We all know it: when you want to be healthy, you need to eat healthy. But with all the choices you have at the grocery store, it can be very difficult to eat right. It is way easier to just warm something up or eat a snack that is loaded with sugar than actively prepare your food in a healthy way or read all the labels before you buy something. We don’t have time for that, right?
For the biggest part, that’s true. But I have come to learn it is just a matter of habit and learning how to cook. That is the reason why I want to add another segment here on this website. There are a lot of cool products that can help you live (and eat) better. I know I’m not the first one to realize this or to write about it, but it seems like a lot of fun, so why not? Let’s give it a go, shall we?
Recently I ordered a some of products from MyMuesli. This Germany based company specializing sells muesli and granola next to dairy free milk and tea. They also sell a couple of accessories to go with these products.
For the last couple of weeks I have been looking for a good way to bring my granola and yoghurt to work. But we all know that when you throw the ingredients together, the granola will become mushy. I travel for 45 minutes to work each day, so by the time I get to work, my granola is ruined.
There are a lot of container products available, but the cup I got from MyMuesli is just better than the rest. The cup is divided into two containers: one for your yoghurt and one for your granola. They both have their own separate twisting lid and the top container is transparent, so you can see which granola you brought with you. They are available in three different colors: magenta, white and black. And best of all: they are dishwasher safe!
The second product I got is the 2go bottle from Tree of Tea. This glass bottle has a little container in the top, where you can put your tea in. Basically genius, because your tea will be mixed from the top and there is no need to stir it. If you prefer fresh-from-the-garden tea, you can always put some leafs in the bottom of the bottle. Just place your container on top of it and your bottle is sealed off. The bottle is double walled, to keep your tea warm. If you are anything like me, you have a habit of making tea, forgetting about it and drink cold tea as a result. I haven’t managed to do that yet with this bottle!
I use both my cup and my bottle on a daily basis at work. And even some of my colleagues got the 2go cup to make a habit of not skipping out on breakfast. If you want to order yours, go to mymuesli.com. They regularly have great freebees that come with your order.
Artistic people have restless hands. Give us a pen and paper and we scribble away. We are constantly figuring out how curtain shapes work, how lighting is supposed to fall upon an object and what different textures are supposed to look like. Don’t forget it is a fast and easy way to work out your ideas. It makes us think about elements we can not (easily) erase like we can on our computer screens. It forces us to start over: the ditch and redo method. We can see the process we have made over time. It is very educational and the result can be incredibly stunning.
Do you use a dummy to work out your ideas? Do you have the feeling you need to draw when there is pen and paper near? Tell me in the comments down below.
We all have that show or movie we just can’t get enough of. Sometimes we love it so much, we spam our friends and family with that pure awesomeness and we want them to experience it too. We fall in love with the characters and characteristics. And even then, we can still be overflowing with so much feelings we get creative. Very, very creative…
Personally, I love the Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and the Marvel series when it comes to fan art. Let me know what your favorite series are, in the comments below.
A lot of games are based on warriors or not so strong character types becoming great warriors. Most of the time, they are as deadly as they are beautiful and they vary from nobel soldiers with shiny armor to bare skinned barbarians with clunky weapons. Each of these beautiful digital paintings show their own story about a type or warrior and what they have been trough.
In the comments below, let me know what your favorite type of warrior is and why.
Your grandmother may remember the time when they potted their food. They had potted ham and potted… well, anything really. They used to slay an animal and put the meat in a glass preservation jar along with a lot of salt so it wouldn’t rot. Back then, they used pottery in the form of earthenware or stoneware or simply glass jars. Not many people still do this, since going to the store and buy fresh food is much easier and arguably much tastier. I did manage to find some very nice looking jars that reminded me of our neighbor in France: a 86-year old woman, who brings us pâté in a preservation jar when her son has shot some wild animal. It makes me hungry already. Enjoy!
Compare your own handwriting to that of your grandmother and the conclusion may be that once people where paying more attention to the art of it. Nowadays we type everything on a keyboard and I for one have to ‘push through’ if I have to write more than a couple of sentences. But recently I have studied calligraphy and have found the beauty of creative lettering. Below I have listed a couple of gorgeous examples of calligraphy for your inspiration. Enjoy.
The last couple of months designers have been really busy with flat design, which is being called one of the design trends of 2014. But it has come to my attention that among these flat icon designs still are some very handsome designs that are Skeuomorphic. I’ve found some very life-like food related designs that make you hungry by just looking at them. Enjoy and bon appétit!
