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Uniquely The Epitome



Marc Rapp : Inspire others to inspire you



Updated: 2017-11-05T23:22:55.831-08:00

 



A new Domain, Same name

2016-02-26T19:23:19.281-08:00

Uniquely The Epitome



Does constraint positively influence creativity?

2016-01-01T22:32:44.846-08:00

Creativity is the combining of two or more elements in order to synthesize something new. We all demonstrate creative thinking, daily, hourly, minute-by-minute.

We do not judge wether it's a good or bad expression of creativity, but we accept that this expression has resulted in a familiar likeness with this new thing.

With this said; many people and companies presume that there is a process, something repeatable, learnable on a mass scale—predicated on the industrial model, to consistently produce and express creativity with identical success each time. Unfortunately "creative process" is an oxymoron. Creativity is idiosyncratic, rarely pragmatic, and often a result of informed ignorance (another oxymoron). Technique is making a perfect mistake—an unintended discovery, while having honed the technical skills to refine and shape the mistake (or discovery) into something familiar. Technique is what defines the expression of creativity into something useful; acceptable; beautiful, ugly, useless, abstract—

We should also be clear and isolate creativity from art, or art-forms. You do not need to be an artist to express creativity. But artists (in all fields/art-forms) are generally more receptive to receiving external input and thinking, translating it through an art-form, yielding a form of creative expression (writing, music, design, art, sculpting, architecture, fashion, industrial design). Show me anything in this world that wasn't created, by someone. Regardless of their job title or function, artistic ability or skill. The world around us has been shaped and refined through creative expression, for better or worse.

With all I've stated above, and to answer your question specifically; No. These are self-induced allusions and another creative attempt at expressing—expression. It generally depends on the individual, and their ability to receive; interpret; translate; and express their creativity within the external world.

Many people incubate, many rapidly iterate, many work methodically—linearly. But under no circumstances does everyone work the same way. That would be the antithesis of creativity. And limit the diversity of thought and expressions of culture, and humanity as a whole. We'd all be a bunch of self-replicating, unaware bots.

Many people can and do work in teams, but rarely do you ever see one head, and many wrists. If you do, it's because many of the concepts and creative forms have already been decided or expressed in such a way that other's are simply copying a defined technique, not engaging in a creative process.



Updating My Blog

2015-09-22T12:03:26.879-07:00

Hello people on the internet. I have been busy designing, building, creating, making, and running.

I'm also modifying the design of the blog, and should have this completed within the next two weeks.

In the meantime; Feel free to try out a few products I've been working on. Feedback was so positive, that I built a company and brand around the products themselves. The process, brand, and products have evolved organically with lo-fi feedback from people using the web app versions.

DeliEmpire was created to house a series of food apps, available in the App Store soon, that I deployed as sigle page web apps, first.

Feel free to poke around on your mobile, tablet, or desktop and let me know what you think.

SandwichDial

SeafoodDial

PairingDial (recipes are not active)



History of design

2014-03-26T08:45:14.026-07:00

I was asked on Quora, What is the history of design?
Which was followed by a video that proposed it knew the origin, as if it were a succinct, concise point in time. I'm not going to post the video, but I find these types of broad and over generalized answers really confuse people. And in some cases, they convolute the means to understanding what design is.

Design is a function, not a specific form.

This is a very broad question. The video referenced juxtaposes Design with Art, as a lot of the speaker's references are not examples of Design. They're overly-generalized examples of art, architecture, and later, design.
These types of videos confuse the terms for people.

Everything is considered an art-form, but under no circumstances is one form definitively art. If we replace the word art with design, the previous statement is still true.

Design, as defined through it's etymology originates from to word designate.
This is why we preface design functions with more discriminate titles: Fashion Designer; Graphic Designer; Industrial Designer; Interior Design; User Interface Designer. The prefix denotes context for a type of design.

Function has now been given a form.
The function of design is to solve problems.
Art does not require function.
If you're one of those people who are interested in learning the/a history:
Start with history—itself, and then art-history. I would suggest starting with what's considered contemporary design thinking, and work your way back.

Art with an objective subsequently becomes design.



