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I HEART REFLECTIONS

I LOVE these moody images by Kim Holtermand. All of his photography is dreamy — stark scenes of landscapes and architecture. It’s inspired me to eagerly anticipate the next cold, gray day in Toronto and then head out to photograph the city. (via)

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STRENGTH, BEAUTY + TENNIS BALLS

These video portraits of top women tennis players are simply beauteous. Brought to us by the NYTimes Magazine — produced by friend Miki Meek, and amazing sound design by super hero Pam Chen — I watched each one several times over. Basically I heart slow motion film + photographer/videographer Dewey Nicks.

This would have been a great campaign for the WTA. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m now even more excited for the US Open.

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ANIMATED GIFS

A mosaic of humorous animated gifs about nonstop design work can be seen at iamnotanartist.org. The project was created by communications agency Soon in Tokyo and started with 56 animated gifs. It’s hoping to expand on that by allowing people to create and add their own gifs through the site directly — either frame by frame or using personal webcams. I love the idea of an online creative community expressing themselves through 3 second repeating animations.

Strangely, this isn’t the first time I’ve posted about moving gifs. Apparently I have a weakness for them.

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DREAMY IMAGES

I was recently wading through my links looking at imagery references for an upcoming shoot — I rediscovered renowned photographer  Nadav Kander. Check out his “God’s Country” series. Honestly though, as expected, you can’t go wrong perusing all of his photography. There is a lot of light viewing enjoyment to be had. And his bio is a fun read.

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BAG THIS

This shopping bag design by Prompt, is such a cute and simple idea. Using peel back tabs, it allows shoppers to personalize the front of their own bag. It kind of makes sense that it’s for chocolate which is such an emotional food (alright, at least it’s the one I turn to when I need to eat my stress away). Now you can buy chocolate and then use drawings or letters to reveal your mood, your sense of whimsy or just random swear words. Thank you Kokoa Hut. (via the dieline)

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PREHISTORIC MEAT

Imagine coming across this randomly in your local grocers frozen food section. A cute idea for a Bosch appliance launch campaign promoting their new cooling technology. Apparently they used a variety of “mammoth steaks” “dinosaur legs” and “sabertooth fillets”, complete with QR codes on the plastic wrap packaging. (via lost at e minor)

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RGB

I love the idea behind this collection of wallpapers by milan duo known as Carnovsky. The cool collage is made up of 3 different colored patterns overlayed on top of eachother. Each pattern, representing various animal/plant worlds, can be identified clearly when seen through the filter of a red, blue or green light. Is it wrong that I want to have this in my living room with special RGB track lighting dimmers?

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Q:| = “I’M DAVY F*CKING CROCKET”

There are two types of people in the world. Those who use emoticons and those who don’t. As our social circles move further and further into the online space, I’m sure the simple : ( and ; ) will start feeling a bit constrictive.

This link was passed on to me by friend and user interface designer, Alicja. I require emoticon charts to read most emails from her when we’re working together on a project, her vocabulary is incredible. This takes it to a whole new level. Here are a few of my favorites:

*:0 = “MY FACE IS ON FIRE!!!!”

!,! =  ”Hi.  I am a rabbit”

% = “I feel like I am a mosquito looking directly at you.”

|:( = “I am displeased with my unibrow.”

Q:| = “I’m Davy fucking Crockett.”

:$ = “I am trying to look unimpressed, but someone drew a squiggly mouth over my real mouth and this must be terribly confusing for you.  I am sorry.”

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FASHIONABLE MASKS

Walking the line between beautiful and creepy, these “masks” definitely catch your attention. Designer/artist Frederique Daubal cut up fashion photos from magazines for this “Hide And Seek” series.  I love the use of body language, clothing and hair styling that bring these face plates to life.

