The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Posts Tagged ‘Digital Culture’

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?  





Posted in Digital Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.



Posted in Digital Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.


Posted in Digital Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.


Posted in Digital Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Ever Happened to CorelDraw?

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 5, 2008



Back in the 90’s, when someone needed a design made, the program to use was CorelDRAW.  Now a days (this could just be me) rarely do you hear of anyone using the program.  What happened?

When I was taking visual communications class back in High school (in the late-90’s), for the brief unit in graphic design, the only computer program we used was CorelDraw.  At that time the Adobe programs were unheard of, at least at my school.  It makes me wonder why CorelDRAW vanished from schools and replaced with the Adobe suites?

goodcoreldraw61Presumably, when I was in high school we were using Version 6 or 7 at that time and after doing some research online, I’ve come to realize that there has been seven other versions of CorelDRAW since then.  That also includes their latest release of version X4 that was released this year.  To top it off, it seems as though it runs a lower cost than its competitors Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4).  On the other hand, CS4 includes numerous multimedia programs whereas X4 suite does not.  Could this be why it isn’t as popular anymore?

As I’m currently in University taking New Media, we only use Adobe CS3 for design classes.  It wasn’t until a few days ago , while talking to a fellow graphic designer, did I even remember the programs existence. “What ever happened to that?”  This could very well be because of my own neglect, but do you blame me?  The hype is always about Photoshop and Illustrator

goodcorel_x4With X4, it has similar features that the new CS4 has.  It features bitmap-to-vector conversion, vector illustration, photo editing, and so on, which are also featured in CS4.  One new feature that CS4 includes, that surprisingly is also included in X4 that my fellow blogger Rod would be especially fond of, is the raw camera file support. 

So with CorelDRAW’s competitive features, why aren’t more people using the program?  Why isn’t it just as popular as Adobe?  If anyone has any comments or answers to this topic, i would be very interested to hear what you have to say.



Posted in Digital Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »