Archived entries for Design

Happy 10th Birthday, Mortadellatv!

I wouldn’t bother to mention this, if it was not 10th anniversary. Sounds scary. 10 Years ago, I decided to start a personal experimental site, aimed to host my little experiments with a cool software I was learning at the time, called Flash. The first ever “film” (haha, film) was “Aurora”. It was an exercise with the software. Posted it on, after that got invitation (paid!, good old times) to post it in a new site, hosted by Wired. It was something like Animation express, or something. I went there, and was horrified from the quality of the other so called “films”. So I refused, and instead registered Mortadellatv, and put Aurora there together with some “interactive” art – how  I hate this word, but it was trendy at this time to make interactive things (see them bellow). It sounds like the cheap Italian meat, but it came from the Utopian at the time idea, that one day web will kill the TV, and every person (artist or not)  will make his own channel, and it will substitute the advertising stupid walls in our homes. You Tube didn’t exist, not to mention Vimeo. I needed a site, where I can finally start again “showing” animated films, and motion graphics.

The first site was posted on 17th of March, 2000.  In the first few weeks I had…7 visits, haha. Continued making my “hobby” exercises, with an only goal – to learn better the software, cause I was working in my day job making “Flash” fashion sites. MTDTV was my escape. And this “escape” opened me the door to NFB. The design that is now was not changed since 2004, it is the 3rd ver. of the site. It won many awards during those Years…

Now, I stopped updating it, I just post now links to my films on other sites.  There are more sites that the film can be posted, and interactivity is very, very borring (as a guru in a usability conference was pointing Years ago – Why should You ask the users to do Your job, click with the mouse there and here, interact whit the site, answer questions, when the only thing that he wants coming to Your site is – to be informed, to buy, sell, or be entertained – as fast as possible. Interactivity is not Entertainement, it is a work – and the people don’t like to work!

May be I have to kill the site, but I feel so connected, and sentimental about it. And it still gathers 5 000 unique visitors every month, more than this site…Why? The people are watching a film. My most successful up to date. Which one? Walking on by, my last “true indy” before NFB, haha. This is what the people wants to watch! I updated the film to Youtube, hopping to remove the traffic. No way – the same. As a guy wrote me Years ago. “My little daughter grew with this film. For Years, she didn’t want to go to bed, if she didn’t watch “Walking on by…” before…

But Isn’t it the reason to make films, BTW?

The people are strange. Not sure I’ll  ever understand them.

Lip-synch the life

I rarely write about other works on my site. But yesterday I saw a piece of art, that deeply moved me, and I must say – is a real inspiration for me, evoking some really dramatically decisions, may be. I always loved the theater, more than everything. I started with the theater, studied theater, was making posters for the theater. It seems to be my destiny, to love this art form. But after I saw yesterday Robert Lepage 9 hours LIPSYNCH, I know for sure, that this is one of most powerful and deep experiences and feelings, I’ve ever had. It started, that I cried after the first 10 min. It ended crying at the end. At the middle I’ve laughed as hell. It was thought provoking, deep, intense experience. It passed as a 5 min adrenalin booster.
This tale for the voice, the lack of the voice, and imitated, synchronized voice behind the life, is a smashing achievement for the contemporary theater. I think it has the impact of Brook’s Mahabharata, but goes further. It tells the stories of 9 people, lip-sinchronised in their desperate essay to understand their life, to remember it, and to hear their inner and true voices. And the voices, the true voices, and the words, and the accents, can change everything, not because they are meaningful, but because behind each voice stays an unique human, and the language is nothing but vowels, and syllables. It is a music, that we think understand, but are often mistaken (one of the monologues in the play stated after hearing that he cannot be understood in his own country by his greek secretary – “My bloody Scotish accent, ea? What about Your accent, Greek girl? What about all those polishes, roumanians, EastEuropeans in my city? ” Even the italians are gone,from their pizzarias, at least we understood them! Nobody speeks English in London anymore! I have to pass a crash course on Serbo-croation, if I want to order a capuchino at the coffee on the corner. It become a Disney world of the planet, my city!”
It is not the language, my friends. The world has changed, and our brains. It is the music of Your voice that is important.
The music of the silence is the only one that counts, when we love and hate.
Abfiejhafjsal ajikhadso mucho amourekos!

The ephemeral nature of “new media”

From time to time I have to clean my archives. Then, I find hundreds of forgotten works, projects. I just found a CD with an old version of Mortadellatv. At this time (2001) it was full with interactive art, new media “paintings” and “conceptual” flash. As I now believe the interactive art is a “passé” – (it is aging extremely badly – does anyone remembers “Onceuponaforest” or Pitaru experiments, or…forgot their names even…There were many.)  Everything is dead, it even doesn’t exists on the web. So, I was lucky enough not to loose my time too much on all those projects (and not to spend any money on it). Some of them won awards.

My favorite was:

“Symbiotic colostrum – letters to the muse”

It is an interactive “love” painting, in which the movement of the mouse was indicating the words of a “love letter”. It had the ability to send generated Latin letters to a person (not to be revealed:)

The Story of King Midas



This blog is in French

A friend of mine asked me – why You don’t write it in French. It is in French, I answered.

I draw and paint in French. My images are in French. Some of them are in Bulgarian, especially the old ones. But also some of the new too. If You have the eyes to see it.

I consider the words here as subtitles. There are for better understanding. The text is full with errors, but I don’t care. I don’t use spell checker. I just subtitle my works.

The text are not important for me – it doesn’t have any meaning. They are descriptive, informative and without feelings. But they are nice signs, well designed, nice forms and shapes. The written words are simply – forms, and designs. As the spoken words are music.

An indefinable object of desire

Well. Here is the story. 8 years ago my friend Laurent Rabatel came with the proposition, to make a boutique advertising and design agency. And the first thing was the…logo. I did it. The name Lichen that he gave to the agency was the first, and the only one that came. So was the logo. NO takes. NO doubts. The very same day my daughter was born. Actually, after giving him the file, I was running to the hospital. So for me, Lichen communication and my daughter Alexandra are always part of an indefinable love.

I jumped after into the adventure called moviemaking, and Laurent continued alone the battle with the kitch, the miserable advertising community. 8 years. Lichen established as the uncompromising and the only radical place in Montreal where the advertising doesn’t lick client’s asses, but work in his solemn interest, even if he doesn’t know it. The last fighter for the good taste. And the opposition of “creativity” – cause creativity is a borring cliché, and the only thing that we need is the invention and the arrogancy to be the FIRST!

The font

My favorite font:
Akzidenz Grotesk

Akzidenz-Grotesk is a realist sans-serif typeface originally released by the H. Berthold AG type foundry in 1896 under the title Accidenz-Grotesk.[1] It was the first sans serif typeface to be widely used and influenced many later neo-grotesque typefaces. Max Miedinger at the Haas Foundry used it as a model for the typeface Neue Haas Grotesk released in 1957, and renamed Helvetica in 1960. Miedinger sought to refine the typeface making it more even and unified. Two other releases from 1957, Adrian Frutiger’s Univers and Bauer and Baum’s Folio, take inspiration from Akzidenz-Grotesk.

Akzidenz Grotesk, totally by chance was used as title and credit font in all of Artur Lipsett films…

65 Years animated logo

Here is the animated version of the logo, that I created for the 65th anniversary of NFB’s animation studio.

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