Motion designer Peter Quinn loves showreels. He watches a couple every morning while sipping his first coffee. No wonder he started noticing some reoccurring themes, so he decided to mash them all together into one almighty anti-showreel!
Over the last few weeks London’s ustwo have published a detailed analysis of the future of in-car human–machine interfaces or HMI. It makes for an incredibly interesting read even if you have very little to do with the automotive industry. A lot of their findings can be applied to user interface design in many other fields.
For those of you with little time, read this TL;DR summary packing the 5 long articles into 5 easily digestible points…
1. Lose the ‘stick a touchscreen on it’ approach
2. Love the user/driver
3. Less is more in a UX sense
4. Little things count in a UI/visual sense
5. Listen up and get a feel for emerging technologies with the most potential
The good guys at ustwo have made this entire article available as a PDF designed to be read as an e-book on iPad – which you can download for free.
I caught up with Craig Oldham to discuss his recent work for D&AD‘s New Blood Awards, which draws together the organisation’s previous Student Awards, Graduate Academy, and New Blood Exhibition, aiming to create a simpler structure that encourages more young people to enter the scheme. You can see some his picks from the 700+ portfolios represented here.
A series of infographics were created, on which Craig worked with copywriter and collaborating creative director John Goddard. Speaking to Creative Review, Craig explained – “Once we’d got the main content plotted out, we realised just how massive the whole thing was, which was when we started to get excited about it – I think at the back of our minds we wanted to create the world’s biggest flow-chart. The whole point of a flow diagram is that you can use it to illustrate anything. You can diverge, and branch off. There are no limits to what you can do with it, which is as much of a curse as it is blessing,”
You’re a vocal advocate of D&AD and design education in general, whats your history and current relationship with D&AD?
I’ve been involved with D&AD in many capacities throughout the years. I exhibited in the New Blood exhibition when I graduated, I went to an agency where Ben Casey was involved in D&AD and where getting in-book was a major deal in the awards season, and from those early beginnings I’ve done pretty much everything they’ve ever asked of me—but not because of anything more than a shared belief. I was always aware of the awards—as everyone is—but they invest all that back into education and that’s what I believe in, and what has kept my relationship with them for all these years. Education is what matters to me. It can be the most rewarding and powerful thing you can share. And D&AD and I share that value system.
I was at the wrap of the New Blood Academy last week (where graduates in the New Blood Programme get a 2 week ‘bootcamp’ effectively), and speaking to the graduates involved and how much better and optimistic they feel on trying to get a first foothold in the industry than before is really powerful stuff.
When I think of the OOCO I don’t traditionally associate you with installation / exhibition design. How did you find working to such a scale? Is this the sort of work you’d like to be doing more of?
To be honest, I’ve had previous experiences working in all that scale on a lot of projects past and present. It’s different but certainly not daunting. I like it as you get to operate physically from the beginning and it adds an extra dimension to the way you have to think. I get a kick out of production, the physicality and the assembly of things, the fabrication, materials, scales and methods etc. are heightened in installation and exhibitions. Don’t get me wrong, they’re as important (if nor more) in the more 2-D medias like books and the likes, but more things can go west so you have to think a bit differently.
I always love designing spaces and things to go within spaces. It’s not a different way of thinking, just a different way of doing.
Working with a copywriter sounds like the traditional Art&Copy model, but you’re also quite the wordsmith (swear-smith?) and John (Goddard) is also a creative director – how collaborative was the process of writing and designing together?
It’s quite a flip-flop to be honest. John, besides being technically a copywriter, is a really visual person and often arms his ideas with a strong visual or aesthetic sensibility. He’s not there to simply write things or make sense of my sweary, garbled notes, but be a good art director too. And likewise I’m not just here for the pictures. I’ve never been a sketcher and always written ideas or talked them to a conclusion so generally we work extremely well together and alternate between the two. John’s words and I’m pictures, and I’m words and he’s pictures. And that relationships helps us get to a really good point. Plus we get on very well and laugh—a hell of a lot—which is important (and tends to be our yardstick for the quality of a project).
What’s next for OOCO? Anything in the pipeline you can share…
I’m working on the next book which I’ve curated and produced. It’s a different one to the Hand.Written.Letter.Project or The Democratic Lecture, but will be produced to the same standards and cover a theme I’ve always been interested in. This tome is a celebration of the intelligence, wit, humour and innate creativity of the working class. It’s a political book of graphic works from the seemingly ordinary person who can create the most extraordinarily powerful things. Alongside works from from an acclaimed film director, a Turner Prize winning artist, a YBA artist, will be stuff from my Dad and many many “amateur” creatives… bet you can’t wait for the press release on that one!
