Archives for January 2012

January 30, 2012 - Comments Off on Masters and Material

Masters and Material

What a lovely winter we had...are having...I'm not even sure anymore. However the sun was out and the weather was lovely this weekend so I hope you all got out and about. I went to see Shakespeare's Richard III playing at BAM this weekend, starring Kevin Spacey. What a visually stunning production it was. The acting was so superb that, despite my nosebleed seat, I almost forgot how boring Shakespeare's histories can be (four words: two hour first act). In honor of the great production, I've created the quick series of heralds below.


In the same classic vein, I found the photography/portrait work of duo Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer to be quite riveting. The beautiful combination of photography and other media creates captivating images that seem to be a breath from the subject's story in each frame. The color palettes are decidedly dark and antique in quality. I love how each piece evokes the classic sense of the  European masters while remaining decidedly modern and unique.

Shola and Islam in a Field of Newly Planted Trees

Portrait of a Turning Girl

Similarly, the web site for Mezcal Buen Viaje takes traditional Latin American folk art and turns it into a stunning, bright and fun modern site. I especially like the unique folky navigation elements, like the rainbow diamond scroll bar, and the amazing characters used throughout the page. Also of note is the animated bird at the top of the page, done in the classic style of zoetrope animation. The retrofitting of old analog tech to modern websites is so titillating and full of possibility.

Mezcal Buen Viaje

And there's nothing quite as fantastic as borrowing those physical artifacts that most represent our predecessors lives and taste, namely entire buildings. By now almost everyone's seen examples of video projections on buildings interacting with the building's architectural elements sometimes to great effect. However the following video far surpasses any such show I've seen online before. I'm still, as of yet, to see such a show in person but I can only imagine that the effect is many times stronger and more day soon I hope.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism

January 23, 2012 - Comments Off on Mussed and Melted

Mussed and Melted

Got much too caught up in my coloring this morning. It's already the afternoon! I had a small doodle of this piece for awhile and decided to flesh it out more today. I was trying to go for something art nouveau along these lines but due to my own style and time constraints I didn't quite get there. However I managed to cover it up with some Photoshop blending and other trickery.


I was trying to keep my lines cleaner to make coloring easier but really I need to color in Illustrator and then finish in Photoshop to get the look I want for such graphic pieces in addition to exploring stronger line weights (need a new pencil!). But I might have found some great reference material in the beautiful photography of Claire Oring. Her skills clearly cannot but contained to photography as her site also exhibits her strength in a number of mediums. Add to this that we are the same age and I can't help but feel inadequate. Just another reason for me to go back to school for a BFA if I truly want to get good at this kind of thing.



I've always loved water. In fact I think I've even brought up this point before here. If you've never swam in a waterfall I highly suggest it. Doing so was a life changing experience for me. Often in the shower, I'll put my hands over my ears and listen to the sound of the water against my skull...that's about as close as you can get at home. Water is life itself however it manifests itself, waterfalls being to most visual, powerful and stunning. However some of the most important incarnations of this liquid life are invisible to the human eye and definitely at risk. The Dangers of Fracking aims to illustrate how the process of fracking, forcing oil out of subterranean rock, is a huge environmental hazard to such invisible water sources. The fact that such a damaging and complicated procedure is preferred to further investment into green energy shows how terrible the current energy policy and problem is. The site is a beautifully illustrated inforgraphic the user interacts with by scrolling, clicking here and there for additional details. I especially like the vertical symmetry of the site that narrates the story of a drop of water passing through the fracking process.

Dangers of Fracking

Lastly in video I found this haunting animation by Sean Pecknold for the song "The Shrine/An Argument" by the Fleet Foxes. I like the Fleet Foxes as is but this video furthers my taste for their folk sound. The animation style reminds me of lo-fi animations done in paper cut style in the 60s. As to the story, I'm still unsure what's going on. I think I need to watch closely a few more times, perhaps with the lyrics at hands. Regardless, the video is gorgeous to the last frame. It leaves me speechless, a hard feat to accomplish.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism

January 18, 2012 - Comments Off on SOPA & PIPA


If your favorite website is not available today, if you can't share images on twitter because Twitpic is not available, or can't satiate your curiosity because Wikipedia has gone dark it is because of SOPA. That is but a taste of what could happen if SOPA ever passed. Even though SOPA has gone away, at least for now, many major websites and blogs have selected today as a day to go fully dark in protest.

