Category Archives: Graphic design

Designing UX for wearables

Bus O'Clock for Apple Watch / Sennep, 2015

Bus O’Clock for Apple Watch / Sennep, 2015

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, Apple have now released WatchKit so that developers can begin building apps for the Apple Watch, due to be released next spring. Here at Sennep we’ve already begun work on adapting our popular iOS app Bus O’Clock for the wrist, and so far it’s proving an interesting challenge! It’s the first time I’ve ever had to design something for such a ridiculously small area – it really forces you consider what information is crucial to the user, and when they should see it. In some ways it’s enjoyable being so ruthless. Hopefully the app should be fun to use and really useful… we’re looking forward to seeing it take shape next year!

Check out the teaser video now

Tom Pigeon

Tom Pigeon / 2014

P_NIGHT_1_Web_grande

TO_B_2_Web_grande

Tom Pigeon / 2014

Tom Pigeon is a creative studio founded by Pete & Kirsty Thomas earlier this year. I first saw their work at the Barbican’s Constructing Worlds exhibition, where they have some really nice architectural prints on sale. They also produce a range of lovingly-crafted products; including jewellery, stationery and prints.

They seem to be living the dream in a beautiful Scottish fishing village called Cellardyke, working out of an old fisherman’s hut. You can read about Cellardyke and how it informs their creative approach here.

 

Apple releases San Francisco typeface

San Francisco / Apple, 2014

San Francisco / Apple, 2014

With the announcement of the Apple Watch a few months ago, the type nerds among us noticed a serious new direction from Apple in terms of design & UI — a brand new typeface. It wasn’t Myriad (their corporate face since around 2000) or Helvetica (used throughout iOS since the iPhone launched in ’07). It looked a lot like the German classic DIN, but softer and friendlier. I quite liked it.

A few days ago they released WatchKit so that developers can start to prepare apps for when the watch is released early next year. Part of that kit contains a font called San Francisco, which comes in two versions, Display and Text, and plenty of weights per version. There are 23 variations in total. You can download them all here.

I have to credit Apple for finally doing what so many designers have called for in recent years – spending the time and effort to create a decent typeface, and one they can call their own. It’s obvious they’ve put a lot of effort into this one, adjusting the spacing as the font decreases in size, to maximise legibility on that tiny watch screen. It always bugged me that the iPhone and iOS never got the same treatment. I mean, Helvetica is fine, but it was designed in the 50s, It was never meant to be seen at just a few pixels tall.

I’m interested to see where they go from here. My main concern is that they just switched the system font in OS X to Helvetica, after 10+ years of Lucida Grande. I get that it brings the Mac more in-line with iOS, but it really doesn’t work that well at the tiny sizes a desktop OS demands, especially on a non-retina screen. With the release of San Francisco, they might find themselves in a bit of a muddle. 3 typefaces is definitely too many (and that’s without counting VAG which they still use on Mac keyboards…)

If it were up to me, I’d make sure San Francisco was absolutely perfect, then roll it out as the system font for all products – Watch, iOS, and Mac. (It’s worth noting that somebody’s already worked out how to replace Helvetica with SF on Yosemite). Then for branding and corporate communications, I’d definitely bin Myriad, it’s looking more tired than ever. Maybe SF could be the corporate face as well, although something with a slightly different flavour might complement it. Re-branding Apple, now there’s a fun project for my spare time.

As a side note, many have already pointed out that Apple released a typeface called San Francisco some 30 years ago. It was pretty cool.

San_Francisco_84

 

 

Manual — new site

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Various projects / Manual Creative, 2014

In my opinion, Tom Crabtree’s Manual Creative are amongst the very best studio’s in the world right now, consistently producing design of the highest standard. Today they launched a stunning, elegant new website, including some great new projects. Go and enjoy.

Project 33

Project 33

p33_souljazz_vol22

Project 33

Check out the blog Project 33 for some great vintage record covers

D&AD New Blood 2014

D&AD

It’s degree-show time of year, and I always like to keep a watchful eye on the latest creative talent emerging from the UK’s colleges. So I went down to check out D&AD New Blood this week; the show was held in Spitalfields Market – credit to the organisers for sorting a venue so easily accessible if you work in Shoreditch. Quite a change from 5 years ago, when I was exhibiting at the show myself, and it was held in Kensington Olympia!

Here’s my pick of some of the best students – the things that really stood out to me. This list is by no means exhaustive – I only spent 45 mins or an hour wandering the show, so I’m sure I didn’t see everything that was on offer. Overall I think the illustration work stood out to me more. There were some good designers there, but I left feeling more impressed by the image makers.

DESIGN

Colchester

Pietro MaranoPietro Marano

Pietro Marano‘s simple & elegant posters for the World Cup (above) caught my eye. As did the work of Greg Barrett (below), who catalogued every piece of letterpress type available at the college.

Greg BarrettGreg Barrett

Leeds

Abbas Mushtaq Abbas Mushtaq

The Leeds stand was really impressive, with this branding work for Wimbledon and the city of Brasilia, by Abbas Mushtaq, standing out. Also some nice stuff from Sam Lane (below), including branding for Wigan Little Theatre.

Sam Lane Sam Lane

Bath

Alex Lewis Alex Lewis

Great stuff from Alex Lewis including this album art for Secret 7″ and a nice fold-out poster for his personal dossier project.

ILLUSTRATION

Falmouth

David Doran

Absolutely stunning work by David Doran, who seems to be a consummate professional already, with commissions for Wired, The New York Times, Little White Lies, NoBrow, Computer Arts and plenty more under his belt.

UWE

Andy Carter

Andy Carter

Love this work from Andy Carter, fantastic use of colour and obviously a great sense of humour too.

Norwich

Tim Blann

Tim Blann

Lovely stuff from Tim Blann, crazy organic shapes and great use of colour.

Bath

Olivia Johnston

Really nice hand-drawn work from Bath’s Olivia Johnston. This guide to the city was particularly impressive, I’m trying to get a physical copy from her so if I do, I’ll post some more photos!

Lancashire

Sophie Heywood

Last but not least, nice colours and mark making from Sophie Heywood.

New bike posters

The 101st Tour De France / Tim George, 2014

The 101st Tour De France / Tim George, 2014

In case you hadn’t heard, the Tour de France is starting next week, in England! Say what?! The teams will be completing 3 stages in the UK, beginning in Yorkshire and finishing in London, before moving on to France. Exciting stuff!

To celebrate, Magnolia Box have got a brand new collection of bike-themed artwork for sale. I’m delighted to be a part of their selection, with 3 posters: my original “Life’s Better On Two Wheels” print, a new yellow edition to celebrate the Tour, and a BRAND NEW piece, shown above, depicting the teams taking part in this year’s race.

Thanks to James at Magnolia Box for sorting everything out. You can buy the prints now, and they’ll also be on display at Hoxton North in Harrogate from next week.

The 101st Tour De France / Tim George, 2014