Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Creating A Logo...

I am finding this task a little difficult. Trying to design a logo that symbolizes me and what I am doing isn't easy. To make it simplistic and eye catching. At the moment my ideas are on paper and slowly after many attempts getting to what I would look for in a logo and maybe in the future I could use again. 
I am stuck between the idea of either having a symbol as the main element or lettering. If I choose lettering I will have to think carefully about the font and layout. Looking at other peoples journals from the class, they have combined their n
ame into it and something personal about themselves. I don't think I realized how much thought went into creating a strong logo. Font, colour, size, shape and design are the main elements you should think about when creating a logo.
Logo design is an important area of graphic design and one of the most difficult to perfect. Practices to encourage are to:
  • Avoid going overboard in attempting uniqueness.
  • Use few colours, limited colours and spot colours (any colour generated by ink, pure and mixed, that is printed using a single run).
  • Avoid gradients (smooth colour transitions) as a distnguishing feature.
  • Produce alternatives for different contexts.
  • Design using vector designs (the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygons, which are all based upon mathematical equations,  to represent images in computer graphics) so the logo can be resized without less of fidelity. 
  • Be aware of design or trademark infringements.
  • Include guidelines on the position on the page and white space around the logo for constant application across a variety of media (aka brand standard manual).
  • Not use a specific choice of clip-art (pre-made images used to illustrate any medium) as a distinguishing feature within.
  • Not use the face of a (living) person.
  • Not use photography or complex imagery as it reduces the instant recognition logo demands.
Tomorrow I will scan my logo designs and choose the one I feel is the strongest design and feel best describes me and work. Then work on it on photosh
op and make it into a stronger and more bolder logo.
Here are a few images of a few logos I have studied and got inspiration from. Each is famous and very successful. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Online Interactivity Analysis - 'Sony Bravia'

'Sony Bravia' was the first website to grab my attention. With it's fantastic colour use and strong interactivity. The creator of the site has chosen to keep the opening page very crisp and white. As the next page bursts with colour. The first opening loading page I found works particually well as the logo is 'colour like no other'. The page is clean white with a colour wheel rotating as the page loads up with a few facts about the world of colour, for example "All babies are born colour blind". However, the site took quite a while to upload which I found quite irritating as I waited for the site to dial up to 100% but the facts kept me entertained. 
Finally when it had finished loading it loaded the main menu. The main menu contained four interactive boxes. The four boxes rotate around by the clicking the arrow and dragging it across the screen, showing the user different images. The quicker you move the mouse over the boxes the quicker they spin around. By having the white background also enhances the image that 'Sony Bravia' aimed to set, the TVs have high colour resolution overall the layout is basic, yet the design outcome is powerful.I found one of the most powerful parts of the website was as soon as I opened the page, instructions were on show showing the user how to navigate around the site. The user i able to use the arrow keys on the keyboard and the mouse to navigate around the page. Once in the page three small icons also appeared in the top right hand side corner with the titles 'help', 'main menu' and 'studio', each were helpful in their own way.

As soon as you open the web page you are immediately brought to bright and vibrant colours, which is the product they are trying to bring to out attention. I feel the way the site shows users it's successful product ('Sony Bravia' and it's adverts) is different and works really well, showing the colours 'Sony Bravia' produce. Users are able to get involved through the different interactive objects the site has displayed the colours. I played around with the different interactive objects. I went back to the main menu and chose the first box that was optional to me. It was 'The Colourwall'. I found this really exciting and extremely unique, you are able to explore from 16.7 million colours by uploading an image. You then had to upload an image of choice, select a colour from it and describe it to be your own. I then followed the instructions given but when it came to viewing my image there was errors . However, I felt this was a strong piece of audience interaction and has a strong connection to the product.

