The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Posts Tagged ‘BP’

How to Make Mistakes on Purpose was Successful

Posted by Matt Harbottle on December 3, 2008

When considering all aspects of graphic design, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts that go along with it.  There are tons of rules and guidelines that an artist should follow to create a successful, structured composition, that will please the viewer.  Apparently that isn’t always the case, according to Laurie Rosenwald.

Laurie is a successful artist, who’s areas of expertise include drawing, graphic design, and typography.  She is also a published author and has taught graphic design at School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, NYU, and Pratt Institute.  She tours the world, teaching a workshop called “How to Make Mistakes on Purpose.”

Rosenwald can be seen as an open-minded, “crazy” artist who is successful at what she does, with a no holds barred attitude, that stirs attention from all around the world.  Her philosophy being, “If you try very hard to create a good thing it will probably be bad.”  So on that note, she tries to promote that an artist should try to make mistakes… on purpose.  Not quite following?  Me either.

I’ve decided to give her crazy antics some consideration and attend her workshop that will be held in Banff, Alberta, on November 20-23.  I’m curious to see how she will lay out the processes of purposely making mistakes.  She emphasizes that anyone can attend and it’s not just for designers.  This is where it begins to worry me.

I hope to not waste a whole weekend of my life to listen to someone tell me how to get into my spiritual mindset and to let go of what I thought I knew about design.  Unfortunately for us skeptics, the outline of the workshop does not exist, for the content “MUST be a SURPRISE.”  Once again, getting worried, but I will still give it a try.

For anyone interested in attending the workshop, visit Laurie’s website for dates.





My apologies to Laurie.  Apparently the workshop in November was a complete success.  Unable to attend myself, I heard nothing but good things.  My previous post above, which I had originally posted in October, may have come off as detouring to some readers.  I really wish I could have attended, but due to school and work, this wasn’t possible.

The activities included in the workshop were as wacky and unusual as I had anticipated.  Unable to discuss what had all taken place at the workshop, my fellow artists from school that did attend, simple commented that, “it was weird.”  One could only imagine what really did take place that weekend.  Looking at this picture that was taken from the workshop… who knows?  





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Graphic Design Rule-of-Thumb

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 26, 2008

photoshop_new1As the graphic design industry grows every year, more and more people take interest in becoming a graphic designer themselves.  All must start as amateur designers to build their experience and knowledge, but many fail to realize that to pass this level of design, because they don’t understand the rules.

Rules, you ask?  It’s true.  There are many rules and guidelines that one must follow to produce professional work without looking like an amateur designer.  With so many guidelines, they can often be overlooked, but are essential if you want to be taken as a professional designer.  Here are possibly the most important things to take into account.

Design Rule-of-thumb:

  1. Audience  take note on who your target audience is going to be.  Design in relation to what would interest them. “Know your Audience.”
  2. Layout  – When making a design layout, the page has to be as functional as possible.  Keep the composition in a directional flow, having one main focus for the viewer to be drawn to.
  3. Typography  – This can be very important.  Keep the text legible and it readable.  Don’t lose the viewer with over-decorated fonts. Try to keep it simple.
  4. Image  – Images can help catch the viewers interest by enhancing the content.  Images should help direct the viewer to an idea.  Try to limit the amount of images to ensure that the viewer doesn’t become lost.
  5. Color  – The use of color helps evoke a reaction from a viewer.  Color can help promote certain emotions and moods that can further enhance the content.  Warm colors suggest warmth whereas cool colors suggest coolness… pretty straight forward.  One thing to note is that warm colors tend to appear larger than cool colors.

photoshoptip31One thing that isn’t a rule, rather a suggestion is to try to avoid using effects and filters when designing in Photoshop and Illustrator.  Professionals usually frown on the use of these, seeing them as amateur designing.  To understand the guidelines on designing further, visit the Graphic Design Basics webpage to read more in depth.



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Please cue Miss Wray

Posted by Shannon O'Grady on November 26, 2008

There isn't a can of bug spray big enough...

The spider rises up like something out of the glory day of Sci-Fi movies

THIS IS NOT A MOVIE STILL!  This is not related to any movie in anyway.  This is a giant walking mechanical spider built by French artists and engineers La Machine, for fun and science!  Hurray for Science!  Thirty hard working men and women built and modeled this mechanical marvel on a real spider and set it loose (with a properly trained and snappily dressed team of 18 to run it) on Liverpool, England.

Sadly, I’ve come across this info too late (thanks Daily Planet) and sadly we cannot all hop aboard the next flight to England to see this marvel.  “La Princesse”, as the spider has been dubbed, roamed around Lime Street Station in Liverpool for five days in September as part of cultural celebrations.  I know, I know, it’s old news but it’s SO COOL.

Here the lower tier full of operators can be seen above the crowd

18 crew members view the crowd from above

Ok, so how is this related to tech?  COME ONE!  Can you IMAGINE the engineering that went in to this thing!  It walks on 8 spindly little legs OVER the crowds without hurting a SOUL!  I’m sorry if I’m gushing, but having engineers and computer science majors for friends has left me with an appreciation for this stuff.

Think about it, this is composed of the same parts that move cranes and bulldozers, lifts garage doors and Zamboni squeegee bits.  That’s like the Mythbusters cobbling a car out of Meccano!  Can you imagine seeing that machine rolling around the streets of San Francisco?  Actually… that sounds like a wicked idea… I think I’m gonna go e-mail that in to M5, but I digress.  The point is, this is an amazing fushion of technical science and art, and I would love to know more about how this beauty was built.

