- Gadgets, Games, Robots and the Digital World
6 illustrations for a book by Dorling Kindesley Limited, a Penguin Company
It's no secret that I'm a devoted fan of computer history and cyberculture. I have this passion for more than 20 years now. Been studying, collecting old machines, retro gadgets, especially old Apples but also Sinclairs, Amstrads, Bulls, Commodores... I am considering this computer archeology passion one of the more romantic activities I ever had.
When Smiljka Surla from DK publishing contacted me about this project I was more than happy to be involved.
"Gadgets, Games, Robots and the Digital World" is a very well written and detailed educational book. It can serve as a great introduction to the world of smart machines. Written by Clive Gifford, a journalist participating in more than 120 titles in the field of computing, robotics and everything tech. Dr Mike Goldsmith, another veteran of popular science literature has contributed to the book.
The book uses illustrations and information graphics by I Love Dust (a studio I really admire), James Carey, Infomen and me.
I have been asked to create 6 mosaic portraits of 6 IT giants: Grace Hopper, Cynthia Breazeal, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg
, Sir Clive Sinclair and Tomohiro Nishikado. For each of them I tried to create a mosaic portrait made up of elements their creations or their ideas.
Funny enough this was the first time I am creating a portrait of Bill Gates. I created something in 1999 for a Greek magazine but wasn't really special... I wanted to be a humorous approach with Gates since I don't really appreciate the MS contribution to computing, especially where the graphics are concerned. This is why I used the Windows 1.0 icons initially. To add more color I tried to add the icons from the second and third version of Windows too. The third one was the closest they have come to Apple in the last millennium. Interface designer Susan Kare and member of the first Macintosh team (from the early 80s) designed their 3.0 icons.
The book contains many illustration and graphics styles so I felt free to experiment with different mosaic styles and ideas.
- Tomohiro Nishikado: The ...space invader.When Taito saw the prototype (of Space Invaders), they said,"You can't shoot people! And you must create the image of war".So I changed the characters into monsters.At the time, I was trying what the focus would be,and had heard of a sci-fi movie being produced in America called Star Wars.I thought a space fad might be on the way and decided to focus on aliens.And that's how the monsters became the invaders that are known today.— Tomohiro NishikadoTomohiro Nishikado is the legendary Japanese video game developer who rocked the world of personal entertainment with Space Invaders back in 1978. My generation remembers the addiction we got in our childhood with these evil alien monsters...I created a mosaic portrait for Mr. Space Invader using a large collection of space invader graphics, all of them original even if I have included some from later versions of the game. I wanted to limit the color set to 7 original colors in order to be as close as possible to the real atmosphere of the game.
- Some details of the mosaic portrait including the original cannon:
- Bill Gates: The Windows 1.0 portraitI think it's fair to say that personal computers have becomethe most empowering tool we've ever created.They're tools of communication, they're tools of creativity,and they can be shaped by their user.— Bill GatesI have never been and I am still not a Bill Gates fan. I respect his charity work and I admire him as a business man. I believe he had invented a brilliant business model for the first software company but at the same time I believe that he kept the tech world behind because of the mediocre aesthetics and the "me too" (or is it just copycat) culture.
Still Bill Gates is a very interesting subject if you decide to study his face and expression. He is keeping a hidden smile that makes me sure that he is an extremely smart person. Probably not my type but for sure a good object of study.
This is the first mosaic portrait I created. I have used just the set of icons of the very first (1.0) and unpopular version of Microsoft Windows. This set is so badly designed that becomes interesting.
- Some details of the mosaic portrait.
- Mosaic portrait by Charis Tsevis.
Based on a photo provided by DK books.
Icons from Microsoft Windows 1.0.
- Bill Gates: The Windows portraitHiring Susan Kare, the designer of the first Mac OS was a huge step for Microsoft Windows. I have used the 2.0, 3.0, 95 and NT icons for this version. I really think the expression of Gates is timeless.
- Some details of the mosaic portrait:
- Mosaic portrait by Charis TsevisPhoto by Dino Vournas/Reuters/CorbisIcons by Susan Kare and other Microsoft designers.
- Grace Hopper: The gifted mathematician and pioneer.We're flooding people with information.We need to feed it through a processor.A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge.We've tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.— Grace HopperGrace Hopper has been a legend. First woman programmer of the Harvard Mark I, a pioneering computer based in Harvard University. But what Hopper is famous of is the first compiler. She developed the first tools that made programming to pass in a more easy era.I know I had to deal with code but mostly with pure mathematics for the Grace Hopper mosaic. I have surpassed the idea of Courier or any other fixed width typeface because I wanted to create something more heavy and powerful. Grace wasn't just any programmer. She deserved the multi awarded PF Centro Pro designed by my dear friend Panos Vassiliou of Parachute Fonts.
- Some details of the mosaic portrait:
- Mosaic portrait by Charis TsevisPhoto by AP/Press Association ImagesTypeface by Panos Vassiliou, Parachute Fonts
- Cynthia Breazeal: The Robots whispererRobots have been into the deepest oceans. They've been to Mars.They're just starting to come into your home.You could think of your living room as their Final Frontier.— Cynthia BreazealCynthia Breazeal is a pioneer in Social Robotics and Human Robots interaction. She is leading the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab.The idea of hardware parts came natural to me while staring at Cynthia's work. I wanted to assembly simple elements and gave them life like her. The magenta background was another easy choice. For a children book trying to promote some role models I thought it would be a good idea to connect this portrait with the feminine side of Cynthia and her robot Kismet. Cynthia created Kismet during her studies in the early 90s.
- Some details of the portrait:
- Mosaic portrait by Charis TsevisPhoto by Sam Ogden, Science Photo LibraryHardware photos by various photographers.
- Mark Zuckerberg: The international portraitOnce every 100 years, media changes.The last 100 years have been defined by the mass media.In the next 100 years, information won't be just pushed out to people:it will be shared among the millions of connections people have.— Mark ZuckerbergMark Zuckerberg is the hottest person in IT and media of our times. The Social Network movie helped the masses become more familiar with his character even if art does not always represent the truth.My art tried to represent the global language of Mark's Facebook. Icons and words are used as stars or planets in a clear night sky, forming something like a social galaxy.The original file of this illustration is huge (11776 x 7680 pixels) and this is why I always like to navigate through it with ZoomIt.
- Some details of the mosaic:
- Mosaic portrait by Charis TsevisPhoto by Francois G. Durand.Icons and interface elements by Facebook.
- Sir Clive Sinclair: The PC pioneerThe idea that an inventor can come up with some brilliant idea and somebody else will make it happen is nonsense. It the idea is good enough, it's going to appear pretty crazy to almost everybody. Either you do it yourself or it ain't going to happen.— Clive SinclairThe first personal computer ever made it to our family house was a ZX80 that my father bought. I still have this beauty in my collection. Clive Sinclair has been a pioneer in electronics long before computers. His calculators were so powerful and yet so affordable.Since I was very young I was particularly fascinated from the Sinclair computer keyboards. They were probably the most beautiful industrial design outside the Apple universe. So all these nice keys would be my brush strokes for this portrait.
- Some details from the mosaic:
- Mosaic portrait by Charis Tsevis.Photo by Central Press / Getty ImagesIndustrial design by various designers and Sinclair Research Ltd
- The BookSome photos from the "Gadgets, Games, Robots and the Digital World" book.