Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unbound Identity Concept

The new assignment is to create a portfolio website showcasing our identity. I have yet to learn any Flash, but HTML and CSS I can do. So building a website is not a problem, but my And before I can create an effective website about me, I'm going to have to develop a concrete and cohesive identity concept.

Not at all "in love" with my logo concept, I have doodled around with the idea of an RC logo.

My main issue is that I don't really have any concept behind the idea of the wave. The R and the C look cool together, but why do they make a wave?

Thinking about concept, I recognize a certain minimalist tendency in my work. From this idea, I came up with 'streamline' as one of my core design tenets. After more brainstorming, I eventually came up with "Unbound" as a design concept. I think it is an elegant concept drawing on my interest in science and mathematics. Unbound also connects with the design world from the perspective of unbound books, paper, etc. and in that same line of thought with the paper-free environment of the internet and screen-based design.

Below is a quick mock-up of my rc wave design utilizing my new Unbound concept.

I still don't love it, but it's coming along. I'm going to keep thinking about this whole Unbound idea. More to come...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

David Foster Wallace Is Dead

His elegant complexity was the perfect counterpoint to (my second favorite dead literary figure) Kurt Vonnegut's elegant simplicity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photoshop/Illustrator Parody Software

Something I "discovered" in my digital art class...

Adrian Ward is a musician and “software artist”. He creates generative art software products which parody well-known graphic art creation programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I’ve been fascinated with the concept of software art since I first read about Adrian. As a budding graphic designer, I find his programs to be quite entertaining. His programs appear similar to the well known programs, but do unpredictable things. For instance, you can create shapes in his Auto-Illustrator program and apply “creative”, “destructive”, or “inspirational” filters that generate odd creations. Or apply a “childish” setting to the regular shape tool to create ‘circles’ which are actually random squiggle patterns. Also available is the ability to add a slogan, product image and tagline to parody an Apple or Ikea ad. There is also a program that uses the existing images on your computer to generate a real-time montage of a person named Netochka Nezvanova. All of the programs must be purchased and downloaded, but some have free demos available.

Adrian doesn’t simply create images or games digitally, he creates programs which can be used to create digital art. However, rather than just making utilitarian software programs, his programs have entertainment value and are (in some ways) intentionally non-functional. So, the medium really is the message.

His programs rely on existing forms of art such as literary parody and image creation technology, but add the idea of informality of behavior, cut-ups and combinatory image creation, and (obviously) interactivity. He also touches on Nam June Paik's ideas of cybernated art helping us cope with cybernated life, as well as Wiener's concept of cybernetics--the relationship between people and their computers.

This is pretty incredible stuff...

Field Trip

The class recently took a field trip to two Denver design firms. Both very professional and very different.

First, we stopped in at Anabliss Design Studio. The president and creative director of the company, Matt Coffman, was our tour guide. His company was very tidy and well-kept. He introduced his small staff and spoke about his work, his clients, and his dog Boxer. We were treated to several examples of past print projects as well as a discussion regarding one of his most recent clients, Warren Village. All of the work exhibited was beautifully designed.

Our second venue was Ironton Studios. Jill Hadley Hooper showed us around and invited us into her inner sanctum to view a few of her illustrations. I would describe her office as 'artistically cluttered'. I felt very much at home. While in her office I found myself a little distracted by her book collection. She had stacked in the corner several titles I have read, including Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", as well as several more that I intend to read, such as a series of Joseph Campbell books, an approximately 3 inch thick book titled "Film Posters of the Russian Avant-Garde", and a positively enormous typography book. I couldn't help but feel a certain psychological kinship.

I would sincerely like to thank Matt Coffman and Jill Hadley Hooper for their hospitality.