Category Archives: Design

Interview: Andrew Apostola, Creative Director at Portable

We interviewed Portable’s Creative Director Andrew Apostola about Brisbane’s creativity, product design and challenges in design in the coming year.

What excites you most about Brisbane’s current design / creative industries?

We’ve been following the progress of the Edge over the past few years and have been really impressed by the space and the opportunities being made for creative professional to come together and engage. The first step to creativity is making a space available in your life for creativity to happen: Brisbane is definitely doing that.

What are the biggest challenges that face product designers in the coming 12 months?

At Portable we’ve been intrigued by the amount of data that is being aggregated around the world. An hour of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every second. That’s incredible. The same applies to the iTunes App Store and to web platforms in general. There is SO MUCH. How often do you try to find something interesting before giving up with nothing? So the challenge for product designers is going to be getting your product noticed. All the tools are there. Resources have never been more easy to attain.

What are the biggest road blocks you see that prevent us from achieving great design and delivering relevant products to consumers?

I’m a fan of Steve Blank who talks about the need for product designers to spend more time undergoing a customer discovery process than a design process. I think that understanding the core needs of users and customers is the biggest road block to most designers and design process. And when I say core, I mean keeping design to one or two key use-cases or stories that relate to your user and forgetting the rest.

What do you see as Brisbane’s biggest challenges to becoming a truly ‘creative city’?

Brisbane, you already are a creative city—stop beating yourself up so much! Go out there and find other creatives and talk about your ideas. That’s how incredible ideas and companies get founded, by encouraging people to mix. Maybe spend 2012 practicing saying to people, “I love your thinking, what can we work on?” and see what comes of it Brisbane.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter here

Portable will host Portable Presents Product Design 2012 next Tuesday. You can buy tickets here 

Thinking outside the box

As we all know in branding and in life, first impressions count. Of course we all ask the question… “How we can do this?” Then in business you also have a lot of competition and it’s important to not only make a good first impression, but to also stand out from the crowd. While browsing the web I came across some inspired business card designs that I think hit the mark and leave a lasting impression. These guys have thought outside the box and gone that extra step, to create some outstanding concepts that I had to share.

So here goes, my top ‘thinking outside the box’ inspired business cards.

 

cargo box business card

Tam Cargo: A quirky play on a card that turns into a box. After all the cargo they transfer predominately goes in a box.

 

Stretch Business Card

Poul Nielsen: Again, another quirky card that has you working out, to see that this card is from a personal trainer. He’s got you working before you even book a session.

 

DJ Business Card

DJ Mohit: An entertaining card you have fun with, by rotating the record, to read the info. A fun way of giving a client the thrill of being a DJ on paper, while demonstrating simply what the person does.

 

Money Business Card

Ricky Richards: A UK Graphic Designer developed business cards that looked like £20 and left them lying on the streets, with a fun message on the fact that he was sorry it wasn’t £20, but if you hired him you may find some extra cash in your pockets. I love this concept of grabbing the attention of an unintended audience and having people you would probably never meet, pick up a card and become a potential client.

 

Grow Business Card

Another Bloomin’ Designer: Jamie Wieck treats its recipient to an extra feature you do not expect from business cards…life! Simply soak the bottom of the card, wait four days and you get cool green! The card works as a miniature house-plant, growing alfalfa or cress when dipped in water.

 

Bike Business Card

Broke Bike Alley: One way to grab peoples attention is to give them something for free. This card has been designed as a multifaceted tuning tool, and wouldn’t you be more likely to call up for any serious damage from these guys, if you had their card.

 

I think the lesson here is sometimes, trying to create something outside the box, instead of the plain 55mm x 90mm card can be more fun, show innovation and get you more attention. Maybe next time you’re thinking of getting a business card or promotional item done, it’s time to think how you can get noticed or in honour of shameless advertising you can meet up with our team here at Brio Group, to help with some inspired ideas.

Yours in thinking outside the box
Dawn

Type cast

All designers love type, so for some inspiration I thought I’d share some amazing typographic ‘shadow art’. These pieces are from a range of artists who cleverly cast light onto their sculptures to create amazing shadow effects (in these cases they form words). Enjoy!

Belgian artist Fred Eerdekens:

Shadow Artist Kumi Yamashita:

Graphic artist Áron Jancsó:

Shadow sculpter Tobias Rehberger:

Yours in typography,

Anya

Frankie Magazine 2012 Daily Journal

I found this diary lying on a workmates desk… I’m so in love with it… I have to get one!!!

The Frankie 2012 Daily Journal features super-sweet illustrations from Melbourne artist Amy Borrell, the frankie 2012 diary is full of goodness 365 days a year. With week-to-a-page lay outs, monthly planners and spaces to jot down your best thoughts and ideas, it’s a pretty, cloth-bound pal to carry by your side all year long. This year’s diary also features calling cards to hand out to friends new and old, as well as a secret little pouch so you can stash away those needful bits of paper and other essential goodies. The Diary is 148 x 190 mm and 152 pages.

Visit the Frankie or Amy Borrell websites for more information.

Yours in super-sweet illustrations,
Tanya

Christmas Stress Relief

It’s called the silly season for a reason, right?

