After graduating from VFS Digital Design last May and spending the summer in Israel, I moved to Toronto to begin my career as an Interactive Designer. In late November, I began a four-month internship with Tribal DDB Toronto as an Information Architect Intern.
The first thing I learned from this experience is that, while in school I was able to play many different roles—communication designer, information architect, strategist, front-end developer—in an agency like Tribal DDB, every member of the team has a unique role. And while there is overlap, collaboration between people with different areas of expertise and perspectives—designers, developers, IAs, strategists, copywriters—plays a huge part in making great digital experiences.
Recently, while looking for brand identity inspiration on Lovely Stationery, I came across several unique identity designs that share a common theme. They use rubber stamps or, in one case, printed tape, to allow “on-demand” stationery creation using whatever paper is available. The Wild Olive identity uses a roll of printed red tape that can be applied to virtually anything. Playground Studio’s identity uses two rubber stamps to create stationery materials using widely available recycled color papers. The designer notes that this concept, with its create-as-needed approach, is very environmentally friendly. Adam Hill’s identity also uses rubber stamps to create business cards from whatever spare cardstock is available. I love how these identities preserve the imperfections of analog processes. Each piece is slightly different and feels hand-crafted.
When I’m looking for interactive design inspiration, I frequently find myself visiting one particular site. The Creative Applications Network is a blog with daily posts showcasing innovative and often experimental applications developed for the web, desktop, and mobile spaces. Some of the projects integrate physical objects or immerse installations. Many of the applications are developed in Processing, OpenFrameworks, Arduino, or other open source or commercial packages that make it relatively easy for designers to get started with creative coding. A lot of the content is of a more exploratory and experimental nature.
The site also features reviews of books and info about events relating to the field. Two books that I first encountered on the site and have found to be of value are Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture and Matt Pearson’s Generative Art. The former is a visual survey of the history and techniques using code for creative exploration and visual expression. The latter is a practical guide to creating captivating visuals algorithmically.
I find this kind of work incredibly exciting and it’s really inspiring to see some of the impressive work that’s being produced in this space.