Tag 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 

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

A bit of Japanese inspiration

I recently visited Japan and came across these striking posters in a subway station. I believe the posters were part of a campaign promoting the Tōhoku region as a place to visit. This is the region including Sendai, that has recently been effected by natural disasters and in typical Japan style, they are getting straight back to business!

The campaign caught my eye because it incorporates some timeless graphic design principles, taking inspiration from Bauhaus designers like Wassily Kandinsky. It focusses on simplicity, limiting the amount of text and the number of colours for maximum impact. The posters use striking angles, directing the eye and creating a dramatic effect.

The campaign was applied to various posters, ads and flags in transport stations throughout Japan.

設計のあなた

Anya

 

 

Colour Tool for Designers & Developers

Ever seen a website and thought ‘what a great colour they are using here’. Well now, to make your life easier, there is a tool called Colour Tool.

You bookmark the link in your browser, and when you see a site that you love and want to know what colours are used, you click the link and the site will bring up all the colours and variations used on the site.

No need to file through CSS files, and trying to screen capture then use your little eyedropper. Simply click the bookmark and you have everything you need!

The Colour Tool can be found here.

Found other awesome tools like this? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Yours in making life easier,
Lee.

Key lessons from Designing for Emotion

I recently read Aarron Walter’s book Designing for Emotion.

Walter is the lead user experience designer for MailChimp where he is the chief responsible for making the online e-mail campaign program’s interfaces more human.

As someone fascinated by the psychology of the things we do, I rushed through this book at an eager pace.

My key lessons from the book include:

  • It is easy in the rush of daily business to build what Walter calls “fast and cheap sites with no reverence for the craft or the relationship we build with our audience.” Take the time to develop a solid strategy before diving into the design just to get a job out the door.
  • Design for humans and the human condition. For example, attention is finite and we are running on low supply. Make it easy for visitors to your website to subconsciously identify patterns and as a result see predictable user behaviour and an ability to retain the information on your site.
  • Give users/visitors freedom and don’t oblige them to fit into a mould. Walter draws upon the example of how Twitter gave users the option to continue using the old interface for as long as it was available. By empowering users of your service to choose for themselves you are automatically changing their tone of their response. This, according to Walter, is companies saying. “You may.. instead of “You must…” You only have to look at the outcries when Facebook makes changes to their interface to see how this works.
  • By employing good design and positive experiences consistently from the start you can build enough of a reputation that when disaster strikes, as it inevitably will, your community will forgive you. Similarly, when disaster strikes be brave and transparent enough to admit to the mistake and ask your community for forgiveness.
  • Know that not every customer, client or viewer of your website is the right fit for your company. It is ‘OK’ to admit this.
  • Make the experience as frictionless as possible. This seems obvious, but as exemplified by this great blog post by Nick Crocker when trying to sign up for The Australian’s paywall service, it is easy to forget that users want the least resistance to the end goal as possible.
Excerpt from Nick Crocker's article "The Australian Shoots Itself In The Foot"

Remember:

We’re not just designing pages. We’re designing human experiences. Like the visionaries of the Arts and Crafts movement, we know that preserving the human touch and showing ourselves in our work isn’t optional: it’s essential” - Aarron Walter

 

You can purchase the book from A Book Apart here as an e-book or hard copy.

Yours in psychology,

Justine.

 

And the Melbourne Cup winner is…

It was another close race yesterday for the winner of the Myer Fashions on the Field ‘Design Award’. The panel of Judges, Nicola Finetti, Jacob Luppino, Anthony Pittorino, Anna Byrne, Kellie Hush, Craig Braybrook and Zandra Rhodes, decided on the design of Australian designer, Anthony Capon.

In true racing style, Capon focussed on the design of the hat – a clock displaying the start time of the Melbourne Cup race. It was supported by a white taffeta skirt, floral gold trimmings, white lace gloves and a spunky black cropped jacket, clinched by an ornate belt.

The delicate and playful ensemble impressed the judges, and Capon won a new Lexus.

Images: Mitch Bear and www.racingfashion.com.au

Yours in fashion,

Anya

Brio Talks: Beautiful Pages + Giveaway (Updated)

 

 

Beautiful Pages is the newly launched venture of Tiana Vasiljev who, as someone working in the creative industries, always had a self-confessed “out-of-control obsession with books.” When I saw the site I instantly set about making a “wishlist” of books and wanted to know more about how the online store came to be. Tiana was only too happy to answer my questions!
BrioDaily (BD)What was the idea behind Beautiful Pages?

Tiana Vasiljev (TV): Like many creatives, I have always had an out of control obsession with books. A substantial amount of my annual salary over the years was dedicated to purchasing new books and magazines. Beautiful Pages was initially a selection of 75 design books that had inspired me as a graphic designer over the years. They all had a positive and inspiring impact on my work, attitudes and design knowledge. They were books I felt every designer could benefit from having in their design library.

Through Beautiful Pages we wanted to create an online graphic design store where Australian designers (and designers all over the world) could go to be inspired. A creative online space that both students and professionals could visit any time of the day and easily purchase products that would fuel their imagination. We hope Beautiful Pages serves as a reminder to designers about the beauty of real ink on paper, the importance of the printed page and the pleasures and benefits of owning these beautiful books, magazines and printed pieces.

