We’ve been following Christoph Niemann’s blog for some time now. He never fails to brighten up the day with his witty illustrations for The Times magazine. Case in point: You like me. You really, really like me.
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Designer Andrew Kim issued himself a challenge: in 3 days, update Microsoft’s branding and messaging. The results are very impressive.
After a short hiatus (we were in Boston for the HOW design conference), we’re back. Came across this amazing artist while I was away. Guy Larameé creates amazing miniature landscapes from old books and takes great photos too. Very cool.
Funded through Kickstarter, Frank Chimero’s The Shape of Design is a book i’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while now. It looks very well designed, and although it comes as an ebook I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people wanting the version printed on
dead trees beautiful stock.
You can get a taste of it by reading the first chapter here.
Photo by Rachel Hulin
I came across the site for SpellTower, an app for the iPhone and iPad. As soon as I saw this quirky illustration of the tools you’ll need to play, I was in! This app is a lot of fun. It’s well designed and quite addictive. I’m a terrible speller and my best words are paltry 3 or 4 letter low hanging fruit, but with integration with the iPhone dictionary you’ll be learning new words in no time.
They have a special on at the moment, so for NZD $1.29 you can’t go wrong.
Wish I’d seen this last week for Mothers day! Wantful helps you find a great gift for someone by asking you a few questions about the recipient. But here’s the kicker: They then deliver a custom printed gift book to them, they choose the item they like and then Wantful delivers it. Easy!
Photo by snowlepard on Flickr
What Pi Looks Like To 4 Million Decimal Places, As Pixel Art from New York based designers TWO-N.
German designer Elisa Strozyk creates textiles using faceted wood. Can’t say it would be all that comfy though?
Klim type foundry’s Darling typeface in use for the Darling Hotel in Pyrmont, Sydney. Signage and website by Sydney’s Moon Group.
Sarah at Remodelista spends a day with Dieter Rams highlighting a few of her favorite products.
- Jim Coudal.
Kern and Burn focused on design entrepreneurship.
Co-founder of Mule Design and raconteur Mike Monteiro wants to help you do your job better. From contracts to selling design, from working with clients to working with each other, this brief book is packed with knowledge you can’t afford not to know. A Book Apart.
Implementing a workflow tool can provide many benefits including increased productivity, better decision making, improved justification of your decisions and resources to management, and increased control over your resources. These deployments can be expensive—both in terms price and expended resources—and since switching costs are so high it’s important to get the vendor decision right the first time!
The critical key to selecting an appropriate workflow tool is to first clearly identify your requirements. This might seem obvious, but I see many clients skip this step and end up with a tool that is more or less than what they really need. Once your requirements are clear, you’ll need to navigate the many potential solutions available in the market. This can be a daunting task: if you include systems that have been created for other similar industries like consulting and IT management, there may be hundreds of potential systems. My advice is to concentrate on systems that have been created specifically for the creative industry.
Before evaluating specific systems, your first decision should be to determine which category of systems to evaluate. This is important because you want to evaluate systems with similar functionality, or you run the risk of wasting time evaluating inequitable, and potentially inappropriate, solutions.
I have categorized the creative-specific systems into five groups based on capabilities and price point.
- Workflow Components
These solutions are focused on one or more functions, such as collaboration, project data management, time entry, and may be used to build a custom system or to address specific needs.
- Workflow Systems
These solutions are focused on managing workflows and scheduling but generally do not include job cost tracking, DAM and robust reporting options.
- Project Management Systems (PMS)
Project management systems are focused on the needs of in-house creative groups and agencies that do not need accounting and media buying tools, and generally include time entry and reporting, workflow and scheduling, reporting tools, project data collection (“virtual job tickets”), digital asset management and more. Typically these solutions are a best fit for in-house creative groups of 20 or more people; that said, even smaller groups will receive immense value from these tools.
- Agency Management Systems (AMS)
These systems are focused on the needs of agencies and usually include accounting and media buying in addition to project management tools listed in the PMS category. These systems are similar in price and functionality to PMS systems and also are an appropriate category for most in house creative groups.
