Art & Design

Asao TOKOLO – master of modern pattern designs

Asao TOKOLO - master of modern pattern designs

When the first time I saw his designs, the uniqueness of pattern design immediately draws my attention. Introducing Asao Tokolo. TOKOLO was born in 1969, and studied in architecture design. Now, he work as a part time lecturer in Musashino Art University. His most significant work of design is TOKOLO Pattern Magnet, which is one of the winner entry of Japanesque Modern Collection in 2006.

Japanesque Modern Collection is a collection of Japan made stuffs that uniting the traditional crafts, techniques and culture with the modern technology advancements, which can fit well in modern living lifestyle and also bring international competitive advantages to Japanese industrial works. The stuffs here can be in any genre, including product design, contents, services, systems, environmental and others. I think it is a great honor if one’s design was selected, so big congratulations to Asao Tokolo!

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Graffiti on the streets of KL

Graffiti on the streets of Kuala Lumpur

Last week, when I went to Petaling Streets of Kuala Lumpur with my colleagues to have our lunch, on the way to the restaurant, we saw a lot of new graffiti appeared in many corners. It is really surprising and happy to see them appeared and some of them are meaningful, so I decided to grab my camera and capture some of them.

There are quite a lot of graffiti in streets of Kuala Lumpur actually, from stencil graffiti, throw ups to magnificent masterpieces. The stencils mainly describing the kids with messages like “Rape the wall, not the kids”, “Kidnap cars, not kid” … It reflected the current social issues that happened in Malaysia currently, because brutal rape and kidnap cases was happened frequently which is very sad.

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Stunning Japanese Foliage Photoshop brushes

Japanese Foliage brushes by DesignFruit

Probably you already know this, but I still want to take an opportunity to write about it. The post banner above is done by wonderful Japanese Foliage™ brushes brought to you by DesignFruit. In fact that I used this stunning sets of brushed for my several previous banner designs. The brushes are very high resolution and has a variety of different brushes to play with.

The creator, Jason Gaylor created these designs after being inspired by Japanese-style prints. He offered the Photoshop brushes and PNG free for download, however you need to purchase for the vector file. Feel free to use it for personal stuff, but be sure to read about the license agreements for non personal projects. Below is the example pictures uploaded by himself.

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Cute packaging: Tohato Caramel Corn

cute packaging: Tohato Caramel Corn

Last tuesday after work, I head to one shopping center to look around for magazine and other stuff. Then when I walk pass Jusco supermarket, there held a small exhibition called “2007 Japan Autumn food festival” and I decided to take a look. Well, mostly were food packagings from some well known food maker like Meiji Seika, Lotte, Morinaga and much more. Then, I met this cute packaging, it’s Tohato’s Caramel Corn.

I already knew this packaging from MILK magazine as well as this website which I had covered it before during this “Creative packaging inspiration ~modern & vintage~“. But it’s my first time to see it in real life. The packaging is very cute and attractive! It has many variations of designs for different kinds of flavor. All of them will featured a character with cute expression, together with the food images either inside the character’s mouth or hanging somewhere in the packaging.

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Create 3D extruded text in simple steps

Create 3D extruded text in Illustrator

Actually I found this 3D extruded text effects on a trendy magazine, it looks interesting so I open the Adobe Illustrator CS2 to try it out. I found out that it’s simple to achieve this effect. You can use this technique to spruce up your logo designs so they really pop on your business cards and business promotional items etc. Because this involved 3D extrude effect, so you have to have at least version CS of Illustrator in order to proceed.

At first, type out the text with desired font. In here, I’m using rounded text. Then hit Ctrl+Shift+O to create the outline of the text.

Type out the text

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How to use Star Tool effectively in Illustrator

Star Tool secret tip... unveiled!

Adobe Illustrator’s Star Tool is a tool that not only can create lovely star shapes, it also can create the web badges which is popular right now in web design. To use Star Tool is very simple, just point your cursor to Illustrator’s Tools panel and select the Star Shape icon which grouped together with Rectangular Shape tool.

Then, you can start doing Star shapes by dragging across the canvas. Release the cursor to finalize the shape. It’s just that simple. But what if I want to have more controls to customize my Star shape? In this post I will teach you some essential tips so that you can use the Star Tool effectively.

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Google celebrates 9th birthday

Today early in the morning, as usual I open up the Firefox browser and it loads Google homepage. I saw something different. Yes, it’s the logo! The small “g” transformed into a “9” indicates its 9th anniversary with sweets below. Happy Birthday Google! If you want to take a look on the previous anniversary logo iterations just check out google’s blog.

I always like the Google’s Holiday logos, a little iterations or add ons can really make my day 😀 and creativity can sparks from there. Just click on the link above to check out other nice holiday logos. Previously they also have a special Google logos to honor the author Roald Dahl who wrote the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

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Who has the best Gradient Tool – Photoshop, Illustrator or Flash?

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash is the creative software I used most of the time, and they helped me to illustrate out many ideas. Gradient tool is the tool that I frequently used on them. Although they are from the same company (Flash originated from Macromedia anyway), each of their gradient tool is differently presented. So, in this post I want to compare them, which has better system and which one needs improvement. The “best” I mentioned here combines user friendliness, customization options and adjusting flexibility.

Actually this post is inspired by Bittbox’s “Illustrator Quick Tip: Faster Gradient-Color Adjustments” post. I have the same feeling as him, to be honest I also want to complain about the Illustrator’s gradient tool. But before that, please take a look on Photoshop’s Gradient Tool first. Continue reading

Having fun with Zoom Burst

No this is not Radial Blur effect from Photoshop filter. This is one of the creative photography technique called “zoom burst”. To achieve this effect, you need to adjust the zoom ring of your camera, while holding down the shutter button with shutter speed below than 1/60 sec. So to get a nice zoom burst photo, you need a steady hand, while I’m not :P.

According to Wikipedia, photographs taken with this technique are characterized by blurred streaks emenating from the center of the photograph. This effect is nearly identical to a motion blur image in which the camera is traveling towards the subject. For this reason the zoom burst is typically used to create an impression of motion towards the subject. Besides this effect is great for photo shoots that involves movement for example, sports games like cycling or car racing. Continue reading

I love typography

I have great interests in typography subject since studying in graphic design course. It is amazing that by using a certain typefaces with the placement of the types can create incredible visual language even without the using of images. Typography is actually a very professional skills, because it is not just about selecting the right typefaces, but the layout, the size, the grid and many more.

According to Wikipedia, typography is the art and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type. Type glyphs (characters) are created and modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type is the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing) and letter spacing. Typography can be apply to anything, from displaying text as information to treating text as images. With the aid of digital fonts and design softwares, designers can play with the text freely. Continue reading