Elements of Design from matt greenwood on Vimeo.

Elements of Design

from Matt Greenwood

Vitsœ | Good design

Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design

Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him – “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?

As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he set about expressing the ten most important principles for what he considered was good design. (Sometimes they are referred as the ‘Ten commandments’.)

11 Free Web Apps for Designers & Creatives

Check out 11 web apps for designers in celebration of Chris Converse’s new course, Creating a Web App for iPad.

Circle of Abstract Ritual

from Jeff Frost

This film took 300,000 photos, riots, wildfires, paintings in abandoned houses, two years and zero graphics to make. It changed my entire life.

Digital downloads available at jeff-frost.com/downloads

instagram.com/frostjeff | facebook.com/frostjeff

Miniature Window Silhouettes Painted by ‘Pejac’ Interact with the outside World

by Christopher Jobson

Early last month, Spanish artist Pejac created a fun silhouette artwork commemorating the 40th anniversary of French high-wire walker Philippe Petit’s daring walk between the Twin Towers in New York. In Pejac’s version, a tightrope walker painted in black acrylic on an interior window is shown walking along an airplane contrail several miles away in the sky. The fun optical illusion  caught the attention of Sasha Bogojev over at Hi-Fructose who discovered the artist has been creating similar silhouette artworks since 2011. Seen here are a few of our favourites. Photos by Paco Esteve and Silvia Guinovart courtesty the artist. (via Hi-Fructose)

thisiscolossal.com

What Corporate Logos Would Look Like If You Shrank Them

Responsive web design is all the rage. What if logo design were handled the same way? Would you still recognize that Levi’s sign?

Surreal Purple Dunes Created for Prada Women's SS15 Runway Show

When it comes to the fashion world and runway shows creating spectacular experiences to wow an audience no expense is spared. The clothes these days have to share the stage with the stage as the importance of Instagram and the sharing economy continues to grow. Recently, Prada wowed audience members with surreal, immense hills made of purple sand that towered over the parading models for their Women’s SS15 collection.

A million times (Time Dubai) by Humans since 1982 from Humans since 1982 on Vimeo.

A million times (Time Dubai)

from Human since 1982

This kinetic wall of clicks is utterly hypnotic. The hands of 288 analog clocks dance and twirl animating themselves into a digital watchface.

fastcodesign.com

How to choose a colour scheme for your logo design
Understanding the psychology of colours is vital to designing an effective logo, says Martin Christie of Logo Design London.
The human mind is highly responsive to visual stimuli, and colour is one of the major defining factors in that response. On both a conscious and subconscious level, colours convey meaning — not only in the natural world but also withing the artifice of our culture. Graphic designers need to harness the power of colour psychology to bring resonance to their designs — and in no field is this more important than that of logo design.
The use of colour can bring multiple layers of meaning, from primitive responses based on millions of years of evolved instinct to the complex associations we make based on learned assumptions. Companies can use these responses to underline and accent their branding messages. And your success as a logo designer will be boosted if you have a thorough understanding of colour psychology.
creativebloq.com

How to choose a colour scheme for your logo design

Understanding the psychology of colours is vital to designing an effective logo, says Martin Christie of Logo Design London.

The human mind is highly responsive to visual stimuli, and colour is one of the major defining factors in that response. On both a conscious and subconscious level, colours convey meaning — not only in the natural world but also withing the artifice of our culture. Graphic designers need to harness the power of colour psychology to bring resonance to their designs — and in no field is this more important than that of logo design.

The use of colour can bring multiple layers of meaning, from primitive responses based on millions of years of evolved instinct to the complex associations we make based on learned assumptions. Companies can use these responses to underline and accent their branding messages. And your success as a logo designer will be boosted if you have a thorough understanding of colour psychology.

creativebloq.com

Geometric Dichroic Glass Installations by Chris Wood
by Christopher Jobson
Artist Chris Wood works with colored glass to create colorful, prism-like mazes and mandalas of light installed vertically on walls. Her most common material is dichroic (meaning ‘two color’) glass, a material invented by NASA in the 1950s that has a special optical coating meant to reflect certain wavelengths of light while letting others through. At some angles the glass appears completely reflective, somewhat like a mirror of gold. Wood has constructed a number of different glass, mirror, and other light installations which have been carefully documented on her website.
thisiscolossal.com

Geometric Dichroic Glass Installations by Chris Wood

by Christopher Jobson

Artist Chris Wood works with colored glass to create colorful, prism-like mazes and mandalas of light installed vertically on walls. Her most common material is dichroic (meaning ‘two color’) glass, a material invented by NASA in the 1950s that has a special optical coating meant to reflect certain wavelengths of light while letting others through. At some angles the glass appears completely reflective, somewhat like a mirror of gold. Wood has constructed a number of different glass, mirror, and other light installations which have been carefully documented on her website.

thisiscolossal.com

How to Cultivate a Creative Thinking Habit

Creativity isn’t a mythical creature to be caught and tamed. It’s a habit, studies suggest; a way of life that’s built over time.

by Jane Porter

Think of your most common habits and the regular culprits come to mind — biting your nails, snacking lat at night, cracking your knuckles. Do something enough times and it becomes a behavioral pattern you do almost involuntarily.