Flexible identity and dynamic identity

2014-03-26T11:22:07.196-07:00

What is the difference?

In my professional opinion; nothing.
They're both over-intellectualized representations of contemporary identity creation practices.

Using a graphic to house, contain, float behind, or otherwise contrast a symbol or corresponding graphic does not present information to the audience any differently upon initial inspection.

Broadcast designers have utilized these techniques for many years. And, in my opinion, should probably be considered the inventors, or at least, the designers who refined the method.

There is always a fixed mark, icon or corresponding graphic, which becomes actually a logo as focal-point. Despite the intent or definition someone gives it, it's still a logo.

If I added a silhouette of a car behind nike's swoosh, does that automatically make it fluid? Is nike perhaps now effectively promoting a new extension of their brand? I don't think so. Varying the background element or the mark itself based on the context of specific messaging, is not a new design model. It's simply new jargon.

Don't cling too tightly to their definitions. In the case of design, consider the notion of a fluid/dynamic identity a result of the contemporary graphic designer's adjusting identity systems through evolving media platforms.



Agency Compensation Arrangements

2014-03-26T08:22:42.763-07:00

Can we bill based on contingency-based arrangements?

No, not in my experience.
Who would agree to such a structure—based solely on emotional responses and an individual's unique perception of each brand experience?

The logical fallacy in this question is: Brand equity is not quantifiable. Branding is not enduring. While a brand name may be persistent, the perception and definition of it, changes over time. It should, in order to stay relevant.

Brand is associated with a unique, narrowed perspective. Equity is associated with a finite number broadly applicable to a base set of values. Even with a floating arrangement, it's still not quantifiable to X. And what's the contingency? Someone remembers an ad or makes a sale? If so, now let's apply the varied media components to X. All channels are not trackable because there is no way to know when a message exceeds it's originating channel. And it would be a huge liability to brands and agencies, if it were. We should never want that information captured.

Top-of-mind is what it really comes down to for branding. Its strength is in the emotional responses of individuals. Remedially, social media provides a degree of sentiment tracking. And this is considered top-of-mind by contemporary standards, which translates to neo-branding.

Yes, and this may be a solution.
I've written and mentioned this before; Agencies should go into licensing agreements for the content they create. Brands can then choose to re-run creative through media channels and pay as they go, versus flat rates and hourly fees. Perhaps an upfront production cost can be arranged, but creative can be licensed and syndicated. Which allows for the extension and development of existing creative to new media channels as they emerge.

In the long-run however, it's pointless to consider branding beyond the logo and a few key thoughts. It's plausible to assume that intelligent delivery mechanisms/agents will be handling the direct messaging for products and services with vendors being selected based off a merit/reputation-based system. Preferably automated to avoid gaming the system.

Branding will has become very abstract as it's created on the fly to meet the needs of the one, versus the many.
Display advertising already gives us a dose of this.



Securely yours,

2013-11-29T08:25:07.050-08:00

With recent events, involving government and hackers alike, I'm disturbed by the amount of rhetoric circulating online the perpetuates the notion that Free services or products mean a trade-off or the sacrifice of your privacy. Both as an individual and consumer, privacy should never be treated as a commodity. But of course, it's being marketed that way.

Free does not make for consent of an invasion of privacy. In-fact; free has given us the tools and technology we now have, and use to violate one's privacy. This is abusive behavior, plain and simple. And there is absolutely no reason or justification for this violation. I am amazed by the marketers, creatives, technology companies, and security companies themselves who, while it's a clever quote, epitomize the aggressive behavior of:
"The more free software you use, the less free you are".
However, it's unfortunately true, if you've been paying attention to the news these past few years.

Many articles and pundits posit this premise—curiously, it parallels another passive aggressive notion:
A women's provocative dress will undoubtedly lead to harassment—what did she expect? The woman is to blame...
I'm certain no reader of this post or pundits respectively, support this thought. It's certainly a disgusting way to perceive the world.

Let's be a little more proactive, less reactive, and most importantly less passive aggressive about systems that are designed to abuse the very users it purports to help. Unfortunately, these articles and pundits perpetuate the tired cliché and tyranny of dead ideas that continually plaque the newer entrants into the web as a marketplace, namely: Pay-to-play is the only way to play.

