3.30.2009

The design process is iterative

Every once and a while as I browser through design portfolios I head over to the process section to see if I can find some inspiration or new method to improve my own process. I find that designers like to say that their process is iterative. It's a nice thing to say but I don't think you can be a designer and not go through many iterations during the creation process, unless of course you make perfect stuff on the first try every time. Designers who say that their process is iterative reminds me of this post.

3.29.2009

Typographic Sketching

I tend to draw a lot when I'm bored. It doesn't matter what the surface is, it could be a piece of old mail or crappy paper, but recently I've noticed that my doodling has been a lot less figurative as my mind turns more towards design and less towards illustration.

3.27.2009

The day the Glass-Steagall was repealed

I just read this New York Times article covering the day the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed. It's eerie how accurate Senator Byron Dorgan's prediction was concerning the consequences of the vote.
via Good Magazine

The thing about the web

I just read this article. It's based on a book by Kevin Roberts called, Sisomo: The Future on Screen I think his thoughts are dead on so I pulled out the points that struck me most.

The web and the mobile web were not built to rebroadcast a message, or a passive emotional experience (“sisomo,” if you will). And unlike television, print, and radio, the internet and mobile phones weren’t built with advertisers in mind. The web was created to facilitate a remote connection with another person’s computer, allowing for peer-to-peer communication in a way never possible before. 

There’s a reason why 99.98% of people haven’t clicked on your banner ad, and it’s because the fundamental purpose of the web revolves around utility, community, and democracy. The way in which information travels through these channels can no longer be art directed or copywritten.

The Internet and mobile aren’t passive “screens” at all, but unique pathways into your consumers’ life. You can’t simply bombard consumers with sight, sound, and motion. They’ve offered you a seat at their dinner table. You need to behave as such…

3.25.2009

Office Coffee

If you work in an office I'm sure you have seen or heard of these. They're plastic single serving coffee cartridges.
These things are incredibly convenient because it enables you to make coffee whenever you want it without worrying about brewing a pot or if the pot has been sitting for a while. The only thing is whenever I use one of these things I feel a little bit sad. Since these are single use, they get dumped into the back of the machine and when the bucket that holds them gets full they get thrown into the garbage.

So for example if I were to drink three cups a day:
For a month
For a year
Thats a lot of plastic being wasted. Even if these cartridges were recycled every time it would still use a ton of energy. Granted I'm not the greenest person on the planet but I think this is the kind of consumption that really doesn't make sense and can't be sustained. I guess the question is, who's going to come up with a convenient single serving coffee solution that doesn't leave tons of plastic waste?

3.18.2009

Gradients, Drop Shadows and Metal Effects

Here's a detail of a poster I saw on my morning commute. It's a very simple redesign of continental's old poster. Really the only differences are the gradient on the globe, the drop shadows on everything and the metallic-ized logo. I get pretty tired of "redesigns" like this.

3.12.2009

A stupid thing happened on the way to shut down

Recently I've been working on a short comic entitled Eran and Coby. It's a good way for me to still do a comic without feeling burdened by a huge story line like some of the stuff I've done earlier.
My typical process for completing a page is as follows; after I've drawn and inked the page I scan it and bring it into photoshop to color. The way I learned to color is by making a copy of the black channel, filling the original CMYK channels with white and then basically coloring under the black copy. The only problem with this method is if you want to print to check your progress mid way through you have to go through a process which basically merges the black copy back into CMYK. After you do this the drawing isn't editable in the same way so you have to use history to get back to editing.
This is where the "stupid" comes in. As I was working on it, I was nearly finished with flatting the art but I wasn't happy with the color palette and some of the elements in the drawing. I wanted to print it out so I could get a better look at what was going on so I went through that whole flattening process, but not before saving and taking a history snapshot so I could get back to the editable state. It printed out fine and then I decided to take a break and watch some television. Some television very quickly turned into several hours of distraction by which time I was pretty sleepy and decided to shut down my computer and go to bed. I did the quick command "S" command "Q" ritual with all of the application I had running and had my computer shut down within a minute or two. Just as I was closing the my laptop I woke from dull sleepiness with this panicked thought process: "That photoshop file was flattened; I just saved it and quit; snapshots only work while photoshop is open…"
I was stunned.
I never make this kind of mistake. I save neurotically and even sometimes save a separate copy of a file if I feel like the information is too important to risk.
Here is the partially finished file. There many things that I would change but since that is no longer an option I figured I would share this as some kind of a graphic design cautionary tale rather than as an example of good art work.