Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak — the real-life version of the film’s eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow’s computers will be controlled?
I’m so full of praise for the Latin American art and design that I wish to go there and actually spend some time. I admire it not because I like it or have built a taste for it over the time but because it is genuinely inspiring, mature and unique. It has its own flavour, whether it is typography, illustration or graphic design, I always came across something stunning from that part of the world.
So, let’s talk about you. How it all started?
I studied ‘Architecture and Urban Planning’ for one and a half year, until I drop it to start doing freelance illustration projects. It didn’t work out quite so well, so I started studying Graphic Design in 2000, finishing in 2003.
After that I started a small solo studio with only me and occasionally my wife at that time (I got married in 2004). Then the studio got a little bigger, when I invited my good friends Anderson Maschio and Beto Janz to be partners. It was called ‘estudiocrop’. Later on, Renan Molin joined too, still as an intern, and became a good friend of all of us.
In the end of 2006 Renan had to focus on his graphic design course’s final project, Beto had some issues with his personal life and so did I, as I got divorced, so it seemed like we should take some time off. A time from which we never got back, as we decided to end the studio. Each one of us took a separate path: I ended up coming to DDB Brazil, from where I was laid off about one year later. Me and Renan then tried to get estudiocrop back together, but it didn’t work out as we expected. So a few more months down the road I came back to São Paulo and rejoined DDB once more.
What keeps you going?
What keeps me going on in my personal life are the good times, the laughter, some Seinfeld episodes, good beer, greasy food, learning how to play the guitar, music, travelling and stuff like that. Professionally, it is almost an addiction to that feeling you get when you finish a piece that you think is good. This and some nice people you get to know along the way, the evolution of the work, the expressiveness that any graphic piece can carry, the money (yes, the money, why not?) and, more recently, a new pleasure giving lectures and conducting workshops.
Your unique style – how it evolved to what it is now?
I wouldn’t call it unique, although I tend to get feedback from people talking about ‘my personal style’. I guess it came along when I started focusing more and more on what I like to do when designing something or making an image, and not so much on what people expect or what is trendy or strategically correct right now. I figured, since I’m going to spend some 75% of my waking hours working or doing work related stuff, I might as well do what I like. After all, it’s my life going down the drain and I don’t want to spend it feeling frustrated or angry or whatever.
So, as it turns out, I like to draw letters, to try expressive compositions and to shade stuff a lot. So this ‘style’ is really just a natural development of what I like to do. There were no big plans to build a style. Or, rather, a ‘personal’ style just started to surface when I stopped caring about having a personal style – which to me makes perfect sense. If it’s your style, it’s something natural… it’s not something you can force to happen, right?
In technical terms, at this time, it is all basically Photoshop and my Intuos3 tablet. From sketch to finish it all happens there, including the vectors, that I started doing directly on Photoshop (but of course I still use Illustrator for all vector or for more complex vector work). And I say ‘at this time’ because the techniques I develop usually evolve from time to time, not really to get better or more efficient, but much more to avoid getting so damn tedious to do the same thing over and over.
Sort of a cliché question – what’s the source of your inspirations?
My inspirations are 95% out of the realm of design or illustration. And again, it’s not a noble pursuit like ‘I just want outside references and blahblahblah’. It’s much more because I find it a bit boring to see the same design/illustration pieces over and over on the internet or books, all very well done, but basically all the same. You see 300 images that are essentially the same, just done by different people for different purposes. I find it very boring. And not only that, I find it harmful to my own work, since it can influence me rather than just inspire. What I usually like to see is architecture, furniture, product design, photography, microscopic and other botanic/organic related photography (great for forms and natural patterns) and some type related imagery.
IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign acknowledges the importance of intelligent systems in the world today. In the retail industry, for example, consumer data around something as simple as color can have massive implications around shipping, inventory and, ultimately, overall sales.
This interactive billboard is a simple and engaging virtual demonstration of how a smarter retail system can work.
This unconventional looking typographic clock is a creation of Biegert & Funk – straight from Germany. QlockTwo tells the time by illuminating words with LEDs. The clock is fitted with light sensor for automatic adjustment to ambient light. The magnetic front part can be replaced without any visible attachments so you have plenty of color choices to suite your mood.
At first sight I couldn’t believe that Nissan could do something like this! I’m talking about the thing called Juke. After the elegantly done Qashqai, that I truly admire and driven myself, how come Nissan could venture into something so controversial looking. Seriously, just look at it.
Heavily inspired by their ‘Qazana’ concept car, about which autoblog.com says ‘Nissan Qazana is so bizarre it almost looks French’, Juke has a ‘heavy dose of sportiness’. Although designed and built in Sunderland (UK) like Qashqai, Juke is a very Japanese car design to me than anything else. Technology apart, automobile design is something where only few specialize in. If Nissan is trying to repeat the Qashqai phenomenon here then I don’t think things would be exactly the same with this model – Qashqai was bold and Juke is awkwardly bold.
I personally like the ‘bizarre’ Qazana design, the problems that I can pick are mostly around the consumer version where front part is very badly adopted. The multiple front lights, out of which two are protruding, and their overall composition making it impossible to focus on Juke’s ‘face’ hence the overall design losing its impact. Despite the exaggerated masculine body the overall look-n-feel is very subtle compare to Qazana’s sculpted body. Every time I look at Juke I think of this.
Qazana’s overall design has been downgraded into Juke making it a weirdly looking car from a distinctive one (ok, being weird is sort of distinctive). The above pictures show how the Qazana ‘concept’ is lost in the making. Those two protruding lights and their proportionate relation with the other two front lights is missing in Juke along with overall slick, smart yet masculine and sporty shape characteristics. I’m not going into every minute detail to illustrate how much is lost but Juke is like a novice repainting a master piece.
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