Image Blender is my go to app for blending and masking but I was getting frustrated using the brush tool to mask a straight line, then it dawned on me that I could use a solid black or white image to “knock out” the part I wanted to be transparent (or in this case to be opaque). Once I blended down the solid black or white I could bring the image back in and use the blending modes to get the transparency.
The screenshots above show this process. The original photo was the edge of a window frame. I overlaid a blank white image at four different angles. I then flipped it and blended it over the mountain photo. Tip: Swipe to the right to move and rotate the image and then from the main screen tap and hold to flatten down, switch images or copy. I did the final color adjustments in picfx, another go to app for me. If you have any other Blender tricks post them below!
We’ve discussed Vitsoe around here before, primarily focusing on what they are most known for: Dieter Rams’ furniture designs, including the 606 Universal Shelving System and the 620 Chair Programme. Founded in 1959, they have worked with arguably some of the most influential mid century graphic designers in Germany, and their attention to detail in the company graphic identity and literature has always been just as impressive as the furniture itself. Now, Vitsoe has started to release some of it’s amazing archival material via it’s newly created Tumblr page, and it’s worth a visit.
I find myself most drawn to the posters and graphic identity that Wolfgang Schmidt created for Vitsoe early on. Being a record collector, I’m obviously obsessed with this 7″ that they pressed in the 1971 for one of the various live performance events in the showrooms.
The poster he designed in 1972 for the 620 Chair Programme is genius – it really captures the idea of ‘furniture as a system’ that both the 606 and 620 embody. Each unfolding of the poster reveals a new layout, ultimately culminating in a whimsical layout featuring the Vitsoe employees as the models.
Schmidt’s book of invitations for the Frankfurt fair in 1971 delivers humor via his iconography combinations.
Finally, Günther Kieser, most famous for his jazz and rock posters, art directed various photo shoots for Vitsoe. This is a postcard featuring one from 1968.
I just recently finished a five day intensive Typography course called Crafting Type. My head is still spinning a little from being so immersed into the realm of type design and fonts. I was surprised at after learning a few techniques for sketching and drawing how quick it was to get some decent ideas down on paper. I highly recommend the course if you ever get the chance to take it.
The course was led by Dave Crossland with Eben Sorkin and Octavio Pardo. Dave is a firm believer in “Libre Software” (free software) and is now creating Libre fonts. He is currently working as ‘Font Consultant’ to the Google Web Fonts project and has contributed many fonts to it. He also is a large contributor to FontForge and set each of us up with his own customized version to design our fonts.
The interesting part (that I didn’t realize) about Libre fonts is you are free to edit them and improve or make variations of them, providing you contribute them back into the Libre community. This is completely opposite of the current commercial type model (philosophically and financially). It was an eyeopener for me into the possibilities of this movement.
As web designer having fonts that I can use freely in my designs (on the web) is huge. Thinking back even a couple years, it was almost an impossibility due to Licensing. Some might argue that with the free fonts there is less “quality control” and a model more like Typekit is a better solution (both for users and font designers). Either way with a player as big as google building its free font library its exciting for me to see the flood gates on type and type creation opening up, even just a little bit.
3. Cropped and mirrored and layered in Image Blender
1. Initial Photo of some shadows in a corner (taken with Stilla)
2. Cropped and mirrored
3. Final Image layered in Image Blender
1. Initial photo of some stairs
2. Mirrored (you may notice a habit here)
3. Final image layered in Image Blender
The first photos I started using in my designs were simple textures. (we’ve all seen the explosion of texture sites out there) but lately I’ve been using photos to get shapes that typically I would have drawn before. This has been largely driven by having a decent camera in my pocket at all times, allowing me to capture random staircases or light hitting the corner of an architectural feature just right. I find the natural light and texture in photographs have so much more depth in the final product then what I can come up with in photoshop …and its much easier to get to the end result.
Matthew Shlian might be labelled a “paper engineer,” but the work that he’s been doing for Ghostly International as of late is seriously blurring the lines between art and science.
Now on his fifth collaboration with Ghostly, the newly released Extraction Series sees him furthering his exploration of geometric movement and tension themes through paper folding and assembly.
I’ve been a bit obsessed with his work since his first colab with Ghostly, and I think it’s now time for me to man-up and make a purchase, as the Extraction Series is in my opinion his best work to date.
For this latest series, Ghostly collaborated on a video of Shlain documenting his process and discussing his techniques. Video work by Ann Arbor-based director and producer Jakob Skogheim. Music by Shigeto.
(Dear Matthew: Please get together with Auralex (or the like) and make us the worlds most beautiful studio acoustic foam panels EVER.)
Here’s a compilation I put together on Ghostly’s behalf for the Freunde von Freunden blog. It’s comprised entirely of Ghostly releases. Honestly it’s not hard to put something like this together, considering the depth of the Ghostly catalog. Endless gems. My three faves from this one are Shigeto’s Ann Arbor Part 1, Tycho’s Melanine, and of course Dabrye’s We’ve Got Commodity. I’ll never forget previewing One/Three on the busted turntables at Kim’s Video in NYC in 2001.
Freunde von Freunden is an online “interview magazine that portrays people of diverse creative and cultural backgrounds in their homes or within their daily working environments.” The latest feature is none other than Ed Templeton and his wife at their home in Los Angeles. Amazing. They have also been running a ‘mixtape’ series for some time, they are now on #29.
Brian from The Ghostly Store made this happen, and this is the second time Sam, Brian and I worked on a compilation together: the first was for Moss in 2006, delivered on a USB stick. (it was the FUTURE)
Really beautiful pixelated looking vases from Phil Cuttance. Now based in London, the New Zealander’s FACETURE series consists of vases, side tables and lightshades, all handmade using his custom FACETURE machine and molds. The reusable molds are made from an extremely thin polypropylene sheet, which when handled, allow him to reshape the form due to the malleability created by his “live hinge” system. The results are that no two objects cast are the same.
In the era of stereo lithography and other 3D printing methods, Phil’s analog workflow is inspiring, and the process seems just as important as the results, which are impressive to say the least. Head over to his site for a more in depth look at the process.
One of the reasons I enjoy creating on my iPhone, is it takes me out of my usual process. The image above I created with Fuzel It’s similar to Grid Lens but lets you make your own slices that you can load up with images. The lines are the slices I made and then I added a tringle to each slice. (I added the clouds with Blender). This is all fairly simple to do in Photoshop with masks but not nearly as simple to manipulate. Being able to tap points and change their size as I’m moving them around feels much more “organic”. I find the results are less forced and there seems to be a more natural progression of the design. I recently switched from a mouse to a tablet which I find much more natural, but you really cant beat direct contact with the screen. Posted by: Seth Hardie Instagram: @hallwood