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Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | magazine@designn.

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2 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
"Data Transfer" a
Collaboration by Alastair
Temple and Maxime des
Touches for Te Luminarium.
Data Transfer, a part of their 23rd
exhibit, explores the cybernetic &
cyberpunk universes and their take
on the idea of a Kibernetik future.
With over 30 pieces of work, their
artists have approached the theme
in a variety of ways, and each
presented their own unique visions
of the Cyberpunk environment by
creating stunning pieces about
computer systems, mechanical
structures, and symbiotic
biological & cognitive organisms.
This exhibition presents a crossing
between advanced technoligical
surroundings and post-apocalyptic
Checkout the whole 23rd exhibit at
What is The Luminarium?
It is a modern international art
group with talented artists in
both the digital and traditional
realm from all over the world.
Pursuing originality and
creativity, our group focuses on
creating online art exhibits for
anyone to enjoy and experience.
The Goal
The Luminarium stands for
an inspiring and resourceful
community that gives and shares
to its members and above all
creates unique inspiring art
exhibits for anyone to enjoy.
Editor's Note
3 years of "Designning" and 4 bi-annual
magazines later we're finally done with the 5th
edition of the Designn Magazine. Finalizing
interviews, art features and articles for over
6 months, the 5th edition is one of the finest
editions we've compiled so far! From exclusive
interviews with top illustrators to tech-reviews
this is a truly well-rounded edition looking to
reach out to the taste and needs of every digital
and traditional artist.
Designn Magazine has always been a bi-annual
publication, but from this edition onwards we
are hoping to kick up the number of editions per
year to at least four, which requires twice the
effort; therefore, I'd like to officially request you
- our readers - to submit your very own content
to the upcoming editions of the magazine, and
help us to be a continued success.
You are most welcomed to get in touch with
us via any of our official social media outlets
or directly email us using the emails listed on
the right. I hope you enjoy and gain from this
edition of Designn Magazine. Till next time.
Udara Jay.
Udara Jayawardena
Founder of Designn & Editor-in-chief
Founder & Editor
Udara Jayawardena
Director of Publications
Natalie Rowlands
Raveena Weerabahu
Minesh Fernando
Bliss Lokiev Ng
Lauren Leslie
Ulrikke Stendorf
Contents Page
4 5
You are here!
6 7
Starting a
Blog. Continued...
8 9
Interview with
Rose Besch Continued...
12 13
Does music
Or is it just a
distraction? Continued
14 15
For A Creative
World Project
16 17
The "Sellout
Artist" Continued...
18 19
Shaban by Saeed
20 21
Interview with
Risa Rodil
22 23
Five Portable
Highlights. Continued...
28 29
A Video Maker's
Toolkit Continued...
30 31
Erica Dal Maso
32 33
Will minimal
design cut it?
34 35
Interview with
Mohamed Raoof
36 37
Digital Sales A
guide to selling
online. Continued...
38 39
Photos Continued...
40 41
Building a
successful user
interface. Continued...
42 43
How Facebook
filters your News
44 45
How do
you finish
46 47
What's your
character design
thought process? Continued...
50 51
The Designn
The Designn
48 49
The Work of
Maria Keller
How to get used
to your new
6 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
goes behind
starting a
A complete
Ive designed, hosted and written
for multiple blogs over the
past few years including the
official Designn blog and my
first personal blog which was
at (long
gone now) which came to be in
the top 100,000 websites online!
(considering the number of
websites on the internet that was
a pretty cool number). But due to
lack of time and resources at that
point, I had to shut it down.
So now that you know my multiple
blogging experiences, let's jump
right into the step-by-step process
of planning and setting up your
blog using the self-hosted version
of WordPress.
This is the most important
question you need to ask
yourself when starting your
own blog. Everything from
the content you post and the
design of the site revolves
around the purpose of
your blog. You may be a
journalist sharing your
views on society,
politics, etc. which
would mean you'll
most likely want a
'newspaper/journal' styled
theme; or you may be a
writer, in which case
there are many specially
designed themes for the sole
purpose of story telling.
Once youve decided on what your
blog is going to be for, you need to
think of your potential audience.
This is important for deciding
what type of hosting you would
need to purchase and picking an
appropriate domain name (which is
totally up to you!)
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 7
Setting Up
Whilst you can buy your domain
name and hosting separately,
it's recommended that you keep
it all in one place. Services such
as DreamHost and DigitalOcean
allow you to buy your hosting and
domain altogether (and may even
offer you a special deal for doing
so). Both of these services provide
a solid hosting platform for setting
up WordPress; however, I can
tell you that your site is likely to
perform much faster on a Digital
Ocean virtual private server ($5/
Setting up a WordPress site on
DigitalOcean: Simply follow the
DigitalOcean community tutorial
Setting up WordPress on
Obviously there are more services,
including, which
lets you create a blog by simply
registering an account. But thats
not the point here what youll
be setting up for yourself is an
independent and expandable blog
with freedom to customize it for
any of your needs.
The theme and personality
There are literally thousands
of professional free WordPress
themes out there. A simple
Google search for Minimal Free
WordPress themes will turn up
hundreds of free choices. But
making the right choice can be
quite tricky, especially if youre a
design savvy person.
Graphic design is the paradise
of individuality, eccentricity,
heresy, abnormality, hobbies
and humours.
Pick a theme which suits the
content of your blog and of course
to match your personal tastes. Its
important that you stick to one
theme and keep a consistent look
to create a professional image for
your blog and build the sort of solid
personality you would want it to
Its 1 in Millions of Blogs
There are 181 million blogs on
the internet (as of 2011) and
yours would just be one of them.
Thats 0.0000005524861878%
of all blogs online. My point is
you need to make the content on
your blog as unique as possible!
Share your personal expertise and
experiences, make it a fun, give
your blog a personality and a touch
of uniqueness as much as the DNA
which codes who you are!
You HAVE to get friendly with
Google, Yahoo, Bing and what
not to make sure you can reach
out to a larger audience. Your
website ranking on Google is one
way to judge the success of your
website in terms of audience and
therefore it is crucial you do a
good amount of Search Engine
Optimization for your blog. Big
companies are known to hire
professionals to tailor their content
to be SEO-Friendly and it sure does
help. But for starting up you can
simply do a fair amount of SEO by
installing the free Yoast WordPress
SEO plugin on your website and
configuring it appropriately. I
also suggest setting up Google
Authorship through your G+ profile
which is known to help with
pushing your content to Google
and at the same time associate
the blog posts under your name
because thats part of the point of
writing for a blog!
Written by Udara Jayawardena
8 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Interview with
Rose Besch
Freelance Illustrator
An aspiring artist from Atlanta, Georgia,
USA who is most popular for her vibrant
character designs and digital art!
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 9
When did you start your career in
I've been posting my work online
for a long time now - since 1997
or so - and a few years in, I began
receiving commission requests
online. I was too insecure about
my work to accept many of these
requests at first, but around 2004
I decided I should try to make a
career of it and just learn along the
When/how did you first discover
your creative talent?
To be honest, I've been drawing for
as long as I can remember! I'm not
sure if any one thing in particular
spurred my interest in art, but I do
