"I took the color in its most rigid and objective form and made the computer give it life, shape and movement. I gave colors the freedom to express themselves independently, as individual colors and as large collaborative communities".
Ch'Art Design is a project of Applied Digital Art so versatile that it allows the free personalization of every kind of object and environment while maintaining originality, recognizability, aesthetic appreciability and emotional involvement.
At its core is this all-digital "wavy mosaic" style, so abstract that it arouses pareidolia, i.e. the perception of usual forms where they do not exist. A bit like when a cloud looks like a dragon, an elephant or a human face.
An easy example of pareidolia, a mammoth with a large trunk.
This artwork was published in the first issue of MAKE8ELIEVE together with other illusory dinosaurs (pages 104-109).
The figurative effect is not always so evident, and its perception is highly subjective. For this reason each Ch'Art creates an absolutely personal relationship with the viewer, more or less intense depending on the moment and mood.
But beyond this possibility of interpretation, the strength of the Ch'Art lies in the emotional influence given by the colors, the size of the pieces, their proximity and the movement that all this suggests.
The dowels are pure, without gradients, because the nuance is given by the overall view. What makes this clear are those little numbers that shyly appear under each piece, and that describe its four-color component as a sort of identity card.
Origins of Ch'Art Design
Ch'Art was born as artistic experimentation around the year 2008.
After years of research in the field of digital painting, in which colors blend and overlap, he embarked on a new path using small elements with pure colors. I started to put them side by side and move them following a recipe of intuition and gestalt, until I reached the biomorphic dynamics that I have always pursued.
So Ch'Art originated in the country of the Graphic Arts, an unusual and eventful way of performing colorimetric and perceptual printing tests. In that initial context it was essential to know which colors were printed well and which were not, and the codes were left in place for verification. I also loved the combination of pure color and alphanumeric text, two expressive extremes that together could give deeper information.
A boring calibration target for printers compared to the more jaunty Ch'Art style.
Obviously CMYK labels work scientifically only when printing in four colors, as with most laser printers: in many other cases where more than four colors are used their function is only indicative, or rather, perceptual. And, as I always say, the viewer's perception is everything, while pure colorimetry "only" serves to regulate the printing presses.
The purpose of Ch'Art as a print test goes beyond simple mathematical color management. It brings Graphic Arts professionals back to a more human approach, to a greater knowledge of the image to reach the true visual message.
My Ch'Art were used for every kind of printing and on every kind of material. From the results we could identify what worked best, and when we found defects or unpleasant effects we could make the necessary corrections by playing between technology (colorimetry) and experience (perception).
The first Material Totem, a nice and decorative sample display that shows the quality and visual impact of fifteen different complex processes.
From tests to the Museum
During this research, a digital printing company commissioned me to design a sampler "different from the usual" : something that would impress the customer and make them understand the difference between the numerous materials, the various printing solutions, the visual (and sometimes tactile) effects that can be obtained digitally.
So the idea of rearranging the company with dozens of Ch'Art images blossomed, each one realized with a particular technique, creating an immersive and experiential path.
. The project, although ready for the executive phase with more than 70 different "samples" on more than 500 square meters of building, was not realized by the company due to lack of funds. But for me the project was already at a higher development: the creation of a museum on digital printing called Ch'Art Museum. So I started a new mission to bring this cultural initiative to life, foreseeing spaces and facilities, educational and training services, media partners but also style furniture and merchandise.
Some slides of the presentation for the Ch'Art Museum,
. the museum of digital printing.
By realizing the studies and prototypes of these objects of furniture, Ch'Art began to be very successful with the public, both among experts in the field and among ordinary people.
Requested were foulard, decorative panels, artistic prints and furniture wraps. While waiting to find a location and the necessary funds for the museum, I began to produce its content in the most varied formulas with the intention of appealing to an increasingly wide audience.
Maybe the Museum will have to wait a little longer, but the research is more alive than ever.
What does Ch'Art mean?
Ch'Art's polychrome images represent the dynamic manipulation of color palettes.
The name comes from the contraction between the words Chart (graphic table, but also color scheme) and Art (for the aesthetic and conceptual references it symbolizes).
Birth of a Ch'Art
Ch'Art is the trait d'union between Pure Art, Digital Art and Graphic Arts, a hybrid that recalls in itself the creative tools, production techniques and perceptive theories of the three disciplines.
To better understand how these worlds merge, I will show below a summary of the creative process.
At the beginning we have the color samples, colored tiles used as reference by artists, graphic designers and creatives for several generations. The groups of tiles form palettes with different gradations and shades, placed side by side for affinity or contrast.
In the example above we see a basic palette, which I created specifically with red and orange tints to match the environment in which the work will be placed.
The shape and number of colors will affect the final design.
Once defined, the palette is taken and moved into soft and dynamic shapes.
From the same palette can be made different Ch'Art, so you have an additional possibility of selection.
For the evaluation, I create a rendering in the target environment with the selected Ch'Art, sometimes making slight changes.
Once the subject has been chosen, we move on to the executive project, defining in detail the measurements, the material, the printing technique (type of printer, inks and any additional settings) and some notes for the set-up.
Colors, dimensions and dynamics of the artworks are set according to the final destination, from several meters of a wall to a few centimeters of a cell phone cover. These factors are also compared with the material on which the image will be printed, taking into account any color dominance or transparency even partial, material texture and reflectivity.
Once all this is defined I choose the most suitable digital printing technology for material compatibility, quality of visual performance, resistance to usage and so on. (If you think this is simple maybe you should read my book!)
This is the path I take for each artwork.
I still remember that for each project I study carefully:
- The colors you prefer, in line with the target environment
- The dynamic that stimulates you, smooth or aggressive
- The most suitable and resistant printing materials
- The right size for your space