Also, as an explanation of the title for this piece: Fay Wray was the original movie scream queen, and a fellow Albertan.  You probably know her best as the blond in the original King Kong who screams bloody horor as she’s dragged away by the ape.

I’ll stop ranting and raving at you now, and I appologize for the overzelous post but this is the kind of madness-meets-art-meets-science-project thing we need to see more of to really get people interested in funding and paying attention to the Science and Engineering community.

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Is it really a Dream: Eternal Sonata for the PS3

Posted by Shannon O'Grady on November 20, 2008

After a year of waiting Eternal Sonata made it's debute on the PS3 last month

After a year of waiting Eternal Sonata made it's debut on the PS3 in Oct.

As I said earlier I’ve been spending a lot of time playing Eternal Sonata lately after I rented it for my PS3.  Though it’s been out on the XBOX 360 for a year now I’ve been religiously avoid propaganda and information on the game to keep my impression of the game pristine.

Now there are many reviews of the content of Eternal Sonata so I’m gonna gloss over that a bit, but there’s some new content for the PS3 version of the game that I found really fun!

So Eternal Sonata is a J-RPG based loosely around the life of pianist and composer Frederic Chopin.  Don’t worry aside from some educational cinematic there’s very little in the game that is directly related to the life of Chopin.  Instead the gameplay takes place in a dream had by the character Chopin as he lays dieing in Paris.  I haven’t finished the game yet so I don’t know if this is true or not, but it makes for a neat premise.

Prince Cresendo is now playable and joins the party wielding a Mace and Shield.

Prince Crescendo is now playable and joins the party wielding a Mace and Shield.

Anyway, the usual multiple characters from different backgrounds with different purposes make their appearances and eventually you have a nicely balanced crew to choose you battle party from.  The characters are a little stereotyped but all have compelling stories and personalities. Eventually you have to go and defeat evil and change the world and save everyone.  The usual hero story with a romantic subplot or two.  This particular game features strong overtones of nationalism (this being based on Chopins life in exile) and personal integretity.

Like I said, I’m glossing over the storyline quiet a bit.  I’d love to review it, but it’s been done before.  So on to the new PS3 content.

Princess Serenade has also become playable fighting with a staff and magic

Princess Serenade has also become playable fighting with a staff and magic

Prince Cresendo and Princess Serenade are key players in the game’s storyline as thier titles suggest.  In the orignal realease of Eternal Sonata these characters were not playable but that has been changed in the PS3 version.  So far I’ve spent about 3 hours playing with them (that includes a lot of leveling up and the like) and though they didn’t stay in my party I have a feeeling they’ll be back.

There are new dungeons too; mostly quick levels with pretty backgrounds and have a few helpful items mixed in.  I’m having a hard time seeing which are original and which are new, which is impressive that they blend so seamlessly into a complicated game.  These new levels also give us new scenes which further explain character origins and the mechanics of the game world.  I’m somewhat surprised they weren’t in the games first version because they’re really helpful and expand the game quiet a bit.

Theres very few images available of the new costumes yet.  This is Polka in her new green dress (normally wears pink as seen on game cover)
Polka looks great in green!

The look and sound of the game got a tiny tweak for the new system with new musical versions of Chopin’s music being put in and new character portraits.  Of course there’s all the new art seen in the new levels, which shouldn’t be sold short.  Graphically this game is PRETTY!

Lastly, and staying in line with the PRETTY look fo the game, you can now but three of the game’s main characters in to new costumes.  I’ve only found one so far.  😦

So that’s the run down.  Pretty major stuff eh?  Almost makes it worth the year wait.  Almost… I’m not a patient woman Namco-Bandai.  Don’t let it happen again, or there will be no dessert for you.

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Barack Obama Art Movement

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 19, 2008

As we know, President-Elect Barack Obama will be stepping into office in January 2009.  He is now known as the “wired” president, but did you know he’s an art movement as well?  Most artwork produced that revolves around Barack himself came out during the pre-election period as people wanted to show their support, at the same time promoting him.  But since he has won the election, the “Barack art” keeps on coming.obama-art-22

The Artworks come in all different mediums, but it seems that a lot of the pieces distributed online tend to be from digital art forms.  Coincidence that Barack being “wired” would fuel these digital works?  Probably not, but to me I think it’s an interesting concept.  Why now?  Why didn’t art movements take off before when other American elections were taking place?  Maybe the idea of being “wired” to the youths of the world relates to being “cool” and in touch with what’s really going on.  After all the old, out-of-date presidents prior, why wouldn’t they want to promote and idolize a guy like Barack by creating artworks of him.

obama-21As it stands right now, everything Barack touches turns to gold.  Barack art is selling like there’s no tomorrow.  As many sites online are out to make a buck  by selling these artworks, I would hope that most artists would be doing it just for the sake of showing their appreciation and support.  On the other hand, if the opportunity arose to make some money at it, I’m not sure if I could really blame the artists who make a few dollars at it.  After all, the world has gone “Obama Crazy.”

Hundreds of sites have been popping up that showcase “Barak art,” even sites like the Obama Art report that are specifically dedicated to the art movement.  Another site, Design for Obama, is a free site that shows how graphic designers best support Barack obama. 


So maybe this gave Barack a slight advantage over John McCain’s campaign.  Having attractive, well designed shirts and clothing that McCain seemed to lack.

Not only did the movement take-off online, exhibitions have sprouted all around the world as well.  One American exhibition can be seen here, and another I found interseting is this gallery all the way in Paris, France.


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