overly curvy designs are likely plastic sprayed with paint. And mainstream gadgets, like PSPs and DVD players made in China, well, those things are too chintzy to ever get the full metal treatment. They're not worth their weight in metal.Interesting point. Designers want to make stuff that sells, of course. But painting plastic to make it look like metal does seem to miss taking advantage of the unique qualities of the plastic. What do you think -- is the silver-painted plastic trend on its last legs?