Archive | February 2018

Minimalism

Minimalism is one of the most influential styles used today — from design, architecture, music, and literature. Minimalism is not about the absence of design, but it is about stripping down the design and only using the fewest elements to create the maximum effect. “Less is more” as said by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe — a key figure in this movement, is the main principle used for minimalism.

The Elements of Minimalism

Minimalism is about the return to the basics of contrast, space, organization, color, dominant visual, and typography.

Contrast: Black and white schemes are popular because they contain a lot of contrast between elements. But any high-level contrast works. Use elements with opposing forces — such as large and small text or images, or open space and a single element, or other colors with plenty of contrast.

Space: Minimalism is built on space, and while you don’t have to include massive amounts of white space, element breathability is a must. Each piece in the design must have room to stand on its own in the design.

Organization: Go back to some of the roots of minimalism and use lines and rectangles. A grid will keep you organized and your design feeling harmonious.

Color: Contrast and color are usually mentioned together in minimalist design, but are separate visuals. Color can create contrast, and it is an important part of the planning process. Rather than the two to four colors from a traditional color scheme, try to stick to a single hue in a light and/or dark framework.

Dominant visual: Dominance links directly to contrast. Dominant visuals include an image, block of text or element with surprising color.

Typography: The common usage in most minimalist frameworks is sans serif typography. Go with a typeface that has clean lines and simple strokes. If you are using type as the dominant element, consider a typeface with more personality for contrast.

Who and What Influenced Minimalism?

You can find elements of minimalism in design, art and architecture in almost any time period. The style has an almost timelessness to it that makes designers keep coming back. The roots of minimalism as we know it today can be traced to three key periods.

The first is the De Stijl movement, which began in the Netherlands in the early 1900s. De Stijl, Dutch for “The Style,” is characterized by horizontal and vertical lines and flat planes of primary colors. De Stijl was popularized by painters, sculptors, architects and graphic designers.

Second is German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He is credited with the saying, “Less is more.” His post World War I designs show his minimalist approach, using modern materials like steel and glass plates to create minimal structural framework, allowing for lots of open space.

The third influence is traditional Japanese design. The simplicity of their designs came from idea of only having what is essential. Anything not needed was seen as a distraction and was omitted. Their architecture, interior design and clothing all reflected the principals behind minimalism.

Minimalism in Modern Design

Minimalism has penetrated virtually every corner of life and is apparent all around us — from the sleek design of the smart phone we use, to the cars we drive, to the internet and websites we use, and to visual designs we see and interact with every day.

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Digital Art

Digital art can be regarded as original, creative work developed on a digital computer and created and/or presented by some form of digital technology. The term digital art extends to a wide variety of works and ways of working. Digital art can be generated completely by a computer, derived from a previously existing source, or exist as an image. Digital art is developed by using digital hardware tools such as, a mouse, a graphics tablet, or a projector and software such as, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and FinalCutPro. From a technical standpoint the term digital art might also be used to describe artwork accomplished using traditional media as in paint, wood, metal and or processes as in painting, printmaking, sculpture which are then scanned, photographed, or videotaped to make a digital replica. However it is accomplised, the term digital art is most accurately applied to artwork that has been created through computing technologies. 

Traditional vs. Digital Art

Traditional Art 

The term ‘traditional arts’ refers to fine arts that use the old methods for creating artwork, such as pens, brushes, clay and other tools.  Although traditional arts have different techniques than digital arts, the different forms of art are still related to each other by the same concept. There are two elements that all traditional artworks have in common: It can be touched  it’s made of physical materials and It’s “one of a kind”— it can’t be copied without creating it all over again. 

Digital Art 

In the digital environment we don’t have wood, charcoal, or paint. Everything is the same — just in a combination of 0’s and 1’s translated to a visual form on the screen. These 0’s and 1’s can simulate any medium you can imagine.  Allthough digital art is not bound by the rules of traditional art, it often simulates it to give the user something familiar and to make the whole process more intuitive for the artist. Early digital painting programs were based on coloring the pixels with a mouse, but today they offer much more. The digital paint blends naturally and can be mixed and is usually applied with a special stylus on a graphics tablet. 

The History Of Digital Art

The Era of the Pioneers” (1956 to 1986) 

In this time frame are many of the earliest known experimenters in digital art. Many of these investigators were not artists by training, but engineers and scientists. It is certain that their collective visual explorations were essential to what was an emerging medium literally outside of the attention of the general public. At this point in the development of digital art the experimental writing of computer programs was central to most of the work produced during this era, as “off the shelf” software simply did not exist. Computer displays were monochromatic and computer-based printing technologies were nearly non-existent. 

