Now that the 2012 London Olympics have wrapped up, it’s time to pay tribute to some of the most creative, artistic and unique designs who sponsored this year’s Games. Amul (official sponsor of the Indian Olympic Team) brought their product to life through a series of “milk athletes”. While technology and business practices continue to evolve, the old adage remains true; milk really does do the body good! Congratulations to all the competitors who managed to stay healthy to bring home victories for their proud countries.
Check out the YouTube link to view the full commercial.
Nicole Harris, US Office
Last week, we were very pleased to learn that Equator Design had received not one, but two Professional Packaging Notables at the inaugural Core 77 Awards.
Our first came for our packaging re-brand of Cretors Popcorn and our second came for the re-brand of Hi I'm SKINNY, both designed by Equator Chicago for G. H. Cretors. A big well done to all of those involved. The winning designs can be seen below and the other winners at the Core 77 Awards can be seen by clicking here.
"Equator's enthusiasm for our project was contagious and their creativity inspiring. They managed to take our 125 year old family story and transform it into a relevant brand, capturing our consumer at first glance." - Phyllis Cretors, President/CEO.
"Our second project with Equator and it was just as successful as the the first!" - Phyllis Cretors, President/CEO
Ben Lavender, UK office
In the early '90s, the graphic design industry began a revolutionary relationship with computers.
Those of us who remember that archaic world before computers, when digital meant using our fingers and the latest high-tech gadget was a new Agfa stat camera have witnessed the exponential dizzying speed in which design is being implemented. Naturally this follows the pace of our current world where decades-long changes are compressed to monthly, daily or even hourly occurrences.
We have created a world where we now fast forward to the next hip thing, rewind to find something we lazily don't bother put to memory and instantly form a previously unheld position with a matter of a few mouse clicks - it's good from time to time to step back and see where all this has gotten us.
In our own little designers corner of the world, the godly power to define beauty and stretch the bounds of physics through photo manipulation is in our hands. We can now create man in our own image! However, the rush to quickly complete our godly tasks often results in overlooked visual mistakes and the constant reminder that we are not gods contrary to how some view their Photoshop skills. We still have to rules to follow and there are watchful eyes making sure we do. What follows is a fun and comical look at the subsequent folly of self-deification.
There's even a website dedicated to keeping us honest... and humble!: www.psdisasters.com
Proper lighting is difficult when working with a giant...
Which is his bigger problem... shopping for shoes or trousers?
Jeff Tischer, US office
Over the course of history, many great innovations have been made in the field of photography as we have steadily perfected the art of freezing time. Dreamers like Joseph Niepce and Louis Daguerre used their respective camera obscura and daguerreotype processes to produce some of our first great steps into the medium in 1826 and 1839:
1877 brought us the first photograph sequence to capture motion, bringing on the early explorations of modern day cinematography:
But one of the next biggest steps came in 1880 when George Eastman began commercial production of gelatin dry plates, leading to the advent of the Eastman-Kodak Company. Just a short eight years later, the first Kodak camera was released to the public with the marketing slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.” It made photography accessible to the masses, and opened up a new world of opportunities.
Since then, we have seen cameras capable of more and more amazing things come onto the market. They have been used to document war, politics, fashion, pop culture and beyond. Photography has developed into a key component to advertising and design, yet, we have also seen it become effortlessly user friendly with point and shoot models that fit in our pockets. Today, even smaller devices are planted right in our personal phones. So what innovations will come next?
Maybe this: Lytro Light Field technology. The Lytro is the small, strange looking little camera you see below:
It utilizes a touch screen interface and presents the notion of living pictures... living, because after you take a photo, you are able to heavily manipulate it. With Lytro, it is actually possible to shift the focus of an existing image with the flick of a finger. Never before was it possible to select the perspective or depth of a photo in post-production.
This is achieved through their Light Field technology, which in layman’s terms means that it works by utilizing a different kind of sensor than a traditional camera. It records the light with a light field sensor, called a microlens array, which captures the color, intensity and direction of light rays. Lytro then analyzes the light and converts it to data, which when used in conjunction with their software, allows an image to be processed in multiple ways, without another click of the shutter. Take the photos below featured on the Lytro website (www.lytro.com). There, you can see for yourself how the focus can be shifted from the girl in the foreground to the guy in the background—or anything else in the frame you choose. The company is also working on a software update that will allow the angle of a picture to be adjusted after the shot is taken.
Now, the Lytro is far from perfect. In fact, at this stage in the game, I would not urge anyone to rush out and buy it. Their models range from $399-$499, and this price seems to be a bit steep considering the camera lacks in resolution and features a very small screen. The physical design of the camera also seems a bit odd, and looks as if it would feel awkward in your hand. A more traditional camera body would make it much more appealing in my opinion. Another downside is that it has to be used with their software, as opposed to a well-known editing tool like Photoshop or Aperture. At present, their software is only compatible with Mac, but a Windows-friendly version is on the horizon. Lastly, there is no flash feature included on the Lytro, so shooting in low light would prove rather difficult.
