Chicago has always been a leader in art and innovation. With that said, it may not surprise you that The Art Institute of Chicago has released a free guided tour app. In the age of apps and GPS addicts, AIC released their response to “there should be an app for that”. They are the first major world art museum to release an app of this nature and they went the extra mile of installing wi-fi and other hidden hardware among the limestone walls so not only is the app at full strength, but it acts as a GPS turn by turn, gallery by gallery throughout your visit.
This tour app is brilliant because it allows you to search by collection, by current exhibition, by tour time, and by theme. The “tour by theme” may be the best part. Options include Birthday Suit, Chicago Artists, Loves Me/Loves Me Not, and Monkeying Around to name a few. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that Birthday Suit will take you to nudes, but the Monkeying Around theme literally takes you to all the paintings that depict monkeys! Perfect for children and twenty year old art students. Although the Art Institute will always be regarded in the utmost respect and prestige, this app really makes art accessible to everyone at all ages. After all, let’s not forget that Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte has a little monkey in the foreground.
Remember it’s not the how that’s significant when discovering art; It’s the action of discovering and exploring artists’ works that is important. This app will help you get there. It even tells you were all the restrooms are located in addition to the coat check, exits, and other useful navigation information that many people are usually embarrassed to ask about. (Take note other large institutions that offer apps but not directions.)
The AIC gets an A+ in my book for investing the time, money, and efforts to be at the forefront of what is sure to me a rising trend in museums and galleries. This enhancement doesn’t take away from guided tours at all, yet it allows visitors another way to navigate and better understand what they are viewing. (And it’s free.) However, I do imagine that there will be an audio tour option (whether for free or as an in app purchase) as newer versions of the app emerge over time. The app is available on both Apple and Android devices.
Now that the app finished downloading on your phone, get out there and use it!
I’m always trying to “look beyond” and in these couple images I’m doing it in the physical sense. I took these similar looking compositions on back to back days in two completely different settings. The top image is taken from a mountain overlooking the countryside in northwest Vermont, not too far from Burlington. The following day at rougly the same time, I hiked up to the highest point I could find in Montréal (my first Canadian city) and I found a similar view, but this time overlooking the cityscape.
Let’s kick off the first post of 2013 with a trailer shall we… This is the trailer for “P.S.” a short film I’ve been working on in association with Herbivore Productions. It’s a psychodrama that uses Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood as its backdrop. The neighborhood is best described by Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters as “Roaring twenties charm meets psych ward with no walls”. For a full synopsis of the film click here.
For stills and more info on the production, cast, and crew Like us on Facebook!
Of course, no post of mine is complete without referencing typography in some capacity. The typeface used in the trailer is called DK Formosa designed by David Kerkhoff. It’s a beautiful, handwritten-style font which is in reference to the notes that Pam “Boo Radley” leaves at Mike’s backdoor. But I don’t want to reveal too much about the film just yet! For more fonts designed by David Kerkhoff visit his page on dafont.com.
And in case you were wondering, the eerie sketches of Mike were drawn by Belizian artist Hubert Neal Jr. More posts on “P.S.” in the months to come. But in the meantime enjoy the trailer and feel free to leave me your thoughts and feedback.
The weather is getting cooler in Chicago and I have been working with winter imagery the past week and a half at work. When I saw this week’s photo challenge it instantly reminded me of this lonely walk of solitude. It’s a long exposure I took a couple of years ago in a forest preserve northwest of the city. The sun sets quickly in early December, but the numbness sets in quicker.
It’s wedding season. Aka fork over a check and drink your money back via white russians. This is a recent invitation I designed for Karen and John. The four rules I was restricted to were… (1) brand the wedding with a K&J logo (2) keep it mono-toned using navy blue (3) make it elegant and formal (4) keep it simple. I stayed true to their guidelines and they are both very pleased with their simple yet elegant wedding invitation. If you haven’t received your invite yet, I’m sure it’s in the mail.
I recently visited the 2012 Word’s Expo in Yeosu, South Korea, which I feel is flying under the radar as far as major world events are concerned. Regardless, it’s not often that the opportunity to attend the World’s Fair comes along. As a designer, I was very interested how countries graphically present themselves and research. Of the exhibitions I visited, Denmark hands wins my best graphic design award, which is this blog post. Congrats.
It’s dynamic, bold, entertaining, visually compelling, yet simple. They were able to tell their story as a country and relate to the overall concept of the expo which was humanity’s coexistence with the environment, particularly the ocean. (I’m looking at you Turkmenistan. Tisk, tisk. Just saying that your country borders the Caspian Sea doesn’t count as sticking to the theme!)
I especially love the simplicity of the graphics. Icons are challenging to create. It’s difficult to strip anything graphically down to an iconic state, but Danish designers were able to do just that. There’s a reason that Danes are the happiest people in the world. Could it be they understand the importance of simplicity in life and design? Or could it just be that they have phenomenal pastries…
More powerful images from the NATO protest in Chicago.
See more image here: NATO Protest – Part 1.