Instead of going dark we decided to share this video created by Kirby Ferguson, of Everything Is A Remix fame, as it clearly explains PIPA, the Senate's version of SOPA, and presents the repercussions.

For more information and to get involved please visit

This is a special edition of The Thinking Mechanism, a series of weekly posts, usually published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.  

Published by: antonioortiz in The Thinking Mechanism
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January 16, 2012 - Comments Off on Mirage and Maelstroms

Mirage and Maelstroms

It's finally getting cold in the Big Apple after a few teases earlier in the season. I really need to call my building manager about our heat. Meanwhile enjoy this surreal wintery scene.


Another fantasy artist this week for stills. Jean-Sébastian Rossbach has some graphic novels experience but I find his original work more interesting by far. Much of it still falls into the surreal-fantasy spectrum but his use of texture and pattern gives his pieces an antique feel I love. Combined with his graphic style, his work draws us into the dark lurid landscape of his imagination. My one critique would be that many of his compositions lack a physical sense of depth, possibly due to his experience in comics, Magic cards and other similar commercial work where scale and perspective are limited. As such I would definitely recommend going through his original works gallery (which I sadly cannot link to directly c/o Flash).

Abstract Dragon

Golden Doves

Its always nice to find a great example of art or design that also represents a message you can get behind. Such is the case with Slavery Footprint, a website of the Fair Trade Fund Inc. non-profit. The website is in essence an intricate survey with an emphasis on leveraging social networks to broadcast their issue: namely the amount forced labor and human trafficking still extant in the world. The site is designed beautifully and the process of taking the survey is practically enjoyable (a first for me in terms of online form filling). The clever animations and gorgeous design make for one great site. I only wish I could figure out how to reset the form and do it all again! Some of the menus are a bit unclear. Still, interesting to know my electronics obsession has netted me a few dozen slaves in China.

Slavery Footprint c/o Best Web Gallery

Its clear I consume too much video content since this last section's always the hardest to choose. However this week an animated music video came onto my radar early in the week and I knew immediately it was my video of the week: the music video for "Two Against One" is simply jaw dropping. The animator's use of line and shape to create silky smooth transitions throughout the video is genius. This near mono-chromatic parable on life and loss is made all the better by the chilling song it accompanies. Enjoy.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism

January 13, 2012 - Comments Off on Predicting Education

Predicting Education

Next week, Apple is having an education event at the Guggenheim in New York City and the rumors and speculation have begun flying around. Today we want to draw your attention to a blog post that Dave wrote two year's ago with some of his predictions for the iPad, in particular predictions about the education market that are most likely spot on in relation to the announcement next week. The point is, the mobile space is evolving rapidly. On the same Apple it's having their education event Dave will be presenting his next update of The Mobile Mojo talk (follow us on Twitter @themechanism for more on #MobileMojo in the coming days).


The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

Published by: antonioortiz in The Thinking Mechanism

January 9, 2012 - Comments Off on Mesmerizing and Mystical

Mesmerizing and Mystical

Very quick morning meeting today so I took a bunch of old sketches and tried to collage them together though somewhat unsuccessfully I feel. Not enough time to really bring them together into a cohesive piece but there's a seed of something in there at least.

In Praise of Imagination

The beautiful photography of Don Hong-Oai on the other hand manages to do much more. The border between photography and traditional Chinese painting blurs to the point of nonexistence in his gorgeous photography. I've always been a big fan of block prints and traditional Asian painting such as ukiyo-e and sumi-e in Japan. The strength of such pieces' elegant and beautiful compositions with subtle color is the ultimate example of creating using the minimal number of elements for maximum effect, the greatest challenge in any discipline of creation.

