Monday, 25 October 2010

The World Without Apple, Mac Evolution, Apple Total Revenue [Infographic]

Dear apple fanboys and other readers, I know you would love this post. Even me too. After seeing the evolution and big numbers, can’t image how the world would be without apple. One company that is really trying to bring the technology at the current year is only Apple. A simple announcement would turn into a big event. Steve jobs, the man behind all these magics. Simply love them. Just go ahead and check out this awesome infographic made by the Infographic labs team.
world of apple company and app statistics The World Without Apple, Mac Evolution, Apple Total Revenue [Infographic]
Source: The World Without Apple, Mac Evolution, Apple Total Revenue [Infographic] is a post from: Madras Geek

Friday, 22 October 2010

Multi-screen excellence: Giroflex

by Serge Jespers

This has to be the one of the best multi-screen apps I’ve seen to date. It is absolutely gorgeous and the story behind it is even more impressive. Thanks to the Flash Platform they were able to build an application that runs on multiple devices in record time.

Giroflex is a leading manufacturer of ergonomically designed office furniture. They asked Publicis Modem to create an application for the Orgatec trade fair taking place in Cologne next week. The application needed to be built for multi-screen purposes. The client wanted a microsite, a multitouch application to run on the HP TouchSmart 600, and the application needed to run on the Samsung Tab. In their booth visitors can experience the new chair in a dynamic modern way on the TouchSmart PCs, representing the company’s spirit. The Giroflex sales executives will all have a Samsung Galaxy Tab at hand to show the same app to their customers. The choice for the Flash Platform was an obvious one.

Thanks to the Flash Platform the team at Publicis Modem led by Marcel Vogt and Tiago Dias was able to produce an application that runs as a microsite in the browser and as a standalone application on the TouchSmart PCs, the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s, and even any other Android device. In just 2.5 weeks they created a multi-language, rich, easy to use and intuitive application with AS3 and utilizing AIR’s local SQLite database and multi-touch features.

They started out with the microsite which is built based on their own AS3 framework. The entire UI is customizable via XML files. They finished the microsite in just 1.5 weeks. When the microsite was done they only needed to add multi-touch capabilities and update the graphics and layout so it would fit on the Galaxy Tab and the TouchSmart PCs. It only took them an additional 6 days to “port” the app to the Galaxy Tab and the TouchSmart PCs. As a little extra they also wanted to see how long it would take them to port this app to an HTC Desire. It only took 2 hours!

I’m also really happy that I was able to help them a bit. They used my Package Assistant application to create the APKs ;-)

This is a great example of the power of the Flash Platform and how easy it is to build multi-screen applications using it!

Here’s application running on a Samsung Galaxy Tab:

Giroflex Samsung Galaxy Tab Air Application from Marcel Vogt on Vimeo.

The application running on the HP TouchSmart PC:

Giroflex Air Desktop Application from Marcel Vogt on Vimeo.

And on the HTC Desire:

Giroflex HTC Desire Air Application from Marcel Vogt on Vimeo.

Marcel and Tiago will be at MAX next week so if you see them around make sure you ask for a demo! Great work guys!
Source: Multi-screen excellence: Giroflex

Friday, 8 October 2010

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

by graphicmania

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Thanks to the advanced technology that allows us to see these new microscopic worlds and revealed other aspects of the beauty of nature. The photomicrography is an advanced type of photography where the camera is attached to a microscope to take very photos for very small part of the object or specimen.

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Away from the complex scientific expressions and the technology details behind this type of photography. The photomicrography gives us the chance to view the beauty of the nature on a microscopic level. At this tiny scale, you can see the nature with a totally different view  with other types of inspirations. You can see these photomicrographs as surreal art paintings created using the cells, elements and molecules.

Now, let us enjoy this collection and it would be great to know your comments about which one inspired you the most and if you can see it as a real artwork.

If you like this collection, I think you may interest to see this as well:
35+ Beautiful Photomicrography and Macro Photography Shots

Antonio Guillén

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Mark Pilbeam

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Nematos

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Vida Invisible

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Nasser Rusan

LLCPK1 (pig epithelial) cells (X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Klaus Bolte

Chrysolina fastuosa (Micro leaf beetle) on a pin head (40X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Jose Herrera,

Single-spore inoculation of the microfungus, Aspergillus niger on malt extract agar (0X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Shirley Owens,

Gladiola pollen (2500X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Charles Krebs,

Rear leg section of Water Boatman (Hemiptera: Corixidae) (200X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Sara Lindsay,

Marine worm muscles (Polydora cornuta) (10X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Didier Grunwald,

