Getting to the heart of art

September 15, 2014

Another beautiful example of how we can harness the power of technology for the creation of meaningful art.

Heart Bot is an experimental drawing machine controlled by the heart rate of its audience. It was created to launch a new collaboration between Intel and SMS audio at the New Museum in New York.

Great idea, amazing technology and stunning results.

Created by two of the agencies I thing are creating some of the best stuff around at the moment: Tool and Sid Lee.

Using social to save lives

May 28, 2013
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The Natalia Project provides human rights defenders at risk with a personal assault alarm in the shape of a heavy-duty wristband.  It allows the bearer to send out a distress signal in case he or she gets into trouble. That signal triggers a series of events that all aim to alert key contacts and as many people as possible though Facebook and Twitter.

Support the project at:

via Adverblog

tags: Creative

Realtime feedback

April 18, 2013

Realtime feedback is undeniably critical to the user experience. But sometimes, to get that feedback, you just need to look beyond the screen!

tags: Creative

Toys Unleashed

January 12, 2013
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This was Dare‘s launch event for Barclaycard’s “Toys Unleashed” iPhone game – which is available on the Apple App store now:

Making Project Runway

January 11, 2013

To celebrate Project Runway’s milestone 10th anniversary, Lifetime, in partnership with Friends of the High Line, Nexus Interactive Arts transform a portion of the High Line in New York City into a virtual runway with a dynamic, 20-foot long, interactive installation on the elevated park featuring the stars of the Emmy Award-nominated hit show.

Directed by Evan Boehm the installation features innovative human tracking technology that mixes real-time virtual emotions of Klum, Gunn, Garcia and Kors reacting to passersby as they walk the High Line.

Very smart work – love it!

IKEA Textile Scholarship

November 6, 2012

IKEA Textile Scholarship aims to inspire anybody and everybody to apply for a scholarship and create change in their life/home with the various textiles IKEA has to offer.

The site by SMFB and Kokokaka crafts a highly visual/tactile interface where it’s easy to explore and browse through the different scholarships in a intuitive and playful way. To trigger the applicants creativity, the creators added the ‘inspire me’ tassel where users get inspiration right away.

The project has been produced for desktop, tablets and smartphones.

Fancy a Dom?

July 12, 2012

100% Flash free, Sid Lee and Random Studio get somewhat experimental with their new site for Dom Pérignon.

It’s an interesting site, and one well worth checking out, even if it’s just to see what’s going to be (I’m sure) the next iteration of the creative use of HTML5. The site takes on an experiential feel when you’re interacting with it – and literally unfolds before your eyes!

It’s possible not the most obvious site to navigate, but I guess that’s the point. It really does deliver a sophisticated, refined and quality experience. 100% Flash free – 100% on brand.

Digital Talent: Less Rain

June 7, 2012

One thing is for sure, this industry is brimming with talent. And we need talent in the industry. The pace of change is relentless.

Digital media innovations seem to flow at the speed of imagination, no longer constrained by the shackles technological invention, today’s true creative thinkers are free to focus on the user, their needs, hopes and desires.

The challenge we all face today, is less about how to convince the user to use that new digital ‘thing’, more how to keep up with the user’s insatiable appetite for using new digital ‘things’. This has led to a desperate need for creation of the new. But, I believe, new has to be new with a purpose, not just new for new’s sake, not just new because the old is old, but new because the new beats the old, the new brings real benefit.

In this respect we must never stop learning. Learning from the user and their experiences, learning form the projects we deliver and their effectiveness and learning from the talent we have in this industry and their progressive thinking.

Fortunately some of the talent out there are free with their thinking. Vassilios Alexiou of Less Rain for example.

Maybe 11 or 12 years ago I was fortunate enough to meet up with the Less Rain guys in Berlin. It was a little random I have to say, I’d been charged with finding ‘creative talent’ by the agency I was working for at the time, and bringing back inspiration for the rest of the team. So a trip was planned to Berlin, and with the help of an online translation service (Oh dear!) I emailed a couple of the agencies I respected. A little to my surprise, but perhaps more due to their intrigue as to the purpose (that online translation service again!!) most said – yeah pop in, say hi.

Even back then, and this was around 2000 – there just wasn’t the same kind of creative digital community there is today, the guys were brilliantly inspiring. Obviously talented (that’s a no brainer) but open, willing to chat, happy to impart nuggets of wisdom earned from experience. They welcomed us into their studio. They showed us their work and talked about their thinking. They even took us for lunch and told us the best places to go in Berlin. I reckon that’s pretty nice.

And yes, I’m a Less Rain fan. Always have been and continue to be to this day. So it was great to see Vassilios openly chatting about his view of the future direction of digital on Getty Images Digital Talent. There’s some interesting thinking in his world, some great insight, and certainly a wealth of learning material for us all.

“…Technology is helping us do more, it should also help us do less if, it can…” a great sentiment and a point very well made. Helping people to achieve more with less effort – that’s the point of what we do isn’t it?! There’s a lesson in everything.

Pentagram at Forty

May 31, 2012

The Forty Story. The story of a boy born on the day Pentagram opened and how his life has been tracked (and kerned) by forty years of Pentagram design.

Wonderfully written by Naresh Ramchandani and Tom Edmonds, it’s a great little film to watch. It’s got the drama of the ups and downs, the struggle, the passion, the drive, the fight against adversity and also the success – all in 03:28 of little flipping cards.

Ultimately it really is a tale of great modern graphic design. Happy 40th Pentagram.

More than just an effect: Ken Burns on storytelling

May 23, 2012

Sometimes, as creatives, it’s all to easy to forget what it is that we actually do.

Maybe you’re on a deadline to come up with the most stunning ad visual out there, maybe you’re trying to come up with the perfect identity that will transform the perception of that dull old client, or maybe you’re coding some CSS3 that will energise the web pages of the latest mobile offering from your dream client, don’t get too carried away with your own genius to forget what it is that you’re really doing…

…Telling a story.

Because in every ad, in every logo and in every mobile friendly, HTML5/CSS3 fuelled, parallax scrolling web page there’s a story. Even if you’re writing a couple of lines for a Google ad you’re writing a micro story that aims to grab the attention and emotions of its audience. Emotions that will drive an action. And and action that will get a result.

If you don’t know how to tell a good story, then I’d suggest you learn. And why not learn from one of the best – Ken Burns. After all you’ll never stop listening to stories and, as a creative, you’ll never stop telling them – in whatever medium you work, so you’d best be as skilled in the art as you are in your chosen profession.

So find out how to empower your creative ideas with Ken’s powerful storytelling formula 1+1=3.

For me that means – tell a relevant true story and you’ll sell a truly meaningful experience.  That might sound a little manipulative – but isn’t that the point!

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by____ Gavin Johnson