Boat and Tree

1Pine Peak Yellow Mountain

As much as I love working in web, its sad to see a lot of sites repeat the same style and interactive elements. When I see yet another site dependent on rounded corners, tabs, folded headers or any of the other "trending" web elements I may just hit the back button immediately. So it's nice to see a site like Kinetic Energy's, a creative agency from Singapore. The Victorian-era circus pamphlet style is certainly unique. However the same can't be said for the animated scroll events though they have a few clever ones (beware this sight has sound by default and its quite...unique). Sadly, as with many sites of this ilk, the disjointed copy and font use make it hard to get a feel for what the site's actually about. However from a visual level, it is is truly fascinating.

Kinetic Energy

As always, video was the hardest selection for this week. Should I try to make you laugh? Maybe I should make an effort to inspire? Or maybe just give you something to sing along with? However at the end of the day this little gem that I've seen passed along by a variety of friends takes the cake, especially since I'm planning on going to said event this year with my sister.

The short made me realize that Burning Man is, at its core, a Dr. Seuss book come to life for adults; a place where individuality rules over all and the surreal imagination of participants takes living form in an isolated desert, if only for a week. Hope to see you all there!

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism
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January 6, 2012 - Comments Off on Elementary


Last Sunday the second season of Sherlock began airing in the UK. The first episode of the second season is very good, though technically I'm not supposed to know that first hand. Like the first series, created by the imaginative Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the second series consists of three ninety-minute movies that probably had a collective budget lesser than the two recent Holmes-inspired Hollywood blockbusters. The tv series, a reimagined and modernized version of the classic Doyle stories, is creative, clever and certainly entertaining. And if you live outside of the UK you have to wait until they come to a television near you.

Over the holidays there were many UK tv series with vast worldwide followings premiering episodes, including Downton Abbey, the return of Absolutely Fabulous and let's not forget Doctor Who. They were all great, really great. There is a kind of British television storytelling that you can not find anywhere else. Again, technically I'm not supposed to know that.

Well, I'm okay on the Doctor Who, also under the creative direction of Stephen Moffat, because the BBC, BBC Worldwide and BBC America realized it is one of the most sought-after pieces of digital content on the internet and managed to work out a process by which the episodes premiere in the UK and the US on the same day.

This pursuit of quality entertainment, and my support of companies that make it easy for me to consume their products, keeps resonating in my head every time I have a conversation about the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA).

[Let's pause for a surreal aside. In Spanish sopa means soup, so every time I see SOPA on the news I think of soup, specifically the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld yelling "No soup for you!" which seems very fitting.]

It is clear once you see the list of backers and opponents of SOPA it's hard not to identify the generational differences between the two. The majority of the opponents are those businesses that have adopted the new economic value system that emerged from the original propagation of the Internet. To understand its value origins you simply need to spend some time with Steven Levy’s Hackers and the ethos of MIT’s model railroad club. The backers of SOPA clearly come from a more traditional economic reality fixated on managing scarcity – a problem that Copyrights and Intellectual Property (IP) was created to manage. (via)

Current US law extends copyright protection for 70 years after the date of the author’s death. (Corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years after publication.) But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years). Under those laws, works published in 1955 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2012. (via)

At the same time the 1976 Copyright Act was coming into existence and influencing the creation of content the corporation was going through their own transformation, shifting towards a focus on maximizing the return to shareholders. Roger L. Martin, in his book "Fixing The Game," considers this paradigm shift "the dumbest idea in the world."

Martin says that the trouble began in 1976 when finance professor Michael Jensen and Dean William Meckling of the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester published a seemingly innocuous paper in the Journal of Financial Economics entitled “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure.”

The article performed the old academic trick of creating a problem and then proposing a solution to the supposed problem that the article itself had created. The article identified the principal-agent problem as being that the shareholders are the principals of the firm—i.e., they own it and benefit from its prosperity, while the executives are agents who are hired by the principals to work on their behalf.

The principal-agent problem occurs, the article argued, because agents have an inherent incentive to optimize activities and resources for themselves rather than for their principals. Ignoring Peter Drucker’s foundational insight of 1973 that the only valid purpose of a firm is to create a customer, Jensen and Meckling argued that the singular goal of a company should be to maximize the return to shareholders.

