Posted by: jonnyparis | April 19, 2008

Behance Network – Great for ideas

I am currently working on a project for the music artist Laszlo, and as part of that project, I am looking into all aspects of branding and web design to help me achieve the desired look for the final product.

While researching, I came across this website called ‘Behance Network’ (www.behance.net). The site’s purpose is to showcase and display content for creative people. It caters to all forms of visual design, including graphics designers, advertisers, digital artists, photographers, etc.

The Behance website’s layout and graphical style works well, and does not overtake the content being displayed. The navigation of the website is fairly simple, through the use of simple buttons and photos.

I spent some time checking out the showcases available, and was impressed with the amount quality and thought that went into the majority of the projects. I enjoy looking at all forms of art and media, and this website displays high-end work, which for me saves me time, as the traditional method of viewing good designs is simply to visit the designers website. However, this type of showcased website allows a user to look at lots of different portfolios all in one easy-to-navigate location.

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Posted by: jonnyparis | April 16, 2008

Admazing Website! ‘nastuh visual effects’

Today I looked at the Red Dot Awards (www.red-dot.de), and came across the winning website, which was created for Nastuh Abootalebi, a Munich-based visual effects company.

The website was designed by Scholz & Volkmer GmbH, Wiesbaden, who have worked on a variety of projects including work for Coca Cola and Swarovski.

I really like the design of the website. It’s clean, sophisticated, and professional. There is a good level of flash used in the website, which makes it very interactive and visually interesting.

I particularly like the built-in video player. The use of slick graphics displays the duration bar and player functions well. Within the video player, there is also a great feature that allows the user to see the footage pre-production, and this is done by hovering the mouse over the the playing video. When I tried out this feature, I noticed that objects and people had been removed during post production. I think the purpose of this is to show future clients, the work they do within the field.

Posted by: jonnyparis | April 5, 2008

Laszlo research: James White Graphic Designer

I recently did a blog on retro and vintage designs, and came across James White’s work. I decided to follow up the initial research by looking into James White as a designer, and have a look as his full online portfolio.

http://blog.signalnoise.com

I really like his style and the way he uses different forms of graphic, and a mixture of colours. His work has a 3D look, mixed with light effects. I think this gives it a slick and modern feel.

His personal portfolio on his website is well laid-out, and displays information both about himself and his designs in a clear and easy to read manner. While looking through his website, I took a great deal of inspiration and motivation from his work and experiences.

After undertaking this research, I now intend to try to produce similarly styled graphics for my current project ‘Laszlo’.

I am currently working on a project for the music artist Laszlo, and as part of the project I am currently undertaking research. I came across this interesting article from Smashing Magazine’s website.

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/04/21/celebration-of-vintage-and-retro-design/

The website was a fantastic source of ideas, and gave me all kinds inspiration for my own work. The article included all forms of designs, ranging from slick, modern-styled graphic to cheeky illustrations.

While look at the designs, I started to think about fonts, colors, shapes and textures. These designs show a range of options, some visually simple, and some made up of complex graphics. I particularly like the Daft Punk image by James White, and the Conducteur Universal image by James White and Chris Toms.

Both of these designs used a style of graphics and mixture of colors that would fit in perfectly with the Laszlo project. I gained a lot from looking at these designs, and will try to also replicate the same high-end professional finish in my own products.

To follow on from this research, I intend to look into James White’s works, to see what work he has done and also find out if any other work could potentially give me ideas for my own work.

Posted by: jonnyparis | March 30, 2008

Prague Break: Art, Museums & Culture

Between the 18th to 26th of March, I travelled to Prague in Czech Republic. I traveled all over the city, and participated in all kinds of interesting activities.

This visit was my first time in the Czech Republic, and I found the language to be difficult to grasp, however the local people were generally friendly and spoke English. I tried to see the “real” Prague, and went to several historical areas. While there, I saw some amazing architecture and examples of Eastern European culture. While visiting the old town area, I noticed that it had a easter market selling all kinds of traditional food and crafts.

The whole experience made me see and respect more traditional forms of design, the building and statues were different and unique when compared to the usual architecture of western Europe that I am used too. I also visited several museums and art house theaters, both interesting, and which showed me a alternative take on traditional forms.

When visiting one the theater we saw a play performed entirely under UV lighting. This was really interesting, as anything covered in black could not be seen, which allowed for creative uses of puppets and props that would not be possible in a traditional play. I found the whole experience weird and surreal, but also found it visually impressive, and it was nice to see an unfamiliar form of art. The whole Prague experience was a positive one, and I enjoy and experienced all aspects of Czech lifesyle, the old and the new. I would recommend it to someone who wants a well-priced holiday that is full of history, but also has good food and nightlife.

Posted by: jonnyparis | March 29, 2008

MR T & World of Warcraft! what next??

I found out about this video, from a friend and fellow Interactive Media student. The video features the famous icon and actor, Mr T, talking about World of Warcraft. The video was random and funny, I think the meets its goal, saying that all kinds of people play ‘WOW’ including Mr T.

I enjoy simple, but effective, advertisements. It shows how a good core idea is key to grabbing an audience’s attention. Since initially seeing it online, I have also seen it on television and heard a radio version.

