Archives for category: Apps

Just this week, Uber unveiled a global rebranding that not only strayed a bit from its recognizable logotype, but also introduced a rather detached set of app icons. Can’t say that we suffered from extreme design envy over the previous Uber logotype, but it was fine. While their new logotype seems like a step in the right direction (thicker letterforms and tighter composition for maximum readability), the highbrow concept behind the app icons and larger identity seems rather misguided, and will surely be lost on most. Yes, Uber’s official statement references “bits and atoms” (“The unique aspect of Uber is that we exist in the physical world. When you push a button on your phone, a car moves across the city and appears where you are. We exist in the place where bits and atoms come together. That is Uber. We are not just technology but technology that moves cities and their citizens.”) In theory, the thought process behind the concept, which is customized identities for specific markets that aim to draw colors and patterns from “art, architecture, tradition, old and new fashion, textiles, the environment”, is a thoughtful one. But from a branding perspective, it seems to dilute the impact of the Uber brand as a whole. And that doesn’t even address that larger concern that the icon itself is not identifiable in any way as Uber. Though we had issues with the previous icon employing a dissimilar “U” letterform from the Uber logotype, at least it was just that, a letter U. This icon, or rather set of icons – one for riders, another for divers – make no effort to resemble the new Uber logotype in any way. Why abandon the “U”? Our view is not the basis of some pretentious design theory, but simple human nature. In our estimation, the biggest stumble here was not hiring branding experts for the task. We are not knocking in-house designers… they are often immensely talented with an invaluable familiarity and investment in a given brand. But this was surely not a 12+ months-long task meant to be spearheaded by a non-designer CEO. There are experts in the field who do this sort of thing, we are among them. We hear the cry among our peers: “Help us help you!” Sure, the presentation of Uber’s new identity is slick, but the principals behind the design concept as a whole indicate a lack of design leadership. An unfortunate case of just looking pretty, but not meeting a brand’s true potential.

Visuals via Uber

 

 

Before:

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After:

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New look. Same ride.

A post shared by Uber (@uber) on

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Voyeurism is a term we use loosely here, more referring to human curiosity than anything perverse in nature. But it seems to be the best way to describe the work of Dutch documentary photographer Reinier Gerritsen in his series The Last Book. Over the course of three years, Gerritsen trolled the New York City subway system, observing and documenting the printed matter commuters were reading. With the decline of physical books in favor of digital media, his original intention was to chronicle the waning days of traditional publishing: “Conceived as an elegy to the end of bound books, in a positive twist it has now become evident that people are moving away from electronic reading devices and that the printed book is alive and well!” With the rigor of a sociological experiment, Gerritsen catalogued hundreds of photos on his website by author’s last name. “It began as a series of modest observations and transformed into a collection of vivid documentary portraits, set against a visual landscape of best sellers, classics, romance novels, detective thrillers and every kind of printed book, as diverse as the readers.” Gerritsen took note of patterns, observing that Suzanne Collins, James Patterson and J.K. Rowling were among the most popular authors of choice. This project was eventually published into a beautiful bound book itself (available here), and Gerritsen even headed back underground to photograph commuters with their e-readers for his own digital publication, an app called The Last Book Revisited (available here).

Via reiniergerritsen.nl and saulgallery.com

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BARBRAIN

With all this fingerprint/Touch ID talk lately, we thought it fitting to take a closer look at some amusing artwork by an Italian artist who goes by the name “Dito Von Tease” (“dito” translates to “finger” in Italian, and is a reference to Dita Von Teese, the famous icon of “burlesque” style and expert in disguises). What started as a simple avatar for his Facebook page has evolved into this amusing and fascinating project that has really caught on (it was featured on the Today Show and there’s even an iPhone app). The philosophy behind the project may seem sort of highbrow, but the whole thing looks like just plain fun. “Dito” explains: “The Ditology-project wants to invite everybody to look beyond the “masks” we use in playing our lives and to go deep to find our unique “fingerprint”. In the “digital age” (digitus is Latin for finger) the finger is the “tool” we use in our touch-screens, mouse pads and keyboard. Thus everybody is “hidden behind his finger” while surfing the internet and especially in social networks.”

Via Blogspot

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Italian illustrator/designer Alberto Seveso employs some awesome Photoshop skills to merge contrasting textures for a very distinct design style. We’ve featured his work before, but had to share some of his latest work. From album artwork, to packaging for Adobe, Seveso is a true master of digital art. He brings a certain beauty and elegance to the medium. Incredible design inspiration.

Via burdu976.com

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Though sort of a novelty, since most folks who visit this microsite won’t actually travel around Scandinavia, Volvo’s Cross Country Travels site and mobile app are really well designed and fun to navigate. Interactive Art Director Robert Lindström documents the creative process here. Love the badges too… nice uniformity among the variety of illustrations.

Via xctravels.com

With so many apps out there, icon design is something we increasingly take for granted. Some are certainly much better than others, and these, by Netherlands-based designer Julian Burford, fall into that category. The 3D perspective and uniformity among these hypothetical food product icons is great, especially while meeting Apple’s icon guidelines.

Via julianburford.nl

Salt Lake City designer/illustrator Valerie Jar developed this well-balanced and thoughtful set of stamp icons for the National Geographic National Parks app. This impressive guide to U.S. National Parks, built by Rally Interactive, is beautifully designed and full of great photography you come to expect from National Geographic. Looking forward to an iPad edition… hope it’s in the works!

Via Dribbble

Konstantin Datz has a ridiculous knack for super realistic icons.

Via Dribbble

As many have seen (mostly Justin D. + Ma-Gee), I am really enthused about the new technology (ie. Augmented Reality) being used for ad campaigns. This ads a layer of interactivity, a layer of life, missing from many promotional campaigns. The Footwall is a perfect example of using twitter users to participate by displaying their stats against the ‘footwall’.

Via Holster

 

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