Tuesday, March 31, 2009

History Of The Internet

The "History of the Internet" is an animated documentary by Melih Bilgil explaining the inventions from time-sharing to file sharing, from Arpanet to Internet. This is a great way to learn about the internet and hear about things you never knew of before. I love the way history and learning are becoming more visual every day. We all know it's a better way to learn and this is where education is going. It is just a matter of time before BoldHeart will be bombarded with calls from schools and publishing companies asking for us to animate their school books for them. We'll see about that!

A previous post of mine called "The Credit Crisis Visualized" is yet another example of wonderful animation explaining a very complex idea in a simple, understandable way. I suggest the watch, if you haven't already. Enjoy your journey into the history of the internet!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Interview With Jason Diehl, Owner Of Chestees

The following question and answer post is taken from an informational interview I conducted with Jason Diehl, owner of a company called Chestees, which is an online t-shirt distributor that features funny, original screen-printed t-shirts. Alone, he runs, designs, prints, and ships all of the shirts on the website. I found this interview extremely motivating and was surprised at the valuable information he was willing to share with me.

1. What made you decide to pursue this career?
Me and a buddy of mine had a band and wanted to print shirts for the band in a series. Outside vendors would be too expensive and wanted small quantities rather than bulk, so I looked for other alternatives. I soon realized I could do it myself and bought my own equipment. The project snowballed from there!

2. What are some of your favorite aspects of this job?
The creativity. All of the ideas come from me mostly, which I am proud of. Some other come from friends with great ideas. I have complete control, so if I thinks it’s funny, I put it up. The company is driven by me and only me, and I like it that way. On top of my full time job at Boost Media Entertainment, this side project lets me be creative in my own way. In my opinion, the only way to keep sane is to have side projects and hobbies.

3. Do enjoy being an illustrator on the side?
Yes, of course, but it’s one of the things I’m worst at. That's funny because it’s what I want to be the best at. It is a learning process. I will admit that some of the better illustrations on my site are from other illustrators who I directed to create the exact shirt design I wanted.

4. From where do you draw your inspiration?
Haha! There are many places actually. Obscure movies and pop culture or even movies from my high school and college days spark most of the designs. I'd really love to one day be able to draw all inspiration and ideas from my own head, so it's solely my idea and my own creation!

5. How did you start your business and how do you gain customers?
First off, it is very expensive and time consuming. The only reason I was able to start and own this business was because I built the website myself and print the shirts myself using my own equipment. The more you can do on your own, the easier it is. As for keeping customers, I try to have as many designs to put out on a regular basis as possible and send many emails. The Facebook group helps grow and create my web presence. I bought Facebook ads, but sparingly because that can get quite expensive. Google ad words are also a great resource to get lots of traffic from people searching “funny t-shirts.” But, most of my customers come from the Chestees blog traffic.

6. What would the requirements be for someone wanting to start up their own t-shirt company?
Marketing yourself and getting customers is the hardest part. It doesn’t matter if you have the best designs and site, you need people to come to it and getting them there is the hardest part. If you can do that, you will be set.

7. What advice would you give a student wanting to create a business like yours?
If you don’t have the money to start right up there are other sites that you can pay a monthly fee and have your own store, like CafĂ© Press. Use these! You can start your own store at a low cost and get your feet wet.

8. Where do you see Chestees in the future?
I want to grow to the point where I don’t have to print and ship the shirts myself. I don’t think I will ever make a living off of this site, but I would love to someday. Mostly, having a fulfilling company, so I can market and keep designing is my ultimate goal and it looks like I'm going in the right direction!

I would like to thank Jason for participating in this interview. I thought I was interested in this career before the interview, but if anything, I am now even more motivated to start my own company now, thanks to him! Please visit Chestees.com and buy a couple shirts to show your friends! They are hilarious, trendy, and well made shirts that will get you more than a laugh.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Will You Participate In Earth Hour?

A while back I posted a blog about the very much hyped Earth Hour, which you can read about here.

This is just a friendly reminder that it is happening tonight, from 8:30pm-9:30pm.

So, will you participate? Why or why not?

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Wonderful World Of Twitter

It's about time! I have finally crossed the barrier and given in to the social networking pressures of Twitter. You may have heard of this website. It's only the 3rd largest social networking site in the world, just behind Facebook and Myspace! I'm not sure what inspired me, but I guess I have just been hearing so much about this service and wanted to join in on the fun. I'd rather illustrate my opinions on Twitter, rather than reading about it.

