Is skeuomorph the correct word for this situation: I am writing a program which, given a picture of an old internet browser (Mosaic for example), creates a basic yet fully functional internet browser, using the picture as a skin, by overlaying a few native GUI controls over the picture. My goal is to make this object (a modern browser) look old - because I'm a bit nostalgic sometimes.

The ELU website in the 90's renderedin Webview

  • Yes technically correct but few people would know what it meant without wikipedia.
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 23:25

3 Answers 3


In the technical sense that you describe, I believe skeuomorphism or skeuomorphic design is the correct terminology. A couple other more industry-neutral words include facade or overlay - for example:

"an 80's retro-facade"

"a Mosaic overlay"

An example of skeuomorphic design would be this Apple bookcase resembling an actual 3-D wooden bookcase:

ibooks library depicted using skeuomorphic design to look like a real wooden bookcase


In architecture and other arts, this is called a pastiche.


It depends what your audience is. The general public would probably prefer something easier on the ear. Perhaps something based on "retro" or "old-school". In search of your branding I suggest concentrating on what it provides, instead of thinking about semantics.

  • It's for an article about metaprogramming. I think the audience consists of programmers.
    – alecail
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 22:26
  • 2
    Samsung Galaxy 7?
    – user21497
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 22:59
  • @Antoine -- then Kristina answer, skeuomorphism, is defintely the right one. Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 3:32

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