Monday, January 2, 2012

An Exercise in Creativity

I recently decided to create a makeshift studio at my office to try my hand at something called "photography". I'm still missing a few key pieces of equipment (like a backdrop, lights and a decent camera) but that didn't stop me from attempting a creative with my beautiful girlfriend on New Years Day. What I really found fantastic about this shoot was how inventive Jennie was with her styling - especially when you consider the only piece of clothing she had was a black chiffon skirt and absolutely nothing else (insert sly winky face here).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Caught On A Lonely Island

Alright... I admit it!

I sometimes get distracted at work and waste hours of what could be very productive time on things like Facebook, Instagram and videos of toddlers high on pain killers after trips to the dentist. I'm not proud of it and often could have gotten more inspiration from matching pantone colour swatches to my graphic Ts (easier said than done). I do find however, that there are times when I have gotten my mind blown, and have been reduced to intelligible giggle fits because of a string of videos I've watched...

So here is my latest productivity kryptonite - The Lonely Island music video collection:

Not embedded, but also fantastic!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shadow Art... Sexy Design With The Lights On!

If you're anything like me there's one word that makes you feel all tingly and warm in all your artistic places, and that word is innovation.  Discovering the growth of a new artistic concept that is being refined towards perfection sends my creative loins into a motivated tizzy, and this shadow art is really doing it for me.  Here are some images of beautifully executed artwork that embody the spirit of innovation by delivering strong simple messaging within a brilliant medium.

Tim Noble & Sue Webster
Fred Eedekens
Kumi Yamashita
Shigeo Fukuda

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Career In Visual Design: Trials and Tribulations

Entering a career in graphic design, web design, photography, styling or any other competitive visual design market is tough. It seems like no matter what you quote on a project there is someone's nephew designing out of his basement willing to do it for half and (on the flip side) a designer that you went to school with who barely passed and has very little in the way of designs skills who seems to schmooze clients into paying them twice what their work is worth.

There's also the strange relationship you develop with your colleagues and peers. We all love to complain about the lack of talent in our city and long for a richer creative environment where our talents would be welcomed, appreciated and nurtured (maybe New York?). However, just below the surface of the support you have for your talented friends is an ugly competitive envy and a disbelief that somehow you weren't chosen to design that website or develop that brand identity (after all, my friends are great, but aren't I just a little bit greater?).

And then there is the client. The last reinforced steel wall between you and finally creating the earth shatteringly beautiful award winning design you know you're capable of. Some of us are lucky enough to have a few dream clients in our portfolio who appreciate our professional expertise and cut cheques for it, but we've also all crossed paths with a design anti-christ, who pays poorly, micro manages heavily, and won't stop questioning your abilities until you've consider parachuteless base jumping. Knowing this torment is perhaps the glue that binds the design community together best. We all have felt marginalized, under appreciated, and helpless but at least when we talk about these hardships with our peers we realize we aren't alone.

Here are a few videos and links that help us visual freelancers get by when it all seems to be going Pete Tong. And for the record, no matter how difficult some of my early professional experiences may have been, there isn't a day that I go into work that I'm not overwhelmingly happy about the work I do and the people I work with.

Also check these links out for more hilarity:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Super Sexy Lingerie!

These days I often wonder what products and services actually deserve a web-presence. Should every product, boutique, government and company all be vying for our online attentions?

The answer surprisingly is YES.

I do all of my research by browsing online. I organize most of my plans on facebook. I do most of my business through e-mail. And if I ever wonder about a product, service or person... I look them up online. To think that you are "too small" or "too early in your business development" to have a web presence is archaic and ill-informed.

I love finding small sites with a simple message that's expressed well. I feel like I learned something new about the online world and about a company or product that I would have never heard about otherwise. Here is the latest example of a micro-site done flawlessly that contributed to the richness of my last online experience. "Super Sexy CPR" for Fortnight Lingerie, Toronto. Developed by the agency Red Urban.

Visit the website here: Super Sexy CPR

Or if you're lazy just watch the videos here:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Giving Website Design the Royal Treatment

An appreciation for fine craftsmanship and refined luxury seems like a quality we often reserve for the conventional and "sexy" products we surround ourselves with. It's easy to love a Ferrari, it just seems natural that we take more pleasure in drinking Haut-Brion than Little Penguin, and we can all appreciate well tailored Prada. So why don't we extend the same appreciation to all of the other objects in our lives? Especially the ones we interact with every single day? If the first thing you see when you wake up is your alarm clock on your nightstand and it's also the last thing you see when you go to bed, doesn't it make sense that you should love that alarm clock as much as the suit you wear once a month? And I haven't even started talking about nightstands! 

I'm not saying that everything we own needs to be exceedingly expensive or even a brand name... but every item we surround ourselves with is a conscious visual design statement about us and our personality and the items we use most will have the most positive lifestyle impact if we love the way they look, feel, and last. 

So, while you take this moment to sit back and revel in the palace you've created around you (or are in the midst of creating) I invite you to take a look at our latest web design project we launched and choose your throne.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Digital Army

With the advancement of technology in social media, tablets, smart-phones, televisions, and iPods I think it's natural to feel a bit of angst. Why pay attention to the latest software update or iPhone when a better and easier one is just around the corner? Not to mention the fact that it can sometimes feel as though our actual personalities are being replaced by our on-line personas and chivalry looks damn-near prehistoric next to online dating and "sexting".

For those of us struggling to be gentlemen and trying to stay faithful to the retro-sexual code-of-conduct it can feel overwhelming and undignified to stay at the forefront of technological advancement. So, here are the 3 ways I remind myself technology is not the enemy: 1) James Bond uses the coolest gadgets ever to fight evil Russian spies. 2) As a designer, my job is to deliver messages as effectively and aesthetically as possible. The hardware and software I use allow me to do my job quickly and beautifully and upon completion delivers it to the largest possible audience. 3) It is the future. Viewed the right way, the idea of an unpredictable and limitless future is fantastic. I am regularly awe-struck by what I see taking place and can only speculate on what is to come. 

This is a fantastically designed video about the future of warfare and what we should be aware of as socially responsible and curious members of a technological society.

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