Day out at the Design Museum

Saturday, 15 May.

I’ve been looking forward to this day for several weeks… Recently things have got very busy with work and church and volunteer stuff that we (the wife and I) have had to start scheduling days out weeks in advance. She’s clever, and knows that if she can produce a destination that is: a little bit worky, a bit interesting, and somewhere in the centre of London, then she’s got a good hope that it’ll happen.

So we decided upon going to the Design Museum on the Southbank. On a two for one offer. :)

The Southbank was dotted around with decorated plastic elephants to highlight the danger of extinction, the pictures with the patterns show some of the detail. And I have to say I have always found London is a very picturesque, angular, beautiful city to take photos of. The mix of old with new is especially stimulating.

I expected to go there and see some interesting things, which happened, but what I didn’t expect was to come away from there feeling as nourished as I did. And it turns out, she felt the same way. It took us over a hour to go through a single room – not because the room was huge or had too many items to take in – but because each item held enough interest for a person to want to take the time to read the note, view the object, watch the video, contemplate what they were thinking about and finally come to the conclusion that if this was available, “yes I’d buy that for my living room because it’s beautiful.”

But to go only that far would be shortsighted. These objects are not just designed to be beautiful, but also to carry out a function or purpose, which in itself carries another sense of beauty.

We did no research before going to the museum. We did not know what exhibitions were currently being held, but we assumed that it would be good no matter what it would be. A large portion of the museum was focussed squarely on “sustainability.” I think some of the items were more of a loose interpretation of this idea, but some hit the nail right on the head.

In short, sometimes I think we can get so caught up in the work of work, (even though we enjoy it) that we forget how great the privilege and opportunity to both affect people’s lives and for the self-expression afforded by this thing we call design. We can lose sight of why we love it, and then we catch another glimpse of the reason – and we love it all the more.

New business cards

New cards in line with a new promotion drive for the coming months.

I’m very pleased with how they turned out.

Specification:

  • Double-sided colour printing on 380gsm card
  • Matt lamination
  • Spot UV (which produces the text on the back – transparent and shiny)

I spend so much time producing and sending out printing for others that it could be easy to see it as just “product,” but when you really look at it - the fact that something was created in the mind, designed using software on a computer, and then becomes something tangible and real – that’s a fantastic thing!

We do what we are.

An orange tree isn’t an orange tree because it produces oranges – no – it produces the fruit because it is an orange tree. For a long time, I have had the opinion that some people – artists and designers in particular, were always artists or designers. The career eventually caught up with us – if that makes sense.

For me personally, there isn’t another alternative in my mind. Does that mean I am narrow or limited? I don’t think so – nearly everything I do outside of work ends up having a bearing on my work, naturally. My granddad used to say that knowledge is hard to pick up, but easy to carry. I think the saying applies here.

Something interesting happened over the last week or so; we have been shown a “new way” by the guys at Apple. For years many of us have been using computing devices as a means to get things done, but the truth of it is that we have been working at using these devices… It’s a layer of complexity that we have negotiated every time we make something.

For example, a plumber gets a wrench and works on pipes and does the job of plumbing. A builder gets materials and builds. But if you try to show a young child or your granny how to write an email, there is a job they have to do before they can get to the job they want to do… Understanding the tool. They are not nerds. They are just people.

I think the new iPad is going to be a hit. But not because we nerds are going to buy them (even though we will). It’s because iPad will be the device we will recommend others to buy. Other people, the majority of people, want to do the thing they want to do and get on with their day. The simplicity of the iPad allows that. And for that reason, I think it will replace laptops as a new purchase.

The iPad, I believe is a computing tool that’s not really trying to be a computer. It’s trying to be a familiar tool that gets out of the way of the task.

If that is the future of computing, count me in.

Like a schoolkid!

I love the snow! It looks so pretty! I wonder how deep it will be by morning… It’s 12.12 and the snow is falling strong in east London.

Driving to the office may be interesting. :)

The responsibility of constancy.

Blogging seems to not be very much like work. It is begging to take a back seat behind whatever else is important and screams for attention – Current projects, paperwork, preparation for classes –  whatever.

So here’s what I’m thinking. The goals for the new year are including but not limited to the following:

  1. Daily writing. That doesn’t necessarily mean daily posting, but daily work on posts.
  2. Daily photography. Chase Jarvis mentioned (rightly I believe) that the best camera is the one you have with you at any given moment.
  3. More practice and work on improvement.
  4. Dedicated time for my other interests outside of design, photography, printing and the web.
  5. More excercise. Everybody says that one though. [^_^]

The important thing about blogging is to be constant. And there’s where the responsibility comes in. It is important for me not just to be visible to people, but I to be able to communicate what I’m really about. The better I can do that, the more sure people can be about the appropriateness of my services to their projects.

Happy new year to you all. I hope you have a happy, prosperous and fulfilled 2010.

Aaron

Illustration gallery

A collection of illustrations. The process is usually to start with a concept in mind, then a brief sketch, and then execution. On other occasions, there is no concept and no sketch – only mood and music.

Photoshop is the melting pot, and is always used. Other elements are created in other applications such as Illustrator or in 3D software like LightWave and Strata.

Please select from the thumbnails above to see the illustrations.

Web interface styling – SOFins

Blue Eye was selected to modify and improve on the web interface for SOFins, a startup in the USA.

The website is used by Network Systems Administrators to help group and troubleshoot the computers on their network.

I was asked to cleanup the existing design, add icons and make things clearer and more usable for the administrators – basically creating a consistent style template for the web developers to base their work upon.

After email discussion with the client, work was proofed within a week and the final delivered files were sent a few days later after proofing and amendments.

CD artwork – Alisa Enweremadu

Up-and-coming singer Alisa Enweremadu and her husband found Blue Eye Graphics through a search on Google and enlisted me to design the CD artwork for her first single, “I Am Here.

As usual, the process taken was to talk with couple about the style that they would like to use – colours, mood and general look of the case.

I was given a copy of the photographs of Alisa that they preferred, and I was able to use my own photography to achieve the rest of the style that they wanted.

The first proof was sent via email within a week and finishing touches were completed thereafter.

The final design consisted of:

  • * 4-page booklet
  • * CD case-back
  • * Disc Artwork
  • * Word Eagle Logo

Concept, Design, Complete

Delivered:
Leaflets – 4 types using different portraits
Banners
Bus Advertising
Posters

Well, I have to admit, I was very fortunate with this project.

I was able to provide the concept, which came quickly.
Take the photography on site, obtaining about 20 portraits.
Then design it all together to match the concept.

The client wanted a design that was eye-catching, but straight-forward to help emphasise the “ordinary people” aspect. It was also important to keep the print production costs down, so the job was made two colour – cyan and black. Every little helps.