August 18, 2009

TED Comes to Vancouver : Speaker Nominations for TEDxVan - Comments (10)


TED is a great conference format that is focused on the theme of ‘ideas worth spreading’ in technology, entertainment and design. Showcasing the brightest and coolest minds our times, TED is an all around impressive event that videotapes all their speakers and puts the videos up for free on their TED talks list. They really stand behind their principles of sharing ideas, even if people are unable to attend the highly anticipated TED event.

May 2, 2007

Burnkit Website Reboot Comments Off

Burnkit ReBootMy buddies over at Burnkit, the hottest web design and creative services firm in Vancouver, launched their new website today… and it’s smokin’. They are a part of a bunch of boutique design agencies that are participating in a web redesign contest called May 1st ReBoot.

The site features video embedded in Flash and lots of awesome photos of the Burnkit team and their stunning new offices in Railtown. I was honored to find upon clicking through the super creative ‘Team’ section of the site that a couple of my photos had been used on Jeremy Crowle’s profile. Swedish! I should probably also mention, that like any uber-hip new media outfit… they have their own Facebook group.

Solid work guys. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. :)

September 12, 2005

Sneak Preview of Drupal Flickr Module Comments Off

SillyGwaiLo is sitting here giving us a super sneak preview of the Drupal Flickr module he wrote this weekend (based on BorisSkype Drupal module by the way). This thing is very alpha… and very hot. Unlike other implemenations of Flickr/Drupal modules I’ve seen this one is multi-user… perfect for community sites!

It adds your flickr sets, photos, favorites or rss feed of tagged photos as a block to your Drupal site. It automagically sucks in all the data via XML from Flickr and displays it on your site. It also sucks your Flickr photos into your user profile on a Drupal site based on your NSID (Flickr user number). The top 5 photos from your photostream (or any site users) can be displayed at the top of your profile page. In addition, it can create a ‘photostream’ page on your site imported from your real-time photostream at Flickr. It can suck in anything from Flickr that is available via the API including all the metadata too like comments, favorites, EXIF data, upload times, etc etc.

Colin wrote some code for Backstage that publishes photos to Flickr from a Bryght or Drupal site. I think they’re going to work on integrating their stuff together this week. Cool stuff boys… will be exciting to work the bugs out and release the code. :)

May 22, 2005

New Website By Raincity Studios is Now Online Comments Off

Raincity Studios launched their new company website and blog today. Mark Yuasa and the rest of the crew worked on the design of another site I’ve been developing and now have a beauty of their own too. If you are looking for custom web design or themes for blogs and content management systems you should think about hiring them. Thanks for the help getting off the ground boys!

New Website Completed: 2010 Daily Vancouver is Now Online

RCS completed this week the design of, a dynamic website providing information on the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.

From Raincity Studios New Media Design blogs (feed)
See also links to this feed and more from this feed

[Vancouver Winter Olympics on Feedster]

Pantone’s Hot Colors for 2005 Comments Off

The top 10 “new” hot colors according to the Pantone Color Institute.

Pantone's Hot Colors for 2005

Pantone’s Forecast: Saturated color has made a splashy comeback, but to stay ahead of trends for everything from sofas to soup plates, you need to follow fashion. Turns out home furnishings and housewares take their cues from the garment industry in deciding on their palettes. We’ll help you get a jump with the top 10 new hues, according to the Pantone Color Institute. Gloxinia? Glazed ginger? You can’t make this stuff up.

(via 37Signals)

May 15, 2005

I Bought a New (Used) Film Camera – Canon EOS 100 Comments Off

Against the advice and pleadings of many of my friends, I went out and bought a new film camera this weekend. I figured now that I’m carrying around some nice Canon lens‘, it makes sense to stick one of them on a backup body and have a 2nd camera. I like the idea of loading it with black and white and taking just a few shots with it here and there. I also like it ’cause it slows me down in my picture taking and makes me think about the basic mechanicals more. I don’t like the fact that I can’t see my image right away. I have trouble learning from my mistakes when you introduce the time lag from when you take the image to when you get it back developed and can critique it. Anyway, there are way more pros than cons and I’m having a blast already. Here’s a couple shots from my first roll.






May 12, 2005

From Pirate Dwarves to Ninja Elves… ( Comments Off

I have always considered the profound distinction between ninjas and pirates to be an absolute one. One was either ninja or pirate – there were no inbetweens.

