The Hits Keep Coming…

One of our ds106 crew had the brilliant idea to put an 80s twist on the Name That Single assignment, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I wonder if we can make a trend out of this.

I didn’t know what to do, so I googled “1980s hit songs” and got a selection of links to videos. My first thought was to take the opportunity to do a rickroll, but I couldn’t think of a way to visualize “Never Gonna Give You Up.” But another song on the list gave me an idea, and it had GIF potential.

I tried to take the easy way out and find the GIF I was thinking of online, but I couldn’t, so it was DIY time. It’s a Blade Runner scene. I was able to find it on Youtube, and use a Firefox extension to download it. I know there are easier ways to make GIFs, but I use the old-school ds106 method, except I use Photoshop instead of the GIMP. I do it that way because it gives me more control and ability to manipulate the image and timing. I came up with this thing:

but it really doesn’t say “single,” does it? I needed to square it off and put a hole in the middle. I found an image of a 45 single sleeve and one of a 45 adapter, so I screened that over the GIF frames and cropped the image like so:

Design-wise, I think it’s weak. Maybe I should have added some graphic elements. I used a posterize effect to make it look more “designed,” but it’s really more decorative. I consider design to be a deliberate decision making process to achieve a desired end – to convey a message or solve a problem. If it’s done for the sake of appearance rather than meaning, it’s decoration. I like the idea of an animated image on a static object though. I don’t know if it really conveys a sense of the song or its title, but it was fun to do.

I’m also wondering to what extent “single” is an 80s concept. I see the 80s as the cassette era, and singles as more of a 60s-early 70s thing. Singles never really went away,  but I think they were esoteric at that point, more of an indie band thing.


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