If you're just another iterative product or labored xerox-copy in the market, I suppose your alternatives are limited avenues of profit earned by selling people's information. If so-this is not credence to invade your prospect's privacy and continually force user behaviors onto them.

Free, or a loose presentation of free, is very good for ideas, products, and services in general. Society benefits the most. It's a model that isn't be capitalized on because most people refuse to understand it as a new model. I'm doubting those who claim to have tried.

Teach and inform with selling as an extension thereafter.
Try being a reputation protector. The web is still very young. We have plenty of time to find solutions to this type of behavior.

Securey yours, Anon



Google Web Designer : My First HTML Banner AD

2015-10-08T08:23:34.237-07:00

My First HTML Banner AD and its Source files I decided to give +Google Web Designer the 'late night try'. This is either going to be very easy, or very difficult. It was very easy—28 minutes of easy. I spent the majority of my time within Photoshop creating image assets. The animator/keyframer works as expected, and I would say it's easy to understand for those familiar with these toolsets. I think some people may have some trouble looking for things like: 'Import picture file' 'Delete Layer' After initially scanning the tools, I figured image files were drag + drop, and removing an item from the stage was as easy as selecting it and using the delete key on your keyboard. My Immediate issues: 1. Most important: Once I published my banner ad, GWD would not open the source file and allow me to re-edit the code. It gave me an error twice. So, I modified my code in Coda. 2. Buttons should be easier to make. This includes over-states and animations that require rollovers. I gave up and simply added the link through Coda. If Google is going to be pushing this as a tool for making banner ads, I'd suggest making that process easier for the new user. Clients love their buttons... 3. The Scroll Bar for the layers/scrubber is on the far right, while the layers are on the far left. It's an idiosyncratic gripe, but it's a huge gesture to move left-to-right constantly ;) 4. a Initially, I presumed I could select/embed fonts from within GWD. But have since convinced myself I'd rather do this through a code editor. Type choices are limited to the typical and ubiquitous screen fonts. The down-side is that when you've created an ad with one typestyle, and then switch it after publishing, it changes alignment and design patterns. 4. b Type was converted to an image for animation. The type is not HTML, it's a graphic. I can think of a few reasons for doing this, but the best reason for not doing it is; Crisp type on screen, and lower file sizes. However, I cannot prove that file sizes increase without having actually placed this on an ad-server. 5. I centered my banner ad by hand. I could not easily find a way to do this. But remember, I spent a total of 28 making this. 6. Lots of code... I wanted to separate and create isolated files, but it looks like GWD has their own JS, so I left if for now. I don't need the bandwidth issues. :) It's deceptively simple to use. Making websites will be a breeze for beginners, and I suspect a lot of people will fall in love with the ability to create their own web experiences with Google Web Designer. You can download the source files here, if you're interested in taking a look at the code base. More than I expected.[...]



My challenge so far: writing

2013-10-23T21:12:52.689-07:00


I'm currently trying my hand at it (well, for almost two years, on a super personal project), so this rhetoric comes from a beginner:

Writing Sci-fi is difficult. The future is expected to be perfect or better than, so you're forced to juxtapose contemporary drama over it. It's easy to create new-fangled gadgets and inventions from the perspective of the physical world, but when trying to include–say, a higher-state-of-conciousness over humanity, you can lose the reader easily or pontificate more than you should.

You can only create based on what's been done before, anything truly new is too abstract for most people to relate to. Good contemporary writing, in my opinion, is just a few footsteps from where we are currently, despite the timeline of your universe.

And that can get boring. Any thoughts or advice?



Generic Rules for Typography

2013-04-23T09:30:03.897-07:00



Concordance is the most common rule that I'm aware of. But most importantly, balance and symmetry in the blocks of copy they create.
When objectively defining type pairs, I think it's important to consider the type of content, space it's being seen in, and the message it's communicating.
There is not a generic rule. And I'm confessing to a crime I repeatedly commit: I shot the serif.



A logo's impact on a person

2013-04-20T17:00:04.198-07:00



A logo is the introduction, and the sign-off. Nothing more than familiarity, thereafter.

