Not Robert Cumberford

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A failed car designer tries to make sense of a flat design world.

A Walk in the Snow

A major storm this past weekend dumped upwards of 20 inches of snow on Philadelphia for the second time this winter, causing major disruptions and cancellations for everyone. Despite this, the timing and absolutely gorgeous weather that followed the storm urged my wife and I to take a little walk around the neighborhood to take in the sunshine.

It was such a perfect day that I wanted to record a video of our little adventure as a memory (my wife is 7 months pregnant), but we don’t own a video camera or even a decent point and shoot with video capabilities. Instead, I decided to use my Canon EOS Rebel XSi DSLR to take the video. Only problem? It doesn’t do video. So I decided to do the whole thing as a stop-motion film, taking more than 1200 still photos and arranging them into the little video you see here. I just dropped them into iMovieHD (yes, the OLD version) and then added the titles in Photoshop Extended (yes, Photoshop does video quite well, thank you). The result is the little 4-minute video you see here.

To get the full effect of using an DSLR to shoot video (which many, or most even, are now capable of), jump on over to YouTube and check it out in full 720p HD.

Sketchbook Pro 2010 announced

©2009 Andrew Meehan

©2009 Andrew Meehan

I’ve been a beta-testing Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro for years now (since version 2), so I’m really excited to see the new version (2010) is getting released soon. Sketchbook is a lightweight, fast, digital sketching software that I use every day in my workflow. If you’ve never tried it, you owe it to yourself to download the free trial here.

There’s also a great article outlining some of the new features coming out in the 2010 release on Autodesk’s AREA. The ellipse and rulers have changed my life.

This is really a great product that not a lot of artists and designers know about, and that’s a shame. So check it out. It’s cheap, it’s great, and you’ll never go back to sketching in Photoshop.

Nobody’s reading this anyway…

…so I might as well say what I’m really thinking, right? I’m changing this blog from a design critique to a more generalized rant about what bugs me – in design and the world in general.

So, first things first. I’m sick of things being done faster, cheaper and “good enough”. I got into this business because it seemed like one of the few places where people still strived for perfection, and now I spend my days trying to crank out design like a sweatshop worker. I’m hoping to end that soon.

My goal is to endorse the “slow work” movement (which evidently exists: www.slowplanet.com/design), in the spirit of the slow food movement. The idea being that my work, like cooking, is best left to simmer to achieve its best result. Can I design a logo or a set of icons in an afternoon? Yes. Should I? No, and shame on you for asking. Yes, it will be cheap, but it will also look that way. If you can’t tell the difference, then you shouldn’t be making the design decisions.

That said, I need to make a living, so I’m going to be going out of my way to find clients who appreciate things done right, clients with attention to detail, clients who care. If you’re one of them, and you’re looking for someone to create a brandmark, icon or illustration for your next project, drop me an email or a comment and I’d be happy to discuss what you’re looking for – maybe over a coffee or lunch?