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The Cover Artist.

"Data Transfer" a Collaboration by Alastair Temple and Maxime des Touches for The Luminarium.

Data Transfer, a part of their 23rd exhibit, explores the cybernetic & cyberpunk universes and their take on the idea of a Kibernetik future. With over 30 pieces of work, their artists have approached the theme in a variety of ways, and each presented their own unique visions of the Cyberpunk environment by creating stunning pieces about computer systems, mechanical structures, and symbiotic biological & cognitive organisms. This exhibition presents a crossing between advanced technoligical surroundings and post-apocalyptic worlds. Checkout the whole 23rd exhibit at desg.in/designn5cover

What is The Luminarium? It is a modern international art group with talented artists in both the digital and traditional realm from all over the world. Pursuing originality and creativity, our group focuses on creating online art exhibits for anyone to enjoy and experience. The Goal The Luminarium stands for an inspiring and resourceful community that gives and shares to its members and above all creates unique inspiring art exhibits for anyone to enjoy. - www.theluminarium.net

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Editor's Note 3 years of "Designning" and 4 bi-annual magazines later we're finally done with the 5th edition of the Designn Magazine. Finalizing interviews, art features and articles for over 6 months, the 5th edition is one of the finest editions we've compiled so far! From exclusive interviews with top illustrators to tech-reviews this is a truly well-rounded edition looking to reach out to the taste and needs of every digital and traditional artist. Designn Magazine has always been a bi-annual publication, but from this edition onwards we are hoping to kick up the number of editions per year to at least four, which requires twice the effort; therefore, I'd like to officially request you - our readers - to submit your very own content to the upcoming editions of the magazine, and help us to be a continued success. You are most welcomed to get in touch with us via any of our official social media outlets or directly email us using the emails listed on the right. I hope you enjoy and gain from this edition of Designn Magazine. Till next time.

Udara Jay.

Udara Jayawardena Founder of Designn & Editor-in-chief

Founder & Editor Udara Jayawardena udara@designn.org Director of Publications Natalie Rowlands natalie@designn.org Editors Raveena Weerabahu raveena@designn.org Minesh Fernando minesh@designn.org Contributors Bliss Lokiev Ng bliss@designn.org Lauren Leslie lauren@designn.org Ulrikke Stendorf ulrikke@designn.org

Contents Page 4

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Contents You are here!

12 Does music increase inspiration? Or is it just a distraction?


13 14


21 22

Interview with Risa Rodil


How to get used to your new tablet!

Writer’s Pick: Five Portable Game Highlights.

33 34

Will minimal design cut it?


Building a successful user interface.

15 16

For A Creative World Project



49 50

The Work of Maria Keller


The Designn Team

A Video Maker's Toolkit

35 36

Digital Sales – A guide to selling online.

43 44

How do you finish your artwork?

How Facebook filters your News Feed


The "Sellout Artist"

23 28

Interview with Mohamed Raoof

41 42

Starting a Professional Blog.


The Designn Team

7 8


Interview with Rose Besch

17 18




Shaban by Saeed Jalabi

29 30


Meet Erica Dal Maso


37 38



Work-station Photos

45 46

What's your character design thought process?





What goes behind starting a professional blog. A complete guide. I’ve designed, hosted and written for multiple blogs over the past few years – including the official Designn blog and my first personal blog which was at www.cartondock.com (long gone now) which came to be in the top 100,000 websites online! (considering the number of

websites on the internet – that was a pretty cool number). But due to lack of time and resources at that point, I had to shut it down. So now that you know my multiple blogging experiences, let's jump right into the step-by-step process of planning and setting up your blog using the self-hosted version of WordPress.

Why? This is the most important question you need to ask yourself when starting your own blog. Everything from the content you post and the design of the site revolves around the purpose of your blog. You may be a journalist sharing your views on society, politics, etc. which would mean you'll most likely want a 'newspaper/journal' styled theme; or you may be a writer, in which case there are many specially designed themes for the sole purpose of story telling. Once you’ve decided on what your blog is going to be for, you need to think of your potential audience. This is important for deciding what type of hosting you would need to purchase and picking an appropriate domain name (which is totally up to you!)

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Setting Up

quite tricky, especially if you’re a design savvy person.

Whilst you can buy your domain name and hosting separately, it's recommended that you keep it all in one place. Services such as DreamHost and DigitalOcean allow you to buy your hosting and domain altogether (and may even offer you a special deal for doing so). Both of these services provide a solid hosting platform for setting up WordPress; however, I can tell you that your site is likely to perform much faster on a Digital Ocean virtual private server ($5/ month). Setting up a WordPress site on DigitalOcean: Simply follow the DigitalOcean community tutorial at: http://desg.in/7pdkp

Obviously there are more services, including WordPress.com, which lets you create a blog by simply registering an account. But that’s not the point here – what you’ll be setting up for yourself is an independent and expandable blog with freedom to customize it for any of your needs.

There are literally thousands of professional free WordPress themes out there. A simple Google search for “Minimal Free WordPress themes” will turn up hundreds of free choices. But making the right choice can be

Pick a theme which suits the content of your blog and of course to match your personal tastes. It’s important that you stick to one theme and keep a consistent look to create a professional image for your blog and build the sort of solid personality you would want it to have.

It’s 1 in Millions of Blogs

Setting up WordPress on DreamHost: http://desg.in/q3spz

The theme and personality

Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humours.

There are 181 million blogs on the internet (as of 2011) and yours would just be one of them. That’s 0.0000005524861878% of all blogs online. My point is – you need to make the content on your blog as unique as possible! Share your personal expertise and experiences, make it a fun, give your blog a personality and a touch of uniqueness as much as the DNA which codes who you are!

Optimization for your blog. Big companies are known to hire professionals to tailor their content to be SEO-Friendly and it sure does help. But for starting up you can simply do a fair amount of SEO by installing the free Yoast WordPress SEO plugin on your website and configuring it appropriately. I also suggest setting up Google Authorship through your G+ profile – which is known to help with pushing your content to Google and at the same time associate the blog posts under your name – because that’s part of the point of writing for a blog! Written by Udara Jayawardena desg.in/udara @UJZEEE

SEO You HAVE to get friendly with Google, Yahoo, Bing and what not to make sure you can reach out to a larger audience. Your website ranking on Google is one way to judge the success of your website in terms of audience and therefore it is crucial you do a good amount of Search Engine

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Interview with Rose Besch Freelance Illustrator

An aspiring artist from Atlanta, Georgia, USA who is most popular for her vibrant character designs and digital art!

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ILLUSTRATOR INTERVIEW When did you start your career in art? I've been posting my work online for a long time now - since 1997 or so - and a few years in, I began receiving commission requests online. I was too insecure about my work to accept many of these requests at first, but around 2004 I decided I should try to make a career of it and just learn along the way. When/how did you first discover your creative talent? To be honest, I've been drawing for as long as I can remember! I'm not sure if any one thing in particular spurred my interest in art, but I do remember watching a lot of Disney animated films as a child and loving them to bits, and wishing I could make something similarly beautiful (not necessarily in animation, but something visual that could reach and inspire others.)

Find a way to make art you love - Experiment until you figure out what subject matter and techniques you truly enjoy.

