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Fine Art Appropriation and the Culture of Taking

Posted by Rebecca Blake on January 29, 2014

Recently the science and science fiction blog io9 posted on article that hit a nerve with illustrators. In “How a Science Fiction Book Cover Became a $5.7 Million Painting,” Charlie Jane Anders reported on the sale of artist Glenn Brown’s 1994 painting, “Ornamental Despair (Painting for Ian Curtis)”. What hit a nerve with illustrators is that the painting is a faithful copy of scifi illustrator Charlie Foss’ cover art for Isaac Asimov’s book Stars Like Dust. In light of continuous highly publicized cases of fine artists appropriating and profiting from the work of illustrators and photographers (Richard Prince, Shephard Fairey, Jeff Koons, etc), the ire is warranted. However, as with any circumstance that inflames, it’s advisable to take a closer look at the facts of the case.

Web Design Trends for 2014

Posted by Rebecca Blake on January 26, 2014

It’s the first month of the year, and all our favorite web gurus and resources have been issuing their predictions for 2014. The opinions range, of course; an expert in responsive design is going to identify different innovative trends than a developer working on creating a new content management system. But in reading through the slew of advice, certain predictions keep cropping up: flat design, increase in video and motion, importance of design for mobile devices, return of scrolling, and increased use of SVG.

2013: Laying the Groundwork for Copyright Review

Posted by Rebecca Blake on January 23, 2014

In “A Look Back at Copyright Review in 2013,” Terry Hart of the Copyright Alliance outlines the groundwork which could provide a basis for a fundamental review of US Copyright Law. In March of 2013, Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante issued a call for a comprehensive overhaul of US copyright law. The House Judiciary Committee on the topic made copyright review a high priority, and scheduled numerous hearings throughout the year. Other government agencies were also very active in the copyright review arena. The Department of Commerce released “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation on the Digital Economy”, which gave a substantive review of copyright law. The Copyright Office also released two reports on copyright issues, one recommended the establishment of a small claims court, and a second which recommended the establishment of a resale royalty on original works of fine art. 2014 promises to continue to be an active year in copyright review.

Is that a Cell Phone in Your Leotard? — How Superheroes Use Social Media

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 30, 2013

Ed Shems, the illustrator behind EdNedFred (and former Boston Guild President), has answered a question for today: How would superheroes use social media? Shems’ answer spans the world of social media, from picture sharing to status updates. For example, in the superhero universe, Batman pauses during a particularly satisfying bust to take a selfie, Superman is outed as Clark Kent when his cell phone responds to a text from Lois, and Spiderman (poor Spidey!) doesn’t have many Facebook Likes.

Too Close for Comfort: the Pitfalls of Designing your Own Identity

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 27, 2013

Jord Riekwel, the proprietor of the design firm Larkef in the Netherlands, has written a thought-provoking article on the pitfalls of designing your own logo. Although he is a logo designer by trade, Jord discovered that he was at an impasse in designing his own identity. His take-away: “Invest money in good design. Hire a proper logo designer, web designer, copywriter, or photographer. You won’t regret it.”

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