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OFFF: The best examples of analogue and digital working together

3 min, 41 sec read
11:15 AM | 22 August 2014
by Michela Nicchiotti
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OFFF is a three day festival about visual communication where the worlds greatest designers and creative minds are sharing their experiences and knowledge with an audience of professionals and students interested on shaping the future.

As a known brand around the world, OFFF has brought its cutting edge festival to New York, Paris, Lisbon and of course its main home, the eclectic Barcelona.

I was at OFFF in Barcelona 15–17 May and I attended OFFF in Paris few years ago. I can definitely say that this latest one was more pumping and up beat than the one before, probably because it was at its tenth edition.

A wide range of events take place within the festival. Spread over three days you can enjoy 70 conferences, performances, exhibitions, screenings of animation and interactive installations in various parts of the museum space. There are many great things happening simultaneously but planning your time is made easy with the OFFF app. Nowadays, everything is digital so there is no longer a paper programme.

The lack of a paper programme has created an interesting topic for exploration. How could the two worlds coexist and inspire each other instead of just looking at digital as an alternative to print?

Here is a selection of the most interesting works where the analogue and digital worlds meet. Craftsmanship and innovation could coexist and shape new frontiers in creativity.

Here are my top 4 projects where analogue meets digital.

1. Arcade Fire

At number one there is the latest Arcade Fire music video “Reflektor” by Aaron Koblin, directed by Vincent Morisset. It is considered one of the most ground-breaking tech savvy music videos of the moment. Created in partnership with Google Lab, users can connect their mobile phones to the laptops and control the reflection of the light on the video by moving the mobile, using the gyroscope and accelerometer functionalities.

Where is the analogue world then?

Most of the lights effects are hand made using marble ink on paper, by bouncing the light on a CD or using pieces of mirrors. The shimmering lights are then recorded overlapping and adapted to the specific video content in order to achieve a unique visual experience. Google Lab has created a simple tool interface for the interactive designer behind the project facilitating the creation of hyper-customised filters.

Moreover the "Reflektor" logo is the result of considerable research on the Haitian Voodoo culture through books, old pictures and videos. Redrawn and rewritten, it has then been used on the album cover and on the app interface to activate the video experience.

2. Seb Lebster and social media

Seb Lebster is one of the biggest names in typography and calligraphy. He has developed typefaces and type illustrations for some of the world’s biggest companies, publications and events, including NASA, Apple, Nike, Intel, The New York Times and The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

His style is clean and full of references to the ancient and medieval world. In most of his projects he uses ink and tools, for example a manuscript Italian pen.

Recently Lebster has activated his own Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo account allowing his work to reach a wider audience and number of clients. Since his decision to embrace the social media world, he has received two wedding proposal by two women who he has never met. You never know where digital can lead you.

3. Digital painting

In 2011 FIELD answered the brief to showcase the depth and variety of colours that could be printed on GF Smith’s paper by creating 10,000 unique cover artworks using digital print and generative design. Each sleeve features a different view of a hyper complex sculpture.

4. The editing style of Casey Neistat.

Creator of popular viral videos, Casey’s filmmaking style is fresh, quick and spontaneous. He creates opening title and narrative slides by writing on paper with a marker or cutting letters on boards. Simplicity and efficiency have the priority in the editing stage allowing the idea and the message to come across.

This editing style reinforces the honest and impulsive attitude of Casey’s viral videos. I highly recommend watching his video “Make It Count” for Nike shot in 10 days, by 2 people. And it has reached 11,455,073 views in just 2 years.

In a world that runs toward high production value video, super effects and CGI, Casey Neistat's natural and immediate style takes off all the constructivism and the artefacts allowing the idea to speak for itself.

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