May 11, 2005

The Standard: Site Launch: Just A Gwai Lo Comments Off

The new Raincity design for Just a Gwai Lo is up.

May 2, 2005

POLL: What Do You Think of Ilanaaq, Vancouver 2010’s New Winter Olympic Logo? Comments Off

May 1, 2005

Drupal Theme Designer and Developers Comments Off

2nd or 3rd post I’ve seen this week looking to hire designers that know how to build XHTML/CSS templates for Drupal.

Get in touch with me if you want to do design, theme, template, or development work for Bryght clients on the Drupal platform… I have more demand for service than qualified people.

April 27, 2005

Conversation with Vancouver 2010 Logo Designer, Gonzalo Alatorre Comments Off

I also posted this on another blog that I write,

If you only read the newspapers and watched the news you may have thought that the 2010 Vancouver Olympics logo was developed solely by Elena Rivera MacGregor, owner and principle of Rivera Design Group who was mentioned several times as the logo’s designer in mainstream coverage of the launch. Today, I had a chance to talk with Gonzalo Alatorre currently of Evolutionary Images and Advertising about his role in the process of developing Ilanaaq, the emblem for the upcoming 2010 Olympic.

Official documents listed Alatorre as the designer, who was an employee of Rivera Design Group at the time of the logo’s development. However, in the days since Imagine 2010 and the logo launch most media outlets have focused their attention on Rivera MacGregor. In fact I’ve seen several whole articles that don’t even mention Alatore’s name. I called Alatorre today to find out what his role in the project was and how he felt about the media’s focus on Elena Rivera as the creator of the emblem.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Logo Designer Gonzalo Alatorre

Gonzalo told me that the concept for the emblem was ‘independently developed’ by both Alatorre and Rivera simultaneously. Alatorre started with some mockups that he ran by Elena who was working with him on the project in the role of Project Manager and Creative Director. Alatorre’s idea was to create an identity that was representative of his experience as an immigrant to Canada with a specific focus on the first few years as he was learning the culture and people. He used the words warm and welcoming to describe the people and attempted to capture that spirit in his work.

He reviewed the designs with Rivera and she said that in principal they synced up with some thoughts she had been working on too and wanted to see if he could work some Haida elements and style into the concepts. Alatorre recalled that specific references to tribes and cultures such as the Haida were prohibited for some reason by the rules of the VANOC emblem design contest and after exploring design in that direction decided not to go that route.

”The media focus on Elena as the designer caught me by surprise. I was not very pleased that the media seemed to be ignoring my name. Especially in the first 3 days after Imagine 2010. But I’ve talked (with her) about it and she’s assured me she’s mentioning my name whenever she has conversations about the design and the process. It’s difficult to control the way the media and press tell a story and I was definitely a little surprised. But I get proper credit because I get to put the work in my portfolio and at the end of the day the people who matter know that I did it. It has become a bit of negative experience since the launch, but the process of developing the logo and having a shot at designing the Olympic logo and winning makes it a good experience and worth it.”

UPDATED: I just got a call from Gonzalo who saw this article today and got in touch to with me to say thanks and to let me know I got one thing wrong. It wasn’t the VANOC rules that prevented the the integration of Haida influence and style into Alatorre’s original concepts, but instead tribal rules that prohibit those who are not of Haida ancestry from working with the sacred Haida designs and symbols. Thanks Gonzalo for the correction, it’s been great talking to you and getting to know you through the process of pulling this together, and I wish you the best!

April 25, 2005

The Home Page is Dead – Every Page is a Hub and Portal to All Others Comments Off

The home page — where Web designers and editors have for so long poured much of their effort is no longer the be-all, end-all. You to pay serious attention page, course, but equally important these days template used article pages.

BOULDER, Colo. (April 22, 2005) — It’s a trend that’s been a long time in coming: More and more people bypass news Web sites’ home and section pages, instead entering a site at the article-page (or “inside-page”) level.

The home page — where Web designers and editors have for so long poured so much of their effort — is no longer the be-all, end-all. You have to pay serious attention to the home page, of course, but equally important these days is the template used for article pages.

April 23, 2005

Ilanaaq – The Emblem for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Comments Off

Ilanaaq, the emblem for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, was unveiled tonight at Imagine 2010 in Vancouver.

Ilanaaq the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Logo

What do you think of the mark? Love it? Don’t? Leave a comment! The press release states that it’s a symbol of friendship, hospitality, strength and teamwork. My intial reaction was that I really like it. The colors work for me and it’s shape is nice, but I find her head a little funny. I also think she works better small than large. She is very human tho and has a lot of personality.

