Posts filed under ‘webdesign’
We are celebrating the 60 years of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights this year. Which is great, actually that document means more to humanity than most people realize. Probably because the general understanding of what Human Rights are is just not understood well enough.
Well I guess you live in a place where the majority of these rights are still somewhat respected, but scratch just a bit below the surface and you’ll probably notice one violation after the next.
Now I wont get on a roll about that, rather I wanted to show a few videos that I saw on Human Rights which I think apply the concept of practical design. You may wonder how that applies to graphic design – well the design is usefull if it is aesthetic enough to be admired while delivering the message.
For example a well designed chair isn’t just comfortable (of course it is that too) but it is pleasing to the eye and does it’s purpose. Well a book cover should not just be pleasing to the eye (it must be that) but it should also communicate to the viewer enough so he picks it up and wants to get it, because it tells him enough about the story to make him want to read it. OK I dont’ want to bore you with these details. Let’s get to the point.
I saw this video on Human Rights by www.humanrightsactioncenter.org and I really think it is just great. The design attracted me, the way the text merges into the message, into the illustrations, into the animations etc. is just great. And the essential point is that the communication comes across. (Btw, sign their petition to include the declaration of Human Rights into all passports)
The only problem with the video is that it needs to be redone for every language, and it only works to those that can read.
The Youth for Human Rights group (www.youthforhumanrights.org) have an amazing series of videos which overcome that (you can download the videos from their site or watch them on YouTube they are in short series and communicate well, the design in this case is the script which is great as it is short and to the point with a minimum amount of words.
This one is on the Right to Play – the music is particularly good. It sounds like Beck but am not sure and can’t find any reference stating it is or isn’t him. In any case – I love it.
So in summary, DESIGN TO COMMUNICATE.
A few weeks ago I blogged about the photos from Serge of Paris and other areas. He recently redid his site and the result is quite nice, all done in WordPress (yes I did have a word to say in that).
His new site looks like this, the landing page is his blog which is great as it keeps the site alive and human.
I suggest you check it out here.
One of the shots is an amazing black and white shot of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. The sky is pretty nice and the museum too, but the most amazing in this shot is the sharpness and light effects on the rhinoceros. It is not just the contrast of the photo but the contrast of a rhino overlooking Paris.
click on the link on the site or here: http://www.photoserge.com sit back and enjoy.
A few weeks ago the Church of Scientology launched a new line of books and recorded lectures on CD. There are 19 new books and 11 modules of CDs.
They are released under an overall banner called the Golden Age of Knowledge and Basics which you can learn more about on the web site.
Now I am writing this post from the viewpoint of design and lettering. The book covers, the color, the design and the interior design of these books is spectacular, I cropped a couple of parts from the covers and included them here.
The rules of color harmony have been adhered to exactly, the lettering is real smart – keep in mind that these books and lectures were released in 15 languages. So instead of doing custom lettering for every title in 15 languages what they did was select fonts and combine them into neat lettering.
The book quality is great, all digitally printed hardback books, even have thumb-indexes.
The image above is a front shot of one of the books and one of the CD modules. It’s not really a descriptive shot – mainly artistic but gives some idea.
And check out the web site. It’s got a better shot of each of these books and modules plus a description of each. And enjoy the Flash graphics.
The images here are (in sequence) from, Advanced Procedures & Axioms book and the Thought, Emotion and Effort lectures. Then it is the cover art from the brochure (which you can see on-line) and the image on the bottom is from the Dianetics 55! book and the Unification Congress Lectures.
note: These books are read in a specific sequence, the presentation here is not per that sequence.
I took this shot of a bike in the snow the other day. Following my earlier post (Dude where’s my bike – a lesson in 3D font usage) I thought I would bring this sequel.
Just like the bikes can’t be found in the snow, so will your message if you don’t use your color harmony well. I found the following would be a good basic to start from.
What is color?
Technically we could explain color like some do in encyclopedias. Something like “physical phenomenon of light or vision associated with the various wavelengths in the visible portion of the electromagneticspectrum. As a sensation experienced by human beings and some animals, perception of colour is a complex neurophysiological process.” Per the Encarta Encyclopedia.
While this may serve a technical defition it doesn’t give us a better understanding of what color is and how to use it.
