The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Posts Tagged ‘Design’

THEMES (omg!) for Gmail

Posted by Rod Leland on November 19, 2008

Google has just started rolling out a new feature in Gmail Labs that adds Theme support to gmail.  Many add-ons and plugins have added this feature previously and now google themselves have stepped up. For so, so, so many people who use gmail in the browser as an online web-app this is great news.  Hopefully Google will add a feature that allows user-submitted themes as well.  The rollout has already started but google tends to roll things out slowly to balance server load and detect bugs early on.  Check for the Themes tab under settings and if you dont have the setting yet, It should drop soon.   Some Samples Via Google:


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Welcome to the New Age of Interactive Art

Posted by Matt Harbottle on October 8, 2008


When you think about the word “art,” what comes to mind? For me as a graphic designer, the first things are, paintings, drawings, sculptures, digital prints, and so on, but apparently those mediums just don’t cut it anymore. Welcome to the new world of interactive art.



I would have never thought that to become a cutting edge artist in the twenty-first century, one would have to spend years in school learning computer sciences, engineering, physics, robotics, and alike. Now it’s evident that to catch someone’s eye, you have to bring something new and exciting to the table. I.e, Interactive art. 




Most North American’s can say that they’ve attended an art gallery or exhibition of some kind at one point or another in their life. If not an art enthusiast, a lot would probably say it was “boring.” On the other hand, traditional art lover’s analyse art from an emotional standpoint and base it on how it makes them feel. What if you could attend an exhibition and not only have the art spark certain emotions, but also communicate and interact with you? It caught my attention. 


To consider a piece of art being interactive, it would have to involve the spectator in some way. I have seen so many variations and techniques used now, it seems the possibilities are endless of what the designers can come up with. Some incorporate sounds, music, physical movement and illusions, which turns the art into a multimedia art-form, opposed to just 2D and 3D art. Interesting collision of artistic expression pooled into one form, which questions if static or stationary art is enough anymore?



So what’s the next art craze? Artists are trying to create the next movement constantly, combining new and old styles, where some artists are successful. To view some good examples of these artists, I would suggest visiting to view some great and not so great work.



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Photoshop vs. Illustrator

Posted by Matt Harbottle on September 24, 2008

When it comes to the leading design programs by Adobe Systems, everyone has their own opinion on which  is better, Photoshop or Illustrator.  Most amateur designers tend to lean towards the use of Photoshop, usually because of its popularity and its navigation is easier to get a grasp of, whereas Illustrator is a little more complex.  When a designer becomes a little more advanced with graphic design, the decision would be left up to them, but for most, they would make that decision based on what they want to create.  Which program do you prefer?

Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program which is the leader of all programs alike.  First released in 1990, it is usually used for modifying digital images, that being photos or existing images elsewhere.  The difference from Photoshop and Illustrator is that Photoshop manipulates individual pixels within a bitmap, using layers.  The problem with Photoshop is that when images are scaled, they can often lose image quality.

Adobe Illustrator is a vector based postscript drawing program which is in the same suite as Photoshop.  Originally released in 1987 for the Mac, this program is usually used to create drawings, manipulate text, and for its tracing capabilities.  Since Illustrator is vector based (uses paths that have a start and end point), it makes it a better choice to use when creating logos, unique designs, etc.  When the final image is scaled in size, it does not lose image quality like when using Photoshop.

For myself, I find it hard to pick a favorite.  I use both programs on a regular basis for different reasons.  Even though both programs are starting to incorporate some of the same features, each program is better and unique in their own way.  By the way these programs have been evolving over the years, they are becoming more alike.  Maybe Adobe plans to combine both the programs into one, to create one universal mega design program.  Time will tell.


Next week – Adobe CS4 (Stonhedge)

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