Chromosphere Isn’t Just A Science Thing Anymore

I’ve always love the idea of creating your own art style and own identity that makes you stand out from the crowd. One day while was I scrolling through YouTube I came across this video:

I fell in love with this video, but also with the animation and style. So, I decided to do some research into finding out who created the video, it wasn’t until one day when @rebeccasugar on Instagram tagged @chromosphereLA, was went I drove head first into this creative and wonderful world of Chromosphere.

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Connect & Empower Your Creative Mind with Bēhance

Much like writers, designers and developers can experience a period of time when they can’t access their inspiration or bring themselves to create new work. This creative block can be brought on by a mental block, an emotional barrier, personal problems or even communication breakdowns.

Adobe has done their best to build their creative community with multiple mobile apps, allowing for easy access and shareable content between team members. They even have an app (and webpage), dedicated to inspiration and sharing projects between Adobe users.

Behance gives you the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the minds of other creatives in the Adobe community. With the capability to explore millions of design projects created by designers all over the world, Behance is the answer to my creative block and encourages me to try new projects every day.

Discover
Upon signing into Behance, you are encouraged to follow as many creative fields as you would like from the following list:

  • Graphic Design
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Branding
  • Editorial
  • Infographic
  • Poster
  • Exhibition & Signage
  • Logo
  • Music Packaging

All content posted is tagged under these categories.

Now that you are following different fields from the industry, Behance turns the landing page into a sea of innovative and inspirational posts from other creatives. As you browse through different projects, you can appreciate other artists content with the thumbs up icon and establish creative connections in the Adobe community.

You also have the option to search through content based on creative tools, by schools and organizations or through curated galleries.

Live
Behance offers a live video blog with scheduled tutorials and a live chat to encourage you to ask questions. Learn new ideas, techniques and trends from Adobe professionals on a daily basis. They keep an updated schedule available for you at all times, so you never miss an opportunity to better your skills.

Profile
Your Behance Profile is more than just a picture and a short ‘about you’ section. Behance offers you the opportunity to show off your skills, your work experience and even your references. You are able to create a shareable portfolio and even apply for jobs. The profile tab also gives you access to statistics of views and appreciations of your projects.

Behance gives you the freedom to showcase your designs and imagination while feeding your creative inspiration. Check out the Behance website today or download the app below.

App Store

Google Play

Inspiration in Your Pocket: The Subtle Art of Adobe Capture CC

As a Graphic Design student, Adobe Capture CC has quickly become my most reliable ally. Capture is part of Adobe’s mobile App family and easily the most beneficial for designers on the go. In 2016, Adobe combined four of its mobile asset building tools into one, forming a single app that can capture colours, patterns, materials, brushes, and shapes.

Adobe Capture CC opened the door to unlimited possibilities. With a few simple clicks on your mobile device, you can now create project assets from anywhere that are accessible all across Adobe’s mobile and desktop apps.

 

Shapes

Originally, the shapes function was the reason I downloaded this App. Capture takes your sketchbook doodles and instantly turns them into vector shapes, you can also create shapes from high contrast photos.

Quick tip: Make sure to outline your doodles with a dark coloured marker before using the app, it will pick up the lines and curves easier.

 

Colour Themes

It’s so simple, just point and shoot for colour themes. Pulling colours from the real world has never been so easy. Snap a picture in the moment or use a picture from your camera roll on your phone and let Capture do the rest. Six movable circles will show up on the screen, once you’re happy with the colours picked, you can save your colour theme and use it over and over from your CC Library.

 

Patterns

Create new and authentic patterns using the digital kaleidoscope with the Pattern tool. Select one of five geometric real time templates at the top of the screen and move your camera around until you find exactly what you’re looking for. The app prompts you to refine your pattern before saving it to your CC Library.

Furthermore, Capture goes above and beyond by building  textures and materials in seconds and also allows you to create customized brushes, forever creating original and authentic designs.

To top this digital sundae off with the perfect cherry, all assets created in Capture are instantly saved to your Creative Cloud Library making them accessible in all of your Adobe mobile and desktop apps. Creating genuinely original designs has never been so simple.

Adobe Capture CC is a designers dream and it fits right in your pocket.

There is more information available on Adobe’s website:

https://www.adobe.com/products/capture.html

Top 5 Design Trends for 2018

As designers, we all have certain styles we love, and once we find our own signature style, we tend not to stray too far from our comfort zone. But staying in one place for long, my friends, is not so comfortable after a while. You may start to feel left behind, or obsolete in certain areas. Interactive design is constantly changing, and as this new year starts, we are all probably looking for inspiration and new avenues to explore. There is no longer any excuse for not creating user friendly, interactive and visually stunning websites. So here are some insider tips from Digital Synopsis and 99 Designs on trends to start incorporating into your work now.

1. Bold Typography / Intersecting Elements

With web coding technology so far advanced these days, it is easy to use more than just the basic web fonts. Custom fonts are very widely used on many websites now, creating strong visual tones for your page and to help portray the overall feeling of your site. Now start playing around with these fonts and types – break them up in different ways and use intersecting elements of type and graphics to create interest.

