Category Archives: Technology

January 26, 2018

POSTED BY

Celeste Hylton-James

CATEGORY

A Clean Slate: Slate Comes Back to the Future

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All images © Slate Last week, we critiqued the recent redesign of The Guardian’s visual identity. Now to join the long line of revitalized visual identities for publications is the online magazine, Slate. Back in 1996, Slate’s identity was perfect for its time, where computers could only handle a small …

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All images © Slate

Last week, we critiqued the recent redesign of The Guardian‘s visual identity. Now to join the long line of revitalized visual identities for publications is the online magazine, Slate. Back in 1996, Slate‘s identity was perfect for its time, where computers could only handle a small fraction of bandwidth. Websites optimized their print logos for limited write-up languages, and people still read their online news on their desktop computers.

Well, it’s 2018, and no one has time for that. The internet is a sophisticated digital jungle and far fewer people read newspapers on their home and work computers.

Mobile-device use dominates the online market.

These new demands are throwing various publications off their game, but Slate is prepared. Their new logo is a drastic redesign to the original. With a completely new font, color scheme, and new website, they can finally keep up with the cool kids and own their “Slateyness.” (Don’t worry you will know what that is soon.)

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new york branding sports graphic design studio
Slate’s new logo and its extensions

Compared to Slate‘s old logo, Slate is a bolder version of its old self. It drastically moved away from the serif font to a robust and solid sans-serif. Based on the non-linear structure of Slate’s journalism, New York-based design firm, Gretel and Slate’s in-house design department, took liberalities on the typographic anatomy of the word “slate.” The severed “a” is an ode to its origins. The “a” is the driving force behind this logo.

The magazine’s Design Director, Jason Santa Maria elaborated on their choices with BRAND NEW:

“Our visual research led us to layers of noise, microfiche, zoom-ins, and handwritten scribbles. We devised a technique of layered ‘slates’ that would bring structure to article layouts and reveal the story for the viewer as they scroll the page. This idea of layering and revealing was echoed in the logo. To inject the wit and whimsy that’s so true to the voice, we created a photo-illustration style that could take the place of stock photography and instantly bring ‘slateyness’ to any article.”

– Jason Santa Maria, Design Director for Slate

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Extended to multiple extensions of the company and applied to various media, its most important redesign is its website. As a bulk of their audience uses their website, the user experience, as well as the application of their new brand identity, is key. Making or breaking the value of their design.

In my opinion, Slate‘s homepage looks superior to The Guardian, who is relentlessly holding on to their old newspaper look. Slate takes a different approach that works in its favor, white space is partly to thank. If you take a look at their style-sheet, the overall color of its body copy is beautifully simple, happily interacting with lush visuals like illustrations and collages. Unlike its competition, Slate‘s website trying to to be new, finding a comfortable place between to meet old and new standards of 2018.

What do you think about their new logo? Love it. Hate it? Share your opinion below.

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new york branding sports graphic design studio

January 22, 2018

POSTED BY

Celeste Hylton-James

CATEGORY

We Tried Google Arts and Culture’s New Face-match Filter, Here’s Who We Matched With

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Google’s Arts and Culture app is nothing new, yet recently went viral after the release of their new face-matching filter. This new filter is not just your typical face-match, its one that matches you with a face from Google Arts and Culture’s vast collections of art. You may look like …

new york branding sports graphic design studio

Google’s Arts and Culture app is nothing new, yet recently went viral after the release of their new face-matching filter. This new filter is not just your typical face-match, its one that matches you with a face from Google Arts and Culture’s vast collections of art. You may look like Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa or find a new artist to admire.

How knows who you may look like? So why not give it a try?

Over here at Alfalfa Studio, we decided to give it a try for ourselves. We are huge fans of Google’s initiative to make learning more about the world’s ever expansive collection of art and culture more accessible than art history was in the past.

I must say, it took a couple of attempts to get a match. At first, we stood out in the frigid cold to hoping that natural light would give us better results. But what we found after trial and error, that smiling makes a significant difference in your final results.

We had so much fun comparing our sensible and ridiculous doppelgängers from Arts and Culture’s boundless collection of artworks. Below are our matches that we enjoyed the most. Have you tried the new app? Send us yours in our comments section below.

Don’t have the app? Download their app to get your match.