- Marketing Operations Management Systems (MOMS)
MOMS are enterprise-wide marketing and campaign management systems. They are generally purchased at the CMO level of an organization and are really designed to calculate marketing ROI across an enterprise. In order to do this they must also look at the cost of jobs so they may do many of the things in-house creative leaders need from systems as well. But that is not their main intent and therefore the tools aren’t a perfect fit for most creative teams.
To return to an earlier point, to compare a system in the Workflow Components category with one in the Project Management Systems category is like comparing apples to oranges—or more accurately comparing an apple to a fruit salad. The functionality a workflow tool can provide you is limited to one thing, whereas a PM system can provide you a suite of support. In addition, the “apple” costs one low price, but to buy the fruit salad, you need to spend more money. So your choice doesn’t become “which tool suits my needs,” it becomes “which is more important: cost or capability?” So what I am suggesting is to make that decision ahead of looking at specific tools—determine what is most important in your selection process and then look at several tools that can provide that value.
Once you have chosen what category of system you want to consider, how do you know what products exist and which you should evaluate? The most efficient and viable options are to speak with peers at forums like the Creative Executives Roundtables, “Beyond the Creative” and other industry conferences, by reading industry blogs like this one, participating in industry online discussion forums or by seeking the support of an creative-industry consultant (don’t ask your IT department/consultant!). Since it takes considerable time to do a full evaluation of potential tools, I would limit the number of systems to a manageable number such as three or four. I would allocate about 8-12 hours for a thorough tool evaluation— possibly more. If you evaluate three tools that’s about a week of time, and if you involve a team the hours can really add up.
I also think it’s important to create a scorecard. This helps keep you organized and provides an apples-to-apples measurement tool to evaluate performance on specific features of each system. It’s a good idea to have vendors self-access against the list of requirements (your scorecard) ahead of your review—if they indicate they don’t have a “critical” functionality that you’ve identified, you can avoid investing unnecessary time in evaluating their tool. In addition, when you’re in the process of evaluating a tool and the vendor has not demonstrated a certain capability they indicated as having, this will remind you to ask for that functionality to be demonstrated.
Once your scorecard/your list of requirements is prepared and you’ve identified a few vendors to evaluate request on-line product demos from the vendors to view the product and how it provides the specific functionality you require. This is a good opportunity to include other members of your team—be sure to include a good cross-section of your team (managers, individual contributors, video people, design people, editors, etc.). By involving this team in the selection process you help gain their buy-in which increases the probability of successful adoption. As time passes it becomes increasingly difficult to recall if any particular feature was demonstrated, therefore I highly suggest scoring the tool throughout and immediately following the demonstrations. But don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions or to ask for additional demos of specific features that were not clearly demonstrated.
You haven’t reached the end of the selection process after viewing and scoring each of the products. Request each vendor to provide you with three client references—preferably from groups with similar sizes and compositions as yours and in like industries. A vendor will likely provide references they think will be favorable, but you can still gain good insight into general satisfaction, client service, downtime, and bugs.
The final step in choosing a system is to determine total costs, and calculate an ROI. When considering costs it’s important to consider software costs, vendor service fees, hardware costs and the cost of on-going support. Benefits are a bit more difficult to quantify. Look for a future blog on “Calculating ROI for Workflow Technology Projects” for a detailed discussion of this topic. After you have calculated an ROI the choice is usually clear on which system to choose because it takes both the costs and the benefits into account and provides a relative percentage for each of your choices.
The selection of a workflow tool vendor is a critical decision to ensure the successful implementation and adoption of a new system. While this can be a time consuming process the implications of making a wrong decision are great. It’s worth spending the time upfront to limit this risk.
Reproduced from Cella with permission, you can find the original blog post here. Image is Jonny Ford of Finger Industries UK – Streamtime user and design guru. For information about how the Cella team can support you in selecting and/or implementing a workflow tool, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-depth look at the timeline feature and an interview with Nicholas Felton. At Domus.
Our worldwide team of experts continues to grow and next week we are very excited to introduce Cam Trollope as our new lead interface designer based in our Sydney office. Cam has extensive experience in art direction, digital design for websites and apps, and he has an eye for good typography, user centered design and experience, and information architecture.