BD: What have been the biggest challenges launching the site?

TV: The biggest challenges with the site were setting up accounts with all our distributors and managing the finances and cash flow. My education is in graphic design so it was a little hard in the beginning juggling other aspects of the business. But I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful help along the way and all the orders and emails that keep coming through from designers all over Australia have been amazing and very motivating.

BD: Where do you gather your inspiration? (books, websites, shops, people)?

TV: Just visiting my own design library! Most of the books that are now sold on the website I first became familiar with over my first few years of being a graphic designer – and I have managed to build up quite the collection. There are many publications that I used to read years ago while studying at Enmore TAFE, books and magazines that my previous colleagues introduced me to and publications I have seen and purchased along the way.

I have travelled a great deal over the last few years and also lived in London for a year. I was always visiting galleries, museums, exhibitions and bookstores. I compiled a wish-list (I have over 50 pages now) of all the products I came across during my travels that I found to be either beautiful, beneficial or both. Beautiful Pages is a small (but growing) collection of the products that have turned out to be both.

BD: How do you select what goes onto Beautiful Pages?

TV: Beautiful Pages offers a very carefully curated collection of design books and products, selected by graphic designers – for graphic designers. The store carries a collection of both classic and new publications. Every product on the site needs to be beautiful – but most importantly – must be well written, inspirational and carry an important message.

Typography is a crucial topic in most of the featured publications and we do tend to place special emphasis on (but not limited to) modernist graphic design. Swiss graphic design and typography plays an important part in the collection, as does the work of many influential graphic designers including Alan Fletcher, Otl Aicher, Wim Crouwel, Armin Hofmann, Jan Tschichold, Herbert Spencer, Wolfgang Weingart, Emil Ruder, Josef Muller-Brockmann and Milton Glaser to name just a few.

BD: How important is it to you to promote Australian design and how can we foster a greater design industry?

TV: Our most important long-term goal is to help promote and support Australian design. We have started investing funds into purchasing a range of books and magazines created by Australian designers. These currently include the work of Thursday Design, Michael Hall, The Initiative, David Pidgeon and Half Court Press. We look forward to seeing this collection grow over the coming months and encourage designers to submit their recommendations or published work.

We can all help foster a greater design industry by building ties with like-minded creatives, collaborating on projects and promoting each other. We need to start advertising and exporting Australian work to overseas markets and with the boom in online sales there’s no better time to be doing it than now.

Beautiful Pages is 100% Australian owned and operated. When designers purchase products from our website they are also helping to support the Australian economy.

BD: Lastly, future plans for Beautiful Pages?

TV: We have lots of plans for the future. Our wish list is very long, our product range is expanding every week and we’re aiming to have the full collection up by mid 2012. We are also looking at the possibility of opening a small shop space in late 2012, but this is still at very early stages.

If designers have any requests, suggestions or would like Beautiful Pages to stock their merchandise, please email us: info@beautifulpages.com.au

We look forward to getting to know you over the coming months and hope that through the site we can spark a bit of inspiration and creativity in all of you.

Beautiful Pages: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Giveaway

As a special treat for Brio Daily readers Beautiful Pages are giving away two books by Paul Arden, ‘It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be’ and ‘Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite’

Winners will be chosen at random. To enter, email your name and postal address to lani@briogroup.com.au 

Entries close COB on Tuesday Oct 18, 2011 and open to Australian residents only.

UPDATED

Thank you to everyone who entered our very first competition. I’m delighted to say that two winners have been drawn, at random. We used random.org to randomly generate the winners. Congratulations to Mathew H and Deanna H. We’ll be in touch very shortly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours in design inspiration,

Justine.

Limited edition Diet Coke rebrand

Diet Coke, currently the N0. 3 soft drink in the world (according to The Coca-Cola Company) have introduced a limited-edition design to celebrate Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary.

dietcoke_can

The design was created by Turner Duckworth, who have produced some simple and clever designs for many of Coca-Cola’s products over the last few years (see below).

What I admire is the simplicity and boldness of just cropping in on the Diet Coke logo.

“There’s no visual fizz, no gratuitous waves, no fake swear drops, just a big-ass Diet Coke logo”, as Brand New blog put it. It’s simplicity at it’s best and is a great way of showing that a brand/product doesn’t always need all the bells and whistles to be eye-catching and inspiring. I do think the only minor downside is the placement of a smaller version of the logo three times, perhaps it’s a couple too many, for such a recognisable brand all over the world.

Whether it was intentional or not, I also like how the cropped form of the logo almost creates the word ‘ok’ when two cans are placed together. It creates a quirky and playfulness to the design, which I think is a core theme for the Coca-Cola and Diet Coke brands. It shows a bit of personality.

dietcoke_can_double

dietcoke_package

 

The following are some more of the designs developed by Turner Duckworth. I really love the bottom five cans designed for the USA Summer 2009 campaign to coincide with Independence Day. They’re fun, quirky and make me smile.

all thing about packaging design cocacola summer 2009 can 2

 

 2010-5508-A12-Coca-Cola-Summer-2009

So what do you think of the limited-edition Diet Coke rebrand?

Yours in rebranding

Dawn