To achieve that goal, they academics argued, the company should give executives a compelling reason to place shareholder value maximization ahead of their own nest-feathering. Unfortunately, as often happens with bad ideas that make some people a lot of money, the idea caught on and has even become the conventional wisdom. (via)

The road to SOPA began in the mid 70s. The corporation, the creator of product, began to focus on how to maximize return on investment and how to protect said investment through IP. At the same time the internet was also emerging.

Today the internet is a catalyst for political unrest, leads to progressive changes in education, and content creators are bypassing corporations talking directly to the people interested in their product, their art. For younger generations, by which I mean generations growing up so completely comfortable with technology they have an intuitive understanding of smart phones, tablets, and the internet, there are no borders. They can connect with friends in other countries in the same way they connect with the friends they see in "real life." These internet users feel the same way about digital content, if they can communicate with their friends all over the world why can't they consume the same content. Why can't corporations figure out a way to make this happen.

Instead we get SOPA, with copyright not as a resource for content creators but as a weapon used to fight a growing open internet culture. Copyright as a resource to help creators is important, that's why Creative Commons exists, but so is works becoming part of the public domain.

Kevin Kelly, futurist, editor of Wired magazine and former editor of Whole Earth Catalog (of Steve Jobs "Stay hungry. Stay foolish" fame,) explains:

It is in the interest of culture to have a large and dynamic public domain. The greatest classics of Disney were all based on stories in the public domain, and Walt Disney showed how public domain ideas and characters could be leveraged by others to bring enjoyment and money. But ironically, after Walt died, the Disney corporation became the major backer of the extended copyright laws, in order to keep the very few original ideas they had — like Mickey Mouse — from going into the public domain. Also ironically, just as Disney was smothering the public domain, their own great fortunes waned because they were strangling the main source of their own creativity, which was public domain material. They were unable to generate their own new material, so they had to buy Pixar. (via)

The second episode of the series Sherlock airs in the UK this coming Sunday. It is worth pointing out that this series would probably not exist if it wasn't for the fact that the large majority of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes works are in the public domain.


The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

Published by: antonioortiz in The Thinking Mechanism

January 4, 2012 - Comments Off on Starting Mobile Web Development

Starting Mobile Web Development

We recently underwent the process of making our site mobile and tablet friendly. The results look fantastic but our implementation has, in places, been a bit cumbersome since the original site was not laid out with such an adaptation in mind. Now that we're more or less done I felt it would be pertinent to create a list or useful resources found and lessons learned along the way. Since this entire branch of web development is still so young and liquid I don't know how long the following will be useful but I hope it helps those as lost as I was when we began this trek.

Adapt or Leave?

One of the biggest questions when faced with the prospect of creating a mobile site is "Should my site adapt or redirect?" Unfortunately I don't believe there is one right answer to such a question since, like so much in life, it depends!

Some key factors that might affect our decision include the functionality we want, type of content we mean to serve and look/feel of our design. Is it important that our mobile version have stunningly different design and/or app-like animation effects? Then a redirect is probably in order. Are we mainly trying to provide a mobile version of a news, blog or other site where content is the focus? Then a media query adaptation would be beneficial as we make it easier for users to share content between devices (and keep all that traffic in one place to boot). However both options can be adapted either way if we put in enough work.

Let's not forget the last option: making a web app. Using services like PhoneGap we can take a our HTML and make it into a bonafide app on the user's device...well it's really just a virtualized webpage with greater device integration (accelerometer, media, camera, etc.)  and a dedicated icon on the device but sometimes that can be a great branding edge. And there's the added bonus that users can then use our "site" even when not connected to the internet though the line between website and app begins to blur at this point. A direct migration of your website to an app will probably never clear the iTunes store's strict approval process so we need to add something unique which may  be more trouble than its worth.

Let Me Pose You a Query Sir

Media Queries: confusing, under-documented, cutting-edge, useful as all hell and bloody confusing! It took me awhile to get my head around these little statements of goodness. Once I did I came to understand their power and structure. We have two main options when dealing with media queries; we can use them to specify certain CSS links or alternatively we can write them into an existing CSS file. Personally I used a mix. It made sense to use the internal CSS version when altering this blog's WordPress theme while on the other hand the link option made sense for most other pages. In general I'd  recommend the linking option since it keeps each CSS shorter, allows for easier document navigation and generally keeps our process cleaner.

