fidelity vs fun

the_incident_iphone.jpg
There’s a difference you know – and one is not dependent on the other.
You can have something very low in fidelity and very high in fun.
Case in point – The Incident for iPhone.
It harkens back to the days of NES. It’s pixelated by design, despite the fact that the new iPhone 4’s screen is 326 dpi. It doesn’t matter. A lot of time and effort went into making it fun.
Now the makers of The Incident are porting it so that it can be played on your TV using your iPhone as the controller:
500x_incidenttvvvv.jpg
You hear it a lot in the world of design, but it’s true – constraints can be good.

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Tough Guy

The human brain is funny.
I’m up at the ass crack of dawn to grab a flight to chitown and remembered my dream.
I was in an auditorium watching Bush Junior campaign against OBama. It was a movie theatre so he was projected huge on the screen.
When he finished he went back to his seat up near where I was sitting with Bama.
They barely acknowledged each other as they crossed paths, both were visually annoyed with the presence of the other.
As Bama left to grab the stage next, Steve Buscemi (Nucky???) sits down right in front of us. He’s not dressed like Boardwalk Empire, he’s dressed like a working class thug from Newark. He seems to be W’s muscle.
The guy next to me and I both start talking shit to Buscemi. Then he turns around and looks at the dude next to me and says something like,
“I can get 16 for you today, 25 for you tomorrow.”
I assume he’s talking about a 16 thousand dollar bounty or something.
I’m slouched in my seat with my arm above my head looking away and Buscemi unexpectedly turns to me an pokes me in the armpit and says something like,
“….and this is a warning to you too, kid.”
This is what I get for telling my friends he plays an unconvincing thug on HBO.

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I will not say concept when I mean idea

I will not say concept when I mean idea. I will not say impacted when I mean affected. There will be no hands-on state-of-the-art networking. We will not maximize, prioritize, or finalize…and we definitely will not interface. There will also…there will also be no new-age lingo spoken here tonight. No support-group jargon from the human potential movement. For instance, I will not share anything with you. I will not relate to you and you will not identify with me. I will give you no input, and I will expect no feedback. This will not be a learning experience, nor will it be a growth period. There’ll be no sharing, no caring, no birthing, no bonding, no parenting, no nurturing. We will not establish a relationship, we will not have any meaningful dialogue and we definitely will not spend any quality time. We will not be supportive of one another, so that we can get in touch with our feelings in order to feel good about ourselves.

And if you’re one of those people who needs a little space…please…go the fuck outside.

–George Carlin, Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics
Words to live by.

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art direction vs. design

A great article at A List Apart by Dan Mall on the differences between art direction and design. I know for a while I wasn’t sure what the differences were outside of heirarchy in studios and agencies.
What is art direction:

Art direction brings clarity and definition to our work; it helps our work convey a specific message to a particular group of people. Art direction combines art and design to evoke a cultural and emotional reaction. It influences movies, music, websites, magazines–just about anything we interact with. Without art direction, we’re left with dry, sterile experiences that are easily forgotten. Can a New York subway ad about the homeless provoke you to donate money? Why do you want to beg Clarice Starling to turn around, even though you know she can’t hear you? How do candles transform a regular meal into a romantic evening? Art direction is about evoking the right emotion, it’s about creating that connection to what you’re seeing and experiencing.

and design:

By contrast, design is the technical execution of that connection. Do these colors match? Is the line-length comfortable for long periods of reading? Is this photo in focus? Does the typographic hierarchy work? Is this composition balanced?

Thanks Vic.

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writing, not typing

This post at the Daily Telegraph folds in nicely with my recent post on noting and flipping. I’m not sure if Twitter is responsible for making handwriting cool again (maybe it is?). Being a designer, I’ve always been surrounded by note/sketchbook toting people. People writing down thoughts, sketches, schematics. People giving form to the abstract things floating around their heads.
From the article:

Wohlgef├╝hl: it’s one of those enigmatic words the German language excels in constructing. It can mean ‘wellbeing’ or ‘good feeling’, but it is the word Meike Wander, owner of Berlin’s RSVP stationery shop, uses to describe the timelessly simple delight of handwriting: of pen in hand, ink on paper and skin on surface as thoughts and images transfer from the imaginative to the material.

‘It’s a physical experience, it’s your body doing something,’ Wander says in her hesitant English. ‘Handwriting produces a good feeling – a wohlgef├╝hl.’

Yes and yes.
Like most things, it’s not and shouldn’t be the exclusive tool for artists and designers. Everyone can benefit by getting their thoughts down on paper.

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