I once saw an article in a design magazine, where the designer had made elegant dresses out of digital type - each letter form individually placed to create the whole garment. It was one of the most beautiful design piecess I've ever seen.
That was almost 15 years ago and unfortunately I can't find the article again. There is still plenty of type design work that inspires me though - here's a few of my favs at the moment.
Roeland Otten designed this series of 26 seats based on typographic letter forms. Personal favourites are the "e" and the "s" - though i'd happily have the whole set at home... so we can make words like you do with fridge magnets. Manufactured on request, in limited edition... my favourite type of edition! Check out more at www.roelandotten.com
Hand Embroidered Type
The hand embroidered type of Maricor Maricar are stunning as both final pieces and the complexity of work that goes into building them. Confessing their "unusual obsession with paper and patterns", we're fortunate to see a lot of their output at
I don't know much about the origin of this work, what it was done for, or the artist. The more you look into the details of this structure, the more amazed you'll become by the pieces that make it, and the work as a whole. Every angle works it's own magic. It's a beautiful piece, and very inspiring. The artists profile is on behance, along with some other interesting works.
Profile: FLY_ ART_S
6 months of research (including a trip to Paris), design and over 800 hours of carving to finish. Mark Webber took a single 150x180cm piece of linoleum and converted it into this "Where in the World" typographic representation of the city map. Can't wait for these to be printed! Check out his work over at
www.markandrewwebber.com, and while you're there, make sure you check out the 30 second ‘linomation’ as well.
Something I thought very little of (paper curling) is suddenly transformed into something very innovative and extremely cool with a bit of imagination - have a squiz at Yulia Brodskaya's papergraphic work.
www.artyulia.com, and if you thought that was cool... check out her amazing illustration piece!
LOVE the psychadellic type - best seen in all it's glory here by Icelandic born (and now Berlin based) Siggi Eggertsson. Apparently a rejected magazine cover... which is a bit sad, because I think it's amazing. Along with all the other beautiful work on the site... just wow.
Hype! Hype! Hype!
Lastly, I'm a huge fan of a slick logo - and I think DJ Hype has nailed it here. I'm not sure who did it, so can't link you off to any pretty visuals, but can send you to some auditory goodness.
Hype features on Kiss100 on Thursdays around lunch time (NZ time) - tune in.
It's an exciting time for front-end web development. More mobile devices capable of full web support, an active move away from IE6, and fantastic new, standards driven tools!
Overview: The less framework is built using CSS3 media queries. It allows you to apply different CSS styles to a page, depending on chosen criteria.
The best way for me to explain is to give you an example: Say you have a web page, and you want it to scale to fit across computers, tablets, and smartphones. Using media queries this becomes very easy! You can apply certain CSS (say, make text smaller, make images smaller, flow a 5 column grid into 3 columns) if the criteria is met (if the width of the browser window is less than specified tiers of pixels).
The Result: a single page, which displays the same content (and HTML markup) in the most optimal way for your device.
The Caveats: CSS3 only works on the newer browsers, such as Safari 4 & 5, Chrome, Firefox 4, Internet Explorer 9. Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, and Android phones/tablets ARE supported here. It’s not all bad though, your site’s design will simply fall back to your base, computer screen sized design if CSS3 is not supported.
What it means: A website that works across multiple platforms, where content updates apply across all devices with one change. Mobile web browsing is trending upward, ensuring the best readability of your site’s content across all devices doesn’t need to be difficult!
The success story that is Michael Hill Jeweller today began in 1979… and I was born in 1979! Ok, so that’s just a coincidence, but there are many factors that lead me to write this post today.
Michael Hill Jeweller is on my personal list of top five goal clients.
Why? I absolutely relate to his passion to achieve the goals he sets his mind to.
I purchased Michael Hill’s book, Toughen Up, when it came out in 2009. It really is an interesting read, his dedication and passion for his business and personal life is inspiring, and it’s encouraging to see a Kiwi not get taken down by the dreaded tall-poppy syndrome. He stands tall, and people respect him.
As a company, Michael Hill Jeweller is a “poster boy” for successful business. Whether large or small, it’s great to see a strong employee focus and betterment scheme in place in a company. Frontend also instill this philosophy, which makes an amazingly creative and productive environment to work in.
What do I think Frontend could do for Michael Hill Jeweller?
I think the MHJ site should be a reflection of their market-leading position – the site needs to be at the forefront of web technology, pushing the boundaries while ticking all the ecommerce boxes – because the site is essentially their web-based store front.
To do that, Frontend would hit the drawing board to get back to the basics. A structured approach to site and business research and analysis will allow the scope to be properly defined, KPIs to be documented, check points to be set up; the ultimate goals being top site performance, longevity, wide audience appeal and increased online business and customers for Michael Hill Jeweller.
There is a lot of potential to push the web site in new directions, particularly with the emergence of new technologies and new devices. There are iphone apps that let you try on jewellery, Blue Nile has an interesting app specifically targeted to couples finding the perfect engagement ring, James Allen have created “an online simulation of the magnifying lens used by jewellers to see diamonds up close”.
With a strong focus on user experience (UX) design, Frontend can identify the issues that are potentially impacting conversion goals, brand loyalty, and site usability.
This is the perfect time for any business to do a current situation analysis and start working on their plan for future internet progression. So much is happening, it’s such an exciting time to be involved with the web as it reaches out in new directions.
Yes, this is a wee bit of a nudge to see if Michael Hill Jeweller are interested in fulfilling one of my goals and working with Frontend. We have the same passion for our business, our success and our clients as Michael Hill Jeweller have for theirs.
Why should Michael Hill Jeweller (or anyone) check out Frontend?
I have had the luxury of working in UX strategy and design for clients such as Vodafone, State Insurance and NZI and I love being able to vicariously take part in as many different industries as we have clients. I’m keen to take on new challenges; I have the experience and the expertise and I’d be excited to explore the potentials with any new client.
Our methodology has been tried, tested and refined into a smooth process throughout our ten year existence. We’re not a one size fits all outfit, we design and customize each and every solution to our very individual clients’ needs.
Frontend have a proven user-centred design process that meets objectives and delivers results.
Frontend are a team of talented people, specialist experts in the web space, and can work as the web partners to help any business drive and maximize their online success.