Consultation on Wallpaper.com reboot
Wallpaper* has undertaken an ambitious redesign of all its formats. Their in-house team, headed by creative director Sarah Douglas and art director Lee Belcher, brought in experts from various creative disciplines to help with the task. For the website, they brought in Marc Kremers from Future Corp and Nicolas Roope from Poke to advise and consult. This was accomplished through preliminary brainstorms, followed by a series of 2 day workshops with their digital designer Ben Ewing at the Future Corp studio. After these, we kept in regular contact feeding back on design progress executed by the in-house team.
Everything we did was guided by Douglas's mantra for the rebrand: "modern luxury". We kept this in mind while questioning every aspect of the site: How can we order the vast amount of content in such a way that the user is not overwhelmed, but can get to where they want quickly? How can we facilitate content discovery? How can we create a playful but subtle sense of rhythm and how can we use space in a luxurious way? We made a conscious decision early on in the process not to alienate users with too many new-fangled UI techniques. The result is an elegant, sophisticated update that foregrounds the content, updating Wallpaper*'s digital presence to reflect the character of one of the world's foremost design publications.
We made an app which creates double exposures for the promotion of Goldfrapp's new album Tales Of Us. Our first foray into iOS development, the app has already garnered 1000s of downloads and has had press from The Guardian, NME, and featured as App of the Week on BBC Radio 6. Creating the interface for this was surprisingly difficult, we had to really strip things out until we felt we had an intuitive product. A feature people really enjoy is the ability to randomly select two images from your library by simply shaking the phone, allowing you to rediscover your images serendipitously. The app serves to promote the album on social channels, users naturally want to share their creations on Instagram, and thus the app has created 1000s of conversations on the network tagged with #TalesOfUs. Bringing it all home, the app allows users to share images directly with the band who then curate their favourites on The Goldfrapp Experience, an experimental audio/visual player. Available for download on the App store.
Tapping into the visually rich world of Goldfrapp, and in particular the cinematic, noir inspired art direction of Goldfrapp's new album Tales Of Us, we made an iOS app which allows users to easily make double exposures by simply snapping two pictures, or serendipitously by shaking their phone, which then randomly selects two images from the users library. (Note - a post about this is coming very soon, in the meantime get the app here). The results can be directly shared on social networks such as Instagram, but also sent directly to the Goldfrapp site. In the first two weeks of launching we've had 1500 submissions from fans all over the world. The best of these are curated on an immersive and experimental audio visual mixer called The Goldfrapp Experience, for which the band created 4 original ambient soundscapes. The user explores both image and audio by generating up to 4 discs from the central image, each of which represents a part in the soundscape. In all, this was a deliberate attempt to go beyond just making a cool looking site. The entire package: site, mobile app, and experience, all work together to promote the album both online and offline to a new audience.
Goldfrapp is Grammy Award nominated English electronic music duo who have explored their visual identity as much as they have musical genres. Alison Goldfrapp has said that "music is a visual experience" and therefore visualises her lyrics before writing them. So it's been a pleasure to have worked with the band on their new site. It can be argued that band sites have lost their relevance more than sites in other sectors due to the advent of social media, and you can see this in the many terribly designed and maintained sites out there for image conscious stars. With these things in mind, we designed a site that is uncluttered, consistent and immersive and which centre-stages specially commissioned films directed by Lisa Gunning, all while still keeping social channels at the fore. (Little note, this represents phase 1 of the launch. We can't wait to show you phase 2.)
The Syndex Tumblr theme was made for personal reasons. I just wanted a mood board, like Haw-Lin or AAA-Feed, but with more functionality, such as being able to tag images so I could search for them later. In just over a year the theme has accumulated 920,000 users with between 1,000 to 2,000 new installs everyday, and is one of the most popular themes on Tumblr. It's being used by designers, Bieber fans, porn addicts, and even Grizzly Bear. You can get Syn[oynym In]dex here. Syndex 2 for WordPress is launching imminently and will be geared for creative portfolios.
The first in a few forthcoming collaborations. In their own words, "Higher and Higher provides creative and strategic support to Mario Testino, helping to turn his vision into reality." As a creative consultancy specialising in the Fashion and Luxury sector, discretion and understatement was required in everything we communicated and designed. No blog, not even a Twitter account, and only 12 of their latest projects at any time. Utilising the larger-than-life, visceral quality of Mario Testino's oeuvre, we decided to 3D render all the print work to give it a slightly menacing perfection. Did we mention that the site is fully responsive and retina ready? This project was produced by the formidable designer/developer Uli Schöberl.
Tee for Mood
Mood is a skater owned and operated board and apparel brand based in NYC, which collaborates with independent artists, designers and skateboarders with the specific purpose of channeling new ideas into skateboarding culture. A few years back I made a simple re-appropiation of the Doom video game logo, by basically flipping it and making it grayscale. It had a fair amount of success in it's own way being curated on blogs like vvork and the like. Mood discovered the logo via a mutual friend and approached us about making a tee. Everything was a no brainer, it had to be done, and Mood made a fantastic job of it, making tees of the highest quality and attention to detail.
