Awareness is Everything

Friday, September 5, 2008

Platform Thoughts

I ran into an interesting article today on CNET, titled “"Should software developers fear Facebook, Apple?" In summary, and I’ve dumbed this down considerably for the sake of brevity, the author feels Apple and Facebook’s quality control maintained over third-party applications developed for their respective platforms is excessive to the point of stifling growth in the software development industry. I agree, productivity will be limited by their actions, however I don’t like the causation implied – i.e. larger software developers using their “weight” and influence to force Apple/Facebook to suppress smaller ones.

I tend to skew closer toward this thought. Apple and Facebook may be slightly stifling innovation, but they may be doing so to stay out of court and on the legal side of copyright laws, etc. In my opinion, they’re ultimately raising the standards for the developer community. As this platform continues to grow, I’m hoping we’ll soon see a chasm between allegedly copyright/trademark infringing developers versus the innovators. With current platforms developing and new ones continually coming to fruition, original and useful applications will be recognized as such and widely adopted, period. We’ve reached the point of application saturation in which truly only the “cream” will rise to the top.

What do you think? Does it make sense for Facebook/Apple to control applications or should they be more of a platform? From a brand perspective, was Scrabulous hurtful or helpful?

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring has Sprung (Creatively Speaking)

What inspires a creativity enthusiast? For me, Sentient’s Art Director, it’s the spring. Could it be all the new blooming buds everywhere? The gorgeous weather? The thought of soon being able to go tubing down the Guadalupe River with beer in hand? Yes, yes and yes, but there’s also an energy and freshness that comes with the changing season. Spring brings in the new and I’m always looking for new places to get inspiration from. A lot of new sites/work being put out there is giving off an amazing amount of energy and a fresh outlook/perspective. Let me give you a few examples of awesome resources for inspiration and good energy for your creative soul.

American Poster Institute
The American Poster Institute is a non-profit corporation dedicated to furthering public awareness and appreciation of the poster art form. I had never heard of it before this year’s SXSW music festival. The API has a traveling poster convention called ‘Flatstock’ where they gather posters from all around the world—different styles and different eras. Someone like me could go CRAZY at a convention like this. You can walk around and look at all the posters and if you find one that you like, you can buy a copy of it. Talk about inspiration EVERYWHERE you look!

Logo Pond
I just recently stumbled across this site, and was really pleased by the work being put up on the site. So many unused, beautiful logos! I thought it was fun to go through all of the logos my fellow designers have done for their clients. It’s also great to hear how they were all received - which ones worked, which was the designer’s favorite and was it actually chosen? Logo Pond is a great place to spark new ideas for an identity system.

Arcade Fire Video
This website was sent to me, and not only am I a big Arcade Fire fan- I am a big fan of this video and this site.. The song was so well done that you can turn off and on different parts of the music and it still sounds beautiful. All the while, the video is playing and still goes along with the different elements of the song. The song and the site are a superb marriage of video and audio. It is really an inspiring piece of work.

Blurb
This is a book making website. This website made me inspired to get my own book started—they appear to be really well done and very personalized in both layout and size. Might be a perfect way to uniquely show off your fabulous work! They have very fair prices and provide FREE software that you need to make your book. You also have the option to sell your book on Blurb’s bookstore and receive 100% of the markup– so be creative AND make some money!

MoMA- Color Chart
Very cool flash website for the MoMA museum- this is for people obsessed with color like myself. You can read an introduction or jump right in to viewing work by time line, by artist, or medium. Okay, and this is the coolest part— when you click through to the work depending on which you choose (artist, medium, or time line), it will use color to categorize each topic. I LOVE IT! Talk about inspiring color use!

I hope you have enjoyed these websites that I have stumbled across – I have definitely been inspired in some way by each one. Now that I have shown some websites that have inspired me, what websites inspire you? What websites have you found this year that you believe to be exceptionally creative or that are doing something cool/new?

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