They’re intended to address identity and transformation. On a less profound level, I can’t help but imagine them used in a very crazy music video or campaign. (via designboom)

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I HEART NEON

You can take the girl out of the 80s, but you can’t take the 80s out of the girl. I just updated my flickr page with some new pics…

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POWERPOINT KARAOKE 2

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So it was on like donkey kong last night at the Drake Hotel (and yes, I just used that in a sentence). Friend and futurist Tom Purves, hosted his second powerpoint karaoke event in Toronto last night. We sat at a bar for 5 hours on saturday helping him come up with crazy decks filled with images of gorillas, charts and people with bees in their pants — it was very fulfilling to watch the unsuspecting presenters get up on stage and talk their way through them. It was improv meets business cultures meets the internet.

My favorite of the decks was”8 Things To Do On A First Date”. Amazing.

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But really, freed from the confines of good design and finding a few real power points, every slide had some humorous potential.

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01HUNDRED DAYS OF TEN:15

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I came across this project while finally getting to updating my portfolio site. It made me a bit nostalgic, but also reminded me what a great community project this was.

So we were amazed when the artistic diversion that was TEN:15 turned 100 days old. If it were a PROTOZOA it would have reproduced and died several times. But science aside — for the 100th day bonanza, instead of sparklers and dry ice, we introduced a theme: creative self-portraits. We got super abstract ones, like someone’s right cornea, or strand of hair, it was cool to see what kind of artistic license people took; even the straight forward shots revealed something interesting about who was keeping the project going.

We also thought it would be cool to see all the photos from the first 100 days mish-mashed (yes, that’s the technical term) together, a kind of look back in time. It’s fun to see the different themes/shapes that come out of the collages.

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A FEW FLASH-Y CAMPAIGNS

Links tend to come in waves. The theme of this latest set of links is high-end flash sites for fashion + furniture. All of them are story or series-based and focus more on the experience and mood. Here are 5 of the more interesting/bizarre ones:

Louis Vuitton teamed up with Gorbachev, Keith Richards and Agassi for their “Journeys” campaign. Even Al Gore and climate change were integrated into LV land. The strange ensemble cast of celebrities are each interviewed about their home cities, what it’s like traveling around them. The photographs are gorgeous and the multimedia pieces are really well-produced. I have to admit, it’s compelling branded web content.

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The furniture store Mio’s site features four different narratives from British Colombia, Paris, Isla Margarita, and El Ombu. As the video stories unfold, white dots appear on the screen. The video pauses every time your mouse rolls over the stage and zooms in to reveal more information on that particular product. You can immediately find out what kind of wine glass the romantic lead is drinking from and how much it costs.

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This bizarre site called 360 snap for Vidal Sassoon claims to be combining fashion, music + shampoo. I haven’t been able to make the connection necessarily between the product and the design except that the people all have shiny hair I guess. But it kept me entertained for a few minutes while trying to figure it out. Click on a thumbnail and watch them rotate.

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I came across these Ikea ad sites built by Forsman & Bodenfors last year. I love their use of video, photography and space. The first website uses a variation of choose-your-own-video interaction. Once you decide on a floor/scene you can click on the item that you would like to see the person interact with. The second website in the ad campaign utilizes the same style. Instead of watching video however, use your mouse to spin left and right through the different scenes. It’s completely addictive to rotate through the frozen dynamic scenes and the sense of perspective is wild.

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And last but not least is the Uniqlo UT Loop. They’ve done several interactive heavy loading flash sites revolving around fashion and music. They ask their community to create loops using different dancers associated with different music tones. Their online projects are always well-designed and very interactive.

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MOO CARDS MAKE FACES

His name is Hugo, and he’s the Gary Oldman of cats. Not only is this a creative way to spend time with your feline, but it demonstrates a unique use for MOO mini cards. (via CGART).

I shot this photo a few weeks ago. Not the same production value, but this could be the start of the cat with 1000 noses.

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MY WEEKEND IN PRINT

There were a few mentionable tidbits from the print world that I came in contact with this weekend.

