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iPhone Obsessed: Marcolina Takes Photo Editing to Next Level

One of the 12 traits of best brand identity firms I wrote about in my book Designing Brand Identity is alchemy, which refers to the ability to synthesize vast amounts of information and reduce it to a big idea.

In the case of Dan Marcolina, the big idea is powerful imagery, synthesized by the many devices, apps and new technologies we have at our disposal. Marcolina, more than any other designer I know, pushes the boundaries of design and technology, as evidenced by his work for Adobe, his apps, his insights into interactive publishing, and tablet design.

An Ambler-based design entrepreneur who is recognized as an early innovator in digital print, interactive and video design, Marcolina has earned international recognition for the work of his 22-year old firm, with clients like Adobe, Discovery Channel and Business Wire.

"Dan Marcolina is a great example of Philadelphia’s robust and ever-evolving creative economy," says Neil Kleinman, Senior Fellow at the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts.  "By immersing himself in the world of apps and combining technical tools with his affinity for visual imagery, he’s pushing the boundaries of both photography and publishing."  

Marcolina’s latest accomplishment is the book and iPad companion "iPhone Obsessed, Photo Editing Experiments with Apps." His book, published by Peachpit Press, raises iPhone photography to an entirely new level and shows how the combination of picture choice and multiple app processing can make a simple snapshot into a statement.

iPhone Obsessed has been cited as the best iPhotography resource by critics and bloggers and is a top seller on Amazon. Microsoft calls iPhone Obsessed "The world’s first truly interactive book" as it has integrated over 75 Microsoft Tags (QR codes) that link to custom html5 microsites built to view on the iPhone that include 4.5 hours of video tutorials, links to download apps and extra galleries of work. The book covers over 50 photography apps reviewed and used in different ways, with over 150 stylistically diverse images explained. 

Excited by the possibilities of blending together his years of print, interactive and video skills, Marcolina has recently expanded his services to include tablet publication design and is considered one of the best design innovators in this new medium. From this experience Dan created the iPad extension to his book, "iObsessed Companion: More Mad Experiments With Photo Apps." It allows the viewer to interactively explore the image transformation process through touch, provides formulas for some of the unexplained images in the book and can be found in iTunes.

On Tuesday, March 20 at 6 p.m. at Hamilton Hall, University of the Arts (Broad and Pine Sts., Philadelphia) Marcolina will be giving a free lecture, where he will share some unexpected alternative iPhone processing techniques and personal insights into this new art form. Images will also be on exhibit in the same location through March 27. His talk is part of the "Visibly Invisible" lecture series, sponsored by the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts, in partnership with DesignPhiladelphia. (Reserve free tickets here)

Marcolina’s March 20 presentation will have the flavor of an alchemist’s conjuring of creative elixirs. Attendees can discover the results of cross-mutating apps with a variety of image types. Marcolina has looked at most of the photography apps in iTunes and has boiled them down to the best. Some of the techniques covered are Toon, Painting, and Grunge style along with compositing and blending modes. Marcolina also works frequently on projects for Adobe and will show some of the key features of the just released PS Touch App.

"I have always been passionate about design and technology. This new chapter which includes tablet publishing and Mobile photography has reinvigorated my love of design and image creation," says Marcolina.

ALINA WHEELER (pictured, bottom photo) is the author of Designing Brand Identity (Wiley), a global resource for businesses and nonprofits, now in its 3rd edition. Visit her on Twitter @alinawheeler. Send feedback here.
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