Monday, December 12, 2016

Cuushe, Festival Posters & Respectful Memes

Weekly Update 2016-50: Sweet wintery synth vibes from Cuushe to accompany the redesign of my blog, the insecurity of knowing all the bands on a festival poster, and an extra sprinkle of positivity on your Twitter feed.

Music: Cuushe
The beginning of winter always gets me kind of down. No one likes to be hit in the face with a gust of cold wind, but this sort of airy, calm synth beat is doing wonders for my mood. It seems to make the weather feel more manageable. Straight out of Kyoto, Japan, you might consider Cuushe to be the auditory equivalent of a light therapy lamp. And even more than her smattering of albums and EPs, she also composes scores for films. Quite fitting with her ability to produce ethereal worlds of floating dreampop tones and whisper-light lyrics.

Her album artwork is also excellent:

I completed some excellent wireframes for my blog homepage this weekend. I am particularly proud of some lightning ideas to display the archive as an interactive timeline, and to showcase the most used words on my blog in a word cloud. This will allow visitors to get a feel for what I write about without having to dig too deep. It all stemmed from a question I had posed myself, “when a visitor enters the site for the first time, how can they tell what the blog is about?” Of course, I am also a big proponent of data visualizations, which allow the user to explore the dataset in the way they see fit, and provides a bigger picture through the story of data collection and presentation.


Slight variations on the recent posts section.

And my personal favourite, with the data visualizations.

I also wrote down some thoughts about the process of making Shabbat, which I'll be sending off to my Chai Mitzvah mentor this weekend.

And what is probably the greatest achievement, I stood in line outside at City of Craft on Saturday for an hour in order to get my limited edition tote bag (totally worth it). The tote bag is really good quality and has this print on it from Doublenaut:

I also got an awesome poster from them. They're so talented! In case you didn't notice the style, they make all the labels for the beer from Bellwoods Brewery. Yum! More on Doublenaut in an upcoming post. Their work is the best!

This week, I'd like to keep the motivation going on my blog redesign. I want to finish the post page wireframe, design the search functionality, as well as start thinking about typography, creating a moodboard, and finally take the wireframes up to visual comps. The typography is the part I really want to get right, so I'll be experimenting mostly with that over the next week.

As mentioned above, I'm also going to send an email to my mentor on my thoughts about Shabbat and Hannukah!

Random Thought:
I start to get into the summer festival mood again when festival posters are released, usually around March or April. But some warmer countries are able to throw festivals throughout the winter. Maybe I should move.

And so, whenever I check out a poster for a music festival, I judge my own personal knowledge of current music by the closest band to the bottom of the poster that I can recognize. If I know someone on the last line, I know I'm still hip and with it. Especially if the festival is happening in a country outside of North America, I feel like that's extra points. Maybe I should create some kind of music festival bingo game!

This poster is from 2011 so it isn't relevant anymore and doesn't count.

On the other hand, some festivals refuse to use a hierarchy with their band order, like Primavera Sound. Honestly, this might be considered more ‘fair,’ but it's harder to read and find the bands you want to see.

Such a wall of type!

Inspiration: Respectful Memes
These days, I have noticed that things on the internet rarely make me smile, or really think about the positivity in people. Perhaps because there is a lot of negativity on the internet to begin with. Well, I've finally found a way to combat that. My new daily dose of positivity comes from none other than the best twitter account of all time, called Respectful Memes.

It's been going since November, and yes I have read through all of them. Basically, most of the images tweeted on a daily basis are positive remixes of negative or neutral memes. It appeals to my sense of positivity, but also to my love of remixes that take things totally out of the context for which they were originally meant.

He liked his own photo! I love it.

I have actually had this idea before. But I somehow feel that people would want to punch me?

If you enjoy smiling, I implore you to check out all the tweets here, and also to follow Respectful Memes. We could all use a little more positivity in this scary, scary world.

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