Color could be simply said to be a visible characteristic used to distinguish similarities and differences in an object, painting, picture etc.
Arguably more than half of the beauty in an object, painting, picture comes from the color. Think about a bouquet in black and white. It would be nice but it would just not quite be as nice as it could be.
But color can also turn a nice painting or object into something so repellent you just want to get rid of it fast. Imagine a room with beige walls with fine gold ornaments and a Bordeaux carpet and in the middle of that place the most expensive renaissance chair, a true piece of art, painted in bright green. Had your vision been in black and white you would still consider that a gorgeous room.
Almost everyone can somewhat figure out what fits and what doesn’t. But how can you be sure. And what do you do when you are told your Powerpoint presentation needs to feature the company logo which is bright green and simply doesn’t fit with any of the charts you made. Or after you found out at a recent seminar that the color that would best represent your company is red yet all your point of sale materials you have are green.
How can you know what other colors you can use or rather you must use to make the presentation attractive (and thus sell)?
Here is where the laws of color harmony come in. To understand color harmony you first need to understand the word harmony. Harmony is defined as a pleasing effect produced by an arrangement of things. It comes from the Greek word harmonia ‘agreement, concord’ which came from the word harmozein ‘to fit together’.
This is the secret of color using color; harmony. There are laws to color harmony, there are limits and boundaries and exceptions to these which are explained with the color wheel.
Let your bosses have at you, tell you that your presentation needs contain their favorite colors, let the marketing analysts present you their color surveys, no matter what color you are asked to include. With the color wheel you are never lost.
Just like any other field, there are laws to this game and knowing them and having the tools to use them replaces your rickety string ladder with granite steps of certainty.
There is no way around it. The color wheel is a basic to creation like a paint brush is to a painter. You can paint with your fingers but you won’t get a Monalisa.
The color wheel existed long before computers, but recently a company did a pretty neat little software called color-wheel-pro. You’ll find a link to it in my tools section on the right. Try it out – it works well the new version (2.0) fixed some points missng in prior edition. It’s soon perfect.
Art Lebedev studios are working on a project that is probably going to relieve thousands of people working on international relations… the Optimus 103 Keyboard.
Now the buys atEngadget (and I really love their blog) have been giving this one a hard time. But no matter all of that, this piece of kit will seriously work when it’s out.
A keyboard where every key is actually a little screen and depending on how you program it, it’ll show the characters needed. Switch between Russian, English, French, Japanese. Between lowercase and uppercase.
And better, you can set the keys so they have the icon of the tools you are using in Photoshop etc.
If you don’t get the importance of this announcemen, you just haven’t gone through the pain of multi-languages.
Now all we need to do is get the price down!
Got this shot from the snow this week.
It’s quite fun on the picture of a bike in the snow, but imagine that as a 3D effect on text and you’ll see it’s not good for your lettering. Just like you won’t find your bike here, you’ll have a hard time reading the text.
Why – because it becomes hard to read. 3D effects on lettering decrease the contrast, so if you put too much on your piece the text and the art blend together.
On the post I did a few days ago on the Stencil Graffiti in Copenhagen by Dolk you see what high contrast means. Event on a colorful or random background, the lettering and art is clear.
There are still too many people that think modern means using modern tools (i.e. lots of 3D lettering because the new Photoshop software can make 3D lettering). Don’t fall into that trap.
Here is an example how it should not be done:
– Bad font choice
– 3D effect overdone this looses all contrast
– Too much shadow and too strong
– Serif fonts don’t do well with any 3D effects
– No color choice
Here is an example of the same and how it can be done:
– Sans-serif font
– 3D effect subdued
– Shadow just enough to give effect
– Font choice better
– Colors used to focus attention
Hope this helps, comment if you have questions.
I got these pictures from a friend of mine in Copenhagen they’re from an artist called Dolk. This guy is pretty incredible – the quality of the stencil is out of this world. Didn’t know him before but seems to be pretty famous internationally, at least if you google his name you get quite some returns with photo galleries of his work and more!
I heard they even sell prints of it.
I remember when stencil graffitti started in the 1980s it was nothing like this stuff! He has taken it to a new level.
Unfortunately I don’t quite think he asked permission to paint so I was told the stuff is washed off now – I would dedicate a wall for some of these.
Update: See also my latest post to find more images and resources on Dolk.