Inspiration

Amazing Japan HDR photos by Stuck in Customs

The Bamboo Forest and some great Twitter Lists to follow

Trey Ratcliff, also known as Stuck in Customs, a world famous HDR photographer, was recently visited Japan for travel and photography opportunities. And he posted up a set of Japan photos that he took on his Flickr page and all I had to say is the pictures are stunning and almost took my breath away!

Wow, I really amazed by the colors and the textures captured. Have to be impressed by his creativity and unique eye of photography. Below are some of the shots from the set. Be sure to check out more of his other breathtaking HDR photos at Stuck in Customs.

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A design tips that influence the way I work

A design tips that influence the way I work

When I was still in college studying Graphic Design, I met a lot of lecturers and guest teachers that taught me the problem solving skills and design theories, which are very useful and guided me to create a better design. Many thanks to them. There is one tip that have the most impact on me and actually been influencing me the way I work until now: Pick the most interesting idea, concentrate on it and start develop from there.

This tip actually given by a creative director of a television broadcast company three years ago, when he came to the school as guest lecturer. But before that, I already met him once when I went for interview to get my internship job in that broadcast company. When I show my humble portfolio, he was able to identify the weakness of my work the moment I showed to him. He is very experienced and able to point the weakness immediately as well as giving out idea on how to do it better. I was speechless during the interview and quite impressed with the capability of this creative director.

Then, few months later he came to my school as guest lecturer as mentioned earlier. He showed us about a poster advertisement project and listed out a few ideas that can be used for final outcome. Well as student, we tend to mix some of the ideas and make it a grand outcome, the more the better as we thought. But he said just concentrate on one the most eye capturing idea and you are good to go. Because by just focusing on one idea, the message can be delivered clearly and can be easily remembered by people.

I think this is a very effective way of thinking and I start to remember what he said and try to use it in every project after on. Indeed it helps. And how about you? What design thoughts that you think is very useful and influenced you?

 

Japan web design galleries v2

In 2007, I posted a blog post about 4 Japan web design galleries that worth visiting to introduce web design showcase sites that is from Japan which showcases nice Japanese web designs. Since then, I found more Japan web galleries and would like to add them up to the list.

In my opinion, Japanese websites are nice, clean and functional. I think it’s good to study how they construct the website, dealing with white spaces and typography treatment. Although we can see that there is certain cliches in them but I think perhaps for Japanese, those format are the most functional to them? Below are the 5 web design galleries that I want to introduce today.

S5-Style

S5-Style

Web Selection

Web Selection

Website color index

Website color index

Web Mihon

Web Mihon

Refsign Magazine / BOOKMARK

Refsign Magazine / BOOKMARK

Pretty Boxy

As a designer we always wanted to be creative and think out of the box and breaking the grid. But in my opinion getting boxy in design is actually quite nice and pretty too. Boxy designs give me a feeling of professional, clean, and systematic. With boxes and standard grid, viewers eye can be easily guided which makes surfing website a pleasure experience.

Below are some boxy website examples. What do you think of this kind of web design?

CreativeDepart: Supporting Creative Journeys

CreativeDepart: Supporting Creative Journeys

GOOD

GOOD

Image Spark

Image Spark

Reform & Revolution

Reform & Revolution

TypeNeu: An Odyssey in Typography

TypeNeu: An Odyssey in Typography

S5 Style – Web Design Link

S5 Style - Web Design Link

UX Magazine – The User Experience Magzine

UX Magazine - The User Experience Magzine

Yongfook – Web Producer

Yongfook - Web Producer

Museum Theme

Museum Theme

Explore the Bio-Bak

Explore the Bio-Bak

Recently I stumbled upon this absolutely cute and interesting site call bio-bak. A portfolio for the Dutch web designer Coen Grift, the site was done is flash with huge artwork background and it also have really interesting sound effects and interactive animation that for sure putting some smile in your face. I really like the sound of the back to home button. Definitely a website that worth visiting!

