Apart from being home to the greatest soccer club on the planet (keep dreaming Evertonians), Liverpool is also a city with a flourishing art scene. Especially when it comes to the performing arts. Produced by the renowned street theatre company, Royal De Luxe, The Sea Odyssey is ‘a magical tale of love, loss and reunion played out on a gigantic scale’. Basically, giant puppets with crazy pulley systems stormed the streets of Liverpool this weekend to the awe of thousands of onlookers. How awesome is that?
The past few months have afforded me the opportunity to work on a couple of tv spots. I’m new to this game, but so far I’m finding it both incredibly fun and incredibly challenging. As a visual designer, I often find myself letting technique or aesthetic drive the concept instead of building from the core messaging.
Now bear with me on this analogy, and also know that the irony of me being an awful surfer is not lost here. When a surfer takes off paddling, they are looking for the sweet spot on the face of the wave that will drive them forward with enough to speed to allow for a smooth ride. Once they’ve got that speed & stability on their side, they can start carving up the wave and turn a steady ride into a beautiful one. The same is true for a commercial. You need to start by finding the core messaging that needs to be communicated. That’s what drives the spot forward. From that you can build a unique & (hopefully) beautiful spot through technique.
In the midst of concepting this month, Jonathan Gurvit got in touch to share some of his latest spots. I’m a fan.
Look out, Raleigh! Big talent is dropping in the area very soon. Michael Steven Forrest got in touch to share his work, and to let us know he’s moving to the Raleigh area soon. His portfolio (while not extensive by any means) is a heady mixture of challenging aesthetics and beautiful compositions. I asked Michael about his work and he had this to say:
“I ask myself what is the most important or appropriate means of communicating the idea at hand. Should the content be delivered in a way that is didactic, direct, pure and simplified or socratic in that it presents the viewer/ user an opportunity to dialogue or wrestle with the imagery and its relationship to the content? I believe that our generation is gullible in a lot of ways and we base a lot of decisions on impulse. Perhaps its the educator in me, but I think that as designers it is important for us to encourage critical “seeing” to the same degree hopefully our writers are trying to promote critical thinking.”
I was blessed with a magical gift over the holidays. The gift of beer. I’ve been wanting to take a stab at home brewing for a while, but it just always ended up lower on the list than every other project that sprung to mind. Since Santa was able to cram a seven gallon brew kit down the chimney this December, the time has come to brew!
I’m kicking off my first batch this weekend, but up until now, since high school really, I’ve been done an extensive amount of field research to help ‘refine’ my palette. Lately, I’ve been frequenting Sams Quick Shop in Durham, and Tasty Beverage in Raleigh for an assortment of brewery tastings.
Something I’ve come to realize during my time at these two fine establishments is that there is potentially a huge opportunity for designers in the form of craft beer labels. It seems small/craft brewers are producing seasonal & specialty beers more frequently than ever these days. I think breweries should treat the labels on these specialty beers like book covers, and let the label truly reflect the uniqueness of the beer itself. This could mean a complete divergence from the brand style of the brewery & their main beers, but that’s ok. I think the target audience involved would be particularly forgiving in this instance, and as long as there is some visual thread among the entire line of beers, I think unique (well designed) labels for specialty/seasonals are the way to go.
Such beautifully demented paintings from Amy Guidry. I’ve been watching a lot of Breaking Bad lately, and maybe it’s just the desert landscapes prevalent in her work, but I can’t help but associate Amy’s series “Wild West” with the show. Twisted, but oddly familiar.
I’m really digging the punchy, handmade work from Ayaka Ito. Born in Japan & now residing in Brooklyn, Ayaka is an interactive designer at Big Spaceship. Awesome to see interactive creatives with a healthy portfolio of hand-crafted work.
Sometimes I take my local NPR station for granted. I don’t mean to do it. In fact I hate that I do. The programming has become such a routine part of my commuter/late twenty-something life that I can’t really imagine life without it. Unfortunately for NPR, the times that I’m listening usually tend to be while I’m busy doing something else. My attention is always divided, never fully devoted to a show. Occasionally, however, I’ll hear a segment that will make me stop what I’m doing and focus. Really focus. It’s captured my imagination in a way that watching TV or reading a blog (ahem) never do.
Recently, I experienced this while listening to The State of Things on WUNC. It’s an excellent show about life & living in North Carolina that features an eclectic mix of guests and features. Recently the show’s host, Frank Stasio, announced that The State of Things was rolling out a new weekly segment about a crime fighting superhero called The Jade City Pharaoh. The amazing thing about the show? It features the first African American superhero in the history of radio. Wham!
“Welcome to Jade City: Join hero Herald MF Jones as he protects the people of Jade City from a corrupt criminal called The Beef Cooker and his money-hungry henchmen on WUNC’s new super spectacular bad ass radio drama series, “Jade City Pharaoh.”
Super spectacular bad ass indeed. I love that in the middle of a workday, bookended by nonstop blabbering about America’s Next Top Republican, I can escape to Jade City. If only for ten minutes. Bravo, NPR.
Listen to the pilot episode here -
*The image above is my quick visual homage to the show.
(he swears he won’t outsource his posts to his daughter Jana)
Big news, people! Please help me in giving a warm welcome to our newest contributor Michael Lassiter from Durham, NC!
Michael is an outstanding freelance designer with a great eye for clean design & minimalist compositions. His critical eye will be a wonderful addition to our team, and we are happy to have him. You can start expecting Michael’s posts to drop every Thursday starting next week. In the meantime, take a peak at his blog & learn more about Michael on our team page.