Category Archives: interactive

Contre Jour – iPhone game

I’m only a couple of levels into the recently released iPhone game Contre Jour (which roughly translates to against daylight), but I am loving it. Visually it’s kind of a mix of Little Big Planet’s creatures with Limbo’s muted palette (with a little bit of Darcel’s one eyed attitude). The game itself is a simple but extremely engaging scene scroller as you help the main character, Petit, grab light sources and traverse an rough terrain by transforming the land around to move him in the right direction. The whole game is bathed in simple textures and monochromatic tones, punctuated only by bright blues and Petit’s ever wandering eye.

You can grab the game for only a buck on the iTunes App store here.

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Back4theFuture.com

 

This week, “sneaker freakers” and fans of the beloved 80’s Back To The Future film trilogy finally saw the realization of one of the holy grails of movie-fashion concept designs: The Nike Air MAG. A prop designed and used for the second installment of the film, the Air MAGs (or Magnetic Anti-Gravity) were fantastic futuristic sky tops complete with lights and auto-lacing technology. They were of course only an idea in a film about a supposed future, but fans fell in love with them and hoped, prayed and even petitioned to see their fateful production.

This week, Nike, in partnership with Universal Films and the Michael J. Fox Foundation released a limited line of 1500 pairs of the Nike Air MAG to be placed on eBay for charity auction to raise funds for the Fox foundation seeking a cure for Parkinsons disease. All of this is wonderfully explained on Nike’s new microsite Back4theFuture.com, a cleverly devised website to promote not only the legend and spirit of the films and the storied shoe, but also aiming to shed light on the affliction of Parkinsons in a witty and encouraging way. The site, which I believe was designed by Nike’s longtime agency of record Wieden and Kennedy, follows a similar structure to the previous Nike Better World site, leading the visitor downward through a series of automated tiles displaying messaging and finally landing at an interactive display video complete with a cameo from The Doc himself.

The site is clean and brisk, with bold messages set in Nike’s 80’s trademark tightly kerned bold Futura to give a perfect retro-future look and feel. Also, be sure to check out “The Continuum”, a running blog of sorts on the site that collects news, articles, events and social network activity related to the release.

Visit Back4theFuture.com here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visual.ly launches


We are indeed living in the age of infographics. The amount of data collected and created everyday is exploding at a rapidly accelerating rate and the visualization of that data – the ability to transform those raw numbers into something understandable and digestable – is swiftly becoming a great tool and asset. Enter, Visual.ly, a socially enabled community site spearheaded by a team of partners like GOOD Magazine, CNN, Hyperakt and more, designed to create a space for designers to share, discuss and view infographics from all over the world.

Visit Visual.ly here. And also, check out this great interview iDsgn conducted with Hyperakt’s Josh Smith here about the good (and evils) of infographics. 

Google cleans up their act

new Google homepage

new Gmail theme

new Google+ Circles UI

I’ll just come right out and say it, Google is ugly. As a designer that prides himself on creating, developing and using beautiful things, having to search, or check mail, or find a cafe’s phone number through any of Google’s multi-tentacled omnicorp products over the years has been wince inducing. In some ways, Google’s interfaces, designs and layouts are almost mirrors to the very brand and logo itself – ubiquitous, utilitarian, but hardly attractive.

Read more after the jump.

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Relaunched: AIGA website

Not exactly “breaking news” but AIGA, the nation’s largest organization devoted to the profession of design, recently relaunched and redesigned their website and it’s a radical departure for a somewhat staid institution. Adopting the ever more popular website style I refer to as “Chinese Buffet”, the AIGA site no longer has a traditional flow or “above the fold” content layout, but a scalable column system of multiple content boxes and “ads” that shift position depending on the size of your browser. It’s a layout and design that could look disastrous, cluttered and unfocused in the wrong hands, but AIGA wisely and subtly creates hierarchy and order amidst the chaos, especially in the nice touches of blog-style tags and categories, and greying out certain columns of information that only become more apparent when scrolled over, leading your wandering eyes in a more curated way.

It’s not a perfect design, but it’s a great evolutionary step for a web presence devoted to the multitudes of graphic arts and creativity. I personally hate when you maximize your browser window to take full advantage of the reshuffling tiles, only to scroll down to find certain columns are exceedingly and inexplicably longer than others. But it’s a minor quibble that could easily be fixed by allowing all the tiles to reshuffle freely.

This buffet style of web design, where you pick and choose what content to access and what to avoid is not for everyone, but for AIGA, an organization devoted to the visual craft of design and it’s myriad forms and developments, it’s a great opportunity to showcase lots of talent, events, and social activity that can keep you educated and entertained long after a more traditional layout would have.

Visit the new AIGA website here.

Well Designed: Newswordy.com

The fine folks at idsgn have launched a new website, Newswordy, which is best left to them to describe:

“Buzzwords are frequently used in news media. These are words that do not typically occur in everyday speech, but are common among newscasters, talking heads, and pundits on cable news. Every weekday, Newswordy will celebrate one of these words.”

With a simple, wonderfully scalable, 3 column grid and a minimal hierarchy, Newswordy posts are easily digestible but also rich in content. Given examples lead to original sources and there’s even a column devoted to the use of the weekly word in everyday Twitter feeds. The typography is clean and the design is crisp and to the point. I even love the rotating full field color palette to add a nice change of environment with each post.

Visit Newswordy here.