Aquascaping is the art of underwater gardening with aquatic plants, rocks, stones or wood, in an aesthetically pleasing manner within an aquarium. What makes aquascaping so hard, is that you’ll need to recreate the natural environment within (usually) a small space. Most of the time, aquascapes house fish, to help with building a natural environment, but it is possible create a aquascape with plants only. Big names in the aquascaping world are James Findley (UK), Oliver Knott (DE) and Takashi Amano (JP), who all contributed their knowledge to the aquascaping culture.
The Iwagumi lay-out style
There are lot of layout types of aquascaping. Iwagumi is a styles that originates from Japan, where stones are the backbone of the aquarium. Iwagumi typically has only a couple of plants, and around three or four type of stones: Oyaishi (primary stone or father stone), Fukuishi (secondary stone), Soeishi (tertiary stone or accompanying stone) and the Suteishi (or sacrificial stone). In a planted tank, the Suteishi stone often disappears after the plants have completely set in, but it still plays an important role in the structure of the lay-out.
The Dutch Lay-out style
The Dutch style, which is originating from the Netherlands, features a wide range of plants and colours. Wood and rocks are hardly ever present or visible, but the depth, color and contrast make it a very interesting layout.
The Nature lay-out style
The Nature style focusses on both natural landscapes and snapshots of natural environments. This lay-out is pioneered by Takashi Amano. It focusses on the design elements which are also used in Iwagumi lay-outs.
It is not easy (however not impossible), to make layouts like these. It takes a lot of planning and patience, which makes aquascaping a real form of art. Especially in the beginning, it takes a lot of searching for the right type of materials for the lay-out, finding the right plants, choosing the right fish and a lot of water changes. But once you found the correct balance in your tank, it is a really beautiful addition to your home or office. It is also a very good therapeutic activity, which allows you to play around with design rules like the golden rule. I especially think it is good for designer, illustrators and photographers like us, because you learn to look at it from a different perspective.
For more insight in aquascaping, the Green Machine, a company founded by aquascaper James Findley, has very detailed and well explained videos.
Google is doing very well at the moment, and they will be bringing us a lot of new technology in the following months. Google was already making us curious with the new project Glass, which will likely be released somewhere next year, and they’ve extended their Google Docs with Google Drive, which is a competitor of Dropbox. Now they are taking on the competition with Apple by having their own virtual assistant, Google Voice Search. Remember when Google was just a search engine? Well, they haven’t forgotten about searching.
The Google Voice Search app is already available on Android and will come to the iPhone really soon. I’m dying to try it out and see if it is actually better or worse than siri.
If you’ve seen the Glass demo on Google I/O, you’ve seen a couple of people wearing the glasses jumping from plane, landing on a building, cycling to the edge of the building, than jumping from the side of that building to land on the third floor, and cycling to the conference hall to jump on stage. I have to say that I thought that to be very impressive.
It is good to know that Google suggests that these glasses are strong enough to record extreme sports. And we probably have all seen the clip with the guy walking through the city to end up in a video call and play the ukulele. So we know a couple of features it has, but I was still wondering if it could be more than this insanely cool gadget. The next video shows a mother with a newly born baby in America, who is calling her husband in France.
How into Google are you?
I am known to be a tech lover, and if I had my way, I would build my house to be like Tony Stark’s in Iron Man in no-time. I know that this app isn’t anywhere near a complete house where everything is voice controlled, but having this in your pocket is nice. Especially for those who don’t have the iPhone 4S, and because of that, don’t have siri. I would also like to get my hands on the Google Glasses. In my opinion, seeing someone wearing the glasses still looks a bit odd, because the glasses are not symmetrical, but I think it isn’t that hard to get used to.
Let me know in the comments what you think of Google and what you think of their new products.
Paul Davey is an illustrator from Manchester, Jamaica, and works under the alias Mattahan. He paints beautiful images of black people, and every painting has its own story. The paintings are based on his own life and the things he relates to. The most important thing, according to Paul, is that the painting needs to provoke a reaction from him in order to be satisfied with it. He not only an illustrator, he also does comic art and he makes icons.
