Oh how I wish I could visit this place right now to stock up on festive treats. While you can buy them online, that experience doesn't quite look as though it matches visiting this warehouse in person; possibly the greatest warehouse ever. I'll get there one day...
We creatives are a fussy lot. There's no denying it, and it would be fair to say that most designers are... Especially when it comes to branding ourselves and presenting our own brand identity/presence in print and particularly online. I remember back in 2005 as a student in a web design 101 class at uni, after creating our first plain text 'hello world' html page, we were presented with a real web assignment; to create a portfolio site for ourselves so that we could leave uni and land our dream job. After working through dozens of prescribed briefs over a few years, the opportunity to simply work on showcasing our hard work, free from the constraints of a brief initially sounded like the perfect project. However, the endless possibilities of this project quickly turned into a burden... I thought it was perhaps just me, but as I browsed the interwebs (via a dial-up connection), I found that so many other designers websites existed entirely as coming soon/under construction holding pages. It quickly became apparent that even professional designers were: a) too busy working on client work to complete their own website b) feared the whole html/css thing c) were crippled by trying to decide how best to present their work and identity online d) all of the above
But as a bunch of students about to graduate, we all muddled through, slicing and dicing our websites with Fireworks and going hyperlink-mad trying to work out Dreamweaver... There was always a quiet sense of achievement when those links magically transported you to another page, via a clunky rollover. Remember those!?
Flash forward to 2016 though, and I have to admit that I feel a tinge of jealousy toward new graduates at the moment when it comes to building an online presence. There are just so many stress-free options for building a website.
One recent addition to the growing online web-builder market is the relatively new Adobe Portfolio. And if you have a current Adobe CC subscription, you'll already have access to it. While you can't blog with it like major players, WordPress and Squarespace, its the perfect location to build out your portfolio and simultaneously build a following on Behance. One of the greatest things about Adobe Portfolio is that its built purely for creative people to share their work. The handful of templates available are also beautiful, and they focus viewers/visitors on the work, not the interface around it - which was often the case in the old days of a Fireworks/Dreamweaver workflow.
If you haven't done so already, check out Adobe Portfolio, its well-worth a look. Its time to ditch that ugly 'under construction' page from 2005!
Design Thinking has gained popularity over the last few years. From classrooms to corporate boardrooms, Design Thinking is being used as a strategy to solve problems through tools to initiate creative ideas and solutions. Here's a short four minute introduction to Design Thinking, and if you own a Fitbit or Apple watch, these guys were way ahead of them!
After watching that you may be thinking, 'So, it all sounds and looks awesome, but how can I actually use it in my classroom (if you're a teacher), in my folio (if you're a student) or in a corporate boardroom? How can I actually facilitate Design Thinking?' Design Thinking can be a great launching pad for innovative, creative ideas if you have the right tools.
To get started, here's a free download of one of these tools (SCAMPER) below. At first SCAMPER can seem tricky, and can be difficult to explain, but with practice its a great way to begin thinking differently, particularly in the early stages of the design process.
Some people would argue that they're not at all 'creative'. And while its true that not everyone can draw like Da Vinci or have a mind that works like his did, Design Thinking tools really level the playing field, allowing anyone, regardless of their ability to think about solving problems in creative ways.
The video above mentioned that the design team iterated using simple materials like cardboard to build mock-up physical devices. Nintendo recently announced a similar approach... Quite literally!
Nintendo are clearly implementing Design Thinking in a fun way. They've also truly differentiated themselves from competitors in the entertainment industry through their creativity.
So when you're next stuck for ideas, or are looking for a new way forward, start your process with Design Thinking.
Today Instagram announced a new logo. Moving away from the skeuomorphic logo we're all familiar with, Intagram has flattened their icon and given it an ombré makeover. As with any rebrand, it has generated a range of opinions, voiced strongly via twitter. Regardless of opinion over the new icon, people seem to be embracing the new app design; putting user generated content at the forefront of the app interface.
Whether you love it or loathe it, check out the rebrand video below, one has to agree that it's pure design genius; illustrating a snapshot of the design process and reasoning behind the refresh in under a minute. A pitch without words, and possibly the most powerful and convincing one I've seen for a long while.
The following video link focuses on user interaction and features a killer track from Basement Jaxx... I was initially skeptical about the new icon, but the accompanying audio tied it all together for me. Or perhaps it just reminded me of early uni days (circa 2003) slaving away at the mac, late at night, accompanied by likeminded designer friends. Anyway, check it out and consider it for yourself.
In my journal entry at the beginning of the year I mentioned a personal goal I wanted to work towards in 2016, 'to live with less'. Four simple words, but no easy feat! However, during January I started that process, and quickly realised that making a shift toward living a more minimal lifestyle isn't a change that would magically happen overnight. Instead, it would take time, just as forming regular exercise habits take time to become part of a daily routine.
A source of inspiration over the past three months has been Essential: Essays by The Minimalists. I've been reading it on my Kindle and it's well worth purchasing. In small, bite sized articles, both Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus take you on a short journey through minimalist lifestyle philosophy and where it all sits within the context of our multi-faceted daily lives.
Here's hoping their new documentary will be available online for worldwide viewing soon. The trailer for their new film looks really interesting, it immediately struck a chord with me. Particularly in terms of our seemingly normal compulsion to consume. Seeing this may even pique your interest to consider shedding some of the 'stuff' holding you back.
To read more, go to The Minimalists.com