Posted by: jonnyparis | February 28, 2008

Nintendo Vison – Interactive Floor

While searching for interactive media on Digg.com, I came across this new and exciting technology.
Nintendo have patented an idea called ‘Nintendo Vision’ in Japan. There is currently only limited information available, but this news confirms that Nintendo’s aim is to progress further into the interactivity they began with the DS and Wii systems, and become number one in interactive gaming experiences.

On Google video, there is a video displaying some people using the product, and from what I can see it looks excellent. I can tell that this product has a lot of potential for commercial use- not only for Nintendo products, such as dance games, but also for a multitude of other uses including shop displays, clubs, and live music performances. Of the ideas I came up with, my favorite idea for this technology was to make use of it on fashion show runways.

This could enhance the experience of a model walking down a catwalk, making it much more visually interesting, as the clothing would seem to interact with the floor.
Looking in to this technology made me aware that there are a wide variety of possibilities with interactive media that have not yet been capitalized on. Because it is based on something so essential as a floor, there are many ways for it to be incorporated into larger projects. It would help to immerse a user in any experience it would be used for, from interactive gaming to creating atmosphere in a children’s restaurant.

Posted by: jonnyparis | February 19, 2008

Blueray WINS

I have been keeping track of the current format war between Blue-Ray and HD-DVD over the past couple of months. Both of these new formats, have been competing to replace the DVD. The Blue-Ray technology was developed by Sony, and backed by high profile companies such as Apple and Pixar. On the other side is HD-DVD, which is backed by Toshiba and Microsoft.

I have been checking the internet and today, the format war was won. The victor was Blue-Ray, this and decision has now made Sony even more powerful within the market place. It will especially help the sales of Sony’s gaming console the Playstation 3, which comes with a built-in Blue-Ray player.

‘TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba Corp (6502.T) is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for high definition DVDs, conceding defeat to the competing Blu-Ray technology backed by Sony Corp (6758.T), a company source said on Saturday.’

Web Link: http://paulhartrick.com/blueray-wins-the-format-race

This format war reminds me of the story of VHS and BETAMAX, which VHS won. Sooner or later Blue-Ray will be replaced with a better format, however that wont be for many years. Following the news that Blue-Ray has won the race for the new disc player format, I may look into purchasing one for myself to see what all the fuss is about.

Posted by: jonnyparis | February 15, 2008

The Power of StumbleUpon (Web Application)

I was in class today, checking my e-mails and doing some unit work, when I noticed some of my fellow students using an application called StumbleUpon, which, I found out, is a new method for searching the internet. So when I got back home, I installed the apllication, was amazed at how easy and effective the program was. StumbleUpon works by asking the user to provide information about their interests when they sign up for the service, and then sends them to pages relating to those interests whenever they click on the “StumbleUpon” icon installed in their browser’s toolbar.

The service is free and is easy to install. I’ve found it great for those moments when you’re bored and in need of something to read or watch. The only problem with StumbleUpon is that, while it’s useful, it can even be additive and before you know it you’ll spend a long time looking through an endless supply of websites.

Another reason why I like StumbleUpon is because you can rate the website’s you’re sent to, so that the system can learn which websites you like, and which ones you don’t. This way, any future stumbles will send you to sites that are more likely to interest you.

Since installing the application, I have recommended it to many of my family and friends. I also discovered that StumbleUpon was acquired on May of 2007 for $75,000,000(75 million) USD by Ebay. This shows how quickly well-made products can catch on and become worth vast amounts of money.

Posted by: jonnyparis | February 4, 2008

Video Forum, Earls Court London

On the 1st of February, I traveled to Earls Court, London, to visit Video Forum, a video technology exhibition. The show had all kinds of new and exciting products on display, ranging from camcorders to digital compostering.

I learned a lot about the potential opportunities, as well as the limitations, within the video industry. Particularity, the most talked-about technology – High definition (HD). There were many stalls displaying new forms of this technology, and trying to express why their product was better than the others on display.

As part of the show, there were many tutorials and seminars. I went to a Sony based on HD technology, and found it to be interesting and informative. They placed emphasis on the cost implications of making a production, and how HD is much cheaper than film to make. Because of this, companies such as BBC, are choosing to shoot their dramas in HD. In addition to this, the talk explained that people are currently asking when HD video will replace film. The person conducting the talk explained that there should be more emphasis on the opportunities for both formats. They each have their own unique look and style, and should not be directly compared. However, he did explain that a lot of money is currently being spent HD technology on future related products and testing on the format. So, he said, sooner or later, this format will eventually replace film.

Another subject that the talk hit on was video camcorder technology. The current digital video tape going to be replaced by a hard-drive (built into camcorder). Some companies are willing to make the transfer over, and the presenter thought that because digital tape is a good and reliable technology, it will not fully be replaced for at least few years.

The video forum experience was an important experience for me, as it helped to make me into a more knowledgeable and up-to-date designer. I chose to visit Video Forum external to my course work, and will look to do the same next year, as I feel it is important to learn and experience as much as possible.

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