Ah, the stark beauty of that word coupled with the inherent power of that punctuation:
Like your logotypes, many of you have begun designing posters only to hear me say that magic word again and again and again:
It’s as Antoine de Saint-Exupery has written:
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Such a simple concept but so difficult to convey to most students. Maybe the missing piece is in the writing. Maybe the beauty and power of simplification is better learned through documenting the process—the journey of your own adventure in designing and refining a logotype that has (or will) satisfy your own tyrant of a teacher.
Once upon a child’s mind, did flutter butterfly
Gift to share with one then all, who’ll open wings to try
Asked to ask and seek and knock, on wooded points of view
Goodness treats patient resolve, with echoes ringing true
Child’s play remembering, climb branches looking sees
Others just can’t find the time, and hunt on hands and knees
— Dream Yet Complete
And that about sums up our journey so far. Some of you get it and are discovering what this class has to offer. While others… Well, let’s just say those others have a choice: Read, watch, listen, learn, and do—or be left in the dust and miss out on all the fun. Yes, it will take some hard work to catch up but the longer you wait…
TAG: You’re it.
I’ve added this gallery to light a fire under myself to update our collection of Mac Lab Posters (featuring student work). Also, to be honest, I kept losing the link to the poster page so it was becoming harder and harder to find as the blog continued to grow.
Now it’ll never be misplaced again.
The Artist-scientist is one of the Jungian archetypes in mythology. Like all of these archetypes, the artist-scientist is an abstraction of life and the human mind. While never as common as archetypes like the child or the Hero, the artist-scientist is immediately recognizable. They are a builder, an inventor, a seeker, a dreamer, and a thinker. Distracted by their own thoughts, they frequently have to be pulled in out of the rain. They are simultaneously vastly knowledgeable and yet innocent, impulsive yet cautious. They represent the wonder to be found in curiosity, and the dangers.
Now I’m not claiming that anyone in the Mac Lab is a living, breathing, self-aware artist-scientist but we do seem to have more than our share of exceptional left-leaning thinkers thriving by putting their right-leaning brains to work. If nothing else, we’re giving the corpus callosum a good workout as we cross-pollinate the hemispheres.
If you re-examine The 5 Stages of the Creative Process, you may notice a theme similar to that of the artist-scientist’s. Do you see it? The artist-scientist is a creative thinker by definition. Lyall Watson nails one of his or her essential qualities with this gem from Beyond Supernature:
…a childlike playfulness which is one of the hallmarks of creativity. Consensus is rare in psychology, but most workers in the field agree that creative thinkers can be recognized by their ability to entertain wild ideas without feeling the usual need to pass judgment on them.
As you work on your projects today, consider how you might nurture your own childlike playfulness as you pass through the teenage rituals that mark days of this phase of your life. Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince speaks the truth: One never knows.
Long ago, far and away, or always somewhere near
Conductor’s instrumental, sends notes to inner ear
Harmonic reconvergence, improvisation’s planned
To amend the broken page, pour melodies from band
Watering the wildest flowers, a second-handed chance
To trade in white-washed paddock walls, for suit and horse and lance
What starry-eyed boy or girl, dressed in grown disguise
Would spend so much time looking up, the ears, nose, throat, and eyes
Pretending to play doctor, while double-checking chokes
What’s it cost and what’s my change? the warted toady croaks
What distilled in beating heart, could cease and then resist
This night made for remembering, then good sun’s rising kiss
— Dream Yet Complete
••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••
Edublog Awards: I had no idea we were even nominated. Apparently we made the cut and are now contenders for 2010’s Best Class Edublog Award. If you want to vote, do it from home or via your phone as there’s only one vote per IP address. Voting ends December 14.
Galleries: Looking to add exceptional Self Portraits to the gallery. A new Logo Gallery Post went up this morning with one lonely logo. Who will join Fadi with his or her own fabulous logo? Up Next: Posters (details coming soon).
Kudos: Special thanks to Jenny S for the image and inspiration for this week’s post. She’s one of the potential Renaissance individuals of whom I spoke.
100+ New Fonts: I tried to find some cool new fonts for you to use on your logos and posters (coming soon). If you don’t remember how to cycle through the fonts, you’re in luck. Yep! That video’s just for you.
On the Big Screen: Font Video Shorts Week. (Yesterday was too short for a short.)
1208: Not a single student commented on the synchronous theme to one of yesterday’s tweets: Science + Art + Photography = Click
On the Big Screen: Going gaga for fonts!*
*Okay, it’s actually Going gaga for a typographic family but that doesn’t have the same snappy sound. And a snappy sound is just what this video has! (Blocked, of course, at school.)
1209: I told the kids in 7th period that I heard some of you muttering: Why did he show that video?! Seriously?! Why show you a bunch of design geeks singing about a typeface? Because you’ll never forget it. Because every time you hear anything by or about Lady Gaga you’ll remember those geeks. And maybe you’ll even think about typography.
Geek Disclosure: BTW, I consider that appellation a compliment. Call me a geek anytime!
On the Big Screen: What may be my new all-time favorite music video featuring kinetic typography. (Blocked at school.) The musician has a terrific sense of humor and the digital artist loves Tron. What a dynamic duo! (Don’t worry, I bought the song so we can listen to it every day.)
Speaking of Dynamic Duos: Illustrator + Photoshop = A Wicked Tip of the Day! Note: I took it a few steps further after recording the video and came up with this. (And that’s why I’m wearing my DO IT IN LAYERS t-shirt today.)
Reminder: The Last Mac Lab Saturday School™ of 2010 [gasp!] is this weekend. 6:15 to 12:00 as usual.
1210: Am going to be interrupting you today. To make it up, next week will be (mostly) free from Skockobabble.
On the Big Screen: Would you believe someone made a feature-length movie about a typeface? We’ll be watching a short clip but I’ll be playing the entire movie tomorrow during the final Mac Lab Saturday School™ of 2010. The movie begins at 8:30 sharp. No, you don’t have to watch it but anyone who does will see that it’s actually about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. Well worth the price of admission (hauling yourself out of bed to get down here on time). The microwave will be available for popcorn. (Bring your own bowls and napkins.)
Reminder: Please return any equipment or books you’ve borrowed so everything will be in order prior to Winter Break. Yes, I’ll let you check out equipment over the break (if you don’t owe time and/or you’re not in the red).
Someone in Your Seat? Read the board and watch this video.
On the Big Screen: The world premiere of Gary Hustwit’s amazing documentary Helvetica. Well, it’s the world premiere during Mac Lab Saturday School™ (film starts promptly at 8:30).