What inspires you to keep creating? Well, art is what pays my bills, and it's really the only thing I'm any good at, so if I don't create, I don't eat - needing food and money is my main "inspiration", haha! But, when I have the spare time to create something for myself, I'm often inspired by fashion, pop art, street art, other illustrations... How would you describe your style of illustrating? East meets West meets graphic design maybe? I've always been fond of both Asian and American comic and cartoon styles, but rather than gravitate towards illustrating large realistic scenes, I'm much more interested in bright colors, strong lines, interesting shapes, patterns and motifs. How long did it take for you to get to this professional level? Skill-wise, I've been drawing nearly every day for who knows how long - since I love the process of making art, and I get to make art for a living, it hasn't been terribly hard for me to devote time and energy into developing and improving my techniques.

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I just really love creating! I can't imagine doing anything else.

fulfills you rather than completely drains you!

What program do you use to create art? However, freelancing also requires Photoshop CC and a 6x8" Wacom a lot of networking, self-promotion, Intuos3 (old!) for digital work. brand building and that sort of Sometimes I use a Surface Pro thing. As an introvert, its been as a supplementary tablet. For difficult for me to strengthen those traditional work, I normally use aspects of my career; its something Copics. I need to work harder on and I wish I had known sooner just how important they are. Perhaps I'd be more successful today as a result. What message do you have to new artists? Find a way to make art you love. Experiment until you figure out what subject matter and techniques you truly enjoy. Don't worry too much about what other people want you to do, or not having enough followers yet - if you genuinely love making art, it'll show in your work, and the more you create and learn, the more your work will improve. The more your work improves, the more followers and recognition you'll get. Being skilled and successful doesn't come overnight, so you need to stay motivated to keep creating in the meantime loving your process makes it that much easier. And, once you do make art into your career, if you're creating what you enjoy every day, your job will be one that

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Does music increase inspiration? Or is it just a distraction? What do you listen to when you design?

What do these lyrics say to you? I see a woman, standing before a crazed crowd, flaunting some form of holy light and being fanatical in her recruitment of warriors. Granted this example does not leave much room for interpretation, but what about “Letters from the Sky” by Civil Twilight:

Photo Source Picjumbo.com

Nonetheless, new music should not be disregarded. A powerful song can immediately inspire Music can give you a motivational and conjure images. Write these jump-start before you’ve even spontaneous emotions and ideas opened Photoshop, or put pen to down as soon as you feel them, paper; in particular, tunes with an as they might flit away in a few up-beat tempo can help improve moments. If the song you’re your mood. However, songs with listening to has no lyrics, think lyrics can be distracting as it about what sort of story would use introduces a multitasking situation it as a soundtrack; alternatively if which can interfere with reading it has lyrics, listen to them and let comprehension and information them paint out a scene for you. processing. For example, if we take a look at But what music should you “The Last Crusade ‘A New Age choose? Something new? Or Dawns’ – Part 1” by Epica, the something familiar which stirs chorus is: past emotions? Listening to something new can be distracting, Don't be afraid, participate and as you’re paying too much Just give us all your trust attention to the lyrics and rhythm. Your soul will be saved When you put something familiar on you almost zone-out as the Just honour me, I'll set you free so song is such a big part of you, and any lyrics are less distracting as Get ready to join the the words are already so intimate. Very last crusade With that zoning out, your mind begins to race as past memories surface and ideas begin to form.

One of these days the sky's gonna break And everything will escape and I'll know One of these days the mountains Are gonna fall into the sea and they'll know From this, I can see a split in the sky, either from lightning, or a literal tear in the fabric of space; and perhaps the lightning is crashing onto the mountain and causing it to splinter. If you’re looking for some non-lyrical music, try Two Steps from Hell, Globus, or Thomas Bergersen. Their music is powerful, and definitely inspirational. Reaching out to real artists, I asked a simple question: "Do you listen to music whilst you design?". 21 participants responded, and of those 85% said that they listen to music, with 15% preferring silence. Two thirds of those who listen to music agreed that when

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MUSIC & ART GENERAL ART they need to concentrate, or write, they switch to non-lyrical music, so that they are not distracted. The other third stated that it didn’t matter what music they listened to, as when they began to get absorbed by their work, the music faded out. To quote a few of those who took part:

GrimFace242 - For me it all depends. When I'm writing, I try to stick with instrumental only (so, mainly soundtracks) because words tend to make me want to sing and then I don't focus on the writing. If I'm working graphics, I try to stick with anything upbeat (lots of Irish rock). Celvas - It doesn't matter. When I design, I don't hear anything anyway. Ginkgografix - Doesn't matter to me as long as it doesn't distract me. Just when it comes to coding or something which I really have to think about, then I prefer to go for Instrumental or New Age. So what can we conclude from this? Whilst music can be the spark we need to start, it can become distracting and possibly even detrimental to the outcome of our piece. If you find the music becoming too prevalent, and taking over your concentration, turn it off or switch to something non-lyrical, or calmer. Written by Natalie Rowlands desg.in/natalie


How to get used to your 2 new tablet! This tutorial is by no means a definitive guide, but it should help you with your tablet usage!


Play with it. Mess around with all of the settings your tablet has to offer. Not only will it help you find the settings you're most comfortable with, but it'll teach you what each individual part does. Also play around with it in your chosen drawing program (Photoshop / SAI / etc.), you'll learn more about your tablet and how it reacts to the program's settings (which may be different than what you're used to) - you're undoubtedly going to want to test the Pen Pressure setting within the advanced brush menu.

First and foremost, don't be afraid of it. You need to use it. Every. Single. Day. Use it to browse the web for example. It'll help you get used to the sensitivity Doodle. By doodling you're (practice highlighting sections of not only using it, but you're text), and all of the features of the creating shapes (no matter pen. Some suggest that you should how indistinguishable). Perhaps hide your mouse, so you're forced even start a new art project and to only use your tablet! Through only use your new tablet. daily use, it should become an extension of your arm, and begin to move naturally.



Write with it - heck, even sign your name. We've been writing for almost our entire lives, we know the motion of each letter perfectly, and our signatures barely change throughout out life - so replicate that with your tablet.

5 6

Read tutorials about your tablet. Learn tips and tricks from those who are used to using it every day. Still having troubles? If you've made the leap from drawing traditionally to drawing digitally, why not stick a piece of paper over the tablets drawing area. It won't effect the pen (in most cases) but it will give you a more natural drawing feel and help you in your transition. Written by Natalie Rowlands desg.in/natalie

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The For A Creative World Project by Designn hopes to spread creativity amongst young designers and students by sharing with them the works and advice from professional digital artists and creatives in the hopes of inspiring them to keep creating and continue pursuing careers in the design industry. THE PROBLEM Are you an artist of any form or hoping to start a career in the arts? Maybe as a graphics designer, painter, illustrator or etc.? Did you know that many parents and schools don't promote, and even discourage, creativity in children? Thereby leading to a reduced number of creating thinkers and artists. Today the world is moving forward is every aspect — technology, business, education, healthcare — but what about creativity? Tests (such as Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking) have shown that over the decades our IQ scores have kept growing, but have shown a decline in creative thinking. In other words, we are smarter, yet less equipped to find novel approaches to problems. THE IDEA A word of advice, creative quote or inspiring message coming directly from an artist can make

the difference in dreaming and believing. Therefore we create posters with creative messages to promote creativity in the younger generations, and make the future not only intellectually advanced — but also more beautiful.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -


Be patient. Rome wasn't built in a day and you won't become good in a day. As long as you continue to improve and learn from your mistakes, you'll eventually reach your goals. -

Send me a picture of yourself (email me at udara@designn.org) with your name and job/ambition as an artist (optional: include your own creative message too)! And from this I’ll create a poster which I’ll print and put up in schools and public places and at the same time share them online!