Rafael

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Rafael matched with “Jaspar de Charles van Nieuwenhoven” by Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1599/1641

new york branding sports graphic design studio

 

Chuy

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Chuy matched with “Ma’an” by Ali Al Jabri, 1979

new york branding sports graphic design studio

 

Celeste

new york branding sports graphic design studio
I matched with “Alma Sewing” by Frances Criss, 1935

new york branding sports graphic design studio

Chengyu

 

 

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Chengyu matched with “Portrait of a Lady in Pink” by Fang Junbi, 1926

google_arts_culture_portrait_lady_pink

 

Heewon

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Heewon matched with the “Artist’s Daughter Alice” by William Merritt Chase, 1899

new york branding sports graphic design studio

December 19, 2017

POSTED BY

Nao Suzuki

CATEGORY

Swarm of Drones Illuminates Miami Beach

If you participated in Art Basel in Miami at the beginning of this month, you might see a flock of starlings moving throughout the night sky. You must think they are birds, but truth is, they are drones. The Amsterdam-based artist duo Studio Drift created the art-piece in which 300 …

Drone_Art Basel_Miami_Technology_1

If you participated in Art Basel in Miami at the beginning of this month, you might see a flock of starlings moving throughout the night sky. You must think they are birds, but truth is, they are drones.

The Amsterdam-based artist duo Studio Drift created the art-piece in which 300 drones mimic a flock of birds at night, titled “FRANCHISE FREEDOM.” The artists, Dutch Lonneke Gordijn and English-born Ralph Nauta, have studied the creatures’ habits for years and programmed the drones to simulate natural murmuration behavior with certain algorithms. This moving sculpture is a result of a recent partnership with the company, BMW.

This art piece made by this duo is really inspiring. I love how they studied the natural behavior of birds to capture their natural movements. Building connections between nature and technology are innovative ideas that should be further explored.

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All Photo @Dezeen
All Photo @Dezeen

October 5, 2017

POSTED BY

Julia Fish

CATEGORY

Jeff Koons’ Latest Work: Snapchat Augmented Reality

You may be familiar with Jeff Koons’ giant, reflective sculptures that look like balloon animals. His works are extremely well-known and have been featured all over the world. Koons’ latest sculptures range from balloon dogs to rabbits and lumps of Play-Doh. Although these installations are three stories tall, if you walked by …

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You may be familiar with Jeff Koons‘ giant, reflective sculptures that look like balloon animals. His works are extremely well-known and have been featured all over the world. Koons’ latest sculptures range from balloon dogs to rabbits and lumps of Play-Doh. Although these installations are three stories tall, if you walked by them, you might not realize they are there. Why? Because they are part of Snapchat’s Lens Feature. They have augmented reality.

New york sports branding graphic design agency

Viewers can see Koons’ sculptures with the latest version of Snapchat within 300 meters of the lens. Users can interact and take photos with the sculptures.

This is just the beginning of Snapchat’s collaboration with artists. Founder and Chief Executive of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, said this was “just the beginning.” He hopes that Snapchat is “inspiring young people all over the world to create with our cameras.” Artists can submit an application on Snapchat’s website to work with Snapchat.

The merging of technology and art is truly incredible. Jeff Koons said:

“Creative experience brings us together brings about better communication. It’s so exciting to see the lenses come to life.”

I am excited to see how the relationship between art and technology will continue to grow.

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All images © Snapchat 2017

The augmented reality sculptures are located near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in Central Park, Hyde Park, Roundhouse Park in Toronto, Millennium Park in Chicago, outside the Sydney Opera House, in the National Mall in DC, Copacabana Beach in Rio, and Venice Boardwalk in California.

August 28, 2017

POSTED BY

Celeste Hylton-James

CATEGORY

Coco-Cola Unveils The World’s First Robotic Billboard

Images © 2017 Coca-Cola Billboards are the most significant appeal of walking through Times Square, other than the hoards of people. At a massive scale, in Times Square, they advertise the hottest products, the news, and even broadcasts live events. These large bright screens define the commercial appeal of Manhattan, …

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Images © 2017 Coca-Cola

Billboards are the most significant appeal of walking through Times Square, other than the hoards of people. At a massive scale, in Times Square, they advertise the hottest products, the news, and even broadcasts live events. These large bright screens define the commercial appeal of Manhattan, and now they are headed toward some advancements with who other than the company giant, Coca-Cola.