2. Vibrant Colours / Duotone

Many large companies, such as Spotify, have pushed trends such as duotone to the spotlight. A trend that started last year and will continue on into 2018. Vibrant tones online are breaking out of those web safe colours. Technology is allowing us to use thousands of colours, so why not take advantage. Bright colours are sure to attract attention.

3. Split Page / Asymmetrical Layouts

Image Source: sitepoint.com

Grids are made to be broken in 2018. Splitting your page and grid layouts to create asymmetrical sections on your page is distinct and unconventional, and will set your site apart from traditional sites. It’s risky for certain markets or brands, but very striking when pulled off correctly.

4. Custom Retro-Modern Illustrations


Image Source: dribble.com

Gone are the days of clip art. Trending now are simple, line images, which combines sleek, modern lines with retro colour schemes to keep things playful and friendly. Customizable to fit any concept or business.

5. Thoughtful / Interactive Animations

Animations have come a long way and in 2018 will focus more on intentional movements and directions. Signalling interactive content to engage users, helping them move through your site with ease and purpose.

Now give it a go! Explore! Create! Be wild and free my dears.

xo M.

A Fresh Palette

There’s a lot of colors in the world and, as designers/developers, we work with them quite a bit. But it can sometimes be hard to find a color palette that looks appealing. Or sometimes we want something new but don’t really know what to look for. Well, there’s a blog for that! I happened to stumble across it quite by accident while browsing the dangerous jungle known as “tumblr”, and I believe that it can be a valuable resource not just for me, but for all of you as well.

“Color Me Curious” is a blog on tumblr that is solely devoted to posting various color palettes for anyone to use if they so wish. The blog accepts submissions, so anybody around the world can submit a color palette that appeals to them and feels like sharing. Not only does each post contain a sample image for each color, but the hexadecimal values are stated in the text portion of the post as well. With so many people and so many different views, there are endless, very different palettes to choose from. So you’ll never run out of colors to experiment with and create fresh designs.

Do you need a palette related to a specific color? Again, no worries! Aside from providing an image paired with the color code values, the posts also get tagged by specific colors as well depending on what the focus color is. So, if you need a palette that focusses on red, simply got to the blog’s search bar and type ‘red’ and you will be provided with all of the posts related to that color. Perhaps simply browsing through some of the palettes will give you the inspiration you need to get creating? Or maybe you will find a color that works just right with a character or design you’ve been doodling. The below images are some examples of palettes you may find.

The blog also encourages you to tag the art you make with the hashtag “colourpod” so they can see what you make with the palettes you use. This is not a requirement by any means, just a simple way to share your art with the blog if you feel like it by making it easy to find!

If you would like to make use of this resource, simply follow this link: http://www.colourpod.com/

You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Webcomics

Webcomics are becoming increasingly popular in today’s media. Whether you read them daily on apps like Tapastic or websites like Smack Jeeves, or you just come across them on your social media, webcomics can appeal to almost everyone.

There is such a huge variety of genres to view that they can cater to anyone. One of the more popular would be a-slice-of-life comics that use reality and comedy to create funny shorts. Owlturd Comix is a good example. I’ve seen the comics used by Buzzfeed on their Snapchat many times and the comics appear in my social media from time to time too.

One thing I favour about them is the accessibility. For those who use their mobile more often-than-not, Tapas is a simple way to view webcomics. It allows you to subscribe to the comics you enjoy and lets you know when the artist has updated. It also supports the artist, using ad revenue and a tipping system. All of this you can have access to for free as well. There are features than are paid, but I’ve gotten by perfectly fine without spending a cent.

Those on the web have a few more options. Sites like Smack Jeeves and Webtoon allow you to view comics on the internet. They have a similar format to Tapas where you can view and subscribe to comics.

Personally, I really enjoy reading them. Not only are they a great source of entertainment, but they are an easy way to discover artists. A majority of webcomics found online are drawn and written by amateurs, many of which are students.

For someone who wants to be an illustrator and designer, such as myself, webcomics are an easy way to get yourself out there. The internet is a big chain, each piece linking to the next. As soon as someone shares something it starts moving out and if your work gets shared then you begin to be noticed. I, myself, have not had this happen, but for those who have, they become popular and grow a following. With that comes demand for product and it becomes a way to support yourself financially. There are quite a few webcomic artists that work full time this and for someone like me, this is a goal and it pushes you to work harder.

Webcomics are the new e-books and I think are only going to evolve from there.

 

*The GaMERCaT comic retrieved from thegamercat.com Jan. 11, 2017

*Owlturd Comix comic retrieved from wanna-joke.com Jan. 11, 2017

Development or Design?

