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So You Think You Can STANCE

FRS Stanced

No, we are not talking about the wild, unique, trendy style socks. We are talking about modified cars.

What is a Stanced Car? Stance is an urban term used in the car world which means aggressive fitment. Aggressive fitment refers to stretched tires, low offset, wide wheels, and how your ride sits. Many people have been doing this for years in Europe and Asia, but this new trendy style has now migrated to the U.S.

Stance is considered a lifestyle.  You don’t spend your money buying expensive clothing, partying every weekend, or blowing it on anything other than your car. People spend thousands of dollars and hours on their car.  It’s like creating your own dream machine if you will. For those who can’t afford to buy expensive, exotic cars, they progressively build their own.

I’m sure some of you have seen a few cars that are Stanced.  I am huge within the car scene and I figured this would be a great topic to share one of my passions.

If you would like to see more Stanced cars, different styles of stance, or even how YOUR car looks stanced, check out the website below.

http://www.stancenation.com/

What Game Defined your Childhood?

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For me it’s got to be the Sly Cooper Series. I have literally played and beaten Sly Cooper: Band of Thieves so many times it has become unhealthy. There are four games in the series so far and the first one, Sly Cooper and the Theivius Racoonus was released in 2002 by Sucker Punch Studios. This game has you play through a mixture of stealth and combat scenarios to eventually get to the prize that doesn’t belong to you. The main character, Sly Cooper is an anthropomorphic raccoon that pulls off heists with his partners in crime Bentley the Turtle and Murray the Hippo. As the games progressed you unlocked new abilities and even new characters to play as, unfortunately however, after the second game the quality of the stories went down slightly.  I feel like this was Sucker Punch Studios answer to all the anthropomorphic animal-based games that had been coming out since the early 90’s like Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega and Crash Bandicoot from Naughty Dog. Sly Cooper came out at the same time along with Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter. These games with their more complicated stories and gameplay elements wiped the slate clean from Crash Bandicoot and Sonic which only had you run and jump. Sly Cooper helped define a new generation of gaming and hopefully game developers will make another big leap forward in innovation like the one we saw from Sonic to Sly, especially now that the next generation consoles are here.

Brace Yourselves, Season 5 is Coming.

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**WARNING SPOILERS**

JUST KEEP SCROLLING IF YOU HAVENT SEEN THE SHOW OR READ THE BOOKS!!!

Who isn’t pumped for this?! Well, the people that already read the books I guess, but even though I have I still can’t wait to see the show adaptation!

A lot can be said about how well the show conveys the books and most people will probably say that the books are better as they usually are when it comes to books becoming movies/shows. I have to say that the show does throw some scenes and elements into the story that simply can’t be done in book form. I could go on for thousands of pages talking like George R.R. Martin would to describe these things but for now I’m going to limit myself to the design of the poster.

It basically shows us the only two things we want to see: Tyrion and the Dragon. Tyrion is on a boat which means he’s probably going to be on the run a lot this season after having killed Tywin. This poster also shows us the Dragon that Daenerys never managed to tame or catch. In the 5th and latest book Tyrion hasn’t even run into Daenerys or a Dragon yet so this makes me wonder if the show is going to speed up the timeline like it has done before. Or is this just a super cool visual for the show to hook you with? Either way I’m really excited to see this season!

Alex Garner

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This guy’s art is intense! The sense of movement and dynamic poses outshines even the incredible detail and photorealism. But let me take a few steps back.

Alex Garner is an American artist who worked for DC Comics for many years. He has done a lot of freelance work Blizzard Entertainment on the World of Warcraft trading cards, and his art is simply mesmerizing.

Let’s get back to talking about the two pieces above. The first one is obviously Batgirl but if you don’t know much about her let me explain. The guy behind her is her father, Commissioner Gordon. This picture is from the early days of the Batman Universe when Gordon thought that the Bat Vigilantes were menaces to Gotham City. What makes this so intense is that Batgirl is about to turn around and show her true identity to her father.

The Second piece is one from a recent Batman series The New 52. In this story arc The Joker (one of Batman’s greatest villains) has taken over Arkham Asylum and turned it into a deadly obstacle course that Batman must traverse. Here we see him mowing down corrupt guards while riding a fiery horse, wielding the modern equivalent of a medieval sword and shield. Seriously, what is more awesome than that? I mean I know I should feel bad for the horse but it’s just too epic.

Check out more of his art here! http://alexgarner.deviantart.com

When are pirates invading a hospital a good thing?

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Have you ever been sick? Seriously sick? Have you ever needed to go to a hospital? If so, you probably weren’t too excited about it. You already felt terrible, and, on top of that, hospitals aren’t known for being particularly friendly places. But what if they were?

One statistic stated that 80% of children undergoing an MRI had to be sedated in order to keep them from moving during the short scan. As a result, a GE designer, upon recognizing the problem, asked if he could adapt the design of MRI machines. Once he got approval, he ended up doing a lot more than just changing the look of the machine.

The GE designer completely revamped the whole hospital experience turning a scary hospital room into a wild pirate adventure. Cheerful monkeys and tigers dressed as pirates were painted on the walls; the MRI machine was decorated so that it looked like a boat sailing the high seas. Kids were given pirate gowns, and even the medical staff attending the young patients dressed and talked like pirates.

All this effort to create a fun hospital environment for kids might seem superfluous, but it’s hard to argue with results. Due to the changes, the sedation rate for children receiving an MRI dropped drastically from 80% to 0.01%.