So, I have been a member of the site for one full day. And I mean this literally (24 hours). These are my thoughts: I love the interface! I thought I was going to be scared of learning how to use everything and adjusting to a new world. Just today I was told a wonderful quote by a great friend of mine that goes a bit like this, "I would have been as confused as a new born baby in a topless bar!" Fortunately, Twitter takes no time at all to learn. I even believe that my mom could, and that's saying something.

Another plus is that the site is clean! Twitter is very organized, minimalistic, and simple, which is a great attribute for a social networking site to have. This is the number one reason I left Myspace, along with the thousands of others. Who likes waiting 5 minutes for a friend's page to load? Not this guy! Facebook is right up there with simplicity, even more so than Twitter in a way because you aren't able to customize your profile page. It does have more features though, so it's a tough call. Either way, the Facebook Twitter combination is a great one for social networking, so it seems. Both take little time to update and check, letting you easily conenct with friends.

One of my favorite features of Facebook is the status update. I would love to shake the hand of the guy at that creative brainstorming meating who first grew the gonands to speak up about his idea on allowing the user write a status and let others see and comment on it. Brilliant! It seems simple right now, but that is only because we have been exposed to this. Twitter is solely based around the status update, so I'm quite a big fan of the concept. I will do another opinion update in about a month or so, depending on my thoughts. Stay tuned!

I'm going to go Tweet now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wrist Health For The Common Computer User

I'll admit it. On any given day, I work on the computer anywhere from five to ten hours. Usually this number is closer to ten easily. Being a graphic designer comes with a price, which is the health of my wrists. Anyone who works on a computer as much as me knows the feeling of sore wrists and having that worry in the back of your mind that you will one day develop carpal tunnel. It is a very unfortunate truth, but luckily there is something out there that can help! Don't you just love the word "hope."

The IMAK Wrist Cushion for your keyboard and mouse is filled with massaging ergoBeads, making for the most comfortable ergonomic wrist support available. The unique design conforms to your keyboard, while completely supporting your wrist and forearm in an ergonomically correct position, reducing stress in your hands, wrists and arms. They massage your wrist as you type, providing all day typing comfort and promoting healthy hands and wrists. How could you go wrong with these?!

Exactly, you can't! That is precisely why I took a trip to the local Staples and bought myself keyboard and mouse wrist pads. This is probably one of the smartest buys I have made in a long time, as far as computers go. It may sound cheesy, but it really works! I have owned these products for not even a full day and I already feel healthier and better about my long hours working on the computer.

Just think about this. Approximately 10% of American adults will suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. If you use a computer daily or perform any repetitive task the odds are good that you could be one of them. I myself am not keen to develop a disease that could be easily prevented or at least slowed by a simple purchse such as this.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Practice Kerning On The iPhone

Us designers don't kid around when it comes to our games, especially when we design them! Now, BoldHeart did not create this game, but I sure do wish we did. It speaks to every graphic designer or Tetris style game lover out there because it is a game based around the simple concept of kerning, which is the process of adjusting the letter spacing in a font. It is more important than you will ever know. That is, unless you are or will become a designer.

The idea of the game is to accurately position the missing letter from a varying sized, type-oriented word as it falls down the screen, just as Tetris works. It is great to see games made by graphic designers for graphic designers. KERN is, in fact, one of a series of design-oriented applications made by US design studio FORMation for the iPhone. I have not purchased this game yet because I am cheap and seem to stray away from paying for applications. I also do not have the time to play them, but it seems lik a lot of fun, so I'll give it a recommendation.

Below are a few snapshots of the game, so you can get a feel for the gameplay and interface.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Delving Into The Fitness Business

Lately, I have been designing quite a few shirts for different clients and myself and seemed to have made an impact with them. I am now being recommended to design many companies/individual's t-shirts for either personal or professional use. I like it!

IFAST (Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training) recently flew to a conference in which many fitness facilities from all over the country were in attendance. They soon realized that they were a bit behind when they saw all of the other gyms had matching t-shirts. This happens and it in no way reflects the performance and credibility of the gym, but it does make you look better, cooler, and sticks you out of the crowd. I, for one, can vouch for this facility because I see two of my good friend's, one of which has a very informative and interesting blog, progress every month. And let me tell you, they just keep getting bigger! It's actually kind of intimidating.

But, that's neither here nor there. Good for them and all, but I'm a designer and that's my job. BoldHeart makes everything look really good and pulls their visual identity together, so that others who see them say "Oooo" and "Ahhh!" This is what will happen in this case. I will be designing a few shirts for this facility and pitching them in hopes to get them printed and representing their brand. In the next week, I plan to knock these out, get them piched, and approved. Here is their logo and what I have to base the designs around.

