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The Blog

22
May

Interview : Retro ❤️ Newt T-Shirts Designed for Documentary, ‘Love Notes to Newton’

Republished from interview with Noah Leon, Moosefuel Media

Frank Orlando (Visual & Auditory Communicator, Public Speaker, Community organizer, Geek) will be joining us to create the graphics for the campaign and also for the film . We had a quick interview with Frank yesterday to find out a bit of his motivation for partnering with us for this project:

So Frank, tell me how you found out about Newton.
Back the early 90s, I spent a few years as a mural artist, mainly working in the local mall. There was a generic computer store there that had a display of the original. I still remember how blown away I was seeing a portable computer that seemed to do everything. What a contrast to all the other enormous beige blocks that were computers back then. One thing was clear to me was the complete lack of respect that store had for the Newton. My interpretation was they did not understand the level of what it could do and treated it as if it was a toy. It also was possibly because I had returned repeatedly to ask for specs, ask endless questions and request to play with it.

What was so great about Newton?
The Newton was the first time I thought about the concept of device convergence. The idea that a single device could hold all your information, be able to be productive, run business applications, and be entertaining, all in a small package. Back then the idea of a PDA, personal digital assistant, sounded too futuristic to be true. I was blown away that the Newton looked and behaved a hell of a lot like a Hitchhikers Guide Book. Which if I am completely honest with myself, it was what I really wanted it for. I am sure I am not the only person who wanted to put, ‘Don’t Panic’, in large, friendly letters on the cover.

What inspired your designs?
Part of my love of the Newton is the modular design. You really feel the device in your hands when you use it, the weight, it is a tactile experience. Part of that tactile experience is working with all the bits and pieces that come along with you. Anyone who has lived with the Newton knows it has an eco system of its own. I wanted to show that in these illustrations as a nod to that workflow of swapping cards and cables. A beautiful mess.
There is a sameness to portable designs these days, slabs and wafers of tinted metal. While beautiful in their own way, to me there is something human missing from the design. While there are ebbs and flows to product design I hope there is a return to the lines and curves of the Newton.

Why is this project special to you?
The Newton is one part of a greater love I have for old technology. Specifically, portables, like PDAs and laptops. I’ve been a collector for a long time and share that love with my close friends. Right now, we have an unprecedented amount of power in both our portable computers and in the palm of our hands with our phones. It boggles the mind on how far we’ve come in 20 years since the Newton was introduced. But to see that these devices, are truly the grandfather to the world as we know it now.

Click here to see all the designs

https://www.facebook.com/lovenotestonewton/videos/1325148564205120/

18
May

CD Heaven reborn after 20 years

Here’s to the local shops. Those brave enough to risk everything for the love of what they do. Especially those who never give up and who are not afraid to reinvent themselves. We love you all.

Exciting changes happening at Dartmouth Shopping Centre @MattatallSigns @orlandomediaco — at Renegade Records.

19
Jun

Restore Dartmouth

It’s no secret how I feel about our beloved City of Lakes. When I moved here 20 years ago I saw Dartmouth as nothing more than a suburb of Halifax. Dartmouth, or as I was told repeatably, “The Dark side, was a dirty, crime-filled place to be avoided”. As someone who lived there, I didn’t understand this negative attitude nor agree with this description. We have come so far as a community and there is a distinct difference between life on this side of the harbour.

Dartmouth is not just a city name. It’s a distinctive community. Now it’s important to note that I love Halifax. This isn’t about bashing the city as a whole, but to acknowledge and keep a strong identity intact. The H/\LIF/\X branding has been the catalyst for this movement. Seeing it sloppily tacked at the top of the Sullivan’s Pond Community Board did not sit well with me. And obviously not with many of you as well.

Let’s show this city that we love Dartmouth. That we want to keep our identity.
Hashtag #RestoreDartmouth and let the city know how you feel!

