My architect friends swear by sketching ink. Lines from a good ink pen are simple, dense, permanent, and expressive. I get it. I did it for years in design school, but it never felt quite right to me. I’m a graphite guy. Something about graphite just feels right to me. Maybe because that’s how I learned to draw — doodling in math class instead of paying attention, which is probably why I’m a designer and not a programmer. Well, I’ve finally found the graphite pencil I’ve been looking for.
WishAtl.com, a successful e-commerce website designed and developed by Ply, made the top ten best online shops by Complex Magazine for their online store. Wish, a luxury boutique and online retailer specializing in limited edition streetwear is celebrated for its exquisitely curated retail experience. Ply designed and built a simple platform to exhibit, sell and socialize the products online.
What does it take for a small firm to win three industry awards in one year? According to the people behind the Davey Awards, it’s being a “Creative David” who can defeat the neighborhood Goliaths with powerful ideas. For Ply Interactive, it’s working with our friends at the Washington State Wine Commission.
Now, here is the future for sure: Leap Motion, which produces a 3D environment that lets you operate your computer by waving your hands. No mouse, no keyboard; no need to touch the screen either. It’s 200 times more accurate than anything currently available; and it costs only $70. It’s Minority Report minus the holographic screens, and it’s not even year 2054 yet.
Information Architecture may sometimes be a bit abstract for visual designers (and other people too). Maybe that’s why Information Design as a discipline has been growing so much. We’ve never had access so much access to organized information as we do now. How to digest it all? Well, information design makes it easier in a lot of cases.
But not everything can be translated into an info graph, right? A lot of the times information will still have to be delivered in verbal format, or text form. This form, the verbal one, has many ways to be on a web page: paragraphs, navigation, call-to-actions, tags, side bars, links, body text, etc. But which piece of information should be what?
I really, really, really, really want one of these! Only I’d need a backyard to go with it. Tetra Shed is an modular origami-inspired outdoor office shed. What a clever solution to work more integrated in nature.
Imagine a company buying a bunch of acres (instead of building a skyscraper) and distributing these as “outdoor cubes” on a field? It’d be like camping and working at the same time. They also can be built in a thousand colors plus copper, zinc, and steel finishes.
I recently attended a great talk on mixing more the digital realm with the physical world. This is a subject that interests me much. Being both a letterpress printer and an interactive designer might have something to do with it.
This talk was given by Samuel Stubblefield, an artist interested in the intersection of architecture, digital technology and human behavior. He’s part of Studio 07, an Environmental and Experiential Design team, and a branch of NBBJ, the renowned architecture firm in Seattle. In their experiments, they solve problems using a multidisciplinary design approach (graphic, architecture, interiors, environmental, way-finding/signage, etc).
The winners of The 2012 W3 Awards have been announced a couple of days ago by the International Academy of the Visual Arts. We are happy to share that the Washington State Wine Commission website we designed and built is a Silver Winner!
Receiving over 3,000 entries, The W3 Awards honors outstanding Websites, Web Marketing, Web Video, & Mobile Apps created by some of the best interactive agencies, designers, and creators worldwide.
Search engines have become savvier and the usual SEO tricks don’t work so well anymore. I guess one could see this coming. All the trickery to rank higher in internet searches seems not to be making a lot of sense anymore. Experts say that we’re back to the essence of content: how well is produced and how really relevant it is.
Let’s look at some ways to stay relevant and visible these days:
Cutting straight to the chase:
There about 1.3million Android and iOS devices alone are being sold every day. Not only there are lot of these devices around, but also people are using them to access the net more than their computers. One quarter to one third of all online transactions are being done in a mobile device. Mobile rose up to not being an afterthought anymore.
Content Strategy is getting a lot of attention lately. We will be talking about it in small doses here in the next weeks and highlighting things we find important in this area.
While this is not our focus at Ply, we recognize how crucial content strategy is and we believe that a solid content strategy will help Design down the line, when it comes time for it.
Everybody is talking about it: Skeuomorphism. It’s a new word but an old dynamic, and a mouth full to say:
“When a derivative object retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar.” Says Wikipedia. For example: a plastic silverware that attempts to look like its metal counterpart (using metallic ink, and/or groves existent on the original piece, but not exactly necessary for the item to function presently). Some call it just… decoration.
The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) is a collection of interactive info graphs done by Indiana University to track the lives and careers of arts graduates in america. It was interesting to see who’s doing what, where, how, and for how much (or how less).
Below are my own highlights.