1. Paula Scher for Behance: Irreverent and respectable doyen of graphic design

    She has always been an inspiration and I was lucky to meet her a few years back at Kyoorius Designyatra. Paula presents a set of stellar brand work that have been done by Pentagram and her.

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  2. Tilt Shift Love: A short homage to Bangalore in miniature – Little Bangalore

    I met Anup Kat of 1stDecember at Limoge, France while we were there to participate in a 24-hour web design challenge. Anup and his team are a smart group of youngsters with a great sense of aesthetics and a cohesive worldview. They are the new wave DIY, dirty-my-hands creative team and this homage to Bangalore is a perfect example. So, watch this lovingly made voyeuristic short on Bangalore – a sunny cheerful Koyaanisquatsi set in our own beantown. Incidentally, 1stDecember did win the Limoge challenge.

    In their words: “Every great city in the world has a story that has been passed down the ages. The garden city of India is one such city. A home to countless people from all over the country, making a lifetime of memories. It may not be the best city in the world, but the spirit of its people is unmatched.

    This film is our take on the Bangalore we have grown to love. A tribute to our city and its people. This is the story of our ‘little Bangalore’.”

    Kudos Atul, Anup and team.

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  3. Reviewing Maily: A mail app for children to handpaint and send mails

    To all those who complain about the death of snail mail, there is yet another virtual product to swing in (or out) kids early.

    Maily is an iPad app for children and tweens to legally use email riding on a parent’s account. The app has been designed to be readied by the parent for young children to use. As a parent I could add mail addresses into the fixed contact list. The child cannot add a contact of their own.

    The mail itself is done on an artboard with tools to write, draw or shoot. It has graphic templates, crayons and the camera, of course. The navigation between these tools are a bit cumbersome with multiple levels shown as individual docks over the artboard. The photo addition is exciting and the tool is cool. It allows scaling and rotation of the picture taken from the gallery or shot.

    The overall experience is simple and children love it. However I will reconsider the parent dashboard and a few icons that the kid needs to get used to. They are fast learners, aren’t they?

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  4. Film making at home: A DIY toolkit with everyday stuff for that dreamer

    Who does not want to make a movie? I have walked this Earth with a script in my head for over three decades. Need to get on to it. Got to do it. While ranting I found this.

    The DIY Filmmaker’s Toolkit
    Infographic by: Wistia

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  5. Apple Timeline: Yet another curious view of a loved brand across years

    Guilty. I am a believer and I have been for a long time. Since 1987, to be precise, when the forbidden Apple was encased in a chilled glass cabin in our design school with exclusive access to a few chosen ones. On getting a wallet and some content in it I have owned a few of these babies. This infographic shows all Apple products on a timeline.

    The Apple Timeline

    Browse more infographics.

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  6. Let the Games Begin! The glare and the clash of Olympic impressions

    The Olympics are supposed be a carnival, I know – ‘Triumph of Human Spirit’ and what have you. And truly, the spirit and the excitement have been high and contagious this time round. The carnival carousel has been turning smooth and well-oiled thus far.

    So I make a side trip to their official website – www.london2012.com. First off, you have that London 2012 logo, which reminds you of a falling rocks warning (and mildly reminiscent of Thing, the stone-clad superhero from the Fantastic Four). The web design tries to carry this visual metaphor of the angular forms into it. Visually, It’s colorful and carnival-ish, bright and gay (gay as in celebratory) but the forms look so sharp you could cut your eye-fingers just looking at them. So you wonder about this overt celebration of masculinity – what happened to grace, rhythm and elegance, those reportedly feminine qualities!? The whole experience seems driven by testosterone without any estrogen to bring about a balance.

    The carnival

    Anyway, the carnival goes on – and it’s more akin to a village Markt – the page literally Teeming with stuff. If there is a sense of organization, it seems to lose out in the breathless cacophony of a hundred things screaming for attention. For a bit of respite, scroll down the page – where things get a bit calmer and white space finds a hesitant voice.

    The site, by its own admission, tries to cater to all – the ‘normal’, the visually impaired, the dyslexics and the non-English speakers. ‘For all Humanity’, cries out the Olympic spirit. But you can’t escape the feeling that these noble and worthwhile sentiments have found only a partial translation in terms of sites structure, page organization and elemental focus.

    Style sheet for dyslexics

    Right at the top, an icon call’s itself the ‘dyslexic style sheet’ and when you switch to it, all those loud-mouthed colors quieten down into a muted beige palette. This brings the text and links into sharper contrast – fair enough – but dyslexic friendly? I am not so sure. I get the feeling that dyslexics are perhaps better served by increasing the font size, increasing the character tracking and making everything else more subdued. But that too would be a compromise – they would probability find a less crowded, more organized page with higher figure-ground contrast more fit to their needs.

    The tool

    And lastly, those much celebrated international sports symbols come to the rescue of non-English speaking audiences – like the way finders they are supposed to be. Although, what exactly these non-English speakers lose out in experience by not knowing the language, only they can tell in their native tongues. Not to crib too much, but here too the colors are high-strung. I am sure those who designed the site carefully chose to place bright pinks and active blues next to each other and gleefully watched their cockfight. They are obviously intended to jar and clash in their high chromatic screams. May be the designers thought it’s an apt metaphor for the competitive spirit of the Olympics. But I don’t have to like it, and I don’t.

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  7. Interactive print is here: Is this the convergence we have been waiting for?

    Apparatus has been proud to use legacy design practices in the digital realm. We have been involved in great projects that span across print and digital too. We found a new tool that can make this ‘walk across’ better. I personally am looking forward to use this, in context, for a project.

    With a tool like this brands can interlink their print marcomm to their online presence easily, online stores can create offline catalogs with specific promotions, corporates can lead their engagements to contextually correct media assets, publishers can segue readers into richer content and more. I believe this is just a beginning – an aesthetically pleasing QR code. But there are going to be more soon.

    And we will be there waiting for it.

    You can know more about Layar here.

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  8. Twitter is bird, bird is twitter: The new improved version of Twitter’s identity

    Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles—similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends. -Doug Bowman, Creative Director, Twitter

    I personally love these simple clean up jobs in graphic design that demands rigor and simplistic construction. The perceived change may be minimal. Yet the rationale and impact is immense. Read more about this brand refresh here.

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  9. Found Narrative: A persuasive story in stock images as an advertisement

    Apparatus has been using Getty Images since inception to illustrate brand stories of our clients. We were amazed to see a magnificent interpretation of stock photos as a television commercial to sell their services. Take a look at this.

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  10. A Brief History of Internet and people like us: The machine is using the users

    I found this inspiring video on evolution of web technology and user interactions. I thought it was important to share this with you all.

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