remember watching a lot of Disney
animated films as a child and loving
them to bits, and wishing I could
make something similarly beautiful
(not necessarily in animation, but
something visual that could reach
and inspire others.)
Find a way to make art you
love - Experiment until you
fgure out what subject matter
and techniques you truly
What inspires you to keep creating?
Well, art is what pays my bills, and
it's really the only thing I'm any
good at, so if I don't create, I don't
eat - needing food and money is
my main "inspiration", haha! But,
when I have the spare time to
create something for myself, I'm
often inspired by fashion, pop art,
street art, other illustrations...
How would you describe your style
of illustrating?
East meets West meets graphic
design maybe? I've always been
fond of both Asian and American
comic and cartoon styles, but
rather than gravitate towards
illustrating large realistic scenes,
I'm much more interested in bright
colors, strong lines, interesting
shapes, patterns and motifs.
How long did it take for you to get
to this professional level?
Skill-wise, I've been drawing nearly
every day for who knows how long
- since I love the process of making
art, and I get to make art for a
living, it hasn't been terribly hard
for me to devote time and energy
into developing and improving my
fulfills you rather than completely
drains you!
What program do you use to create
Photoshop CC and a 6x8" Wacom
Intuos3 (old!) for digital work.
Sometimes I use a Surface Pro
as a supplementary tablet. For
traditional work, I normally use
I just really love creating!
I can't imagine doing
anything else.
However, freelancing also requires
a lot of networking, self-promotion,
brand building and that sort of
thing. As an introvert, its been
difficult for me to strengthen those
aspects of my career; its something
I need to work harder on and I
wish I had known sooner just how
important they are. Perhaps I'd
be more successful today as a
What message do you
have to new artists?
Find a way to make art you
love. Experiment until you
figure out what subject
matter and techniques
you truly enjoy. Don't
worry too much about
what other people want
you to do, or not having
enough followers yet - if
you genuinely love making
art, it'll show in your work,
and the more you create
and learn, the more your
work will improve. The more
your work improves, the more
followers and recognition you'll
get. Being skilled and successful
doesn't come overnight, so you
need to stay motivated to keep
creating in the meantime -
loving your process makes
it that much easier. And,
once you do make art into
your career, if you're
creating what you
enjoy every day, your
job will be one that
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 11
12 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Does music
Or is it
just a
What do you listen to when
you design?
Music can give you a motivational
jump-start before youve even
opened Photoshop, or put pen to
paper; in particular, tunes with an
up-beat tempo can help improve
your mood. However, songs with
lyrics can be distracting as it
introduces a multitasking situation
which can interfere with reading
comprehension and information
But what music should you
choose? Something new? Or
something familiar which stirs
past emotions? Listening to
something new can be distracting,
as youre paying too much
attention to the lyrics and rhythm.
When you put something familiar
on you almost zone-out as the
song is such a big part of you, and
any lyrics are less distracting as
the words are already so intimate.
With that zoning out, your mind
begins to race as past memories
surface and ideas begin to form.
Nonetheless, new music should
not be disregarded. A powerful
song can immediately inspire
and conjure images. Write these
spontaneous emotions and ideas
down as soon as you feel them,
as they might flit away in a few
moments. If the song youre
listening to has no lyrics, think
about what sort of story would use
it as a soundtrack; alternatively if
it has lyrics, listen to them and let
them paint out a scene for you.
For example, if we take a look at
The Last Crusade A New Age
Dawns Part 1 by Epica, the
chorus is:
Don't be afraid, participate and
Just give us all your trust
Your soul will be saved
Just honour me, I'll set you free
Get ready to join the
Very last crusade
What do these lyrics say to you?
I see a woman, standing before
a crazed crowd, flaunting some
form of holy light and being
fanatical in her recruitment of
warriors. Granted this example
does not leave much room for
interpretation, but what about
Letters from the Sky by Civil
One of these days the sky's
gonna break
And everything will escape and
I'll know
One of these days the
Are gonna fall into the sea and
they'll know
From this, I can see a split in the
sky, either from lightning, or a
literal tear in the fabric of space;
and perhaps the lightning is
crashing onto the mountain and
causing it to splinter.
If youre looking for some
non-lyrical music, try Two
Steps from Hell, Globus, or
Thomas Bergersen. Their music
is powerful, and definitely
Reaching out to real artists, I
asked a simple question: "Do you
listen to music whilst you design?".
21 participants responded, and
of those 85% said that they listen
to music, with 15% preferring
silence. Two thirds of those who
listen to music agreed that when
Photo Source
they need to concentrate, or write,
they switch to non-lyrical music,
so that they are not distracted.
The other third stated that it didnt
matter what music they listened
to, as when they began to get
absorbed by their work, the music
faded out. To quote a few of those
who took part:
GrimFace242 - For me it all
depends. When I'm writing, I try
to stick with instrumental only
(so, mainly soundtracks) because
words tend to make me want to
sing and then I don't focus on the
writing. If I'm working graphics, I
try to stick with anything upbeat
(lots of Irish rock).
Celvas - It doesn't matter. When
I design, I don't hear anything
Ginkgografix - Doesn't matter to
me as long as it doesn't distract
me. Just when it comes to coding
or something which I really have to
think about, then I prefer to go for
Instrumental or New Age.
So what can we conclude from
this? Whilst music can be the
spark we need to start, it can
become distracting and possibly
even detrimental to the outcome
of our piece. If you find the music
becoming too prevalent, and
taking over your concentration,
turn it off or switch to something
non-lyrical, or calmer.
Written by Natalie Rowlands
14 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
How to get
used to your
new tablet!
First and foremost, don't be
afraid of it. You need to use
it. Every. Single. Day. Use it
to browse the web for example. It'll
help you get used to the sensitivity
(practice highlighting sections of
text), and all of the features of the
pen. Some suggest that you should
hide your mouse, so you're forced
to only use your tablet! Through
daily use, it should become an
extension of your arm, and begin
to move naturally.
Tis tutorial is by no means a
defnitive guide, but it should
help you with your tablet
Play with it. Mess around
with all of the settings your
tablet has to offer. Not only
will it help you find the settings
you're most comfortable with, but
it'll teach you what each individual
part does. Also play around with it
in your chosen drawing program
(Photoshop / SAI / etc.), you'll
learn more about your tablet and
how it reacts to the program's
settings (which may be different
than what you're used to) - you're
undoubtedly going to want to test
the Pen Pressure setting within
the advanced brush menu.
Doodle. By doodling you're
not only using it, but you're
creating shapes (no matter
how indistinguishable). Perhaps
even start a new art project and
only use your new tablet.
Write with it - heck, even
sign your name. We've
been writing for almost
our entire lives, we know the
motion of each letter perfectly,
and our signatures barely change
throughout out life - so replicate
that with your tablet.
Read tutorials about your
tablet. Learn tips and tricks
from those who are used to
using it every day.
Still having troubles? If
you've made the leap from
drawing traditionally to
drawing digitally, why not stick
a piece of paper over the tablets
drawing area. It won't effect the
pen (in most cases) but it will give
you a more natural drawing feel
and help you in your transition.
Written by Natalie Rowlands