Cam and I both share a passion for the ‘design first’ philosophy, and we both recently attended the well renowned Cooper Interactive Design course in San Francisco. Design is not just about making things look pretty (although thats important too), its about understanding the problems end users face every day and finding elegant intuitive simple solutions to these problems.
Cam will be working on Streamtime, our iPhone and iPad apps, our Cloud based apps and an exciting new product – so watch this space.
In the mean time why not check out some of Cam’s award winning work.
Cam’s Awards & Accolades
BEST AWARDS Gold, 2011: Applications – Icebreaker brand Ambassador program (role: lead interface designer)
BEST AWARDS Silver, 2011: Large scale websites – Icebreaker brand Ambassador program (role: lead interface designer)
BEST AWARDS Silver, 2011: Applications – Powershop web application (role: lead interface designer)
ONYAS Winner, 2010: Most Innovative – Powershop (role: lead Interface designer)
ONYAS Finalist, 2010: Best Visual Design – Powershop (role: lead Interface designer)
ONYAS Finalist, 2010: Best Web application – Powershop (role: lead Interface designer)
BEST AWARDS Silver, 2007: Activesmart (role: Additional design and templates)
Type Connection For her MFA thesis project, Aura Seltzer creates Type Connection, a game that helps you learn how to pair typefaces.
“He was never very demanding,” Mr. Clow quipped about his former client and good friend.
Paper is one of the most talked about apps recently. The Verge takes a closer look.
What are us designers carting around all day?
We’re thrilled to introduce Danielle Wilson (Dani) to our Australian team. After spending most of last month in Sydney with us she’s now returned home to Melbourne where she’s setup our 2nd Australian office. Some of you may know Dani as the former National Advertising Manager at Desktop Magazine. Words can’t really describe Dani, you have to meet her for yourself really. Dani is not only going to be focused on new business in the region but looking after our 150+ existing Melbourne clients. Welcome to the team Dani its great to have you on board. Send Dani a warm welcome on twitter: @StreamtimeDani she’d love to hear from you!
Choose a surrogate to attend SxSW for you and get the content you want. Even if they all do look like they are from a stock photography shoot.
Once upon a time, only typesetters needed to know about kerning, leading, ligatures and hanging punctuation. Today, however, most of us work on computers, with access to hundreds of fonts, and we’d all like our letters, reports and other documents to look as good – and be as readable – as possible. But what does all the confusing terminology about ink traps, letter spacing and visual centring mean, and what are the rules for good typography? Type Matters! is a book of tips for everyday use, for all users of typography, from students and professionals to anyone who does any layout design on a computer.
The book is arranged into three chapters: an introduction to the basics of typography; headline and display type; and setting text. Within each chapter there are sections devoted to particular principles or problems, such as selecting the right typeface, leading and the treatment of numbers. Examples show precisely what makes good typography – and, crucially, what doesn’t. Authoritatively written and designed by a practitioner and teacher of typography,Type Matters! has a beautifully clear layout that reinforces the principles discussed throughout.
1314 square meters. Because everyone has a helicopter. - wtfqrcodes.com
‘The people behind bits and pixels’
Sea Design, Unit Editions, Wieden+Kennedy, NB Studio, Ultra Studio, DesignStudio, Underware, BVD, Kobi Benezri Studio, Daniel Freytag (Berg), Dowling Duncan and with essays from Dellano Pereira and Clinton Duncan.
Following the resignation of Apple founder Steve Jobs, incoming CEO Tim Cook called a meeting of shareholders and members of the press Thursday morning to announce that he envisioned printers as the company’s future. “Laser, ink-jet, double-sided, color, black-and-white—the future of technology is in printers. I am absolutely convinced of that,”
Read more over at… who else but the onion.
Makes the process look a little too easy. A few meetings with stickies & whiteboard pens and hey presto.
Moving Brands worked with CX, a cloud storage service, to help them meet their key business objective; to be a market-leader in the already-crowded online storage market.
The 272-page hardcover book brings together twenty years of essays on subjects that range from New York’s faulty “Push for Walk Signal” buttons, to the disappearance of the AT&T logo, to the implications of Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire for interaction designers.
“The secret to happiness is low expectations.” — Barry Schwartz
Gestalten have a bunch of new books which all look good, this one in particularly.