ideation iteration illumination

The frame is a powerful tool that has been utilized by artists, illustrators, photographers, directors and, of course, designers. There are many kinds of frames and framing, both real and artificial as well as temporary and permanent. While designing experiences that transcend single frame types and contexts I’ve been thinking more and more about the spaces between the frames.

The frame has probably seen the most dramatic shift from formalistic device to expressive canvass with maturation of the comic book artists who have harnessed the frame and the space around it to create dramatic and compelling visual narratives. Scott McCloud did a thoughtful analysis of comic book’s frame and gutter back in his 1993 groundbreaker Understanding Comics. I’ve read the book a few times since ’93 and this notion of the space between the frames has hit me as an obvious antecedent to “away times” of digital content experiences that shift in time, context, and form.

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For a while now, I’ve been going back and forth on the current App-madness that continues to rage in the emerging tech space. It has infected everything. First phones, then tablets and now TVs. Professionally speaking, I’m squarely situated in the center of it and have worked on them (who hasn’t at this point?) as well as downloaded, used, enjoyed and hated them on multiple platforms. Ever since Apple created enough object fetishism and cultural esteem in their products, the masses are overwhelmingly accepting of Apple’s heavy handed control of any and everything that can ‘legally’ be put on their device. The only loophole, the single beam of hopeful light is the browser’s ability to access the web. Fortunately, the internet is still not under Apple’s Machiavellian ‘guidance’ but I’ll say that in a low whisper in case big brother is listening.

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