Monthly Archives: January 2008

Beta Mode

This afternoon, I was officially in the last stage of putting my interview portfolio together. I had all the prints I need, and I just need to crop them and mount them. There are gonna be a couple other things to take care of, as always, but I was pretty much ready for the next stage.

What that next stage is is not that defined, really. I could continue with creating a simple, or elaborate, leave-behind for my interviewers, but I felt that I wasn’t ready yet. I was ready to, however, build my web site. It’s taken me a long time to get to this stage, and I’m excited. After weeks of working with a print-oriented goal, I was ready to get digital (“Let’s get digital, digital.” Sorry.)

Even though real construction began today, I had spent the same print-oriented weeks to think about the website (I was that excited). What it must have, what it could have, what the concept should be, how it would look like, etc. I actually started sketching layouts during an off-print day to get that crap out of my head (the fine spirit of Flush), and I’m glad I did, because I’m (currently, at least) going with a different approach.

Usability Testing

While setting up the basics of the site today, something dawned on me. I thought about the importance of usability testing as mentioned by Steve Krug in Don’t Make Me Think! While I don’t have the money to conduct the proper research (nor do I really need a usability test for a site this small, though it’s still important), I have the resources: designers I know (including most of you guys)!

Live Construction

Long story short, I’m going to construct my site live. As I work on it, I would like everyone to give me feedback, whether via Flush or by email. I haven’t gotten the whole plan worked out, but I will probably provide mini-plans for the next few things I wanted to work on, like navigation, layout, special coding, etc., and visitors can give me suggestions, comments, notes, criticism, food, etc.

I figured that this way, I would be more motivated to work on the site, because I don’t want it to look like this for longer than I need to. Displaying incomplete work to the public makes me uncomfortable.

Beta Mode

I’m calling my current site “in beta mode.” I’m not sure if “beta” is the right word because it seems to me that every web service I’ve used that are in “beta” mode (Gmail, mind42, Blogger before) are pretty much functioning services. Am I using the word “beta” correctly?

Cropped screen shot of beta site.

Anyway, the beta site is up, and the first round of feedback is appreciated. As of right now, the site:

  1. has a gridded background that I use to layout the content. I might take that out in the final version and let the content stand on the invisible grid, including the black-border boxes.
  2. has a text-based navigation. I plan on making the navigation image-based but still accessible when all the CSS is taken out, because I know it’s better to have the navigation text-based so if I’m making it image-based, I should at least make it accessible. I want to do this because I have this “hover” idea that I want to try.
  3. has a giant orange/yellow image as a space holder for either current news images or a Flash slideshow/movie, which is a pretty common feature these days. I’m not doing this just because everyone else is doing it; but because I want to learn more ActionScript. And if that couldn’t be done in time, I will just leave it like this and rotate images periodically or with JavaScript.

Please Comment/Critique/Suggest/Wash Your Hands after Using the Bathroom

So if I could get anybody to make any constructive comments on what I have so far, that would be really great, even if you think it’s silly or unimportant. If you don’t tell me, I won’t know what you’re thinking. Eventually (soon), I’m going to add a comment box on the beta site so you can give me notes while you’re looking at the page. But for now, comment via this post.

Flush.

Calendar Reform Revisited

So this morning I listened to my morning radio show “Sarah and No Name,” and they had a guest called the Human Calculator. His name is Scott Flansburg, and he had been on the show twice before but I missed it because I was away for college. I was really looking forward to listening to him do this ultra fast calculating thing, being the inner math geek that I am.

After he did the math thing, though, he talked about a thirteen-month calendar that would make every day of the year fall on the same day of the week, which was pretty close to what I was talking about a few weeks ago about changing the calendar and proposing a Leap Week or something.

What I couldn’t resolve was the 365th day of the year where it would shift the day of the week every year, making the day of the week not align anymore. Then he mentioned making the first day of the year a special off-calendar day that we would celebrate and stuff, and then we go on our 13-months-of-28-days calendar.

I know that he didn’t come up with that idea (which I realized when I looked at a Wikipedia article on Calendar Reform), but that’s such a good solution! My mind was so confined to having to conform and assign each day to a day of the week that I pseudo-literally didn’t think outside the box. Nothing in nature requires a week to be seven days, and nothing in nature requires a day to be outside of a week; only we humans made that up, and we humans can just as simply reason everyone to leave a day out of the week for the greater good of better organization in the calendar for the next millions of years.