Produced by Yoke Creative, Secrets of a Signwriter – Is a moving portrait about one of the last original signwriters in Wales. Meet Alan Cavley, an inspiring individual with a genuine and truthful outlook on life.
The London design studio Spin , renowned for their clear & elegant design solutions, have updated their website. Packed with consistent product shots of old and new work and apparently some previously unseen Unit Editions Books. The responsive website makes use of some lovely subtle features like scrolling through images on mouse-over and a visible breadcrumb trail that opens up a sidebar menu.
Why Comic Sans? For the love of God, why?! Please explain yourselves. We are sorry… I’m sure you wished it was ‘Helvetica against Hernias’ or ‘Gotham for Gonorrhea’ but alas that would probably be to easy. This was meant to be a challenge. If a designer can make Comic Sans look good then they can do anything.
Seriously we noticed that no one was celebrating the 20th anniversary of Comic Sans. Everyone had celebrated Helvetica’s 50th birthday but on one seemed to be celebrate the most ‘talked about font in the world’ 20th birthday.
As designers & friends we wanted to do a project with a difference – which is how Comic Sans for Cancer started. We all know people who have been affected by cancer, so we decided we wanted to do something that was fun and quirky to raise money for Cancer research while at the same time celebrate the 20th year of Comic Sans.
Everyone love to hate Comic Sans. So why not take the font the everyone loves to hate and put it to good use. As a designer I despise Comic Sans and thats the fun of it. Using something that’s perceived as being a little bit unloved for good and plus “Comic Sans for Cancer” just has a good ring to it.
We really wanted the project to be fun and not take itself too seriously. “This may be the first time we publicly admit to having used Comic Sans. We apologise in advance to the design gods for the design sins we are about to commit. Please have mercy on our souls.”
9 out of ten people have heard of Comic Sans. So there is a lot of public interest in it and everyone seems to have a view or it (good or bad). As Vincent Connare said “If you love it, you don’t know much about typography and if you hate it, you really don’t know much about typography, either”.
And it feels like its the right time for Comic Sans to make its come back. and we thought it would be quite fun to have Vincent Connare and Ban Comic Sans posters in the same room.
You’ve had over 500 submissions. Was it difficult creating a shortlist to exhibit? How did you chose? (surely they all look awful!?)
It was one of the hardest shortlist to ever make, since all the entries were worthy to be in the exhibition. We’ve tried to create a selection that will turn heads, evoke debate, make us laugh and/or are also just pretty to look at. We spent an afternoon going through each entry on a projector, and if the submission got 2+ votes, it went through to the next round. Bit like Designer X-Factor. Can’t wait for everyone to see them all!
Can you tell us about the show? What can we expect? You know the ‘guy’ nobody likes but everyone knows throws a killer party? Comic Sans is this guy. Without giving much away, we are celebrating a birthday here remember, so expect the best birthday party in the arts community.
There will be a huge selection of both heartfelt/serious and humorous/silly posters – ensuring there’s something for everyone. Expect giant installations, ironic little things, and of course the proof of the blood, sweat and tears from the artists who designed against their morals to raise money for Cancer Research Uk.
Anything you’d like to add? Come with an open mind, designers sold their souls for this for a good cause There are few chances in the design community to come together, have a bit of fun and raise money. This was a fairly open brief and we can’t wait to see everyones reactions to this truly global selection of work. Come along, have a laugh, donate, and spread the word.
Exhibition is at The Proud Archivist from Aug 20th – 24th 2014. A limited number of posters will be available to purchase at the exhibition and online.
Needlework and music videos aren’t two words you’d often see in the same sentence, however as we showed last year Nancy-based director and designer Christophe Thockler can find beauty and drama in the mundane.
Christophe has been in touch again, this time presenting his new music video for Seattle-based electro ambient artist called Lusine. Created for the single Arterial released on Ghostly International, Lusine wanted something blood related. Christophe took that fairly open brief and created something he calls “electrorganic” mixing computer chips, leds, screens, to emphasize the cold sounds, and blood to represent the more delicate warm layers of sound.
The final stop motion video was created using 7,000 photos, 15kg of electrical components from old tvs, phones and computers, 5 litres of blood. Christophe wanted to make something 100% real deciding to employ no digital effects in the making of the video – even the end credits are done with a glitching computer.