“The Paint Box Era” (1986 to 1996) 

It is in this era of digital art that commercial software became available to the general public. The release of these applications did not create an immediate flood of graphics programs into the market, but there was a slow and steady development of consumer software that had never before been available to the non-programming public.  These early commercial applications attracted artists to the field of computing who were not trained primarily as programmers or engineers. It was these “early adopting” visual artists who had the vision and the experimental fortitude to create electronic works that could be accomplished without deep programming knowledge. It is during this era that the “paint program” made its first appearance bringing with it the introduction of the pixel to visual artists. Additionally, this is a time when the first affordable computers were introduced into the market. An example of this was the Apple II computer (sold in 1976 for $1300.00 US) developed by Steve jobs and Steve Wozniak is considered by many researchers to be the first true personal computer brought to the general marketplace. Finally, this era also saw the introduction of devices such as the scanner and the mouse. In this time frame the computer became part of society throughout much of the world. The personal computer, the software, and some useful and interesting devices were now in the hands of artists.   

“The Era of Multimedia” (1996 to today) 

Within this era digital artists were moving deeply into new forms of imaging through the GUI (graphical user interface). The application “Photoshop” came into being in the early 1990’s and photography has never been the same.  Along with the general public, artists also entered the exciting new space offered by the Internet, and interactive art, and the countless options offered by other commercialized forms of digital media became a significant focus for many creative investigations. During this period digital art became more and more of a common area of study in academic art programs, in museums, and into the public consciousness. In the early 21st century it is clear that the great expansion of computer gaming, online art forms, digital media, digital photography and videography, web design, and virtual worlds have opened the public and media consciousness in various ways and forms. Digital art in its many forms is now available to anyone with an Internet connection, and has in this way become nearly present everywhere. 

How Has Digital Art Revolutionized Art?

In the 21st century digital technology has become a powerful force in nearly every part of life, from art to science, to communication, to entertainment, and to navigation. The impact of various digital tools and techniques has also spread to the art world internationally as well. Within this technological revolution, digital art has become a necessary part of some institutional and educational environments. In art culture, work made through digital means has had a dramatic impact over the last 15-20 years and will continue to make an impact for years to come.

Why is social media important for your business?

There was a time when social media was considered by some as a passing fad. Something that “the kids” were using that businesses could never really benefit from. Over time, the skeptics were proved wrong. There are over 3 billion internet users and over 2 billion of them have active social media accounts. Social media generates a huge amount of data about your customers in real time. Every day there are over 500 million Tweets, 4.5 billion Likes on Facebook, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram. Behind these numbers is a significant amount of information about your customers — who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand. When you have a presence on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you and by connecting with your customers on social media, you’re more likely to increase brand awareness and brand loyalty.

Brand Awareness

Social media proves to be a powerful tool when it comes to growing your brand awareness. Every single step that you take to increase brand awareness will impact the overall growth of your business in the long run. Increasing brand awareness requires a number of steps to be effective though. Here are some steps you can use to boost brand awareness:

Find Your Audience: Before you start focusing on a particular social platform, find out what your target audience is on. You can do this by searching for relevant conversations about your product or industry.

Use Visuals: Once you know where your target audience is, it’s time to grab their attention by using eye-catching visuals with your content. Images and videos are a great way to help grow your brand awareness on social media channels.

Create Conversations: Social media is all about building conversations. Talk, listen, and get involved with your customers to showcase your personality.

Measure Your Efforts: Use the tracking tools provided by the platforms (such as Facebook Page Insights), along with other external tools like URL shorteners, Google Analytics, etc. to measure your activity on social media.

Build Authority: If you want a higher engagement rate along with better brand awareness, then work on building your authority by sharing real value.

Increasing Brand Loyalty

The vast majority of your customers are glued to their mobile devices each and every day and within seconds can land on any one of your social media channels in an attempt to better understand your company and ultimately your reputation. What that potential or current customer sees on social media, whether it’s a review, negative comments, or just how you are interacting with and treating fans and followers, can make or break their decision to do business with you. Some ways you can use social media to build and increase your brand loyalty include:

Telling Compelling Stories: Sharing relevant content that interest your fans and followers. It can range from important industry news, highlighting your employees, or telling compelling stories around your products or services.

Listening to and engaging customers: Customer service has a tremendous impact on brand loyalty. If your customers feel you actually care about them and value their feedback, they will stick around.

Rewarding Your Loyal Customers: Offer incentives, have a prize giveaway, or create a reward program. You can even offer exclusive deals or special discounts specific to only those who follow you on certain social media platforms.

Running Periodic Contest: Contests are a great way to grow your customer base, but they can also excite your existing customer base at the same time and encourage brand loyalty.

Boosting Brand SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

With the number of people on social media and its worldwide reach, social media is a great way to build your web presence and quickly build an audience. If you want to be found among the millions of sites on the web (and the 571 new websites being created each minute), you will have to up your social game. The bigger your brand is and the more consumers trust you, the more likely you are to receive a bigger number of clicks in Google. Social media can be a great and efficient way to help you build your brand and get noticed by people who wouldn’t have otherwise found you. Once you start getting more of the share of clicks in Google from your expanded audience, the higher you will start to rank.

Social media doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, if anything it is growing every day. If done right it can prove to be really cost effective. Because as of today, even the paid social media campaigns, such as Facebook ads, are cheaper than other advertising options such as search engine ads. Having social media seems to no longer be a matter of choice if you want to succeed and be noticed. Your business needs it. Every business needs it.