Nicole Omernick Freelance Digital Artist Bachelors in animation

Lauren Jones Creature Designer

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The "Sellout Artist" We would all naturally associate traditional artwork such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc. with the word art; but is graphic design just as much art as its traditional predecessors? One day, I heard a former acquaintance shamefully say that he felt like he was “selling out” (as an artist) by becoming a graphic designer. In another instance I was watching a TV show about a family in which an artistically inclined husband refused to do commercial work as a graphic designer for the same fear of “selling out” and instead worked as a dishwasher with a miserable attitude about his job. As a graphic designer, I wondered if this “sellout” concept is one that some artists actually struggle with and why there seems to be a strange fear around the idea of making money as a creative person. Naturally, I decided to form a perspective on this term “sellout artist” and deconstruct this idea by discussing the similarities between fine art and graphic art with the idea that graphic designers are visual artists essentially. “What is a sellout?” You ask. When

we think of someone “selling out” we think of someone essentially going against his or her true nature or intent in order to gain money or some other materialistic or superficial desire—cheapening the value of individuality or originality solely for a shallow cause. But shallow causes aren’t that shallow when it comes to paying the bills and taking care of yourself, which applies to just about everyone. Firstly, a brief explanation of visual art in general: Since the beginning of humanity, the purpose of art has always been communication. It is a way to capture attention in order to deliver or preserve a message—to tell the viewer something through a variety of media. No matter its form, art is a physically manifested response to the world and a testament to life, malleable by the unique mind of the artist as a creative individual.

Everyone has to make income somehow whether it’s a graphic designer making a logo for a client or a fine artist selling a portrait to a patron. The Media The challenge of the visual artist is always the same: the endless ideas of one’s mind wrestling with the limitations of our physical reality. As artists, as designers, we are deliberate with the act of creation. We work with what we

have as a medium, and many times the tension exists not in what the message is, but how to convey the message through whatever medium that’s available. Mankind will continually invent new ways to create things and new media to explore, and much of that has to do with the needs of the world as it develops. With the invention of the computer our artistic media evolution has taken us from paint and paintbrushes to swatches and cursors, from traditional art to digital art. Just like oranges and pineapples are fruits by nature, graphic designers and sculptors are artists by nature. Every artist ends up specializing in a specific method and media of interest at some point based on their enjoyment, skill, or availability of a particular medium, and forms a process around it. Thus denying that graphic design is art based on media type alone would be like telling a photographer that his product isn’t art simply because he or she uses a camera—a shallow judgment in itself.

The Principles Designers still use the same principles of art that a fine artist uses, such as balance, composition, movement, etc. to successfully relay a message. Therefore, even if the media used is different between a fine artist and a graphic designer, the principles behind the work are subconsciously or consciously

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THE "SELLOUT ARTIST" GENERAL ART the same. Sure, the work of a graphic designer is used mainly for practical reasons such as marketing and other commercial use with work ranging from billboards to brochures, from logos to posters, from dropping text into a text box to arranging photos on magazine pages. However, that doesn’t make it less or more inadequate to the work of a fine artist who is advertising his or her expression or perspective with his or her own process and art. Only unlike the more practical nature of graphic design, fine art has the freedom to be as subjective and obscure or as direct and literal as the artist desires, but this difference is only in conjunction with a work’s specific message. Therefore, with message set aside, would not the work of a graphic designer also be considered art if its purpose were the same as the work of a fine artist—to advertise a message?

and the audience. Defining art as the product of a creative process or experience, the artist (designer) gives up the right to decide whether it is successful or unsuccessful and lets the work speak for itself to the eye of the beholder. But to be a successful fine artist or designer requires a great level of empathy, knowledge or intent of their craft, and creativity that connects their work to the world or to the audience effectively. In other words, to assume that the pursuit of income is less challenging for graphic designers than fine artists is quite an ignorant assumption. It’s all about what connections an artist makes and what resources one taps into.

The truth is money has nothing to do with whether or not something is or isn’t art, so “selling out” is never a realistic way to look at being or becoming a graphic designer, as my pessimistic acquaintance feared. Everyone The Pursuit of Income has to make income somehow whether it’s a graphic designer Even the pursuit of work and making a logo for a client or a fine income for a fine artist and a artist selling a portrait to a patron. graphic designer can be very Even with all the philosophy and similar as there are many ways analysis set aside, no one should to go about finding income. For be ashamed of providing an example, both designers and income for him or herself. It’s just fine artists can make a living by that simple. Do what you love and freelancing for clients, being commissioned by clients, teaching, let it be known! or working for a specific company Written by Lauren Leslie for salary wages. Whatever the desg.in/lauren type of commission between a client and artist, the artist acts as a visual translator—a middleman between the client’s vision

Free (do whatever you want) hi-res photos from unsplash.com

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Shaban by Saeed Jalabi


We review and feature awesome art from around the web. (+ have awesome art related contests and awards!)

Interview with Risa Rodil A professional 21-year-old designer, illustrator and letterer currently based in the Philippines. When did you start your career in art? I have long been fascinated by compelling designs so I decided to formally pursue Multimedia Arts in college. I started freelancing when I was 18 and still do it as of present time. When/how did you first discover your creative talent? A few years ago, I came across these cool photo manipulations online and thought to myself, “Wow, it would be amazing to learn how to do that�. Getting my inspiration from there, I self studied Photoshop when I was 14, and everything just fell into place after that. What inspires you to keep creating? I am a self proclaimed fangirl, book lover and TV junkie. It doesn’t take long to realize that the love I have for all these things is usually the main lighter that fuels my


How long did it take for you to get to this professional level?

What art do you most identify yourself with? Flat, retro design and illustrative typography.

Bright, retro and playful.

I’ve been doing this for around 7 years now. I spent the first 2 years self studying, the next 4 years taking up design classes in college, and did a lot more self-studying after graduation.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Who is your Favorite Artist?

Passionate, shy, optimistic, nerd, fangirl.

I have lots. I love the work of Olly Moss, Saul Bass, Jessica Hische, Chris Piascik and Mary Kate McDevitt.

creativity. Nothing makes me happier than to create something beautiful I can share to the rest of the world. How would you describe your style of illustrating?

Why did you choose to be an artist? I love the challenge of being able to communicate with other people through visual design. Of being able to get a certain message across, to influence and convince people to appreciate the same things I love, and to express my emotions without the use of actual words.

What message do you have to new artists? Keep the passion, do what you love and love what you do. Software (and hardware) you use? Adobe Illustrator.