Moth proboscis (10X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

J. Claire Hoving,

Section of female Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (nematode) with eggs (200X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Daniel Vega,

Quercus leaf gall formed by a Gall wasp (4X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Carlo Sala,

Hippocampal neuron (63X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

G. Lorenzo Calzoni,

Transverse section of brown algae (40X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Massimo Brizzi ,

Notonecta Glauca (Backswimmer aquatic insect) (100X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Heiti Paves,

Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) stigma (20X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

James Solliday,

Cat embryo (4X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Sérgio Stampar,

Hydractinia uniformis (66X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Viktor Sykora,

Pieris japonica (5X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Tomasz Szul,

Mouth hooks of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) (150X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Compound eye of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) (150X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Raniska Tente,

Lipid-encapsulated contrast microbubble (40X)

Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Source: Revealing Tiny Worlds: 30 Stunning Photomicrographs

Logo Designer Interviews: Steve Douglas of The Logo Factory

by Duane Kinsey
logo designer interviews series
Continuing the popular logo designer interviews series, this week I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Douglas, creative director at The Logo Factory.
Steve has been involved in offering online design services since starting The Logo Factory in 1996. No that isn’t a typo, 1996. If it has happened in the online design space, Steve is likely to have witnessed it. He is a true pioneer.
In this interview, Steve discusses how he got started using a free 10 megabyte website, how the industry has evolved over time, and shares some solid advice for aspiring logo designers.
To stay updated with the latest happenings at The Logo Factory, please check out their blog. You can also follow The Logo Factory on Twitter and Facebook.
Now, lets get to the interview!
Hi Steve, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Can you begin by letting us know a little bit about your background? How did you get started designing logos?
Originally, I wanted to be an illustrator and studied illustration in college. Trouble is, when I started out as a professional, clients kept coming back for logos. It was something I seemed to be good at and while half the time I was like “I’d love to do some illustration work for you” clients were “yeah, that’s great. How about designing a new logo for us.” After a while I gave up trying to be an illustrator and embraced the logo design niche. My penchant for illustration can still be seen in a lot of our work, as I tend to hire people that can draw.
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One thing that I am sure would fascinate many of our readers is that The Logo Factory has been doing business online since 1996. How did The Logo Factory get started?
I had an earlier idea for a business that would have seen me using mailing lists to target new companies for logos and what have you, but I shelved that idea around 1993 due to financial realities of the time. A few years later, when I signed up for Internet access, my ISP gave me a 10 megabyte website that I used to build a portfolio site. It had everything that I was capable of on it – logo design, illustration, photography, brochure design – but the requests for work centered around logos. Again. Though from around the world. I figured that would be a decent business model, so using the business plan I had developed earlier, I started work on what would become The Logo Factory in 1996, only rather than using mailing lists, I used the Internet and people came to me. At the time there was nobody selling logo design services online, so it was a pretty open field. I was able to get #1 placement on most of the search engines of the time – Google wasn’t around in those days, the big ones were Alta Vista and Infoseek. I went from being broke to earning  a relatively comfortable living overnight. We’ve tweaked how my company functions over the years, but we still use the basic formula that I developed at the beginning. As do most online logo companies.
How has running an online business changed since way back then (1996)?
Wow. It’s changed a lot. It’s intensely competitive now. Lots of hacks, sock puppet websites and posers. Getting decent search engine placement is extremely difficult and the competition has caused a hard downward pressure on pricing. On the up side, setting up a website is a lot easier, hosting is cheaper and getting credit card payments is a snap. Back in the day, services like Paypal didn’t exist, so vendors had to get merchant accounts with either the bank, or the credit card companies themselves. Had to jump through a lot of hoops and post cash bonds before anyone could get approved. There’s also a lot more traffic and people are generally more accepting of making online purchases. It’s easier for designers to market themselves than it ever has been. And there’s a world of opportunity out there.
logo2
Some of the design community who would frown at the fact that you offer fixed-price design packages to your clients. Can you explain why have you chosen to structure your pricing this way?
I realized from day one that if I was going to sell design services via the Internet, I had to approach it as a retail level business. On the web, even back in those days, people want instant gratification and want to know pricing right away. They don’t want to wait for someone to get back to them – by that point they’ve already found someone else. There’s also some practical issues too. If you have one or two visitors a day to a website, you can handle RFPs in the traditional way. It you have 4 to six thousand unique visitors a day, as we’ve had on occasion, most of whom want to know ‘how much does a logo cost’, you’d spend all day writing proposals just to keep up, even though a majority of the proposal requests are from people who are ‘tire kickers’. Only moderately interested in going forward. We were the first company to offer various packages for different budgets depending on how much work we’ll do, number of revisions and what not. I’ve caught grief on occasion from other designers, but it comes with the territory – if you want to run a successful online design company, potential customers need to know, with very little effort or delay, how much you’re going to charge.
