Solar is a hyper-sensorial, interactive display of the day’s weather, rendered in dazzling, Rothko-esque colorscapes. A graphicist’s dream. No vector polygons, no dew point calibration and it won’t remind you to wear a jacket. It is, very simply, an exquisitely designed weather forecast app – a modern accessory for the aesthetically-inspired, new-fashioned adventurer.
Ok, that’s kind of a fluffy, hype-driven PR snippet, but it’s mostly true. What you get with Solar is what I’m guessing most people really are looking for in a weather app. You’ve got the time, the date, the conditions, your temperature and location, just so you know it’s accurate. All of this info is laid out in white over a beautiful gradient which does different things. Today in Los Angeles it’s really sun, so the gradient is pulsing sun rays. For rain and other weather conditions the app responds appropriately, rain drops and lightning flashes in full effect.
They’ve also created a really unique gesture, where you drag your finger up towards the top of your screen and you’ll start to get a 24 hour forecast, minute by minute, hour by hour. It’s such a brilliant way of communicating the data on a touch screen, I’m sure the feature will be copied soon enough. Trust me on this one, ditch your overly complicated weather app and grab Solar.
To describe the upcoming film Cloud Atlas as a massive, convoluted film might be the understatement of the century. Based on a book by David Mitchell, the film is an undertaking by by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, who you’ll know from their films The Matrix and Run Lola Run. I think they’ve essentially taken on the gargantuan task of filming a movie that’s quite impossible to make, which in my mind only makes it all the more interesting.
Cloud Atlas is an epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.
It’s a huge, lofty concept for a film, though you could distill it to karma, perhaps. I haven’t looked up much about the film, though I did see one interesting tidbit, that the film is technically six interlocking pieces. Each piece, each story, fits into and shapes the others. My hope is that they’ve figured out how to tell this tale correctly, that it won’t be too much of an abstract effort and that the audience won’t get lost while watching. Even so, you have to give the filmmakers and actors credit for believing in such an ambitious project.
Above is an intro from the directors which gives you an idea of what it took to make the film. It sounds like even for the directors of The Matrix this was an extremely tough sell. And for those curious, the woman speaking is Lana Wachoski, who used to be Larry Wachoski. Lana has transitioned from male to female, and this is really the first time she’s put herself in front of cameras since then. A huge congrats to her.
To get the week started I thought I’d turn to the Dublin-based trio Sleep Thieves and serve up a tasty slice of dark-electro in the form of their wonderful track Oceans. Taken from their recent Islands EP, Oceans is a track filled with etherial vocals and moody synths. It’s a combination which recalls the likes of Austra and The Knife and it sounds absolutely fantastic!
Using the combination of the band’s male and female vocalists, Sleep Thieves have created a track which is laced with sweetness and sorrow; it’s a track filled with atmosphere and elegance. Make sure to check out the rest of their EP too and download a copy of it from their Bandcamp page here.
A few weeks back I sent the third edition of my Quarterly mailing, #003, a poster collaboration with my friend in type, Erik Marinovich. Well, to be fair he did most of the work. I while back I tweeted a little something that was stuck in my head, the phrase, “Life is fluid, make waves.” I’ve spoken about my fascination with water before, and I thought this line had a poetic beauty to it. So I asked Erik to illustrate this phrase in a fluid way, bringing it to life. As always he did an amazing job, making the phrase flow and move; I couldn’t have been happier.
With the artwork done, I hit up Erik Hamline of Steady Print Co. to get it printed. Based out of Minneapolis other, Erik is a screen printing maestro who I knew would do an amazing job. We ended up running a split fountain of blue and turquoise color, giving the print a subtle gradation on a creme colored paper, which in Erik’s own words “gives it a Beach Boys sort of vibe.”
Currently my Quarterly subscription is sold out, but I’m hoping to get it open again so that more of you could subscribe to what will be my final maling. It will be another great poster collaboration, though I’m keeping the details mum for now. That said, there will be many more collaborations coming in the near future.
For whatever reason I hadn’t seen the design of the London Olympic medals, so I thought I’d look them. As you can see above they’re a nice blend of both contemporary and classic, featuring the image of Nike flying out of the Parthenon to go to London (their words, not mine). That’s pretty straightforward, and while I like the main side, the reasoning seems a bit… silly.
- The curved background implies a bowl similar to the design of an amphitheatre.
- The core emblem is an architectural expression, a metaphor for the modern city, and is deliberately jewel-like.
- The grid suggests both a pulling together and a sense of outreach – an image of radiating energy that represents the athletes’ efforts.
- The River Thames in the background is a symbol for London and also suggests a fluttering baroque ribbon, adding a sense of celebration.
- The square is the final balancing motif of the design, opposing the overall circularity of the design, emphasising its focus on the centre and reinforcing the sense of ‘place’ as in a map inset.
I really like the 2012 design, but really? It seems like there was a lot of desperate thought put into that description. Nonetheless, I think the design feels extremely contemporary and exciting. You even have to admit that the 2012 logo that everyone loves to hate looks good as extruded metal.