Professionally, what are your goals? It has always been my goal to set up my own design studio if the odds permit. You can get in touch with Risa for more information or commisions via any of the online profiles below: Society6: society6.com/risarodil Redbubble: risarodil.redbubble.com Portfolio: risarodil.com Tumblr: risarodil.tumblr.com Behance: behance.com/risarodil Dribbble: dribbble.com/risarodil

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Writer’s Pick: Five Portable Game Highlights See those games? Those games that you just spare one look at and go "wow, that art"? Yeah, those games. These are those games for me, and this whole thing might basically be just me being a fan about them. So without further ado, here we go -

Guacamelee! (Available on the PS Vita) Setting aside the honestly very engaging gameplay (and also the blisters I got as I tried to get the combos just right), on its own, visually, this is a great game to check out. Just look at it; great popping colors (and even amongst all that, the brilliant masks of the main

Source: http://fav.me/d5nqvqd character, both male and female, is distinct enough for you to always recognize where they are on the screen), amazing creature designs, splendid backgrounds and overall awesome stylized art. It's really amazing when you're playing the game and executing all these combos, and there are these flashes of sharp edged colors across the screen. It keeps your

attention riveted, and it's visually exciting. The character designs are all diverse and interesting to check out, and match their personalities really well. And come on, look at the creature designs. You have giant skeletons in hats, huge monsters more than twenty times your size with red spikes and a purple mane and taloned feet. They're things out of

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GAME ART FEATURES pure imagination, and it's so fun to look at. And then there are the backgrounds, which are gorgeous, especially when you switch between worlds. You see the world in a different light, so to speak, and the contrast between the two is really nice to see. It's a pretty fantastical game, so liberties are taken in the color schemes of the backgrounds (as with everything else) and you know what, it just looks stunning. Did I also mention you can turn into a chicken?

Muramasa Rebirth (Available on the PS Vita)

Source: http://fav.me/d2do2l5

Okay. This game. The moment I picked it up, I just whistled in awe at the art. The game runs really fluid (at least it did on the PS Vita system that I played it on) and clear, so it brings across the animation and art really nicely. The characters have really intricate costumes, and the detailing on them is really great to see. To see them flutter in the wind as they run, to see how they move is just eye candy really. The creatures and bosses are as complex as the characters themselves, and really great to see even as you are slashing and bashing them into oblivion. And have you seen their blades?

Because, blades. And in this game, you can collect a bunch of them, so you can see the different ones in action. And then there are the special moves, some of which just made me whoop in glee when I saw them. Also, the backgrounds on this game. The backgrounds. This is supposed to be an action game, "hack, slash, ninja flip around, mash 'x' to advance text" kind of game, but there were plenty of moments where I just kept going back and forth in the game to scrutinize the backgrounds present in the game. I just couldn't get enough of it, because it was so absolutely wonderful. From the lighting of the game (how the lighting affects the characters and the objects around it), to the way

the trees and the grass sways, it just really caught my attention. The weather, the atmosphere, everything. The colors are also really fresh. It doesn't have the stylized color scheme of Guacamelee; instead its color scheme is tinged in a more realistic scheme, with certain liberties given for atmospheric moments (green makes it eerie), but they're still captivating and compliment the entire look of the game really well. So all in all, I took way longer than the game actually required for me to complete it because I was just faffing around, gawking over the art and animation

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Source: http://fav.me/d656gas

Bastion (Available on iOS) At this point in time, I'm just feeling that all the games I'm talking about here are getting me all fired up, and I'm going to end up just spewing nonsensical words of excitement. But, in any case -­Bastion. Just as a quick deviation from the visuals -­I think I need to say that the narrative is pretty awesome. The narrator does an amazing job telling the story, and it really lends a very nice touch to the whole world of the game, from

the cadence of the speech to the general storytelling of it. Now, back to the visuals. I really like the look of the whole game; there’s that hand painted look going on, and it’s really great. There’s a sort of beauty to it, despite it being a post apocalyptic kind of world. I feel it lends a kind of hope to the game, a promise of life as the player attempts to rebuild the world, and it’s wonderfully fantastical and surreal at the same time. It’s bright and enrapturing, and it’s really a nice fresh take of a post apocalyptic world.

Another thing to note is the way in which the world is presented in the game; there’s the idea that the world is fractured, and the way the landscape and world unfolds is rather genius – it crumbles away, it forms and slots into place as the player moves. It’s essentially like the world is alive under your feet, and this is some brilliant choice of execution. Bastion is pretty widely available, so grab it and give it a try if you can!

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Source: http://fav.me/d5n1hee

Bravely Default (Available on the 3DS)

was pretty impressed by the art again this time around in Bravely Default.

Bravely Default is a pretty new game, just out this year (2014). Nonetheless, I was pretty excited for it the moment I heard about it, and I was just bouncing to get it when it came out.

Look at the different towns, locations and settings. They are suitably grand, derelict and whimsical when they need to be. They’re all elaborately painted, and had me running edge to edge and squinting at my screen just to try and make out all the details (especially the first location that you find yourself in, and that is a great introduction into the game).

If you think the art is similar to other games such as Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, that’s because this is a Square Enix game, and they share the same artist. I was pretty wowed by the art of FF Tactics back then, and I

the fact that there are various different classes call for different class costumes, and they range from the hilarious (I mean, you get a wolf’s head costume if you decide to become a Ranger) to the downright gorgeous (seriously, the costume of the Dark Knight). And then there are character specific clothes as well (hello there, bikini). I’d say Bravely Default really pushes the capabilities of the 3DS; I think it’s one of the most gorgeous games on the system yet.

The character costume designs are nothing to scoff at either –

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Source: http://fav.me/d7iytqg

Fire Emblem: The Awakening (Available on the 3DS) Ah yes, Fire Emblem: The Awakening. The game that seriously made me fall in love with the 3DS’ potential and look into the library of games that it had. FE: TA’s gameplay is amazing – aside from it being a strategy RPG (a challenging one at that, should you choose to play at normal mode; any death of a character ensures his or her death for the entire game, so a player has to be extra careful), players also cultivate relationships between the characters (Gregor, I’m just going to pair Gregor with everyone). There’s really a lot of depth in this game.

Visually, during battles, FE: TA employs isometric pixel sprites in a grid to move them. I feel the real merit of the visuals in this game comes from the cut scenes, 2D sprites, as well as the combat and engage screen. The cut scenes are gorgeous in their art and animation, and contribute well to the story that FE: TA has going. You get to see characters in their full glory, and that’s always pretty to see. The 2D sprites in the game contribute well to when the characters are speaking with each other. It’s always fun to see the expressions on their faces as they cringe and blush, and the character designs make each character distinct and unique.

FE: TA was one of the games in which I actually employed the 3D capability of the 3DS for a large amount of the time – mainly because I was pretty impressed by the look of the combat screen. For one, the combat feels like a whole cut scene in itself – the camera is dynamic and changes angles, and your characters look like they’re engaging with the enemy as they leap forward. The spells casted are also pretty awesome in their effects. If you have a 3DS, I definitely recommending playing this game. Written by Bliss Lokiev Ng desg.in/bliss

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By: Amaan Moulana

By: Vixen Kiba

By: Dhavall Gohil Designn Magazine 5th Edition | www.designn.org | magazine@designn.org | 27

A Video Maker's Toolkit I love video editing! From recording, to editing, to publishing and watching the view count go up (by however much) is always exciting! So here is a carefully selected list of hardware and software (along with affordable alternatives) that’ll allow you to create awesome online videos. Trust me when I say a FULL list!


