The Current Table Charges Your Toys via Solar Power.

Talk about solid innovative thinking. The video below showcases the “Current Table” designed by Marjan Van Aubell in conjunction with Solaronix. The table uses Dye Sensitized Solar Cells to create electric current for the work surface. Dye Sensitized Solar Cells can work with diffused light and do not need direct sunlight to create electric current. The process is similar to the way plants create energy through photosynthesis. The entire glass table top surface is in essence a large solar panel attached to the frame and legs which contain connectors for all of your electronic devices. This makes Current Table the first piece of furniture that is harvesting energy indoors where utility and aesthetics are combined in everyday objects. The innovative table has a triangular base made of wood, that neatly holds the bold colored tabletop with a simple, natural based. Great aesthetics combined with high-tech functionality. This is right up my alley.

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Another Great Lesson From Carey at Division05. “Composition”.

Yesterday I posted a video tutorial from Carey at Division05 on The Art of Storyboarding. I was so excited about the quality of the lesson, and the way it was presented I completely missed the latest one from him on Composition. That video is below. This guy has an inherent ability to teach and make eduction fun and interesting. I know about composition. I’ve been working as a designer for a long time, and this stuff is sort of burned into my brain at this point. None the less I watched the entire 30 minute video below, because the content is delivered in a way that grabbed my attention and held it. It made me think about things I already know and understand, which is a good thing. We all need to have the creative side of our brains jump started occasionally. Especially on Monday, when your head is still stuck in the weekend.

The Psychology of Color in Logo Design.

As a designer I work with color every day. Color is one of the most powerful communication devices that designers use. It offers an instantaneous response in the form of non-verbal communication and helps convey meaning in and messaging in logo design. So it is highly important for design professionals in all fields to use color appropriately and understand the meaning behind the colors they choose in their projects.

Our minds are inherently wired to respond to color in certain ways, and we are programmed from an early age to respond to color based on cultural ethnography’s as well. Color helps to shape our feelings and emotional responses to visual stimulus, and according to studies, color affects more than just our mood.  Color has the ability to change our buying habits as well. Studies have shown that color can invoke as much as an 80 per cent change in motivation when it comes to online shopping, advertising, and marketing campaigns.

While the perception of color is in many ways subjective, there are some color effects have universal meaning. The infographic below from Canadian design firm Muse is a great example of how different colors are perceived in relation to logo design. Just a little food for thought on Monday morning.

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The Art of Storyboarding.

This video tutorial on Storyboarding from Carey at Division 05 is probably one of the best I’ve seen when it comes to insight to the creative process. At 30 minutes it’s a bit much, but so worth watching. This walks you through the process and gives great advice on the design process, creative thinking, and what you need to think about as you develop your concept. This isn’t a hands on, or how to, but instead a really well thought out video on storytelling, idea generation, and process. As you watch it, pay attention to all the tools he uses to create just 6 style frames for his storyboard pitch to Fox. It’s not just Photoshop.

Teenage Mutant Motion Posters.

With the cost of large LCD TV’s steadily falling, it’s surprising that you don’t see more movie theaters taking advantage by using the displays for movie posters. The advantages are exponential. Content can be easily updated, tailored to a specific targeted demographic, run promotional information, present show times, or in the case of  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, create animated movie posters.

Unlike their printed counterpart, the “Motion Poster” makes for a pretty cool experience blending live action footage with animation and the overall marketing message. For the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film the Motion Poster is being used to introduce each of the main characters combined with a coming soon message. Each unit features sound and vertical video edited for the format and finishes out with a portrait of one of the turtle stars at the end.

The potential for this is huge. Beyond simple video displays, if the monitor was connected to the internet, and had touch screen capabilities, movie marketers would be able to develop dynamic content that would engage passersby on a whole new level. What if the Motion Poster featured game like interaction, or additional content beyond a simple trailer and still frame? What if the poster could interact with your smartphone via NFC, or QR code? What if  the poster connected to a microsite that engaged the viewer and offered promotional items for the movie that could be redeemed at that theater?  I have a feeling that this is just the beginning. That somewhere someone is already working on solutions to the questions I just asked.

My iPhone was naked Until It Found Aegis.

My iPhone runs naked with no case at all. When I picked up my 5s last year I did buy a case that was probably the thinnest I had ever seen. The thing was about as thick as a fingernail, and because of this didn’t offer any real protection against dropping it. I got it because it was nearly invisible and didn’t take away from the design aesthetic of the phone itself. I stopped using it because it was so thin it tended to flex and allow dirt and other pocket funk to get between it and the phone. I would have probably picked up another case, but the problem is, most are either butt ugly or so big they make the phone hard to fit in a pocket. So my phone has been naked for the last 9 months.

Today when I was out on Kickstarter looking around I came across MRD and the iPhone case they are milling out of a solid block of aluminum and I thought, “this I could do”. The Aegis iPhone case and wallet are CNC machined and processed to the same exacting standards as Apple products with a measurement accuracy level of .0005 inches. Thats less than the diameter of a human hair.

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Designed by Michael Rahban, the sleek case and wallet are produced from a solid block of 6061 aluminum, glass bead blasted, and anodized in the very same process that Apple currently uses. This allows the case to be aesthetically pleasing, and extremely durable. The design mirrors the design integrity of the iPhone itself   down to the chamfered edges on the case. Inside there is a nanofoam suction pad securely holds the phone in place ensuring that your case and phone do not separate when an impact occurs.

The wallet has some unique features as well. The materials provide a blocking mechanism against having your credit cards scanned by nefarious criminal types. It looks as though it will hold quite a bit, and it can be combined with the phone case to create one complete package. To really get an idea of how it works, click through one of the links above and watch the video.

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Webydo and Parallax for You.

Parallax scrolling has been making waves for a couple of years in the interactive design community. Even if you don’t build interactive content, websites, or mobile apps you have probably come in contact with a parallax scrolling site or application. Building this kind of interactive experience has real pay-off with extended audience engagement, but unless you have a really solid team of coders, it can also be a daunting task. This is where  Webydo steps in with its new Parallax Scrolling Animator  software that is currently in a closed beta. The link above will take you to the site where you can sign up to join the beta test and help shape the final outcome of this code-free design tool.

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Now, before you say the whole parallax thing has jumped the shark, think again. It’s here to stay. I agree that the problem with it is, that it has been overused as the hot new look, and more often than not it has been done badly. I also agree that there are issues with speed, mobile implementation, and SEO, but it isn’t going away, so Webydo might make your life a bit easier, and your results a lot better.

As Zack Rutherford points out in UX Magazine. Paralax has a certain wow factor and gives designers an opportunity to push interactive design in some exciting directions if done right. With Webydo making parallax available to its users there is hopefully a chance for less bad parallax, and more well designed rich interactivity..