I then chose to play with second box from the main menu. It was another interactive activity. This time it was a game to play around with the movement of colour. The user is able to choose from four different shapes. With each shape you are able to experience something different, I chose the the lines which was titled 'Experience Clarity'.
I then found out the lines they appeared soon to be actually blades of 3D grass. By clicking and dragging the mouse across the screen you are able to interact. It gave the idea of being small and gliding through long tall grass, calm beautiful music played in the background. When I left the mouse still for a short amount of time the screen darkened and the moving image paused with a quote from 'Sony Bravia' 'BRAVIA gives you clarity with breath taking detail'. After exploring this I returned back to the main menu and tried to to play with the other shapes optional to me but the web page seemed to be stuck on 'Experience Clarity'. There were no help or directions with how to return to the previous page. So I had no choice but to explore a different area of the site.
Users also have the option to view 'Sony Bravia' adverts that are each very popular within TV viewers, such as, the millions of multi-coloured bouncy balls lose down a steep down hill road which is played at a slow speed to really get the effect. 
There are also behind the scene clips of how the adverts were created and the ideas behind them and what really went into making them in detail.

I believe the website is well structured and organized for users to navigate through. It has been well designed. Each interactive box contains related information to do with 'Sony Bravia' in different ways. The website itself is the high quality as expected off 'Sony Bravia' as their adverts and products are only ever the highest quality. It is simple yet so effective, which makes it easy for new users to use. The strong imagery, bright colours and the interactivity involving colours make the website exciting and lively and gives out a positive identity towards the company. The website may interest different consumers and ages as it is a different outlook onto the product. Overall this website has made a strong and lasting impression.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


FontStruct is a free font building brought to us by the world's leading retailer of digital type. http://fontstruct.fontshop.com 

FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks.
You create 'FontStructions' using the 'FontStructor' font editor.

Once you have completed building, FontStruct generates high- quality 'TrueType' fonts, ready to use in any Mac or Windows application.

You are able to keep your own creations to yourself, but they encourage users to share them FontStructions. You are able to explore their gallery of fonts made by other users and download them or even copy them or make your own variations. 

Cloning allows people to quickly make variations and extend existing FontStructions. If you'd like to use a FontStruction but it lacks some letters you need,  you can clone it and add these characters yourself.
The original authors and FontStructions are always displayed on the home page of a cloned FontStruction. So cloned FontStructions cannot be claimed as completely original work.

To clone a FontStruction go to the homepage, either by clicking on it in the Gallery or from your "My FontStruct" page if it's one of yours. Then click on the "clone" button. Name your new FontStruction, and then click 'clone' again. You will be taken to the FontStructor editor to edit your cloned FontStruction. 

You can also make pixel fonts for Flash with FontStruct as it is optimized for the creation of Flash pixel fonts.

I think this site is going to become very helpful for me in the future as I have already downloaded a couple of the fonts.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Joseph Cornell - "Collage=reality associated"

A while ago Roma did a lecture on Identities and the artist Joseph Cornell was mentioned. He was the artist that really reflected what our module would be about, so I did some research on him to get an idea on what his work is about and how it could inspire me.
Joseph Cornell made boxes. The unique visual art dated from 1903-1972 was assembled boxed collages. By collecting and carefully placing found objects in small, glass front, Cornell created visual poems in which surface, form, texture, and light play together. Using things we can see, Cornell made boxes about things we cannot see; ideas, memories, fantasies and dreams. 
He loved to scour old book shops and second hand stores looking for souvenirs, theatrical memorabilia, old prints and photographs, music stores and French literature.
Being a symbolist, Cornell used the found materials that reside in his boxes- page birds, clay pipes , clock springs, balls and rings- to hint at abstract ideas. A metal spring from a discarded wind up clock may evoke the passage of time, a ball might represent a planet or the luck associated with a playing game. Although his constructions are enveloped in nostalgia- the longing for something that happened long ago in the past and far away- the appearance is throughly modern and beautiful.
His work from the Surrealists in that, while they were interested in unexpected, he was more interested in finding poetic connections of meaning between disparate objects. The miniature world in itself has a unique charm, and when these few objects are isolated in such a way, they force us to really look at them, perhaps for the first time, and to think about their possible meanings. The spareness of the compositions also contributes to the exclusiveness.
This is one of the examples of the work Cornell creates. 'The Hotel Eden' The chief emblem is a caged parrot, the innocent resident of Hotel Eden. It can be noted that once more the image of a bird is represented in Cornell's work. It may symbolize an emblem of freedom, though the bird is secluded behind material frames, as if it is a cage.
The piece of black thread going through the box across the different inner frames, from the top part which seems to represent orbits, to outer space, to the birds beak, and down to the bottom of the box which leads to emptiness. This could be interpreted as a spiral link between the various universes depicted here and materializes Cornell's sense of interconnections in all luring matters.
Moreover, one can notice that the elements used in this box are filled with strong relating true qualities. The two pieces of paper stuck at the bottom of the box are worn out and degraded, they bear the imprint of the passage of time and the 'Hotel Eden' alludes to a paradise lost, while the egg may symbolize birth and the renewal of life.

