Color gradients were one of the earliest computer design tools in programs like PowerPoint and Paint, offering amateurs an opportunity to channel their inner Albers. Now, Jiwoong Jung—a young Seoul-based industrial designer—has applied gradients as a clever time-telling tool in a watch concept called Hidden Time.
The spartan design features numerals printed onto the glass face. In lieu of an hour hand, a gradient slowly cycles around to denote the time, gradually becoming darker from one o’clock to twelve o’clock. It’s a simple yet utterly elegant way to keep on schedule.
Gradients have had an enduring allure in product design: Spotify used one as part of its identity refresh last year, Sonos launched a limited-edition speaker that sported the motif, and the wallpaper company Calico made 16 different gradients to spruce up your living room. (Some results, like a frustrating-as-all-hell gradient a puzzle graphic, have been less successful.)
While Hidden Time is still a concept at this point, we’ll keep you updated if it makes it into production.