The Laptop (>$1,200) How else would you edit those videos eh? A very good option for a video editing laptop can be the MacBook Pro with atleast 8GB of RAM and a 2.00 GHz processor speed. With retina display and a powerful graphic chip, the MacBook Pro not only makes a good video editor, but an all-round awesome laptop. Affordable Alternative: The above

was just a ‘popular’ option and given the price it’s not always affordable to own one. But no worries, any PC/laptop with atleast 8GB of RAM, 2GB of VGA and a quad-core processor should serve you perfectly.

The Camera (>$650)

Almost any Digital SLR would work for this. Or any other HD video recorder- depending on the quality you are going for. Good

quality video is the most important part of video (obviously) – never compromise quality hoping it won’t be noticed. The Canon Rebel Series is a great beginner camera. At the time of writing the Canon EOS Rebel T3I 600D Body + 4 Lens Kit was an affordable option - the whole DSLR kit priced at just $689.95 Affordable Alternative: Try HD recording on a smartphone with good lighting. If you use a good microphone (see Affordable

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VIDEO EDITING REVIEWS Adobe Premiere Pro ($799 or $19.99/ month) The ultimate power in video editing, with a clean interface and tons of options (including multi-camera editing). It's one of the most powerful and popular video editors out there! It would definitely require some experience in order to get the hang of the software and its many shortcuts, but it’s worth the effort.

Alternative in Mic section) you should be able to pull it off well.

The Mic (>$50)

Audio is just as important as the video. It tells half the story. A standard condenser mic, be it a lavalier mic or a studio mic will always give you a much better quality than your camera mic. A good microphone would cost you in the range of $50-$200 – and it’s always good to go for the best while you’re at it than to have lessons learnt with several cheap and substandard condenser mics. Checkout RØDE for quality microphones. Affordable Alternative: Try smartLav, a Lavalier microphone for smartphones which is much cheaper than a standard mic, but holds the same quality while recording on mobile.

Software The other half of video editing. Just this one should do:

of a high quality video which is the blend of crisp video and audio coupled with effective video editing. Written by Udara Jayawardena desg.in/udara

Affordable Alternative: Try VideoStudio Pro X7 which is only $79.99 and has some great video editing capabilities for that price!

Conclusion So you’re probably saying that’s quite a lot of money to put down to form the complete kit! But remember its a recommendation for high quality video recording and editing at a professional level. While the Affordable Alternatives should be able to get you some great videos done at a fraction of the cost, it’s likely to not have the exact composition

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Hungry eyes by Erica Dal Maso

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Meet Erica Dal Maso Erica is a self-taught Italian painter specializing in portraits. Having been drawing and painting since she was almost 7 years old, she began her professional career at the age of 20.

details, inspired by the masters Find Erica online: of the past but with a look at the present time. Erica is available for portrait commissions and you can get in Why did you choose to be an artist? touch with her via any of the links I didn't choose to be an artist. I just always felt the need to draw and below. paint. I just love it.

How long and how much dedication did it take you to come to this professional level? My entire life. And I'm still learning. Who is your Favorite Artist? Italian painter Giovanni Boldini. In your point of view, how has DeviantART helped you? DeviantArt has helped me a lot to show my art around the world. It has helped my art to be known by several people in many countries. I am really thankful to all the ones that appreciate, support and help my art.

DeviantART: ericadalmaso.deviantart.com Instagram: instagram.com/erica_dal_maso Tumblr: ericadalmaso.tumblr.com Portfolio: ericadalmaso.daportfolio.com Facebook: facebook.comericadalmasoart

How have your practices changed over time? I started drawing with pencils and charcoal. Then I tried oils and When did you first discover your pastels. In the last two years I've tried watercolors and acrylics. I'm creative talent? I discovered my creative talent when always experimenting. Maybe in I was very young. When I was 7-8 the future I'll try other techniques. years old I already loved drawing faces. I did my first oil painting at What art do you most identify yourself with? the age of 14. Traditional art. Realistic paintings. What inspires you to keep making Portraits. these amazing pieces of art? The inspiration comes from Paint what you like to paint. everyday life, from the world around Listen to constructive criticism. me, from people and from nature.

Practice a lot. Don't be How would you describe your demoralized if you don't get the result that you want. Find style? My style is realistic but multicolored, your own personal style. Enjoy full of symbols, trascendant, yourself! minimalist but with attention for

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Will minimal design cut it? So a few weeks ago somebody tweets me with the question “is minimal design the future?”. Well first off I’m an advocate of minimalism. So all I thought was ‘let’s hope so!’ — but that got me thinking… Does minimalist design work with everything? No. Well at least I thought so for the moment. I had just published the UI design for a new social network we’re developing. When it comes to a social network,  minimal design really does cut it, because the user interface is what facilitates the communication between people online - the simpler and faster it is the better. So to really answer the question  I decided to make a list of websites that I thought wouldn't work with a minimal web design. First on the list is the official NASA website. I love space and technology, so of course I follow

most of what happens at NASA via twitter and occasionally on their website. I never really cared about what their website looked like when I frequented it — in a way it seemed to fit the massive amount of information, media and news they wanted to get across to everyone, and the whole ‘spacey’ feeling. So at first it seemed absurd to imagine a clean, flat and light version of the NASA website. Minimal design is more of a principle than a visual form; one which could be applied to almost anything in its own unique way. A bold font, few colors, and lighter effects can easily turn any website minimal. Contrary to my redesign, it doesn’t necessarily have to be flat and light, there are plenty of ways to approach minimal designs – and a flat design with light colors seemed to work perfectly on this one. So is minimal design really the future?

remains forever. Minimal designs are more of a concept than a trend. It can have trends of its own, as clearly portrayed by the example above. Minimal designs are definitely here to stay – but the ways we apply them are bound to change over time. Break the trends As a designer you’re not obligated to follow any of these design trends. If you put enough thought into your designs, you will most certainly end up with great results. All that matters in the end is getting the information across to the user with the right call-to-action. The purpose of design is to just reinforce this. What most of us web designers tend to forget is the fact that content is more important than the look of the website - working day after day on making a website look trendier and cooler won’t have as much of an impact as updating the content you have to offer through it.

Trends come and go, but style

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Project Vision Art. (PVART) I recently created Project Vision Art (PVART), a service launched this month that allows individuals to share their artwork, projects, contests, announcements, and more with video accompaniment. The product video is easy to create, can be watched by anyone, and is affordable for all budgets. As a filmmaker and photographer myself, I know how challenging it can be for artists across mediums to reach their audiences. Though the Internet has made artwork and other projects tremendously more accessible for audiences worldwide, it has also made it increasingly difficult to promote individual works and have them be noticed amidst the innumerable amount of other work available. Therefore, I believe that artwork and other projects cannot always

speak for themselves when first being promoted. A voice must be given to each of these projects. A voice that can connect to potential viewers and draw them in. If you have a project you wish to promote, you can use that voice in a variety of ways. You can use it to tell the story of your project’s inspiration, or the process by which you developed your project. You can even use it to tell your own story. And who better to provide that voice than, well, you? Video is the simplest and most effective means of supplying that voice and making your project’s story available to potential viewers. PVART is designed to help with that process, so that your product video is as professional and effective as possible. To make it as easy as possible for you to lend your own voice to your project, as well as ensuring that artists worldwide have access to this service, PVART is designed such that individuals who partake in the service can record or collect their own content using their own resources. My affiliates and I are then able to edit this content together into a product video that will help sell or share your content.