– Frank

How to show your support

Sign the online petition!

https://www.change.org/p/halifax-council-restore-the-name-dartmouth-ac23713a-9dd7-43dd-b79d-ae0cff841915
(Shout out to the Facebook group We Love Dartmouth for starting this petition)

Contact – Councillor Gloria McCluskey
http://www.halifax.ca/district05/contact.php
Contact – Mayor Mike Savage
http://www.halifax.ca/mayor/Contact.php

Print and display your Restore Dartmouth POSTER

RestoreDartmouth-POSTER-LIVE (Downloadable PDF)
RestoreDartmouth-POSTER-WORK (Downloadable PDF)
RestoreDartmouth-POSTER-ALWAYS (Downloadable PDF)
RestoreDartmouth-POSTER-INCLUDES (Downloadable PDF)

RestoreDartmouth-POSTER-LIVERestoreDartmouth-POSTER-WORKRestoreDartmouth-POSTER-ALWAYSRestoreDartmouth-POSTER-INCLUDES

Change your profile pic

(Click and select ‘Save Image As..’ to save to your computer)
RestoreDartmouth-Social-icon-work RestoreDartmouth-Social-icon-always
RestoreDartmouth-Social-icon-includes

 

What’s been said

Chronicle Herald – Petition: This is Dartmouth, not Halifax
http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1293155-petition-this-is-dartmouth-not-halifax

News 95.7 -Online petition wants ‘Dartmouth’ name restored
http://www.news957.com/2015/06/08/online-petition-wants-dartmouth-name-restored/

The Coast – 5 things you need to know Monday
http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2015/06/15/5-things-you-need-to-know-monday

CTV Atlantic – Sign Storm
http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=630067

METRONEWS – ‘We worked hard to get what we have:’ councillor asks to have ‘Dartmouth’ restored to municipal signs
http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/1399010/we-worked-hard-to-get-what-we-have-councillor-asks-to-have-dartmouth-restored-on-municipal-signs/

GLOBAL NEWS Jun 16th – City councilors are being asked to restore Dartmouth’s name
http://globalnews.ca/video/2058383/city-councilors-are-being-asked-to-restore-dartmouths-name/

SOUNDCLOUD cas-31 jun 18 – #RestoreDartmouth: Is Dartmouth losing its identity in Halifax rebranding?
https://soundcloud.com/cas-31/restoredartmouth-is-dartmouth-losing-its-identity-in-halifax-rebranding

Global News June 17th Restore Dartmouth

 

Social-verse

28
May

Sweet Release Kit

Shout out to Stacey Cayea of Sugar Shok, Treat Boutique for producing our free giveaways for the Behance event put on by E3Chalifax.ca. Remember to #joyresponsibly  http://e3chalifax.ca/a-look-back-at-the-behance-portfolio-review-night/

 

26
Jul

4 marks of a successful relationship with your creative

Image: Personal experience may not match as described, individual results may vary, may not be as pictured, offer not valid in some territories. Limits may apply. Only while in stock.
Finding the right fit with a creative can be a daunting task. But if you ask yourself these four essential questions you can find and build a lasting relationship that will be an asset to your company.

 

Do they understand your industry? No matter if your needs are marketing, design, or writing, your creative team needs to know your target audience. They need to have a clear understanding of your competitors and the world in which you exist, to be truly effective.

Do they keep up with your requirements?  Taking the time to clearly define your needs and deliver is essential. If you are unclear of what is being delivered before you begin, it can spell disaster with ‘scope creep’, which could mean disaster for both your project and pocketbook.

Have you learned anything new today? Let me be frank (pun intended). No one knows it all. However you need to trust in your creative to have your best interests at heart. Learning to trust in your creative team may be difficult at first. Often times this requires going outside your ‘comfort zone’. Of course common sense should prevail. If you are in a relationship that feels wrong, it probably is. It may be time to shop around.

Can we talk? This one will sound pretty obvious but when was the last time you really talked to your creative? Does it seem like once you sign off on your mockups you’re left wondering what’s up. There should be an open and clear ongoing discussion on progress that is tailored to your needs. If you’re constantly wondering what is up then perhaps you should move to greener pastures.

