Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Art’

Silk: Surreal Abstraction in a Browser

New web technologies give us the ability to create outstanding, beautiful artwork in our browser window without Flash. Silk is an app unlike anything we’ve seen before. We had trouble nailing down how to describe it since we couldn’t compare it. It’s not a tool or a game.

Visit Silk, and click-and-drag a line across your browser. Once you let go, an organic shape will begin to form and glide across your screen. The design looks like waving fabric, or arcs of lightning, or smoke from a cigarette, all depending on what your draw. The shape cycles through colors as it grows, giving you a piece that you’ll want to save and share with friends. Hold down your Shift-key and move your mouse to control the wind.

What surprised us about Silk is that there is a business model behind the tool. The website previews upcoming iPhone and iPad apps. After all, with an app like this one, why would you want to be limited to your browser? We don’t have any other details at this point. But, once they are released in the App Store, we’re willing to bet they will become instant classics.

Favwork: Designer Showcase Community

Forget about invite-only showcase sites or pay-to-play design directories. Favwork is a free, welcoming community for all designers to upload and showcase their best work.

Creating an account is as simple as signing in via Twitter. Once you upload your work, share it across Twitter. Other users can stop by and like your work, and the most liked uploads are featured weekly on the homepage.

The site’s layout is very similar to Dribbble, but Dribbble controls quality by requiring a referral in order to register. As a result, similar sites often lock out solo freelancers and unintentionally places greater emphasis on exclusivity. Favwork successfully shifted the focus from building enthusiasm for an exclusive community to building enthusiasm for great work. And since the community is powered by a social site like Twitter, the barrier is low enough for anyone to join. Kudos, Favwork.

Cargoh: Curated Design Marketplace

Cargoh is an online marketplace for designers, artists and photographers. All potential sellers complete an application, which is individually reviewed for acceptance on the website. Through this process, Cargoh is able to offer a unique destination for finding great products from promising artists.

Just by taking a stroll through the marketplace, you can tell Cargoh carefully curated a strong collection of products. Cargoh is still a young website, so sellers are helping drive the site’s direction. Selecting new sellers individually allows them to offer a wide range of products, but it also serves as quality control. Their listings are inspired and lack the kitsch some of us may expect from similar communities.

Cargoh does not charge their sellers listing fees, unlike pay-to-list websites such as eBay or Etsy. Instead, they retain a small percentage of each receipt to cover costs. That’s it; no other fees are involved. Their business model may change in the future, but at this point they only see dollars come in when one of their sellers completes a sale.

The company’s blog regularly boasts just a few of the new additions. If it’s an indication of the calibre of products, we’d say Cargoh succeeded in creating an strong destination.

Scout Books: Custom Pocket Notebooks

Pocket notebooks are the perfect travel companions. Think of them as field notes guides for anyone. And their cover designs are just retro enough to be cool.

Scout Books lets anyone design their own pocket notebook. Download their Adobe Illustrator or Acrobat page templates and size your work to fit. The template also includes Scout Books’ color inks and additional formatting instructions. The inside pages can be blank, lined, grid or—brace yourselves—a custom design. All products are printed on 100% Recycled Papers. Pricing for prints is tiered in groupings. Depending on the quantity ordered, the cost per book can range from a little less than $5 to under a buck. Free shipping in the U.S. too.

It’s pretty surprising to see what customers have been able to accomplish on the book covers. Scout Books also post some of their own designs available for purchase. Browsing their site catalogue may just be tempting enough for you to purchase one of their existing designs. But take their examples as inspiration and show us what you can create.

TurningArt: Netflix for Art Collectors

TurningArt released a new way for us to never grow tired of the art on our walls; rotate it. The company’s service operates a lot like Netflix. Users create queues of art they would like to see in their homes. Then, depending on the plan, TurningArt will send users a new print every three months, one month or as often as they would like.

Subscribing to TurningArt comes with a frame, and all prints are sized to easily slide in and out. That way, when a new print arrives, the user just needs to slip the old print out of the frame and send it back.

What we really like about TurningArt is that rental money is not lost. Every dollar you put towards TurningArt is automatically added to your account balance in the event you want to purchase a piece. There is a limit, but it’s high enough to almost think of the service as a rent to own option. Plus, the works for sale are not prints, but the original pieces of art.