Monday, November 22, 2010

Free Tools: Converting Images to ICO format

Recently I have been designing a website for a client and needed to create a a favicon image. A favicon is the graphic you see in the address bar before the URL or in the browser tab before the name of the page. The size of favicons are 16x16 or 32x32. The most supported file format for this image is ico which is not something you can just Save As in Photoshop. In the past, I have used a separate application that I had to install on my computer. I have a new computer now, so this would mean I would have to spend time to research what application would work best for my machine and this just seemed like a pain plus I was in a hurry since there was lots of testing to do for the said website.

Luckily, the good people at Punk Labs created a web application that will take many existing graphics and convert them to ico format. This is a very useful tool for web designers to have in their arsenal.

Check it out:

More about favion:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Inspirational: Painting with Light from an iPad

Dentsu London, a creative communications agency has crossed new media with old media and created something new. First the start by creating 3D animations, converting them into a virtual CAT scan view and then playing them on an iPad. Next they have a person move the iPad playing the animation (which looks just like a series of squares) through physical space in front of a camera which is set to a long exposure. They repeat this process many times to create a stop-frame animation that extrudes the light from the iPad to spell words out and create light objects that seem to dance and sway to the ambient electronic music they put the artwork to.
Have a look at this creative ground breaking work: HERE.
For a more comprehensive overview of the project, visit  their collaborator's blog: BERG.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Inspirational: Koralie

I just love the style of Koralie. Her artwork is a combination of Japanese manga style with the elegance of old Japanese prints and a side of modern street-art flair. Her art medium ranges from galley installations, graphic design, photography and graffiti. Her website has an appropriate use of Flash animation as an introduction to the page too and even has four different animations to look at in the lower left corner of the website (titled moods). Check them all out! Her style reminds me a lot of Italian artist Tokidoki, so check out his website if you like Koralie's art.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Inspirational: Infographics

Infographics or information graphics are a great tool to express complex ideas into easily understood units using graphics and text. Since most people just scan websites and magazines, being able to condense information into infographics is a real advantage. The website has posted 15 modern examples of good inforgraphics. Have a look at the examples HERE.

Friday, July 30, 2010

History of Public Relations

In 2002, Adam Curtis wrote and directed a four part BBC documentary called The Century of Self in which he examines how marketing changed by the influence of the Freud family. Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, applied his knowledge of crowd psychology with his uncle's new techniques of psychoanalysis to transform marketing from a "needs" basis to creating an emotional response to a product and creating a "desires" basis. He was originally hired to create propaganda by the United States government and wanted to apply his knowledge to corporations in time of peace, so he coined the term "public relations" and set up shop in New York City. As Paul Mazer from Lehman Brothers in the 1930s described it, "People must be trained to want new things even before the old has been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality that American man's desires must overshadow his needs." His techniques were cunning and manipulative, swaying women to start smoking because he made it seem to represent equality and he even started a war in Guatemala so an American banana plantation would eliminate an interfering local government. All of this was done in the name of free enterprise to benefit his client's interest.

It is important to examine the founder of modern public relations and know his techniques. Apple recently came out with a commercial for their new phone that plays heavily to your emotions by showing a man experiencing the birth of his child over the phone's camera feature. The would be a classic Bernays technique. I recommend you watch the series at the great website

Friday, July 9, 2010

Inspirational: Illustrated RSA Speech About Motivation

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) host talks from some of our world's top thinkers. They offer many of these talks on their website and on their YouTube channel. A few of these talks, they give to a very talented artist who illustrates on a whiteboard what is being said. One very amazing talk is given by Dan Pink who talks about what really motivates people at work and at home. His discusses the finding of two different studies done about it and their surprising results. Have a look at the video HERE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tutorial: Seemless Patterns

If you ever find yourself needing to make a seemless pattern, Veerle's Blog has a great Photoshop tutorial for you to read. Check out her post HERE.