Progress will be posted here, so make sure to stay tuned on BoldHeart's adventure into the wonderful world of fitness and health. I'm going to go do some lunges and pushups now.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Re-Branding Complete

Obviously you are not looking at the same blog that once was Josh Corken Designs. That is because we have changed and made something even better! Yes, we didn't think it was possible either, but check it out. Pretty sweet huh? The re-branding stages are complete and just yesterday marked the initial switch to the new brand: BoldHeart Design.

Please browse these new websites and resources to check out all of the awesome things BoldHeart is (and will be) doing!

Join the Facebook group and invite your friends!

View the BoldHeart Digital Portfolio to check out all of our most recent design work!

And, of course, make sure to follow our blog and subscribe to the RSS feed!

There is much more to come in the near future, so stay in touch and keep checking back for frequent updates and ways to get involved with BoldHeart. We have big plans for the upcoming year and do not want you to miss out. There are some rumors floating around that BoldHeart will even be coming out with a line of apparel, but who knows, that could just be a rumor.

Don't forget that if you need any design work done, just come to us!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Re-Branding Update (2)

I have been working away at my re-branding pretty hard, hence the hour I am posting this (3:30am), and I have to say it is paying off. My visual identity seems to be coming together quite nicely! Just recently I chose the name of my new free lance designs, which you can read all about here in my last post. The next step is always creating your logo, at least most of the time, so that is exactly what I did.

The name BoldHeart threw an immediate concept into my head when I thought of the two words together as a logo. Have you ever noticed that the top of a heart closely resembles that of the uppercase letter "B"? Well, I did, and took advantage of that very quickly. The concept is simple, yet effective, in my opinion. Something that could catch the eye quickly and give the viewer something easy to remember, with a "bold" look. I intend to hype up the design experience, making it fun, enjoyable, meaningful, passionate, inviting, and overall amazing for myself and the client.

I won't stall any longer though. I know you're eager to see the finished product. Not that you haven't already peaked, you cheater! Here is the brand new BoldHeart logo and some corresponding banners you will see throughout my digital portfolio and other websites!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Re-Branding Update (1)

BoldHeart Design

Get used to hearing that because it is the new name of my designs and anything I do. Over time, I became tired of using my name for everything. I use my name enough, you know? Plus, it kind of appears a bit conceited when I put my name all over the place and that's just not cool. Or is it? So, I assume you are wondering where the heck this name came from and what it means.

Recently, I made a decision to re-name and re-brand myself as a graphic designer. In my last post, the topic was covered explaining my reasoning for completely changing. I suggest you take a read. For my new brand, I wanted a name that stood out, made a statement, explained who I was and where I wanted to go, and that was extremely catchy after a few times saying it. I toyed around with a lot of names, and I mean A LOT! This just clicked.

The name I wanted to choose needed to be a bold word and something that would really impact someone who read it. How much bolder can you get without using the word itself? Exactly. So, I started there. If you know me, you know I pour a lot of soul into what I design, let alone anything else I do. Browsing words that explained this and that fit well with bold, I decided on this combination. Along with the help of some great minds and creative thinking individuals, the new name stands as:

BoldHeart Design

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Spring Break 2009 Re-Branding

This spring break, I will not be taking the time to visit the warm southern states or party it up with Carson Daily in lovely Cancun, Mexico, but rather, I will be re-branding myself as a designer. What does this mean, you ask? It's simple. My whole visual identity (logo, color scheme, website, blog, business cards, and all other means of communication will change drastically for the better!

We have seen many brands do this, including Pepsi, Facebook, Coca Cola, and many others including the service you are viewing right now: Google! I've see it a thousand times! But, just look at where this gets them. The world is intrigued by the new brand and therefore want to buy more of it because it seems new. That's the gist in the smallest nutshell you can probably find on the planet, but I think you get it. I hope you know I am talking about a very minuscule nutshell, like the ones you get in a pack of pistachios and are really pissed off that they even included it in there. I mean the peanut is so tiny that you don't even have to chew it! End rant. (/rant)

Anywho, I will always stay on the side of Facebook, Pepsi, and the many companies who have re-branded themselves over the years and the great decisions they make. With that, I have decided to do a little Facebook maneuver of my own. Josh Corken Designs re-branding, here I come!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good Ol' Mom

We all love our mothers, even when they made us clean our rooms or didn't let us go jump in the creek after a huge rain. Regardless, they always know what's best. Or do they?