So now, we would have New Year’s Day to be out of the week, a day for us to celebrate, blah blah. Then starts January 1, or whatever we decide to call the months if we want to change it (to fix the “September does not associating with 7 and so on” problem), and we move on to a structured calendar where I know the 25th of every month is a Thursday.

And when leap year comes around, we could just add another off-calendar day, maybe next to New Year’s, or maybe six or seven months into the year to even it out, although that might mess people up when they want to plan something exactly 70 days (10 weeks) from May but there’s an extra day after June or July because of the Leap day, so then putting it next to New Year’s to “get it over with” may actually be a better solution.

As “perfect” as that would work out, here are some reasons that people would oppose to changing the calendar to this system:

  1. People with birthdays as well as holidays on the 29th, 30th, and 31st don’t exist anymore and have to reconfigure, as mentioned in my other post.
  2. People’s birthdays will fall on the same day of the week every year, which would suck for a majority of the people in the world whose birthdays fall on a weekday, every single year. That might lead to a “birthdays of the week” culture, which may encourage more group/social celebration.
  3. The whole world needs to approve and adopt this.
  4. Calendar makers won’t support it because they can’t sell new calendars.
  5. People scared of the number 13 would hate this, as mentioned in my other post.
  6. Having days of the month fall on the same day of the week every month may seem boring to people, and boring is bad, apparently.
  7. Oppositely, people don’t enjoy change as much as I do.

Flush.

Photographing for Portfolio

So yesterday, I successfully (after a devastating double-stuck-tape first try) assembled the accordion book for the Mandolins Brochure that I designed almost two years ago. I planned on putting it in my portfolio, so I had to mock it up and photograph it instead of just showing the flat designs. Today, I had a long photo shoot of the piece, taking pictures from the front, of the inside, of the outside, from different angles, and in both black background and white.

Light Source

Unlike my test photo session from last time, I used natural light through the window as my light source. It’s been cloudy for the past couple of days, and that’s actually a good thing, because the clouds emit a pretty neutral white light through my bedroom window. You’d think that a clear day would be better but I recently realized that clear skies (but not from direct sunlight) actually give your indoor subjects a blue/cyan tint because the sky is usually blue. I’ve just never put those two phenomena together because I assumed that clear skies give off “real” light because when you take pictures outside, you get a “real” range of human skin tones (because the sunlight balances it out or something).

Anyway, having a natural-light photo session meant that I had an unpostponeable deadline of the darkening sky to meet. Surprisingly, I took the last batch of my photos even when it’s too dim to see, thanks to the manual shutter speed setting on my camera; it could make a somewhat dark scene look normal.

Black or White?

So all in all, I took 367 photos today of the brochure, although I had a wide bracket of different exposures in almost every pose; I wanted to choose from more than just two or three bracket shots to make sure I got the best one. Better more than none, they say.

All the photos in thumbnails:

Screenshot of the thumbnails of my photo session today.

Actual screen size of the thumbnails:

Actual-size close-up screenshot of the thumbnails.

Black or White?

Since this is my first real photo session with the light tent, I’m still trying to decide whether the white background or the black background works better. Of course, in certain situations, one is definitely better than the other. But I have two pairs of relatively unedited photos here to show the difference. What do you think?

1-B. Page 1 and 2 in black background

Page 1 and 2 in black background.

1-W. Page 1 and 2 in white background

Page 1 and 2 in white background.

And then there’s 2-B. Exterior in black background

Exterior in black background.

And 2-W. Exterior in white background

Exterior in white background.

At first impression, I think the black ones stand out more. But I have a personal attachment to subjects photographed in white backgrounds, so I’m not ready to toss them out. Maybe there’s not enough light to make the white really white?

Notes on the Light Tent

During this photo session, I learned a few things about using a light tent:

  1. I need a larger light tent, for subjects that span wider than the width of the box, like this accordion book.
  2. Having a really controlled environment with light is important. I realized that when the relatively white walls behind me and my light-color shirt reflected onto the subject, which led me to pull up a piece of black fabric every time I set off the two-second timer to take a shot.
  3. The inside frames of your light tent should be prepped so you can Velcro black/white paper strips at the edges because that part of the frame also reflects unwanted hues onto the subject.
  4. The top and bottom edge of the front frame (the frame your camera sees through) are useless, as they can obstruct the view of your high-angle shots or limit the amount of backdrop whitespace you would like to allow for below your subject in the photograph. I can be as brave to say that the entire front frame is useless, although I cannot be as brave yet to completely cut it out, for fear that the entire tent would somehow collapse.