How many times have you been pushed out of the way at the shops this year for some other greedy person to get to the bargains (which you didn’t even want anyway!)?

Is all the stress of thinking about the family getting together on Christmas day causing you to bite your nails back to your knuckles?

If so, here is a nice little site that can bring some relief to you this silly season and make you smile again this Christmas!

www.youbetternotstress.com

Check out some of the ugly holiday sweaters and be glad you don’t have one!

Preview the best holiday movies for people who don’t like holiday movies!

And check out the best predictions for 2012!

It’s all in good fun… enjoy!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas,

Paul.

A Papertie Affair

Papertie Affair Xmas TeatowelPapertie Affair Xmas CardPapertie Affair Xmas Card

 

Very recently, I and a few girls went and checked out the Twilight Boutique Markets at Portside, here in Brisbane. We were on mission to discover some last minute Christmas treats for family and friends. I will have to admit that I had finished my Christmas gift buying, but it didn’t stop a tiny splurge on something special for me.

To my delight I discovered this gorgeous stall, displaying some very beautiful hand made paper crafts, by the name of The Papertie Affair (see pics for some of their creations). I was instantly drawn to the beautifully crafted ornaments for the Christmas tree and vintage paper inspired ‘Merry Christmas’ banner (which I had to buy and have up on the wall at home).

After seeing these stunning items I get the company name and that these guys are inlove with paper. It’s a passion and an affair for the creator, since The Papertie Affair was established in 2009. Originally only creating Christmas decorations, they now offer a huge range of products created from gorgeous paper – both vintage and new – including stationery, home decor and artwork.

So why not start your own affair and check out The Papertie Affair website for more info on their products and which markets you can see them in.

Yours in beautiful handcrafted paper
Dawn

Brio Group’s Christmas Gift Guide

Do you leave your Christmas shopping til the very last moment? Never sure what to get the creative in your family? Never fear, Brio Group have put together our very own creative Christmas gift guide to lead you in the right direction.

Belinda Vesey-Brown, Managing Director

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography Audiobook,$22.79USD

Make sure it is audio so you can listen where ever you are.. to get in all 25 hours of insight on this amazing entrepreneur.

Amber, Studio Manager

Frankie Magazine 2012 Daily Journal, $24.95

This is for the organiser of your family. They’ll look forward to opening it up everyday and getting that warm fuzzy feeling from the beautifully crafted and designed spreads. It is too pretty to pass up! – Get in quick! It is sold out online but still available at some local newsagents or NationState.

Lee, Web Developer

Canvas Pop Instagram Prints, prices start at $29.95USD

 Now you can turn your artistic filter-applied images in to your own pieces of art for the whole family. Printed on canvas and framed, a personalised gift for your loved ones is just a few clicks away!

Craig Brien, Art Director

iLuv Professional iPad case with bluetooth keyboard, $63.60USD


Michael Taylor, Design Account Manager

A day at the Thai Foot Spa

This spa located in New Farm is the first of its kind in Australia and is a blissful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Who wouldn’t love to be given a relaxing day at the spa on Christmas morning? Rejuvenate the creative juices with a selection of treatments that promote inner peace, well-being and good health. Treatments range from 30 mins to an indulgent half day! It’s the festive season – so why not have a champas and order from the mouthwatering menu…

Dawn Wilson, Senior Designer

Typodarium 2012 Calendar, $16.80EURO (approx $22.16AUD)

This is an awesome typography calendar for all lovers of design and type. There’s a tear away for everyday of the year showcasing a different typeface, giving you a daily dose of inspiration and beauty.

Tanya, Senior Designer

Frankie Magazine Subscription, $57

Angie, Office Manager

Henri Matisse Les Velours Framed Serigraph, $325USD

Although at the higher end of the budget, this beautiful Matisse piece would be a great gift for any true fan of his work.


Anya, Senior Designer


Yellow Bird Project Indie Rock Colouring Book, $10
The Indie Rock Coloring Book, designed by Andy J Miller, is an interactive and creative present for any music lover, it doesn’t matter how old they are. It includes 25 hand illustrated designs and games that reference the likes of Devendra Banhart, Bloc Party, The National and heaps of other indie rockers. And best of all, it’s for charity!

 

Justine, Digital Strategist / Digital Account Manager

Aardvarkonsea Manifesto, $40USD

Heaven Devoid of Stars

It’s just about impossible to imagine a world without movable type. That very sentiment is set in ink in this new print collaboration with Stefan Hattenbach. An extravagant screen-print of gold, white, and black inks on beautiful red Plike paper.

I couldn’t think of a better Christmas gift for myself….ahhh, I mean your loved one.

Buy it here at ilovetypography.com

Yours in typography,
Tanya

App Love: A Local’s Guide

 

A Local’s Guide is a stroke of design genius from Map Magazine

I’m a huge fan of the magazine from the content to their design and this local’s guide to Brisbane in app form is no exception.

Map describe the app as hundreds of random curated suggestions by locals for the best experiences in Brisbane.

You can search Brisbane’s best breakfasts, lunches, dinners, gigs and shopping destinations. What could be better than the best of our city at your fingertips.

I suggest you download this gem from the AppStore pronto. Chop Chop!

You can also search the guide online or add your own suggestion!

Yours in app love,

Justine.