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Illustration

  • Kim Jung Gi was only 47 years old. An incredibly talented illustrator. He wielded his brush pen with aplomb, majesty and had an incredible ability to create entire universes out of thin air with the simplest of strokes. I truly believe he was a genius.

    Just listen and watch him explain his process. His voice, and commitment to craft and detail is unparalleled:

    Kim Jung Gi has had a highly esteemed career. He’s been involved in Deadly Class, Walking Dead and countless others. DC Comics Publisher, Jim Lee shared a thoughtful thread on Kim via Twitter:

    “[Kim] was a truly phenomenal talent whose pen and brush wizardry captivated and inspired millions of fans around the world,” Lee tweeted. “While he drew some incredible comics, it was his live drawing & his sketchbooks about his life, travels and dreams which spoke to me most. It was downright eerie and spellbinding to see someone with a near photographic memory bring an illustration to life with the style and flair that only Jung Gi could deliver.”

    He will be sorely missed. We may never see anyone with his level of mastery ever again. 😢

  • Slack Rebrands

    The Slack homepage, as of early 2019

    Slack, the communication tool goliath rebranded today. Personally, I think it falls short. The homepage re-design, more-so. I know, I know — I’m pretty contrarian on these topics, but hear me out. Gone are the illustrations, branding and web design by Ueno. Front-and-center are images mainly of people — which feels very Apple-esque. Could be worse I suppose.

    The new logo.

    It’s apropos though, given the news that Slack may just list directly instead of the traditional IPO route. Which is equally astounding and shocking. I suppose given the impressive amount of cash on hand, and imminent fundraising success Slack may ride in on the next couple of years — they decided it was a good opportunity to rebrand.

    A screenshot of the WeeChat IRC client. Shamelessly stolen from Thoughtbot.

    The Slack rebrand is a harsh abandonment of Slack’s IRC past, deep cultural chat roots of the 90’s and internet progeny. This smells of hubris, and if there’s some big software revision coming soon, I would be nervous.

    To make matter’s worse, Slack claims the real impetus to change the branding is because their previous logo, was too difficult to use. I’m not kidding — really:

    Our first logo was created before the company launched. It was distinctive, and playful, and the octothorpe (or pound sign, or hash, or whatever name by which you know it) resembled the same character that you see in front of channels in our product. 

    It was also extremely easy to get wrong. It was 11 different colors—and if placed on any color other than white, or at the wrong angle (instead of the precisely prescribed 18º rotation), or with the colors tweaked wrong, it looked terrible.

    Ok…

    Many beautiful things—but without a sense of cohesion that you might expect. So here we are. Our in-house design and brand team, together with Michael Bierut and the team from Pentagram, worked to create a new and more cohesive visual identity. And we’re starting, today, with the logo.

    I’m not discounting the design problem Slack’s branding had — I’m just discounting your reasoning. An angle adjustment and tightening of the brand colors? It took this long to do this? Was this mostly internal direction? Was only Michael Beirut of Pentagram involved? Were there other iterations? You couldn’t wait to publish a long-form blog entry on the steps you took as a company, as a culture, to decide upon this?

    Isn’t that a bit… I don’t know — hasty? This rebrand is a hot-mess.

    So many questions will go unanswered. Mainly because Slack is no longer a communication software company — it’s a media empire that happens to sell software.

    Call me old-fashioned, I think it’s a major bummer to see Slack embrace this new “identity” and disregard its internet past so nonchalantly.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Greenpeace Ecosystem

    Elliot Lim is a freelance director, designer, and animator based in the Bay Area. Elliot has a wide and varied resumé of work (some notables include HBO, FX, AT&T, and Jarritos).

    While jumping around a bit on Vimeo this morning, I found some of his handiwork. This short in particular was completed for Greenpeace was absolutely astounding. Lim has a beautiful hand in illustration styles, motion, and direction. Really top-notch stuff. Enjoy.