Many of us in the first year IMA program, started with an idea of where we wanted our focus to be during the first few days of us starting this program. I for one, wanted to become a graphic designer and make the concept art for game companies. After going through the first term and into the second, I can still say that I would love to become that graphic designer, but in reality, I know that I am a much better developer. I can see my career going further if I took to focusing directly on the coding than if I tried to keep my focus on the design aspect. To those that might still be having questions about where they should have their focus, here is a few ideas to consider.

First of all, if you are an amazing artist, and you can replicate and use the tools for Photoshop & Illustrator, I highly recommend keeping focused on the design aspect. Your talent will be of big use to you in the design side and it will make it a lot easier for you in the long run. However, if you have a gnack for coding, even though it can be extremely frustrating at times, at least consider focusing on the development side. Sure it is painstakingly repetitive and at times excruciatingly aggravating but your expertise with the code will give you an easier time.

If you are having qualms about choosing either or, consider focusing on one that you enjoy the most. As a wise person once said, “If you enjoy what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life.” And just remember to keep your head up, there will be times in which the work will be very cumbersome and it will drag you down. Just keep striving to do the best you can and it will pay off in the long run.

 

Adobe Creative Cloud

CC Programs

Programs Available with Creative Cloud

This semester us IMA students have a whole new set of classes and are focusing on coding, and learning new effects in Adobe Photoshop. In order for us to have access to Photoshop and other Adobe programs from home, Adobe has offered students and teachers the option of having what they call the Creative Cloud. For $29.99 per month, students and teachers are able to download and use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premier Pro, Dreamweaver and many others. Your membership also comes with storage space in the cloud so you can access the files you have created from any computer, as well as the capability to save your files locally on your own computer. It also has syncing capabilities so it keeps your files current on the desktop as well as in the cloud. You always have access to the latest versions with a simple download without having to pay extra or resubscribe. If you were to buy the programs outright, you would have to pay full price for each software update. There are also other options for those who only need one of the programs the Creative Cloud offers, like Photoshop for just $9.99 per month.

I think the Creative Cloud is a great idea for students because it gives us full access to Adobe programs for a much more affordable price. It allows us students to learn how to use these programs before we get out into the work force. It also allows us to do our homework and our own side projects at home outside of class time. This way we can practice using what we have learned, and learn new skills using tutorials or other resources online. I would highly recommend a Creative Cloud membership to the IMA students, and anyone else involved or interested in the interactive design industry.

From One Designer to Another

design-tipsBy Stefanie Lepp and Shawnee Holmes

The IMA program is an intensive course that educates students in interactive and media vocations and prepares them for a professional career in many different fields. We gain so much useful knowledge that we thought we should share some tips with all of you! So here are just a few useful tidbits that our very wise instructors taught us about design and design life:

           The rule of thirds is probably the most basic rule of design and photography! It is a simple concept that makes a design or photo more visually pleasing to the eye than a randomly composed one. There are several ways to achieve this, to start off you could simply divide your page into thirds either horizontally or vertically and then place the elements of your design into one or more of the sections. If you would like to start to taking your design a little bit further you could then start playing with adding both the three vertical and horizontal lines and place elements on the intersecting lines. Whatever you end up doing, the rule of thirds is an easy and reliable way to improve your design and make it look professional.

As new designers we don’t usually like our own work, but as we practice, we may suddenly start to improve and find our niche. One of our problems, though, is that we seem to stick with the same concepts: color, typography and even layout! Don’t always stay the same! We like the familiar fonts that look good with everything (Hello, Bebas!) and the colours that represent our own personal style. The only problem with this is not all instances call for an upright, all caps font like Bebas nor do all websites or posters require a nice purple hue (my favorite color!). We have to get outside of our comfort zones and learn how to design for children’s stores, restaurant chains, concerts and many other platforms. We may have to work with fonts we don’t like (like whimsical, fun fonts for children’s stores) or layouts that may not seem creative to us. In the end, a design must be functional and portray whatever product you are trying to sell.

Typography is a powerful element to any design and in some cases can be more influential than what is actually written. Good practices of typography in design are to stick to two or three typefaces and make sure they communicate with each other and the overall look and feel of your design. Other rules to consider when dealing with typography are spacing, alignment, sizing, readability, color, grouping, leading, and kerning. It seems daunting at first, but as you get more comfortable with choosing typefaces, it gets easier and your designs will become more professional looking.

In any design whether it’s a website, poster, animation etc, the main purpose behind it should have some kind of meaning and should be fully functional. The way to achieve this is by following a few design principles called the three C’s: composition, components, and concept. Composition is the visual structure of a design. It takes into account the visual flow, space between each element, grouping, alignment, and placement of the varying elements. It focuses on what each element looks like together as a whole instead of looking at each separate element.

Components are the separate elements that go into the composition of a design. This would be your photographs, backgrounds, typography, icons, and whatever else you are using in the design.

Concept is what drives your whole design forward, it’s the underlying meaning for your composition and each component that makes up your design. It’s a somewhat abstract and intangible meaning but without it your design doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a neat thing you did in Photoshop.

We hope these tips help you with future projects and assist you in reaching your maximum potential as a designer.