The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Posts Tagged ‘Digital Art’

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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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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Art and Science Collide

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 12, 2008


dna_strandThere has always been a connection between art and science, artists and scientists, and alike.  It’s not always easy to find an artist-scientist, but they’ve always been around.  They have been evident throughout the centuries and one that comes to mind would be Leonardo di Vinci.  He was considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time, at the same time being a noted scientist.

Today, people are really starting to tap into this idea of combining art and science.  To push cutting-edge art into the limelight, artists, engineers, etc, are using  the combination of the two fields to produce amazing pieces of work.  In one of my earlier blogs, “Welcome to the New Age of Interactive Art,” I briefly discuss how interactive art is pushing the limits of what is “art” this day in age.  Without the use of physics, mathematics, robotics, engineering, along with an artistic idea, those examples I had shown would never had been created.

With artists becoming aware of sciences and scientists becoming aware of the artistic potential of their abilities, they are defining what people consider, post-modern or contemporary art.  Shannon O’Grady posted a blog titled “Coming Soon to an Orchestra Pit Near You,” which shows a robot named WF-4RIV, who was created and programmed at Waseda University in Japan, to play Flight of the Bumblebees on the flute.  This is a great example of great engineering and a great artistic piece of work. 

With so many exhibitions showcasing work that revolves around the idea of art and science combined, I’m curious to see how artists/scientists will keep trying to raise the bar on this re-defined art form.


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Canadian Graphic Designers

Posted by Matt Harbottle on October 22, 2008



Thanks in part to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), Canadian graphic designers are becoming more recognized than ever before.  Canada, often forgotten in the world-view of leading edge technology, the GDC helps promote high standards of visual design by Canadian designers.  It’s Canada’s time to shine.
Graphic design is becoming a huge asset to all industries world-wide, making it an essential resource to companies, schools, markets, etc.  The GDC, formed in 1956, has been an advocate, voice, and resource for Canada’s graphic design profession.  It is a member-based organization of design professionals from all fields.
Once a designer has signed up for a membership with the GDC, they can then promote themselves within the site.  They can edit their profile, contact information, showcase their work, post jobs, or even look for jobs that are posted on the site.
Being an aspiring graphic designer, I see the GDC being a great resource for improving my skills as a designer, as well as helping my career in the future.  The GDC offers awards, post jobs, have links to schools of graphic design, promote their members, and that isn’t even scratching the surface.  Due to the fact that I am still a student, I plan to build up my portfolio before joining.  So GDC, why not join?

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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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