What’s great about PVART is that I am able to provide this service at a very low price. Most editors and editing companies would charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars for this basic service. At Project Vision Art, we start at $65 for basic projects. We also offer a very fast turnaround, something that many other companies cannot promise. So come check out our website at www.pvart.org, and see how PVART can help you promote your project. I am very flexible and willing to work with all sorts of projects, and eagerly look forward to making your project the success that you know it can be. If you choose to work with us, submit “PVARTDesignnMag” as a coupon code when completing our application, available by clicking on the “Apply Now” header near the top of our website, and you will receive a 10% discount on your product video until September 15, 2014. - Zev Vel www.zevimages.com

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Interview with Mohamed Raoof Application developer, artist and photographer from India. Who are you and what do you do? I am an Application developer from India for Google Play. I am also an artist and photographer on DeviantART. When did you start your career in art? I don’t remember it. I am just a hobbyist and I don’t know when I started my hobbies. When did you first discover your creative talent? Mostly, I just do things that I love to do in many creative ways. I started with 3D works, then 2D works and afterwards photography. I realized that basically, I love to make pretty images for everybody in any way I can.

What inspires you to keep making these amazing pieces of art? I do look at many inspiring pieces of artwork around social sites and DeviantART. I am easily inspired and most of the time what gets in my way is the fact that I don’t have enough equipment for trying different experiments. How would you describe your style? I can’t describe my style. Of course, there are many guys more awesome and talented than me everywhere. I am just a drop in the ocean. I do what I love to do and I think making pretty images is my aim on each piece of work.

How would you describe yourself? I am a man who believes that helping others will help us in return. Whatever we do for others helps us in many ways even though we don't expect anything from them. I like to help other little artists get noticed on DeviantART. I think there are many awesome, talented guys who just need a push and they will fly, making wonders for us and that’s what makes me happy. Why did you choose to be an artist? I never chose to be an artist. It’s just a part of me. I do have another

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PHOTOGRAPHER INTERVIEW job but I wish that thoughout my life I will be able to keep my artistic work aside without being stopped from doing them. How long did it take for your to get to this professional level? Well I really spend a lot time on the internet. Instead of listening to music and watching films all the time, I try to get inspired and make something which looks good to everybody’s eyes. Who is your favorite artist? There are many, whose names I can’t remember right now, but most of the artists who inspire me are my friends on DeviantART. In your point of view, how has DeviantART helped you? DeviantART provides an exceptional environment which is different to other sites. I really thank the staff for making such a wonderful community that has the most awesome supporting mentality. The people there really helped me in a lot of ways in my life- not only just the artistic help. I thank each of them for supporting me until now and I hope they will support me in all my life endeavors. What jobs have you done other than being an artist? I am an Application Developer. I make apps and games for Google Play. In addition, I work as an

Android Developer for some clients and I am happy the way I am.

What is the funniest moment in your life?

The funniest moment is the best mistake of my life – it was the renaming of my account on I did try many areas. I think I regret DeviantART. It was actually meant to be MRF - ARTS but people stopping my 3D work, but it was started calling me Mr. Farts and only because I didn’t have enough I think that helped me a lot in resources (Wacom tablet, good getting remembered easily. I now computer, etc.). Now that I have love the name Mr. Farts and I even them all, I just stopped doing 3D started a website by the name work as I already started making mrfarts.com images in new ways. Still, I miss my ZBrushing a lot! How have your practices changed over time?

Professionally, what's your goal? I believe that when we do something we love, we will slowly become good at it and people will start noticing us. Then some will come to us to learn our skills and slowly we will get enough to live happily with what you love to do the most. For me that is my goal.

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Digital Sales – A guide to selling online.

it! Starting from the basic questions. Many are doing it, but few do it well. Selling digital products online has been getting increasingly popular, and sites like Envato Marketplaces are becoming the favoured option for people to easily get their hands on digital products - ranging from graphic design, to web site themes, and video & audio resources.

This article is meant to give you an introduction to selling Starters Tips digital products/services Is selling online right for you? online, picking the right places to put them up for sale The purpose of selling online is to and more importantly what make a profit, you need to really ask yourself whether people would to sell and how to present

be willing to purchase what you have to sell. Whether it’s an eBook or web template you will have to put in an effort to create, market and in some cases provide support for it. It’s no full-time job, but make sure you’d have the time to manage it. Like they say, if your business doesn’t make money, you have a hobby, not a business. Get the product AND the traffic right Find out your potential audience and then target your products specifically to them. As they say with design, you can’t create something to please everybody, all you’ll do is create something that pleases nobody. To give you

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MARKETING TIPS AND TRICKS an example: if you know and can reach out to people involved in businesses then start off with something like selling business card designs, brochure designs, logos or even report templates. Once you’ve got the right product you know exactly who to market it to, take it slow and make sure you please each and every one of your customers and new ones will automatically reach out. You have to be unique. There are literally millions or more digital products online for sale. You have to stand out. Always think of new things you could sell, because as we have always seen with certain new products, they can sell in their thousands, if not millions! Take a few chances. Get the buzz going! Giveaway some freebies and attract people to your websites or store. If it’s a graphic design give them a small free sample. The ”Pay with a Tweet” technique is a very good way to get the buzz going and you can easily set it up for free at paywithatweet.com.

The right service There are many services out there which can help you get started with selling products online. I’ll just cover some of the best below for you.

Envato Marketplaces It goes without saying that the Envato Marketplaces are one of the largest hubs for selling digital products. They offer all services, from a personal portfolio to managing customer inquiries and ratings. But it is also very competitive with over 4,000,000 marketplace members and over 5,500,000 total marketplace items. It’s definitely not the place for everybody.

very few risks and costs to run, but definitely not something you should quit a stable job for to start with. Written by Udara Jayawardena desg.in/udara

Gumroads This is one of the best places for you to kick off selling your digital products. They offer an extremely simple and beautiful interface to let you sell your digital downloads. As they like to put it: creating digital products is hard, but selling them shouldn’t be. Easy Digital Downloads This is a neat WordPress plugin that lets you sell digital products right from your website - cut out the middle man. Although it would require some knowledge of WordPress, and of course a WordPress run website to setup, it is definitely worth looking into in the long run.