Melbourne-based Bardo have been in touch to share some of their recent projects. Run by directors Luis Vialeand and Brenda Imboden, in collaboration with a close-nit network of freelancers, the studio has been producing some lovely work, such as branding for artisan meat company Zamora, and an installation for Polar illustrating climate change’s affects on the arctic poles.
Today D&AD are announcing the first shortlist for the Next Director Award – a brand new short film award in partnership with YouTube.
16 aspiring filmmakers are in the running for the first award, which follows a different format and exists separately to the D&AD Professional Awards. It is judged three times per year, producing three separate shortlists, which are then in contention for the overall prize. The overall winner will announced at the Professional Awards Ceremony in May 2015. Are you an aspiring film-maker? Then the entry deadline for the second shortlist will be October 15.
Alison Lomax, Head of Creative Agency Partnerships, YouTube commented,
“I was blown away by the high level talent and variety of films across branded content, music videos and documentaries. A true reflection of the calibre of this next generation of filmmakers on YouTube.”
The first shortlist has a really nice mix of films; everything from animation, to documentaries to music videos and commercials, selected by a panel of top directors including Dougal Wilson, David Bruno, Laura Gregory, Ringan Ledwige, and Juliette Larthe.
We’ve selected some of our favourites below, you can view the entire shortlist here.
Walking Contest, a short film directed by Vania Heymann
Mr Flash: ‘Midnight Blue’, a music video directed by PENSACOLA
GAWDS, a documentary directed by Christine Yuan
Living Moments, branded content directed by Paul Trillo
Graphic Design Festival Scotland (GDFS) is an all new programme of workshops, competitions, talks, exhibitions, urban murals and live stream discussions, taking place between 22nd-26th of October with exhibitions running before, after and throughout.
Created and organised by Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist of Glasgow based Warriors Studio, the events are participation-based and aim to inspire young designers through active engagement. Our goal is to promote networking, creativity, learning, collaboration, friendly competition and importantly, to have fun.
The workshops will be centred around creative processes; conceptual thinking, visual communication and professional practice. We want to offer opportunities to develop creative problem solving skills and challenge ways of thinking through design-based projects and conceptual arts. There is an impressive list of workshop leaders and competition mentors on board including the likes of Anthony Burrill, Hort, Kesselskramer, Design Büro Frankfurt, 44 Flavours, Freytag Anderson, OK-RM, Recoat, Risotto Studio, Graphical House, Touch, MadeBrave and O-Street.
If that wasn’t enough they are also running the GDFS International Poster Competition to encourage people to showcase and celebrate a broad selection of poster design from across the world, with a selection of entrants being exhibited during the festival at ‘In Public Gallery’ – Glasgow, Scotland. For submission details visit here.
Parallax scrolling has been making headlines in our industry for a couple of years now. Even big influencers have made advances in parallax scrolling animator, one of the most impressive and original of these being Webydo, which has recently added the Parallax Scrolling Animator to its code-free design suite. Readers of FFF can be among the first to create a parallax scrolling site with Webydo’s code-free design studio. Simply head over to Webydo and sign up for an account so that you too can create a code-free parallax site.
Once you sign up for Webydo’s invitation, make sure that you read through the tips below for parallax scrolling so that you can properly implement the maximum effect for the most impact.
What is Parallax Scrolling?
Parallax scrolling has been around since the 1980s in 2D video games when the forefront graphics moved at a different speed than the background. In web design, parallax scrolling works a lot like video games in that different elements on the page move at different speeds. This creates a 3D effect and adds depth and interest to a website.
The problem now is that parallax scrolling has been both overdone and done badly, which means that some designers are shying away from the effect. And often, parallax sites include issues in site speed, mobile use, SEO, and usability. With these considerations in mind, has the parallax scrolling trend run its course?
Actually, many would argue that parallax is here to stay, rather than just a passing fad. As with most trends, there are solutions to the problems it initially has shown, as Zack Rutherford points out in his UX Magazine article. Parallax can provide a useful tool in creating ”wow factor” and allowing designers to stretch their legs creatively. Webydo made parallax available to its users exactly for these reasons.
How can Parallax boost professional website design?
Let’s face it – parallax scrolling just looks cool. It keeps users engaged, provides an interactive feel to a design, and overall keeps visitors on a page longer, which in turn can increase conversions.
Unleashed Technologies describes parallax scrolling as a technique that takes “the user experience to a new interactive level of online viewing.” Used in a story-like layout, parallax is a solution for web designers in creating websites that are more appealing to visitors.