It is the epistemological value most associated with a brand, and how the person has experienced the idea, product or service (ips) of a brand. I consider it to be the single-minded key thought an individual has about an ips. This is not the single-minded key thought an advertiser broadcasts to them, but the one they have after they've experienced the ips, for themselves. It's how a person sums up this experience in their mind, how they recall it, and how they gauge it against other experiences. This is what it eventually becomes.

I'll add, like all introductions: A logo should be clear, terse, unique and respect the prospect or its own content. And like a good sign-off, know when it's time to go, and how to do it in a memorable way, without offending. If you're lucky, you're a company that teaches and informs, with selling only as an extension thereafter. In this case, a logo can take on emergent qualities that begin to resemble metaphors for people. It's at this stage that someone tries to infer or inject these metaphors into the logo. In my experience, this is a bad idea.

Logos are often tasked with to much information in an effort to say everything a company thinks, does, or feels, but we know that's not how we make introductions to people in casual or candid settings. Someone notices us, we make eye contact, we've got 1 or 2 key things of note to say, and then we listen (or vice versa). A good logo is an identifier first and foremost. At best/worse, it's a contrast to what may already be out there.

Having said this, and in an attempt to make this a cohesive thought: The impact of a logo is relative to the context it's experienced in.



My Role as Designer

2013-07-22T13:01:37.057-07:00



I do not believe roles should always be adhered to, or rigid in executional aspects. Especially given that seasoned designers have learned a great deal more about design and have the ability to overalp, negating the need for other positions.
A model should be defined and built around the team itself, and the objectives that need to be met in order for the work to be a success.
There are a lot of hybrids these days, both as fulltime employees and contractors. And clients don't know how and unfortunately, some managers couldn't effectively evaluate process and structure without someone having already defined one for them. Which is to say, when it's new, there is nothing to gauge it by. Be willing to be new. It's what clients are paying for.

Roles typically depend on the size of the project, the amount of people that need to approve it, and how marginalized a team's abilities are in an effort to create a factory assembly line for design. There is a belief that a designer is simply a hand, while 10 people are the head. This is destructive, and usually hinders, if not squashes, new design patterns and techniques. A designer is a problem solver, first and foremost. If the information used to inform the design is constantly changing, then the design should be re-evaluated in contrast with the new information. Put another way, personal opinions have no place in the design process, and arbitrary comments guide nothing.

I highly respect the roles people play, but I appreciate when they're given the ability to look at and participate in other aspects of the same problem. Ideas and solutions can come from anyone, but it's usually one or two wrists who become responsible for creating it, and in some cases, fixing it. Once there is actually something tangible to look at; the real thinking begins. Stick to the facts and information, try not to infer or inject personal tastes into your branding and marketing.




My identity is my work

2013-04-19T06:12:02.676-07:00



I was recently asked about my personal identity—if I have one; how often it's updated; the process behind it.

The short, concise answer:
My work is my identity.


My rationale:
The last thing I want a perspective client to think is: It's a nice style.While many designers capitalize on styles, I prefer to use design as a toolset for solving problems relative to their respective challenges, versus capitalizing on styles. I've never invested in my own identity as a brand or logo. I have a DBA that I use occasionally, but its been simplified to a lifeless mark. In a sense, in an attempt to appeal to all, its evolved by removing attributes—not adding.

Styles are transparent as new design begets new design. As business and technological problems evolve, design and the communication arts must follow in order to remain contemporary. Thus, we have new styles emerge as a solution to a unique problem. And then homogenized by others in an attempt to solve a similar problem. Or a client themselves may assume it's infallible as a solution.

For better or worse, old and new, abstract or literal, illustrative or computer generated—my work is my identity.

My pitch:
And most importantly; my clients don't need styles. They need unique and idiosyncratic solutions to their respective problems. If they've subscribed to style as a solution, we should reevaluate their problem(s) and give the problem more analytical thought. This does not include problems that require an existing market to learn about a new idea, product or service. In this case, it's normal to introduce an evolution on what's existing in an attempt to migrate slowly versus abruptly. Software and UI design may call this gradual engagement. Principally speaking, this is very similar.