I found this postcard among the free beer samples at the Amsterdam Brewery. This cute knife series (yes, they made knives cute) is promoting a culinary event where Toronto’s top chefs will be cooking several course meals in the name of charity. Really nice and simple design — and Amsterdam’s new Pomegranate beer wasn’t bad either….

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Wired Magazine had a great article “The Inconvenient Truths About Global Warming”. I kind of want to make out with these double-truck type-driven layouts. I’m a sucker for large fonts on photographs. Great coloring and image pairing.

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This last one doesn’t have to do with design, but I thought it was humorous. I came across graffiti artist, Banksy’s, new book while on a casual scout through the bookstore. This quote was on the back.

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A DELICIOUS PHOTO SERIES

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Why eat your food when you can dump it over somebody else’s head. Photographer Meg Wachter does just that in her portrait series “Dumped”. Edible (and sometimes not-so-edible) substances such as cereal, spaghetti-os, raw eggs are the stars of these dynamic images.

I love the expression and the body language of the people combined with the color and texture of the gastronomic item captured in mid-fall. It’s a playful set of photos and what a great idea for a series. It makes me want to start a food fight at the next social gathering.

Thanks to the newly discovered Yay! Monday! for the link.

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Lesley (Tomato Paste)

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Greg (Tar + feather)

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Shira (milk + cereal)

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Phillip (coffee)

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Erin (velveeta)

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corey (spaghetti-os)

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Science + culture + caffeine. I was perusing Seed Magazine this morning over my cup of coffee. There was a brief portfolio highlight on Richard Barnes’ photographs. It’s not a new story, but thought it was still worth posting just because the photos are THAT cool and I love it when art meets science.

At first when you look at the stark black and white images you think they could be vector art or photoshopped compositions. But they’re actually photographs of flocks of starlings flying over the suburbs of Rome. He spent two years capturing their complex flight patterns on film.

The result is beautiful. It’s amazing to see these intricate patterns created not by one bird but by hundreds, all moving like one superorganism. There is no leader, but yet they’re perfectly coordinated. The study of this behavior is the impetus for STARFLAG, a group of ornithologists, physicists, biologist, and economists in Europe who believe it will shed light into the group/herding behaviors in humans. There’s a great article and multimedia piece in last year’s New York Times.

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SPLATTERDAY GETS NOMINATED

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I just found out that an image campaign I did for The Movie Channel got nominated for a Broadcast Design Award (BDA). These are the boards for the animation.

The directive was to promote “Splatterday” a weekly series that features horror movies. This idea is based around a series of tips; make TMC the “learning” channel for horror fans. It’s the place to find the tools on how to survive stereotypical horror movie scenarios. The tip tags were used on the website and different tips were created as the campaign grew. It was super fun to work on.

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CREATIVE GROUP PROJECTS

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I have a huge weakness for single concept projects that involve many visions. I was just exposed to two great ones.

Christina Black sent me this link to a project from Jacob Trollback. He asked his designers to create a personal animated piece illustrating their last thoughts before sleeping. Six designers, six different styles + short narratives. I particularly like the first one by Tetsuro. It’s a mood piece where subliminal visuals show the fleeting thoughts that flash through your mind while you’re drifting off.

Another recent group project is “Exploring the Lost ‘Art’ of the Film Poster”. Firecracker Rudy Jaimes told me about this art exhibit celebrating 70 years of film. Forty designers were asked to create their own interpretation of a film poster from the past. A full-on illustrator remix of the classics. It’s interesting to see the different uses of typography and design. Of course the real challenge would have been to redesign the less-than-classic Leonard Part 6.

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FIRE + INK

This fiery promo for the Konzerthaus Dortmund concert hall’s new season is awesome. The agency that created it, Sehsucht, used fire and text to create a dramatic symphony of visual delight. I don’t just say that about everything. They really did. It’s an intense piece, the fire takes on an personality as it keeps up with the audio. (via motionographer)

I still remember their last motion design work for the concert hall, another beautiful audio-driven piece but using ink + soap instead of flames.