Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trailblazer in space...

Now, I don't like chimps or apes. I just want to clarify that before you watch the video below. This was still a creative way to make people care more about our planet—sorry, our home.

Space Monkey from Leo Burnett on Vimeo.

Thursday Traffic | 29 April

It is Thursday again, readers, and I like my traffic shaken, not stirred. However, today was surprisingly smooth sailing. Have you ever experienced a day when you are suddenly ahead of schedule? It's a wonderful feeling. Not only was traffic moving faster than other days this week, I got to work early enough to get a head start on today's tasks.

You might wonder what I was pondering while zooming through the unclogged streets. Well, I have realized that although the computer is a great tool for creating materials, I miss the more manual side of design. Something about cranking a press and seeing that tiny impression from the plate feels good.
Printmaking helped me understand the entire printing process better and I feel that I benefited from it. I was never able to try letterpress, but I do want to set type at least once so I have a greater appreciation and understanding of the digital tools available now. Why do that? you might ask. Well, in the same way that people pursue manual photography over digital photography, I pursue "manual" graphic design. Drawing by hand, measuring with a ruler, printing materials myself—this is something that I value. In the words of A. J. Liebling, "Freedom of the press is only guaranteed to those who own one."

Image via TheCity Fix DC

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Artist Spotlight | Alex Andreyev

My illustration teacher used to stress that we create our own style. As a graphic designer, I was often afraid of developing a single style so I could remain flexible and open to new ideas. Alex Andreyev has discovered how to marry both together during his 20 year artistic career. He is a graphic designer and painter living in Russia. He expresses a great interest in concept art, surrealism and graphic novels and I am really loving the results. You can purchase high-resolution files of his images from his website or purchase prints. He is currently working on the concept art for the animated film Kin-Dza-Dza. A few more works that I enjoyed can be found after the jump.

Images via Designers Couch and Alex Andreyev's website

Dreams of Loondon

While searching through some of the interactive art at JayisGames, I stumbled upon Flip-N-Tale's Loondon. I don't want to spoil anything about the piece for you, so my details will be brief. You will noticed that I referred to this particular selection as a "piece." The reason behind that is that this is not so much as a game as a work of art. You are required to click a few things to move the story along, but overall you simply marvel at the illustrations involved with this work. The grammar and spelling is not the best, but the story is quite strong. Give it a try and see for yourself.


I first discovered Dvein on Behance. Their work is exceptionally well-executed and usually accompanied by excellent music. Their clients include National Geographic and Diesel Jeans. If you have some extra time, I recommend looking at some of their work. They are located in Barcelona, Spain, so much of their work is used to promote motion and animation overseas.

Image via a screenshot of Dvein's website

Monday, April 26, 2010

Game Review | Wii Sports Resort

Because I have been trying to be frugal over the past few months, I haven't devoted much money to buying video games. However, I was finally able to purchase Wii Sports Resort. I thought I would give anyone on the fence about purchasing it a bit of a nudge in one direction. The idea of Wii Sports Resort is simple: get up and play.

If you have the Wii, you will already be familiar with the look and feel of Wii Sports Resort from Wii Sports. Combine that with bits and pieces of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic games and *voila* Wii Sports Resort. You are not able to play all levels of the games immediately as you must earn that right through game accomplishments. However, with so many choices of games to play, you will be busy for a while.

As an incentive to increase the playing time of the game, you are able to earn stamps for each game if you achieve specific criteria. This game is fun with a crowd or alone—good considering that most Wii games are one or the other. You can challenge yourself to become a pro at the mini-games or just relax and have fun. Either way, you will definitely enjoy Wii Sports Resort. Wait, am I pulling you to the "go-out-and-buy-this-immediately" side of the fence? Yes, I am. You'll have a great time playing and it will introduce you to the Wii Motion Plus accessory. The game comes with one and all additional pieces cost $20 each. You decide whether those are worth the money (I bought one extra to be even) or not.

Bottoms up!

"Underage" drinking is one of many taboo subjects in the United States. The legal drinking age is twenty-one and it is strictly enforced in the purchase of alcohol. However, like anything illegal, there are always ways to get liquored up including raiding your family's stash, having an older friend purchase for you or just stealing from a store. According to a recent CNN article, they are debating about whether to change the drinking age.

I have seen enough videos and photographs of drunk driving to last my lifetime, but it is a real issue when approaching the topic. Alcohol poisoning and death resulting in drunk driving are the major consequences when teenagers engage in underage drinking. Let's not forget that drinking impairs judgment, so teen pregnancy, fights, rape, suicide and more can also occur while under the influence. Knowing this, most teens still drink because of the rush of doing something that is not allowed. Breaking the rules is often exhilarating for teens.