As designers we can learn a lot from this GE designer. The thing that stands out the most to me is the importance of keeping our intended audience in mind. A piece of medical equipment doesn’t look the same to a kid as it does to an experience engineer. The original designer of MRI machines probably loved the sleek look of the equipment, but it’s important to remember that we aren’t designing for ourselves. We aren’t even necessarily designing for our clients. Ultimately, as designers, we are designing for our client’s clients—in this case, for the kids.

Color Psychology

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I’ve recently came across a need to learn more about color psychology and I thought it would be a perfect topic to share with you. Welcome to the very short lesson on when and when not to use certain colors in the food industry. First off, stay away from dark shades. According to visualimpactsystems.com, dark colors such as purple, black, and blue are seen as more negative to consumers because they associate it with rotten food.

Bright colors like red have become more trendy in the food industry. Red has especially become a trend in logos lately. Even iTunes has changed from blue to red. Red is considered courageous, strong, passionate, and because it’s a bright color it is believed to make viewers hungry. It’s also considered sweet. Other bright colors also work well. Yellow colors are associated with sour tastes, like lemon. Green is tart like a lime.

Hopefully this has been helpful for you.

Get out!

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As an artist, your portfolio is ultimately what defines you, but of what use is it if it’s gathering dust under your bed? Since you’re a student with no experience or education, your portfolio is the only hope of proving you’re a designer. It’s time to treat it with respect and show it off. Best and most convenient place to start showcasing your work is online. After all, you already have an online presence.

Below is a list of the most popular portfolio showcasing websites you can start with.

Behance

Having a Behance profile/portfolio exposes you and your work to a large network of peers and professionals all over the world. Its wide variety of creative artwork makes Behance a great inspiration source. Owned and operated by Adobe, Behance is the most popular creative network.

Coroflot

Coroflot helps creative professionals gain exposure and make connections to jobs and opportunities with design-driven companies worldwide. I don’t have much first-hand experience with this network but critics say it’s worth checking out.

DeviantArt

Unlike Behance or Coroflot, DeviantArt is a less professional artist network that focuses on user interaction. With more than 30 million users, the newly rebranded website is a great source of inspiration, creative contests, and collaboration opportunities.

Dribbble

Dribbble is like a show and tell for visual creatives. It is known for its quality submissions and exclusive user base. Unlike the previously listed websites, Dribbble is invitation based. In other words, to become a member you must be invited (or “drafted”) by an existing user, or “player.”

 

For maximum exposure, I recommend featuring your work on multiple websites. It’s like free advertising! It’s never too early to put yourself (as a designer) out there. What are you waiting for?

Monument Valley

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This app game is every graphic artist’s dream come true. It’s based on MC Escher-style illusions where you try to get your character through a 3D maze with slideable platforms, rotating walkways, and cranks that activate other illusions. If you liked the way iOS 7 looked then you’ll love this. The game’s story is pretty simple and the gameplay is very basic but it’s the mind-bending puzzles that really make this game stick out. This game also proves that you you don’t need complex 3D models with hand painted textures that are: deep, brooding, and tortured characters like most AAA game developers are obsessed with giving us these days. I hate to break it to console and PC gamers (because I play both and begrudgingly have to admit this,) but indie and app games are here to stay and to be honest AAA games don’t feel next-gen anymore. They just recycle the same gameplay mechanics over and over again just with different coats of pretty paint. This is mostly because AAA games are made by companies comprised of hundreds of people and each game is a huge investment so risks aren’t taken. It’s the indie developer’s small team size that give them an advantage to take more risks and be more innovative because they aren’t hindered by bureaucracy and red tape. This game sets the bar high for the mobile game industry’s standard, and is a true testament to what a well made app game should be. It flies in the face of our belief that app games are nothing more than cash-grabbing, money-grubbing, paywall-filled crap, and I really hope that more games like this come out in the future.

P.S. Maybe AAA game developers should get in on this even though the profit margins for mobile games are terrible.

Lois van Baarle and Her Magic Chalky Brush

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Every artist or designer has a person he or she inspires to be one day. In my case, that person is Lois van Baarle. You may have seen her works on Deviant Art.

Here are a few out of many of her works:

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For those don’t know her, she’s a freelance digital artist from the Netherlands. As you saw from the pervious images, she’s known for painting women with vibrant color palettes. However, the one thing that’s amazing is her painting process. Her common tools are Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. Her process is pretty simple.

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First, she only uses brushes that come standard in Photoshop. Her favorite brush is the “chalky” brush (the first brush in the image above). She uses this brush from start to finish. Her trick to blending colors is constantly changing both the opacity and flow.

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This helps achieve a “layered” look. The next thing she needs is time as most of her works takes her up to 1 to 6 hours to complete.

 

If you are in love with Baarle’s works, you can view more through these links:

Official site: http://loish.net

Blog: http://blog.loish.net

What Your Color Says About You

Color, a consuming part of the human world that makes our lives vibrant and intriguing. This  phenomenon of color is interpreted by a humans psyche to understand and feel when seeing a specific color.  Often people use color as a parallel to what they are experiencing. For example, “I’m happy” can be equivalent to yellow or representative of the sun. Color theory, especially with branding, is using certain color options in order to make an audience feel a certain way. This psychology of color allows different individuals to feel or sense emotions or attitudes depending on what color is seen. For example, I could see red as love where as my friend could see it as hate or murder. Two different values given to the single color, Red, with two very different meanings.

As a designer color is of grand importance when dealing with image and clientele. Color can determine how a company’s brand comes across and define the purpose at first glance. When working with color, you want to make sure that the colors align with the company’s values and mission. Doing otherwise can lead to a misinterpreted image and unsuccessful business.

When choosing colors, choose wisely. Trust in color psychology and market colors that are clear, recognizable, and send a wanted message.

Below is Color Psychology in Logo Design. This gives insight on some of the color interpretations in the design world.