26
Jun

5 Effective Steps to Losing a Customer : Scenario 6b

We here at Phizr-Mannon-Cybnot-Enrom: Food Services and Animal Waste Removal Division, FSAWRD, know the value of customer turnover. We have put these steps together to ensure a customer’s lasting and distasteful view of our brand. Studies have shown a 89% adoption rate of customer abandonment which is a 46% increase from the previous quarterly reports. Be aware that there is still a 68% apathy return rate after a 6 month separation. Generally we have found that no matter how effective this technique is applied, some customers still return due to, “Pizza fatigue syndrome”. A consistent use of this technique must be applied at every customer contact to ensure maximum egress.

1. Receive order from customer: There are effective ways for taking an order incorrectly. This is an essential first step, be sure to place the customer on hold multiple times without asking through out the order process to ensure errors.

we suggest hiring males over females as preteen males have the least amount of charisma and problem solving ability

2. Irritate the customer: This is easier than it seems. But here are some examples of how to accomplish said irritation. Use drivers that are sloppy, have them crush the food so that it is mostly stuck to the roof of the box. Also a solid technique is not to deliver what they order. Pay special attention to food types, requested extras and sauces. The more you ignore the more effective you will be at angering the customer.

3. Hire tweens as management: To minimize your overhead be sure to hire children as young as possible. Put them in management roles. Special tip: If you skip training them you will save additional payroll costs! Be careful within the hiring process. While this cannot be policy we suggest, hiring males over females, as preteen males have the least amount of charisma and problem solving ability. By hiring a female preteen you may inadvertently end up with a well spoken problem solver who will present much older. This could be disastrous as they could diffuse an otherwise perfect customer loss.

4. Blame game: Remember to execute this step correctly you must ensure the order is completely wrong, at least 4 errors minimum. See step 2. Hopefully, if you’ve follow the previous steps correctly, you will have an irate call incoming from the customer. This is an opportunity where your first responders, see step 1, can drive up the irritation level before the hand off to management. If you follow our provided script for escalation #3471a ” A manager should adopt an indignant tone that include phrases like, ” What do you think you got?!” and “Nah we sent it right”. Be sure to deliver these lines with attitude!

5. Follow through: To ensure the customer reaches the level of anger, be sure not to offer a refund on the spot. Instead, always offer to resend the order. This is a excellent way to start the process over. Be sure to repeat steps 1 through 4. If by some chance a second or third attempt is necessary, simply increase delivery time. This will ensure ‘apathy/fatigue’ in the customer, which will break the order correction cycle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A perfect finish to the customer experience is to demand the incorrect order is returned untouched. If challenged, use script response #8b4f,”it’s policy”. This response alone is an exceptional technique to close the client relationship. Repeated use is recommended. Be sure to insinuate that the customer is trying to get free food and/or feed their oversized family for free. Making a customer wait for an additional hour with partially edible food within reach can increase rage considerably. Families with children are especially effected by this technique.

Any helpful or professional connection with the client at any part of the process will retain the customer. Stay the course, use rudeness, be cheap and follow these steps to ensure customer loss!

Remember Phizr-Mannon-Cybnot-Enrom: Food Services and Animal Waste Removal Division, FSAWRD‘s  motto! , “There are other customers, next!”

02
Jun

An e-waste joint : “Brick in a sock” for iPad by Crap Inc.

An innovative company focusing exclusively on Apple products, Crap Inc. has an excellent reputation for producing quality products. Among the top of their creative items are the Plastica cover 3000, Shelf-o-matic for iMac, and now the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand.

Crap Inc. relentlessly launches new products to market, their items are well-designed to be obsolete within moments of new product releases and exemplify a keen eye for making the most money with the cheapest materials known to man.  With less than four employees, they take the extra effort to ensure each of their products is an absolute must-have item.  Each product is carefully crafted and produced in an exceptional way, even down to the packaging. The iPad Brick-in-a-sock for iPad stand is one fine example of Crap Inc’s innovative prowess.

