April 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
003 – “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~John Muir, 1913
EARTH DAY ::
With the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day being celebrated this week, I lucked upon this great post showcasing a handful of the EARTH DAY POSTERS: 40 YEARS OF ART INSPIRING CHANGE.
My personal favorite was created in 2009 by TRAVIS MORGAN which lead me to Morgan’s online portfolio also showcasing some other amazing Earth Day designs that he designed in 2009. Each highlight a powerful message with strong, willful colors and textures. (via @MORGANTJ)
And, then I came across the perfect message at an elementary school that made me literally stop in my tracks. The creativity lies in the innocent, accurate and inspirational words.
“This is my dream. My dream is to clean the world. Because it will get sticky. We will have to go to a different planet. My friend will help me because I’ll help him.”
Clifford just might change the world.
DESIGN INSPIRATION ::
I stumbled across this sweet little slideshow showcasing THE 20 BEST GRAPHIC ARTISTS UNDER 30, SELECTED BY PRINT MAGAZINE. But, to be honest though, the overall post generally confuses me since I only see the top ten listed. But, maybe that’s just me being finicky… all ten of them are outstanding!
My fav’s leaning towards Italian artist JONATHAN CALUGI. Being a Web Designer, I instantly think of a flow-chart with his featured design here – wanting to find the end and/or the source. Instinct tells me it’s the man in the middle wearing specks. On his way to the factory, he walks past the ocean, stops at his girlfriend’s apartment and gets caught in the rain. People were gossiping about paperclips so he decides to hitch a ride out of town in a hot air balloon. Which road did you take?
Calugi’s art is filled with geometric and brilliant abstracts. The only difference is that his abstracts tell an understandable story. There is so much going on in each design but because of the clean and simplistic lines, each stroke is one that is not only needed but one of genius.
To see all of Calugi’s art, just pack up your bags and go to HAPPY LOVERS TOWN.
On a side note: I did post the Top 20 vs Top 10 question on Twitter with attention to @FASTCOMPANY but didn’t get a response. So, I can offer no insight for you on that one… so sad.
Apple Software Engineer, Gray Powell was out celebrating his 27th birthday at a German beer garden in Redwood City, California. Powell was jovial and without a care in the world. Unfortunately, he wasn’t so happy the next day – because he realized he lost his iPhone. The very same next-generation, incredibly secret iPhone that was in his drunk possession.
There are more juicy details available here and then a follow-up story here — but, with all of Powell’s misfortune in sight, I came across this wonderful letter from Lufthansa that I hope dearly is not only true but also materialized… because, if it is, it’s oh-so-clever marketing design!
But, I do want to take a minute to point out that I didn’t get nearly such a sweet offer when my precious iPhone was misplaced forever as I trampsed all over the city taking photos of my nephew’s Flat Stanley. I’m just sayin’… I like German beer too.
Anyhoo… I do hope that the day after Powell’s 28th birthday proves to be a better day.
FREEBIE DOWNLOADS ::
WWW.WEBEXPEDITION18.COM is offering 17 FREE VINTAGE SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS FOR BLOGGERS for personal and commercial use. Each icon is provided in two sizes, in PNG format, and with transparent backgrounds. (via @colaja)
Beauts, I tell you. And they’re all free. So, they’re beauty beauts.
Have a great week…
April 17, 2010 § Leave a comment
002 – This week, I came across some great contests to dip your creativity into…along with some very inspirational sites and posts.
CREATIVE CONTESTS ::
A few sites are showcasing some amazing contests that also benefit amazingly worthwhile causes. Yeah – I meant to write ‘amazing’ twice. That’s how amazing they are…
The Haiti Poster Project is a collaboration of artists and designers from around the world, benefitting victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
“The Haiti Poster Project was launched three days after the January 12th, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The project is a collaborative effort by the design community to help effect change through our work. Signed and numbered, limited edition posters have been donated by designers and artists from around the world. All money raised will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.”
Check over all the CALL FOR ENTRIES details to ensure you know all the rules.
(highlighted poster design by Shauna Mae Luedtke; Calgary CA)
Deadline: May 1, 2010
Enter Shutterstock’s 2010 Photo Safari Contest with your most amazing travel photo & you could win a 6-night African Photo Safari.
Check out all the official rules because that ain’t a bad contest at all! (via @shutterstock)
Deadline: May 12, 2010
Submit a photo of the coolest, most beautiful and/or amazing place you’ve visited and tell why it’s worth preserving – and you could win a NEW Apple iPad!
