FOREAL is a two-person German design studio, with an emphasis on art direction and illustration. Its talents in the latter were recently shown off nicely via a promotional project in which it created imaginative letters of the alphabet using one of the firm's illustration tools, Maxon Cinema 4D. A few favorites are below, with the entire series browsable on the FOREAL site and a few available for purchase in poster form.
Whether due to the constraints of time, money or geography, most of us have never attended this annual gathering, which celebrates all that's cool in the music, film and interactive domains. The closest I got this year was watching the Ed Snowden webcast but, who knows, maybe next time... Meanwhile, I'm doing my best to catch up, thanks to a growing online collection of slides from presentations given at the event, as well as those created by attendees. A few of these are shown below, with the collection hosted on the Slideshare site.
Adobe's logo is based on a design created by the wife of Adobe co-founder John Warnock, way back in 1982. Do you really think the firm has any intention of changing that "iconic" A? No, of course not. And yet it recently tasked a number of talented designers to rethink the logo, for no apparent reason. It would seem the designers were only to happy to play ball, knowing that their efforts would come to naught but that they would nevertheless benefit from Adobe's extensive reach.
Apple today announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri without distraction.
Now in its fifteenth year, the Music Academy is something of a movable musical feast, taking place in a different city each time. During these two-week events thirty selected participants, including producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists and musicians, assemble to record music and participate in lectures, collaborations and performances in the host city's clubs and music halls. This year the festivities will be held October 12 through November 14 in Toyko.
The latest Kickstarter project to catch my attention is something called the Shortcut-S. Its creators are apparently long-time Photoshop users who tired of the program's myriad and increasingly complex keyboard shortcuts and decided to create a device to make them all available via a single touch.
Combining animation, video and live performance is tricky enough that artists rarely tackle it. But Los Angeles-based animator, designer and multimedia artist Miwa Matreyek seems to have come up with a compelling mix in the form of This World Made Itself, which she'll be performing February 7-9 at the The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in Los Angeles, along with her earlier Myth and Infrastructure.
Paris-based Fontyou was founded in 2013 with the idea that while designers share a love for type and often create new letterforms, they lack the time or technical skills to extend their ideas to the point of creating a complete font. One aspect of Fontyou is that it provides designers with a place to share such work for comment by the design community and receive inspiration from other work. In some cases Fontyou also plays the role of working with such type fragments to turn them into fonts or vectors sold on its site, with a percentage of royalties going to the creator of the submission.
That's right, the Creative Cloud Photoshop Photography Program, which includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, the standard 20GB of cloud storage and a Behance membership with ProSite, lives on. Introduced in September of last year as a "limited time offer," this allows those who are registered users of Photoshop CS3 or later to access the above apps for $9.99 a month, on a yearly subscription. You can't knock the price, although once the subscription ends you'll have to find creative ways to open and edit your PSD files. The offer was set to end December 31 but now you can subscribe until February 28, 2014, on the Adobe site. Unless, of course, the offer is extended once again.
It wasn't so long ago that "graphic artist" was a trade like most others, with skills and practices that traced their origins back decades, if not centuries. In those days designers were surrounded in their studios by tools, few of which remain in widespread use in the digital age. But as designers, our love of tools, and a sense of the importance of the hand of the creator, remains. Just think of Photoshop's Pencil, Pen, Brush and Eraser tools — it's clear that we're still closely attached to the notion of using tools, even if they're just metaphors of real-world counterparts.