As of this moment, the Lytro seems to be more of a fun toy, capable of producing image quality on par with some lower priced alternatives on the market. However, if harnessed correctly, this technology could revolutionize the field. Imagine if it were transplanted not only into the hands of consumers, but incorporated into the most sophisticated DSLR and Medium Format cameras used in the industry today. It has the potential to be a game changer and this day is probably not that far off.
Kaitlin Fencl, US office
You’d think that sitting in a room surrounded by 2000 other creatives, (well 1999 plus me) would be daunting. Thousands of creatives ﬂooding the market with ideas to change the world just like you and I. Throw in 15 proven, successful well-known figures, photographers, artists, production companies, advertisers, designers and illustrators talking about their work and the industry over two days with the odd coﬀee break and there you have it, Semi-Permanent Conference Sydney, held at Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour.
My own personal favourite was actually the speaker least related to what I do, but most related to my interest in ﬁlm. Roman Coppola, Music & Film director featured in a live webcast, part of Google Hangout Sessions, along with a few of his friends, his mum, cousin and a real leopard!
Showcasing videos and letting us in on some tips, tricks and real life snippets. This is the guy responsible for Daft Punk, Fat Boy Slim & Mansun music videos. His sister Sophia Coppola is the director of Lost In Translation, one of my ultimate top 5 ﬁlms. His Dad is only Francis Ford Coppola, so it doesn’t get cooler than this! See for yourself with the highlights right here.
Follow that with paper engineer Benja Harney, designer Vince Frost, typographer Luca Ionescu, and photographer Derek Henderson to name just a few and you’re bombarded with inspiration, drive and ambition.
What I really learnt aside from work practices, new ways of thinking, and how to fold a paper aeroplane with extreme precision is that as creatives, we need each other. We’re a team, we thrive on being around great ideas, sharing stories, experiences and inﬂuences.
Its not daunting at all, its actually really exciting and totally inspiring. Roll on Semi-Permanent 2013!
Above images by Frost Design, (top row), paper engineer Benja Harney, (second row), and Luca Ionescu, (below).
Lisa Hastings, Australian office
As part of the Queen's Jubilee tour, Her Majesty the Queen visited Nottingham yesterday accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The royal party arrived in the Lace Market at around 10:15 BST and we were lucky enough to see the convoy as it headed towards the Old Market Square where the royals would appear on the Council House balcony to acknowledge the 10,000+ crowd. Andrea of our artwork team managed to take the photograph above just as the Queen waved to the hundreds of people lining the streets. The picture below shows Karen, Zoë, Emily, Libby and Andrea eagerly anticipating the royal arrival.
The Queen also unveiled a plaque at Vernon Park, which has been granted Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust status.
Ben Lavender, UK office
Last Friday, we joined in the national Diamond Jubilee celebrations in style with a themed Jubilee lunch with red, white and blue food and Union Jacks a plenty!
Everyone wore red, white and blue outfits and Karen even made a special hat and a cake stand from old vinyl records! After toasting the Queen with rhubarb and custard pop, we launched into the afternoon’s work buzzing with sugar and e-numbers!
Vanessa Christian, UK office
Whenever I can I like to do my own illustrations for projects. As well as helping to push my skills further, it makes a nice break from the day to day design process. You can plug your headphones in and immerse yourself in a slice of creativity for a good few hours. A lot of my previous illustration work has started with a pencil sketch which gets scanned and then redrawn in Adobe Illustrator to create a nice, easily scalable, vector illustration. But, one of my latest pieces required something with a more 3D feel to it, meaning it needed to be done in Photoshop.
To help speed up the process and allow me to work with a much more natural feel, I managed to get a new toy to play with at work – a Wacom Intuos 4 graphic tablet. After the geek-gasm of unpacking, peeling off the protective plastic (the best part of any gadget unpacking according to Howard from Big Bang Theory) and installation it was ready to go. I can’t show the final results for that project yet, but with a new tool on my desk, and the new bristle brushes in Photoshop 5 now available to use at their full potential, I couldn’t help but try it out some more.
So, over a few lunch breaks I started my first digital painting. It’s of Thom Yorke from Radiohead. It’s not finished, but the result so far is this…
Here’s part of the process, firstly a sketch with a pencil brush....
Then blocking in some light, dark and colour...
Then, bit by bit, more detail....
As I said, it’s not finished yet, but I think I could have just found a new hobby. The combination of a Wacom tablet and the Photoshop bristle brushes has certainly created a much more natural look and feel to digital painting, and hopefully one that I will be able to take advantage of in future packaging design projects.
Sam Masters, UK office