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iNeed U

Hiya,

Today I thought I’d try my hand at a bit of basic Photoshop manipulation, to create a minimalist poster design that’d reflect our relationship with and use of technology in our modern society.

It’s called “iNeed U” (see what I did there? Yes, that’s right, I’ve added an “i” like on an iPhone. Brilliant, I know.) and is designed to let you interpret the direction of the need and the players involved. I’ve my own opinions (some, I’ll admit, came to me after looking at it for a while), but I’ll let you make your own mind up.

Here it is:


(Black border added so you can see the shape of it :))

I’ve put this on my Redbubble site if you fancy getting a copy! It’s available as a poster, photographic print and various other things!

Huzzah!

Pat (with arty hat on)

Posted on Tue 06 Nov in Creative,Technology,Thoughts with Comments (2)

Font EError?

Howdy howdy!

If you live in the UK, you’ve probably heard the rumblings about “4G” mobile coverage. It’s going to be fast and modern. Very fast and super modern, in fact.

Initially, a company called Everything Everywhere (a.k.a. “EE”; a joint venture between France Telecom (Orange) and Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile)) will be the only ones providing this service.

They’re ahead of the pack, super modern and offering something that’s very fast.

Super modern, it’ll be.
And very fast.

So, we’ve got these things clear, right?

Super modern?
Very fast?

Ok, good.

Now, next question:

Would you reflect this with a font for your brand that screams “OH MY GOD I’VE GOT MEASLES”?

No?

Oh dear.

EE Web Site

Eek.

Pat

P.S. I could provide a slightly more sensible critique of the font choice (the issues regarding readability of sans-serif, bobbly, ALL CAPS text with tight kerning between words, for example), but I’m feeling a little ill so instead I’m going to have some Lemsip. It’s very fast.

P.P.S. For the record, I would use blinking pink italic Comic Sans. Did I mention I’m feeling a little ill?

Posted on Tue 09 Oct in Fun,Review,Technology,Thoughts with Comments (3)

Georgie: The Smartphone App For The Blind

Hi you!

Blimey, long time no speak. I must admit that I’ve been rather neglectful of my lovely lil’ blog for a while. Well, that’s going to change now, with at least one update a week so you can see what I’ve been up to, and what sort of interesting things I’ve been finding.

Last Thursday I was invited to the press launch of the excellent Georgie: the smartphone app for the blind.

The Event

It was quite a fun thing to be a part of as there was a real buzz around the place. Also, the lunch we were treated to is… well… I’ve never had anything like it. We ate lunch in a restaurant named Dans Le Noir in London, which is dark.

Not just quite dark. Really dark. Pitch black, in fact.

Through black-out curtains and a lack of windows you literally cannot see a thing in the room. The restaurant’s waiters are all blind, and they help you to your seat at your table, whereupon you have a careful feel around on the table in front of you to discover where things are. You’re then served drinks, food etc as normal – except you’ve no idea what’s being brought to you until you taste it.

Quite the experience! Some of the highlights for me:

  • Learning to pour a drink into a glass without spilling using the “dipping a finger over the edge” technique
  • Feeling very satisfied whenever I managed to get a fork that actually had food on it arrive at my mouth (this was about 50% of the time…)
  • Being rather relaxed about it all, following fearing I’d feel oddly claustrophobic
  • Relying on my memory for placement of objects and spatial awareness to ensure I didn’t knock stuff all over the place (I didn’t. At least, I didn’t hear it)
  • Not getting food all over my clothing *

* I can’t speak for the table, though. That place was probably a bomb site after I left it.

Well worth a visit!

The App

The Georgie application runs on pretty much any Android device and allows you to do all sorts – from finding out when the next bus at the nearby bus stop is, to warning you that there’s a low hanging branch a few metres up ahead of you as you’re walking around. The latter is a particularly strong feature for people who have limited or no sight: when you’re out and about, you can record voice memos relevant to that place that will be played back to you on returning. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It can do a lot of things!

The interface itself is clear, bold and simple, using an audio and vibration feedback method and involving a tap-to-hear, press-and-hold-to-select system.

You can find out more on the Georgie Application Site.

Why Was I There?

I was invited as I’d designed the logo and branding for the Georgie (and Screenreader) application (on behalf of the brilliant Dynamo PR).

The challenge was to come up with a logo, which would match the following core brand values:

  • Legibility
  • Support
  • Contemporary
  • Mobile

These were all met using a careful selection of font, colour, spacing, iconography (e.g. the “mobile phone transmission”/”audio waves” coming from the “i” (itself a side on mobile phone)) and finishing – and both I and the app owners were very happy with the end result:

Georgie Logo

I’m looking forward to seeing the Georgie application take off over the coming months!

Right, back to doing some design work for this very site… there is a redesign coming… oh yes…

Pat

Posted on Mon 16 Jul in Creative,Technology,Work with No Comments

littleBits: Lego Technic Eat Your Heart Out

I fondly remember the days spent as a boy playing around with my various Lego Technic sets. It was always satisfying to complete a pre-designed construction (my Power Crane was truly a beauty to behold), but the most fun had with those sets was to play around with the motors, pneumatic pumps and various switches. Planes, etch-a-sketch type drawing devices… all sorts of bits.

I also remember the feeling of satisfaction upon finally getting my printed circuit board (which I’d painstakingly drawn out and had created in an acid bath) to connect to a light sensor, power supply and LED to create a light-sensitive lamp.

It took blooming ages, and would’ve been so much easier had a cross between manual circuit board creation and Lego Technic existed.

But nothing like that did. Or does. Does it?

Enter littleBits

Here’s Ayah Bdeir’s TED lecture on what littleBits are, and their potential:

SO good, right? Just think of the things you can create with these, and also the learning potential for kids.

Personally I think if schools can purchase various sets of these, and also (eventually) get their hands on a Raspberry PI, we could see a whole generation of kids who are much more in touch with the technology that we find ourselves understanding less and less about as time goes on.

Not only that, these could inspire future engineers and designers to come up with fascinating solutions to problems we’re not even aware of yet.

I’ve bookmarked the littleBits web site, because I think there’ll be a lot of interesting things coming from the community on it.

‘Til next time,

Pat

Posted on Fri 13 Apr in Technology,Thoughts with Comments (2)

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