Oh yeah… I said it. iPad, Baby.
(highlighted photo entry by Jennifer Wilke; San Francisco, CA) (via @greenwala)
Deadline: May 28, 2010
DESIGN INSPIRATION ::
Check out these fantastic pieces of Comic Book Inspired Artwork: Wonder Woman.
After seeing these illustrations, it’s hard not hard to imagine Lucy Lawless in the upcoming flick (due in 2011) but it’s especially fascinating to see the different styles and representations of Wonder Woman – not only here in designrfix’s post but since her debut in 1941.
The woman is always portrayed as both strong and sexual – sporting her little corset. A force to be reckoned with – or avoided – or admired from afar.
The mediums used range here from digital to marker comps. (via @designrfix)
Since we’re talking ‘SUPERHEROES’, (I know – it’s a stretch but what a great segue!) and for the love of my son, I present a pop-culture icon and 25 Awesome Illustrations Inspired by Super Mario. Of course, Mario would be no one without his baby brother, Luigi – so he’s in there too.
While, obviously, Nintendo has done a grand job marketing the two, take a gander at these illustrations showing Mario in a whole new light. The art, style and illustrative-ease are gorgeous in some of these – even if Mario himself is not. (Nothing personal, Mario)
I especially love the simplicity of Mario styled with the different mustaches by Mike Stefanini. He (or anyone) could be a rather sexy man if workin’ that Gable ‘stashe just right. But, then again, I might say the same for the artist’s neighbor. (via @richbugger)
When I was working my nifty research skills – and clicking and reading (and clicking some more) for the Mario post, I came across the artist of the mustaches: Mike Stefanini ~ and WOW ~ talk about some beautiful art! Between his mad skill set and vision – this guy is awesome and inspirational.
Stefanini’s style is a combination of retro, modern, grunge, and fantasy. I don’t mean to necessarily say that each design differs in these various styles – but that each holds all of these styles. Not an easy task and one that Stefanini hits dead-on.
Mike Stefanini on the Behance Network
The Neighborhoods Issue Cover Project is a gorgeous collaboration between GOOD and Society 6. They teamed up to promote four different artists, creating four different covers for the upcoming “The Neighborhoods Issue”.
“the idea was to represent in simple fashion the diversity and distinctive aspects of different neighborhoods around the globe.”
The illustrations are electric and refreshing. I’m particularly a fan of New York’s cover – centaur and all.
But here’s my gripe… if one is claiming to give recognition to four different artists “around the globe”, then one should look at the globe and take note: there are more than two countries out there. Spread the love.
The design and illustration work of Jesse Kuhn is whimsical with a strange morbid twist. I love it!
For whatever reason, it reminds me of Willy Wonka. Or, at least, in my mind of what Willy’s Chocolate Factory really looked like.
I think that’s the chocolate river we see flowing on by. Where’s my straw?
If you fall madly in love with Kuhn’s art, you can also follow the collective of visual ramblings, points of interest, and byproducts of Jesse Kuhn’s noggin“.
MakeUseOf.com is a “booming daily blog that features cool websites, computer tips, and downloads that make you more productive.”
Their aim is simple… guide and tell you about the hot site you may have never heard of; free alternatives to programs; and all kinds of how-to’s. To make this whole thing even easier for you, MakeUseOf.com just launched an iPhone app on April 13 too.
Also gearing up for Earth Day, MakeUseOf.com wrote a worthwhile and incredible helpful article on How To Calculate Your Ecological Footprint Before The Earth Day.
In their post, they offer a few different sites that help you calculate your own carbon footprint. Through Q&A based on your current lifestyle, your personal imprint can be measured where you can find out approximately how much of the Earth’s resources you we use through your day-to-day activities.
Here are the direct links to the sites where you can calculate your footprint:
* My Footprint
* Zerofootprint (Kids Calculator)
* World Wildlife Fund’s Footprint Calculator
* Earth Day Network Footprint Calculator
Earth Day is on April 22nd… “So, have you checked out an ecological calculator lately?”
I’m getting a little obsessed with Foursquare. I’m not talking Twitter-obsessed but it has potential. I want a badge – even though I have no idea what I’d do with my make-believe medal. If I got a real one in the mail – I’d be checking-in a lot more often. But, regardless, I want a badge.
I listed Foursquare here in my All-Things-Design blog because of their user-friendly design interface within the app. It’s concise, easy to navigate, and not so bad on the eye. I’m not saying it’s stunning beautiful but it’s certainly obvious that it hits all the marks that it’s aiming for.
