Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘design’

19 OCTOBER, 2010

I Wonder: Marian Bantjes Explores Joy Through Typography

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Marian Bantjes is one of those creators that make pigeonholing impossible. Trained as a graphic designer, with a decade-long career as a typesetter under her belt and a penchant for the intricate beauty of letterform illustrations, she calls herself a ‘graphic artist’ and is an avid advocate for self-education and self-reinvention. Stefan Sagmeister, a longtime Brain Pickings favorite, calls her “one of the most innovative typographers working today” — with no exaggeration. (So innovative, in fact, that Sean “P. Diddy” Combs felt compelled to shamelessly, blatantly rip her off recently.)

I exist somewhat outside of the mainstream of design thinking. Where others might look at measurable results, I tend to be interested in more ethereal qualities like does it bring joy? is there a sense of wonder? and does it invoke curiosity?”

Bantjes’ highly anticipated new book, I Wonder, is out today and I couldn’t recommend it more — a remarkable journey of visual joy and conceptual fascination, intersecting logic, beauty and quirk in a breathtaking yet organic way.

I’m using my own writings as a kind of testing ground for a book that has an interdependency between word and image as a kind of seductive force. I think that one of the things that religions got right was the use of visual wonder to deliver a message. I think this true marriage of art and information is woefully underused in adult literature. And I’m mystified as to why visual wealth is not more commonly used to enhance intellectual wealth.”

For more of Bantjes’ unique brand of visual curiosity and creativity, don’t miss her excellent TED talk.

I Wonder is positively one of the season’s finest visual communication gems.

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19 OCTOBER, 2010

projeqt: A Creative Storytelling Platform

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The new language of the creative polyglot, or what tweets have to do with portfolios.

Much has been said over the past few years about the future of publishing and content on the web. Terms like “transmedia storytelling” and “cross-platform publishing” are tossed around like giant balls of cotton candy — delicious, fluffy but, ultimately, without much substance. And while certain platforms have made multimedia storytelling possible for publishers and visual artists, none offers a truly holistic proposition.

This week, the launch of projeqt offers hope for a platform that does it all and then some. Dubbed a “creative storytelling platform,” it’s Tumblr meets Slideshare meets Cargo Collective — only a more flexible Tumblr, a sleeker Slideshare and spanning more media than Cargo Collective. And if this isn’t enough of a treat, it’s also device-agnostic — built entirely in HTML5 for cross-platform compatibility and specifically optimized for iPad and iPhone, projeqt is part publishing CMS, part portfolio-builder, part something else entirely.

projeqt is simple, intuitive and highly social, playing nice with other platforms by allowing you to mesh together text, image, video and feeds within the same projeqt, so you can embed your Vimeo uploads, post photos from your Flickr stream, import your blog’s RSS feed and even your tweets — in other words, it’s a creative polyglot that invites you to tell your story, whatever creative languages it may be in. (The reader experience is equally flexible, allowing for seamlessly switching between line, grid and full-screen view.)

Great stories keep us riveted to the page. Or the screen (whatever shape or size it happens to come in.) Great stories get shared and are retold time after time after time. Great stories always leave us wanting more. Projeqt gives you the tools and technology to tell your story. It provides a robust architecture, with unprecedented flexibility and possibilities.”

We’re thrilled about the creative possibilities with projeqt. If you’re a cross-media creative type who writes, designs, does photography and has a significant Twitter presence, you can pull all of these personalities into one cohesive portfolio. If you’re an educator, you can use it as sleek storage for your research. If you’re a content curator, you can put together digital exhibitions around specific topics. In fact, to get a first-hand feel for projeqt‘s capabilities, we’ve curated a thematic projeqt about data visualization — take a peek to see how it all works.

Though projeqt is currently in beta and invite-only, we’ve secured a limited number of invites for our newsletter readers — to request one, subscribe to our free weekly newsletter if you haven’t already, then shoot us an email with “projeqt” in the subject line. [UPDATE: We're no longer taking names (though we're still kicking ass) but you can still sign up for the regular waitlist on the projeqt website.] Meanwhile, follow projeqt on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

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14 OCTOBER, 2010

Remote Palette: Warhol 2.0

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In 1985, Andy Warhol painted Debbie Harry on the first Amiga, creating a timecapsule of cultural history as he illustrated — both literally and figuratively — the dawning possibilities for creativity in the digital era to come. But as Warhol placed his first pixelated technicolor-like strokes on the 16-bit beast, we have to wonder what he would have said, what he would’ve created, had he been able to envision, let alone play with, the remarkable advances in creative technology available to us today.

That’s exactly what inspired London-based digital agency Dare to create Remote Palette — a visionary iPhone and iPad duo app that demonstrates how the two devices can work together across space to empower rich and engaging drawing experiences.

Remote Palette does exactly what it promises to do — the iPad screen serves as the blank canvas, with several base colors available, upon which you can draw using the iPhone as a remote palette. Although the actual interface is incredibly simple and basic in terms of artistic capacity, we’re excited about what Dare calls “invisible technology” and its possible applications in everything from education to collaborative creation.

Meanwhile, a hat tip is due to the Dare team for the clever promo: To demo the app and pay homage to their inspiration, Dare got their own Innovation Director, Perry Price, to reenact Andy Warhol’s iconic hamburger-eating scene, only this hamburger is served on an iPad:

The app is only $0.99 in the App Store, so grab it and explore for yourself.

And for a related Warhol 2.0 bit, don’t miss the brand new Andy Warhol augmented reality app the Andy Warhol Museum in New York launched yesterday, which adds a layer of Warhol-related locations to the popular Layar augmented reality browser.

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