Commissioned by Pivot Dublin and Dublin City Council to promote wider acceptance and use of design as a tool for positive change, director Johnny Kelly’s latest short, “Shape” follows the progress of a central character through out his day. It is a story about design, change, progress and technology, done up in a deceptively simple form. Animated with meticulous detail. Polished with excellent sound design, and a light hearted positive soundtrack. The script for the 7 minute short was written by Scott Burnett of Dublin Based Aad. Production work was handled by Nexus who have a long history of working with Kelly.

The short film is tied to the “Make Shape Change” website. The purpose of the site is to get young people thinking about design, and how it effects the world around them. Introduced by the short film, the website is broken into sections that encourage exploration of specific categories that offer an easy to digest overview and encourage a deeper exploration of the topic.

Do yourself a favor and take the seven minutes it takes to watch this. Do your kids a favor and explore the website with them.


“Flex Alert” a Series of Fantastic PSA’s from Brainchild and Buck.

After almost 30 days this summer of plus 100 degree heat in the Kansas City area, these amazing animated shorts from Brainchild Creative and Buck LA are spot on. Actually they apply to everyone in the 63 states that are experiencing above average temperatures, and drought.

I love the look, and the rhythm that these pieces have. There is a vintage quality to them with fresh updated look. The color pallet is spot on. The script is easy to understand and really sells the message without being heavy handed.There are 5 versions of the same basic piece below. If you watch all them you will see the variations that led to the final version (video number 4)

These PSA’s are fun to watch, easy to remember, and have an impactful message. A message that actually reaches beyond this summers extreme weather. What is being said in these video clips applies all year round. If you follow what is being said, you’ll save money, reduce load on the grid, and improve the environment.

Client: Wally McGuire / State of California
Exectuive Creative Director/Writer: Jef Loeb
CD/Art Director: Chris Chaffin
Executive Producer: Stephanie Heinsohn
Motion Graphics: BUCK Los Angeles (
Music: Sunday Morzeno (


i3D Has Tons of Promise.

Yesterday MacRumors posted an article on Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay new iOS application i3D. The application essentially creates a 3D experience with out the need for special glasses by using the front facing camera on your iPad or iPhone to track the position and adjusting the application perspective in real time.The free application is available at the app store if you want to try it out yourself.

While the current version of the application needs some work, the potential here is huge. This is the kind of technology that could be a game changer for those of us in the content creation business. When I saw the video demo of the software running on an iPad, I was sold. I look at this and see a whole new world of content for games, books, education, iAds, and beyond.

Imagine doing something as simple as firing up an application like Zappos on your iPad, and being able to see the product in 3D space before you decide to purchase. That concept is so simple yet it takes decision-making to a whole new level. Think about playing a game on your iPad that feels even more immersive by adding that 3D feeling to the experience. A simple game like “Labyrinth 3D” would feel completely different and much more rich overall. I can see this technology being applied to architecture, medical, and engineering fields with stunning results. I can’t wait to see where these guys end up taking this in the future, and how many other developers jump on this to improve the end result.

Dezigners, 2 + 2 Meanz Noin’ How To Spell Reel Gud.

Yesterday while walking back to my office from lunch, I was trailing two individuals and couldn’t help but overhear part of their conversation. I wasn’t trying to eves drop, we were in a narrow hallway and they were talking loudly. Since I was about 10 feet behind them, I overheard what they were saying.

The conversation was basically about corporate culture and how “Creatives” are misunderstood by “Suits”, and so on. At one point one of the two said, “I don’t have to know how to spell, or be good at math, I’m on the creative staff. That is what the suits are for”. I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, but as the two continued talking it became rather apparent that this guy was serious about what he said. At this point the hallway opened up by the corporate cafe and the two trailed off in a different direction so I no longer could hear them. In hind sight I wish I would have spoken up, and asked them to explain their point of view in a bit more detail. As someone who has been both on the boards and in design management, I have to say I don’t get this point of view at all.

I have been in the design industry since the age of 16. One of my first jobs was doing paste up, and cutting Rubylith for a small family owned graphic design shop that lived in someone’s basement studio. Maybe because I started my career in a time before computers spell checked everything, and calculators eliminated the need for basic math skills is why I don’t get this. All I know is, if you want to be taken seriously by your peers, coworkers, and clients, spelling, grammar and math, should be part of your “Design Toolkit”.

As a designer part of your job it to cohesively express your ideas to clients. This could be through a verbal pitch or a written brief. It could be to an internal department or an external client. Who ever it is, you are judged as much by your ability to verbalize as your ability to design. If you can’t articulate the reasoning behind the choices you make as a designer, why should your client trust you? This is part of being a professional, and whether you like it or not, it is part of your job as a designer. Saying you don’t have to have these basic skills is to a point arrogant. It is a dismissive act that reads like, “I’m such a good designer I don’t have to do that anymore”.

I am fully aware that advanced English and Math are not required for a degree in Design or Fine Art. I am also aware that English 101 is, and so is Math. I am also aware that many people loath, or are intimidated by both the subjects for what ever reason, but at the end of the day failing to have a basic comprehension of these skills is a detriment to your career in the long run. I don’t care how good your skills are as a designer. If you can’t put a sentence together with correct grammar and spelling, or do basic math, success is going to be an uphill battle.

At the end of the day, you are a professional designer. That means you must have professional skills, and that is more than knowing color theory, typography, layout, composition, balance, etc. It means knowing how to spell, punctuate, add, subtract, divide and multiply.