P1010027-720x260

When holding the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand from the included cotton-poly-blend travel sleeve, it is merely four inches tall and nine inches long.  The compact size makes it easily portable in a backpack, handbag, or purse and once you use the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand, you will want to take it everywhere.  Placing the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand on any flat, level surface cradles the iPad at the perfect viewing angle; however, this angle is not adjustable.

Design and Function

Plain and simple: the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand sits sturdy on any desk for displaying, using, or viewing your iPad.

The iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand orientation easily accommodates the iPad in portrait or landscape and works well for FaceTime conversations, Keynote presentations, playing your favorite games, or showing off your recent vacation pictures.  If you will be using the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand to type, simply lay your iPad on the edge and away you go.

socks

Would you like a fashionable way to show off a set of pictures for company? Use the easel mode and iPhoto to loop images when friends and family visit. …better yet, prop up your iPad and stream music to your stereo using AirPlay and let your Album art generate conversation.

Comes in argyle, geriatric charcoal and gym sock

Honestly, you didn’t know you needed a stand until you own one.  I love iPhone and iPad stands (I have several scattered across the house and in the office) and the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand is at the top of long list.

Conclusion

Rating: 4.5/5

Finely crafted, portable, versatile, durable, sturdy, and stylish, the iPad Brick-in-a-sock ($89.99) is a must-have iPad accessory.  Stop haphazardly laying your iPad around the home and place it lovingly in the cradled arms of the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand.  This small addition to my accessory arsenal will be traveling with me throughout the summer and making life easier on a daily basis.

If you do not currently own an iPad stand or are determining whether or not to purchase one, be assured the iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand is the only stand you need to consider, that or just lean it on whatever is laying around your desk.  Crap Inc. has truly completed their mission to produce a must-have Apple accessory.

Pros

• Particularly portable
• Comes with its own travel sleeve
• Sock prevents scratching
• Forged from brick
• Stylish, practical, comes in argyle, geriatric charcoal and gym sock
• Eco friendly, made from natural materials

Cons

• The viewing angle is not adjustable
• It is a brick stuffed into a sock for $89.99

 

Reality Check

This is what happens when you do a find and replace on any article extolling the virtues of one of the million of the over designed and over priced i-accessories. Come on folks, when are we going to wake up a realize we don’t need to pay $100 for $1 worth of aircraft aluminum bent into an odd shape. Use your brain, keep your money.

And remember, you can build your own iPad Brick-in-a-sock stand yourself! Just send me $29.99 for your kit today! Includes sock AND brick! Shipping not included.

Photo source

 

27
May

It’s all just flash to me

There was a time when Flash impressed me with its’ amazing ability to render clean, scalable animation with an insanely low footprint. For me it all started with Future Splash a little independent app that competed with Macromedia’s Shockwave. The days when we measured a web page by kilobytes, carefully calculating if we would go over 40kb. That pesky bandwidth was so limited. Here was a tool that gave us access to beautiful glorious animation with only a plugin to consider. It was a no-brainer. Flash was incredible.

First let me say this. I don’t give a tinkers-cuss about what Steve Jobs says on the subject. I don’t care about his motives, I don’t care how it hurts Shantanu Narayen and Adobe. All I care about is the user experience.

‘Flash-forward’ 15 years later.

First let me say this. I don’t give a tinkers-cuss about what Steve Jobs says on the subject. I don’t care about his motives, I don’t care how it hurts Shantanu Narayen and Adobe. All I care about is the user experience.

Today I loath Flash. It’s slow. I hate the way my machine literally whines when a page loads. I hate that the only time my browser locks up is when it has something to do with Flash. I hate that clients still have this fascination with splash screens and bouncing logos. Give me content. Let me read it the way I want to read it. Flash started as an animation tool and has bloated into a platform that does not lend well to mobile devices.

A last word. If Adobe does trim it down, clean it up, optimize etc. etc. I’ll surely give it another glance. But for now I’ll enjoy its demise.