Which means, they’re doing something right.
When I’m sitting in a little corner café, eating my lox bagel and feel the need to spread the word of my exact geographic coordinates – to the whole world, mind you – well, they’re doing something right. And, that’s creative in itself.
Plus, on April 13th, it was announced that History Channel Launches Foursquare Campaign and a New Badge. When users check in at various U.S. locations, they can also get a mini-history lesson.
“For example, users in New York who check in to St. Paul’s Chapel will discover George Washington worshipped there on his Inauguration in 1789, and users in Los Angeles who check in at the Cinerama Dome will find out it opened in 1963 with the premiere of ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’ and that it’s the world’s only concrete geodesic dome.”
And, word on the street has it that users will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes with ten random users selected to win prizes each week from April 25 through June 6.
I’m getting there… as of this post, I’m the proud winner of two badges! Oh, so shiny.
Here’s a post by another photography-lover and is a wonderful collection of breathtaking photographs that inspire… 40 Awesome National Geographic (Editor-Picked) User-Submitted Photos
These kind of photos are the perfect example of my growing love and affection for the art… and my “need” for my own skill to flourish. (via @designbeep)
What a wonderful way to pull all of our lives together with the same goal.
“Some of you out there may be thinking: my life is boring or I do the same thing everyday or what story do I have to tell? As with many of the projects I have created, the documentation process is just as (and maybe more) important than the creative process of actually putting the album together. Most likely you will learn something about yourself over the course of this project. I learn something new every time.”
This year, her project is from April 19th-25th and she’s pulled together the basics for documenting (including preparation tasks, photo ideas, note-taking advice) to set everyone on the right/same track. She’s taken the time to organize our organization. I like that!
It’s important to remember that it’s not about scrapbooking. It’s about documenting a time in your life in the true light of your day and night. Take advantage of that and check out the results of this project in the past. (via @aliedwards)
Funch captured dozen of pedestrians sharing the same actions/visuals (on the phone; wearing white; smoking – you get the idea) and edited them into one single image. Basically, he staked out a corner and snapped pics of people passing by – always from the same spot. The concept is ingenious and the outcome is so very cleaver.
My fav is “Memory Lane” in Times Sqaure.
Color Scheme Designer is a wonderful and helpful site that breaks down the nitty-gritty for exact colors that match in one way or another.
Through clicking and playing, you can adjust the Hues and Scheme (Saturation & Brightness; Contrast; Variants)… creating color schemes that are not only coordinated but the site also passes you the beautiful HEX codes. Yeah –that’s right. They’re beautiful.
Color Scheme Designer (CSD) also throws you light/dark page examples and Vision Simulation. Covers all the palettes, so to speak.
The color schemes availability:
Monochromatic : Based on a single color tint, and uses only variations made by changing its saturation and brightness.
Complementary (contrast) : The primary color is supplemented with its color on the opposite side of the wheel. One warm and one cold color are always created.
Triad (soft contrast) : The primary color is supplemented with two colors, placed identically on both sides of its complement.
Tetrad (double-contrast) : This scheme is made by a pair of colors and their complements. It’s based on the Tetrade – the foursome of colors evenly distributed on the color wheel (by 90 degrees).
Analogic : This scheme is made by the primary color and its adjacent colors – two colors identically on both sides.
Accented Analogic : This is the Analogic model with complementary (contrast) color added.
If you click the upper HELP > SHOW TOOLTIPS, you’ll find lots of clever hints, recommendations and tips via mouse-overs.
Truly, this site is magic and a must-save for designers.
Oh Darn… since the latest 3.1 release, MSIE 6 is no longer supported (she says with the oh-gosh-darn-snap-of-her-fingers).
Have a great week…
April 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
001 – This week opened with both the celebration of Easter and a big day in Geek History. Think outdoors, one high tech gadget that is getting its 80 minutes of fame, sugary goodness, and a gear up for Earth Day.
PHOTOGRAPHY : :
I’ll start my first blog issue on a personal level. The past few months had me focusing on photography and all of its goodness – from composition to lighting. Previously, I completely relied on ‘auto’ but, now, I’ve joined a photo group and am experimenting. It’s completely a learning curve and I will (no doubt) be asking (aka: begging) for your opinions and advice on my own photos. But, until then, you get my lovely perspective on the fine art of photography.