Kelli Anderson is a very talented designer from Brooklyn, America. She is very crafty with paper. She not only pushes the boundaries with designing, she also tries to fully explore every aspect involved. In this incredible TEDxPhoenix talk, she talks about the ‘disruptive wonder’, a mechanism for revealing the extraordinary talents of ordinary things.
Paris for pleasure seekers
Her latest project is a map of Paris, in collaboration with Herb Lester. With great use of texture, the illustrations are very well made. With 30 locations highlighted on this map, it covers everything that Paris is known and loved for.
The record player wedding invitation
Another great project of hers, is the wedding invitation she did for her friends Mike and Karen. This wedding invitation is a record player, which plays an exclusive song, made by the bride and groom. The record player is made entirely out of plastic, paper and a metal needle.
What I really appreciate in Kelli is that she values the craftsmanship of design. She has a letterpress in her home, which she uses for various projects. She is very curious and is willing to give everything for her projects.
David Delin is an illustrator from France, with a huge love for his art. He makes beautiful artworks, and there is no surprise that I needed to feature him here. He focuses mainly on Typography, Illustration and general Graphic Design. Magazines like Advanced Photoshop and Digital Artist UK, among many others, have featured his work. Enjoy!
Everyone has books in their bookcase that they never touch. Let it be an old dictionary, or an encyclopedia, they are collecting dust. You could just trow them out, but you can also… make landscapes out of them. Canadian artist Guy Laramée must have had the same idea when he was looking at his book collection. Guy is a man of many talents. Not only is he a very accomplished painter and sculptor, but Guy is also a highly regarded musician, composer and stage director.
With over 30 years of experience, Guy makes these beautiful book sculptures, with some containing over 10 books per sculpture. The examples you see here, are from the The Great Wall collection, Biblios collection and the Guan Yin collection.
It is very important to choose your colors wisely. Choosing the wrong colors can make a design dull and looking a bit off, so consideration is in order. There are various color combinations you can use to achieve a natural effect. The most known is the color wheel.
It is interesting to see how the color wheel, or color circle, has come to be. There are actually different types of color wheels, but the one you see here is the most descriptive of how the circle actually works. The color wheel shows the relation between the primary colors, the secondary colors and the tertiary colors. The primary colors are red, blue and yellow. The secondary colors are colors you get when you take even amounts of a primary color and mix them together. So when you take red and blue, you get purple. Blue and yellow makes green, and yellow and red makes orange.
These are the basic elements of the color wheel. If you take two primary colors you get a secondary color, if you take a secondary color and a primary color you get a tertiary color. Put all of the colors together, and you get brown. But there is no way of making a primary color with a secondary color or a tertiary color. So if you are an artist working with paint, you can make every color if you have red, blue and yellow. If you only have red, blue and green, there is no way to make yellow.
Being in harmony simply means that something is in such a way that it makes sense. With colors that’s no different. That is way it is so important to choose the right colors. For that you can use color harmonies.
The monochromatic harmony uses various values of the same color family. This means that there is made use of different tints, tones and shades of the same color.
With analogous colors relationships, colors are located adjacent to each other on the color wheel.
The complementary colors are at opposite sides of the color wheel. That makes red the complementary color of green. These colors enhance each other.
Split-complementary colors are one color on one side of the color wheel, and two others equally spaced from its complement, resulting in three colors.
Double complement harmonies include two sets of complementary colors that sit next to and across from each other on the color wheel forming an X.
Tetrad colors are four colors equally spaced on the color wheel. This means that in a 12 steps color wheel every color is touched by the corners of a square. This might be the hardest color combination to use. The best way to handle this combination is to choose no more than two dominant colors.
Triad colors are three colors equally spaced on the color wheel.
Diad schemes are combinations of two colors located two steps apart on the color wheel, skipping the color in between.
Of course there are other great ways to get color inspiration for your designs. Some designers depend on the meaning of colors and their harmonies and choose their colors beforehand. Other designers first build up their elements before they pick their colors. A known trick for picking colors is to pick colors from a photo.
The surroundings of a color are very important. A color can get a different contrast when laid next to another color and can be seen completely different.
Take these shades of purple. The rectangle in the middle of each color is exactly the same as the other. Only the left rectangle appears to be a warmer color than the rectangle on the right.
Take the butcher department in the supermarket for instance. A lot of the time you find little green plastic leaves between the different pieces of meat. This makes the meat more red, which would indicate that there is still blood left in the meat, which would suggest that the meat is fresh. Would you take the green away, the meat would get a more brownish color, which would suggest that the meat has lain there for a couple of days. So placing the little green fake leafs between the meat, makes the red more stand out. And a stronger red equals more sales.
