175 Years of Cunard.

Digitas LBi has put together an impressive and ambitious 2 minute animated short to help Cunard celebrate it’s 175th anniversary. The short is an animated timeline that highlights the milestones and accomplishments that Cunard has made in it’s 175 year history. Through out the piece, the styles of the illustrations change to reflect the era they are from. This coupled with a changing score, excellent sound design and fluid motion help to keep you engaged through the entire two minute online spot. The YouTube video also links back to the microsite that was built for Cunard’s special 175th anniversary cruises. At the microsite, there is an additional series of videos that highlight the anniversary, and Cunard achievements, and a section where you can book a cruise.

Nice work all the way around.

What is “Original” Anyway?

Brilliant animation, amazing style and look, great script, killer sound design and audio. Seriously solid work by Toronto based designer and art director  Andrew Vucko on originality and creativity. The precision of the timing in this animated short is exquisite. It is so fluid, with perfect easing, and momentum that works with a series of quotes from some of histories most creative minds: Woodrow, Wilson, Pablo Picasso, Dieter Rams, etc. all of which is distilled into a single narrative that defines what it means to be original.

Direction/Design/Animation: Andrew Vucko
Sound Design & Music: CypherAudio
Production/Direction/Mix: John Black
Composers: Tobias Norberg, John Black
Sound Design: Jeff Moberg, John Black
Voiceover: Chris Kalhoon

The Future via HoloLens.

I love seeing old images and films about how people thought the future was going to be. Sometimes they were pretty close, other times they were really off. Either way, it’s always entertaining. If you look at the way the 1950’s and 60’s saw the 21st century we should all be riding around in flying cars, piloted by our personal robots while we eat food that was instantly processed out of thin air.

back in the late 1990’s Virtual Reality goggles and software were white-hot for a quick blip and then faded into the background. Recently Facebook has brought it back to the forefront by spending billions on their product. Google launched Glass which they have also have recently announced they will be stopping development on, and Now Microsoft has jumped into the futures game with HoloLens.

Like all those visions of the future from the past, all three of these tech giants see our future with headsets that augment our reality with 3D visions and gesture controlled virtual reality seamlessly blended into our real world. The video has grabbed more than 10 million views on YouTube in less than a week, and it looks pretty compelling. There is a prediction that this could launch in 2016, but I doubt it will look like this when it does.

I still can’t see people wearing large clunk headsets all day long, and virtual reality replacing your expensive flat screen TV. What I can see is this being used in business for training, education, product approval, collaboration, etc. None the less the Microsoft vision of the future looks pretty slick, and if only half of this happens it would be pretty exciting.

Rear Horse Power

With China rapidly becoming the worlds largest purchaser of automobiles, Porsche could have done a hard sell campaign to move their high end sports cars. Instead they drafted the services of Fred & Farid Shanghai to create a clever subtle message about the Porsche 911’s rear engine configuration.

The Rear Horsepower campaign featured classic paintings and photographs of Sulky racers with the horse behind the carriage. It’s a clever visual play, paired with a minimal amount of copy and the Porsche logo. The campaign was presented as 4 print ads that were paired to an outdoor campaign as well. Using horse imagery was a purposeful choice that Fred & Farid made to tie into 2014 being the Chinese Year of the Horse.








Tearable, Tearable, Envelopes.

I never write physical paper letters anymore. Like most of us, the convenience of email, texts, and social media have eroded my use of paper, envelopes and stamps. I always tell myself I should write people more often, but never do. Maybe these envelopes from D-Bros will change that.

This cleverly designed set of three envelopes feature a car, plane, and train. When opened, the tear relates the exhaust from each. It’s a fun design feature with a bit of child like whimsy that ads to the snail mail experience.





Oh So Soglio.

A new house means new rooms, and new rooms means some new furniture. One of the things I have been looking for is a new coffee table. Something with a mid-century modern feel but updated. Today while trolling the internet I came across this stunning piece of design from Fioroni Design. Soglio is a sculptural work of art that seems to hover above the floor. This low slung solid wood beauty is simply wonderful. The illusion of lightness is enhanced by the thin line of the top and the fact that the base is hidden below the sight lines from the edge. The frame is a solid steel rod available in 3 colors to help hide or enhance it’s presence. The 61 by 51 inch top is available in solid walnut or ash. I love it, now I just have to figure out how I can afford it.

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Space Awaits.

So much photography today is a composite of multiple images, 3D assets, and painted components blended together with Photoshop. It always blows me away when I see a video like the one below that shows what goes into making a composite image.


The video is a behind the scenes look at  photoshoot for the image Space Awaits. It shows all the stages from her initial digital sketch to shooting, to editing, retouching and using a 3D model, to the final post production.

The video itself is short, just two and a half minutes long and not deep on detail, but it does give a solid insight into the process behind the finished shot.