Danny Cooke has a series of documentaries he’s been working on, and this one about letterpress is my personal favorite. It’s a short film featuring one of the few remaining movable-type printing workshops in the UK, situated at Plymouth University. It features printer Paul Collier as he goes through the motions (but not in a bad way!) of printing out some rather beautiful pieces. Be sure to watch till the end for the credits, which are all letterpressed.
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Patatap is a portable animation and sound kit that’s controlled by key commands and touch controls. It combines playful sounds with abstract shapes that aniamte in creative ways, which give visual feedback as you create music. Amazingly enough you can try it out for yourself in the embed below.
What’s interesting is where the motivation to build Patatap came from, which builds off the idea of triggering synesthesia as well as the art of Mondrian and Kandinsky.
The motivation behind Patatap is to introduce the medium of Visual Music to a broad audience. Artists working in this field vary in discipline but many aim to express the broader condition of Synesthesia, in which stimulation of one sensory input leads to automatic experiences in another. Hearing smells or seeing sounds are examples of possible synesthesia. In the case of Patatap, sounds trigger colorful visual animations.
The history behind the aesthetic expression of synesthesia arose from the paintings of Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky and the early videos of Viking Eggeling and Norman McLaren, to the contemporary animations of Oskar Fischinger and softwares of C.E.B. Reas. Patatap takes elements from all these visionaries and aims to present this concept in a direct way.
The project is a collaboration between Jono Brandel, who has a knack for combining design with computer wizardry, and Lullatone, a musical duo based out of Nagoya, Japan. Together they’ve made abeautiful fusion of technology, design, art, and music that I’ve rarely seen achieved.
I’m a big fan of Chicago based artist and designer Cody Hudson so this collaboration he did with Case Studyo is high on my list of art objects I’m craving. It’s called Vibes Melt Down 2043, a ceramic skull that doubles as art piece and incense burner which comes in white, silver, and gold versions. It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity, and the fact that I think it would look really rad on my desk.
The other day Josh Benedikt, a talented UX/UI designer on my team at Disney, sent me an email with a link that said, “I feel like I understand your job a bit more now after reading this.” The link he sent was an article by Dan Mall who does a good job of explaining the difference between a creative director, an art director, and a designer. I found it to be really helpful and insightful, helping me better define what I do as a creative director at Disney Interactive. Dan sums it up nicely by describing a creative director as “championing the intersection where Art Direction & Design meet Strategy.”
The primary concern of good creative direction is making sure the art direction & design approaches always support the client’s bottom line. If any of those pieces fall short—even if the others are brilliant—that’s poor creative direction. You can have a brilliant strategy and art direction, but if it’s not appropriately designed, that’s poor creative direction. You can have appropriate art direction and gorgeous design, but if the strategy’s not sound, that’s poor creative direction. You get the idea.