Researching into Joseph Cornell has inspired me for the upcoming project and has filled my head with different ideas. How everything of Cornell's art work has a meaning or symbolizes something fits in perfectly to what we are doing.   

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Day 3 in Vside...

Every time i've been online on Vside i've tried to go on at different times of the day- hopefully finding out a different outcome and atmosphere than the last time I logged in. On the log in page there is a system status it current shows "VSIDE IS OPEN'. Obviously when there is maintenance work going on within the program they might not make the site available for the public. 
Again when I come the "Choose a City" page there is only 3 globes to choose from. There are others others faded in the background I cannot select for whatever reason. I chose NewVenezia to start with- as the status was 'hoppin' it seemed the place to be!

I selected 'The Loft' to explore first. It took me to a lift and you can choose which level to go to. I chose the first on the list which was 'The American Rejects' room. I thought this would be pretty cool but when I entered there was no-one was there- it was just room with a few posters of the band on the walls. You could also watc
h a video of them on the wall which was interesting for a short while, I then returned back to the loft to go else where. It gave me the selection of destinations to teleport to. I then went to 'The Pussycat Dolls' room- that was even quieter! With the same same layout as the last one. Each room is the exact same, but decorated differently to fit the identity of the room.
I then explored around NewVenezia area and found myself in a meditating area. The area reminded me of Japan very tranquil. I then sat down by the pond, across from me were two other people meditating. I wasn't sure how to do that, so, I walked around the pond clicking all the symbols until one was a meditating one. There was a girl sat across from me flashing blue and red continuously- I couldn't work out why or how?
I very quickly discovered that meditating with an avatar isn't that fun and wondered around the area. I ended up in a club called Lax. It was fairly quiet so I wondered around it for a while and sat down in the seating area, then my favorite band came on, Incubus, so I listened to that as I did other things.
I then went to the main plaza where I walked up some stairs into a lounge area and there were four men topless with flamed patterned trousers. Then one girl typed to me "BUTTON, SAVE ME', yeah... I left them to it. Around the corner was another little meditating area, I sat my avatar there for a while whilst I did other things and when I came back, my avatar was GREEN??? I have no idea how that happened, then it started flashing green. 
I went down the the main plaza again and a little man came up to and hugged me and told me he likes green girls. I was so confused, but that made me laugh. I tired to ask another girl why I was green and she replied with "You went in that green thing". What? What green thing?! I then logged off. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

VSide the new 3D Facebook?

So apparently according to metaversed.com Vside is the new 3D Facebook? Even they say it's got to be one of the best looking 3D social environments, if not the best. 'Vside is a beautiful space for teenagers to hang out in, socialize and listen to music. As Littlefield puts it- (founder of Doppelganger) if Second Life is Myspace puts it than VSide is Facebook'.
Apparently quoted again by this website again there are 15 things you should know about VSide:

1. vSide's Vision
The idea for vSide, previously "The Music Lounge", was sparked 10 or more years back when Doppelganger founder Andrew Littlefield was on a "boring programming project" in Frankfurt and spending time hanging out in primitive 3D environments with friends. He sees vSide as a social, entertainment venue and is not so "religious" about the the whole virtual worlds thing as some others in the industry. The simple, immediate goals of the space are to be easy to use, and highly attractive.