But what about  creativity? Dictionary definitions can be misleading, offering the impression that creativity is something you either possess of don’t. Here’s one: Creativity “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.” The ability to transcend. Sounds almost mystical.

Not so fast. According to research by psychologist and psychometrician Robert Sternberg, at its most basic level, there’s nothing mystical about creative thinking. Like brushing your teeth first-thing every morning or biting you nails or any other regular action your brain is trained to automatically do, creative thinking, Sternberg argues, a habit.

"If we are to assess creativity, we need to assess it as a habit of ordinary life, not merely as something one can do at extraordinary times," Sternberg writes in Creativity Research Journal. "Behind all innovations one finds creativity, so innovations arise from a habit."

Creative thinking comes in different forms. According to Sternberg, there are four such forms, ranging from “Big-C” — the stuff of creative geniuses like Darwin, Picasso, and Beethoven — to “little-c” where everyday creativity comes into play.

What’s certain is that you don’t just magically land in “Big-C” land one day. It takes the cumulative effect of thinking creatively every day, so much so that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. In short, creativity becomes a default mode. “Creative people are creative … not as a result of any particular inborn trait, but, rather, through an attitude towards life,” says Sternberg. “They habitually respond to problems in fresh and novel ways, rather than allowing themselves to respond mindlessly and automatically.”

As I write this, I cannot help but think of the magnificent short story writer Mavis Gallant, who died last week at the age of 91. Gallant made a life of her creative work. “When I’m here, chez moi, I write every day as a matter of course,” Gallant said in a 1999 interview with The Paris Review. “Most days in the morning but some days anytime, afternoon or evening. It depends on what I’m writing and the state of the thing. It is not a burden. It is the way I live.

The way you live. It can seem impossible, breaking into this way of life. Routinely approaching problems in novel ways—essentially what you’re doing when you think creatively—does not just happen on its own. Just as we are able to break bad habits, we can cultivate new ones. According to Sternberg, there are three basic factors that help turn creative thinking into a habit: opportunities to engage in it, encouragement to go after such opportunities, and rewards for doing so. “In this respect,” says Sternberg, “creativity is no different from any other habit, good or bad.”

At a pragmatic level, this might mean finding a community of people who support and encourage your creative work. For fiction writer Stacey D’Erasmo, this community is a kind of lifeline. “My private community is where I dream, where I feel most deeply that I can be known, where I am bowled over, where I am changed, where I break down, where I break through; it’s where I sweat, and who I sweat with,” she writes in an essay for The Rumpus. “I always want to know: How do you do it? And how about you? How do you keep doing it? In seeking out people of whom to ask this question, I seem to have built myself a life.”

There is more, of course, to cultivating a habit of creativity than finding a community. Writes Sternberg:

Creative people habitually:

  • Look for ways to see problems that other people don’t
  • Take risks that other people are afraid to take
  • Have the courage to defy the crowd and to stand up for their own beliefs
  • Seek to overcome obstacles and challenges to their views that other people five in to

INVESTMENT THEORY OF CREATIVITY

"According to this theory, creative people are ones who are willing and able to metaphorically buy low and sell high in the realm of ideas," says Sternberg. When you buy low, you’re going after what is out of favor, in the hopes that it has growth potential. This means being ready to encounter resistance from others.

"The creative individual persists in the face of this resistance, and eventually sells high, moving on to the next new, or unpopular, idea. In other words, such an individual acquires the creativity habit. The question is whether the creative thinker has the fortitude to persevere and to go against the crowd."

When we start talking about buying low and selling high, it seems we’re taking all the magic out of creative work. That’s precisely what Sternberg is after. Creative work isn’t magic. It’s what you do. People won’t always like it. That doesn’t mean you haven’t created something of value.

He’s got evidence for this too: a laundry list of brilliant creative minds who faced rejection or negative criticism when their work came out: writers Toni Morrison and Sylvia Plath, painter Edvard Munch, psychologist John Garcia. This list goes on.

The takeaway here is that creativity isn’t just a habit cultivated over time. It’s also, to some extent, an act of bravery. Says Sternberg: “One has to be willing to stand up to conventions if one wants to think and act in creative ways.”

fastcompany.com

It’s Payback Time | Friday, 17th October

from Channel 4

Their world is in the grip of a lethal outbreak. A mysterious blue substance is leading to catastrophic destruction. Who is behind it all?