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 15
Are you an artist of any form or
hoping to start a career in the arts?
Maybe as a graphics designer,
painter, illustrator or etc.? Did
you know that many parents and
schools don't promote, and even
discourage, creativity in children?
Thereby leading to a reduced
number of creating thinkers and
Today the world is moving forward
is every aspect technology,
business, education,
healthcare but what about
creativity? Tests (such as Torrance
Tests of Creative Thinking) have
shown that over the decades our
IQ scores have kept growing, but
have shown a decline in creative
thinking. In other words, we are
smarter, yet less equipped to find
novel approaches to problems.
A word of advice, creative quote
or inspiring message coming
directly from an artist can make
the difference in dreaming and
believing. Therefore we create
posters with creative messages
to promote creativity in the
younger generations, and make
the future not only intellectually
advanced but also more
Send me a picture of yourself
(email me at
with your name and job/ambition
as an artist (optional: include your
own creative message too)! And
from this Ill create a poster which
Ill print and put up in schools and
public places and at the same time
share them online!
The For A Creative
World Project by Designn
hopes to spread creativity
amongst young designers
and students by sharing with
them the works and advice
from professional digital
artists and creatives in the
hopes of inspiring them to
keep creating and continue
pursuing careers in the design
Life isn't about finding
yourself. Life is about
creating yourself.
Nicole Omernick
Freelance Digital Artist
Bachelors in animation
Be patient.
Rome wasn't built in a day
and you won't become good
in a day. As long as you
continue to improve and learn
from your mistakes, you'll
eventually reach your goals.
Lauren Jones
Creature Designer
16 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
We would all naturally
associate traditional artwork
such as paintings, drawings,
sculptures, etc. with the word
art; but is graphic design just
as much art as its traditional
One day, I heard a former
acquaintance shamefully say that
he felt like he was selling out (as
an artist) by becoming a graphic
designer. In another instance I was
watching a TV show about a family
in which an artistically inclined
husband refused to do commercial
work as a graphic designer for
the same fear of selling out and
instead worked as a dishwasher
with a miserable attitude about
his job. As a graphic designer,
I wondered if this sellout
concept is one that some artists
actually struggle with and why
there seems to be a strange fear
around the idea of making money
as a creative person. Naturally,
I decided to form a perspective
on this term sellout artist and
deconstruct this idea by discussing
the similarities between fine art
and graphic art with the idea that
graphic designers are visual artists
What is a sellout? You ask. When
we think of someone selling out
we think of someone essentially
going against his or her true
nature or intent in order to gain
money or some other materialistic
or superficial desirecheapening
the value of individuality or
originality solely for a shallow
cause. But shallow causes arent
that shallow when it comes to
paying the bills and taking care
of yourself, which applies to just
about everyone.
Firstly, a brief explanation of
visual art in general: Since the
beginning of humanity, the
purpose of art has always been
communication. It is a way to
capture attention in order to
deliver or preserve a messageto
tell the viewer something through
a variety of media. No matter its
form, art is a physically manifested
response to the world and a
testament to life, malleable by
the unique mind of the artist as a
creative individual.
Everyone has to make income
somehow whether its a graphic
designer making a logo for a
client or a fne artist selling a
portrait to a patron.
The Media
The challenge of the visual artist
is always the same: the endless
ideas of ones mind wrestling with
the limitations of our physical
reality. As artists, as designers,
we are deliberate with the act of
creation. We work with what we
have as a medium, and many times
the tension exists not in what the
message is, but how to convey
the message through whatever
medium thats available. Mankind
will continually invent new ways
to create things and new media to
explore, and much of that has to
do with the needs of the world as
it develops. With the invention of
the computer our artistic media
evolution has taken us from paint
and paintbrushes to swatches and
cursors, from traditional art to
digital art.
Just like oranges and pineapples
are fruits by nature, graphic
designers and sculptors are artists
by nature. Every artist ends up
specializing in a specific method
and media of interest at some
point based on their enjoyment,
skill, or availability of a particular
medium, and forms a process
around it. Thus denying that
graphic design is art based on
media type alone would be like
telling a photographer that his
product isnt art simply because he
or she uses a cameraa shallow
judgment in itself.
The Principles
Designers still use the same
principles of art that a fine
artist uses, such as balance,
composition, movement, etc. to
successfully relay a message.
Therefore, even if the media
used is different between a fine
artist and a graphic designer, the
principles behind the work are
subconsciously or consciously
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 17
the same. Sure, the work of a
graphic designer is used mainly
for practical reasons such as
marketing and other commercial
use with work ranging from
billboards to brochures, from logos
to posters, from dropping text into
a text box to arranging photos
on magazine pages. However,
that doesnt make it less or more
inadequate to the work of a fine
artist who is advertising his or her
expression or perspective with his
or her own process and art. Only
unlike the more practical nature
of graphic design, fine art has the
freedom to be as subjective and
obscure or as direct and literal
as the artist desires, but this
difference is only in conjunction
with a works specific message.
Therefore, with message set aside,
would not the work of a graphic
designer also be considered art if
its purpose were the same as the
work of a fine artistto advertise
a message?
The Pursuit of Income
Even the pursuit of work and
income for a fine artist and a
graphic designer can be very
similar as there are many ways
to go about finding income. For
example, both designers and
fine artists can make a living by
freelancing for clients, being
commissioned by clients, teaching,
or working for a specific company
for salary wages. Whatever the
type of commission between a
client and artist, the artist acts
as a visual translatora middle-
man between the clients vision
and the audience. Defining art
as the product of a creative
process or experience, the artist
(designer) gives up the right to
decide whether it is successful or
unsuccessful and lets the work
speak for itself to the eye of the
beholder. But to be a successful
fine artist or designer requires a
great level of empathy, knowledge
or intent of their craft, and
creativity that connects their work
to the world or to the audience
effectively. In other words, to
assume that the pursuit of income
is less challenging for graphic
designers than fine artists is quite
an ignorant assumption. Its all
about what connections an artist
makes and what resources one
taps into.
The truth is money has nothing to
do with whether or not something
is or isnt art, so selling out
is never a realistic way to look
at being or becoming a graphic
designer, as my pessimistic
acquaintance feared. Everyone
has to make income somehow
whether its a graphic designer
making a logo for a client or a fine
artist selling a portrait to a patron.
Even with all the philosophy and
analysis set aside, no one should
be ashamed of providing an
income for him or herself. Its just
that simple. Do what you love and
let it be known!
Written by Lauren Leslie
Free (do whatever you want) hi-res
photos from
Shaban by Saeed Jalabi
We review and feature awesome art
from around the web. (+ have awesome
art related contests and awards!)
Risa Rodil
A professional 21-year-old
designer, illustrator and
letterer currently based in the
When did you start your career in

