Monday, June 25, 2012

13.1 Miles of Free Advertising

Issaquah, WA- The Taylor Mountain Trail Run was held this past weekend in the Issaquah Alps of Washington state.  A grueling 13.1 mile course was plotted out on which participants had the option of running either a 5 mile loop, a half-marathon, a full marathon or, for the truly insane, a 50k trail run (this being the half-marathon course twice plus the five mile loop tacked on after that).  Seeing as I am only partially insane, I opted for the half-marathon run and utilized the opportunity to get some free -but not so easy- advertising for my website.  So I made a t-shirt and hit the trail.

The Tee Shirt (pre-race)

   The single lane trail chosen for the race consisted of three river crossings, steep uphills (netting 2,000 feet in elevation), and treacherous downhills that took down even the most experienced trail runners.  In addition to the ludicrous topography of Taylor Mountain, typical Seattle weather decided to show up a full two days prior to the race, cascading copious amount of rain on the trail.  The final tally was said to be over an inch of rainfall, which when added previous rainy days, easily blew away June's monthly average in just 48 hours.  The result: deep mud puddles spent the day impartially splattering runners and trying to suck the shoes right off their feet.
   Here are some before/after pictures:

What my shoes used to look like.
Stretching out the legs with my "sponsor" gracing my shirt.
Two and a half hours later, legs cramping up at the finish line.
The mud covered shoes.
    Running the half-marathon, up and down the mountain, was a physical and mental challenge to say the least. In retrospect, of course, I had a great time slopping through the mud for a couple of hours; slugging it out against the terrain; motivated and determined by the desire to get the most mileage out of the mobile advertisement on my back. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cardboard Chromatics: An Economic Draftsman Story

Peculiar was the day in the Pacific Northwest.  Ordinarily consisting of the perpetual peppering of a light and misty rain, this day, the heavens opened up as a torrent of thick showers coupled with the ever elusive thunderclap.  The artist was feverishly working in his lonesome studio, with a thought slowly creeping up his spine...climbing and retreating...ebbing and flowing...alas, lurching into the back of his mind settling into a parasitic slumber leaving the artist had no choice but to stop working and track the order online.

Where are those supplies I ordered last week?

A moderately melodious, cannonade of click, tap tap, click clack emanated from the studio walls until a diminutive  A gloomy animated GIF performed its stationary spiral routine on the unnatural glow of the computer's bleak and vacant display of a browser window.  Loading...loading...loading...

The artist, all too familiar with the temperamental nature of his internet service during inclement weather, began cursing it under his breath as he set out for the journey down the hallway to reset the modem.  Creaking sounded with each step as if the floor boards were caught off guard by the sudden and unexpected burden of carrying the inhabitant of the house.  With the modem reset -and router for good measure- the artist began to make the trek back to the studio, floorboards groaning all the while, until an unfamiliar noise came from downstairs.  The artist stopped cold in his tracks effectively ceasing any complaints from the ground beneath his feet.


ClinkClunk...ClinkClunk...ClinkClunk...CLINKCLUNK!  THUNK...BuMMP.BuMMP.BuMMP.BuMMP.BuMMP!

Another soul was rapping at the door.  The artist shook himself from the temporary paralysis that came on like a freight train with the sudden surprise of the pounding, nimbly tip-toeing to the asylum of his studio where his computer was just now re-establishing its internet connection.  Click...refresh...and the tracking information was promptly displayed......

Parcel delivery confirmed (left on front porch).

The artist, laughing at himself, calmly descended the stairs to retrieve the delivery, and rescue it from the deluge, peeking though the door's window along the way.  The truck (assuming that a delivery truck would deliver such things) was no longer present as the artist reached the door.  Clunking the deadbolt to rest, a new creaking sound introduced the sonorous storm, formerly known as the repressed resonance. Lightning flashed and a thunderclap (in full surround sound) engulfed the mere humanity of the artist as he gathered up the inanimate packages that lay at his feet.  Awestruck by the sheer force of a sound's ability to shake the seemingly solid earth beneath him, the artist slowly closed the door and punctuated the action with the re-clunking of the deadbolt.

With the storm effectively muted once again, the artist retreated to his studio with the three packages where he gleefully (almost too gleefully) sliced the packing tape with his box cutter to reveal the spoils of his new inventory.  Everything he ordered was laid out systematically across the work bench in neat piles contrasting the slapdash remains of the packaging materials on the floor behind him.  A growing sense of agitation, both at the mess he made and at the wasteful nature of the delivery industry, began to creep up the same avenue of his previous nagging inquiries.

Now what am I gonna do with you?

Box cutter in hand and a full-on maniacal sneer gracing his face, the artist approached the cardboard boxes and began to plunge the blade into the outer seams, slicing downward until the boxes lay splayed open on the work table.  The artist proceeded to methodically cut and slice the box into stacks of smaller pieces.  The cardboard squares and rectangles were organized, precisely stacked and filed away deep in the artist's hidden supply closet where they would stay until the artist called upon by be paint palettes.  One last burst of lightning fought its way though the half closed blinds of the studio; a distant roll of of rumbling carried the heavy rains out over the deeps of the ocean.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The All-Seeing Eye: More Cones, More Colors! (no more disagreements)

Have you ever found yourself in the age-old argument with a friend, loved one or stranger over the color of a random object?  Minor squabbles over hues may become a thing of the past as a small percentage of people have been found to actually utilize a fourth color receptor in addition to the red, green, and blue cones that the rest of us can access.  Unfortunately for men, this extra retinal receptor is almost exclusively associated with those who also have an extra X chromosome (i.e., women).  Check out this article at the Colour Lovers blog to get the scoop and for goodness sake, stop fighting about colors.       

Monday, June 4, 2012

If You Haven't Read This Yet...

The most recent issue of the Guild News quarterly newsletter included an essay by Dave Malouf titled Design Education of the Future.  Being a college educated designer myself, I have to say that I personally endorse the opinions and observations presented by Malouf and consider this essay a necessary direction for our industry: encouraging unity among designers of all disciplines and productive collaboration with each other, educating people inside and outside of the design industry and universally forging a progressive advocacy of our profession.  I must also add that my personal higher education experience materialized many of the ideas and environments proposed in this essay and, in addition, while formally completed in 2007 (Go Peacocks!), my educational program prepared me for a lifetime of continuing education and development as a professional.  In this spirit I am currently reading the Design Education Manifesto in it's entirety, including the pages that are in other languages where I may not understand what the words say, but can still appreciate the design of said pages.   

Design Education of the Future is just one of many essays in the Icograda Design Education Manifesto 2011, which can be downloaded in PDF format at the Icograda Website.