Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘design’

18 MAY, 2009

Beautiful Connections: The Art of Conversation

By:

The color of conversation, 6 million colors, and why Flash is more antisocial than your misanthropic uncle.

Universal love for the iPhone aside, when it comes to the creative exploration of a gadget’s cultural context, Apple has nothing on Nokia. To promote the Nokia’s E71 smartphone, Wieden + Kennedy London came up with Beautiful Connections — a multimedia homage to the art of conversation.

From text art to a mobile app to short films inspired by the beauty of everyday conversation, the microsite is pure visual indulgence.

It also invites visitors to create their own audiovisual art piece, using their computer’s webcam, microphone or keyboard to explore how text, sound, color and motion influence your message. Here’s ours:

The winner of the film contest, Ewan Watson, used rotoscoping to create S I G N A L S — a colorful play on communication signals.

You can see the other 4 film finalists here, here, here, and — our uncontested favorite — here.

You can't really watch now – Flash does suck that way

Which brings us to our only gripe with the project: The inherent unshareability of Flash content — the medium blatantly contradicts the message if none of the work can be shared in “everyday conversation” via individual permalinks or… gasp… embed code.

How did the W+K team miss the irony here?

15 MAY, 2009

Life, Visually Dissected

By:

An owl, a worm and a lizard walk into a bar…

WWF logo The glorious thing about natural habitats is that one organism can house millions of others. And we often seem to forget that — when we stroll by a tree in the park, the only “organism” we’re likely to see in it is an 8-year-old scrambling for the next branch up.

But a recent campaign for WWF (that’s the World Wildlife Fund, not the World Wrestling Federation, ahem) visually dissected the fascinating microcosm of life that exists inside (and on, and under, and around) some of those our flora and fauna stand-bys.

WWF Tree

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention lately, the complexity of life inside a coral reef won’t surprise you. But it’s still a stride-stopping reminder of just how much we can lose by doing so little to preserve it.

WWF Reef

Not unlike Chris Jordan‘s work, the campaign borrows from the revelational capacity of data visualization to inspire deeper environmental awareness through an emotional understanding of an issue that would remain abstract and irrelevant if presented as dry statistics — a visceral bridge between left brain and right brain.

Out of DDB Brazil.

11 MAY, 2009

We Got Time: Hand-Illustration Meets In-Camera Animation Magic

By:

What a French invention from 1877 has to do with superb modern animation.

A couple of weeks ago, a fantastic video for Moray McLaren‘s We Got Time made waves with its brilliant in-camera animation magic. It’s pure creative genius — despite the utter visual indulgence, it isn’t stop-motion, no computer super-imposing was used, and everything you see is exactly what rolled off the camera.

The animations in the side-on views were produced by the camera capturing the moving reflections from the mirrored carousels, and the animations in the top-down views were created by matching the cameras frame rate to that of spinning record.

Now, we go behind the scenes with London-based animator David Wilson, who directed it and hand-drew all the illustration.

Beyond being a pure joy to watch, We Got Time is a testament to our belief that creativity is simply the genius of combining existing resources — knowledge, ideas, inspiration — in completely revolutionary ways: In this case, a vintage Praxinoscope device and old-school hand-drawn illustration.

Brilliant.

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s an example. Like? Sign up.