Contrast and Meaning by Andy Rutledge
Contrast is everywhere around us. It helps us to understand what we see, feel and experience and to create relationships between those things. According to the author, it is the most important fundamental design tool to convey meaning. Contrast creates hierarchy, and if used creatively and intelligently, it can influence the way viewers will look at your work. The primary forms of contrast are size, position, texture, shape, color and orientation. As human, we do not look at the world around us in detail, we scan our surroundings and spot the things that interest us, scare us, entice us or repulse us. When viewing a website, we do the same thing, we scan. Every element in a webpage will convey meaning only in relation to the other elements, and has to be placed, stylised, or sized accordingly. Most of the web pages I have look at during those past two weeks did lack contrast. Some where so busy, that I did not know where to start looking, which made me zap very quickly. I have started looking at things differently, even ads on TV, trying to find where my eyes are going and why, and contrast is definitely one of the prevalent element.

On creativity by Cheryl Swanson
"Inspiration fuels our dreams; it unleashes our imagination so we can create, so we can think differently", what a brilliant way to start. It captured my attention straight away. So many things are uninspired these days. Rules, procedures, habits, traditions are barriers to true innovation. Most businesses do not want to take risk, so we settle for average but sure results. The technology era is making us work and have fun faster and faster and we do not have time to ponder anymore, to let our imagination run wild, to be passionate about things, to be creative. According to Richard Florida, who wrote "Rise of the Creative Class", we are supposed to move from the Information Age to the Creative Age, which means that truly creative people will not be marginalised any more but will part of the main stream. I am not sure that we are there yet... The marketing and design worlds have to start paying attention to what people want and are ready to pay good money for, a slower pace of life. Fast food is out, relaxing and fine dining is in. Creativity means diversity of opinions, openness to new approaches, discovering our own uncharted territory, and most of all a way to reconnect ourselves with our humanity. This article made me think of what you said about being uncomfortable :). It broadens the term creativity. That is why JP and I want to try a different approach to what a website can offer, besides making money, inform or entertain. It should be an inspiration, an invitation to exchange ideas, innovate and dream.