Explore the Bio-Bak

Credits: Guardian.co.uk

These aren’t flash: 5+ sites powered by Ajax/Javascript

These aren't flash: 5 sites powered by Ajax/Javascript

Before Javascript, websites are pretty much static where the whole page refreshes and go to another page. If you want to have some little animations and the information loads within the same page, you will need flash to do. But now with Ajax and powerful Javascript framework like Jquery, Mootools, Script.aculo.us and more, websites can become “flash-like”.

From simple button rollover animation to complex like sliding tab content, Javascript can perform what Flash can do. With Javascript, the visitors interaction with the website become more friendly and interesting, and sometimes will giving “wow” effect too. Recently I spotted a few websites that powered by Javascript and looks really awesome. HTML websites now are no longer static.

Sebcreation

Sebcreation

ARSO // graffiti and design portfolio

ARSO

tap tap tap

tap tap tap

Kobe

Kobe

hören-sehen-schmecken: Startseite

hoeren-sehen

XiMnet

XiMnet Malaysia

Colorful website designs

Colorful website designs

Color is one of the critical aspect in any design field. Different color and give different feeling and meaning and different color combination can give different mood to the viewer too. Great selection of color and make the design memorable, while bad selection of color can bring misconception and disaster to the outcome. So for me, color is a very deep discipline and cannot take it for granted. But today I’m going to show you a selections of colorful websites that displays great example of color usage yet harmony in outcome.

Colorful does not just restrict to bright and cheerful color, for me even combination of cold colors can be considered as colorful too. To create colorful designs, one can use high contrast colors or complementary color to bring out the color sharpness, or by using analogous colors to create a more harmonic tone of colors. Besides, tints, shades, gradient, textures richness also can bring out the sense of color variety too. Ok, enough talking, now let the do the talking instead.

Hanachimiya.jp

Hanachimiya.jp

adproject

adproject

meomi cloud house

meomi cloud house

Ecokids

Ecokids

Electrico – Everybody’s Here

Electrico - Everybody's Here

Vakendod

Vakendod

Hello Sour Sally!

Hello Sour Sally!

Madame Surto

Ecokids

Web Design Rajkot

Web Design Rajkot

Foccaland: Art Director.

Foccaland: Art Director.

Ed Peixoto

Ed Peixoto

Brad Candullo

Ed Peixoto

AdaptD.com

AdaptD.com

Jet

Jet

alisa.mtv.ru

alisa.mtv.ru

Novo Ford Ka

Novo Ford Ka

Free iPhone, iPod Touch wallpaper by Pixel Lab

Free Iphone, Ipod Touch wallpaper by Pixel Lab

Last month I bought an 8GB iPod Touch in order to listen to Learning Japanese podcast when riding train to go work or away from keyboard. I’m absolutely love my iPod Touch very much but certainly it needs cool wallpaper to accompany with. So I stumbled upon this cool site from Pixel Lab, where they release these awesome looking wallpapers for iPhone and iPod Touch, and it’s really perfect for me! 😀

The wallpaper artworks are actually from their various works, for example the Hard Typographic Artwork Series. I like particularly the third series which is Tree, the treatment of the visual manipulation and playfulness of typography just lovely. The first series: Human and second: Flower are cool too.

Hard Typographic Artwork Series

An eye opener

Surfing into Pixel Lab’s blog is truly an eye opener to me. Pixel Lab is a very creative team from Japan and they are focused on Flash technology, ActionScript3, 3D, design, photography, visual, original tool and artwork. For most of the work, they use Flash and Fireworks, including the Hard Typographic Artwork Series mentioned above. Like me, you might think those are Photoshop powered, but actually it’s not.