2. Professional Content Creation
Unlike Second Life or Kaneva, to which vSide has more similarity to, its environment doesn't allow for user generated content. There are no user built buildings, streets or general landscaping. They employ a team of virtual architects, some of whom have backgrounds with the Sims and Halo. Littlefield describes the visual quality of vSide as AAA, applied to a virtual social environment.

3. City and Social Planning
A great deal of effort has also been put into not just how the textures look, but how the buildings and walkways and shops and bars are arranged. All exterior development goes through an urban planning process with emphasis on natural grouping points, and distributed, natural foot traffic patterns between commercial and social venues. There are also many small, hidden details, or "secrets" that users can discover and earn "Respekt" points for.

4. User Sessions
In July this year, vSide users were averaging at around 78mins per session, with an average inworld hours tally standing at 11. Bearing in mind we're talking about teeenagers, who on average probably have a smaller attention span than even me, this is pretty impressive.

5. All About Music
There are over 40 different music channels, and matching locations where you can listen in groups to that music. They range from the practically unheard of to large, well known acts. Once you have an apartment, you can tune into your favorite channel without having to be present in its region. vSide also has video streaming capability, and in a coming release this will be available to regular users.

6. Text Based Communications with Powerful Animations
vSide avatars are extremely easy to set up. And though there are over 5 million possible clothing and skin combinations, it really only takes 2 or 3 minutes. Once set, the communications center around text and emotes. You can set your 'mood', and this in turn affects the actions your avatar performs when you type emotes. For example, 'rofl' when my mood is blue, is not nearly as enthusiastically acted out as when I'm 'upbeat'. This creates a pretty powerful way for teenagers to express themselves as there are a lot of different actions. Text chat is as simple as walking up to an avatar and starting to type and there also appears to be an AIM integration, though we didn't cover that on the tour and I've not experimented with it.

7. Creds and Respekt
Once you've checked your ability to spell at the door, your vSide avatar can earn 'Respekt' points by discovering easter eggs hidden in the architecture, making friends or visiting commercial stores inworld. A certain amount of Repekt is needed in order to claim an apartment for example, and as your Respekt increases, so do other abilities as you progress up through a WoW like leveling system. You can also purchase Creds at ATM's located inworld with your regular credit card, and use that currency to buy clothes and other virtual goods.

8. Shopping!
Like the architecture, clothes and jewelry are also created professionally by inhouse designers in vSide, though there are many branding partnerships to be spotted in the various stores. Purchases are made by entering and store and hitting the 'shop' button on the dashboard. This brings up a slick interface for viewing and buying the goods available. Many of the clothes are free, and indeed the default (large) set that comes with your sign up seemed pretty sufficient to me.

9. Tech Specs
vSides runs off of a Java server layer, using a heavily modified Torque engine as the front end. The system seems pretty robust, with it's first maintenance release since the rebrand/relaunch going out later today.. A vSide server can support between 300 and 600 avatars, which for live music, makes for a pretty good show.

10. Safety First
With that many teenagers active inside of vSide, safety and identity are of top priority. To that end, vSide staff are subject to the same inspection process as Californian teachers, and are required to identify themselves as employees when speaking with teens. The company employs live moderators, avatars with administrative powers that are on hand 24/7 to monitor the virtual world via a multi view interface as well as respond to help requests sent by users. Should there be an SoS sent out by a vSider, one of the 3 or 4 moderators who are always on can respond pretty quickly. Apart from all of this, it's actually quite difficult to be offensive in vSide: It's not possible to have a naked avatar, and there's an active profanity filter on the text chat as well as numerous warnings and safety tips embedded in loading screens.

11. Virtual Land
Right now, apartments, which are the only type of building or land an avatar can own, are being given on a first come, first served basis. Provided you have enough Respekt points to purchase one. In the near future, the company will be expanding its residential areas and making more available. At the moment, only staff members can edit the furniture and settings in their apartments. That too will be addressed in a coming release however. One thing Littlefield says that teens like is the ability to restrict access to '"friends only" on their own apartments. Once settled into your vSide apartment, you can tune into whichever music channel suits you.