Watch this excellent apocalyptic action film to the end for a surprising message.

fastcocreate.com

A2 & New North Press’ 3D-printed letterpress font
Type studio A2-Type and London print shop New North Press have created a 3D-printed letterpress font. With a film about the project premiering at London Design Festival next weekend, we spoke to graphic designer Richard Ardagh and A2’s Henrik Kubel about the process…
creativereview.co.uk

A2 & New North Press’ 3D-printed letterpress font

Type studio A2-Type and London print shop New North Press have created a 3D-printed letterpress font. With a film about the project premiering at London Design Festival next weekend, we spoke to graphic designer Richard Ardagh and A2’s Henrik Kubel about the process…

creativereview.co.uk

Men's Health // How a Bean Becomes a Fart from Giant Ant on Vimeo.

Men’s Health // How a Bean Becomes a Fart

from Giant Ant

A little bit of science for you.

Three Things I’ve Realized about UX While Riding My Bike to Work

by Andres Bohorquez

As I approach my 30s, I’m trying to integrate new habits into my life. Luckily, I live in New York City, where potential new habits wait around every street corner. One of the newest habits I’ve pick up is biking to work on a regular basis, which has now become my main method of transportation around the city.

I get to work 15 minutes faster, avoid the overly cramped subways, and enjoy the city scenery while feeling the rush of wind on my face. Now that I am an experienced biker, there is something exhilarating about having free range to zip around the city wherever I want. However, in the beginning, this freedom was not something I took advantage of or even wanted. At first, I was completely focused on the rules of the road while riding because I had to be. I was dealing with a lot of new variables I hadn’t thought about or experienced before; like wandering pedestrians and car doors opening. With constant repetition, I am now able to almost mindlessly maneuver the city roads.

At this point, you are probably wondering, what does biking have to do with UX? Well, for starters, when first-time users come to a site, they have to focus to get from point A to point B, just like I used to going place to place. As designers, we can help them get there with clear and intuitive messages to the point where maneuvering within our product becomes mindless, just like my morning commute.

1. Pay Attention to Best Practices for First-Time Users

When I was young, I learned basic traffic rules from my parents: like how to cross the street safely. They taught me to look both ways, and to pay attention to the big red (or green) lights. As a first time cyclist, my basic traffic knowledge had to expand in order to survive on the roads. I had to learn that a red light didn’t always mean cars stop right away or that people do not always check their side mirrors before swinging their door open when parked on the side of the road. It was experience (and some close calls) that taught me these more advanced traffic rules.

When users are navigating a website, there are a core set of features they are already aware of that they build on through experience with the website. Take Seamless for example. The first time I used Seamless it took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to find the restaurant I was looking for and correctly order everything that I wanted. However, each time I use the website, I learn new shortcuts and better my ability to search quickly and efficiently. Now, with the experience of using the website almost every day, I can be on the phone or talking to a co-worker, and at the same time order my lunch online seamlessly (get it?).

2. Offer Consistent Clear Communication

Through my biking experiences, I have become familiar with riding down the West Side pathway. This familiarity allows me to successfully understand and navigate the maze of traffic lights, road signs, and directional indicators that litter my journey and arrive safely at my destination.

Being familiar with a website’s key features and indicators can allow a user to arrive successfully at their destination, or end goal, as well. Information should be presented in a familiar fashion to teach users what to expect at every turn. Navigating through a website becomes much safer and comfortable if users are confident that what you promise is what they will get at the end of their journey. Consistency is key when communicating to users.

I take the same bike route to work every day because that is the route I determined to be the most efficient and enjoyable for me. The consistency of always having the same route is crucial to an enjoyable journey; I know when certain lights will change, which roads are busy and which are not, and approximately how long it takes me to get to work.

Let’s say one day I was taking my normal bike route to work and one of the roads I usually take was closed due to the Macy’s Day Parade. I may not know how to get around this obstacle and still get to work safely and on time. I would be very unhappy because I now have to expend extra energy on my morning ride, which is supposed to be an enjoyable experience.

The same goes for online user experience. A user has expectations about your website that need to be met in order for them to have an enjoyable experience. Sudden changes or issues that force them to expend extra energy can ruin their experience and lose you a customer.

3. Make it Easy

After I became more familiar with riding, I started to rely on muscle memory. I identified the fastest and safest route to work and I took it day after day. Bike riding became a simple routine I was comfortable with. Instead of focusing on navigating from point A to point B, I was able to spend time thinking about other things I wanted to.

Any good digital interaction should clearly indicate basic rules and encourage users to interact. Website intersections should be simple and familiar so users are able to use their “muscle memory” to navigate their way to their destination.

Conclusion

These are just a few things about UX that occurred to me on my daily bike ride to work. What have your daily routines taught you about experience design? I’d love to read your comments below.

uxmag.com