You can view their archives to take a look in their awesome Draw Tools where they built it to construct those such unique visuals. And the good thing is they are so kind that they put it up for us to try it out! I personally tried this DRAW HardMotionBlur, and it was fun! Pixel Lab is cool! 😀

DRAW HardMotionBlur

Inspired By Nature: Websites with water

Inspired By Nature: Websites with water

Certainly water plays a vital role in our normal daily life, we simply can’t live without it. Water keeps us fresh and healthy. Plus, water also giving a sense of serenity and symbols of live. Recently, I saw some site designs also incorporating the water elements into the design, which I think is really unique and refreshing.

This marks the fourth edition of the Inspired By Nature series in this blog. Well, I found this water series is very interesting and it’s quite hard to find too. Many sites using water element as background, sidebar elements or simply the whole site was full with water. As you might had guess, the websites with water are majority based on blue color scheme, maybe because of the sea. End of talking, so please have a look the 10 beautiful sites with plenty of water!

Design Disease

The latest site refresh by the pro design team Design Disease. All I can say is the design is just WOW. Daring color scheme and the wavy shapes are really breaking the boxy feels of web design. Brilliant design!
Design Disease

Stylized Web

From the previous black and white, Stylized Web now also featuring water inspired design like Design Disease but softer color scheme. Notice that the layers of colors of the sky, sea, and ground to separate out the contents. Brilliant idea!
Stylized Web

Luke Larsen

This is an online portfolio of Luke Larsen, and it looks like a huge aquarium tank! This fishes are really making this site to live. Clean and nice, I like it. Notice the page navigation too.
Luke Larsen

Iceberg

Ice is also consider as water too. So this site is utilizing the sea surface and the natural iceberg which giving a sense of chilling cold!
Iceberg

Icebrrg

Certainly don’t mix up this one with the one above. Unlike Iceberg, Icebrrg’s design was beneath the sea with the sun lights shines through the water.
Icebrrg

Adit Shukla

This is a really unique website design. The designer using the river to depict the sidebar.
Adit Shukla

Kulturbanause

Probably the most extraordinary blog design I ever seen. Kulturbanause also featuring water element like the waterfall, which falls from the top of the page to the bottom. Really awesome!
Kulturbanause

SPA Vilnius

I am very fascinating about this site intro flash movie. The dancing color in the water is very special and worth a look!
SPA Vilnius

Honda – Edit Screen

It’s summer time! What a cheerful site design. In this site you can make your own screensaver with a self customized bubble character (cute!) and download for own use. It’s a full flash site and the color is really bright and cheerful!
Honda - Edit Screen

Anessa

Finally Anessa! Well when think of summer, I will think of sea… and Ebi-chan :P. Recently Oricon conducted a survey also shows that when Japanese people think of summer beauty, they will think of Yuri Ebihara.
Anessa

Image inspiration sites

Image inspiration sites

You are sitting in front of the computer, scratching your head and scribble your sketchbook to churn out the great idea. But the idea just won’t come out. Sounds familiar? Sometime I will get into this kind of situation, it is very frustrating and helpless. But the image inspiration sites will come into rescue. In this article I will show you some sites that showcases the best designs, illustrations, photography, creative videos etc from talented creative workers from all of the world that for sure inspires you.

These kind of websites contains loads creative images and have minimal text, to let the picture speak for itself. I really like to visit these sites because I love visuals and certainly love to observe other people’s work. Some of them are really inspiring and really respect their creativity and skill. So below are the image inspiration sites. Note that some of them are presented in episodes, just like a magazine.

Depth Core

Depth Core

Design You Trust

Design You Trust

Designflvr

Designflavr

Creativestem

Creativestem

The Raster Group

The Raster Group

Behance Network

Behance Network

Computerlove

Computerlove

FFFFOUND!

FFFFOUND!

Fubiz

Fubiz

Phirebrush

Phirebrush

Reform & Revolution

Reform & Revolution

Typeish

Typeish

Yay! Monday!

Yay! Monday!

That’s quite some sites up there. I think there are more out there which I did not know yet. If you know any image inspiration sites, feel free to tell me by leaving me a comment.