I have long been fascinated by
compelling designs so I decided to
formally pursue Multimedia Arts
in college. I started freelancing
when I was 18 and still do it as of
present time.

When/how did you first discover
your creative talent?

A few years ago, I came across
these cool photo manipulations
online and thought to myself,
Wow, it would be amazing to
learn how to do that. Getting
my inspiration from there, I self
studied Photoshop when I was 14,
and everything just fell into place
after that.

What inspires you to keep

I am a self proclaimed fangirl,
book lover and TV junkie. It doesnt
take long to realize that the love I
have for all these things is usually
the main lighter that fuels my
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 21
creativity. Nothing makes me
happier than to create something
beautiful I can share to the rest of
the world.

How would you describe your
style of illustrating?
Bright, retro and playful.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Passionate, shy, optimistic, nerd,

Why did you choose to be an

I love the challenge of being able
to communicate with other people
through visual design. Of being
able to get a certain message
across, to influence and convince
people to appreciate the same
things I love, and to express my
emotions without the use of actual
How long did it take for you to get
to this professional level?
Ive been doing this for around
7 years now. I spent the first 2
years self studying, the next 4
years taking up design classes in
college, and did a lot more
self-studying after graduation.

Who is your Favorite Artist?

I have lots. I love the work of Olly
Moss, Saul Bass, Jessica Hische,
Chris Piascik and Mary Kate

What message do you have to new

Keep the passion, do what you love
and love what you do.

Software (and hardware) you use?

Adobe Illustrator.

What art do you most identify
yourself with?