One of the big challenges here was that Cindy Sherman does not title her work, and that the curators, out of respect for this, did not title the 12 galleries which contextualised the many themes and archetypes the artist had explored in her 37 year career. Interestingly, although the artist chronologically refers to her work in the title by numbering them, at her request, the works had to be randomly positioned in each gallery. The site has won numerous awards, and was a Webby nominee in the Art Category. Produced by the(e) designer/developer Emil Olsson.
3.141593 Inc. is a creative consultancy based in Portland and Tokyo who have worked with the likes of Google, Nike and Undercover. They wanted a discrete and unique web presence rather than a portfolio, so we did something pretty simple with their company name, which is an abbreviation of the irrational number π, by musically exploring it's first 1,000,000 digits. Numbers 2- 9 trigger keys, while '1' and '0' trigger drums and switch the colour scheme of the site. The resulting musical rhythms are very revealing of the number π as it seems to continuously change personality the deeper you go in.
In 2011 Marc Kremers was invited to work in Berlin with Tribal DDB as lead art director of the new Beetle site (and by chance, DDB also invited Uli Schöberl who he'd previously worked with on numerous projects). Without a doubt, few car models have had such emotional attachment, duration and personality associated with it. That said, the rebooted 'New Beetle' of the late 90s with it's retro futurist-look had dated terribly. So the aim of the site was to showcase the masculine, border-line Boxster feel of the latest Beetle. The site is certainly a product of it's time, and utilised every UI trend at it's disposal. Perhaps because motorists today want their cars to feel like giant apps that take them somewhere rather than to feel a rush of adrenaline and emotion? Either way, the site received numerous accolades including 4 Webby Awards.
An exercise in hard edged minimalism combined with subtle features to get users eyes on as much of the clients work as possible. The Project Overview employs a responisve grid which fluidly resizes the thumbnails and space between them. Individual Project pages load each work sample in ratio to the user's browser size, thus removing clutter and literally treating the browser as a frame rather than a window. Watch out for the random GIF easter eggs.
Nexus Interactive Arts brought us in to design the titles and UI elements of Evan Boehm's interactive short film for The Creators Project: "The Carp And The Seagull", a WebGL/HTML5 interpretation of a Japanese fable. For the task we brought in Tom Darracott, who worked on the art direction and design of the collateral.
A.D. on Gemfields for Jonny Lu Ltd.
Jonny Lu Ltd. brought us in to help them with the design and art direction of this site, which highlights the ethical and sustainable practices of Gemfields, a rare coloured gemstone mining company; and helps consumers with a guide to buying Emeralds, Amethysts and Ruby. Jonny Lu creative directed, and has been working with the client for a fair period of time, hence we already had a great palette to work with in terms of typography and style guides, as well as stunning content.
"Touch the future of magazines". A digital new stand, subscribers pay £7 a month to gain access to an incredible selection of arts, fashion and culture magazines, via a desktop app or iPad. The business model is awesome, but innovation where it counts is unfortunately nowhere to be found. My designs on the Desktop App were terribly implemented (working with the client's in-house developers), and many really useful UX and functionality ideas were ignored and after a year, still not implemented. So much more could have been done here. It's a lost opportunity considering the calibre of the content. I'm showing the site as I think the visual identity and UI is worth showing.
Uli Schröberl, who has been taking good care of Sweden based label WeSC's online communications, asked me to help out by designing a few of the pages on wesc.com. I took care of the WeActivist overview and profiles as well as the image and video gallery pages, which you can check out in the screencast above.
Collages for Goldfrapp
Collages made for the Goldfrapp.com holding page (now archived). Art directed and designed by Julie Rubio and us.
Creative Review commissioned Digital Club for their Creative Future bursary programme. We decided to make a video for one of my tracks. The 3D was done entirely by Thomas Traum, while the idea and art direction was a collaboration between us. Highlight was getting this blogged by Kanye West :-) Click the title to read the article and watch an interview of us.
Rankin's epic documentation project in which he photographed 1416 people in Autumn 2009. Check out the retrospective, or watch Jarvis Cocker show you how to shoot like Rankin, then upload your own in the ‘Rankin by You’ section. Try out the AJAX powered filter in the Live Shoot section. Developed by Benoit Vinay. Please note: since the first version was made, it's been updated by other designers, and not in a good way. Check out the HD screencast instead.
Damien Hirst's shop, Other Criteria, works with artists to make limited editions and multiples, t-shirts, jewellery, photographs, posters, prints and books. Art Direction by Marc Kremers and Thomas Traum while at Digital Club. Coding by Radovan Scasascia.
More Soon is the online portfolio of Carl ‘He’s so hot right now’ Burgess. The site employs a subtly sophisticated grid based on image ratio to maximise the intensity of his work. The user interface was stripped back to almost nothing, you literally navigate via the content.
Advanced Beauty is video art project by Universal Everything that curated a group of video artists, animators and programmers to create a coherent family of works, all existing in the same white space. My submission was of a DVD melting into a painterly, abstract oblivion.
Our creative response to the trillions of images available on Google Image Search. Tumblr and ffffound were’nt even born yet when we started this curatorial image blog in 2005. Finding is Creating, JPG ‘til we Die! A project by myself and Thomas Traum.