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Make It Take It Campaign Addresses Packaging Waste

Posted by Rebecca Blake on June 04, 2014

Make It Take It campaign logoAs reported by Jennifer Elks of Sustainable Brands and covered on The Living Principles, a coalition of organizations devoted to addressing waste and recycling issues launched the Make It, Take It Campaign on April 30. The campaign attempts to pressure consumer goods companies into taking responsibility for the packaging waste generated by their goods. The campaign’s goal is three-fold: to pressure companies to change their package design to safe, sustainable materials; to make brands responsible for ensuring packaging is reused, recycled, or composted; and to educate the public on packaging issues and engage them in action.

The campaign’s first target for action is the Capri Sun juice pouch. The pouch is a huge source of litter since it can’t be recycled — its created from a laminate of aluminum and plastic. The public is asked to refuse single-use disposable packaging, and petition KRAFT, the manufacturer of Capri Sun juice pouches, to stop producing such unrecyclable packaging waste. Make It Take It also lists solutions to the packaging waste problem, from utilizing sustainable materials, to redesigning packaging to minimize the amount of material used.

Make It Take It is coordinated by UPSTREAM, a national environmental organization, partnered by eight other organizations: Green America, Texas Campaign for the Environment, 5 Gyres, Natural Resources Defense Council, Waterkeeper Alliance, Clean Water Action, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Eureka Recycling.  Make It Take It is publicing advances in their campaign via their Twitter feed and Facebook Page.

For more information on design and sustainability, we recommend the following resources:

The Living Principles

Sustainable Packaging Coalition

Re-nourish

Below: Make It Take It’s campaign against the Capri Sun juice pouches. Used with permission.

Capri Sun pouch campaign © Make It Take It

Remembering Massimo: SEGD Pays Tribute

Posted by Rebecca Blake on May 29, 2014

Massimo VignelliIconic designer Massimo Vignelli passed away May 27, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of work, from the original branding for American Airlines, to brochures for the National Park Service, to stacking dishware. A hallmark of his aesthetic was an adherence to simplicity and clarity, most notably expressed in his groundbreaking work in redesigning the map and signage for the New York City transit system.

SEGD, the multi-disciplinary organization of environmental designers, has long recognized Vignelli’s impact on the discipline. In 2001, he was named an SEGD Fellow. Upon hearing of his passing, the organization posted an eloquent tribute titled “You Can Design Everything.” In it, they state that Vignelli’s “modernist sensibility lent new clarity to signage and information in public spaces... he stamped all of his work – from his controversial New York City subway map to books and corporate identities and even church pews – with signature clarity, simplicity, and rigor.”

The organization included tributes to Vignelli from SEGD Fellows and his peers in the environmental graphic design community. The memories paint a picture of a visionary who had an impact on the way ordinary people manage their commute, a passionate speaker who balanced eloquence with a delicous sense of humor, and a generous, enthusiastic colleague and mentor.

Top right: Massimo Vignelli at an SEGD conference. Used with permission.

Bonsai Slice: The Twists and Turns in Game Development

Posted by Rebecca Blake on May 27, 2014

Bonsai Slice logo © Playground TheoryIllustrator Joey Ellis has published an eye-opening account of his travails in developing the iOS game, Bonsai Slice (by Playground Theory). The game is fairly simple: players attempt to slice through a variety of objects, assisted by a tree-stump dwelling robot residing in a Japanese garden. Users play the game by making slicing motions with their device, and rack up points, giving them access to a variety of swords. As simple as the game’s premise sounds, the development of the story, characters, and visuals was a labor-intensive, two-year journey. And as Ellis writes, “where you think you'll end up is never ever where you actually end up.”

Initially, the developers explored a number of game ideas. It wasn’t until the mechanics which permitted gamers to “chop wood” by making motions with their iPads were developed that the idea of a chopping game was settled upon. To test the concept, Ellis created crude GIF animations, eventually developing a quick workflow that took ideas from sketch to playable content within a couple days. While Ellis thought Abraham Lincoln might be a suitable character on whom to hang the game’s backstory, the team decided on a quirky robot, Multus, as the main character. The full backstory, game mechanics, rules, and scoring were worked out as Ellis – the art director and sole illustrator – developed the interface graphics. The team soon realized that simplicity was key, rejecting ideas such as a second robot antagonist and streamlining the game’s action.

Ellis’ recounting is a fascinating read that reveals the detail and behind-the-scenes development necessary to game development. His sketches show the thought process that went into minute details, such as the app icon, the weapons, and the library of “fun things to chop.” His development of Multus’ appearance and behavior was meticulous; he even created a “launch screen” – never intended to go into the game – to provide the developers with insight into the robot’s character.

Anyone interested in working in game development, or interested in developing their own app, should read Ellis’ post. It’s a thorough description of an arduous and lengthy, but from all appearances, very fun project. (The project did take a toll; Ellis reports that he’ll “never ever want to do wood texture illustrations ever again.”)

Below: User interface screens from various points in the game, under development. © Playground Theory, used with permission.

Bonsai Slice interface screens, © Playground Theory

Paperwork: The Project Journey

Posted by Rebecca Blake on May 15, 2014

Illustrator's Union logoThe UK-based Illustrators’ Union has created a campaign to help illustrators stay on track in managing their paperwork. Called “The PaperWork Campaign,” the project tranlsates effective project management into simple steps, illustrated as a journey. The campaign breaks a project into four parts: First Contact, Agree to Proceed, Do the Work, and Project Wrap-Up. For each stage except “Do the Work” (which is self-explanatory), key questions and tasks are identified. The campaign covers often overlooked steps, such as setting copyrights and usage rights at the outset, or updating financial records and setting aside a percentage to cover taxes when the project concludes.

The PaperWork Campaign flags key steps with large, hard-to-ignore graphics. Even better, they back each step with a "Why Do This?" justification, followed by more detailed, relevant advice from seasoned professionals. The Campaign articles are liberally peppered with links to more in-depth articles on the zero2illo website, on topics such as “Marketing 101 for Illustrators” and “Managing Your Projects 101.” It’s a valuable resource for anyone structuring their project management workflow, or looking to revisit the systems they have in place.

Image © Illustrator’s Union. Used with permission.

The PaperWork Journey, © Illustrator's Union

Art Licensing: Free Teleclass and Member Discount on Webinars

Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 30, 2014

J'net Smith headshotJ'net Smith of All Art Licensing has announced her Summer/Fall schedule of licensing webinars and teleclasses, and is offering a mix of free and discounted events. Her “Ask J'net” free teleclasses are open to anyone, and are a live phone event in which participants can submit their questions on any aspect of art licensing. Upcoming “Ask J’net” teleclasses are scheduled for May 14 and July 16. Smith has also extended to Guild members a deep discount on her licensing webinars. Her next scheduled webinar is “Character Licensing,” taking place on May 21 from noon to 2 p.m. PDT. The discount code for this webinar can be accessed by logging into Member Central on the top right of our website, and visiting the Professional Discounts page.

The summer schedule of All Art Licensing events is:

Ask J’net Q&A free teleclass
Wednesday, May 14th, 12 noon – 1 p.m. PDT

Character Licensing
Wednesday, May 21st, 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT

Sales & Trade Show Follow Through Techniques that Close the Deal
Wednesday, June 25th, 12 noon – 2  p.m. PDT

Ask J’net Q&A free teleclass
Wednesday, July 16th, 12 noon – 1 p.m. PDT

Designing Product Lines that Manufacturers Want
Wednesday, July 30th, 12 noon – 2 p.m.PDT

Getting the Million Dollar Deal
Wednesday, August 13th, 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT
 

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