Meet Our Da Vinci

You won’t often hear Adrian in the hallways of Junk Mail, but his towering height often accompanies razor sharp wit. We asked our resident Web Designer a few questions on graphical art, Web 3.0 and what makes him our very own Da Vinci.  This is what he had to say:

If you had to design the cover of The Time Magazine what would it look like?

If I had the opportunity to design the cover of The Time Magazine, then I really actually wouldn’t change anything at all. The red frame is iconic and it is cemented into our minds as the brand itself (just as much as National Geographic’s yellow frame!). Interestingly, the red frame is roughly 87 years old! The idea was that everything inside the red frame is important to know, and everything outside of it, isn’t. So to have to change it would mean to come up with an idea that is even more arrogant than this one! Besides, some of the world’s largest stories, people, and memorable events are contained in that red frame, so changing it seems wrong.

Though, it would be great to have an issue dedicated to the great people of web design (Zeldman, Keith, etc) who are working really hard to make the web as we know it a better place to work in. Perhaps an issue dedicated to the standardisation of HTML5 and web 3.0. (they did one for web 2.0 after all), seems as we are already living in the 3.0 era. A practical example of Web 3.0: every time you share a page on Junk Mail with your friends on Twitter or Facebook, you become a part in web 3.0!

I think the perfect Time Magazine cover would be one featuring JeffreyZeldman and his blue beanie! (He is such an inspiration to me that I too don the beanie, although mine is orange)

Do you consider graffiti art?

Absolutely. The definition of art is: “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” This proves that any form of creative expression is in fact art. Graffiti generally expresses the artist’s views on social or political situations and in a way is a commentary of that. Art, whether traditional or otherwise has been always been a social / political commentary channel, and in my opinion, graffiti is just another avenue in that regard. In fact, it’s not really that much of a debate. Graffiti is an accepted art form, and was first allowed in gallery exhibitions in the 1980’s, and has been ever since! Between March and April 2009, 150 artists exhibited 300 pieces of graffiti art at the Grande Palais in Paris.

That said,Graffiti is a definite hot topic. The reality is that in many countries, Graffiti is illegal, and falls under vandalism. In most cases it’s well deserved. Not all street art is art, in fact, usually you end up with gang tags and “Rawrskapie was here lolz!!11one”. I imagine that most graffiti works end up being just tags and nonsense, which definitely doesn’t help the cause.

My opinion is that, all the shit aside, some of the works done are absolutely AMAZING! Just have a look at this stop motion animation done entirely with large scale graffiti (this is one of my all-time favourite animations!)

Terrance Lindall said:  “Graffiti is revolutionary, in my opinion, and any revolution might be considered a crime. People who are oppressed or suppressed need an outlet, so they write on walls—it’s free.”

If you could change the paradigm of how websites are viewed what would you do?

Changing how the web is viewed won’t solve any of the current problems we face. How people view websites is already being changed (think ipad, smart phones, clever browsers, etc), in fact maybe too much is changing. Well, not too much, but in my opinion we are only thinking about moving ahead and not thinking much about bringing those we leave behind with us.

Think mobile, currently it’s the hot word on the web for 2011. EVERYONE is talking mobile this, app that, awesome site here and fancy tap work there. What about the feature phone market? Much of my current work is to bring them into the spotlight too, since they do carry the weight in the markets. Remember that your basic, older phones are WAY more prominent throughout Africa, and it’s these guys that need to be catered for since they are the majority.

Another prime example is email. Every single email client has it’s own way of interpreting what I send it. This turns a relatively simple thing into a major task that requires hours of testing and tweaking just to get it to work.

I believe that we need to create a single standard for everything, that all platforms use to interpret the web (email is a web page too!). I think we need to take a step back and fix all the loose ends we are leaving behind. HTML 5 is going to be an answer (not the full solution, obviously, but it’s a step in the right direction) butwe will still be leaving a huge pile of devices and technologies behind that can’t use it. Perhaps, we should just decide on a cut off, but to what end? As mentioned, the older, basic phone market is HUGE, and ignoring or cutting them off is going to be the big mistake.

Adding more ways to view the web, or changing more of it, will just make this issue bigger, I think.

If you could ask Steve Jobs one question what would it be?

I have no idea what I would ask Steve Jobs. His products make up an impressive part of my life, but him as a person, I really don’t know. I guess an autographed book or iPad 2 would be nice?

If you were a painting in the Louvre which one would you be and why?

To be honest, I have never been a fan of the older and famous works in the Louvre. Sure, they are awe inspiring and great, of course, but I struggle to identify with them.  I much more prefer the contemporary works of our own time. Specifically those produced in protest against apartheid, or, if I could choose anything, then it would be anything by William Kentridge. Kentridge has been a huge inspiration to me art wise, and I follow him with great interest. His works are so complex, and chaotic and well… awesome. I would definitely rather be a Kentridgeartwork than anything in the Louvre. Like me, he loves multimedia, mixing papers, and slight use of colour. Looking at his artworks makes me so happy inside. I guess it’s the complexities, the weirdness, and the chaos which makes his masterpieces look like ordered works of genius from afar.

If there is anything else out of the ordinary about you, that you think our users would like to know, please do share…

I’m actually quite shy (you would not say so…judging from the length of my answers)

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Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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