Flat, retro design and illustrative

Professionally, what are your

It has always been my goal to set
up my own design studio if the
odds permit.
You can get in touch with Risa for
more information or commisions
via any of the online profiles
22 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
See those games? Tose
games that you just spare
one look at and go "wow,
that art"? Yeah, those games.
Tese are those games for me,
and this whole thing might
basically be just me being a
fan about them.
So without further ado, here
we go -
Guacamelee! (Available
on the PS Vita)
Setting aside the honestly very
engaging gameplay (and also the
blisters I got as I tried to get the
combos just right), on its own,
visually, this is a great game to
check out.
Just look at it; great popping
colors (and even amongst all that,
the brilliant masks of the main
character, both male and female, is
distinct enough for you to always
recognize where they are on the
screen), amazing creature designs,
splendid backgrounds and overall
awesome stylized art.
It's really amazing when you're
playing the game and executing all
these combos, and there are these
flashes of sharp edged colors
across the screen. It keeps your
attention riveted, and it's visually
exciting. The character designs are
all diverse and interesting to check
out, and match their personalities
really well.
And come on, look at the creature
designs. You have giant skeletons
in hats, huge monsters more than
twenty times your size with red
spikes and a purple mane and
taloned feet. They're things out of
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 23
pure imagination, and it's so fun to
look at.
And then there are the
backgrounds, which are gorgeous,
especially when you switch
between worlds. You see the world
in a different light, so to speak,
and the contrast between the two
is really nice to see. It's a pretty
fantastical game, so liberties are
taken in the color schemes of the
backgrounds (as with everything
else) and you know what, it just
looks stunning.
Did I also mention you can turn
into a chicken?
Muramasa Rebirth
(Available on the PS
Okay. This game. The moment
I picked it up, I just whistled in
awe at the art. The game runs
really fluid (at least it did on the
PS Vita system that I played it on)
and clear, so it brings across the
animation and art really nicely.
The characters have really
intricate costumes, and the
detailing on them is really great
to see. To see them flutter in the
wind as they run, to see how they
move is just eye candy really.
The creatures and bosses are
as complex as the characters
themselves, and really great to
see even as you are slashing and
bashing them into oblivion.
And have you seen their blades?
Because, blades. And in this game,
you can collect a bunch of them,
so you can see the different ones
in action. And then there are the
special moves, some of which just
made me whoop in glee when I
saw them.
Also, the backgrounds on this
game. The backgrounds. This is
supposed to be an action game,
"hack, slash, ninja flip around,
mash 'x' to advance text" kind
of game, but there were plenty
of moments where I just kept
going back and forth in the game
to scrutinize the backgrounds
present in the game. I just couldn't
get enough of it, because it was
so absolutely wonderful. From
the lighting of the game (how the
lighting affects the characters and
the objects around it), to the way
the trees and the grass sways, it
just really caught my attention.
The weather, the atmosphere,
The colors are also really fresh.
It doesn't have the stylized color
scheme of Guacamelee; instead its
color scheme is tinged in a more
realistic scheme, with certain
liberties given for atmospheric
moments (green makes it eerie),
but they're still captivating and
compliment the entire look of the
game really well.
So all in all, I took way longer than
the game actually required for me
to complete it because I was just
faffing around, gawking over the
art and animation
24 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Bastion (Available on
At this point in time, I'm just
feeling that all the games I'm
talking about here are getting me
all fired up, and I'm going to end
up just spewing nonsensical words
of excitement.
But, in any case - Bastion. Just
as a quick deviation from the
visuals - I think I need to say that
the narrative is pretty awesome.
The narrator does an amazing
job telling the story, and it really
lends a very nice touch to the
whole world of the game, from
the cadence of the speech to the
general storytelling of it.
Now, back to the visuals. I really
like the look of the whole game;
theres that hand painted look
going on, and its really great.
Theres a sort of beauty to it,
despite it being a post apocalyptic
kind of world. I feel it lends
a kind of hope to the game, a
promise of life as the player
attempts to rebuild the world,
and its wonderfully fantastical
and surreal at the same time. Its
bright and enrapturing, and its
really a nice fresh take of a post
apocalyptic world.
Another thing to note is the way
in which the world is presented
in the game; theres the idea that
the world is fractured, and the way
the landscape and world unfolds is
rather genius it crumbles away,
it forms and slots into place as the
player moves. Its essentially like
the world is alive under your feet,
and this is some brilliant choice of
Bastion is pretty widely available,
so grab it and give it a try if you
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 25
Bravely Default
(Available on the 3DS)
Bravely Default is a pretty new
game, just out this year (2014).
Nonetheless, I was pretty excited
for it the moment I heard about it,
and I was just bouncing to get it
when it came out.
If you think the art is similar to
other games such as Final Fantasy
Tactics: War of the Lions, thats
because this is a Square Enix
game, and they share the same
artist. I was pretty wowed by the
art of FF Tactics back then, and I
was pretty impressed by the art
again this time around in Bravely
Look at the different towns,
locations and settings. They
are suitably grand, derelict and
whimsical when they need to be.
Theyre all elaborately painted,
and had me running edge to edge
and squinting at my screen just
to try and make out all the details
(especially the first location that
you find yourself in, and that is a
great introduction into the game).
The character costume designs
are nothing to scoff at either
the fact that there are various
different classes call for different
class costumes, and they range
from the hilarious (I mean, you
get a wolfs head costume if you
decide to become a Ranger) to the
downright gorgeous (seriously, the
costume of the Dark Knight). And
then there are character specific
clothes as well (hello there,
Id say Bravely Default really
pushes the capabilities of the
3DS; I think its one of the most
gorgeous games on the system yet.
26 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Fire Emblem: The
Awakening (Available
on the 3DS)
Ah yes, Fire Emblem: The
Awakening. The game that
seriously made me fall in love with
the 3DS potential and look into
the library of games that it had.
FE: TAs gameplay is amazing
aside from it being a strategy RPG
(a challenging one at that, should
you choose to play at normal
mode; any death of a character
ensures his or her death for the
entire game, so a player has to
be extra careful), players also
cultivate relationships between
the characters (Gregor, Im
just going to pair Gregor with
everyone). Theres really a lot of
depth in this game.
Visually, during battles, FE: TA
employs isometric pixel sprites in
a grid to move them. I feel the real
merit of the visuals in this game
comes from the cut scenes, 2D
sprites, as well as the combat and
engage screen.
The cut scenes are gorgeous
in their art and animation, and
contribute well to the story that
FE: TA has going. You get to see
characters in their full glory, and
thats always pretty to see.
The 2D sprites in the game
contribute well to when the
characters are speaking with
each other. Its always fun to see
the expressions on their faces as
they cringe and blush, and the
character designs make each
character distinct and unique.
FE: TA was one of the games in
which I actually employed the 3D
capability of the 3DS for a large
amount of the time mainly
because I was pretty impressed by
the look of the combat screen. For
one, the combat feels like a whole
cut scene in itself the camera is
dynamic and changes angles, and
your characters look like theyre
engaging with the enemy as they
leap forward. The spells casted
are also pretty awesome in their
If you have a 3DS, I definitely
recommending playing this game.
Written by Bliss Lokiev Ng
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 27
By: Vixen Kiba By: Dhavall Gohil
By: Amaan Moulana
28 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
A Video Maker's Toolkit
The Laptop (>$1,200)
How else would you edit those
videos eh? A very good option for
a video editing laptop can be the
MacBook Pro with atleast 8GB of
RAM and a 2.00 GHz processor
speed. With retina display and
a powerful graphic chip, the
MacBook Pro not only makes a
good video editor, but an all-round
awesome laptop.
Affordable Alternative: The above
I love video editing! From recording, to editing, to publishing and watching the view count go
up (by however much) is always exciting! So here is a carefully selected list of hardware and
software (along with affordable alternatives) thatll allow you to create awesome online videos.
Trust me when I say a FULL list!
was just a popular option and
given the price its not always
affordable to own one. But no
worries, any PC/laptop with atleast
8GB of RAM, 2GB of VGA and a
quad-core processor should serve
you perfectly.
The Camera
Almost any Digital SLR would
work for this. Or any other HD
video recorder- depending on the
quality you are going for. Good
quality video is the most important
part of video (obviously) never
compromise quality hoping it
wont be noticed. The Canon Rebel
Series is a great beginner camera.
At the time of writing the Canon
EOS Rebel T3I 600D Body + 4 Lens
Kit was an affordable option - the
whole DSLR kit priced at just
Affordable Alternative: Try HD
recording on a smartphone with
good lighting. If you use a good
microphone (see Affordable
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 29
A Video Maker's Toolkit
Alternative in Mic section) you
should be able to pull it off well.
The Mic
Audio is just as important as the
video. It tells half the story. A
standard condenser mic, be it a
lavalier mic or a studio mic will
always give you a much better
quality than your camera mic. A
good microphone would cost you
in the range of $50-$200 and
its always good to go for the
best while youre at it than to
have lessons learnt with several
cheap and substandard condenser
mics. Checkout RDE for quality
Affordable Alternative: Try
smartLav, a Lavalier microphone
for smartphones which is much
cheaper than a standard mic,
but holds the same quality while
recording on mobile.
The other half of video editing.
Just this one should do:
Pro ($799
or $19.99/
The ultimate power in
video editing, with a clean
interface and tons of options
(including multi-camera editing).
It's one of the most powerful and
popular video editors out there!
It would definitely require some
experience in order to get the
hang of the software and its many
shortcuts, but its worth the effort.
Affordable Alternative: Try
VideoStudio Pro X7 which is only
$79.99 and has some great video
editing capabilities for
that price!
So youre probably saying
thats quite a lot of money to put
down to form the complete kit! But
remember its a recommendation