It's easiest to think of media queries as giant "If" statements that inject our extra CSS when our given properties are met. As such, we must remember to override existing styles in order to apply our new device-friendly ones. It can be tedious searching through our original CSS file to see which specific properties need to be overwritten. I found it easiest to simply copy the entire original CSS, do all changes as required and then go through and delete any definitions or properties that remained constant (I sniff an extremely useful code highlighting/SVN tool that could do this comparison automatically along the liens of CSSlint).

Another nice benefit of media queries is the ease of testing and updating them. During the development process, make sure to specify "max/min-width/height" AND "max/min-device-width/height." This will ensure that our queries appear not only devices with the specified resolution but also any similar window viewport allowing us to use Firebug/Chrome Inspector as we normally do for a familiar debug cycle as well as useful previewing tools like Protofluid. Just remember that once the site is live, we should only target devices if we don't want adaptive versions appearing on desktop browser windows of the required size as was our case since the mobile versions or so device specific.

Quite Novel

Don't forget this is a completely new ballgame. Using media queries, especially with mobile devices, we can add all sorts of fun and/or hidden functionality into a site. How about a site that literally changes personality the smaller the window? Maybe you have a logo or character that actually reacts to the changing amount of space they're given as elements shift about them? And don't be afraid to think even more radically. The very function of a page could alter depending on a devices orientation. We could have our copy appear in portrait and then an image gallery appear in landscape (as is the case for our iPad site). Such novel use of media queries can completely redefine how people interact with a site and help redraw the front lines of the ongoing war between app and webpage.

No touchy

Of course not all the changes that come out of these new device are solely good. In fact the biggest one requires a fundamental change in how we think about design and interaction: touch. No cursor means no hover. Truly though, hover is simply an artifact of the invention of the mouse, itself not very old and clearly diminishing in importance. There's now a new frontier of interaction and design patterns to be explored.

Here though, the waters are still quite murky. Some plugins, like this jQTouch one, allow a webpage to respond to touch-specific events that most browsers and libraries don't yet natively handle. Of course this comes with the down side that we also lose our native touch-to-scroll ability (though theoretically we could reconstitute this functionality by hand or via work-arounds). For sites designed specifically for small screen devices this opens up many new possibilities that before only existed natively in apps and not on the browser.

Real Estate

One clear limitation we have on mobile devices is the lack of real estate. Design is all about creating something to fit within certain restrictions which are quite tight in this case. However good design often comes out of such challenges so the news isn't all bad. Sadly problems arise since lack of space also reduces our margin of error. When designing a website for the browser, we can safely assume that most screens will fit a design of a specific minimum height and width with room to spare or allow the user to easily scroll about the page to see everything.

Alas the fragmented nature of the mobile market, even if we disregard tablets, poses greater challenges since different devices not only have a wide range of sizes and screen ratios but also numerous different abilities and native elements. As such we must be dead certain that our site is adaptive to many heights, widths and especially devices. Yet by in large the best mobile sites are designed to fill the screen perfectly so making adaptive designs can be difficult to impossible. Perhaps this is where "good enough" is fine since the prospect of specifying designs for each resolution is daunting to say the least. Furthermore, we can try and maximize our real estate by hiding browser elements when possible. For instance many mobile sites "hide" the address bar on mobile Safari by programmatically scrolling the page down by the bar's height giving us more space above the fold.

If It Ain't Fixed

We've grown used to a lot of functionality on the web but many of these norms may not have been carried over to the mobile world, at least not yet. Some APIs may not yet have native support for our platform of choice but we can, on occasion, find workarounds like this one for the Google plusone button. However, sooner or later we have to simply cut functionality from our mobile site and sometimes this may be for the best considering the restrictions and problems discussed so far. So if you're wasting time trying to get a certain resource to function on your mobile site when you could be perfecting the design itself or, better yet, device testing, consider simply hiding that element or simplifying the functionality. After all, even if you get it to work it's only a matter of time until official support rolls out and your work's left out in the cold.

