This is Why Timing, Cadence, and Tempo are so Important.

OK maybe it’s just me, but the narration on this exquisitely animated piece by French motion designer and director Cyrille Smaha  just ruins the visual. It sounds like some jacked up auto tune rendition. There is no punctuation, no timing, no cadence, no flow. Everything is delivered at the exact same tempo which creates an auditory tension that completely takes away from the collage of visuals that are really quite striking in form, and movement. Watch this with the sound off first. I say off first because once you hear it, the voice over will be stuck in your head. Just watch the animation and take it in, now turn on the volume, and give it a second go. It’s jolting, and disconcerting how the audio juxtaposes itself against the visual. this might have been the intent for artistic director Roxane Lagache but it seems to break the overall experience. If you watch it a third time, pause the playback and read out loud the words on screen as you would if you were speaking them with punctuation, and normal inflection. That will make it even more apparent that the voice over is simply not working. It seems completely out of place for the Chanel brand and product line.


Subway Cento. Subway Poetry from Jack Cheng

Jack Cheng creates wonderful poems from fragments of New York subway signs. The poetry created from these snippets of advertising, is a visually wonderful cacophony of letter forms and colors. The poems themselves are modern balance of editorial with and insight. I’ve posted a few images below, but its worth your time to go to Cheng’s website and have a look at all of them.





Monday is Going to the Dogs.

I’m a dog person. Even when I didn’t own a dog, I was a dog person. Because I’m a dog person, I am posting a series of images created by illustrator Peter Clark. Clark’s collages are constructed from found paper, maps, and other ephemera that is alive with texture, color, movement, and pattern. The images capture the feel of the dog breeds he portrays, and gives each individual canine a personality to match. Enjoy dog lovers.

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Design Friday, Illustrator Miles Donovan.

I have always said that artist Robert Rauschenberg was ahead of his time. Rauschenberg’s densely layered paintings and prints are stacks of images and colors, that have influenced thousands of artists and designers over the last 50 years, myself included. When I look at his last works that were printed by Gemini GEL in Los Angeles, there is a creation level of what I call a “Photoshop Aesthetic” to them. I don’t mean this in a negative way, instead I mean it in the way that Photoshop is so pervasive in visual culture, that it has certain looks. Rauschenberg had that look decades before Adobe even existed, and before Photoshop was glimmer in John Knoll’s eye.

The reason I am saying this is because today’s Design Friday choice is London-based Illustrator Miles Donovan, and his work reminds me of Robert Rauschenberg, and that is a good thing.

Donovan’s work is a lush blending of photographic images, colors, and words all stacked together to create a solid final image. His gift comes from an ability to visually edit his compositions in a way that allows them to speak more clearly. All to often, designers become seduced by the software and the medium. They tend to push visual metaphors, and add layer upon layer of information. Donovan on the other hand stacks just enough to convey the message, and keep the composition interesting. Miles Donovan Balances vintage images, with current, rich color pallets, and limited sections of editorial to create some very wonderful and refined work.  Looking at his online portfolio, you can see how his eye has evolved from the earlier works to the current. Some of the older pieces are very densely packed with multiple layers obscuring each other. The color pallets are more limited in range, the focus is less organized, but when you view the collection as a whole you see the connection and growth as an illustrator. Even his black and white collages have that same visual quality, that design balance, that helps his work to stand out. I can’t wait to see what direction his work takes next.