On a basic level, my love for the skill is for the realistic feelings a photo can conjure up. Yes, that can be true for all other types of art – but photography has the added appeal of being real. A photo of a child laughing is really a child laughing. A photo of a child crying is really a child crying. Any feelings of peace, anger, joy, sadness, or even hope are all real because, well, they’re real. I find that if you truly think about a feeling (or two) a photo passes to you when you view it, you’ll find your passions. Perhaps passions worthy of fighting for. (photo by Jörg Lehmann)
Some of my passions:
The finalists for the THE PIONEER WOMAN’S “GREEN PHOTO CONTEST” and the winner is… by ‘Roxley’ (via @THEPIONEERWOMAN) The boy’s eyes are stunning against the subtle green background. He looks both at peace and knowing.Or, he just wants one of the Peeps below.
“FLOWER” is the most commonly searched for word on Shutterstock. Personal Favs: by Hal_P, Elena Yakusheva and Ashley Whitworth (who is she waiting for?)
I love the beautiful continuity of this SPIRAL GALLERY.Not a new concept but every time I see a never-ending circle of motion, I just keep staring at it. Am I looking for the end? What would the echo sound like? Do I want to see if I can fly?
EDIBLE ART ::
(or sites that make you want to eat)
A great NYTimes.com article: FIRST CAMERA, THEN FORK was posted about the obsession people have with taking food pics before they take a bite. Admittedly, I don’t take snaps of the dishes in front of me, but perhaps I should, if for nothing else, to bring in those fans from Ecuador.
Case in point, JAVIER GARCIA (a 28-year-old neuroscientist in Southern California) has blogged nearly 9,000 PHOTOS OF ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING HE HAS EATEN. Bon appetit, Javi!
And, as for that “sugary goodness” I mentioned… MARSHMALLOW PEEPS + SUSHI = PEEPSHI ::
Just to put it out there: I do love sushi and a fluorescent peep or two but I’m not so sure of this combo. Good thing these creations only look like sushi and the ingredients are actually Peeps, Rice Krispies, and Fruit by the Foot. Sugar on a plate. Beautiful sugar.
EASTER DESIGNS : :
With Easter starting the week, there have been many Wallpapers and Textures created. I do confess that I didn’t download any because 1) I don’t like a busy desktop taking over or seeping into my sub-conscience while designing something else and 2) if I did add one, it wouldn’t be a cheery bunny or colorful eggs. I’m too dark and jaded for that. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a nice design though (and you can see by the image I chose here what I mean about ‘no cute bunnies’ for me).
‘Smashing Magazine’ offered 80 free wallpapers created by designers across the globe – with versions of each design with or without calendars included. Word on the street is that SMASHING MAGAZINE’S OFFERING THIS WALLPAPER “CONTEST” ON A REGUALR BASIS.
My fav is designed by: WOUTER SIOEN from Belgium – but I’m not sure which I like better: the design or the message.
“Everyone sometimes needs some change in life. Maybe April will be the right time for your revolution”
GRAFFITI ART : :
I realize that Graffiti Art probably won’t be featured in any spring catalog next to a budding tulip but it’s completely worth mentioning anyway. I have a growing love and appreciation for it and find it inspirational.
Think about it – Urban Art uses such a strong blending of styles, brush strokes, colors, the outdoor elements and, of course, the message itself. If done in the true original spirit, I suppose all graffiti should also be created in the dead of night with one ear alert for sirens.
Star Wars Stencil Graffiti (via @bitrebels)
Personal Fav: Han Solo (stencil and Lego) I’m not sure if I like this one so much because of the stencil or the Lego or the combo – but the angle is the finishing touch that makes it work.
I can’t read the description in the site but this is really beautiful art…
60 REMARKABLE EXAMPLES OF GRAFFITI ART
Personal Fav: by ENDRAUM The vibrancy of this display is simply awe-smaking. Bet there are a few wrecks when passing by this building.
This is a wall stencil I came across last week in Palo Alto, CA, next to a Starbucks (go figure).
The white cranes are striking against the orange background. One extra love of the design is credited to the keybox. I love that you can find and learn each foliage (I think I said that right). Due to the signature on the wall, I was able to track down the artist (also in Palo Alto)… Bille et Plume
TUTORIALS : :
CREATIVELIVE : A wonderful and free (even more wonderful!) resource was announced on April 7th. The announcement (made by @CHASEJARVIS) and was fun and personal in itself – live from a hotel hallway – with a service cart passing in the background.
