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If you were cool in school…

If you were cool in high school you didn’t ask too many questions. You could tell who’d been to last night’s big metal concert by the new t-shirts in the hallways. You didn’t have to ask and that’s what cool was: the ability to deduce, to know without asking. And the pressures to stimulate coolness means not asking when you didn’t know, which is why kids grow ever more stupid.

A yearbook’s endpages, filled with promises to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness of a teenager’s promise. Not like I’m dying for a letter from the class stoner ten years on, but…

Do you remember the way girls would call out “Love you!” conveniently leaving out the “I” as if they didn’t want to commit to their own declaration?

I agree that the “I” is a pretty heavy concept and hope you didn’t get uncomfortable if I should go into some deeper stuff here.

My friend Willem is travelling around the world and documenting all the cool stuff he sees. This was something he saw written on a white board on his trip from Alberta to B.C.

Sir Ken Robinson discusses the negative effects of school on children’s creativity. Are we just educating children to become professors? Professors who feel their body is just a tool to carry their brain around?

In the end, what is all of this for? Does it make us happy?


Influencers: How Trends And Creativity Become Contagious

Incredible and inspiring movie about the power of Influencers in our culture. My favourite quote: “When you get to a certain place - if someone has helped you get to where you are - you must help identify younger talent and be the mentor for somebody else” —Sky Gellatly

See the full website.


Yale: Off the Wall

This past weekend I took a 10 hour bus ride to New York City, followed by a two-hour train to New Haven to check out the Yale Graphic Design Graduate Show: Off the Wall. I have been an avid follower of the school’s work for the past year and thought it was finally time to see it in person.

The show runs from May 15-22, but I wanted to be among the first to see it. I arrived at the exhibit just 2 hours after it had officially opened, but to my surprise, the students were still setting up! At first I was slightly disappointed that my long journey was rewarded by a half finished show. Fortunately, most of the work was there to be viewed as the pieces were still in the process of being arranged. The majority of the students were present, working hard to complete their show. It was actually quite a laid-back environment and many students were kind enough to walk me through the show and explain their ideas about the exhibit - an opportunity I may not have experience had I visited during the reception.

Off the Wall is a unique kind of exhibit where, as the name would imply, all of the work is off of the wall - it’s on the floor instead. This model distributes student work randomly throughout the gallery, thereby flattening any hierarchy that may occur in a traditional gallery setting. The idea behind this approach is that design is not art; it does not need to be place on a pedestal (maybe just two-inch thick foam platforms). It also encourages the idea that design needs to be presented in its true form and that is has to be accessible to the viewer.

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yale: off the wall
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yale: off the wall
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One technical drawback to this set-up was that due to the overhead lighting, all of the pieces printed on glossy paper was difficult to view straight on - some things just don’t become apparent until they’ve finally been executed.
yale: off the wall
yale: off the wall
yale: off the wall
In a traditional gallery setting where work is hung on a wall, there is a predetermined orientation from which the work should be viewed, but since having the work on the floors allows viewers to walk around the work, the orientation of the work is left to the viewer’s interpretation.
yale: off the wall
yale: off the wall
yale: off the wall
yale: off the wall
Thesis books produced by each of the students of the graduating class.
yale: off the wall
Gallery window display, using Replica.
yale: off the wall
I should mention that screen work will also be presented on digital screens, laying flat on the ground, just like the print work. Unfortunately that portion was not fully complete by the time I had to catch my train back to NYC. You can view all the pieces on the Off the Wall website.

You can watch the full interview I did with Daniel Koppich, who was part of the space planning group for the show.

A warm thank you and congratulations goes out to all of the graduating students who welcomed me into the setting up process that day. Your hospitality and passion for the show made it an afternoon I will not soon forget. I wish you all the best.


Workshops: BASICS, FACES, PLACES, THINGS

Jared and I are running a series of workshops every Friday this month.
Basics, Faces, Places & Things
40″ x 60″ promotional poster, designed by Jonathon Yule

March 5th, Basics: A general overview of photography equipment to help you understand the functions of a camera and overcome any technical challenges. Bring your camera!