It is very important to know what the symbolism behind colors can be. A good example is the recent color change in the McDonalds emblem. McDonalds used to use the color red and yellow. Both primary colors. It indicates the core value’s of the fast food giant. Yellow stands for positivity, sunshine, playfulness. Red stands for energy, excitement and courage. Lately, McDonalds changed these colors to yellow and green, because the company wanted to be associated with health. The fast food industry has very bad reputation when it comes to health, and just changing the products wasn’t enough. People walking past McDonalds should feel like going in isn’t going to clog their arteries with fat. With the color change from red to green, going into McDonalds feels like it still gives you the option of choosing between a nasty burger and a healthy salad.
Every color has its own symbolic meaning. It can be very contradictory and some colors have more associations than others. Most associations are very strong, and it is hard to break that connection. So it is easier to take colors for their associations than trying to change them.
There are also religious connections to colors. In India they celebrate Holi, the festival of colors, which is a new years celebration feast. During this feast, the Hindus throw scented powder to each other, to celebrate the colors of spring.
American and West European cultures are very similar when it comes to colors. These cultures define colors in the following way:
Red evokes aggressiveness, passion, strength and vitality. It is recognized as a stimulant and draws attention. As an accent, it has the ability to immediately focus attention on a particular element.
Orange evokes fun, cheeriness and warm exuberance. It is a close relative of red and most people either hate or love this color.
Yellow evokes positivity, enlightenment and happiness, but can also stand for cowardice. It can also stand for the youth in children.
Green evokes tranquility, health and freshness. Next to blue it is a favorite color to most people. It is often used in interior design, because we are used to seeing it everywhere. Green is considered the color of peace and ecology, while it can also be an indication of illness and negative emotions. For some countries it is also the color for money.
Blue evokes authority, dignity, security and faithfulness. It is the overwhelming favorite color, and maybe that is way a lot of application icons are blue. The color is seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed. Next to that it is the least gender specific color, it has an equal appeal to both men and women. Still, baby blue refers to boys.
Purple evokes sophistication, spirituality, costliness, royalty and mystery. It is the color which is most liked by creatives and is a very adaptive color. This color takes over the characteristics of its undertone.
Pink evokes femininity, innocence, softness and health. It has a lot of the same characteristics as red, without being to aggressive. It is often associated with romance and is the gender color for girls.
Brown evokes utility, earthiness, woodsy-ness and subtle richness. It is the color of the earth and is associated with all things natural and organic. All colors combined make brown, and that is why it is a very difficult color to use in designs.
White, grey and black are not really defined as colors, since they are shades of brightness. But that doesn’t mean that they are not symbolic.
White evokes purity, truthfulness, being contemporary and refined. Doctors wear white coats, and a white picket fence surrounds safe and happy home. Brides traditionally wear white gowns, symbolic to their virginity.
Grey evokes somberness, authority, practicality and a corporate mentality. It is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. Grey is also a business color and it is perceived as long-lasting, classic and redefined. It is also a very perfect natural, which is why designers often use it as a background color and why a lot of digital artist use a grey background to draw their paintings on.
Black evokes seriousness, distinctiveness, boldness and being classic. It is also very authoritative and powerful. Evil characters in movies are often dark, while the good guys are light. Black represents a lack of color and emptiness. It is a classic color for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated.
The symbolism of colors can be differ in different cultures. The symbolism can even differ from periods of time and can even have a different meaning in the same culture. The color red is often used in stop signs in European and north American cultures, while at the same time it can stand for love and hate.
There are a couple of sites dedicated to color use. Adobe has its own kuler web application and the website colorlovers.com is a creative community where you can share your colors, pallets and patterns. They can really come in handy, so be sure to check them out.
The true Star Wars fan has to go to the STAR WARS Identities Exhibition, which is in Montreal Canada. This exhibition will stop in 12 cities during its six-year tour. At this exhibition, you follow Luke and Anakin Skywalker, from their origins on Tatooine, to the friends and mentors they meet during adolescence, through the choices they make that will define them as adults.
The exhibition features amazing props, customs, models and artworks, which allow you to see Star Wars in a whole new way. There is even a quest where you can shape your own Star Wars character, and you’ll be placed in the center of all action.
