Project III: Research

After looking over some infographic categories, I concluded TIME would best suit my icon set because most of the people I know that participated in this subculture are feeling the side effects right now. The list I will deal with refers to the eight icons that I've created in the last step. In the category of time, I brainstormed three options
  1. Date of Invention
  2. How long objects last in one night (drugs/music etc)
  3. Usage of objects over a period of time

After deciding these three options, I did internet research to dig up as much information as I could. I then copied all of the information and resource to a word document for my notes. Then completing my list, I ruled out the first two bullet points and realized I can get first hand accounts for the consequences of the club scene after a period of time.

Although at the time MDMA (ecstasy) gets your spirits up and helps you dance all night, there are some repercussions after a period of time. Recent research indicates heavy MDMA use causes persistent memory problems in humans.
Psychological effects can include
  • confusion
  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
Physical effects can include
  • muscle tension
  • involuntary teeth-clenching
  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • faintness
  • chills or sweating
mdma source

Headphones the risk of hearing damage from headphones is higher than with loudspeakers, even at comparable volumes, due to the close coupling of the transducers to the ears. As a result, they are often used at higher volumes in order to drown out noise from the user's surroundings, which increases the risk of hearing-loss.

physical effects include
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • Difficulty in understanding speech
  • Slight muffling of sounds
  • Difficulty understanding speech in noisy places or places with poor acoustics
headphone source

Turntable Since there is physical contact between needle and the vinyl mass, after some time, the grooves grow larger and start having dents which will sabotage the quality of the signal. Other than having problems with the turntable itself, the records themselves are hard to keep in good condition. If you don't take good care of your records, you may experience
  • soft material is easily scratched
  • dust and scratches cause audio clicks and pops
  • needle may skip over a series of grooves
  • cause the needle to skip backwards, creating a "locked groove"
  • warped by heat, improper storage, or manufacturing defects
turntable source 1
source 2

Reel to Reel in this case, the use of magnetic tape for the reel to reel recorder doesn't have negative connotations. Many artists of all genres prefer analog tape's "musical", "natural" and especially "warm" sound. Due to harmonic distortion, bass can thicken up, creating the illusion of a fuller sounding mix. . In addition, high end can be slightly compressed, which is more natural to the human ear. Some other pro's to using reel to reel over time are
  • tape can accommodate multiple parallel tracks
  • greater flexibility (performance remixed long after originally recorded)
Although these bring some good points about using tape, there are some drawbacks such as
  • a recording on magnetic audio tape is linear
  • jumping from spot to spot to edit is time consuming and destructive

reel source

Glowsticks although used in elaborate dances and to help trip off mdma, the lights seem like a harmless toy. A closer look at the chemicals inside may cause problems if broken open. The ingredients include hydrogen peroxide, and phenol is produced as a by-product. If in contact with skin may cause
  • skin irritation
  • vomiting
  • nausea
glowstick source

Dancing like the reel too reel, the effects of dancing seem to help, even after a lasting period of time. Dancing may cause boost in moral and confidence but other scientific studies say it also benefits your brain.
  • helps prevent dementia
  • beneficial challenge to the brain
  • burns fat
  • causes heart rate to rise
dance source


Chip Kidd Poster

Type poster created after researching Chip Kidd. He bases the covers on the structure of the story. Because we had to use an image of Vanderslice hall, I used a collage of structural elements to create the poster.


The Rave Act final set

The Rave Act: By focusing on a rough edged shape, the icons came together as a cohesive set. The club scene is dark, so you might only see accented colors on people or objects, which is the reason for small bursts of liveliness. After creating what I thought were finished icons, I shrunk them down and took out unnecessary bits of information for simplification. Through the addition of duo tone, I revisited my black and white shapes based on my new color rule (no two blues touch).

Black and White

I was stumbling across some sites when I came across some of my favorite things (music and motion). What caught my eye was a black illustration (icon) of a wolf I found very attractive and realized it was concept idea for a video. These assignments we are working in visual communication I now see can be seen everywhere. Hoping to go into motion myself, I find this video very inspiring because of their use of one color drawing systems (what we are doing now in class). The ability to create abstract fields of color to conceptualize objects into a cohesive story is just what I need to help push me through school and continue my goals of making motion graphics.
What's also great about this page is the process for creating the shapes for the video (something the students in kcai are learning quickly and routinely). It is great to see a lot of the capturing was done with tangible objects, and not digital rendering (the grass/leaves/animals and so on).
With further ado, the video by a group called gap. Black and White is played by Danish post-punk duo Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, better known as The Raveonettes.


Re-re-revisions...around like a record.

Ah back to square two.. it seems. I felt I was having trouble conveying the dancer in the same manor as the rest of the set. There were some minor legibility issues with a few of the people i showed this icon to. They were mistaking it for a skateboarder or the action of hitting something.
After dealing with this problem, I first made a small revision to the original by splitting the shoe from the pant. I also added the dark blue color to the sleeves, only making the hands the accented electric blue.
Then I revisited the icon all together. I created the second one, with wide legs and skinner pants so you can see the leaning of the figure. Although I think the legs look better, I had to sacrifice the baggy 'phat' pants to achieve this. I noticed just now (after seeing the image small) the arms look a little thin, but I think it's okay because this Dutch style of dance known as hakken (jumpen) focuses on kicking the feet up high in the air.
The final adaption I created shows a girl with a lot of funk and soul doing her thing.