March 12th, Faces: Focusing on portrait photography and studio lighting. Also covering the RAW workflow for editing your portrait photos.

March 19th, Places: Focusing on landscape photography, street photography and event photography. Also covering the RAW workflow for editing your landscape photos.

March 26th, Things: Focusing on product photography, studio lighting and how to shoot your design work.

The workshops are open to everyone, so please feel free to join us, even if you’re not a YSDN student. Every Friday in March from 2-6PM at the TEL building, YSDN Lab 4, York University. Check out the Facebook event for more details.


The Loop (continued)

Here are more examples of loops, as part of research for my upcoming project.




















And here are some more music videos:


OFFF 2009 Main Titles - Prologue

Every few years, I come across a body of work that really moves me. Sam Javanrouh’s work did that for me over 4 years ago; it made me see photography in a whole new light, and since then I have lived and breathed it to the point that it has almost become my career. If it was not for Sam, I would have never realized my love for visuals and creating imagery. It was through Sam and Shahin that I discovered YSDN - otherwise I might have been doing something horrible with my life… like studying business!

I recently came across the work of Kyle Cooper while browsing on Motionographer. His work on the OFFF 2009 Main Titles absolutely blew me away. The harmony between skillful typography, graphic forms and beautiful cinematography create a hybrid that makes me drool!

Cooper earned a M.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Yale School of Art (what I currently consider to be the best place in the world to study design, and a place I wish to study at one day), where he studied independently with Paul Rand. He is responsible for starting Imaginary Forces in 1996, and Prologue in 2003, and has since been credited with almost single-handedly revitalizing the main title sequence as an art form.

I had the great pleasure of attending Cooper’s keynote presentation at Design Thinkers 2009, and had a chance to hear his stories from his days back in Yale, as well as his views about his career. Perhaps the most inspiring thing I took away from the keynote was this: Cooper used to feel like a frustrated director, wishing he could be a filmmaker, but feeling like he had not fully achieved his dreams since he was only doing open title sequences for movies. However he now feels the open title sequences are essential to setting the tone and the mood for a film, and therefore he has devoted his career to producing a ‘Prologue’ for some of the best films made today.

I had been getting quite tired and bored with conventional print graphic design, and was considering just becoming a photographer after I graduate this year. But after experiencing Cooper’s work, I have once again seen the light; maybe there is a way to do both design and photography. I want to take my love for photography (light/composition/cinematography) and output it as a time based medium - video. I want to combine this with what I have learned about typography and graphic design, to create the ultimate medium of story telling. I don’t necessarily want to create open title sequences, but over the next few years I would like to experiment with different ways of telling a story through time-based media. I have almost undoubtedly decided to pursue a career in this field, rather that print.

Thank you Kyle Cooper; I hope to have the privilege of working with you one day.


Festival Visionsonic Open Titles

I was really inspired by the treatment of type in this video. I have always considered video or photography as flat, two-dimensional images, but as this sequence clearly shows, they can be interpreted as three-dimensional spaces. All it takes it some imagination. They have the images and drawn imaginary angles that extend from objects, and use those lines as the foundation for text. I also admire the close relationship between type and image. Type has been treated as an element in the atmosphere, therefore if, for example, the view is obstructed by a pillar, the type is as well. I do, however, feel that the choice of typography could have been better.


Nocturne


See it at 1080p

Vincent Laforet’s sequal to Reverie, called Nocturne is a short film shot with the new Canon 1D Mark IV. Taking advantage of an insane ISO capability (reaching up to 102,400), the project was filmed during the night in LA with only available/ambient light.

Due to the nature of video, the shutter speed needs to remain at least equal to the frame rate. And until now, ISO capabilities restricted film makers with what they could and couldn’t shoot, based on availability of light. But with rise of HDDSLRs such as the 5D MKII and 7D, filmmakers are on their way to being liberated from the constraints of lighting. I am inspired by the rise of such cameras, as it will allow anyone to shoot and produce films by just using available light. Complex lighting set-ups will no longer be required to mimic reality. And, perhaps, in the near future, the look of cinematography in films will transform from what we see today.