Conclusion Starting an online store for digital products is not always an easy job, but if you do it right you might as well have just hit the jackpot! It’s got great earning potential with

Free (do whatever you want) hi-res photos. - unsplash.com

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Work station Photos By Natalie Rowlands desg.in/natalie

Want to know how we work? Here's a view of the Designn Team's work spaces and a small descripiton of how it helps us get things done. (Submit your own workstation photographs for the next edition by emailing us at magazine@designn.org)

Bliss Lokiev Ng I work mainly with my computer and mouse, so there's not really a lot of artist's tools around my work area - other than the two computers and the mouse and the tablet hidden behind one of the computers; and the speakers, because doing work with blasting music is the best. After that, it's mostly just important things within convenient reach (see: food and chocolates), and all the various fandom things that I like (see: increasing number of Marvel figurines and merchandise). There are some posters that I've done stuck up because I have spare copies, a few photographs here and there and work from other artists.

Udara Jayawardena My workspace is anywhere I have my laptop with the right peripherals plugged in - which is usually at my desk with an extra monitor for video editing. I tend to like a minimal workspace - guess I should consider having my wall repainted in white...

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Lauren Leslie I have a pretty casual approach to my workspace, as I like to have room to spread out my tools on the floor of my apartment. I tend to constantly move my setup around in the living room during the time that I am working on a particular project, whether it’s when I’m drawing or designing. But no matter if I start my project on the couch or on the desk and no matter how I move around, I always end up where there is the most freedom and space—on the floor with my tools spread out around me and my drawing pad propped up against the side of the couch or coffee table. My workspace is definitely a part of my artistic process! Minesh Fernando My desk is used for work and gaming, therefore I try to keep it as neat as possible. Sadly this doesn't work out in real life the way it does in my head, and I have to dump a ton of random odds and ends onto the floor at the end of the week, to be sorted later - whenever later is. Ignore the tastefully placed strategic Tic Tac box, it's there to ensure my laptop doesn't burst into flames unexpectedly.

Natalie Rowlands I'm a gamer at heart, hence the massive tower & dual screens (even though they are severely outdated... not even 1080p!). I actually tidied my desk up for this photograph, it's usually a mess with pieces of "important" paper lying around, books (yes, that's the ninja handbook propping up one of my monitors) just strewn all over the place. I'm normally too busy to think about tidying! Designn Magazine 5th Edition | www.designn.org | magazine@designn.org | 39

Building a successful user interface. The user interface is the only thing that connects your whole website and business to your end user, and getting it wrong is as bad as getting your business idea User interfaces have evolved over time, they’ve been getting simpler, cleaner and sometimes does more than just let you select your choices. It influences them. I’ve designed a number of user interfaces for multiple websites and gone through hundreds more to find out exactly how they work. A good user interface should have a high conversion rate - this is the number of visitors who turn into customers or go through with what the website was built for. Getting a person to make this choice has all to do with presentation.

The Buffer interface Today is not 10 years ago, it’s not just about the content; a simple Google search can turn up plenty of alternatives and one of the main factors that would set you apart from a rival is the user interface - unless of course you’ve already convinced them that what you have to offer is the best. But this is unlikely, so below are some hand picked guidelines to follow when designing your user interface, to make sure you stand out. Be clear and direct Make your interface simple, merge functions together, show clear contrast and maintain focus. Creating distractions and asking questions will only create doubt. Communicate your message with confidence, keep the interface consistent and efficient – this builds trust. If you have a lot to say, break it

down – use step by step forms and give clear guidelines. Giving positive feedback can assure a user that they are doing it right and help them move forward with confidence. Take a look at the Buffer interface. Personally, I love it! And I use it everyday. It’s one of the simplest web interfaces I’ve used and works like a charm to help me get things done. The drag and drop capabilities, minimal design and efficiency makes it the perfect choice for a person trying to get work done with minimum distractions; it’s an interface which was built with the end user in mind and it worked. Make it memorable and look beautiful! You can be simple and get the job done. But if you go the extra

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The DeviantART interface

The Vimeo interface mile to make it look beautiful too, you’ll be ensuring it was a memorable visit. Have you seen the Vimeo website and interface? It’s beautiful. But even better – have you seen the DeviantART interface? It’s appealing and recognizable anywhere. Which is what makes it memorable. You can go as far as calling it DeviantART green and that’s exactly what you should aim to create! Express your brand identity in your user interfaces, may it be the logo on the header or the icons being used, but make sure it’s part of your brand. Create a flow

Create a flow of information, guiding a user through a process step by step is always better than overwhelming them with information. Take for example a lengthy application form, start with just the name, and proceed to reveal question by question, rather than putting the whole form on one page. People are more likely to follow it through this way. Use hierarchy to break down complex operations, so that the user only sees what’s most important, and will have access to the details whenever they need it. This also creates a sense of control for the user. A note Sometimes they say you don’t have

to reinvent the wheel, jumping on board with the current design patterns can help users feel at home. But this does contradict with some of my previous points. It takes skill and thinking to pick the right balance to suit your business and customer needs. Understanding this is the most important step. Written by Udara Jayawardena desg.in/udara

“Designers can create normalcy out of chaos; they can clearly communicate ideas through the organizing and manipulating of words and pictures.” – Jeffery Veen, The Art and Science of Web Design

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How Facebook filters your News Feed

Like everything on the Internet, Facebook uses an algorithm (a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations) to help it determine what posts you want to see in your News Feed. This algorithm is called "EdgeRank", and looks like this:

Let's break this down a little. An Edge (e) is anything you post on Facebook: a photograph; status update; comment, etc. Your Affinity Score (u) is the score between the edge creator (you) and the viewing user (your friend/ brother/partner). It's not only their personal connection to you, but also includes how much they interact with your edges. If your friend interacts with your edges a lot (liking them, commenting on them, etc.) then they're more likely to see your new posts than someone who doesn't connect with

you as much. This can also depend on the type of edge (photograph, status update, link), for example if your friend comments more on your photographs, they are more likely to see them in their News Feed. Next is the Weight (w) of your edge. Actions that take longer to make, carry more weight - which is good! A comment is heavier than a like, as it requires more effort than simply clicking a link. Also, uploading a photograph with a caption will have a higher weight score than just sharing a link. It's worth noting that linking your Facebook to Twitter/Wordpress/ etc. and having it copy the content automatically creates a low weight for that edge, due to the lack of effort; therefore making it less likely to appear in the News Feed of those that follow you. The Time Decay (d) is unfortunately something you cannot manipulate. It starts high for a new edge and slowly decays

over time, allowing users News Feeds to remain fresh. So in layman's terms, the equation at the start of the article says: EdgeRank equals the sum of the affinity of an edge, the weight of an edge, and the time decay of an edge. Why is this important for you? If you run your own Facebook page, whether it be for your personal blog, or for your company, it's vital that you understand how the EdgeRank algorithm works so you can get the most out of your social media. For example, more and more of your users are interacting with your photographs, whereas your plain status updates and links are falling short; knowing how the EdgeRank algorithm works tells you to concentrate more on photographs, to increase the overall engagement between your users and your page. Written by Natalie Rowlands desg.in/natalie

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Free (do whatever you want) hi-res photos. by unsplash.com

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How do you finish your Artwork? By Natalie Rowlands desg.in/natalie

