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AWWWARDS! Inspiration!

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Where do you look when you need some design juice to satisfy your thirst for wonderful web experiences? Let us know where you like to look but for me I like to look at this website: www.awwwards.com. If you haven’t checked it out and you are interested in website design, you must go look it but only when you have some free time…you might get stuck in the web for countless hours until you are freed by a need to sleep or eat. Just kidding…kind of…but seriously it is a great place to find inspiration. Everyday they feature a new site of the day and every Wednesday they give out a developer award that is based on the community’s votes. They use a ranking system for the designs that is based on four different criteria: design, usability, creativity, and content.  There are so many wonderful websites here and as it is being updating constantly it is an almost never-ending fountain that can satisfy even the most “thirsty” designers. Anyone can submit there site, so once you have experienced this fountain of design youth please let it inspire, re-inspire, and possibly win some awwwards!

 

Tom Whalen’s Strong Stuff: Illustration Inspiration

Mario & Luigi Poster Art TMNT Poster Art Charlie Brown Poster Art

 

 

Another student in our class posted an entry about movie poster design and how boring and monotonous it can be and I couldn’t agree more. I wanted to share with you all one of my favorite illustrators whose work doesn’t always make the arena of the big screen but is still very popular. Tom Whalen has incredible work and although he employs a specific style in his work, to me, its always interesting and inspiring. I mean who doesn’t love some high quality vector art. He has worked with everything from Star Wars, Batman, Charlie Brown, Dumbo, Toy Story, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and so many many more!

Click here to view his work.

Designing for the 5 Senses and Why Sex is so Good!

WATCH THIS VIDEO. Eeee, sorry for being bossy but hey, it is a short watch and presents a very interesting idea plus it has over a million views. Get with it!

Ok now that you have watched this and you know why sex is so good (oh so now you decide to watch this video) let’s discuss. How is possible to make your future designs appeal to the five senses?

I think graphic designers can loose sight of how images can inspire the senses because it is difficult to use a visual medium to activate the senses. But a great example of this is a great photograph of, lets say, a bowl of hot and delicious soup. This inspires the senses of smell and taste and advertisers use this concept all the time to make food and drink way more appealing. This concept is so interesting as I too often forget that there are more ways of communicating different sensory experiences with a visual medium. I challenge you to activate more senses in your next design and increase the pleasure in which they are perceived.

The Beautification of Information

“I want my information and I want it NOW!” This cry for information is a byproduct of the millennial generation being raised on the almost instantly accessible vast amounts of data more plentiful then ever before. Not that all of this data is true or credible, but that is a whole different story or another blog post. Infographics are the topic of today, so let’s discuss this wonderful technique that makes large amounts of data aesthetically appealing and easy to understand.

This technique has made its way into the mainstream as a way of disseminating information with a graphical language that presents visual relationships to enhance our perception. This idea makes sense because most of the information that is transmitted to the brain is from visual sources anyway. Consider that a high quality infographics is 30 times more likely to be read then a text article. Not only is this technique a great one for disseminating scientific information that normally contains a lot of data but it is also a powerful marketing tool. It can easily layout the benefits of product or experience all at once in a way that is much more pleasing then just text complimented by a picture.

Not only do infographics make information beautiful but they also make consumption easier and more intuitive. I think that this is the key to their success, because understanding something is the most important aspect of information dissemination. One odd ball point that I want to make is that of infographics resumes, another new trend that has developed in the same name of competition (text vs. graphics+text). I love these and think that they are incredibly interesting way of discussing who you are, what you have done, and what you are experienced with. So in a world that is becoming increasingly visual the trend behind infographics just makes sense. Especially when the internet is running rampant with millennials constantly demanding increased consumption rates of information.

I will leave you with these two infographics. The first is an introspective and the second is a type of activism that aims to increase awareness of global environmental issues.

Infographic about an Infographic!         Recycle your plastic!

 

Redefining the Magazine

International Designers Network Covers
As a designer we are constantly trying to keep our minds fresh with new graphical inputs and understandings. As we search for these new inputs we are sensitive to both the design of and information contained within a publication. I love reading magazines and it has been a hobby of mine for over 5 years. Going to the local bookstore and browsing through all of the latest design and art magazines was not just a past time but it was a necessity. As with any field it is crucial to stay on the cutting edge and to do this I found myself returning to this one wonderful publication.

It was called International Designers Network or “Idn” for short. The layout of the magazine is full of surprises both in form and content. Moving far away from your typical page layout you are constantly on your toes, this magazine keeps you feeling like you are in an unknown world that is extremely interested. The lack of the straightforward and standard columned layout with boxed pictures sitting on whitespace leaves you in a new environment where you have to fend for yourself in developing a new understanding of editorial layout. Always containing a variety of printing techniques and different types of paper this magazine almost never disappoints. Even the CD that comes with the magazine is typically a design that in a way that moves past the ordinary. This CD is full of incredible interactive design resources including fonts, tutorials, and more.

Based out of Hong Kong and having offices in Australia, New York, and Singapore, they are truly an international network. Having established offices in important and vibrant areas where design is flourishing keeps the content and features constantly interesting. I know it can seem pricy for a magazine at $20 per issue but if you ever get a chance to check it out, please do not pass it up. It is your duty as a designer to free your mind with this not so standard and incredibly beautiful magazine.

