Caught In Limbo
↳ Client: Adobe Create Magazine
Commissioned by Adobe Stock to create a design based on the theme “Caught in limbo”. More specifically, “As a designer we have two choices when it comes to design trends, either make a living riding out the current wave, or look at the evolution of trends and start the wave ourselves.”
For the step by step process of creating this design please visit the Adobe Create Magazine "How to set trends" article.
Living in the digital age, designers tend to research and design in front of their screens. This project explores the blend of the two worlds, the digital scrolling and the physical, richer living.
A great inspiration for this design was "Becoming Leonardo: How Great Designers Think" by the author and designer William Lidwell. In that speech, he says, "Everything in nature can be seen by other things in nature, and so, you either want to be camouflaged against your surroundings, so the things that can eat you can’t see you, or you want to broadcast your presence.”
The glass lenses in the project represent eyes (the key to everything for a designer) staring at the screen, simply reflecting without absorbing the content. They repeat the current trends rather than create something new.
This project, a perfect loop, shows the dilemma of whether to follow the current trends, represented by patterns inspired by classic camouflage, or evolve them and start a new wave. Do you reflect the current trend, get camouflaged and hide yourself in it, or do you broadcast your presence by creating a new pattern that the others will follow and eventually get camouflaged in?
It is important to follow the evolution of trends but find your own special way to incorporate them in your work. In this design, the use of boomerangs and cinemagraphs serve as tools for research and investigation, rather than design outcomes. It is up to you to choose whether you want to be camouflaged and hidden behind the trends or to just monitor them and broadcast your presence by creating something new.
Four patterns inspired by classic camouflage have been designed. For example, the one below has been inspired by the classic military camouflage pattern.
BEHIND THE SCENES
To add the lens, or eye, element to the patterns, a plastic, magnifying glass is placed in front of the computer screen. The distortions were engaging, so, next step was to move onto the glass lenses.
To temporarily stabilise them in front of the computer screen, a frame was positioned parallel to the monitor and secured the lenses with tape.
Using the same technique, more lenses have been added to the frame.
The final solution was to rest the lenses on the glass of an empty picture frame. Two stacks of books held the frame with its lenses a specific distance above the screen of an upside-down laptop. A second keyboard and a mouse were connected to the laptop to offer better control for the animations.
A tripod was used to suspend a Fuji XT2 camera with a 10-24 f4 lens above the picture frame. It allowed both the distortion on the lenses and the computer screen to stay in focus.
The last stage was to return to digital and combine the four videos.