Is that the message that we should send to the young people? Let them think that drinking is something special and important for "grown ups"? The same consequences result when adults drink. The difference is that they are considered responsible for their actions. So how should this be addressed? In other countries, the drinking age is significantly lower ranging from 16–18 years of age.

You will probably disagree with me, but I believe that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I think that since most teens become legal adults when they turn 18, they should be allowed to drink legally. If a person can die for their country at 18, why not allow them a drink while they are living? Before you tear apart my reasoning, listen further. Drinking is something that should be done in moderation and that should be stressed in advertisements and considered by bartenders. I think that if teens have a bit of experience drinking proper amounts of alcohol and understanding its effects, they might be more responsible in its consumption. At least if they are still under mom and dad's roof, they can ask questions in safety without going wild on their 21st birthday and possibly partying for their last time.

However, that is just my opinion. I would love to hear yours.

Image via Audarshia

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Traffic | 22 April Earth Day Edition

What better time to discuss pollution than on Earth Day? The environment is the source of water, food and the air we breathe. It is only fitting that we should work to keep those resources clean and free of danger. However, transportation, chemicals and energy use put a lot of stress on nature. Population growth taxes the land due to the growth of cities and waste. We have to produce to consume and we consume a lot of materials. Most of what we buy does not work in a cradle-to-cradle scenario but cradle-to-grave instead. Our packaging is unsustainable and we throw away a great deal of items that cannot be broken down for reuse.

That is why efforts being made now are so important. Puma has introduced new shoe boxes that use one piece of cleverly folded cardboard and a reusable tote bag to package their shoes. This is a smart way of changing the way people consume products from the beginning. P&G has changed their approach towards creating products so that they use less water and energy. These are important steps that many other companies are making—and some should be making. In all honesty, consumers and can only purchase products. If the products we purchase are "green" then already we have made strides in helping our environment.

Yet, consumers are a big part of the product. Even if all products became "green" and used resources responsibly, it would all be a waste if people did not recycle and reuse materials. In many foreign countries like Germany and Japan, recycling is not only separated into sections, but it is also mandatory. Glass, paper, and plastic are reused and recycled. Many consumers use old materials for art projects or as something other than what they were intended for. Here's an example: When ordering Chinese food, the dish that it comes in is plastic with a lid; you can reheat the dish as many times as possible meaning that you don't throw it away, but hold onto it until you want/need to recycle it later. Small things like that become a big deal when everyone does it.

So what would I say is the best way to be eco-friendly? First, don't freak out and make it seem like everything is evil. It isn't. I would say that the best way to be eco-friendly or "green" is to only use what is necessary. It was true back in the olden days and it is true now. Remember learning about supply and demand? If there is low demand for an item, it will not be produced as much/as often. We can do our part by being smart in what we consume.

Image via UNC Asheville

Monday, April 19, 2010

Author Spotlight | Jedediah Berry

I believe I've mentioned before that I am guilty of judging books by their cover. You can say whatever mean things you'd like, but an attractive cover is just as important as the words. Maybe I am biased because I am a graphic designer. However, when I was scanning shelves, The Manual of Detection grabbed my attention. It is the debut mystery novel of Jedediah Berry. His writing is so well-executed, that I often felt that the characters had individual voices and that a narrator took me through the paragraphs. I have not read any of his short stories, but I hope to enjoy those now that I've finished his novel. It is a very entertaining and exciting work with several twists and turns. I recommend reading a few pages to see if it is worth a trip to the bookstore or library.

Photo by Lucy Hamblin; Book grab from Jedediah Berry's blog

Film Review | Why Did I Get Married Too?

Before I even begin this review, I have to be completely frank with you. First, I am not a fan of Tyler Perry's works. I don't like the plays, I can't stand Madea and I do not watch all of his movies regularly. I did enjoy The Family That Preys. Second, I did not like the original film Why Did I Get Married? in the first place. However, my friend really wanted to see this movie, so I stopped by the theater with really low expectations. I had not seen the previews, but I saw the print ads. I was expecting something sentimental and maybe uplifting. For the full review, please hit the jump. The grade is below so as not to give away any spoilers.

Grade: D

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Designers Couch

There are several sites where designers can show their work, receive feedback and debate issues. Sites like the Behance Network and AIGA have always been bookmarked within my browsers and I have had to do the same with Designers Couch. This is like a shrink for designers. You can share you work, read articles and check out jobs or events. I am also following them on twitter and I have been grateful for their frequent updates. You can apply for membership with them if you would like, or you can stop through and look around for inspiration. Definitely check them out!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Does the bottle sell the brand?