Icon Set Names

So after much deliberation and thought, I've come up with a couple icon set names that reference my electronic music theme. The titles I have listed come from the lingo and different government restrictions trying to stop electronic music parties (raves/clubs/underground festivals and so on).
  • club drug deals with with location (a club) and the fact that quite a few clubber's use drugs to enhance their experience. It also refers to the clubbers lifestyle. The atmosphere itself is a drug in which it is hard to get out because they've found it so accommodating for their needs. Sometimes massive depression tended to sweep over those involved in the Club scene after it died.
  • gregarious party animals refer to what people stereotype clubbers and ravers when hearing about them on the news. The gatherings are known to show up in news reports all over the world.
  • underground comfort (or nrg) a lot of these parties started out underground in factories and abaonded stores. The people who usually attend these parties refer the other ravers as family because there could be one or two parties every weekend. NRG is slang for energy, which people feel when listening/dancing to the music.
  • acid house summers were what the first rave parties were called in the 1980's. There would be between 4,000 to 25,000 people that arrived to these acid house summers.
  • one step beyond was a massive 'fantazia' that was an open-air all-nighter that attracted close to 30,000 people.
  • section 65 deals with the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 that allows any uniformed constable who believes a person is on their way to a rave within a five-mile radius to stop them and direct them away from the area; non compliant citizens may be subject to a maximum fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (£1 000).
  • PLUR is an acronym for peace, love, unity, and respect. Candy kids would wear massive amounts of colorful beads around their necks and wrists with plur written all over them.
  • audio adrenaline combines the music (audio) and the feeling you get while moving to the beat when kids danced all night long.
  • crossover groves references the grooves on a record that supply the sound. The crossover is on the mixer (sits in between the turntables) that allows for dual records being played at once, (or just the left/right) to be played one at a time for a continuous play.
  • family after dark alludes to the tight friendship and care of the clubbers as a group. You basically had a couple of families, one in the day (parents/siblings) and your night family (all meet up at night to party).
  • jacked kids Jack(ing/ed)(ling0) Getting down to some music. Kids who danced their hearts out were known to jack their ass off. They loved the music the most and danced the hardest.
  • underground dirty dance most parties were kept on the down low (underground) from most outsiders. As the music evolved, it became more dirty (darker and harder). It also references the warehouses they danced at were very dirty and abandoned.
After assessing the names and icons, I am going to work the next couple of days fixing the dancer.


The Rave Act

After reviewing the color choices I experimented with, I concluded to use two hues of blue. When I chose the best color scheme, I applied a darker hue blue to most of the object with a highly saturated second blue accented the most important parts. These reference the mood of the parties because when you enter the clubs it is very dark, and you might only see a couple of highly saturated/bright colors.

Throughout this investigation I have constantly had to change my icons, and I thought I was done. But further research I figured I needed to change one icon, one that was tough to convey in the first place. The glow sticks. Through the addition of color, I noticed the icon itself needed huge revision. So I came up with this.

There is still slight alteration in the black and white icon and the color because throughout my color series, I didn't have the two blues touching, so I couldn't make an exception for the glowstick. By adding highlights to the base of the stick, it reflects the rest of the set, rather than having a solid black bar. I also simplified the black and white version because there would be too much information in the icon if i left small lines around the outside.
Although this solution is resolved, I need to explore more options for the dancer.

Now you also might be wondering why I titled the post "the Rave Act". After ruffling through various names for my set, my friend John sent me a link about The "Rave" Act that makes it easier for the federal government to prosecute innocent business owners for the drug offenses of their customers - even if they take steps to stop such activity. Although I might come up with different names, this one references the semiotic journal I created, acting more of an informational booklet for the uneducated.


Sagmeister: The High Priest of Design

Early on, Sagmesiter used the most powerful tool we have. His mind. Throughout his life he has always kept a personal journal of thoughts and ideas. Keeping a journal is extremely helpful because as he said, our brains learn through repetition. If we see things only once, more likely than not we will forget it. I have started using a journal since I started art class as jr in high school. All my problems and thoughts are first worked out in the journal when i start my project, I have a great idea of how it will be executed.
Sagmeister also uses a lot of emotion to convey his ideas through image and text. It is hard to create great work if we as artists aren't interested in the subject matter. I feel this way right now because I am getting great feedback on my icons that concern something I care deeply for, music.
I thought it was interesting the way Sagmeister presents his work to clients. One. One. One. Instead of having tons of ideas with a couple good concepts, he likes to focus on one great idea and expand it to the fullest potential. This allows him to concentrate on one, and flush out unnecessary filler information. According to Sagmeister, this formally makes the decision easier for the client instead of overloading them with too many ideas.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his lecture. It helped me relax about art in general, and remember to just have fun with it.


Color Application II

Now that I have my icons completed, it's time to add color. I started with an icon that everyone seems to enjoy and applied different combinations from my earlier color post.

After completing the three palette sheets, I asked Shmergland and Mattress to help pick out some color combinations that best suited my set. When we distinguished some winners, I applied the same treatment to another icon to see how the results would turn out.


Color Application

The next step in the assignment is to use colors from the original book to incorporate into the icons.
I will be using a two color system. I plan on having two colors, one on the top half and one on the bottom. Here is an example of a couple different color palettes sampled from a 1x1 inch square in my book.

The first sample came from my 'clothing/wear' page. I sampled accessories that kids might be wearing in the club (anywhere from hair color to shirt colors).

second I sampled from the 'lights' page. I chose bright/saturated colors because they stand out more clearly in dark rooms.

The final palette came from the 'turntable' page. Here I chose to show main colors in the club (green/red/blue).

Next step: add different color combinations to create a two color icon


Connotative attributes

Formal elements that I have created in my iconic system may be described as
  • energetic
  • a movement
  • informative
  • a lifestyle
  • colorful
  • experimental
  • adaptive
  • celebration

Although some of the icons aren't 100 percent final, the connotative attributes describe the system.