I find these situations funny and have decided to start documenting all of the stories and conversations in comic form. In my down time, I plan on trying to come up with as many of these comic strips as possible, so stay tuned! Click to enlarge.

Taylor's Temptation Models

I have recently finished the 3D models for my most recent (and first) animation called Taylor's Tempatation for all you new readers who would be lost if I had not said anything. Click the link to read the story. These are three seperate animations that show all aspects of my models. I believe I still have some work on the model of Taylor, but other than that, I just want to get started on animating!

These took me quite a while because I am just now becoming comfortable with 3D Studio Max (a 3D software program for all of you non-computer graphics savy people out there). But, I am now becoming very comfortable with the software, thanks to my wonderful professor/friend, and plan to do a very short animation over the summer to stay on top of my skills. Oh, and don't worry, this one will be happy and funny. I can't wait to start it already.

I hope you find these models interesting, although they will be much more enjoyable when they are actually animated and in the sequential story. Critiques, like always, are most welcome. Bring the heat!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Disney/Pixar "Up" Theatrical Trailer

Disney/Pixar never takes stories lightly and don't joke around about making their films gorgeous! Yet again, they have come to please the eye and tickle our fancies with the all new feature "Up" that comes out in theaters on May 29th, 2009. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be one of the first in line to go see this, along with all of the 5-10 year old kids screaming for more popcorn and asking their parents when the movie is going to start. They're too young to understand how much work goes into one of these films. Come to think of it, I am too, but I have a better idea.

Pete Doctor, director of our beloved Monsters Inc., has done it once again, with a riveting story boosted by humor and lifelike characters. In each of their films, Pixar decides/is forced to take on some problem or special effect that has never been done before in computer graphics, but is essential to the story. For instance, the hair in Monsters Inc., depth of field and cinematography in Wall-E, producing a full length feature film in Toy Story, and so on. The obstacle in Up was the thousands of balloons. A special team was selected, from what I've heard, that worked on them for over a year! Yes, only balloons.

But, just look how pretty the are and how precise the light and color distribution is through them!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stay Fit While Working At Your Computer

I assume you are sitting at your computer reading this post right now. I highly doubt you are running or doing anything remotely close to staying healthy. That is why I am posting this great find. Take a look at this businesswoman! She'll be buff in a week.

How do you stay fit when you work on a computer for close to 10 hours a day, if not more? I don't know about you, but I work on my computer a large portion of the day (usually 10 hours or more). Hey now, I'm a graphic designer, so I have an excuse! Many nights my back feels sore, I'm very tense, and sometimes tired. So, here are some ways to help rid of those.

By the way, I personally think that the names of each exercise are extremely cheesy, but if they work then I can get over that.

1. Cyber Squats - Who says you have to sit when you’re online? Set your chair aside for a few minutes and instead do squats as you write your next blog post, comment, or when you cruise around the Web. I’m squatting as I write this post and I feel the burn! Not really.

2. RSS Raises - As you’re sitting at your desk, straighten your knees and lift your legs out in front of you. Do this as you catch up on your favorite blogs on your RSS reader.

3. 10 Minute Move it! Break #1 - Alternate jogging in place with jumping jacks - do a minute of each and repeat 5 times. You may look awkward in the office, but you'll look better than everyone else.

4. Twitter Tummy Tone - Tighten your abs for 30 seconds and then release. Do this as you tweet.

5. Social Squeezes - Tighten your glutes for 30 seconds and then release. (Good thing nobody can see you doing this, right?) Repeat as you Stumble, Digg, or Friend on Facebook.

6. 10 Minute Move it! Break #2 - Grab a step stool and climb up and down - get creative if you like and alternate knee lifts at the top of the step. That is, if you have a handy step stool?

7. Inbox Incline - While you’re sitting with your feet on the floor, raise your heels so you are on the balls of your feet and lower them. Make sure you can feel it in your calves. Do this as you read and reply to your emails.

8. 10 Minute Move it! Break #3 - Do walking lunges around the house. Want to make it more challenging? Add some weights and do bicep curls at the same time.

9. Blogger Breather - Grab a quick minute to just close your eyes and focus on your breath. Count to 10 as you slowly inhale through your nose, thinking positive thoughts. Exhale through your mouth, again counting to 10. This time releases all the tension and stress out of your body. Repeat if you have a few more seconds.