Also please check out “Adbusters” by the same company, it is full of hilarious parodies of advertising.

International Designers Network Layout

 

Walking (Running) Dead Simulator

Like the majority of full-time students like us, there’s a great deal of time spent working, and conversely not a lot of time spent working out. What could be the solution to motivating us to get out of our desk chairs and getting some cardio in?

Running from zombies. Duh.

Developed by writer Naomi Alderman, “Zombies, Run!” is a phone app video game funded through a Kickstarter campaign (an initiative for helping popularize and fund projects) that immerses the user, who starts their character’s story upon beginning their jog, into an audio-narrated world that progressively reveals a story while occasionally prompting the player to run like hell when a zombie horde is close behind them. By turning on the GPS on your phone, the app will remember jogging routes and customize the run based on your past times and offer improved goals. It additionally logs your pace and calories burned after each “mission”, all while unfolding the story through radio messages and voice recordings during each run.

In my opinion, this is one of the best usages of a phone app thus far. You’re not only encouraged to run outside, but rewarded through a developing plotline that keeps you coming back for more running sessions. It costs $4, but it’s the price you pay for surviving the undead onslaught. Totally worth it.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sixtostart.zombiesrun&hl=en

Rock Homes

If you thought home designs couldn’t get any more natural, then check this out.

 

These homes are built  around rocks and stones as part of their design.  Some of these homes are built on quarries, mountainside and even lava fields.  They’re cost-effective since they incorporate the stones and boulders  into the home instead of removing them.  It’s a lot different than your average home and looks aesthetically pleasing.  I think building a home around the natural elements can be environmentally friendly. Looking at the inside of the house makes you feel like you’re a part of the environment.  The structure seems like it can withstand a tornado but not sure about an earthquake though.

Photos: 10 incredible homes where rock meets hard placePhotos: 10 incredible homes where rock meets hard place

 

Photos: 10 incredible homes where rock meets hard place

Photos: 10 incredible homes where rock meets hard placePhotos: 10 incredible homes where rock meets hard place

Photos: 10 incredible homes where rock meets hard placePhotos: 10 incredible homes where rock meets hard place

Shipping Container Design

In the setting of a post-nuclear apocalypse, will human survival come down to design?

Of the (hopefully unnecessary) housing plans people have come up with for not dying, my favorite is the usage of the steel storage container. It’s small enough to disguise itself among other units in a container shipping yard, but sturdy enough in material type and modular combination to have potential for creating a multi-container shelter. For an example on campus, look no further than the AVT building’s “Container Space” behind the sculpture studio.

Human survival aside, the different arrangements people have implemented through stacking and combining units is impressive. Although the GMU storage unit is already too obvious in location to be renovated into a survival shelter, the concept in itself remains unchanging; storage units offer complete customization for users looking to develop a site, whether alone or in a community. Even businesses looking for a cheap alternative to buying commercial land for developing an office on could look into purchasing multiple units to combine together (each one runs for about $3-4k).

glob12

glob11

Regardless of intended use, the prospective implementation of cheap housing made from steel-walled boxes is not only a safe alternative to housing that would be easily crumble in an apocalypse scenario, but it can be customized through the scrutinous eye of a designer into eye-catching lodging.

Cicret Bracelet

Are you tired of carrying your tablet or phone around with you all the time?

The Cicret Smart Bracelet puts a touch-controlled projector on your arm. Move over Google Glass

Here is the Cicret bracelet!

A device that projects an image of your cell phone on to your forearm.  You can use it as if you were holding your actual cellphone.  The Circet uses Pico Projectors and features 8 proximity sensors which enables it to detect you finger position on your forearm and sends that information feedback to the controls. The bracelet has its own processor, storage, bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity.  I think they are still in the prototype stages so when completed, should sell for around $600 to $700.

 

Honestly, this is pretty innovative and should be a big hit if it works properly. Am I going to get it when it first comes out? probably not due to the price tag.  I also like to wait till all the kinks are sorted out because the first model are always faulty.  I’m not sure if the technology is there yet for it to work on a consistent basis. If it does, I could see this moving us away cell phones but not anytime soon.I think we’re going to see something else before this becomes the standard.  Here is a video that I found on Youtube. Let me know what you think?

Anime Art evolution

 

How Anime Art Has Changed: An Explainer

I came across an article about how anime art has change throughout the years. As an anime watcher, I knew that the animation has gotten better but in terms of character designs, I didn’t know specifically what has changed.

This short articles breaks down the changes from the early 1990s to 2010.

 

How Anime Art Has Changed: An Explainer

 

I have watched old anime such as DBZ, Yu Yu Hakusho and Ranma ½ and compared it with the current popular ones like Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist and realized the changes seem pretty accurate. Some depiction of Anime eyes from the 90s were largely exaggerated making their faces small in comparison. Current anime, the eyes have gotten smaller/more round and the eyebrows are placed higher. The outlines of the characters are also less defined. I think the facial structure is more proportionate and human like. I believe in 10 years, anime art will become even more realistic as it tries to imitate the human body to its correct dimensions. Overall I’m very excited with the direction that anime art is going and hope that it continues to evolve.

How Anime Art Has Changed: An Explainer

What do you think? Do you prefer the 90s style or the current?