Get your sketch on with Trace, a simple and beautiful yet incredibly useful iPad app created by the architects of the Morpholio Project. Free to download, the sketch utility allows users to instantly draw on top of imported images or background templates, layering comments or ideas to generate immediate, intelligent sketches that are easy to circulate. "Tracing over something is absolutely the foundation of the app," says co-creator Toru Hasegawa. "Layers of trace paper are not the same as 'layers' in Photoshop or other tools. Here, they are the stacking of ideas, as opposed to the organizing of files."
How will we leave our mark? That's the question posed by the Blank Sheet Project, a project of Paris-based Arjowiggins Creative Papers in collaboration with D&AD and One Young World. This year, the initiative is asking creative types worldwide to share their views about the future of design with the Blank Sheet Time Capsule. Adding your "personal vision of design and creativity in 2023" is easy; the only requirement is to start with a blank sheet of paper, regardless of whether you end up with an object, an image, a movie, or something in another creative, artistic format. Submissions received by June 30 will be showcased in an online gallery through the end of the year and then taken down and preserved for "rediscovery" in 2023.
Looking for a fresh take on Pinterest? Try the Matboard, a "social bookmarking hub for the creative world." In addition to the usual sharing and exploring, the new digital platform is looking to help creative pros connect based on their shared tastes and interests. Log in to get inspired by posted collections of images and videos in categories such as posters, logos, short film, portrait photography and vintage design; join up with designers in your area using the location filter; or showcase your own work by posting it to a portfolio board. Those dealing with information overload or a case of indecisiveness can click the "Inspire Me" tab and see what they discover.
One part spaghetti western, one part blaxploitation, and a smidge of...German mythology class? Those are just a few slices of the Django Unchained pie chart created by Jesse David Fox and Aaron Pedersen for New York magazine's pop-culture blog. The duo, whose twisted infographics ape the approach of artist Andrew Kuo, explore the style and genre components of all nine Best Picture nominees just in time for Oscar night. "How much of Argo is a mid-budget adult thriller versus how much of it is Mrs. Doubtfire?" wondered Fox and Pedersen. "Similarly, how much is Lincoln a Method acting seminar and how much is it that supercut of goats yelling like people?" We suggest printing out and laminating the pie charts to make a set of crowd-pleasing Oscar party coasters.
Mark your calendar for February 22. On that Friday, at noon Eastern Standard Time, thousands of people around the world will pause to snap photos of their food for The Meal 2013, an ambitiously kooky initiative -- part global art project, part hunger awareness campaign -- of the Sketchbook Project. "Our aim is to inspire a feeling of community across geographic and cultural boundaries," say the organizers, who have put out the call for snacky self-portraits (yourself and your meal on 2/22) and will post them online in a digital collage that's bound to be delicious.
If you've ever spent days searching for the perfect hue or been reduced to flimsy adjectives (darker! lighter! brighter! more...Prussian!) to convey the precise shade you're after, add Chip It to your color-hunting toolbox. The free web-based app from Sherwin-Williams transforms any picture into a palette, drawing upon the company's 1,500 paint colors to help you experiment with color combinations or figure out how to match your bathroom walls to the ice cream cone, sunset, or Kandinsky canvas you just snapped a photo of on your smartphone.