On August 15, Coca-Cola revealed the world’s first robotic 3D sign, the only of its kind. This sign, which took four years to create and is made from 1,760 LED screens, shifts independently, in a wave-like motion. It’s an intriguing design that has potential in advertising. Below is a video of this robotic 3D sign in action. What do you think? Comment below.

3D Coke Sign in Times Square from Loren Brinton on Vimeo.

August 15, 2017

POSTED BY

Nao Suzuki

CATEGORY

Wearable Tattoo?

Japanese research groups from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering have created a wearable sensor, which looks like tattoo and stays on the skin for up to one week. This is basically for the medical field, also in sports to monitor a patient’s vital signs without discomfort, and athlete’s …

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Japanese research groups from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering have created a wearable sensor, which looks like tattoo and stays on the skin for up to one week. This is basically for the medical field, also in sports to monitor a patient’s vital signs without discomfort, and athlete’s physiological signals without impeding performance.

Wearables devices are a booming but the key is comfortableness is to wear it directly on the skin. “We succeeded in completely removing the discomfort of wear,” said Takao Someya, a professor from University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering. “People cannot even feel the existence of our devices on their skin.” The researchers also described a new ultrathin, lightweight, breathable sensor constructed from nanoscale mesh, a spaghetti-like entanglement of fibers a thousand times thinner than a human hair.

Some people hesitate to get a tattoo because of pain or job application, etc. But this Tattoo-style sensor might become the answer! You can gain one, which not only looks and feels like a henna tattoo but can monitor electrical muscle activity and body temperature.

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August 12, 2017

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

The 1000 Things

The lobster clasp, the water closet, postcards from Surinam, spiders, how we experience reality, exaltation, and Max’s Kansas City are just a few of the thousand peculiar things contained in The 1000 Things. A website project initiated by LUST and Erik Viskil in The Hague, Netherlands. A sort of digital …

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The lobster clasp, the water closet, postcards from Surinam, spiders, how we experience reality, exaltation, and Max’s Kansas City are just a few of the thousand peculiar things contained in The 1000 Things. A website project initiated by LUST and Erik Viskil in The Hague, Netherlands.

A sort of digital encyclopedia that collects inspiring ideas, curious things, exceptional people, and memorable events with one single purpose: inspire us. One can wonder around while discovering things you didn’t even know existed! The 1000 Things was designed to be expanded as a collaborative experiment. It aims to attract artists and academics from all over the world. The content is as diverse as its collaborators which includes artists, scientists, philosophers, students, musicians, theoreticians, and antiquarians among others.

1000 Things is supported by the Royal Academy of Fine Art in The Hague. The editorial team is lead by editor-in-chief Hanne Hagenaars.

Check it out. Click around, I trust you’ll find something fun and interesting.

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August 10, 2017

POSTED BY

Bianca Ng

CATEGORY

Reissue of Humanscale

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iacollaborative/reissue-of-humanscale You enter two coffee shops on two separate days to work.  One left you feeling effortlessly comfortable, and the other, constrained to the point of leaving. Which one would you more likely to return to? Pretty obvious, right? The beauty of design is that when it’s done well, no one notices …


You enter two coffee shops on two separate days to work.  One left you feeling effortlessly comfortable, and the other, constrained to the point of leaving. Which one would you more likely to return to? Pretty obvious, right? The beauty of design is that when it’s done well, no one notices it. We only truly notice design when it is bad and creates havoc in our lives. I can’t count the number of times I questioned the design of a tool, chair, or table that wasn’t doing its job. It just made my life more difficult. But as seemingly simple and beautiful a design can appear, a lot of work goes into behind-the-scenes to create a functional and elegant design.

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Every item you own, from a Bic black pen at work to your mug was considered by another human being. The size of your pen, mouse, and mug was meticulously measured to fit in your hand. This is way Humanscale, a tool used by generations of designers to design for people, is so important. In the past decades, it has been out of print. However now, for the first time, IA Collaborative, the original creators, and US printers of Humanscale are bringing it back through this Kickstarter:

In the golden age of American industrial design, Henry Dreyfuss Associates knew that there was more to design than just looking good. Products had to be good, crafted to work with the people who use them.

With this in mind, HDA designers Niels Diffrient and Alvin R. Tilley created Humanscale, including its ingenious data selectors, providing access to over 60,000 human factors data points in one easily referenced, user-friendly “portfolio of information.”

