Street Art: “A Visual Gift”

23 12 2011

It seems like Penn Quarter is quietly becoming the new hot spot for street art sightings. It’s surprising because this little neighborhood is always changing its appearance and is currently going through some remodeling in terms of new business coming in. Over the past few weeks, I’ve already seen some pretty cool street art budding along the streets, so it’s cool to see a consistent flow of new pieces popping up.

Today, I’m featuring a piece I saw at the beginning of the week. Drawing on the Postal Service’s address stickers is popular, probably one reason being, because they are a free medium. As I was walking down on 7th St., I couldn’t help noticing this bright design, gracing the side of the future Wagamama. I love the bright colors used and the playful amorphous design shown. The warm colors stand out in these (supposed) colder months. I also like that you can see that this piece was obviously drawn using markers/pens, a very accessible drawing medium, unlike some street art pieces done with spray paint or a printing process. This piece is like a visual gift for the eye, not dealing with any (obvious) message or reference. How delightful!


The Re-Branded Wizards

10 05 2011

If you haven’t already seen it all over the internet, the Washington Wizards have a new look, thanks to owner, Ted Leonsis. I’ve been hearing for a long time now that Mr. Leonsis has been trying to get a more unified color scheme for all of the Washington D.C. sports teams. With the success of the Capitals’ new red logo, he took the Wizards in the same direction. Leonsis was in charge of re-branding his newly acquired basketball team to update the older, retro colors and logo of the Bullets.  No, they weren’t going to change the name back to the violent ‘Bullets,’ but everything else would resemble the old team.

The first thing to change was the logo. The direction was taken from the Bullets’ old logo where the name is spelled out, and the two letter ‘l’s’ became long arms reaching out to a basketball. This old logo, combined with the Wizards’ most recent “DC” type logo made of lower case letters were combined to create this new logo:

As you can see, we are back to the creative use of letter ascenders creating the image of arms playing basketball. Honestly, I think this is kind of a cop-out way to bring the basketball imagery into a type-based logo, but it works, and is reminiscent of the retro Bullets logo we had so embraced. From this new logo (taken from the Wizards’ website) we can also deduce a few more things about the Wizards’ re-branding. We now see the return of the “American” colors of red, white, and navy. (The same colors the Capitals used in re-branding their organization.) We are also introduced to a new typeface:

Like the Caps did with their new logo, the Wizards have updated the old font in the Bullets’ logo, and modernized it for today. The new typeface, a stylized and adapted version of the lettering seen in the old Bullets’ look, can also be seen on the Wizards’ new uniforms:

As you can see, the new jerseys have been modeled after the Bullets’ jerseys and colors. White is for home games, and Red is used for away games. The typeface is used here in an all-lowercase version. I actually really like the look of the new numbers in this font, and like with the playing of letters to create images (used for the Caps’ logo creating a hockey stick out of the letter ‘t’), we see the lowercase ‘h’ in ‘washington’ become the Washington Monument. We are also introduced to the dot of the lowercase ‘i’ becoming a basketball. You can watch the press video that outlines more clever details added to the new uniforms: here. (I recommend it!) Also, if you take a look back at uniform history in Washington’s basketball franchises, you can see that the horizontal stripe across the chest (which I am actually not a fan of) harks back to older jerseys. (Check out that video here.)

I think this is all a clever move for Ted Leonsis and D.C.’s sports teams. Now, the color red can be seen throughout all of the city’s major league teams: The Nationals, The Mystics, The Capitals, D.C. United, The Freedom, The Kastles, and even The Redskins (because burgundy is still in the red family and I’m pretty sure their colors will never be changed). While I think the new uniforms look a little clown-like and campy (seriously, if they just took away that horizontal stripe, I’d like the new look a lot more!), I think it is a neat idea to have all of the sports teams sharing the same color. Obviously, Mr. Leonsis took this cue from rival sports town, Pittsburgh, whose black and gold colors can be seen on the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. I suppose a unifying color scheme can bring a city closer to its players and fans. I also hear that the Wizards performed their best when they last wore these colors (as the Bullets), so maybe this whole color thing, can bring back some real basketball winners to this city!

Optical Illusion

20 11 2009

P. 91   11/20/09

Sorry readers. This is like the first time ever that I have writer’s block and seriously can’t think of anything decent to write. I guess it was bound to happen. I do think it’s impressive though that I’ve gone 11 months before succumbing to this annoying void of thoughts. But it’s a Friday, so I feel that that’s a little more forgivable.

So instead I am bringing you this optical illusion. How is this an illusion, you ask? Well it seems that the green and the blue stripes in this image are actually the same color. They are both the same color as the colored box at the bottom. The arrows point to the places where the green/blue stripes intersect with the box. When you look closely, you can see that when merged into the box, the stripes are actually the same color as the box. Freaky, right? This is explained to us because our brain perceives colors by what is next to them. Thus, the pink color creates a blue tint and the orange color creates a green tint in our brains.

Cubicle Improvement

6 05 2009

I think cubicle walls should be manufactured to have the option of being produced in colors. Everytime I look at a room crowded with cubicles, the drab shades of gray always make my heart sink a little. (- Not like I would expect to be hopeful or inspired when I see cubicles…but why not?) For the record, I’m not even a grayhater. Gray is actually one of my favorite colors, but it’s not an ideal cubicle color. There is a time and place for gray, and this isn’t it.

Cubicles are made for the work environment. I would think that any adjustments to such an environment to make “work more enjoyable” wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Cubicle walls produced in bright, bold colors could be fun. I strongly doubt that by working in a bold green little box would be too distracting to work in. I feel like any  prolonged exposure to a color, will over time just become as uniformed and “normal” as the the grays we’ve become so used to (-with the possible exception to neon colors and black*).

But I could see a study related to this notion of “prolonged exposure to certain colors (in a work environment) and the way colors can affect one’s mood.” So maybe colors such as reds and oranges would be too hostile and harsh to work under. *The same could be said for too-bright neon colors which I could imagine causing headaches for some, or the too-depressing black to overwhelm a small box you’re placed in. Maybe the cooler colors like blues, greens, and purples would be more appealing and ideal to work with. 

Maybe a happy medium range of colors could be decided upon. A step up from drab grays could be darker hues like navy, maroon, pine green, and plum. Maybe even lighter colors could work, such as peach, pastel yellow, pastel turquoise, baby blue, and light lavender. I think it could work. I mean, really anything would be a step up from grays.