Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Minimalist vs. Superfluous

AUTHOR:
DATE:
29 January 2013.

apple

Many people have made a case for minimalist design and their points are certainly not lost on me. There are several great examples of highly successful campaigns, identity systems, fashion and artwork based on a minimal approach. Apple Computer is the most obvious and arguably one of the most successful examples of minimalism from a corporation of all-time. From their product design to their packaging they employ the less-is-more strategy. It works. Their devices are sleek and get out of the users’ way. Their packaging is simple and sophisticated. Beautiful simplicity.

…Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. -William Strunk Jr. in Elements of Style

Simplicity, however, is not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to present a case for superfluous design. This probably sounds a little crazy. It sound’s crazy because since we began working as professionals in the design industry we’ve fought against the idea that the purpose of our work is to “make it look pretty.” In my experience these comments usually aren’t meant to be condescending, but when delivered by a suited executive of relative power, it carries the implication that design can and will only affect the surface.

Good design can and should affect the functionality and purpose of a document. Effective design brings order, hierarchy and clarity. I believe this to be irrefutable fact and yet, I believe you can achieve these goals while stepping out of the minimalist aesthetic. In the design industry, we refer to superfluous design as “design for design’s sake,” shaking our fingers at ourselves.

But let me ask the question outright-what is wrong with design for the sake of beauty? What is wrong with superfluous design in an effort to stand out. If everyone is doing simple and streamlined, why not break the mold and do something extravagant? One who walks in another’s tracks leaves no footprints.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove. -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Is it? I love this quote and keep it present in my mind when making video editing decisions. But removing all ornamentation is not always the path to perfection. What should we remove from the Sistine Chapel? How would you simplify Takashi Murakami’s work while preserving it’s essence? If simple is perfect why do celebrities and royalty pay a premium price for couture gowns? The true minimalist might say because they are filthy rich, unnecessary and ridiculous. I am not a true minimalist. There is beauty and perfection in detail, too.

murakami

Let us make one last distinction before I finish. There is a difference between superfluous design – or something that contains unessential parts – and an overworked piece of design. One’s definition of necessary is also important in sorting minimal from superfluous. I appreciate you reading my rant, and if nothing else, superfluous is a fun word to say.

The Digital Armory re-design by Von Glitschka

AUTHOR:
DATE:
3 January 2013.

Someone I follow on Twitter recently posted a link to a project by a designer named Von Glitschka. His project, The 5-Minute Logo runs you $5 and nets you a cool little illustrative logo, or in Von’s words “For $5 we’ll take 5ive minutes and become your short order design cook and whip you up a tasty visual morsel before you can say “Craptacular!””

I’m think this is a neat idea, although Von is a little bit of a jerk for producing what I think are pretty neat little hand-drawn logos for $5. It got me to thinking that maybe I would try to sweet talk/bribe some of my friends and cohorts with alcohol n’ snacks into  re-designing my logo as well, and turning this into an ongoing series.
von glitschka

It’s Here: Adobe CS6 + Creative Cloud Subscription Service

AUTHOR:
DATE:
23 April 2012.

Adobe has released the latest iteration of it’s Creative Suite: Adobe CS6. The game changer for Adobe this go-round is the introduction of a software-as-a-service option called Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud will offer users a subscription-based offering of the Adobe software, a la carte and in the usual bundles.

adobe cs6

Adobe Creative Suite 6 consists of 14 applications, which are available in four different packages – Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium, and Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection.

The Design Standard suite costs $1,299 and the Master Collection which includes everything will run you $2,599.

Probably the best-known app in the bunch, Adobe Photoshop CS6, starts at $699.

The cost for the Creative Cloud subscription service is $49.99 monthly ($19.99 for students). Adobe Photoshop by itself is $19.99 per month.

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Mike Giant – Graffiti Legend

AUTHOR:
DATE:
28 January 2012.

Interior Design of Antonio Ballatore

AUTHOR:
DATE:
11 August 2011.

Antonio Ballatore, host of HGTV’s The Antonio Treatment does badass remodels of everyday homes. His style is very textural, industrial and creative. I like that he chooses comfortable furniture that you’d actually want to live in. He also has pretty great taste in artwork and color schemes. My lady records his show for me every week and I’m always inspired by his work.

Here are a couple before/after shots:



 

Concept sketches

AUTHOR:
DATE:
13 May 2010.

Concept sketches for an animation project from 2003. Illustrations by William Steinman. Hoping I find the time in 2010 to finally bring this to life.

william steinman sketch 1

william steinman sketch 2

william steinman sketch 3