A couple of day’s ago I went to see the Avengers. And I honestly believe that you need to go see this movie. I love Tony Starks humor, which made me watch Iron man all over again. In case you missed the trailer, you can watch it below. I also included a featured, but for more content, which include Tony Stark burning Richard Castle form the tv series Castle and screaming fans amongst more clips of course, you can go to the Marvel Youtube account.
Over at Toys “R” Us, they released a series of wallpapers for the fans. All the posters are 1280×1024. Just click on them to go to the full size.
Which of the Marvel characters would you like to see teaming up?
I great thing about the Marvel movies, is that they show a little clip at the end of the movie, to show you what is about to happen next. I’m not going to spoiler anything, but I would love to know what you think is going to happen next, or even better, what Marvel characters you would like to see teaming up. Let me know in the comments below.
Sérgio Almeida is a designer from Aveiro, Portugal, who is focussing on animation, illustration and design. As a promotion to the d&da students awards 2012, he made the ‘My Design Is’-project. For this project he made illustration cards, which describe his designs. Along with the cards he made a video where you can see him making the illustration poster. The illustration is a self-portrait and every part of it portrays a visual description of what design is to him. In the end the illustration reads:
A couple of weeks ago Jean Paul Gaultier announced that he is going to be the new creative director for Diet Coke and with this he released a new limited edition bottle work and campaign. The print ads, shot by Jean Paul Gaultier’s friend Stéphane Sednaoui, featured two models in a day & night theme holding a the limited edition bottles and a cardboard with JPG face. The bottles will be available in 9 countries in Europe and a third limited edition bottle will be released later this year.
With this bottles comes also the mini series “The Serial Designer”, starring Jean Paul Gaultier and several marionettes. The marionettes all have a problem related to fashion, when JPG comes to the rescue. He drinks Diet Coke and gets energized and overflowed with ideas for the perfect outfit.
Kickstarter is a beautiful place to find funds for your project, and a lot of amazing projects went to production because of Kickstarter. But never have I seen a project being funded this quickly. The Pebble, a digital watch that can connect to your iPhone or Android phone, needed to collect 100,000 dollar to go to production and collected the money in only two hours! The project still has 36 days to go before the investment period ends and the counter shows somewhere around $744,000 at the moment. And this number is going up rather quickly.
With the Pebble, you can go cycling, control your music, go running, and obviously do a lot more. With a SDK, developers can build their own app to support the Pebble. It has a build in accelerometer, a vibrating motor, an ARM microprocessor and a nice e-paper display. It connects trough bluetooth and has a battery life of 7 days.
If you would like to have a copy of the watch, as long as it is a Kickstarter project the watch will cost you $99. When the Pebble goes to production it will cost something like $150. It surely does have a lot of potential if you ask me, and I am seriously considering buying one. I think it is awesome that you can see who is calling you, just by looking at your watch. What would you like to do with a Pebble?
Take a look at these amazing illustrated buildings by Lucas Galoto on Béhance for the Facebook game Towner developed by MetroGames. Towner is about creating your dream city. You have to build different types of buildings to attract people to live in your city.
All the different famous buildings that were illustrated for this game look really amazing. Some of the buildings made for this game are the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and many others. Obviously not all buildings are after famous buildings, but it is fun to recognise the famous ones and detect the style of the artist.
It took me some time, but it is finally here. When I started blogging a couple of years ago over at the CRD website, I mainly made inspiration galleries, like most blogs do nowadays. But I soon realized that that wasn’t enough. I wanted to meet new people and ask them about their experiences. So I’ve interviewed a couple of designers and developers and they told me their insights. Due to some site difficulties I stopped writing over at the CRD website, but I did wanted to keep on blogging, only this time on my personal website. So that is when I developed this site.
Currently I’m working on a book and a documentary for my graduation project. I’ve interviewed a couple of people from the Netherlands and from England and I have to say that it is tremendously interesting to hear different opinions on design. The book I’m writing is about the perfect portfolio for freelance graphic designers and will have chapters on design for screen and print, marketing, communication and social media, technology and applications and of course content. The documentary is an addition to the book and shows different people from different fields in the design business.
More news is that I’ve also been offered to write for Other Focus, which I gladly except. The articles there will show some overlap with this blog, but I will keep this place for my personal posts. There will always be topics that just don’t fit on Other Focus, so that is why I have this place.