That’s it for this portfolio-building update. Sorry for not posting as often as I wanted; I really want to get this portfolio done, what with the scary economy and all.

Flush.

Something “Comic”-al about Voting

Upon being told by my friend that we (American citizens) actually vote in the primaries and not some representatives (I’m a little rusty on my government knowledge, I know; sorry, Mr. Gray), I was obligated to register to vote. So I did the online registration thing and had to wait for them to send me the form to sign before sending it back to complete the registration.

Today I received the form, and I was going to just sign it and drop it in the mail as soon as possible because the office has to receive the registrations at least 15 days before the election (Feb. 5 in California). But when I opened my form and saw the computer-printed text, I knew I had to blog about it before mailing it.

California Voter Registration Form with Comic Sans.

Why, oh why did they use Comic Sans? When I see that on government forms like this, I think of volunteer old ladies sitting in front of outdated 90’s computers at the elections office or whatever, choosing a “cute” font thinking that boring-looking forms like this would look “prettier” and “more fun” and might actually encourage soon-to-be voters to drop it in the mail sooner than they would.

And the thing is, that probably is true and does work on most voters.

But I don’t understand. Aside from it being Comic Sans, the text doesn’t even fit in the squares, nor does it align with them! (Notice the bubble for “Mr.”) The only explanation I can think of (aside from pissing off graphic designers) is that they need something that is large, not normal-looking, and curved where they probably shouldn’t be, to jump out of the squares to make sure that you notice what you entered on the form online was correct. If that’s their reason, then it’s effective—sort of. “Sort of” because while the text did get my attention, it felt like such a sin to look at, and I almost didn’t want to double-check the form before mailing it in.

Maybe that’s why old people vote more and youngsters like me don’t.

Flush.

P.S. No offense to volunteer old ladies; it’s not your fault Comic Sans was created.

What Am I Doing? (Jan 2008)

Taking a step back, I noticed that I made a lot of progress in the past month, relatively speaking. Not having school anymore freed up my time to work on my portfolio. Since I last posted a progress update, I have completed the “redos” that I wanted for my portfolio and I am now in the process of branching my attention to put together a “general interview” portfolio, a leave-behind, a portfolio site, a PDF version (for those who ask for it), a CD/DVD version (just in case), and a general portal-like website, which will connect my portfolio, this blog, and another section that I really want to have on my site.

As always, I have a lot of ideas and very little time to execute them well. And time is definitely becoming a larger factor as my dependencies on others for survival have begun to tire me out. So the focus of my life right now can pretty much be summarized into one phrase: job searching.

A Note on the Redo

During the past month, I spent most of my time working on project redos. I was surprised as to how long each project took. I had to find the files, figure out what to fix, work on the changes, prep the files for portfolio and for general purposes, and then package and archive the entire project so I don’t have a harder time finding it the next time. Even the smaller projects that were only one page (flyers, posters, etc.) took at least a day each.

I think what happened was I had to organized I lot of my old files that were just in their own little organization system. I basically took the time to rearrange everything into a more standardized organization system, which has been working pretty well for almost a year now. So from now on, I can work more on the design and less on the organizing.

Holiday Season

With December being the heart of the Holiday Season, I encountered a conflict between having to work on my portfolio as much as and as timely as I could against celebrating the season by not wanting to work at all. Debates went on daily in my head, trying to find a good reason to let me off the hook for the day by promising myself to do more work the next day. It was a lose-lose situation, especially when a rediscovery of an old hobby emerged.

Sim City 3000/Sims 2—A Little Sidetrack (Skip to the next heading if you wish)

At a family gathering for the holidays this winter, I noticed that my cousins brought their laptop to play games and kill time. Usually they play role-playing games and go around shooting things. This time they brought The Sims, and I found myself unable to resist watching them play. They offered to let me play, and I, being the kind of person I am, took a hour or so creating two new people and building a house before actually playing the game.