for high quality video recording
and editing at a professional
level. While the Affordable
Alternatives should
be able to get
you some
great videos
done at a
of the
cost, its
likely to
not have
the exact
of a high quality video which is
the blend of crisp video and audio
coupled with effective video
Written by Udara Jayawardena
30 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Hungry eyes
by Erica Dal Maso
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 31
Erica is a self-taught
Italian painter specializing
in portraits. Having been
drawing and painting since
she was almost 7 years old,
she began her professional
career at the age of 20.
When did you first discover your
creative talent?
I discovered my creative talent when
I was very young. When I was 7-8
years old I already loved drawing
faces. I did my first oil painting at
the age of 14.
What inspires you to keep making
these amazing pieces of art?
The inspiration comes from
everyday life, from the world around
me, from people and from nature.
How would you describe your
My style is realistic but multicolored,
full of symbols, trascendant,
minimalist but with attention for
details, inspired by the masters
of the past but with a look at the
present time.
Why did you choose to be an artist?
I didn't choose to be an artist. I just
always felt the need to draw and
paint. I just love it.
How long and how much dedication
did it take you to come to this
professional level?
My entire life. And I'm still learning.
Who is your Favorite Artist?
Italian painter Giovanni Boldini.
In your point of view, how has
DeviantART helped you?
DeviantArt has helped me a lot to
show my art around the world. It
has helped my art to be known by
several people in many countries.
I am really thankful to all the ones
that appreciate, support and help
my art.
How have your practices changed
over time?
I started drawing with pencils
and charcoal. Then I tried oils and
pastels. In the last two years I've
tried watercolors and acrylics. I'm
always experimenting. Maybe in
the future I'll try other techniques.
What art do you most identify
yourself with?
Traditional art. Realistic paintings.
Paint what you like to paint.
Listen to constructive criticism.
Practice a lot. Don't be
demoralized if you don't get
the result that you want. Find
your own personal style. Enjoy
Find Erica online:
Erica is available for portrait
commissions and you can get in
touch with her via any of the links
32 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
cut it?
So a few weeks ago somebody
tweets me with the question
is minimal design the
future?. Well frst of Im
an advocate of minimalism.
So all I thought was lets
hope so!but that got me
thinking Does minimalist
design work with everything?
No. Well at least I thought so
for the moment.
I had just published the UI design
for a new social network were
developing. When it comes to a
social network, minimal design
really does cut it, because the user
interface is what facilitates the
communication between people
online - the simpler and faster it is
the better.
So to really answer the question I
decided to make a list of websites
that I thought wouldn't work with
a minimal web design.
First on the list is the official
NASA website. I love space and
technology, so of course I follow
most of what happens at NASA
via twitter and occasionally on
their website. I never really cared
about what their website looked
like when I frequented it in a
way it seemed to fit the massive
amount of information, media and
news they wanted to get across to
everyone, and the whole spacey
feeling. So at first it seemed
absurd to imagine a clean, flat and
light version of the NASA website.
Minimal design is more of a
principle than a visual form; one
which could be applied to almost
anything in its own unique way. A
bold font, few colors, and lighter
effects can easily turn any website
minimal. Contrary to my redesign,
it doesnt necessarily have to be
flat and light, there are plenty of
ways to approach minimal designs
and a flat design with light
colors seemed to work perfectly on
this one.
So is minimal design really the
Trends come and go, but style
remains forever. Minimal designs
are more of a concept than a
trend. It can have trends of its
own, as clearly portrayed by the
example above. Minimal designs
are definitely here to stay but the
ways we apply them are bound to
change over time.
Break the trends
As a designer youre not obligated
to follow any of these design
trends. If you put enough thought
into your designs, you will most
certainly end up with great results.
All that matters in the end is
getting the information across to
the user with the right
call-to-action. The purpose of
design is to just reinforce this.
What most of us web designers
tend to forget is the fact that
content is more important than the
look of the website - working day
after day on making a website look
trendier and cooler wont have as
much of an impact as updating the
content you have to offer through
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 33
I recently created Project Vision
Art (PVART), a service launched
this month that allows individuals
to share their artwork, projects,
contests, announcements, and
more with video accompaniment.
The product video is easy to create,
can be watched by anyone, and is
affordable for all budgets.
As a filmmaker and photographer
myself, I know how challenging it
can be for artists across mediums
to reach their audiences. Though
the Internet has made artwork
and other projects tremendously
more accessible for audiences
worldwide, it has also made it
increasingly difficult to promote
individual works and have them be
noticed amidst the innumerable
amount of other work available.
Therefore, I believe that artwork
and other projects cannot always
speak for themselves when first
being promoted. A voice must be
given to each of these projects. A
voice that can connect to potential
viewers and draw them in. If
you have a project you wish to
promote, you can use that voice
in a variety of ways. You can use
it to tell the story of your projects
inspiration, or the process by
which you developed your project.
You can even use it to tell your own
story. And who better to provide
that voice than, well, you?
Video is the simplest and most
effective means of supplying that
voice and making your projects
story available to potential
viewers. PVART is designed to help
with that process, so that your
product video is as professional
and effective as possible. To
make it as easy as possible for
you to lend your own voice to your
project, as well as ensuring that
artists worldwide have access to
this service, PVART is designed
such that individuals who partake
in the service can record or collect
their own content using their own
resources. My affiliates and I
are then able to edit this content
together into a product video
that will help sell or share your
Whats great about PVART is that
I am able to provide this service
at a very low price. Most editors
and editing companies would
charge hundreds if not thousands
of dollars for this basic service. At
Project Vision Art, we start at $65
for basic projects. We also offer a
very fast turnaround, something
that many other companies cannot
So come check out our website
at, and see how
PVART can help you promote
your project. I am very flexible
and willing to work with all sorts
of projects, and eagerly look
forward to making your project
the success that you know it can
be. If you choose to work with us,
submit PVARTDesignnMag as a
coupon code when completing our
application, available by clicking
on the Apply Now header near
the top of our website, and you will
receive a 10% discount on your
product video until September 15,
- Zev Vel
34 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Application developer, artist
and photographer from
Who are you and what do you do?
I am an Application developer
from India for Google Play. I am
also an artist and photographer on
When did you start your career in
I dont remember it. I am just a
hobbyist and I dont know when I
started my hobbies.
When did you first discover your
creative talent?
Mostly, I just do things that
I love to do in many creative
ways. I started with 3D works,
then 2D works and afterwards
photography. I realized that
basically, I love to make pretty
images for everybody in any way I
What inspires you to keep making
these amazing pieces of art?
I do look at many inspiring pieces
of artwork around social sites and
DeviantART. I am easily inspired
and most of the time what gets
in my way is the fact that I dont
have enough equipment for trying
different experiments.
How would you describe your
I cant describe my style. Of
course, there are many guys more
awesome and talented than me
everywhere. I am just a drop in the
ocean. I do what I love to do and I
think making pretty images is my
aim on each piece of work.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a man who believes that
helping others will help us in
return. Whatever we do for others
helps us in many ways even though
we don't expect anything from
them. I like to help other little
artists get noticed on DeviantART.
I think there are many awesome,
talented guys who just need a
push and they will fly, making
wonders for us and thats what
makes me happy.
Why did you choose to be an
I never chose to be an artist. Its
just a part of me. I do have another
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 35
job but I wish that thoughout
my life I will be able to keep my
artistic work aside without being
stopped from doing them.
How long did it take for your to
get to this professional level?
Well I really spend a lot time on
the internet. Instead of listening to
music and watching films all the
time, I try to get inspired and make
something which looks good to
everybodys eyes.
Who is your favorite artist?
There are many, whose names I
cant remember right now, but
most of the artists who inspire me
are my friends on DeviantART.
In your point of view, how has
DeviantART helped you?
DeviantART provides an
exceptional environment which
is different to other sites. I really
thank the staff for making such
a wonderful community that has
the most awesome supporting
mentality. The people there really
helped me in a lot of ways in my
life- not only just the artistic
help. I thank each of them for
supporting me until now and I
hope they will support me in all my
life endeavors.
What jobs have you done other
than being an artist?
I am an Application Developer. I
make apps and games for Google
Play. In addition, I work as an
Android Developer for some clients
and I am happy the way I am.
How have your practices changed
over time?
I did try many areas. I think I regret
stopping my 3D work, but it was
only because I didnt have enough
resources (Wacom tablet, good
computer, etc.). Now that I have
them all, I just stopped doing 3D
work as I already started making
images in new ways. Still, I miss
my ZBrushing a lot!
Professionally, what's your goal?
I believe that when we do
something we love, we will slowly
become good at it and people will
start noticing us. Then some will
come to us to learn our skills and
slowly we will get enough to live
happily with what you love to do
the most. For me that is my goal.
What is the funniest moment in
your life?
The funniest moment is the
best mistake of my life it was
the renaming of my account on
DeviantART. It was actually meant
to be MRF - ARTS but people
started calling me Mr. Farts and
I think that helped me a lot in
getting remembered easily. I now
love the name Mr. Farts and I even
started a website by the name
36 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |

Sales A
guide to
Tis article is meant to give
you an introduction to selling
digital products/services
online, picking the right
places to put them up for sale
and more importantly what
to sell and how to present
Many are doing it, but few do
it well. Selling digital products
online has been getting
increasingly popular, and sites like
Envato Marketplaces are becoming
the favoured option for people to
easily get their hands on digital
products - ranging from graphic
design, to web site themes, and
video & audio resources.
Starters Tips
Is selling online right for you?
The purpose of selling online is to
make a profit, you need to really
ask yourself whether people would
be willing to purchase what you
have to sell. Whether its an eBook
or web template you will have to
put in an effort to create, market
and in some cases provide support
for it. Its no full-time job, but
make sure youd have the time to
manage it. Like they say, if your
business doesnt make money, you
have a hobby, not a business.
Get the product AND the traffic
Find out your potential audience
and then target your products
specifically to them. As they say
with design, you cant create
something to please everybody,
all youll do is create something
that pleases nobody. To give you
it! Starting from the basic
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 37
an example: if you know and can
reach out to people involved in
businesses then start off with
something like selling business
card designs, brochure designs,
logos or even report templates.
Once youve got the right product
you know exactly who to market
it to, take it slow and make sure
you please each and every one of
your customers and new ones will
automatically reach out.
You have to be unique.
There are literally millions or more
digital products online for sale.
You have to stand out. Always
think of new things you could sell,
because as we have always seen
with certain new products, they
can sell in their thousands, if not
millions! Take a few chances.
Get the buzz going!
Giveaway some freebies and
attract people to your websites or
store. If its a graphic design give
them a small free sample. The Pay
with a Tweet technique is a very
good way to get the buzz going
and you can easily set it up for free
The right service
There are many services out there
which can help you get started
with selling products online. Ill
just cover some of the best below
for you.
Envato Marketplaces
It goes without saying that the
Envato Marketplaces are one
of the largest hubs for selling
digital products. They offer all
services, from a personal portfolio
to managing customer inquiries
and ratings. But it is also very
competitive with over 4,000,000
marketplace members and over
5,500,000 total marketplace items.
Its definitely not the place for
This is one of the best places for
you to kick off selling your digital
products. They offer an extremely
simple and beautiful interface to
let you sell your digital downloads.
As they like to put it: creating
digital products is hard, but selling
them shouldnt be.
Easy Digital Downloads
This is a neat WordPress plugin
that lets you sell digital products
right from your website - cut
out the middle man. Although it
would require some knowledge
of WordPress, and of course a
WordPress run website to setup, it
is definitely worth looking into in
the long run.
Starting an online store for digital
products is not always an easy job,
but if you do it right you might as
well have just hit the jackpot! Its
got great earning potential with
very few risks and costs to run,
but definitely not something you
should quit a stable job for to start
Written by Udara Jayawardena
Free (do whatever you want) hi-res
photos. -
38 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Udara Jayawardena
My workspace is anywhere I
have my laptop with the right
peripherals plugged in - which is
usually at my desk with an extra
monitor for video editing. I tend to
like a minimal workspace - guess
I should consider having my wall
repainted in white...
Bliss Lokiev Ng
I work mainly with my computer and mouse, so there's not really a lot of
artist's tools around my work area - other than the two computers and
the mouse and the tablet hidden behind one of the computers; and the
speakers, because doing work with blasting music is the best.
After that, it's mostly just important things within convenient reach
(see: food and chocolates), and all the various fandom things that I like
(see: increasing number of Marvel figurines and merchandise). There
are some posters that I've done stuck up because I have spare copies, a
few photographs here and there and work from other artists.
Want to know how we work?
Here's a view of the Designn
Team's work spaces and a
small descripiton of how it
helps us get things done.
(Submit your own
workstation photographs for
the next edition by emailing
us at
By Natalie Rowlands
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 39
Minesh Fernando
My desk is used for work and
gaming, therefore I try to keep it as
neat as possible. Sadly this doesn't
work out in real life the way it does
in my head, and I have to dump a
ton of random odds and ends onto
the floor at the end of the week, to
be sorted later - whenever later is.
Ignore the tastefully placed
strategic Tic Tac box, it's there to
ensure my laptop doesn't burst
into flames unexpectedly.
Lauren Leslie
I have a pretty casual approach
to my workspace, as I like to have
room to spread out my tools on
the floor of my apartment. I tend
to constantly move my setup
around in the living room during
the time that I am working on a
particular project, whether its
when Im drawing or designing.
But no matter if I start my project
on the couch or on the desk and no
Natalie Rowlands
I'm a gamer at heart, hence the
massive tower & dual screens
(even though they are severely
outdated... not even 1080p!). I
actually tidied my desk up for this
photograph, it's usually a mess
with pieces of "important" paper
lying around, books (yes, that's the
ninja handbook propping up one of
my monitors) just strewn all over
the place. I'm normally too busy to
think about tidying!
matter how I move around, I always end up where there is the most freedom and spaceon the floor with my
tools spread out around me and my drawing pad propped up against the side of the couch or coffee table. My
workspace is definitely a part of my artistic process!
40 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Building a
Te user interface is the only
thing that connects your
whole website and business
to your end user, and getting
it wrong is as bad as getting
your business idea
User interfaces
have evolved
over time,
cleaner and
sometimes does more
than just let you select
your choices. It influences
Ive designed a number of user
interfaces for multiple websites
and gone through hundreds more
to find out exactly how they work.
A good user interface should have
a high conversion rate - this is the
number of visitors who turn into
customers or go through with what
the website was built for. Getting a
person to make this choice has all
to do with presentation.
Today is not 10 years ago, its not
just about the content; a simple
Google search can turn up plenty
of alternatives and one of the main
factors that would set you apart
from a rival is the user interface
- unless of course youve already
convinced them that what you
have to offer is the best. But this is
unlikely, so below are some hand
picked guidelines to follow when
designing your user interface, to
make sure you stand out.
Be clear and direct
Make your interface simple,
merge functions together, show
clear contrast and maintain
focus. Creating distractions
and asking questions will only
create doubt. Communicate
your message with confidence,
keep the interface consistent
and efficient this builds trust.
If you have a lot to say, break it
down use step by step forms
and give clear guidelines. Giving
positive feedback can assure a
user that they are doing it right
and help them move forward with
Take a look at the Buffer interface.
Personally, I love it! And I use it
everyday. Its one of the simplest
web interfaces Ive used and
works like a charm to help me get
things done. The drag and drop
capabilities, minimal design and
efficiency makes it the perfect
choice for a person trying to
get work done with minimum
distractions; its an interface
which was built with the end user
in mind and it worked.
Make it memorable and look
You can be simple and get the
job done. But if you go the extra
The Buffer interface
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 41
mile to make it look beautiful
too, youll be ensuring it was a
memorable visit. Have you seen
the Vimeo website and interface?
Its beautiful.
But even better have you seen
the DeviantART interface? Its
appealing and recognizable
anywhere. Which is what makes it
memorable. You can go as far as
calling it DeviantART green and
thats exactly what you should aim
to create!
Express your brand identity in your
user interfaces, may it be the logo
on the header or the icons being
used, but make sure its part of
your brand.
Create a flow
Create a flow of information,
guiding a user through a process
step by step is always better
than overwhelming them with
information. Take for example a
lengthy application form, start
with just the name, and proceed to
reveal question by question, rather
than putting the whole form on
one page. People are more likely to
follow it through this way.
Use hierarchy to break down
complex operations, so that
the user only sees whats most
important, and will have access to
the details whenever they need it.
This also creates a sense of control
for the user.
A note
Sometimes they say you dont have
The Vimeo interface The DeviantART interface
to reinvent the wheel, jumping
on board with the current design
patterns can help users feel at
home. But this does contradict
with some of my previous points.
It takes skill and thinking to pick
the right balance to suit your
business and customer needs.
Understanding this is the most
important step.
Written by Udara Jayawardena
Designers can create
normalcy out of chaos; they
can clearly communicate
ideas through the organizing
and manipulating of words
and pictures. Jefery Veen,
Te Art and Science of Web
42 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
filters your
News Feed
Let's break this down a little.
An Edge (e) is anything you post
on Facebook: a photograph; status
update; comment, etc.
Your Affinity Score (u) is the score
between the edge creator (you)
and the viewing user (your friend/
brother/partner). It's not only
their personal connection to you,
but also includes how much they
interact with your edges. If your
friend interacts with your edges
a lot (liking them, commenting
on them, etc.) then they're more
likely to see your new posts than
someone who doesn't connect with
you as much. This can also depend
on the type of edge (photograph,