Do you think it feels Canadian to you? One of the reporters at the press conference tonight complained that Canada had one chance at the Olympics and we already blew it by not using the maple leaf.

It’s a stylized version of a inukshuk, a traditional stone sculpture used by Canada’s Inuit people. Some people think it looks like a hockey goalie. Some people think it looks like the head is a internet chat icon.

Not a lot of logos have names, but this one is special. The word Ilanaaq is Inuit for friend. It’s pronounced (“ih-lah-nawk”).

The logo was designed by Rivera Design Group in Vancouver. (URL?) It was chosen from 1600 entries in a contest that was officially protested by the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada.

April 19, 2005

Target’s New Pill Bottle: Better Living Through Design Comments Off

The New York Post has a detailed design case study on Target’s new prescription bottle by Deborah Adler, a 29-year-old graphic designer whose ClearRx prescription-packaging system debuts May

How the pill bottle was remade—sensibly and beautifully.
“By the time an object, or an apartment, or a company hits the half-century mark, it’s usually been through a redesign or two. Yet the standard-issue amber-cast pharmacy pill bottle has remained virtually unchanged since it was pressed into service after the second World War. (A child-safety cap was added in the seventies.) An overhaul is finally coming, courtesy of Deborah Adler, a 29-year-old graphic designer whose ClearRx prescription-packaging system debuts at Target pharmacies May 1″.

(1) Easy I.D.

The name of the drug is printed on the top of the bottle, so it’s visible if kept in a drawer.

(2) Code red.
The red color of the bottle is Target’s signature— and a universal symbol for caution.

(3) Information hierarchy.
Adler divided the label into primary and secondary positions, separated by a horizontal line. The most important information (drug name, dosage, intake instructions) is placed above the line, and less important data (quantity, expiration date, doctor’s name) is positioned below.

(4) Upside down to save paper.
Klaus Rosburg, a Brooklyn-based industrial designer hired by Target, came up with an upside-down version that stands on its cap, so that the label can be wrapped around the top. Every piece of paper in the package adds up to one eight-and-a-half-by-fourteen-inch perforated sheet, which eliminates waste and makes life easier for pharmacists.

(5) Green is for Grandma.
Adler and Rosburg developed a system of six colored rubber rings that attach to the neck of the bottle. Family members choose their own identifying shade, so medications in a shared bathroom will never get mixed up.

(6) An info card that’s hard to lose.
A card with more detailed information on a drug (common uses, side effects) is now tucked behind the label. A separate, expanded patient-education sheet, designed by Adler, comes with three holes so it can be saved in a binder for reference.

(7) Take “daily.”
Adler avoided using the word once on the label, since it means eleven in Spanish.

(8) Clear warnings.
Adler decided that many of the existing warning symbols stuck on pill bottles don’t make much sense—the sign for “take on an empty stomach,” for instance, looked like a gas tank to her—so together with graphic designer Milton Glaser, for whom she now works, she revamped the 25 most important.

Link via Core77.

April 18, 2005

Use of the Title ‘Web Designer’ – What’s in a Name? Comments Off

Most mature industries have pretty fixed job titles and roles. Because the web design industry is pretty new – practically it’s about 10 years old – we are still in the process of defining our roles.

Adobe Buys Macromedia for 3.4 Billion Dollars Comments Off

Adobe Aquires Macromedia for Billions and Billions of DollarsYay for standardized design and develpment tools! This is big news. I’m actually really suprised that they didn’t do this sooner. I bet they’ve been trying for a while. I was always hoping the lil guy would get lucky and that Macromedia could find a way to swallow up Adobe.

“Computer document company Adobe Systems said on Monday it agreed to buy multimedia software firm Macromedia for about $3.4 billion in stock, a move designed to extend its lead in the market for creating and distributing digital documents.”

3 cheers for the Macromedia team. You sure gave them a run for their money for a while. :) Thx for the link Sxates.

So this leaves us with one company owning A BUNCH of overlapping design tools. Which product should they keep and which one should the ditch?

Illustrator or Freehand?
GoLive or Dreamweaver?
ImageReady or Fireworks?
LiveMotion or Flash?

