Let's face it, most music videos are pretty banal, endlessly recycling a visual language that goes back to the 80s. So when an attempt is made to break out of this tired mold, it's worth celebrating. This is certainly the case for a recent interactive video created by design agency OKFocus to promote Not the Same, a tune by Tanlines. Best experienced with Google Chrome, the site mimics aspects of the Photoshop interface, complete with layers and a toolbar that lets move and resize band members and choose from a selection of backgrounds that includes webcams and animations. You can even click on the word Experiment up near the top to have your Instagram photos tagged with #notthesame show up as the background of the site's Instagram layer. Fun stuff.
Illustration of course has a long and rich history, so how could it be compressed into just a seven-minute presentation? Only by blazing through the high points at lightning speed, which is exactly what the latest episode in the PBS Off Book series covering art, design and culture does. The effect is rather dizzying but there's some interesting work presented — as long as you can hit the Pause button fast enough to get a chance to really look at it. I've posted a few favorites below.
You may recall that Adobe recently posted download links to the entire Creative Suite 2, complete with license numbers, and then was shocked, shocked I tell you, when people mistakenly interpreted that as a gesture on the firm's part to make old, commercially unviable versions of their apps available for free download. You'd think Adobe would like that little incident swept under the rug.
That's title of an upcoming free webcast in the AIGA Voices series, in which designers explore a wide range of topics. This iteration will be led by Christopher Liechty, an AIGA Fellow and partner at Culture3, which focuses on the challenges of working effectively in global teams. In the Global Zoom talk Liechty will provide practical tips for managing global brands and creating global campaigns, encouraging you to imagine that you have a “zoom lens” that allows you to change your focus from global to local. The event is schedule for February 19, 2 pm ET, with more information and registration available on the AIGA site. You can also view a recording of his earlier webcast, Out of Your Skin: Understanding Culture and Difference.
At least, that was my first thought on watching this clip demonstrating voice-controlled image editing. We're barely into the era of touch but it's a safe bet that voice will be the next "big thing" in interface innovation. The example here shows off PixelTone, an experimental effort created by Adobe Research and the University of Michigan that combines voice and touch.
Are we living in the golden age of typography, or what? Whether for print or digital, we now have incredible control over how we can create with type. And as for the fonts themselves, the OpenType format continues to surprise with the creative possibilities it brings. When it comes to choice, the selection is now so wide, thanks to an apparently unstoppable flood of new offerings, that it's easy to get lost in the delightful task of finding the perfect font for a project. But beyond new font designs, there are of course more than a few reinterpretations of the classics. And even the occasional discovery of "lost" typefaces.
The idea of a blank piece of paper is somehow a touchstone for all our hopes and fears. Each new analog sheet or digital file holds out the possibility of creating something fresh that matters, that can make a difference. With the flip side being yet another flawed creation that falls short. But the prospect of failure is not enough to keep us from constantly engaging and making the first difficult mark on that disturbing expanse of whiteness. It's from this struggle that paper company Arjowiggins Creative Papers launched its Blank Sheet Project in 2010, in association with D&AD.
You might think that creative communicators spanning the fields of the visual arts and design are busy these days just trying to keep their heads above water. And while staying financially afloat amongst current economic conditions is admittedly a challenge, there is no shortage of creatives' attention being devoted to helping solve the problems of those less fortunate. Sometimes this falls within a corporate framework, such as the Sappi Ideas That Matter program, which has to date funded more than 500 design-driven programs, adding up to $12 million in support of causes supporting the social good — that quaint concept that refuses to die.
Each year Pantone reveals its Color of the Year, a prediction of which color it thinks will be particularly significant in the months to come. Last year it was Tangerine Tango, which I don't recall being particularly pervasive, while this year it's Emerald. So how does this oracular pronouncement come to be?
Sure, times are still tough and the forces of neoliberal capitalism continue to run roughshod over the planet. But is that any reason to despair? I should say not. After all, the good guys are still out there beavering away on projects of benefit to the common good. Case in point is The Noun Project, which is dedicated to "building a global visual language that everyone can understand."