The truth:
Having said the above, graphic design does employee a basic and remedial, all though fundmental, set of rules that all designers employ. This could be considered by some to be a style, but it's more or less the equivalent of stating; all architecture requires engineering, craftsman, and interior designers.

People often lump artists, illustrators, designers, photographers, and graphic designers into one group. This creates a lot of confusion because, an artist can certainly have an identity based off of their unique styles or techniques. But the end-result of their work isn't always commercial application. And so, they cater to the surveyor whom may simply love their work as it is with no expectations for what 'it should' or 'could be.' Design is considered an art-form.

There is one formula with endless results.



The Interface Strikes Back

2013-03-01T21:41:46.449-08:00



A client recently hired me to create a few options to an extremely dense web-based Saas app. This is a small design job, a lot of pixel pushing and color models. Sometimes fun, depending on the application's theme, if it has one. If it doesn't, I often pretend it does. Here are a few recently completed.

Some of the design criteria was focused on leaving the grid the same size as it's current width and height. This meant pixel width and height were finite. Tight rows and narrow columns. A few of the options below—explore typefaces as well as color and contrast.

(image)
Skywalker

(image)
Stormtropper

(image)
AT AT Walker

(image)
Chewbacca

(image)

Typical



I Heart Logos

2013-02-24T13:10:58.479-08:00


(image)

It's not easy getting one of your pieces published. I was recently humbled by learning that I have four logos published in "I Heart Logos", Vol. 3. It's an amazing privilege being featured along side talented designers from around the world. Pick up a copy if you're around a bookstore. In this day and age, it's nice to have some analog memories.

Check out I Heart Logos→ website for some amazing work by hundreds of talented designers.



We Heart Ads

2013-02-12T21:31:46.032-08:00


(image) (image) (image) (image)



Technological things to come–maybe

2012-10-01T09:38:47.336-07:00

Security and Authenticity will be the new commodityThe Web/Cloud is posed to resolve and de-throne the hucksters within this area of expertise. And Google has a few things brewing that could be really great for all of us, or really bad. On the other hand, as mobile content and desktop-client software ( or Saas ) continually provide opt-in features where users provide validated and quantifiable data about themselves, we may see extremely concise targeting with messaging and communication. Eventually leading to the end of any/all forms of disruptive or intrusive advertising. Interactive will survive, but I believe the definition of the word needs redefining. The technology that supports these mediums is not as ubiquitous as some would have everyone believe. This is not to say that everyone doesn't have access to the hardware that drives it but, rather understanding the software that controls it. Social marketing works because the message has moved from mouth-to-mouth, beyond the communications effort. It's either become a cultural element for some or a sad joke for others. And if this data isn't protected properly, or for some reason it is breached under the umbrella of a major brand, the medium will die all-together. 

*Insert Announcer Voice*
Reputation Protectors! We'll encrypt your entire life. And sell you back your password, if you forget! (let's hope we don't allow this to happen) Device independenceMobile technology is/has closed a tiny gap between the dichotomy of web users; Searcher and Escapist. In doing so, people do not spend as much time in front of their computers, unless they're working or specifically tending to a few critical tasks. In a sense, they're there to get something done–use the machine as a tool. This gap will be widened again when retail and experiential spaces re-merge as a more engaging way for brands to communicate their ideas and services. You know, because we actually need to see, hear, touch, feel, and express ourselves in the tangible world. Technology will take its place by our waist side. Like most new things, once we've figured out the practicality of the new, we'll begin to reshape it to function more like ourselves versus dealing with the awkwardness of new. I'm not suggesting that the terminal(s) (TV or Computer/Set top box/device X) will lose its place in the home, I'm suggesting it's relegated to a passive experience again. Aging demographics, essentially a maturing person, will alter this a little. It's an X-Factor in my opinion. Brands will have true portals, but they'll be accessed no differently than one changes the channel on their television nowToday, branding can instantly be restructured based on a participant's contribution. Wether positive or negative, a brand can react to the sentiment. I realize that latency in correspondence and response times vary from brand to brand, but eventually (and I hope soon), brands will be operating their own portals. Social networks are obviously too rigid for brands to fully express there ideas, products or services. I've written about this a few times over the years. By nature of the advancement of the mobile space, people spend less time in front of the big screen and more time being mobile. That's the point of smart phones. Subsequently, we may find ourselves with passive media entertainment again, while everything we think about the entertainment or even how we react to it, will be sent to the cloud for aggregation and observation. 'The more free software we use, the less free we are.' Creepy. Anticipate and deliver through aggregation of sentimentAs technology and marketing converge; we slowly g[...]



