About the Author
Sarah is co-director of Malvolio. She brings her creative skills to the business, and loves concept development in commercial projects, illustration, and working on various self-initiated paper craft projects in her spare time.
Digital art has come so far, but I personally miss the simplicity of pixel art.
Maybe it comes from the nostalgia of playing early video games, and having that connection to the past. I always enjoyed the mosaic feeling of creating art, pixel by pixel. It was fun because our screens only had a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels at that time. Pixel sprites now look like ants on newer screens!
Sprites, oh how I loved these. Here’s a terrible but very timely example of a website full of animated sprites. They were SO cute. I learned how to do basic animation because of them. There is a lot of power in a little pixel.
I also remember when pixel fonts were a thing, and created many websites with them. I’d create layouts with intricate pixel designs, making sure all the shading was correct, but still using very limited colours. It was a challenge I forever enjoyed.
Years later (and now over 10 years ago!), I got to revisit my love for pixel art at uni. I created the artwork as a large fold-out poster, visually depicting the song “O Superman” by Laurie Anderson (read the lyrics here and the image will make more sense). I stumbled across this recently, and reminisced of my time creating pixel art. I’m not sure if it will ever make a resurgence, but it would be lovely to see it in the future, if it does.
When I was growing up, I found design inspiration in all sorts of odd places. Two of my favourites were postage stamps and transport tickets.
In the late 90s when ticket machines were introduced, Metcard ticket design changed from a basic ticket to a card…and this opened up a new opportunity for design. I adored collecting the different designs, especially the early food ones (in the top row of the photo below), and the illustrations of the buildings of Melbourne. They’re probably nothing more than a historical reference now…
Similar to stamps, it’s a small area to make a big impact with. But with Metcards, it was often a card that someone would need to hold onto for a week, or a month. I loved the idea that you could create something for someone to glance at every day. That you could make something that would make someone read, someone smile, someone stop for a moment of their day.
I always dreamed of getting to design my own ticket, someday. While that didn’t happen (we now have boring credit-card style PTV cards, all with the same design!), it was a good motivator throughout high school and beyond. It reminded me that design is everywhere. And no how big or small the design is, it always has a reason to be there.
In my quest for searching for different fonts, I came across this gem: Common Sans.
It’s as common as it gets – until you realise it’s got a hidden message: every time you type the word “refugee”, it replaces the word with “human”. I would have never imagined a font being used for human rights; it’s a wonderful thing.
From the Common Sans website: Being a refugee is a temporary status, being a human is permanent. Humans are amazing. A stamp on their passport should not let us believe otherwise. Rewrite, retype, rethink.
So much love for this.
I relate to this article so much: I Was The “Designer Kid”: 5 Annoying Realities. That was me growing up, I was definitely that annoying artsy kid. I didn’t have the crazy hair, but I was obsessed with drawings in kids books more than the story, made most of my decisions based on the colours of something, and had an art supplies collection that would even put the local art shop to shame.
I don’t think other kids understood, or even adults for that matter. All I knew was that I wanted to draw forever. As long as I could draw, I would be happy. I wasn’t impressed when my parents told me that I couldn’t make a career of it, but the world has its funny ways and it did happen (not without a lot of hard work, however!).
I think the only people who “got it” were other art/design kids. Not those who were trying to be, but those who lived and breathed art and design whether they wanted to or not. We’re a weird bunch, we think in colours and shapes and pictures – and I didn’t realise this until my teens when I connected with some pretty amazing creative friends who are on the same wavelength. And I’m okay with being weird…not everyone gets it, and when I was a kid I was definitely left-field, but I love my life full of colour and art supplies.
I guess the skills I learned growing up have come in handy now (not the annoying people part, the skill in designing and drawing part…I hope, anyway!).
Bright and sweet, just like candy.
Something a little desert like; a little bit of sun 🙂
I love muted tones like these. They look beautiful with flecked and recycled papers.
A touch of one of my favourite flowers, with brown as a background colour. Brings extra life into the pink and blue.
Bringing you a piece of what the Mornington Peninsula feels like today.
A garden party just missing the cupcakes!