10. Sign Off Stretches - Your neck and shoulders can get pretty tense when you sit at a computer too long. So loosen them up throughout the day with:

Shoulder shrugs - with your head at your chest, shrug your shoulders up and down.
Neck Rolls - relax your shoulders and let your head roll forward. Slowly rotate your head in a circle. Repeat five times.

Monday, March 9, 2009

100 Blog Posts Later

I've reached the 100 blog post mark, within a short 6 months! Go me! To many, you would think that to be hogwash and not worth your time, but wait, aren't you the one reading this right now?

As you can see, I have reached out to a bigger audience than before. The rankings on Alexa are constantly increasing and my unique visitors frequently jumps up to numbers I never thought possible with a blog such as this. But, it was possible and now I plan to try and reach even more people because I believe in the work and inspiration I post. All who follow become smarter, wittier, brighter, more creative, and extremely powerful all because they read my thoughts.

In case you haven't noticed, I am sarcastic. It's in my blood and now ingrained into my personality, so get over it. Throughout the next 100 posts, I plan to show more of this sarcastic nature of mine. This specific post is to give you a feel for who I am, if the past 99 posts haven't! Over the next 6 months, you will learn even more about me, but nothing too personal. You never can tell who looks at your stuff anymore. Down with internet creepers!

I also wanted to take this time to ask you what kind of topics you want to read about. After all, this blog is not just for me and keeping record of my thoughts. It is for you. So, if you want to hear me talk more about the design of Pokemon cards or how little inspiration comes from watching basketball, then tell me because I will listen!

Oh, I almost forgot. Thank you for reading/subscribing/following/making fun of my blog. It means a lot and I hope you keep up the reading in the future! If not, just know I have some connections with the ghost of Christmas past.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watchmen And Wall-E Teaser Trailer

We all love our beloved Wall-E. You know, that cute robot who falls in love with Eva and helps save planet Earth from complete desertion, bringing all living earthlings back to civilization. What a good little robot! I'd say that just about sums it up. But, what if you were to take Wall-E and cut a trailer in a way to make it have the feeling of Watchmen?

The video below does exactly that, almost flawlessly! AtomicGreymon from Pixar Planet's forum decided to create this teaser to hype up both the release of Watchmen and the much praised Wall-E. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wee Planets

Just when you think photography is awesome and interesting enough, you stumble across something like this. Wee Planets by Alexandre Duret-Lutz is an amazing technique where simple panoramic photography is transformed into what looks like miniature planets. You can call these spherical panoramas. And you can call them bad ass! Pardon my french, but seriously, why don't I ever think of stuff like this. Really though, it makes me quite angry.

On his Flickr account, he tells you the exact method of creating these. If you decide to make some Wee Planets of your own, I'd love you to send them to me or post them somewhere I can find them. I would make some of my own, but I just don't think I could pull it off. Who knows, maybe I will one day. And you can bet your bottom dollar I'll make a blog post about it!

Anyways, here are a few of my favorites from his work, which you can see by clicking the links in the first paragraph. What do you think? Are you as jealous as I am?

A special thanks to Chestees for the find.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Credit Crisis Visualized

Ever wonder what is really going on with credit and the housing market these days? Yes, you understand the basics, but do you really understand or can you just safely say that you are familiar? This animation completely takes the guess work out of the equation. Simply watch the video and within minutes, you will be more educated on credit than all of your friends claim to be.

I will admit that I was a bit uneducated about this whole situation before watching the animation, but now I feel that I could have a semi-intellectual conversation with someone on this matter. Take a look for yourself!

Thanks to Jonathan Jarvis for creating this visual masterpiece and to Anirudh for the link.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A New Motorcycle For Me

Many of you may not know, but last season I fell in love with riding motorcycles. I learned how to ride one and immediately bought one, influencing my father to make another bike purchase, which was a 1999 BMW R1200C. This season has rolled around and I was ready to get rid of my starter bike and upgrade. And, what an upgrade it has been!

Riding motorcycles is actually an extremely therapeutic form of relaxation. It is a bit of a cliche saying this, but you feel so free and alive! Riding motorcycles is unlike anything you will ever do and one of the most addicting interests I have ever had. During the winter season, I sometimes cry because I cannot ride. I don't really cry, but I've come close.

Below, you will see pictures of my new motorcycle, which is a 2003 BMW R1150RS.

I know this is not design related in the slightest bit, but I will do my best to relate it. Motorcycles are designed, just like all things. Design is the root of all things, whether it be your computer, car, desk lamp, cell phone, cereal box, or anything else imaginable. From 3D programs to pencil and paper sketches, every object you come in contact has been, in some way, shape, or form, designed.

Some food for thought!