Opinions suck

2012-09-06T15:27:36.965-07:00



Through an email recently, someone asked me what I thought about a campaign they we're presenting. They wanted to know what I felt about it. And If it needed 'more.'

–felt?

To be honest, I didn't feel anything. Mainly because I was now propositioned to remove myself from the engagement, the experience. I was being asked to step back, and evaluate the work. The problem with this is, consumers don't do that, now do they. I Felt like responding back, "great! you ruined it for me, I can't be excited or inspired or motivated now." Of course, I do this everyday with my work. And all of us wonder how the work will be received by everyone who surveys it. Consumers included. Naturally, I want to sound intelligent now that I've been asked for my 'opinion.' Who wouldn't?

–more?

More–NEVER, less, LESS! Naturally this is, ( as any good-hearted, charming and good looking creative would say ) my response before I've evaluated the work. But then reality sets in. Prior experiences come to mind. I found myself asking: What was in the brief? What did the client say? What did their husband specifically request? Their niece? The girl in media who loves fashion advertising. What does the guy that swivels back and forth in his chair all the time, think? Did his CD like it? What was the single-minded thought? Where is this running?

I thought about all of this before I even looked at the work. Sad, isn't it? Bad training. Never even saw the idea–yet, I had all these concerns before the work even had a chance to amaze or disappoint me. It almost failed because I was more concerned with what everyone wanted it to do instead of what the work was actually going to do. Imagine what goes through the head of our clients. 'Creative process' is an oxymoron. Advertising talks to much. Art requires no explanation. The consumer is stuck in the middle.

Allow the concept to create new context. This in-turn creates relevancy. And offers the client a chance to be little more then what they think they are.

My response to the email; Looks good. I like. Funny.



The Rex Machine

2012-08-06T21:15:26.328-07:00


width="400" height="225" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WoZ2BgPVtA0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>



Condition One: Powerful Immersive Experiences

2012-07-29T19:00:00.702-07:00


Watch the video below or vist their site→ for more information.
It almost seems like the logical way to experience a movie.

src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/43867479" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen>



New UI trends

2012-07-29T19:01:16.952-07:00


I've been utilizing a lot of these types of models within the past 6 months, as I'm sure a lot of other designers are doing. Here a few of the models that have been introduced to the masses with little resistance and a low learning curve.

Dashboards : Top tiered navigational or user initiated functions located in a fixed or anchored position within the environment (memory retention)

Less iconography : Text based navigation elements while icons are reserved for second or third tier subsets of functions located within the main content (progression and regression within the environment forces elements to become smaller or larger based on the depth of the interactive experience)

Interstitials and pagination of content : While subtle elements were used for kinetics within interactive experiences that introduce new information are still popular, we're seeing more content presented in a linear format that is animated in an obvious and recognizable way. This has led to the more open-space design because more content can be served up with less clutter for the user

Device independence : A lot of designs are very neutral in design, development and function because companies have to rebuild and distribute apps across many different platforms. So you want a design that doesn't require a lot of development, production, and redesign for multiple devices. You want consistency and familiarity across every device

Bandwidth : Clean and subtle designs don't take up a lot of bandwidth



Escape The Madness

2012-07-25T18:09:13.094-07:00


I like this YouTube campaign. Will you escape it, or embrace it?

width="400" height="225" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CwrTTbfsCtQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>



Doritos Locos

2012-05-16T19:50:46.313-07:00



width="430" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wECl6-_D8cQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>



Welcome to Life

2012-05-16T19:47:58.428-07:00



width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/IFe9wiDfb0E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>



Ubuntu for Android

2012-02-21T20:09:24.434-08:00



width="410" height="290" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gUXUjjg9qQ0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Phone functionality on your desktop. Corrects the term mobile OS. Nice.