Pixel Envy

Nandor Tamas • 3 minute read

Incredibly-undeniable truly gifted talent blankets us in every waking moment.  Design moves us, shapes us, and in fact tells its own incredible story. From the various form factors we hold in our hands that stitch our worlds closer together, to the birth and evolution of photo communities that allow us to take more than just a photo; it’s an ever-evolving world in which beautiful experiences and exhilarating stories become one. The true beauty is seen below the cosmetic surface - at the functional level in the  guts and gory details that make it all go. The lines, the shapes, the colors, and the movement become choreographed such that artistry takes shape. When that choreography is mastered – users can behold the experience, and life continues better than it was in the seconds before it existed. So how then, can designers themselves, envy this?

Recently, I was conversing with some fellow pixel pushers about a young designer who took it upon himself to redesign a public interface of sorts; showing new ways of thinking and ideating, while challenging the norm. A "passion project" is what I call them. Projects that allow you to release your intuition and show your thinking without inhibition. “The boy is brilliant”, I said. His dissection of design and approach to the design choreography was satisfying. I can say that love at first site truly does exist. When I showed the work to the group - I was taken aback to hear the envy. “Young designers are annoying.” Wrong. “He doesn’t work so he has time to play.” Wrong. It was hard to fathom I was in the same room – it was pixel bloodshed.

Excuses don’t exist in design, reasoning and initiative does.

I felt defeated. I was bothered by the fact that I was surrounded by designers who didn’t embrace design thinking, but rather felt it was more important to lift their own defeated ego. It was more important to them to criticize the choreographer with assumptions and excuses, to mask their true emotion - because they didn’t create it. Excuses don’t exist in design, reasoning and initiative does. As designers, the more we kick this disastrous "pixel envy,” the more incredible and evolved our world becomes.

We live in a bold world of design giants - always thinking and never stopping. There will always be someone with a little more pixel muscle than you. That’s an important detail – but it’s not the point. These giants choreograph design beauty. We, as designers ourselves, should take what we can from them and apply that thinking to our own world, our own choreography. We should embrace our own skills, learn new ones and evolve. After all, one day you could become that giant.

Married To Design

Nandor Tamas • 3 minute read

I’ve recently been obsessed with the idea of “marriage” — as a designer — and the fact that design is, and will always be, our long term relationship — our one true love. We as designers need to be aware of this relationship — acting as one and learning from one another to become secure with what we are together. We must understand that what we are getting ourselves into is a union in which we must make sacrifices, be aware of each other’s faults, and always, always compromise for the good.

Our skills, this craft, for creating powerful creative will never evolve if we don’t evolve together. We must listen to one another;  design speaks volumes and demands to be heard. We must back away from a finished piece and let it speak to us — have it stand on its own and let us know if it needs more support; or, if it’s ready to show itself off. We must allow time for evolution — for work to be influenced by the time in which it is growing and taking shape. We must not crowd  and create empty white noise; but rather we must breath together and deliver a cohesive message. We must communicate if something doesn’t feel right ,and pay attention  to initial visceral reactions. As we listen to one another, we grow with one another. The result of that growth is something that maintains strength, integrity and substance. We must learn from what we have created, as it will - as it always does - take on a life of its own. Growth is beautiful. Growth is success.

As designers — if something fails, we are built with the skills and talents to turn that around. It’s part of what makes us artists.

As with any successful relationship, what you put in is what it uses to live. Negativity, anger, and fear grow — but so does heart and compassion. Allowing yourself to free your spirit and approach every complex situation without toxicity will, in turn, allow that free spirit to become the base of something brilliant in the end. Listen to what your work is telling you and accept it — even if you don’t want to hear it — it is telling you because it’s the truth. As designers ,  if something fails; we are built with the skills and talents to turn that around. It is part of what makes us artists. We are artists, in love with design.

If we want our work to truly evolve, to make a bold statement in this world and cause imaginations to surge, we must be aware of the fact that we are, indeed, in a relationship that is always exposed. We are in bed with design. Growing, sharing, listening, and evolving will allow us to be mature about our craft and be proud of what we have done; allowing the next big thing to be created. This relationship is for a lifetime — make it the best possible experience you can and embrace what you have become and will become. You may now kiss the bride.

The Comeback Gif

Nandor Tamas • 2 minute read

Never in my years of frame by frame artistry and pixel dancing would I ever think that something as annoying as the almighty compressed GIF would be — dare I say — beautiful. From the birth of the flashing “NEW” signs, to rainbow colored flashing stars, to those amazingly ugly “under construction” signs that were to anticipate something amazing was about to go live — the GIF in its present state has been reborn.

Turns out the GIF is actually GIFted.

As technology races, it only makes sense that whatever falls in its way, changes with it. With the lower platform support Flash is getting these days and the increase of mobile maniacs, it makes sense that new ways of animating cross platform splendor evolve too. But an animated GIF? Yep. Turns out the GIF is actually GIFted.

As various software packages communicate with each other — digital artists have found amazing ways to recapture frame by frame animation in a way never thought possible, given bandwidth issues of the past. The internet has more muscle, more power, and more experience in fueling motion art. The GIF knows it and finally has a second chance to prove what it can do   when the web and its pixels play nice together. Joy (flashing).

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