Personally, I’ll take the new Adobe MX CS featuring Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Here is Adobe’s press release: Adobe and Macromedia
Here is Macromedia’s press release: Combined Company to Deliver Industry-Defining Technology Platform for Rich, Interactive Content

April 9, 2005

Eames Demetrious – The Keynote @ Industrial Designers Conference Comments Off

Last night I caught the keynote address by Eames Demetrious at the annual western conference of the Industrial Designers Society of America. Below are notes and a write-up by Stephanie Munson who is also blogging the event for Core77.

Eames Demetrios Keynote - Industrial Designers Society of America Western Conference Keynote

“The audience packs into the main auditorium at Emily Carr and are eager and ready to kick-off the conference with our keynote speaker, Eames Demetrious, who is the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames and Director of the Eames Office (since 1993). He is here to talk about the legacy of Charles and Ray Eames, and begins by stating their connection to enduring design – it is simply because of the enduring nature of the Eames’ designs themselves. Hard to argue with that.

April 8, 2005

IDSA Western Conference Kick-Off Reception Comments Off

Hey there. Well, we’re back in business with internet and power so no more excuses, eh? Here’s some of the first shots from tonight’s welcome reception sponsored by Alias.

Industrial Design Conference - Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Vancouver BC
This is the Alias illustration whiz I was telling you about in my previous post. This kid has mad skills!

Industrial Design Conference - Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Vancouver BC
See, told ya. He whipped this out in less than a minute.

Industrial Design Conference - Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Vancouver BC
Check out that printer in the bottom left hand of the image. That is a 3d modelling ‘printer’. It creates one off prototypes of anything you can model in 3d software. Amazing

Industrial Design Conference - Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Vancouver BC
This object is the color registration test print that this printer spits out to calibrate itself. Amazing.

Industrial Design Conference - Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Vancouver BC
More of the cool prototype objects that have been created with this 3d printer. You can have one for only $28,000. :)

I also met the other Core77 bloggers. They’re great. I hope I get a chance to kick it with them some before they head back home to America. :)

Minutes Before the IDSA Western Confernce Kick-Off Comments Off

Well, the wireless is sketchy, several hundred of us are sharing a couple power outlets, and we’re an hour behind schedule already…. but I’m stoked to be here nonetheless. Tonight is the kick-off of the Industrial Designers Society of America‘s annual western conference in Vancouver BC. I’m here at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design on Granville Island and the keynote will begin here any moment. I spent the afternoon walking around the campus, visiting the IDSA exhibit hall and chatting with other attendees.

Industrial Design Conference - Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Vancouver BC

The crowd seems to be made up of a lot of 3d modelers and illustrators and the hot booth is definitely the Alias/Wacom space where they have two 20inch Wacom tablet touch sensitive flat screen monitors running Alias’ special drawing software. It’s pretty hot. The artist who is demoing the gear is really good and can bust out a 3d sketch of nearly anything in about 10 seconds flat. Their booth and demo made me want their tech!

Anyway, there will be some time lag unfortunately between my photos and posts and them being uploaded due to technical difficulties, but hopefully by tomorrow AM when it gets hot and heavy all those issues will be cleared up. If you are at the conference here, please say hi… or leave a note in the comments. I’m looking forward to seeing who is reading this. Anyone in particular you guys want me to speak to? I brought the podcasting gear so I can do some interviews if I meet some interesting people.

April 5, 2005

GoodBasic and Bryght Selected as Approved Vendors for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver Comments Off

Many of you know I’ve been working with Bryght lately… a technology startup here in Vancouver. Today we recieved a letter of confirmation stating that GoodBasic and Bryght have been selected as approved vendors of weblog services for the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Whistler and Vancouver.

Here’a a photo of showing off the letter.

We would have got it sooner but Boland hadn’t checked the mail recently…. we’re just getting settled in our new office. We’re excited at the prospect of working with other people like Will and Darren (who also got selected) on projects related to the games. This dovetails in nicely with a project I kicked off this weekend covering news and providing info about the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Currently, with the games 5 years away, most of the news has been on the business of the games (jobs, contracts, developments) and less on the sports, but we’ll see that change as we get closer to the big event. The design of that site was put together by our friends and partners over at RainCity Studios and features a bunch of my recent photos from the Vancouver area. Anway, congrat guys, this should be fun. :)

Here’s Will’s thoughts

“So what should I do to prepare? There must be some sort of training routine that I can begin to make me a buff blog consultant. Ping-ups? Script-downs? Googling with my toes? Meme sprints? Perhaps some timed podcasts? Ok, I’ll stop now. ”

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