That got me going. I spent the ride home that night thinking about playing the Sim City 3000 that I got in high school: “And now with a faster computer and larger screen, it’s going to be so much better!” I thought. So I started playing it at home, but the problem was that this is not the type of game where there are stop points. It’s like a casino, where there are no windows to tell you what time it is; you just keep going.

I knew I had to control myself, but my mind couldn’t stop zoning land and expanding city limits. So for the whole week or two, I periodically thought about special building strategies, and even dreamed in squares.

At another family gathering, my cousins brought Sims 2. I was even more drawn to it than Sims 1 because of the graphics, the functions, and the new playing experience. Again, I spent an hour or two creating people and building a house. I think I enjoy that a lot more than actually playing the game; something about making things.

When I got home, I knew I had to ask my sister for her copy of Sims 2. But this time, I had more self-discipline (at least in the beginning). I had one short session of just checking out the neighborhoods and the interface, and another one creating the people, and then one more to build a super fancy house just for fun. Last night was when I started playing, but that’s not enough.

Long story short (too late), I need a vacation.

“But Ivan,” you may ask, “you don’t have a job. Aren’t you on vacation?”

“Well, you,” I respond, “have you ever heard of the saying, ‘Finding a job is a full-time job’?”

“No, I haven’t, Ivan,” you replied, “why don’t you extrapol…

Well, it is. I’m sure a lot of people work wish they weren’t working. But for those who aren’t working, like me, getting a job is almost all they think about.

I’ve been so into this project called Get-My-Portfolio-Ready-So-I-Can-Find-A-Good-Job that I think I’ve put in more than forty hours a week, since I “work” on the weekends, too.

But according to Neil Fiore in The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play (which I read this past month for somewhat obvious reasons), I should allow myself time to play so I can be more productive in my work.

And I realized this as I was playing Sims 1 on my cousins’ laptop. My “Bachelor,” who was living alone, was basically working, eating, cleaning, sleeping, every day. Eventually, he started crying because his “Social” and “Fun” levels had gone red.

Funnily in a not funny way, I played Bachelor like I would with my life, always chasing that extra dollar and not thinking that social interactions matter that much. In the game, they tell you so and you suffer the consequences. In real life, it’s less black and white, and you don’t know it until your leprechaun friend tells you.

So, I want a vacation, but I still feel guilty for playing before finishing my portfolio. And I know that once I get a job, I’ll be head-on into my work, although I love working anyway. Still, it might be years before I get a decent vacation. Maybe I will make a more appropriate use of my weekends then.

Recruiter

This past week, I was contacted by a recruiter, who heard about me from one of my friends to whom I mentioned more than a month ago that I was looking for a job.

It was a very surprising email, and I really freaked out, because I wasn’t done with my portfolio and all that stuff. Nonetheless, I contacted the recruiter, and it turned out that the job opening was for someone with a lot more experience. Still, she let me send her a résumé to keep on file in case something else comes up.

Our discussion of the job opening and its responsibilities actually made me realize what kind of job I wanted, and where I stand in the field: gumshoe bottom. I actually don’t mind that, as long as I don’t stay there my whole life. I know where I stand, and I am ready to move on up.

Also, this surprise recruiter episode allowed me to see what I’ve done so far with my portfolio and how much more I have left to do. I’m excited that slowly but surely, I am getting there.

I’m going to end this apparently monthly post with lyrics to a song to stick in your head. I heard my favorite radio morning show mentioning and singing this song this morning as they said that Obama’s using this song for his campaign. I had to look it up on YouTube for the song and the classic TV show that went with it.

Well, we’re movin’ on up, (movin’ on up)
To the East Side, (movin’ on up)
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin’ on up, (movin’ on up)
To the East Side, (movin’ on up)
We finally got a piece of the pie!

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen;
Beans don’t burn on the grill.
Take a whole lotta tryin’,
Just to get up that hill.
Now we’re up in the big leagues,
Getting’ our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it’s you and me baby,
There ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Well, we’re movin’ on up, (movin’ on up)
To the East Side, (movin’ on up)
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin’ on up, (movin’ on up)
To the East Side, (movin’ on up)
We finally got a piece of the pie!

—“Movin’ on Up,” Ja’net DuBois

Flush.

