What a great idea! Building on a classic 1945 essay that predicted the rise of the Internet, among other things, a New Zealand startup has developed Trailblazer, a Chrome extension that tracks HOW you wandered across the web in your search for the perfect pasta recipe or investigation of that niggling question.
How we jump from idea to idea in our web searches is just as valuable as what we eventually found. The journey is important too, and sometimes those connections bring us additional insights.
You can sign up for the Trailblazer extension in beta form at Twingl’s site. And the Wired article linked above offers a quick overview as well.
Another reason I haven’t been writing much here lately:
My office creates our college’s magazine for alumni, friends, & students. It’s a daunting job for a team of 4 people, but I am determined that as long as I have anything to do with how the pages look, our magazine will look crisp and fresh, and get better each issue.
I discovered the joys of print layout & design long ago. It started with a calligraphy class that I took in high school from a lady in our church. She taught us the basics of the Italic hand, and her husband showed us the wonders of a good balsa drafting board (better posture! better light! fewer neck cramps!) I learned how to mix my own colors using gauche or watercolor inks, work with unusual colors of paper, and mix art and letterforms.
I followed my love for letters into college, where I jumped on an upper-level Calligraphy course during my freshman year. I learned how to cut my own mat board properly, though it’s nearly impossible to cut a straight line without one of the big tabletop cutters IMO.
I wandered into the basics of digital page layout to fill a need of my job at the time, and that developed into doing programs for people’s weddings and recitals, posters, flyers, handouts. By the time I’d moved into teaching and been forced into taking on the yearbook (very grudgingly), I was ready to step behind the wheel of InDesign.
Those early years were pretty rough, as far as design goes, but I improved with practice. I’m pretty happy anytime I can be arranging words on a page, making them fit and flow, learning and growing the craft of artful design.
So yeah. It’s been a busy few months. Documentary film, museum exhibit, magazine issue, presidential transition, admissions projects, and major event planning on top of all the regular stuff.
I’ll be back though. My brain is already bursting with lots of new ideas. Just waiting for a moment to break from its leash…. 🙂
Anyway, the 2007 NCS production of Hamlet was a high point in my experience working with high school theater, and I love to see the cast shirts walking around on the bodies of NCS graduates.
Mine, a long-sleeved edition, comes out every fall once the weather turns chilly. It’s getting a bit tattered, so maybe I should order a reprint. (Zazzle doesn’t seem to offer quite the same quality of ink as it did in the past, but it’s the only way to print transparent .png graphics on a shirt without going through a whole bunch of rigamarole to get a similar design ready for a screen printing.)
It’s an old design, and ham-handed. I can’t say that I’m proud of this design, per se, but it was one of my earliest (and in collaboration with a fellow artist), and represents one of my early steps in developing an understanding of the digital tools.
So. If you have a hankering to remember Hamlet at NCS, try this.
And I suggest adding a great Hamlet quote to the back — mine reads “There is a divinity that shapes man’s ends, rough-hew them how we will,” a line from Act V.
Enjoyed my Spring Break days off by 1) tackling a small home improvement project that’s been on our list for FOREVER; 2) watching said project bloom into about 4 different projects that will take longer to do but will be more awesome in the end; and 3) enjoying a little extra time to get some designing under my belt.
Trying to do the Shirt.Woot derby contest each week if I can come up with an idea. This week’s theme is “Time Machine.” Check it out.
I’ve also done a couple designs for the NCS production of Arsenic & Old Lace (cast t-shirt) and have an infographic percolating in my head. Truly loving the fact of having a desktop computer again where I can work on my factory schedule (unfortunately, my peak efficiency times don’t overlap the standard work day).
I’ll post more on the house project once we’ve make some progress….