Hitching a ride on the previous article about CarneMag and digital magazines which I posted over at FFF, I want to briefly mention a new web app I’ve been trying out over the last couple of days. It’s called Subfolio and is developed by Area17. They say,
Subfolio provides an elegant, practical and customizable web interface to your file system. Super fast to set-up and use, you’ll be up and running in minutes. Flexible and feature-rich, you’ll soon be inventing new ways to use it.
On the crux of it, it’s a convenient way for studios to quickly share work with clients, users and fans be it work in progress of the finished article. It’s still in private beta but the thought of a quick way to show a client how things are progressing or a way to share work that never quite made it because one reason or another was something that I’ve always thought many agencies could benefit from.
So to gauge Subfolio’s potential I thought I’d integrate it into our workflow. For the time being the only work that’ll be up there is content for blog posts that although interest us at first doesn’t make it into the final post. This usually happens a lot, were a handful or so of images will get selected but only three or so will make the final edit.
After a couple of days using Subfolio it seems pretty easy to setup, needing no database and only PHP5. You simply drag and drop your files the exact same file structure as on your Mac via FTP and hey presto Subfolio takes care of the rest. You can even setup a WebDAV folder to keep things synced which a nice feature even if our hosting company doesn’t provide it. However there’s still a few things that need sorting out such as being able to install Subfolio into a folder is a big bug bear. We’ve still yet to give it a little TLC in term’s of look and feel so bear with us if access is patchy over the next few days but I’m sure it’s something I’ll be recommending to others if the situation is right.
Call me old fashioned but when it comes to digital magazine I’m always a bit sceptical. Maybe it’s that digital magazines somehow miss the point of the printed word, the gratification of some physical—the way it looks, smells and feels in your hands. Or maybe it’s the skin crawling feeling I get thinking that anyone with a DTP program can layout some editorial spread competently. Or maybe it’s why isn’t it embracing online technologies and making the content accessible rather than publishing work using some closed system. What do you think?
Enough of my ramblings. When a press release for CarneMag landed in the submissions box, every alarm was telling me it’s just another digital magazine. But to my surprise it’s actually surprisingly decent content wise. Yes it’s still in a proprietary closed format (looks to be some sort of Flash based solution), weighing in at a ridiculous 65mb and launching in a full screen mode when you open up the app. But once you get past these bug bears, it’s chock full of illustrators, graphic designer and photographers including some familiar names as well as some fresh and exciting work.
This got me thinking though, CarneMag doesn’t really offer much in the form of curation which you’d expect from a magazine. In it’s essence CarneMag is could of been as easily created as a blog and it would of been far more accessible and usable. But there’s something quite alluring about a compiled and edited publication. There’s a real narrative at play here which blogs don’t quite communicate that magazines do so well. At the core of it, with web technologies moving more away from Flash and towards CSS3 and jQuery et al, digital magazines need to embrace it. Sites like Thinking For a Living seem to be going this way. Producing a digital magazine that just works straight in the browser but delivers and considered narrative excites me, a lot.
Looking back over the last couple of weeks, it seems like I’ve been reading a lot of fashion related content—no surprise tailing off LFW a few weeks back and the subsequent submissions that come in to FFF every week. One thing that caught my eye was the well executed work super star designer Athony Burril completed for Jenny Packham catwalk show ‘Alive – Autumn/Winter 2010 collection’ which launched at London Fashion Week.
Typical geometric patterns—that Burril has been exploring in his work recently—the grandure of scale and lighting create a stunning environment and complimented by the invite design create a unity that makes for an visually beautiful show.
Matthias Hübner is quite the seasoned book designer and there’s a good chance one his creations is on your book shelf already. As well as confidently grasping editorial design, there’s also some creative ideas in his workshop section, including solving the world-wide problem of spilling your tomato sauce down your shirt.
Sonia Rykiel has put together a collection of lush garments for her fall 2011 collection as shown in Paris recently. As well as great photos showcasing the collection, what really caught my eye are the oversized pom-pom’s which make for visual intrigue that is both soft and inviting which reflect a lot of the texture found in her pieces…
I just received a very sweet email from a happy new friend and owner of Emmanuel. I’m sure they’re both so fresh faced to know they’re friends at the moment but in the passing months and years I’m sure they’ll never learn to live without the other in close proximity.
Inka Järvinen, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Helsinki, has a folio comprised of detailed, vintage inspired illustrations that lend themselves very well to fashion garments and accessories. It’s not surprise to see she graduated in graphic design and fashion (an interesting combo) and spent some time working for a clothing company before staring full time at studio Werklig.
At the moment it is only that, a concept. For me though it makes a lot of sense and in the long line of products that Pantone have lent their name to. It’s interesting just how successful Pantone have been in turning what is a niche brand that makes sense to only a small number of people into a contemporary design classic. One particular example that springs to mind are the Pantone mugs; now on sale in big department stores and even making up the background furniture on day time TV’s This Morning. I imagine though one of the biggest thing holding this concept back though are the licensing for the Pantone brand name. Every product that bears always comes with a very high price tag.
Avant garde editorial work from Netherlands duo Niessen & de Vries. Even though their website isn’t the most user friendly in the world, their mix of work certainly makes up for it. Try the overview for a quick glance at their folio.
Like a kid with a fresh pack of Crayola’s, Adrian Johnson breaths real character and vitality into his own style of illustrations. Bright, extremely colourful and very endearing, it’s no surprise that Adrian Johnson has been snapped up by Big Active. Lots of great work in his folio for both print and animation. If you’re wondering why some of the illustrations look fimliar, you’ve probably seen him in the pages of FFF favourite, Monocole Magazine.
For those of you particulalrly enamoured with Adrian’s work there’s an interesting interview with the man courtersy of the ever popular Grain Edit.