My DIY Light Tent

My DIY Light Tent

Warning: Photo-Heavy Post.

As I continue the journey of putting my portfolio together, I realized more and more things that I need to do to have at least a decent, presentable portfolio. When school started again last Fall, Core77 posted a “Hack-2-School” Guide for design students. I read through it and found some pretty useful things, one of which is a light tent. We didn’t make light tents to photograph our class projects in Davis, and I really think the kids there should start doing that. I believe it improves the quality of your portfolio presentation, because how that design exists in its environment, in a three-dimensional world, matters as much as, if not more than, the design of the piece.

So ever since I read that post, I really wanted to make a light tent for myself, even if I only have two thin book things that I would photograph for the portfolio. I wanted to have it for future projects so I have less of an excuse to take pictures of whatever I will design for my portfolio and archive. So here’s an annotated photographic journey into the construction and testing of my DIY light tent. I pretty much followed the instructions from Instructable’s tutorial, with a few modifications.

The Construction

Box with two square holes.
Box with four square holes and bottom cut out

Cut squares from all four sides of the box as well as the bottom.

Exterior bottom taped

Tape the exterior bottom.

Interior bottom taped
Foam core to level the bottom

Tape the interior bottom. Put foam core or something with the same thickness of the cardboard to make the bottom even.

Black matte board as base
White matte board as base

Line the bottom with a black and/or white matte board to 1) level the bottom, and 2) serve as the base backdrop color in case the main backdrop is not large enough. I had a leftover matte board that’s black on one side and white on the other that I could use for both backdrop colors.

Tracing paper

Get three large pieces of tracing paper. The tutorial said to use something semi-transparent like Tyvek or whatever. Yeah, I’m not that fancy. I used tracing paper leftover from Art class. Cut each piece of the paper to the size of each of the frames.

Velcro dots at corners of tracing paper
Double Velcro dots

The tutorial said to just glue-stick the semi-transparent paper over three of the holes, leaving open the frame you’re going to photograph through. I’m adding an extra step here in case I want to use colored tissue paper or something in the future. Left: Put Velcro dots (they call them “coins”) at the corners of the tracing paper, but make sure those corners would go over the cardboard part of the frames and not where the holes are. Right: Get the opposite side of the Velcro dots and stick them to the first dots.

Velcro dots on the cardboard

With all corners “double-dotted,” hold the paper over one of the frames, stretching it flat, and stick the dots to the cardboard one by one. It’s better to start at the top corners first and stretch the paper downward.

Velcro dots at centers of the edge

Since my box was larger than the one in the tutorial, and that I didn’t just glue-stick the sides like in the tutorial, I noticed after the fact that the paper was still a little loose. So I added another dot in the centers of the top, left, and right sides of the frame. Gravity automatically pulls the bottom side down, so no Velcro dots there.

Tent in progress

Your tent should look something like this at this point.

Black and white paper for backdrop
Overlap paper to create one large sheet

Get large sheets of black and white paper for the main backdrop. Try to find paper that is long enough to cover a length that is the sum of the height of the tent and the length of the tent running from the front to the back. If not, use two pieces like I did; you just have to deal with the seams later on in Photoshop. You could also try using fabric. I might switch to fabric later on, but at this time, I couldn’t find any good, cheap ones that are not reflective. Left: Two black posterboards and two Bristol boards. These posterboards were not super black; they were as black as I could find, which means it’s another thing I have to deal with later on in Photoshop. Also, Bristol is good to use because it has a solid, low-to-no-texture, bright white color. Right: If you’re using two sheets, line them up and overlap one on top of the other.

Taping on the seam on the back side of the papers
Applying glue on the overlap

Left: Tape the back side to temporarily secure their overlap. Right: Fold one sheet over at the tape seam, and glue-stick the overlapping area.

Applying double dots on the paper and the back of the frame
A second Velcro dot on the paper

Left: Once you glued the two sheets together, do the double-dot thing at the center of the shorter edge of the sheet and stick a Velcro dot to the center of the top of the back frame. Right: This is an optional step: take another Velcro dot that’s the same side as the one on your backdrop sheet, and stick it a few inches from that spot. This will allow you to pull the sheet higher and make the curve at the bottom smoother.

Completed DIY Light Tent

And that’s how you make a low-budget DIY light tent!