Now you can grab your copy of the complete package by supporting this Kickstarter. Design is not just about aesthetics, it is about functionality and usability.

New york branding sports graphic design agency

New york branding sports graphic design agency

New york branding sports graphic design agency

New york branding sports graphic design agency

All images belong to IA Collaborative.

July 29, 2017

POSTED BY

Julia Celestino

CATEGORY

MFMOMA Will Text It’s Art To You

All images © 2017 The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has about 34,000 works of art in it’s collection. Unfortunately, you will only find around a fraction of those works at a time. “A little under 2,000 of them are on view …

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All images © 2017 The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has about 34,000 works of art in it’s collection. Unfortunately, you will only find around a fraction of those works at a time. “A little under 2,000 of them are on view at any one time in the galleries,” said Keir Winesmith, the Head of SFMOMA’s Web and Digital Platforms. As a result, SFMOMA is testing out a new way to acknowledge the rest of their unseen exhibitions. You can now text the number “572-51” with the words “send me” followed by a key word. You can even send an emoji, and in an instant, you’ll receive related SFMOMA’s  artwork.

“We’ve now sent 2 million text messages in five days,”  Winesmith says.

Because the amount of artwork is so extensive at SFMOMA, you could spend hours chatting with this text bot and still not see everything the museum has to offer. The museum’s website estimates that if you walked past every single work of art that is currently in the galleries, you would walk almost seven miles total.

During their trial run, they received such a huge number of responses that the original phone number they tried to use was blacklisted by it’s mobile carrier. And apparently within four days, there were more than 12,000 text message requests. This means they generated over 3,000 different artworks, which is more than what is currently on view at SFMOMA.

Once SFMOMA recognized how popular this text bot was, they secured a short text code so that they wouldn’t be black listed again. “We don’t expect any single ‘Send Me’ SFMOMA user to ever get through all 34,678 artworks in the collection. But what we have seen, and hope to continue to see, are thousands of people connecting with artwork in fun, new, and very personal ways.” This is a successful experiment that will hopefully encourage other museums to find new way to exhibit works of art.

If you enjoyed this post, you will love these. Have any thoughts on what you read? Comment below!

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New york branding sports graphic design agency

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July 27, 2017

POSTED BY

Nao Suzuki

CATEGORY

Graphic Design Meets VR / AR / MR

Image ©2017 Scuba Film Factory In recent years, we saw that virtual reality (VR) was used for everything imaginable, such as for entertainment, gaming, education, and so on. Someone might enjoy a favorite movie with a head-mounted display as if they were having a dinner with a beautiful actress or someone might …

virtual reality New york branding sports graphic design agency
Image ©2017 Scuba Film Factory

In recent years, we saw that virtual reality (VR) was used for everything imaginable, such as for entertainment, gaming, education, and so on. Someone might enjoy a favorite movie with a head-mounted display as if they were having a dinner with a beautiful actress or someone might explore a spooky cave with their headset. This trend does not only apply to VR, but it also applies to AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality). VR? AR? MR? They are all confusing. So let me elaborate them one by one.

Virtual reality is an immersive experience created entirely from computer-generated content (CG). CG VR can be either be pre-rendered, making it not reactive. In this way, it is very similar to 360° video—or rendered in real time using a game’s engine.

Augmented reality is an overlay of content on the real world, but that content is not anchored to or part of it. The real-world content and the CG content are not able to respond to each other.

Mixed reality is an overlay of synthetic content in the real world that is anchored to and interacts with the real world. One example of MR is when a picture surgeon overlays virtual ultrasound images on their patient while performing a procedure. The key characteristic of MR is that the synthetic content and the real-world content are able to react to each other in real time.

This is where the industries are getting excited right now. Companies are trying to give their user the feeling of being in part of their brand view, instead of the world we’re actually in. A lot of companies have already employed these technologies for their advertising strategies such as IKEA, Mercedes Benz, Oreo, Toms, and much more. Below are some examples of these companies using this new technology for advertising.

As a graphic designer, we have to consider how graphics can interact with content in the real world more closely with this technology. This is an interesting progression of technology that changes the way graphic designers and other creatives interact with their clients as well as their audience. What’s next? Where will these advancements lead to? Let us know your opinion below!

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