The one where we moved some mountains.
And just like that we're half way through the year.
We've had a pretty major week and moved some pretty big mountains, thrashed some country music and put our photoshop skills to the test with the team birthday cards.
Mercury is still in retrograde, which means no one is safe.
Thankfully, you have us to bring you a weekly dose of chin-stroking content sprinkled with a few laughs, and if you're lucky maybe a little bit of cringe in there too. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
As a web developer it’s only natural for me to gravitate towards anything website related in our #graphic-design-is-my-passion Slack channel. My hunger to absorb all possible information about codes, to become the Giga Chad programmer I always wanted to be, yearns in my belly. Especially when we’re talking about a website within a website.
Say whaaaaat?! Yes that’s right you heard me nerd.
https://henryheffernan.com/ did the unthinkable. Firstly let’s figure out who the hell Henry Heffernan is (I have an obsession with finding out who people are and what their problem is. Harken back to my substack about Cameron’s World).
According to Henry’s IMDB;
“Henry Heffernan lives in Decatur, Georgia with his parents and two sisters. He is an avid fan of all things Pokémon and he is a master Lego builder”
Hmm no that doesn’t sound right. What does Pokémon and Lego have to do with building a website (within a website)?
A smart and cool idea would have been to start my search on his actual website, where initially we appear to be in some kind of blank and old school/ retro office. On the desk is a desktop computer with a CRT monitor. This is where shit gets #meta. Within a Windows 95-esk desktop we can then browse a website on the computer, where we find out Henry Heffernan is a Software Engineer. Job well done.
“I am a software engineer graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with my BS in Computer Science in May. I am currently working in a full time role.”
Henry is obviously a really cool and smart developer as he knows how to make websites, with 3D scenes in them, using three.js. Let’s get him a full time role. Get the hash-tag #gethenryajob trendy on the twitts. He also needs a friend. I want to get the two Henrys to meet in real life. Tweet out the hash-tag #henryneedsafriend so these two boys can play pokemon and lego together.
Ever needed an image of teddy bears shopping for groceries in ancient Egypt and just couldn’t find one? Soon you’ll be able to generate 30 at a time, in seconds – each lovingly crafted by AI.
DALL·E 2 creates images from text prompts. A portmanteau of Salvador Dalí and Pixar’s WALL·E, the neural network was created by OpenAI with the aim to empower people to express themselves creatively. If you wanna get a lil nerdy, you can read about DALL.E 2’s advanced deep learning techniques, CLIP and diffusion models here.
One of the coolest uses is the system’s ‘inpainting’ ability. Input a text prompt and select an area on your image. In seconds, DALL·E 2 gives you several options. Photoshop could never.
Oh damnnn – it even got the shadows and lighting right! What does this mean for design mockups and photoshoots?
Unfortunately DALL.E 2 has only been released to select users as the team try to tackle the system’s limitations. Some of these are:
poor ability to generate images with coherent text e.g. text on a sign;
composition e.g. “a red cube on top of a blue cube”;
complicated scenes e.g. Times Square;
inherent biases due to the skewed nature of internet data. Basically, it’s kinda sexist and racist right now. Definitely NOT a #vibe.
There are also some intentional limitations for obvious reasons: The ability to generate violent, hateful, or adult images, political content and real individual’s faces.
As I stared at the 30 stunning images of “snails made from waffles” on my screen, I felt nervous – I had already reassured my mother that my occupation as a graphic designer was safe from the cold clutches of the robot revolution. But then I felt hopeful. And excited.
At LAM, we’re a big fan of systems and tools and we’re always willing to try new #processes-and-platforms if we think they’ll help us with The Werk. Can we live in harmony with The Machines? Can they augment rather than replace? As a designer, how will my role change as my work inevitably becomes ai-assisted? Does DALL·E 2 devalue art? Or could it be an artform itself? Might as well have a play as you ponder. Let us know how you would use DALL·E 2!
Mona (aka The Sheriff) here. Can you believe it? May already! And what a May it was.
If you ask a LAM employee where our team is based, nine times out of ten, you’ll get this response: ‘We live on the internet.’ But this month - against all odds - the real hero was IRL. Let me explain:
We started the month off at The Node in Melbourne, where Charl + Adnaan presented the long-awaited ‘Brand As A Meme’ aka ‘BAAM’ talk to the world. A bunch of us went along for moral support, then we spent the rest of the morning making breakfast together and turning Adnaan into a meme. Wholesome.
Less than seven days later, Charl flew to San Francisco IRL to present at Config 2022 - Figma’s annual design conference. While he presented ‘Always Beta: Memetic Branding in the Digital Age’ IRL at Figma HQ, we all watched along URL, and let me tell you, the comments got real spicy real quick:
Here is my personal favourite. Powerful, yet poetic:
It absolutely slapped - slayed, even - and Charl managed to squeeze more references into 27 minutes than you’d get in an entire season of Gilmore Girls. Watch it and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed:
Meanwhile in Japan, Louie + Dog decided to leave the WWW and meet up in Kyoto. What followed was a week’s worth of Tom + Jerry-esque interactions that would melt even the coldest of hearts:
So you see, IRL can be both cute and wholesome, making it a massive #vibe. Will we move IRL permanently? Absolutely not. ‘Cos as the proverb goes, you can take LAM out of the URL but you can never take the URL out of LAM ❤️
We’ve always been Figma nerds but this month in particular, has been one big Figma nerd fest at LAM. Charl literally spoke at a Figma conference. We could get into that, but this paragraph is for the #processes-and-platforms channel, so let’s get straight to the point. In no particular order, here are LAM’s hot takes + hot reactions on some hot new (Figma) features:
You can place images. And it made Charl’s head explode.
There’s a new autolayout. Danny had no words. All but a mic-drop. Or as much of a mic-drop as Slack can offer, at least.
Louie used profanities (but not really because it was an acronym?) when she found she could Draw the Line.
Sam H (we have two Sam’s now) found out that you can type a colour name and it will give you the most saturated colour.
And then Adnaan found that Figma now provides live Close Captions for calls. We cannot confirm the accuracy of the results. It is unlikely that Adnaan actually said ‘do may take his green show this this is a good time’ but not entirely impossible.
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