Testing

First test of light tent with Velcro box

First test of the tent with the Velcro box as the subject.

Original photo with yellowed lighting

One thing I’ve discovered is that not everything is black and white even when you made it so. Here’s the photo from my camera.

Photoshopped photo made the lighting more neutral

Here’s the exact same photo, but I did an Auto Levels in Photoshop. This is not at all a surprise, but it’s just really interesting to see how different it can be and how yellow my light source is.

Close up of the Velcro box in the black-backdrop tent. Auto Levels'd.

A close up of the Velcro box without the frame. Also Auto Levels’d.

Close up of the Velcro box in the white-backdrop tent. Auto Levels'd.

Here’s the white backdrop. Auto Levels’d.

The following three pairs of photos show the difference between using one light source and using two.

Light tent with one light source
Light tent with two light sources

Book lit on black backdrop, one light source
Book lit on black backdrop, two light sources

Book lit on white backdrop, one light source
Book lit on white backdrop, two light sources

The differences aren’t too noticeable here, but that’s because I haven’t really experimented with the light source, yet. Side note: that book is my “Why Don’t We Care?” book that I made for class almost a year ago, refined and “professionally” printed and bound.

Light source at the bottom
Light source near the top

One of the problems with my black backdrop is that it’s not black enough. Whenever a light source gets too close, it starts turning brown in the photo. Here, the two photos compare the differences between placing the light source near the bottom and placing it near the top. Placing it at the top also illuminated the subject a lot better.

Close up of the book, Photoshopped

Here’s a close up of the book, Photoshopped.

Opened book

There’s me holding the book while the tripodded-camera took the photo with the ten-second timer. You should see my stance as I tried to position the book so that the pages didn’t glare and that I wouldn’t bump the camera with my chest, all the while holding still before the timer goes off. But I think that was worth it, because this is pretty much why I wanted to build the tent: to show book pages the way they’re meant to look, curved like real pages, with a gutter, maybe with hands to show the scale and the way it’s handled.

Black backdrop easily scratched by finger nails.

An extra advice for those building the tent: make sure your black/dark paper doesn’t scratch that easily (or just try to not scratch your paper). Mine’s already shown signs of wear created by my recently-cut fingernails when I was holding the book open.

Photo of flourescent tube light on the white backdrop

And an extra photographic treat: a portable fluorescent tube light on the white backdrop. It’s going to be fun experimenting with this tent.

Here’s the link to the tutorial if you’re too lazy to scroll up. Instructables—Super Simple Light Tent.

And I found this link yesterday on Core77. Just when I make something new, other people make it a lot better.

If any of you are going to make a light tent of your own, please show me photos (completed and/or in-progress) so I can see what other people are doing/using to make this tent!

Flush.

365: AIGA Year in Design 28

Cover of "365: AIGA Year in Design 28" on cardboard packaging

A few days ago, I received the 365: AIGA Year in Design 28 in the mail. It said that they had shrunk it down from previous years, but I don’t have any other editions to compare it to, since I didn’t get anything like this last year, even though I was already an AIGA member then (maybe it’s because I had a student membership.) It’s hard to see the scale from the photo, but the page size is 5″ x 7″.

So this book had design work from two competitions: 365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions, and 50 Books/50 Covers, which I had talked about in a really early Flush post. The section dividers, eight of them for the 365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions, and only one for the 50 Books/50 Covers, were cleverly designed (by Thirst/3st, directed by Rick Valicenti). Each divider spans two spreads, but the left page of the first spread and the right page of the second spread actually make one composition. And the concept of the dividers basically had to do with “me,” where the identity design section divider says “It’s Me,” for example, and the information design section divider says, “Believe Me,” and so on.

"Recycle Me" spelled out with tiny holes in cardboard packaging

What’s also cool is the cardboard packaging was intentionally minimized to go with being green, and, they even spelled out “Recycle Me” (which I just realized right now relates to the section dividers) with teeny holes. I wish they had made that more obvious, though, because I almost missed it before I recycled it.

Visually, I’m not really a fan of the blue-grid sphere motif (see first photo). The sphere/globe reminded me of some cliché 80’s AT&T; commercial where it’s all mysterious with the black background and light type or lines. I don’t know what the idea behind the globe thing is.

Flush.