This morning the Today Show reported on the AWARE (AWAreness during Resuscitation) study. The study is trying to determine if people really do have out-of-body experiences (or if it’s just a mind trick) and what the implications of a true out-of-body experience are. Involved in the study are 25 major medical centers throughout Europe, Canada, and 2 hospitals in the United States.
As part of the study a special monitor is placed on a coding patient to determine the amount of oxygen perfusion in the brain; a picture is also placed on a shelf above the bed in each hospital room. The shelf is high enough that the picture can’t be seen from floor level, and the idea is that someone would see the picture if they were having a true out-of-body experience. I wonder what was chosen for this picture, or maybe its just a sign that says:
“You are dead!
Option A: Go toward the light
Option B: Go back to your body and tell us you saw this sign”
It will be interesting to see what the study unearths. Will it confirm the possibility of life after death, or just open a host of new questions? Either way it reminds of the movie Ghost Dad with Bill Cosby. The UK Resuscitation Council, the Horizon Research Foundation, and the Nour Foundation in the United States are supplying funding for the study.
Disney: The Music Behind the Magic 1928-Today, an exhibit held at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, “explores the integral role that music has played in every facet of Disney’s success, from animation and film to TV, radio and Broadway, as well as the record label’s key songs, composers and performers, and their impact on popular music and culture.”
The exhibit starts with the earliest musical works from Disney including the “birth” of Mickey Mouse with his debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928 and covers the 80 years since then. Through the exhibit you will see (as described by the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington):
More than 65 rare artifacts, including animation storyboards, musical charts, rare recordings, sound effects equipment, Mickey Mouse Club outfits, and costumes from theatrical productions such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.
Five interpretive films, all of which are being made specifically for the exhibition and feature Disney artists and experts with excerpts of Disney films to illustrate key points:
- The first film explores Disney’s innovative musical storytelling in its early animations, from Steamboat Willie to Bambi.
- The second film examines the critical role of music in Disney’s animation renaissance in the late 1980s, starting with The Little Mermaid; it features filmed interviews with composers Alan Menken and Phil Collins, film critic Leonard Maltin, and other Disney historians.
- The third film looks at the music and making of Mary Poppins, the pinnacle of Disney’s live-action musicals. It includes interviews with the film’s composer, Richard Sherman, as well as other Disney artists and experts.
- The fourth film considers Disney’s musical legacy, exploring its influence and impact on popular music and culture
- The fifth film is a 15-20-minute overview of Disney music shown in our theater and introducing visitors to the exhibit themes and narrative.
Four exciting interactives designed to create hands-on experience for visitors of all ages:
- Name-That-Disney-Tune is a game show in which four contestants or teams test their knowledge of Disney melodies, lyrics, composers and performers.
- Sound Effects Challenge has four visitors work as a team and use Foley equipment to create and record the sound effects for one or two Disney cartoons, then watch the results to judge their future as sound effects experts.
- Remix Disney Hits is a chance for visitors to remix hit songs by Walt Disney Records artists and then compare their mix to the original release.
Wonder Mine did a great job in designing this traveling exhibit. It was laid out nicely, created some good background visuals for the experience, and was very informative – Did you know that in 1937 doctors warned parents that watching the color cartoon Snow White would damage their kids eyes permanently? If you want to experience this exhibit, hurry, it closes at the Norton on September 6th.
There are four “C’s” that you are told to look for when you pick out a diamond – Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat – but no one tells you what to look for when you decide (or design) what logo will represent you and your company to the world…until now.
The need to address this came to me today as I was trying to incorporate a client’s, shall we say underdeveloped, logo into a design. This logo is so bad it hurts my brain, but what can I do? I have to incorporate it into the prescribed design requested by the client. In order to ease my future pains, I present to you – clients and designers alike – a simple guide to the five “C’s” of logo design:
Color: The colors chosen for your logo can say a lot. Think about the feel that you are looking for in the logo design. If the look is “retro” maybe look at movie posters from that era. If you’re looking for something in a specific field, check out what colors other companies are using – to stand out use colors that contrast with your competitors. Colorcombos.com is also a great resource if you already have a color in mind and need some help with color harmonies.
Always design your logo with two color schemes in mind – full color & black and white. This applies for you web people, too. Yes, your company is online only, but one day you may need to photocopy something with your logo, or maybe decide to sponsor an event that requires you to dumb down the colors to only black and white. Do it at the beginning so you don’t frustrate yourself later on.
Clarity: Whether your logo is text based, graphics based, or a combination, you want your message heard, or read, with understanding. If your message is lost within itself no one will get it. This doesn’t mean you have to shy away from a complex logo if it is the right solution to your branding goals, just keep the focus on what your message will be. Have you seen the logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Look at it closely and you can see that the logo shape actually forms “2012,” but don’t look to long or you might start convulsing. The metaphor is lost in the goat rodeo of color and shape.
Composition: Balance. Balance. Balance. Design 101 comes into play here. Your design does not need to be symmetrical, but it does need to be balanced. Think of a balance scale with weights on it. If you have a one-pound block on one side, and one 1/4 pound block, two1/8 pound blocks, a 1/2-pound block on the other side, it will have more pieces on one side, but still be balanced. The same is true for your design; juxtapose a large single element with a quantity of smaller elements to achieve aesthetic equality.
Compatibility: What is the final output for your logo? Logos get reproduced in arenas that we tend to forget about. Sure your company is solely web based, but one day you may want a sign, a t-shirt, giveaways, awards, billboards, vehicle wraps, or even corporate sponsorship with your prized logo on it. Think about the logo going on these items and ask yourself: What colors look good behind my logo? What color is horrible behind my logo? Should I have a vector logo instead of a raster logo? Hint: always choose vector unless there is a really good reason not to.
Content: What does your logo say – literally and metaphorically? There are some fantastic logos out there that are pure text, and there are some logos that a gorgeous by just being metaphoric. Some of the strongest logos choose to combine these elements. For example look at amazon.com’s logo. Simple text based logo with a yellow metaphoric swoosh. What does that swoosh mean? Well it might be smile, or is it an arrow pointing from a to z?
Now you are ready go forth and choose (or design) a competent logo. With every logo you look at, remember the five “C’s”: Color, Clarity, Composition, Compatibility, and Content. Good luck, and happy branding!
Today I visited my alma mater, The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, for their portfolio review. The work was good as usual. The Industrial Design department had a fairly good showing of design for manufacturing, design process, rapid prototyping, etc. Graphic’s print portfolios were executed with technical skill, and Animation had a good mix of 2D & 3D work. Unfortunately I did not have time to visit every major, or look deeply through many portfolios. What I did see was presented professionally and beautifully. One of the aspects that stood out was the display of cakes that lined the entry wall to presentation room. Though not created by graduates, these fondant-decorated creations from the Advance Pastry & Display Class led by Chef Peter R. Babcock were a welcome addition to the day. Congratulations to the all of the Spring 2009 graduates!