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 Post subject: Aesthetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:50 am 
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Hi all,

I thought I would start a discussion on esthetics on custom as well as mass produced puzzles.

How big should puzzles be? What does proportional mean? Is fillets needed on the outside?
What does perfect mean? Can WSF be polished? Is all that even possible? Is it true that WSF can stay white?

For some it might not even be something that you think about. You might think about solving time, method or the turning feel and functionality or simply the existence of the puzzle.

I think esthetics plays a big role in the beauty of a puzzle.
As it is said that a picture says a thousand words, here are two thousand words' worth of comparison

Image
Image

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I believe it would work best with black plastic.

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Last edited by Sigurd on Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Esthetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:03 am 
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One was epoxy the other was plastic sheeting, you can't have the same quality puzzles. And not everyone is ready to work 50 hours on a mod :)

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 Post subject: Re: Esthetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:38 am 
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First I would like to say that aesthetics are highly personal and subjective, driven more by gut "feel" more than any kind of logic, so there is no "right answer" to this kind of question, and *almost* pointless to argue about...

Having said that, pure logic is itself quite beautiful, and there are many other features of a puzzle that most people tend to agree make it beautiful, for example:

High symmetry
Complexity arising from simplicity
Proportional lengths/angles
Uniform shapes, faces, etc.
Complementary colours
Fractals and repetition
Organic/natural shapes and textures
Transparency, reflection, refraction

Probably many of these features are those which help make the "perfect puzzle", which have been discussed in several other threads.

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 Post subject: Re: Esthetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:42 am 
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Yes it is up to one own to say what is perfect. I dont want to argue about this. I just want you to share your opinion.
I will go ahead and answer my own question.

I think a puzzle should be black, polished to a shiny finish and with a unique sticker color for each face.
I prefer vinyl stickers cut by a machine, with a template designed especially for the puzzle.
Stickers should have an evenly wide cutting line all the way around the cut. This measure should be the same distance to the next face color.
About 1 mm filleting/rounding of edges, but it can vary from the location of the edge as some filleting should be shaper and some wider angle.
It does not have to be proportional, but with puzzles such as cuboids I only want proportional cubies.
The over all size depends on the pieces size. They have to be as large as they can get while keeping the whole puzzle to a reasonable size. With puzzles like a Starminx II it is ok because of the mech it cant be smaller.

At Greg, clay can be polished to a surprisingly shiny finish.

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Tony Fisher wrote:
I believe it would work best with black plastic.

My puzzles in the Museum
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 Post subject: Re: Esthetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:29 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
I will agree that esthetics are somewhat subjective, just look at the black vs. white puzzle preference.

But there is also a large common repository of what is considered beautiful, and for most of us it is fairly instinctual. Enumerating it as Sven suggests could be interesting.

Certainly good photography is a major factor in the perception of a puzzle: An average puzzle in good lighting with the right background can look stunning where a fabulous puzzle with poor photography can look... dull. I'll put these two pictures out as examples (same puzzle):
Image
Image

For me I'll agree with much of what Sigurd says:
Shiny black plastic
Shiny bright colored stickers
Evenness to the sticker/piece proportions, rounded corners
Non-sharp filleting: Meffert's Skewb Diamond is too much, some puzzles are too little. Classic Rubik's got it right, but it can vary depending on the size of the puzzle or pieces.
Symmetry.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Esthetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Imagine: the first Rubik's cube was produced in pink matt plastic because that was the the only option in the 70's. Then we would all agree that was the the "best" way that a puzzle should be. Perhaps. You see my point?

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 Post subject: Re: Esthetics
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:39 am 
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Aesthetics (yes, it's spelled aesthetics), in my opinion, simply boil down to two things: the visible evenness of the puzzle itself and the richness of the stickers.

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I don't know half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.


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 Post subject: Re: Esthetics
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:30 am 
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Gus wrote:
Imagine: the first Rubik's cube was produced in pink matt plastic because that was the the only option in the 70's. Then we would all agree that was the the "best" way that a puzzle should be. Perhaps. You see my point?


wait PINK was the original color? :shock: :cry: Now I dont like black anymore!! :lol:

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Tony Fisher wrote:
I believe it would work best with black plastic.

My puzzles in the Museum
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 Post subject: Re: Aesthetics
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:04 am 
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Location: Australia
I just had to eventually chip in here..

I carefully went through my collection and picked what I thought were the top 5 most beautiful looking puzzles.

Then I thought, to be fair, I selected the 3 ugliest (no offence is intended here to any designers, I still like those puzzles :wink: ).

Then it struck me, none of them were black with stickers! I had not done this intentionally, or maybe I had :lol: 8-) ?? It just seemed to me that black with stickers (and I have a lot of them), were somehow in the middle, neither particularly beautiful nor particularly ugly. Just my 2 cents..

Cheers,
Burgo.

PS I never told anyone before, but Erno gave me the first 3x3 that was ever mass produced as a gift, so I included a photo of it :P .


Attachments:
Beauties.jpg
Beauties.jpg [ 240.99 KiB | Viewed 898 times ]
uglies.jpg
uglies.jpg [ 307.54 KiB | Viewed 898 times ]
pink.jpg
pink.jpg [ 247.13 KiB | Viewed 898 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Aesthetics
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:11 am 
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ahahah Burgo that last picture cracked me up! Good stuff! :)
I must agree with you, those colored plastic puzzles look damn good!
I think I can beat that though.....

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Tony Fisher wrote:
I believe it would work best with black plastic.

My puzzles in the Museum
My Website
My Youtube Channel


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 Post subject: Re: Aesthetics
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:01 pm 
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Pink ... pink ... I knew my LSD induced vision in 1978 was not in vain!
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