Examples of Parallax.
The Sony store website shows just how creative you can get with parallax scrolling. When you create a parallax scrolling site with Webydo’s professional design studio, keep in mind the techniques used on the Sony Be Moved page. It begins with an introduction to the story of their company, and as viewers scroll down through the site, the story unfolds via parallax.
While scrolling, the parts of a Sony product “float” together to show how the technology came to be. The interesting part is that one funky part is thrown in, such as the lollipop mixed in with the parts that make up Sony’s mobile phone camera lens attachment. Users can click the + button to read interesting tidbits. It’s little extras like these that really make a site unique.
Site speed and mobile problems.
Two negatives of parallax involve mobile compatibility and site speed. Fortunately, Webydo’s parallax animator is optimized for quick load speed and mobile compatibility, so users don’t have to worry about these aspects.
And Sony shows another way that designers can further speed up a website: it does not try to keep all of the content on a single page. Its menu at the top of the page leads to product pages, an easy aspect Webydo users can also implement.
SEO and usability problems.
Two more complaints of parallax scrolling designs are poor SEO and usability. SEO problems are usually due to designers simply leaving this consideration out of a design, which is why Webydo makes it easy to include important SEO factors like meta-tags.
To avoid usability issues, simply use Webydo’s advanced design suite to add in factors such as chapter buttons. Sony kept the buttons inconspicuous – descriptions only pop open when users hover the mouse over each chapter button.
Is it just a fad or here to stay?
The difference between a fad and trend is that a fad passes quickly but a trend remains for more than just a season. Parallax Scrolling has been in web design for a while now, which is a good indicator that it’s here to stay.
It is true that parallax is an intimidating design style to learn, especially with no code experience. But this is why so many designers are taking up the chance to create their clients websites with Webydo’s code-free parallax scrolling animator. One designer even created a Game of Thrones teaser site for “Death Is Coming”. Now the possibilities are limitless, so you can create your site today with Webydo and join the growing community of 95K professional designers around the world who designing with Webydo.
This article is presented by Webydo’s community of professional designers.
Tilt-shift photography is always great fun to look at, with the resulting toy-like-feeling giving a fresh perspective to the subject.
Over the last couple of years we’ve begun seeing some tilt-shift in motion with, beautiful time-lapse films of New York, Melbourne and Singapore. Although all three are impressive it’s the latter which really blew us away.
Shot by tilt-shift specialist Keith Loutit, the film uses an innovative post-production technique which we feel sets it apart from the competition.
Speaking with Planet5d, Keith explains:
“Because its the first time I’ve released in this style, the film is hard hitting, and full of effects… more so than if I were releasing a story based concept. Many of the scenes are not really tilt shift.. they’re what I call ‘clean shocks’, or ’tilt shocks’, depending on whether I choose to keep the tilt shift effect, and these are the focus of most of my experiments now going forward.”
However The Lion City was produced, the end result is visually stunning must-see look at Singapore.
A pretty amazing World Cup is just about to draw to a close, so therefore we are coming to the end of our FFFootball posts.
But before we do, we managed to catch up with photographer Simon Mooney. Simon has shot many different subjects over the years, but football has remained at the centre of his work. He has been behind the scenes with the England squad, shot campaigns and documentary shots for Spurs and Fulham, as well as shooting for the likes of Umbro and The Sun. So we thought he was the ideal photographer to have a football based chat with. So we did, and we found it really interesting.
Hi Simon. As you might be aware, we’ve been featuring a lot of World Cup and football posts on FormFiftyFive recently. Obviously your portfolio of work isn’t just related to football and sports, but it is a subject you’ve shot a lot of. So how did you end up shooting this subject matter?
I’ve always played football and been fascinated by certain aspects of the game. In the early 90s I was an art director in a Leeds advertising agency just starting to take pictures. I love newspapers and particularly admired David Ashdown’s sports pictures in The Independent – they really inspired me but getting a Premier league license is difficult so I learned to shoot sport at my own amateur club – Overthorpe SC in West Yorkshire – on crutches as I recovered from a ruptured cruciate ligament.
“Rio Ferdinand in the hotel massage room on the morning of the quarter-final against Brazil. It was the first game I got pictures from the dressing room.”
The OFFFestival has been spreading across the globe reaching as far as Mexico, Cincinatti and Saint Petersburg. This year visual effects wizards The Mill were tasked to create the Saint Petersburg main titles.