status update, link), for example
if your friend comments more on
your photographs, they are more
likely to see them in their News
Next is the Weight (w) of your
edge. Actions that take longer to
make, carry more weight - which is
good! A comment is heavier than
a like, as it requires more effort
than simply clicking a link. Also,
uploading a photograph with a
caption will have a higher weight
score than just sharing a link. It's
worth noting that linking your
Facebook to Twitter/Wordpress/
etc. and having it copy the content
automatically creates a low weight
for that edge, due to the lack of
effort; therefore making it less
likely to appear in the News Feed
of those that follow you.
The Time Decay (d) is
unfortunately something you
cannot manipulate. It starts high
for a new edge and slowly decays
Like everything on the
Internet, Facebook uses
an algorithm (a process or
set of rules to be followed
in calculations or other
problem-solving operations)
to help it determine what
posts you want to see in your
News Feed. Tis algorithm is
called "EdgeRank", and looks
like this:
over time, allowing users News
Feeds to remain fresh.
So in layman's terms, the equation
at the start of the article says:
EdgeRank equals the sum of the
affinity of an edge, the weight of
an edge, and the time decay of an
Why is this important for you? If
you run your own Facebook page,
whether it be for your personal
blog, or for your company, it's
vital that you understand how the
EdgeRank algorithm works so you
can get the most out of your social
media. For example, more and
more of your users are interacting
with your photographs, whereas
your plain status updates and links
are falling short; knowing how
the EdgeRank algorithm works
tells you to concentrate more
on photographs, to increase the
overall engagement between your
users and your page.
Written by Natalie Rowlands
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 43
Free (do whatever you
want) hi-res photos.
44 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
How do
you finish
By Natalie Rowlands
To complete my artwork I create
several different versions and
then decide on the best one. I like
playing with colours, so I often
test the entire colour palette:
changing the hue in places to try
and make it less boring; testing
to see if an intense or soft colour
works best; or if I should increase
the contrast. Then I adjust
the values - should I make the
shadows darker? Is this too little or
too much contrast? Are there a lot
of different tones of grey, or is it all
just a boring mid-tone? Whenever
there's a background I do twice
the tweaking, and will sometimes
bring in textures - should I add a
texture to the clouds or the hair
to add more depth? Or does it
Usually I just look at it overall
and make sure that the colours
and lighting look consistent. And
I switch it to black and white to
make sure it has enough contrast.
~ Jennifer Pearce
look better without? At times I'll
add too much texture, and the
piece will end up looking too busy
and lack a focal point. There is
always something you can tweak
once you've "finished" a piece,
so I might spend as much time
tweaking as I did drawing it. After
I've finished making changes, I'll
compare the new version to the
old; which one do I like more?
Why? This can lead again to more
modifications, but eventually I'll
end up with a piece which I'm
happy with.
~ Delkkat
Leaving it for a while and coming
back to look at it with a fresh
set of eyes helps quite a lot. I'd
recommend doing it even before
you have reached the 3/4 mark.
I add some effects to enhance
colors. Background is almost
always last, some extra tweaking
and stuff.
~Rebecca Keil
One method I use is to flip the
image horizontally every so often.
It allows you see the piece in a new
perspective, which in turn helps
you notice errors which you may
have overlooked before. In terms of
taking a break, I'd not leave a piece
for a few days, but only an hour or
so and then come back to it with
fresh eyes.
As I'm designing something, I'll
keep flipping it horizontally to
gain new perspective, and when
I think it's finished, I'll flip it one
last time (just to be sure). Then
I'll begin tweaking the colours,
enhancing the lighting and
shading, and using the Selective
Colour tool to bring out opposing
colours - for example, a lot of my
stuff is quite blue, so I'll use this
tool to bring out some of the reds/
oranges/yellows to bring another
dimension to the piece. Once I've
finished tweaking, I'll flip it again
and decide which orientation I
prefer; should the focal point sit
on the left side, or right? Typically
I have the focal sitting on the left,
as I read left to right.
~ Natalie Rowlands
46 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
What's your
In the last issue of Designn
magazine I wrote about how we
can use older pieces to help us
stay productive during art blocks.
I used character designs as an
example and briefly touched on
the thought process that went into
re-designing them. In this issue
I want to go a little deeper into
how I design my characters. This
is by no means the only, or even
necessarily the best way of doing
it, after all there are many ways
of doing any one thing in art, and
trying these different processes
out and learning which one works
for you can almost be described as
your duty as a creative person. So
lets get started!
The character I am going to be
using as an example is Lirika, one
of the main characters from my
comic, Arksong. The first thing I do
is get down the characters name,
age and other basic information:
In this issue I want to go a
little deeper into how I design
my characters.
Her name is Lirika, a dark skinned
woman in her early twenties.
That gives me a basic template.
Now, I consider the world she
exists within, her background, and
her current occupation.
Lirika exists in a setting with its
own style based heavily upon
varying European styles over the
past few hundred years. The odd
design influence from other parts
of the world come in every now
and then.
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 47
This is very open, allowing me to
style her freely without worrying
about anachronisms. So now if
we wanted to narrow it down a bit
more we need to think about her
background/personality and job.
Lirika is a strong, confident, and
rather extravagant sky pirate
captain. She has achieved several
near-impossible feats in the past.
If she is strong then she will need
to be well built. Average height
will allow her to be relatable
to most audiences and does
not single her out too much as
naturally gifted. It makes sense
to give her a captain long coat so
that she is easily identifiable as
a pirate (and more specifically
a captain), however, I would not
want her to always wear it because
it would cover a lot of her body
language, so a matching waistcoat
can be worn alternatively. Both
are embroidered with gold thread
to add to the extravagant vibe.
Her excessive hairstyle and
her piercings, although not too
different from what we may see
occasionally in real life, still give
a slight sense of rebellion or
personal flare that is relatable.
Scars and the like can also be
considered within this area as
Lirika acts a certain way and is
often flying her ship in mid-air.
I need to make sure to balance
practicality and attractiveness/
Although we all wish our
characters to be attractive or
cool, my aim is to strike a balance
between the two. Lirikas clothes
need to cover her well since she
will be travelling at medium to
high altitudes, and the colours of
her crew (red, black and yellow/
gold) should run throughout her
clothes to make it easy to align
her. Also because of the athletic
actions Lirika will be undertaking,
making her too thin or any part of
her body extremely large would be
impractical and look awkward at
best. I did however allow skin to
show on the sides of her midriff,
since someone as reckless as her
would not base everything on
practicality. Makeup is always
a tricky one because in many
situations it is not technically
necessary; however the majority
of women people I meet in life do
have makeup on, so I might as well
apply it to her character.
Hair too, is another thing which
can be considered practical, but
personal preference tends to
always dominate over practicality
in this case, so favouring her
nature to be cool and rebellious
meant not over-thinking the hairs
practicality too much. In addition
to this we must also remember
that having hair and clothes that
are of considerable length can
help display movement in dynamic
scenes and also makes characters
look a lot cooler.
Now the rest is up to you. Place
your newly designed character
in a pose with a facial expression
that matches their personality,
background, and environment,
then let their adventure begin!
Written by Nathan
Free (do whatever you want) hi-res
photos. -
48 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Have you noticed the delightful
cartoon artworks or toons
(as Maria likes to call
them) appearing
throughtout the
magazine? These are
the works of talented
digital artist Maria Keller.
Maria is a professional Industrial
Designer based in Mexico City,
Mexico. Having a vast knowledge
in visual effects, motion graphics,
cartoons, character and graphic
design she is a freelancer working
on both local and international
More about Maria and her work?
Twitter: @MariaKeller_
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 49
50 | Designn Magazine 5th Edition | |
Jack of all trades. Dreams with
his eyes open. Designer/developer
hybrid in a previous life.
Ive never had any academic
Photoshop or Graphic design
tuition, and thus everything which
I have come to learn has been
I'm from Singapore, with a BFA
in Interactive Media. Courses
that I've taken include other
branches of design, such as Visual
Communications (Graphic Design
I, Typography I, etc.).
Developer and problem solver.
Responsible for a truck load
of acronyms we don't quite
Female | Realistic | Art Lover |
Med Student | Music Enthusiast |
Organized | Persevering | Animal &
Nature Lover | Occasional Writer |
Dreaming of living in Australia.
Fueled by fine Italian espresso.
Codes in all varieties. Player of
words. Tinkerer of servers.
Designn Magazine 5th Edition | | | 51
I am an avid reader, keen writer
and art lover who shares a sincere
appreciation for the unique and
Im a 19 year old student from
Denmark, whose biggest dream is
to become a character designer.
Before doing so I wish to study
visual communication.
Vishmika Fernando
Vector artist.
I have always loved being
creative with visual and musical
arts. My history as a graphic
designer began when I started
incorporating digital media with
my illustrations.
I heart verbs, write, read, design,
code, model (3D), texture,
brainstorm, learn, create, collab,
theorize, discuss.
Our rather anonymous yet very
talented developer. Handles some
of our WordPress sites and even
created some.