19
May

Apple’s ‘One more thing’ culture

After months of giddy waiting the next iOS update is finally here. Yesterday I dutifully upgraded my iTunes, started the morning by setting up iCloud online, by lunch installed the significant upgrade to Lion. Waiting patiently for the end of the day when the iOS finally launched. Laugh if you want but I really don’t see myself as an Apple fanboy, I like to think of myself as a device junkie. I don’t care who makes the software or hardware, if it’s something I want to play with, I’m all in.

Over these months I read article after article about the amazing features of amazing gadgetry which will propel my current devices into fresh new toys to play with. I wasn’t concerned about compatibility as I was only about 6 months behind the tech curve for hardware. Hell, the oldest device I owned was an iPad 1 which was a Christmas acquisition. I complete my install of iOS on iPhone and iPad and away I go.

Why no camera in the first generation iPad? Why can’t I sync music to video with the Airport Express? Why can’t I play any type of video file on the AppleTV? Why can I not use multitouch gestures on my 8 month old iPad?

Well it’s officially 2 hours in to playtime when, what I like to call, ‘the Apple effect’ kicked in. This effect can be identified by the discovery that things are missing, that something is not right. Specifically the removal of multitouch functionality from the original iPad. You may not even know what I am referring to. Multitouch is a function that allows the user to use the swipe of fingers across the screen surface, called gestures, to move between apps, close screens , pinch and zoom into text or photos. It’s an extremely handy bit of interface interactivity that I assure you once you use it you will wonder what you did before.

This function was a planned addition in an earlier iOS that was never enabled, most likely held back for the next release. In fact if you do a little online scrounging and have an i-device still running ios4 you can enable it and use it freely. I was one of those folks that had to give it a try and with little effort and had it working in less than 30 minutes seamlessly.

This brings me to THIS version No gestures. After futzing with settings, searching online for answers, I finally found the answer. Apple disabled this functionality. But only on the iPad 1. For iPad 2 owners, no problem.

Why? My device is certainly powerful enough to use it, it’s not like a new feature like the voice control AI that would need the latest processor. It’s a simple interface control that has made my user experience even better. But it’s been disabled. Let me say that again. Disabled. Its actually there on my device right now, hidden from view because of a marketing decision to make me want to upgrade my device. I could enable it by jail breaking and hacking my iPad. But I don’t want to do that. Why should I be forced to void my warranty to let me use a function?

I know gestures work on my iPad 1. Period. Give me that feature. Don’t restrict me from its use because you are trying to force me to buy the next device. When this iPad wears out I’ll be there with card in hand to get the next iPad but don’t mess with me now when I literally have the one model previous.

Control. They want us to buy the next device. They want us to need it. Salivate for it.

This brings me to Apple’s ‘one more thing’ culture. Made famous by the man himself Steve Jobs. Always dazzling us with that one more feature, that one more device that we scramble for. But what Apple users don’t talk about is that one little thing we do not care to admit pops up. That, ‘I was expecting it to at least do this’ feature that is left out, that as lovers of this wonderful tech accept again and again, because we know what we are getting is so far ahead of the rest of what is out there we make exception. Why no camera in the iPad? Why can’t I sync music to video with the Airport Express? Why can’t I play any type of video file on the AppleTV? Why can I not use multitouch gestures on my 8 month old iPad?

I’ll tell you why. Control. They want us to buy the next device. They want us to need it. Salivate for it. Waiting, hoping the next one will have that ‘one more thing’ that feature we should have had but didn’t get. They spoil us with these wonderful devices, but hold back just enough to keep us coming back. Brilliant.

16
May

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tablet

A student of mine recently approached me with some questions about using an iPad in my creative practice. Being an active user I accepted and this article reflects the responses I presented to her. I think it is important to understand that even though I am talking about a specific product, an Apple iPad, I believe that my answers would be similar about any tablet-like device that shares a similar form-factor and functionality.

So, how has the iPad changed my working environment? For me personally, the impact has been tremendous on several fronts.