To complete my artwork I create several different versions and then decide on the best one. I like playing with colours, so I often test the entire colour palette: changing the hue in places to try and make it less boring; testing to see if an intense or soft colour works best; or if I should increase the contrast. Then I adjust the values - should I make the shadows darker? Is this too little or too much contrast? Are there a lot of different tones of grey, or is it all just a boring mid-tone? Whenever there's a background I do twice the tweaking, and will sometimes bring in textures - should I add a texture to the clouds or the hair to add more depth? Or does it

look better without? At times I'll add too much texture, and the piece will end up looking too busy and lack a focal point. There is always something you can tweak once you've "finished" a piece, so I might spend as much time tweaking as I did drawing it. After I've finished making changes, I'll compare the new version to the old; which one do I like more? Why? This can lead again to more modifications, but eventually I'll end up with a piece which I'm happy with. ~ Delkkat delkkat.deviantart.com

Usually I just look at it overall and make sure that the colours and lighting look consistent. And I switch it to black and white to make sure it has enough contrast. ~ Jennifer Pearce jennifer-pearce.tumblr.com

Leaving it for a while and coming back to look at it with a fresh set of eyes helps quite a lot. I'd recommend doing it even before you have reached the 3/4 mark. m. ~Rafin phoenixleo.deviantart.com

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I add some effects to enhance colors. Background is almost always last, some extra tweaking and stuff. ~Rebecca Keil rebeccakeil.deviantart.com As I'm designing something, I'll keep flipping it horizontally to gain new perspective, and when I think it's finished, I'll flip it one last time (just to be sure). Then I'll begin tweaking the colours, enhancing the lighting and shading, and using the Selective Colour tool to bring out opposing colours - for example, a lot of my stuff is quite blue, so I'll use this tool to bring out some of the reds/ oranges/yellows to bring another dimension to the piece. Once I've finished tweaking, I'll flip it again and decide which orientation I prefer; should the focal point sit on the left side, or right? Typically I have the focal sitting on the left, as I read left to right. ~ Natalie Rowlands desg.in/natalie One method I use is to flip the image horizontally every so often. It allows you see the piece in a new perspective, which in turn helps you notice errors which you may have overlooked before. In terms of taking a break, I'd not leave a piece for a few days, but only an hour or so and then come back to it with fresh eyes. ~Jonathan dustwavestock.deviantart.com


What's your character design thought process? In this issue I want to go a little deeper into how I design my characters. In the last issue of Designn magazine I wrote about how we can use older pieces to help us stay productive during art blocks. I used character designs as an example and briefly touched on the thought process that went into re-designing them. In this issue I want to go a little deeper into how I design my characters. This is by no means the only, or even necessarily the best way of doing it, after all there are many ways of doing any one thing in art, and trying these different processes out and learning which one works for you can almost be described as your duty as a creative person. So let’s get started! The character I am going to be using as an example is Lirika, one of the main characters from my comic, Arksong. The first thing I do is get down the character’s name, age and other basic information:

Her name is Lirika, a dark skinned woman in her early twenties. That gives me a basic template. Now, I consider the world she exists within, her background, and her current occupation.

Lirika exists in a setting with its own style based heavily upon varying European styles over the past few hundred years. The odd design influence from other parts of the world come in every now and then.

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This is very open, allowing me to style her freely without worrying about anachronisms. So now if we wanted to narrow it down a bit more we need to think about her background/personality and job. Lirika is a strong, confident, and rather extravagant sky pirate captain. She has achieved several near-impossible feats in the past. If she is strong then she will need to be well built. Average height will allow her to be relatable to most audiences and does not single her out too much as naturally gifted. It makes sense to give her a captain long coat so that she is easily identifiable as a pirate (and more specifically a captain), however, I would not want her to always wear it because it would cover a lot of her body language, so a matching waistcoat can be worn alternatively. Both are embroidered with gold thread to add to the extravagant vibe. Her excessive hairstyle and her piercings, although not too different from what we may see occasionally in real life, still give a slight sense of rebellion or personal flare that is relatable. Scars and the like can also be considered within this area as well. Lirika acts a certain way and is often flying her ship in mid-air. I need to make sure to balance practicality and attractiveness/ coolness.

Although we all wish our characters to be attractive or cool, my aim is to strike a balance between the two. Lirika’s clothes need to cover her well since she will be travelling at medium to high altitudes, and the colours of her crew (red, black and yellow/ gold) should run throughout her clothes to make it easy to align her. Also because of the athletic actions Lirika will be undertaking, making her too thin or any part of her body extremely large would be impractical and look awkward at best. I did however allow skin to show on the sides of her midriff, since someone as reckless as her would not base everything on practicality. Makeup is always a tricky one because in many situations it is not technically necessary; however the majority of women people I meet in life do have makeup on, so I might as well apply it to her character.

in a pose with a facial expression that matches their personality, background, and environment, then let their adventure begin! Written by Nathan desg.in/nathan

Hair too, is another thing which can be considered practical, but personal preference tends to always dominate over practicality in this case, so favouring her nature to be cool and rebellious meant not over-thinking the hair’s practicality too much. In addition to this we must also remember that having hair and clothes that are of considerable length can help display movement in dynamic scenes and also makes characters look a lot cooler. Now the rest is up to you. Place your newly designed character

Free (do whatever you want) hi-res photos. - unsplash.com

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Have you noticed the delightful cartoon artworks or toons (as Maria likes to call them) appearing throughtout the magazine? These are the works of talented digital artist Maria Keller. Maria is a professional Industrial Designer based in Mexico City, Mexico. Having a vast knowledge in visual effects, motion graphics, cartoons, character and graphic design she is a freelancer working on both local and international projects. More about Maria and her work? Website: mariakellerac.com Twitter: @MariaKeller_ FaceBook: fb.com/keller.maria 48 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | www.designn.org | magazine@designn.org

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Jack of all trades. Dreams with his eyes open. Designer/developer hybrid in a previous life.

I’ve never had any academic Photoshop or Graphic design tuition, and thus everything which I have come to learn has been self-taught.

I'm from Singapore, with a BFA in Interactive Media. Courses that I've taken include other branches of design, such as Visual Communications (Graphic Design I, Typography I, etc.).




Female | Realistic | Art Lover | Med Student | Music Enthusiast | Organized | Persevering | Animal & Nature Lover | Occasional Writer | Dreaming of living in Australia.

Fueled by fine Italian espresso. Codes in all varieties. Player of words. Tinkerer of servers.


HEAD OF DEVELOPMENTS Developer and problem solver. Responsible for a truck load of acronyms we don't quite understand.





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Vishmika Fernando

I am an avid reader, keen writer and art lover who shares a sincere appreciation for the unique and creative.

I’m a 19 year old student from Denmark, whose biggest dream is to become a character designer. Before doing so I wish to study visual communication.

Vector artist.






I have always loved being creative with visual and musical arts. My history as a graphic designer began when I started incorporating digital media with my illustrations.

I heart verbs, write, read, design, code, model (3D), texture, brainstorm, learn, create, collab, theorize, discuss.


DEVELOPER AND INTERFACE DESIGNER Our rather anonymous yet very talented developer. Handles some of our WordPress sites and even created some.

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Profile for Designn

Designn Magazine 5  

The Designn Magazine is a free digital publication featured art and design content. Founded and written by DeviantART members and the Design...

Designn Magazine 5  

The Designn Magazine is a free digital publication featured art and design content. Founded and written by DeviantART members and the Design...

Profile for udarajay

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