With all of their online classes offered free for live viewing (only pay for downloads and saves) there are some beauties to choose from – CS5 programs, digital photography, and HTML to name a few. This is truly a great idea and opportunity that encourages education and self-improvement from some brilliant minds in the industry. (via @CREATIVETECHS)
GRID LAYOUTS : I love love love a SOLID GRID LAYOUT. They’re not only easy-to-read but crisp and clean to boot. Everything in its pretty place. Sans clutter. Like a convenient cubbie for crayons, rounded scissors and my afternoon snack. Okay – I may have some OCD.
Right now, the ‘960 Grid System’ is the talk of the town. Obviously not the solution for every site out there but has been highly recommended for web, mobile, and even a great CV layout.
THE DESIGN GRID (via @THEDESIGNGRID) is a great resource to keep handy and also explains it best:
“…the grid system focuses on grid design essentials for flexible, coherent and stable design development…”
And – two more great resources:
TUTORIALS AND INSPIRATION TO UNLEASH THE 960 GRID SYSTEM (via @CREATIVE_FAN)
I’m a big crazy believer in clean code and doing it yourself. As a perfect example, I first created this blog with the availabilities of this site – but when I looked at the code, I couldn’t stand the incredible mess it developed. Unreadable with tons of extra unnecessary code. So, I deleted it all, started over under this url.
To help ease the process (from one designer who can code to another), save this handy lit’l tutorial in the directory that you refer to often and easily. Its aid with both grid and non-grid layouts are the AMAZING CSS3 TECHNIQUES YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
WEB SITES : :
Each week, I’ll add a few sites that I just discovered… a lovely little list of web inspiration that I stumbled across (either literally or figuratively) and fell madly in lust for. I’m sure (or not sure) the content is worthy of it’s own attention but my admiration is purely for the design and layout itself.
Taste the never-ending Skittle rainbow. It’s design is wonderfully simplistic, fascinatingly weird, addictively colorful, deliciously yummy, and it never ends! Just trace the vein, bro. (via @SKITTLES)
BOUNTY BEV is a wonderfully simplistic design – taking advantage of basic curiousity, sans high-tech abilities. I found I just wanted to see where the road led to and read in the process. Plus, I imagine that brew is pretty damn tasty.The structure is easy to navigate, the site is informative and the design fun & light-hearted… It’s the road to a good pour (via @BOUNTYBEV)
The ALANNAH HILL Secret Garden is so over-the-top and has no real reason to have such overkill – but, damn, it’s beautiful!The site has gorgeous vintage softness and weird image placements. Why there’s a flamingo, camel and ballerina in the Contact page is beyond me but I love it – especially the flamingo’s reflection.If any confusion grows with where to wander off to, just trust the gnome.
Lastly – DIESEL’S AD CAMPAIGN is one that I fell madly in love with; want to adopt, pet and feed Twinkies to. Diesel is both inspirational and goofy. The slogans are bold, risqué and make you think. Basically, it’s perfect and Diesel is stupid.I’M WITH STUPID TOO.
SMART MAY HAVE THE BRAINS, STUPID HAS THE BALLS. SMART CRITIQUES. STUPID CREATES. SMART MAY HAVE THE PLANS, BUT STUPID HAS THE STORIES. SMART HAD ONE GOOD IDEA AND THAT IDEA WAS STUPID. THE STUPID, YOU SEE, KNOW THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAN FAILURE – LIKE NOT EVEN TRYING.
DESIGN INSPIRATION : :
This CALLIGRAPHY SET IN IMGFAV is “Awwwwwwww…”
“Hang in there dear. Things will get better soon.”
And, now I want a cookie.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY : : April 3rd, 2010 : :
A big day in Geek History starts my first “This Week” one day prior to the week even beginning. But, regardless, it’s obviously worthy of noting. As many a people queued for hours to get their little hands on one, the Apple iPad enters the market. My personal opinion is that it’s a giant iPhone that I can’t even make a call on. And, yes, I want one. Oh, how I want one. Bless Apple and all their endeavors. IMHO – it’s exactly the kind of drive and innovation that makes other’s try harder and ‘think different’.
I came across IPADGEEK – an amazing site that lets the geek take a peek to see how different a current site looks on the iPad. Clever – but be sure to read ‘About’ to get the lowdown. One glitch is that even though you may see Flash working in this demo, it won’t work in your actual iPad. I would imagine there’s a wee bit of a code that could disable Flash in their site alone – and that’s my two cents. Still pretty cool!
The ‘The New York Times’ offered a two-in-one review for the bipolar iPad – One for Techies and One for Everyone Else: LOOKING AT THE IPAD FROM TWO ANGLES
Have a great week…