Peace of mind
While the ipad is an expensive piece of hardware, it is a fraction of the cost of a laptop and my stress level of loss / theft is greatly reduced. Data loss is not a concern as the very nature of the iPad is based on syncing. I am ensured of never losing anything as there are always copies of data at home base.

 So, How has the iPad changed my working environment? For me personally, the impact has been tremendous on several fronts.

Presentation
The device has completely replaced my need to carry a laptop with me at all times. This is huge. Whether showing live sites or static mockups, the iPad works well for client pitches. It plays well as a one on one intimate presentation or connects to projectors for a group. Love this.

Note taking
This is a big one. I am a note taker. In meetings, traditionally, I jotted down scratch notes and then transcribed them when I returned to my office. Now this all happens direct. Notes, and URLs are saved directly, electronically, without the need for transcribing. It has halved the time in which I spent writing and trying to translate my own notes. Also these notes are available on all my devices instantly. Meaning anywhere I have internet I have my notes without the need to sync, transfer, or remembering to copy over by USB stick.

Testing
I often use my iPad as a test device to check out page and mockup design. Something about the small screen and the ability to leave the office environment provides me with a way to objectively look at creative in a different window. It is also a great way to get fast feedback from another team member or client with the hassle of printing or directing individuals to an online space. It’s stress free to just hand someone a screen and say, ‘look at this’, than the tedious, ‘OK, open your browser, go to XYZ.com/mockup0983/~34.php’. I am a lover of collaboration and this device is made for it.

 

How the iPad has failed in my production environment

I think I’ve covered the positives but here are some negatives.

This past year 4 iPads were purchased for my studio, with the intention that they would be floated out for note taking, and client presentations. What has happened was a surprise to me. No one uses them.

Production
While the device does content collection, delivery, display and presentation perfectly, it fails miserably on content editing. I have apps that do allow minor edits to blogs, or a quick edit to a photo. But I have yet to find a way, beyond note taking to add my ipad to the production work flow.

Adoption
This past year 4 iPads were purchased for my office, with the intention that they would be floated out  for note taking, and client presentations. What has happened was a surprise to me. No one uses them. They sit collecting dust on their docks. There are only three people who use iPads daily in their workflows in the office, and I know why. Ownership. No one else owns an iPad. There is a direct correlation between use and ownership. I am unsure if the issue is the fear of breaking the device or the lack of adoption of new work flows. Either way the iPads are not being used.

 

The future of the iPad and it’s role in creative working environments

Future thoughts
I think the future is pretty bright. With each iOS update there seems to be a move in the right direction. Copy and paste, gesture control, increase format support, iMessage, vastly improved calendar and mail apps. These all make the iPad a more effective stand-alone device. For me, as long as they work toward making it easier to edit content than just display it, that the device will have a future.

 I want more screen, I use my device on a surface most of the time, so carrying is not an issue. A larger device would improve my user experience overall.

The market is so new no one truly knows the limits of what this new device will offer. There are hundreds of tablets being added everyday without an understanding of the user base. Right now manufacturers simply know they have to get a tablet of their own in the marketplace but are not sure why.

Save a tree
The dream of a paperless office is a nice one and a promise made as far back of when the Macintosh was invented. The tablet form factor is the first device that has a chance of making a dent towards a paperless environment.

Wants and needs
Specifically in creative terms there are two improvements in the technology I would adopt immediately.

Bigger is better. Right now the ipad is 9.7inches or something like that. I want a bigger device. The public, mostly consumer, is talking about smaller devices, 7 inches. A halfway point between the iPad and the iPhone/iTouch. This is useless to me. I want more screen, I use my device on a surface most of the time, so carrying is not an issue. A larger device would improve my user experience overall.

Somehow I want my iPad to double as a drawing tablet. I’ve purchased a few stylus and have not yet found it to be a sensitive enough screen to get a result I want. A larger screen would improve this. Apparently the third iPad will have a retina resolution screen that could improve the drawing experience.