Four Fifths Design

Inspiration for the Creative Mind

Turn To Nature

Photographer: Jürgen Heckel

Over the past two months I’ve been spending my nights working on a personal project that I’m very excited about. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a couple years now, while I’m still young. Though I’m not going to officially announce what it is just yet, I will tell you that it has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve faced since being a student. It has forced me to address various mediums I’m unfamiliar with; research multiple facets of design that I’ve never dealt with; trust in, and fight against, myself and my thoughts on a daily basis.

Just recently, I was working on a piece that is going to be one of the final designs for a specific milestone in the project. However, after breezing through the previous designs and necessary projects related to this specific milestone, I found myself at a halt. I had seemingly hit a large brick wall for no apparent reason – stopped dead in my tracks. I just could not find a way to create something that was satisfactory. I was struggling with forms. I was hesitant about color combinations. I was lacking balance. I was feeling defeated. I was simply not able to connect my thoughts in a way that would allow me to engineer a design with a natural, comfortable feeling result.

That is, until I turned to nature.

I cleared my mind and read a magazine – something I hadn’t done in weeks. I watched a movie at home – something I hadn’t done in months. I skated on my longboard – something I had barely done all summer. I did my best to reconnect to habits I lost due to my obsession for this project. I went to the ocean and felt it. I tasted things I hadn’t tasted in a year. I did nothing for the first time in a long time. Once I returned I found myself slightly refreshed.

Then I turned to the one habit I have regardless of whether I’m designing or not – electronic dance music. I put the headphones on and thought about the universe in whatever way my mind felt like wandering. I do this often when listening to EDM. I went from colors, to silence, to darkness, to chaos, to the ticking of a clock, among many other random avenues in my imagination.

I do the best I can to remind myself that we are not in the universe, but that the universe is in us. We’re a piece of nature. And nature is the greatest designer. With that thought I stumbled upon the following series. This sequence of ideas and events might seem unorganized, erratic, or perhaps boring. But it led me to these photographs. And it’s these photographs that reignited the fire.


The Power of Light and Dark

Designer: Jürgen Heckel & Matthias Heiderich

I’ve always been a proponent of negative space when it comes to design in general. I feel it allows for clarity, question, and a sense of meaning. The elimination of elements, obstacles, distractions, focal points, etc. hones the mind into believing it might be missing something – “not getting it.” It’s when the viewer or user is at this point that he or she begins to question why? What is it that someone else sees and I cannot? This feeling of isolation, lonesomeness, perhaps unintelligence is what drives the viewer or user to then attempt to look deeper in hopes of finding something that makes sense, has an impact, or conjures up a reaction of any sort that is relevant to the experiences or senses the viewer or user is most familiar with.

I believe black and white are at the forefront of the beginning of such emotional processes. I feel they blatantly ask the viewer or user to take a risk. It’s almost as if the absence of color as well as the combination of the whole spectrum are the two sole forces that alone dare our eyes to make decisions we are almost always hesitant to make.

In celebration of this little bit of thought, I’ve collected two separate series. One that incorporates a shift towards light. One that incorporates and overwhelming sense of dark. And both include elements that are elemental, simplistic in their display, and only accentuate the need for asking the almighty question: why?

InstaCRT – Just a Bit More Genuine Than Instagram

Designer: Harald Martin, Ruben Broman, Erik Wahlstrom

So. This is quite the venture. A group of individuals set out to create an app that achieves a visceral quality in photos… something that Instagram can’t always achieve perfectly (not to say this is a perfect solution either). Rather than recreating a retro effect with software, InstaCRT actually uses the aging titular tech to achieve its goals.

The concept is simple. You take a photo on your iPhone using the InstaCRT app. You upload that photo to a developer. This developer displays your image on a 1 inch CRT in a defined space (office or otherwise). A picture of the photo is then taken with a DSLR, and sent back to your iPhone.

The results are really nice. The scanlines are genuine, the distortion doesn’t follow any equation, and the look and feel are pretty spot on. It results in a standard that many other apps are striving for.

However, it has to be equally as inefficient. The more people begin to use the app, the more time is needed to deliver a result. So what if this app soars? Would it take days, maybe weeks to get an image sent back to you? Is there a better way to streamline this process? There are plenty of possibilities, as well as many conflicts begging to be solved. But nevertheless, the idea is nice, and the effort is present. The results could potentially be fantastic.

You can currently buy InstaCRT in the app store for $1.99.


LEAP Motion Is A Big Leap Forward

Designer: Leap

The mouse and keyboard have been essential parts of the computing experience for years now. Touch technology has further progressed our interaction with computer experiences. Now, Leap wants to bring us beyond both. This product represents an entirely new way to interact with computers. Leap Motion claims to be more accurate than a mouse, more reliable than a keyboard, and more sensitive than a touchscreen.

We now can officially control a computer in three dimensions with natural hand movements.

In fact, the technology behind this product can distinguish your individual fingers and track your movements down to 1/100th of a millimeter – an incredibly precise scale. Do we even need an instruction manual to use our hands?

Pre-order LEAP Motion here:


Nordik Impakt Festival Materials

Designer: Murmure

Electronic (and EDM) music fans might be familiar with the Nordik Impakt festival, and if they are, then they’re most likely familiar with latest promotional and packaging materials related to the event. Murmure agency had the pleasure of developing the most recent conceptual products for the invitations. They’re obviously based around electronic music and, more interestingly, phosphorescence.

Murmure created posters and invitation cards which extend beyond the typical graphic approach, and reveal an electronic spirit when the lights go out. The innovative design makes for electro-phosphorescent glasses that are light weight and applicable to just about any environment as they’re made out of paper. The aesthetic itself is very futuristic and “technologic” – a familiar vibe for us EDM fans. Murmure has done a pleasant job of accentuating a taste of culture surrounding this genre of music, in a simple, precise manner.


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