  • Smashing Magazine Intro Tutorial
  • Less useful Adobe Tutorial but with great list of possible properties
  • ProtoFluid is a great way to test out your Media Queries. It essentially creates a iFrame of a given URL with dimensions specified by the chosen device. I found it to be a bit unstable and often designs look different on the actual device. There is also the lack of scroll/touch, the persistence of hover states and other Desktop-Device hybrid funniness but its great for checking your initial layout. BE SURE TO TEST ON DEVICES AS WELL!!! (Note: since Protofluid works via Desktop browser, make sure all your queries specify "width" and "device-width" as outlined above)
  • Hide address bar in iOS mobile Safari
  • Google+ plusone mobile button fix

Published by: benchirlin in The Programming Mechanism
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January 2, 2012 - Comments Off on Mayans and Mayhem

Mayans and Mayhem

Happy New Year all! Sorry I didn't get a post up last week but I decided I'd only do one if I came up with a truly great sketch or idea, neither of which occurred while I idled by in my deep holiday coma brought on by good food and a nauseating amount of ye olde consumerisme. Anyways, seeing as how some people are convinced the end is nigh...again...I thought I'd draw up a nice Mayan inspired sketch (though my style tends to add a lot more North Eastern indigenous stylings since I prefer the organic shapes, patterns and I grew up on the stuff in the Smithsonian). The disc supposedly has January 1, 2012 in Mayan numerals displayed as the number of days since the beginning of the current Mayan epoch, but I'm no anthropologist only a Googlist.

My Anne

Do you like eyes? Do you enjoy staring into someone's eyes and getting lost in those pools of inky blackness? The windows to the soul are an artistic obsession with practically every creator out there. Plus they're right up there with faces and genitals in terms of things people identify in abstract works and nature. I'd wager its an evolutionary survival thing (keen tip: if you're in a crowded city like NYC make sure you're looking directly where you want to walk, this is actually how we tell where others are walking and not by any other factors like body language). Clearly Stylianos Schicho also loves peepers.

Perspex People Scan


Stylianos' focus doesn't end with eyes. Most pieces share an isometric perspective and a fish-eye lens effect around the point(s) of interest(s); normally the subject's eyes. Also, a running theme seems to be people in space normally under some sort of surveillance system. Together these facets give an overwhelming sense that these images come from some artistic security camera positioned discreetly in the corner of each setting. However, the fact that the subject(s) make direct eye contact with the camera/viewer is quite unnerving, making each piece a powerful statement about civil liberties and personal space.

Now making a website full of content can be difficult. Its easy to clutter a page and no amount of cool interface or graphic design can save a page that has been overloaded. Such is the sad fate of sports clothing brand Protest. I love the site, don't get me wrong, however the homepage is an overstimulating mess in spite of some really cool little bits of functionality like the movable shelves and slick hover transitions. I simply don't know where to go or what to click.


One solution, as illustrated by McCormack and Morrison, is to take those individual elements and let them fill the page to prevent content bloat. Granted such a model probably wouldn't work for a retail brand like Protest who wants to put as much purchasable material and engaging links in front of the user immediately but one has to acknowledge that a usability line has been crossed sooner rather than later. At the very least Portest could benefit by giving each element more space, perhaps a whole horizontal line, or generally giving their homepage a more regular grid pattern.

McCormack & Morrison

I always love when I find a video for the Sketching Mechanism actually centered around sketching. But 12 Dessins Par Jour takes it to a whole other level. Denis Chapon, a French animator, chose to recycle some paper that had wastefully been printed on a single side by drawing 12 sketches a day free hand in indelible ink with no plan or storyboarding for three whole years! The results are fantastic and clearly show how ridiculously skilled Chapon is at animation and drawing. His command of perspective creates some truly fabulous shots and the entire sequence, despite having no planned out narrative, is a fantastic exploration into the power of his imagination. I want to know how he stayed so consistent in style and line over three years, not to mention how he addressed the frame registration problems he must have had.

I hope you all have a great 2012. My New Year's resolutions: to keep getting out there and host more parties. I can't wait for my first New York Spring.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism