About a year ago Google launched a new line of video shorts for YouTube called Google Spotlight Stories, a specific immersive video platform with mobile users in mind. The video below can be panned through as the action takes place, but where this really shines is when you watch the video on an Android or iOS device in the native YouTube app.
Rain or Shine directed by Felix Massie is the latest in the series of shorts and is really quite impressive beyond the technology. The story and character development are superb drawing the viewer in and engaging with them as the explore the environment as the story plays out. The story is simple yet clever. The main character, Ella puts on a pair of magical sunglasses and travels through her London neighborhood creating chaos before learning how to use the glasses for good.
This really is a better experience on your phone, so if you have a chance watch it and the other Google Spotlight Stories there.
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Over the last year I have noticed an emerging visual trend that has started popping up in all sorts of videos, and will probably make it’s way to the rest of the creative world. It is a black and white, lo-fi, grainy, not quite 8-bit look. It reminds me of 1980’s video camera footage that has been mashed up with a sort of hand-drawn style. I say sort of, because like in the video below it is obviously digital. The lines and shapes have a hand-drawn quality to them, but they are to clean. Like the art brushes that come with Adobe illustrator. Then there is the background texture, in this case paper, but in a number of other videos I’ve seen it’s is fine digital noise. Fake signal noise that has been added to the clip to give it a dirty analog look. I’m curious how long it’ll be before this makes it’s way to mainstream advertising, at which point we can add it to the “jumped the shark” list like so many other trends of late. (sketchbook, stop motion, hyper color, 8-bit graphics and sound…)
By the way, this is quite hypnotic. Consider yourself warned.
Having spent more than half of my life working in the graphic design and communications business I have seen many design trends come and go. One thing that is certain, is the state of graphic design is in constant flux. This is reflected in “Graphic Design Today” an in-depth survey on progressive contemporary graphic design from Gestalten. In recent years, graphic designs relationship with adjoining disciplines such as illustration, three-dimensional installation art, industrial design, interactive design, UI/UX design has pushed the further development of the discipline. And this in turn is raising the bar for graphic designers.
This book from Gestalten examines and documents the current state of graphic design, identifying some of the most visionary young designers at the top of their game with examples of their progressive design aesthetics in the printed form. The book features a wide range of graphic design samples ranging from poster design, book, and magazine editorial design as well as typography. Most of the work is print oriented and shows a trend that I find interesting, a desconstructavist approach to visual design that blends elements of the 1980’s 90’s and early 2000’s into a unique style that intentionally manipulates and distorts traditional rules and ideas with a playful and experimental verve.
Graphic Design Today features design trends from Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, France, Great Britain and the USA. Through abundant visuals and illuminating texts accompanying each featured project, and a foreword by François Rappo, renowned typographer, and teacher at ECAL Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, this expansive volume provides an in-depth look at the state-of-the-art of contemporary graphic design and is going in my design library.
This morning while drinking my coffee I read interesting article on the Huffington Post site about how humans are close to killing off two-thirds of the wildlife on the planet within the next fifty years. Kind of a depressing way to start my morning, but still an interesting read. Then this afternoon while cruising around on Vimeo I came across the video below, which is kind of a depressing way to end the afternoon. None the less it is a beautiful animated short for the WWF and it ties directly to what I read this morning. Produced by Zombie Studio “Dream” was featured in the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, showing four animals that are facing extinction. They tell their stories through the words of “I Dreamed a Dream” a song you might recognize from the musical Les Misérables. The animation and styling of the short has a great look and feel to it, and while at times it can get a little heavy-handed, the message is still very powerful. If you have a large monitor and a powerful enough system, run it full screen or watch it on your large TV.
Well this will definitely be going into the personal library. When I was a kid this is the kind of book I would spend hours reading and re-reading, especially if it was filled with gorgeous illustrations like this one is. ” The big picture James Lovelock’s tool kit for the future.” By Taschen is illustrated by Jack Hudson,a British illustrator with a particular interest in scientific subjects and the interaction of macro and micro scales, and features contributions by quantum physicist Lisa Randall, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist Edward O. Wilson, and Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel. The book was Conceived by James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory, this illustrated essay collection brings together an all-star lineup of thinkers and scientists to offer essential understanding about who we are, how we live, and where we might be going.
In 48 hours I’ll be heading to Colorado for 5 days of hiking and taking photos in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is an annual trip, but this year is a bit special since we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park system in the United States. While noodling around on the internet over lunch I did a search on “National Park Posters” and found that the park service has a site dedicated to the posters that have been created for each of our National Parks so I decided to have a look. What I found is series of new posters that have been produced in the famous WPA style of the 1930’s and 40’s but with an updated look. The posters capture the spirit of the originals, and have a specific style guide that has obviously been applied to each, help to create a consistent look across the grouping. The look of the imagery varies slightly from poster to poster, with some that are obviously manipulated photos, or a digital painting that used a photo as a guide layer, but I have to say they are well done and work. The Park Service is selling the posters to help fund the National Park system and what you get for the money is a 13 by 19 inch poster printed on recycled paper that is signed, numbered, and dated. Below is a small sampling of the collection.
I don’t care who you are voting for or what your political agenda is, you have to admit Trump Facts is a pretty brilliant website from Cub. Why, because Trump sound bites make good fodder for these brilliant short little animations. Love him or hate him, you have to admit, the shit Donald Trump says on a regular basis makes for some interesting commentary, and Fraser Davidson has absolutely captured Trump in well crafted, well illustrated animations using Trump’s own sound bites. These are his word folks, there is no denying that Trump said this stuff, and something tells me in the next few months Davidson is going to be working hard to produce more of these. Click through to the site, or to Vimeo to see the entire series. Each one is less than 15 seconds long, so you can watch the entire series in a short amount of time.