Research Gallery: December

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Traditional vs Contemporary Craft

The crossover between traditional and contemporary crafts has been a really fascinating area of research for us. While we like to think we know a little about making games but it’s been amazing to find out more how the beautiful woodblock prints that inspire Haiku Adventure were made. Art is often seen as the creation of a sole individual, however ukiyo-e prints are a real collaborative process involving a team of incredibly specialised and skilled craftspeople. We’ll do a proper blog post on this another time but if you want to find out more straight away then this site describes some of the dexterous processes involved.

We love how this collaborative effort is exactly the same in videogame development! Making a game relies on a whole range of experts working towards a common goal. Approaching the making of Haiku Adventure with the attention to craft and clever collaboration that’s evident in ukiyo-e prints is the challenging goal we’ve set ourselves!

Our upcoming exhibition Haiku Adventure: The Craft of Games will look at the connections we see between videogame and woodblock production in more detail.

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Researching ukiyo-e prints was the biggest turning point that led to our choice of framing and exploration for the themes of Haiku Adventure. Hokusai is probably the best known artist associated within this genre and continues to be an important reference for us due to his vast catalogue of prints. You may not know the name but you’ll definitely recognise some of his iconic images!

I’ve had a set of Hokusai postcards on my desk for years and never wanted to send them to anyone as I enjoyed flicking through them. Hokusai was incredible at capturing the dynamic energy of a moment and inspiring the viewer to dream up stories about what might be happening in the image. We hope to capture some of that spirit in Haiku Adventure!

There’s so many fantastic resources if you want to learn more about Hokusai but this podcast is a great place to start.

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A Dictionary of Color Combinations

I’ve always found colours really tricky to balance, so this book – A Dictionary of Color Combinations – has been a great starting point! The beautifully designed little book has over 300 combinations and throws up some unusual examples that surprisingly work. I’m loving the names given to colours; Hay’s Russet, Cameo Pink and Olympic Blue!

For colour theory we’ve also been looking at Interaction of Color by Josef Albers and reading up on designing with colourblindness in mind. We’re always on the look out for more references so let us know if you have any other tips!

We’d love to hear your thoughts and find out what research is inspiring you at the moment! Drop us a message in the comments below or through our Instagram or Twitter accounts.