12. 2D Social Networking
There's also a browser based social networking component to vSide. One neat feature of the profile system is the ability to add tags to describe your interests. This doesn't just tell people what you're into on your profile page, it acts as an ice-breaker inworld. When you enter a room and there's others with the same tag values present, the names of the avatars will pulse, letting you and them know that you share a common interest. Favorite bands is probably the most popular.

13. Advertising and Product Placement
vSIdes realistic architecture allows for ad placement in the same kinds of spots you'd expect to see them in the real world. Early on, the company experimented with dummy ads for fake brands and vSiders actually complained, saying that the real ads added to the overall immersiveness and realism of the environment. Contrary to my belief that these ads will be ignored, just as they are in the real world, Littlefield maintains that provided they are highly relevant, they'll actually be even more effective as they add to the overall experience. They also plan to make static ads more interactive in the near future, allowing for clickthroughs for example. Product placement comes in the form of inworld stores selling virtual goods, one example was shoes that could make you jump higher than normal, and I saw a whole bunch of fashion and music outlets (one or two of which I even recognized...).

14. Tapping MySpace
Despite likening vSide to Facebook, rather than MySpace, Doppelganger are still actively targeting Murdoch's gaudy community with an embeddable widget. The cut and paste code displays your vSide status of on or offline, as well as your location. I'd like to see a Facebook widget done similarly.

15. The Awkward White Guy Dance
vSiders can choose from a long list of pre defined dance moves when at clubs. One of those is listed as the Littlefield, after Doppelganger's founder, Andrew Littlefield. Originally this dance was called "the awkward white guy dance".

"There's no doubt vSide is impressive, in many ways, though it's still early days yet. From what I saw, I'd say that companies looking to engage teens would do well to keep a close eye on what happens with this world over the next six months. For music and fashion brands, it could well turn out to be a good investment if entry and runnings costs don't break the bank. The lack of creative tools in this environment is definitely a plus. It may not suit many of the creative types that will surely prefer the freedom of Second Life, but for a teen market interested in fashion and music, I think it's likely to prove a winner. vSide is absolutely stunning in appearance, and taking a lead from the Steve Job's school of design arrogance would seem a smart move".

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Day 2 in VSide...

Returning back to VSide seemed very simple as it remembers your username and password, then easily can just hit the login button. I came to the beginning page again where you can choose a city to teleport to. They weren't the same ones that you can choose from as last time I was on it. Maybe the worlds revolve around depending what time you login or what day? I'll try find out, I'm not a 100% how it works yet. I chose RaiJuku and went to the shopping area. As the screen loads up it gives you different tips. "TIP: Ignore- if someone is bothering you, right click and ignore".
I had a change of clothes, decided on a white shirt and black skinny jeans. Reminds me of being young and playing dress up with dolls.
Whilst walking around there weren't many people around, so I just explored and walked towards the south which lead me to the sea. I learnt how to lean (as in the picture above), by clicking on floating symbols they allow you to do actions. They also have these symbols in places where you can sit down (also in the picture above). 
I then got bored of this area as there wasn't much going on. So took myself to a busier area, which I thought would be the dance area, there was bound to be people there. I teleported my avatar to 'The Lounge', which was a dance hall and sitting area with club music in the background. I went to sit down at the bar, and then all of sudden about 5 people decided to dance on top of the bar! I wasn't sure how to do that so just kept sat down.
I then tired out my dance moves again on the dance floor. It's hilarious just watching all the avatars dancing. Then a man came and started dancing with me and kept whispering me questions. You can whisper things so just you and another person can talk without other people knowing what you are saying. Then started asking what my real name was- that scared me a little so I left. I don't like how people can hide there age to others. 
I then went for another explore before I logged off, I found myself on a small balcony which was located off 'The Lounge', it had another floating symbol you could press to make an action, this time lots of hearts came from it. Maybe for lovers to stand under?