iPhone Apps

The History of “Keep Calm and Carry On”.

“Keep Calm and Carry On” originally arrived in the UK in 1939. Since it’s rediscovery in the early 2000’s it has become one of the iconic images of the 21st century. Frankly the saturation point of this poster, the various ripoffs, and over use of it have left Keep Calm and Carry On kind of flat for me. It is a fad that that I hope has passed, but probably hasn’t.

If you are at all the least bit curious about where this poster came from, it’s history, the history of the design… watch the video below.If you just can’t get enough of the slogan, you can download the iPhone app here, or purchase a multitude of examples from Barter Books here.

Produced by Temujin Doran, for Studio Canoe, this short film provides a little fresh air on the subject.


Boo Box Frames for Your Instagram Prints.

With my yearlong Instagram project underway, I thought I would look into finding a way to display the images beyond the internet at the end of 2011, so I started digging around and I found the Boo Box frame from Hatchcraft.

Boo Box is a frame designed specifically for Instagram prints. Constructed from sustainable bamboo, the shadow box frame holds your prints, floated above the back surface. The 4″ Boo Box frame has a shadow box pocket and border of 1/4″ each surrounding the Print. Each frame comes with an engraved “hatchcraft” logo in the lower left portion of the backside with a keyhole slot in the top-middle for easy hanging. The frames come in three colors Lion, Tiger, and Bear, with each featuring a distinct tone and pattern.

Everything about the frame is designed to preserve your prints for the long-term. The glass is UV coated to prevent fading, and the adhesive is pH neutral and acid free to prevent discoloration. Your images are printed on 290 gsm Hahnemuhle Bamboo Paper which is a soft fine-art paper with a warm hue, natural base tone crafted from highly renewable, ecologically friendly bamboo grass and spring water to create a premium fine art paper.

Boo Box frames run $20.00 dollars each, but I’m hoping they will give me a volume discount if I order a couple hundred this time next year.

Design Friday. iPhone Applications For Your Creative Side.

It’s Design Friday, and today I am going to post about a couple of design and photo apps for the iPhone that I have been playing with for the last couple of weeks.

First up is Phototropadelic. This is a photo-filter application that takes any photo and gives it a posterized cartoon look. the application has detail and color settings that ranges from minimal to highly detailed, and it allows you to embellish your photo with stars and a fan of stripes.

From my experience, you really have to play with the photo you select to get the result you want, moving the detail settings from 3 to 5 and back again, while adjusting the color depth from 11 to 22 colors. Each time you run the image it saves a copy to your photo library, which can be a pain in the but if you are tweaking the photo allot. It’s easy to end up with 10 versions of the photo and have only one worth keeping. Another issue I have with this application is, you can’t email the photo, or upload to Twitter and Facebook from within the application. These aren’t deal breakers, but the developers should really look into adding this.

On the plus side, the application will allow you to download a scalable PDF file, and the cost is $1.99.

Next up is Addlib. AddLib will translate your iPhone photos into works of modernist Swiss Design. If you want your photographs to look like they were designed by Swiss design geniuses like Jan Tschichold and Josef Müller-Brockmann, this is the application for you.

The application appears to run an algorithm that chooses from a set of grid systems, fractal theory, the Golden Ratio, and a facial recognition software to create a new stylized image, that upholds all the rules of good visual design.

My biggest issue with this application is that there is currently no customization available. The compositions are drawn from a set of templates, which are only available as random selections, and the color palette is quite arbitrary. In addition you can’t edit the random text that appears on some of the images.

Now with that said, the majority of photos I ran through addLib turned out pretty well. The design styles are pretty good and the color pallets work well with the images. The application can be quite addictive. I keep finding myself spending an hour or so processing images multiple times because the results are pretty fun.

One quick note about Addlib. You can email, and post your images to Twitter from within the application, but you can’t take the images saved to your iPhone library and upload them to Facebook. The result is just a black image. This happens even if you email the photo to yourself and save it to your library. This is something they really need to fix.

The app only costs $2.00 and, compared to any number of other iPhone image manipulators out there, I’d say it’s worth the price.

Both these apps are fun, and worth the couple of bucks you’ll spend on them. Oh and to all my designer friends out there, neither of these applications will replace your inherent skills as a visual design genius. Sample Photos from both applications are below.

Phototropadelic Pig

Phototropadelic Mini

Phototropadelic Cosmo

Original photo before being Adlib processed

Adlib 1

Adlib 2

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