So, I stumbled upon this little article about making Coca-Cola greener by changing its trademark bottle. Emphasis on trademark bottle. The shape of the Coca-Cola bottle is part of the company's brand. The company has built trust and tradition on its shape and the new design would make it into a long-ish rectangle. My question? Would the world stop drinking Coke if it was shaped like a rectangle? Is their brand defined only by the signature shape of their beverage containers? Can they not up and change their brand like Pepsi did—even though we all know their updated logo is awfully ugly—and still keep their following?

The new design would be better for shipping and encourage recycling.

I think at first there would be confusion. Then, there would be speculation followed by a sort of curiosity. Finally, there would be acceptance. Then, it would become normal. The same thing happened with the iPod when it first started. But hey, I like Coca-Cola's current brand image and I think they have a lot of equity in it. What do you think?

Images and story via DesignersCouch


Awesome video. Check it out (if you haven't already).

via DocteurPipi

Thursday Traffic | 8 April

Honestly, traffic is a funny thing. Lately, the traffic has moved fairly steadily in the morning, but nighttime has been awful. You can't really escape it no matter what you do. Still, this Thursday is quite beautiful and I don't have much to complain about.

In fact, this particular Thursday is very special to me. In one week, my mother dearest will be flying in to attend a conference—it just happens to be close to where I live. I don't see my mother often due to the six hour time distance between us, but I am thrilled to be able to spend some time with her. Anticipation builds up for more than just special guests. To give you an idea of what I mean, here is a list of things that are usually highly anticipated:
  • Christmas
  • Summer vacation
  • Graduation
  • Retirement
  • Wedding
  • Dates/outings/parties
  • Election results
  • Birthdays (for some)
  • Friday
  • Releases of games, movies, music or other items
For some things that people usually don't look forward to, hit the jump.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stop is go

Stop-motion animation is really amazing. Many works using stop-motion are true creative masterpieces. If you like the medium and the results, check out this video.

Skateboardanimation from Tilles Singer on Vimeo.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Film Review | Clash of the Titans

Before I begin this review, I must explain that I went to see Clash of the Titans only because my sister wanted to watch it. I did not watch the original film, I was not particularly interested in this year's remake from the previews and I am not a huge mythology buff. However, after disappointment from watching Alice in Wonderland in "amazing" 3D, I opted not to watch Clash of the Titans in 3D sticking to regular old 2D instead. I am honestly very glad that I saved the money. I discovered from other reviews that it was no worth it at all. For the full review, hit the jump—I don't want to spoil the film for anyone who wants to watch it.

Grade: C

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Because of Martha... Easter dessert

Easter is always a great time for eating and hanging out with family and friends. After a beautiful morning at church, I was ready to do some baking in the kitchen. My sisters handled the appetizer (vegetable kebabs) and the main course (rack of lamb, asparagus, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob), and I dominated the desserts. Hit the jump for more on the dishes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thursday Traffic | April Fools Edition

This Thursday, traffic was traffic. I got to work on early, no problems whatsoever. However, for some of you I have the sneaking suspicion that your morning was not as simple as mine. That is correct. Today is a day for April foolery and well-meaning pranks. I have never been one for pranking others, but I do enjoy watching a prank unfold on someone else. While April Fools is the most appropriate day for playing tricks on people, there are several other instances when they are used.

So, since I love countdowns and fun lists, I am giving you my NewfoundJoye Prank List. These are the times when pulling a prank won't get you in as much trouble as it would on a regular day.
  • Halloween—For other cultures, Halloween is all about pranks and tricks. Consider Witch's Night as an example. TP-ing people's houses, gross-looking food and scaring people are the common go-to's.
  • Birthdays—Nothing quite like surprising someone on their birthday. Usually, this is with a party or gag gift, but whatever floats your boat.
  • April Fools—Obviously, April 1st has a history of pranks and jokes, so it is definitely expected.
  • Un-Birthdays—If you decide to celebrate un-birthdays like I do, you will find that an un-birthday celebration is not a celebration without a prank or two.
  • Bachelor/ette Parties—Kidnapping the bride/groom-to-be to take them to their bachelor/ette party is too funny.
  • Summer camp—The ultimate of all pranks can be performed while at summer camp. The possibilities are endless. Too fun.
So, have a great April Fools, readers!

Image via AIA: Archiblog