Image Spark is a nice little web app that let’s you upload and create a library of images that inspire you, and also allows you to share them with the web community. It’s a fairly slick solution for a problem that pretty much every designer has: how to best organize your visual research.
Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private island, is an amazing place to rent. Let’s face it - a private island in the British Virgin Islands with its year round perfect weather and cloudless skies - is hard not to be amazing. I can imagine simply taking some photos and putting them online in a simple slide show - the pictures would do all of the work.
Necker took it a step further, and created a 4 minute video giving the user a taste of what it feels like to be on the Island - starting with getting up in the morning, having breakfast, lying on the beach, arriving in a speedboat, relaxing on the beach by candlelight. I have to say that it’s one of the best produced experiences I’ve seen in a while, and makes an amazing place look heavenly.
I think 2009 will be the year that we start rethinking the best bang for the buck online. If you’re selling an experience, a solid video surrounded by a clean site is all you need to blow your competition away. Design firms should stop just thinking 2D and start producing rich media experiences whenever possible to really grab visitors. We’re already pushing rich media whenever possible, and are going to ramp up this effort next year. Until then, I’ll see you on Necker…
I recently discovered Triple Canopy, an online arts magazine that involves a collaboration of different types of artists and writers sharing their perspectives on current social issues. The site itself is quite nicely designed. The intuitive interface almost makes users feel as if they’re flipping through a printed magazine—hitting the arrow key to go to the next screen feels just about as natural as turning a page.
The third issue is now completely live and is a tribute to the city of New Orleans and its residents, commemorating the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The issue reaches viewers on multiple sensory levels and has a powerful impact.
The issue begins with a short introduction that talks about the symbolism of the tragic event. It goes on to include artwork by Rudolph Radlinger and Roy Ferdinand, both local New Orleans artists. Also featured, is photographer Will Steacy, who spent time in the city during the year after the storm, taking beautifully disturbing photographs that document its aftermath.
The section titled Homemade Memorials introduces an ongoing sculpture project that memorializes desecrated, destroyed, and forgotten buildings using photographs that readers have submitted. I’ll be interested to see the future pieces that result from this project. This issue also includes a directory listing various community projects, organizations, and other ventures in New Orleans, as well as virtual tour through NOLA’s Ninth Ward. This article points out how isolated the region has become and how its devastation has, sadly, become a spectacle for tourists.
I found the audio portraits of struggling Ninth Ward residents to be particularly moving. There’s something about hearing stories of people’s experiences told from their own mouths that makes the reality of the tragedy hit home.
I was pleasantly reminded of the WPA National Park poster series while perusing Shorpy (thanks to patrick’s tip) this morning. I love the bright, pre-computer graphics and the adventurous, frontier-sy feeling of exploration and, dare I say, majesty they convey.
I can only imagine (enviously) what it must have felt like to tour the country in the late 30’s, stopping at national parks where you legitimately might have been the only car on the road. It’s a lovely thought… and quite a departure from the madness of summertime in Yosemite Valley now.
For those hungry for a little history lesson, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) was part of FDR’s New Deal, instated to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. A key part of the WPA was the Federal Art Project, whose purpose was to make art accessible and relevant to everyone, not just the elite. As a result these, along with 35,000 other designs, were printed into 2 million posters during the course of the project.
This Travel and Tourism series became well know for it’s bright, bold colors and it’s dramatic portrayal of our famous national parks. As an avid hiker, camper, and visitor to our (mostly western) national parks, I find these particularly beautiful and inspiring.
If only our current government would have the cajones to revive the idea that art can be a positive and motivating influence on the masses. Maybe our next president will… after all he’s already shown an appreciation for art.
Shorpy is a blog about old photos and what life a hundred years ago was like: How people looked and what they did for a living, back when not having a job usually meant not eating.
Get lost in time perusing these magnificent images depicting life in the first half of the 20th century. Pictured above is Thomas Burgess.
In 1911 Thomas W. Burgess was the second man to swim the English Channel. It took him 22 hours and 35 minutes. It’s not clear if this photo is from that event, but he’s definitely not dressed for recreational swimming. Burgess also swam for Great Britain in the 1900 Summer Olympics. George Grantham Bain Collection.
I love the computer (and especially the internet), don’t get me wrong. but I have a dear little spot in my heart for things made from (what appears to be) paper and glue and scissors. Esp when I haven’t had time away from the computer in a really long time.
Zoe Bradley apparently has the best job in the whole world that allows her to create amazing installations of flowers and paper dresses.
Sooooo cool. But her site could be more perfect… Maybe she wants us to redesign? Zoe, call us!
Despite it’s lack of kerning, this piece really speaks volumes. The choices in animation really improve in the second half, as the message builds up, when compared to the rather slow start.
I’m comparing this piece not to the GOOD animation from earlier, but to this one piece by Heebok Lee, who currently works at Prologue and was an inspiration to me (not the typeface, but the animation) when I had my fling with animated type:
It’s interesting to see quality animated type come from After Effects but not from Flash. And a little disappointing. Especially considering that there’s no real video in these pieces, and vector type will really improve the quality while keeping size down. The girl effect website itself, sleek as it is, could be a done in the same way as the video. We see type experiments being done here and there in Flash, like this one from a previous post, but hopefully more exciting and moving pieces will show up.
I’ve been there on Saturday and I really enjoyed it. Check it out…
This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in L.A. Photographs
June 14, 2008 – Sept. 15, 2008
Library West Hall and Boone Gallery
“Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles does not defy description so much as provoke it. Literary representations of an “earthly paradise,” a “city of dreadful joy” and, more recently, a “city of quartz” are among the best known in a seemingly endless stream of identifiers. Over the past 150 years, potent relationships between glamour and catastrophe, sunshine and noir, have fascinated photographers trying to explain an elusive Los Angeles…” more information