Take us behind the scenes at The Logo Factory. What does your logo design process entail?
Our design process is quite typical. Through an initial briefing with the client, we ascertain what they want to achieve with their logo. Taking this information, we then research whatever business area they’re from, take a look at their competitors to see any market trends and then design a few early concepts. These can take the shape of digital doodles or in the case of illustrative work, rudimentary pencil sketches. We still employ sketchbooks at the shop for early brainstorming. Then, through a back-and-forth series of iterations, we hone in on a logo that the client will sign off on. We work closely with the client throughout the process, as it’s their baby. Sometimes this leads us to material that as designers, we’re not terribly fussed with, but if the client is happy, we’ve done our job. I guess the only real difference between The Logo Factory and a typical design shop is a lot of the early information is automated and a lot of the communication is via our website and/or e-mail. We still spend a lot of time on the phone though, and local clients often drop-in for a face-to-face with their designer.
logo3
In your opinion, what makes a good logo?
Business wise, a good logo is one that the client is happy with. Artistically, a good logo is one that manages to convey some aspect of the entity it represents, whether it’s what the company does, or a theme – conservative, budget, cutting-edge – about the company. While a lot of our material, due to my background, leans towards complex logos, I still think the best kind of logo is simple, graphic and minimalist. Something that can tell the story in a few micro-seconds. A logo that’s memorable and is instantly connected with the business, product or service that it’s representative of. There’s technical considerations too – how well a logo fits into collateral design material, usually dictated by the design’s footprint and aspect ratio. A good logo also needs to be adaptable on a wide range of mediums – from print to web, from embroidery to coffee cups, business cards to the side of a van or truck. It’s important to keep these uses in mind, even if the client doesn’t have a truck today, who’s to say they won’t have one in a year or two.
What do predict will be the major challenges for those in the logo design industry over 5 years?
That’s easy. Spec work, crowdsourcing and design contests will continue to flourish and downgrade the industry. It’ll make it harder for younger designers to break into the industry – not easier as the pro-spec people claim. There’s also a trend to focus on overall branding, rather than just logos, so it won’t be quite as easy to sell ‘just’ logo design services. People will need to diversify.
You are quite prolific when it comes to blogging about logo design. How has blogging helped your business? Also, what do you think makes a good blog?
If done right, blogging about a subject, whatever it means, tends to make people think you’re some sort of expert – that’s a good thing. Blogging also helps you become a better communicator and four fifths of design is just that – communication. It helps you defend positions and express your opinion – that’s important when trying to convince a client that this or that logo is the right one for them. From a practical point-of-view blogging helps in terms of search engine penetration and exposure – it brings more eyes to our website, even though most of my blog posts are written from a designers perspective, and to designers. A blog that’s current shows that your company is a contemporary entity – stale dated blogs tend to do the opposite, so if you’re not going to blog regularly, don’t bother. A good blog is one that engages people. Maybe a little controversial – most of our popular posts involve spec work in some fashion – and one that asks questions rather than preaches to the choir. Unfortunately, I tend to write opinion piece rather than discussion pieces so my blog isn’t as much of a hub as it perhaps could be.
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How do you deal with criticism?
I try to never take criticism personally. When someone tells me they don’t like something I’ve created, I listen to their concerns and act on them. I have a rule – “never get married to any artwork” – that has served me well over the years. At the end of the day, it’s the client’s logo and they have to live with it for a long time. I want them to be happy with it, even if I not entirely satisfied with the direction they’ve chosen.
From someone who has been in the industry for so long, what advise do you have for aspiring logo designers?
Don’t limit yourself to just logo design. Spin that off to another speciality. We’ve recently made a push into 3D logo animation and video intros. Still in the logo design niche, but a little more than just logo design proper. Anyone with a copy of Illustrator can, in theory anyway, hang out a logo design shingle so competition is going to be fierce over the next few years. If you can offer clients that something ‘special’, and something that you’re exceptionally good at – web design, infographics, animation – then you’ll have a leg up over other designers and would-be designers competing in the same space.
A massive thank you to Steve  for participating in the interview. Truly fascinating.
Stay tuned for more in the series, including upcoming interviews with:
Graham Smith – imjustcreative, Sneh Roy – Little Box of Ideas, Steve Zelle – Processed Identity, Sean Farrell – Brand Clay, and more!
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Published on Logobird, Logo Design, Brand Identity, Graphic Design
Source: Logo Designer Interviews: Steve Douglas of The Logo Factory