Author Archives: Rick
We’ve designed and built a new website for Film/TV/Commercial production company Mustard. The site showcases the work of both UK and US Mustard directors, and utilises HTML 5 video in the animated intro sequence (produced in collaboration with Frank friends Atticus Finch). Mustard are based in London’s Soho but reside on the top level of a multi-storey car park, hence the theme!
We designed this microsite for a competition to win what does sound like an amazing prize – free flights, gear, accommodation and Heli-Skiing for you and a friend.
You’ve got until 31st January 2012 to enter. Good luck! www.ultimateskitrip.com
My Haus is an online store for your house, bringing the best in designer homeware and gifts together in one place. Drawing inspiration from the Bauhaus and mid-century modernism, Frank created the identity and promotional imagery, and designed/built the full retail site, incorporating CMS and blog. www.myhaus.com
Following a major product reformulation and packaging revamp, long standing clients My Goodness Ltd. asked us to redesign their ‘For Goodness Shakes’ brand website. Created in collaboration with developers W3 Digital, the new site combines clear, punchy imagery with detailed technical product explanation.
Has anyone noticed the remarkable similarity between early 90s graphics iconoclast David ‘End of Print’ Carson and country rock legend Neil ‘Godfather of Grunge’ Young? Are they by any chance related?
Back at the dawn of digital time (1999) when I started noodling about with Dreamweaver to make my first websites one of the early projects was ‘Rick’s Mates Top Five Albums of All Time’. The idea behind it being that those things your friends like you’ll probably like yourself and hey, isn’t the internet a great way to share this sort of thing… I expect Mark Zuckerberg will be getting in touch any day now to thank me for coming up with the idea. And offer me lots of cash…
Anyway, at the time my mate Ben raised the concern that if all we ever did was listen to whatever music our friends were listening to then we were necessarily ‘pre-filtering’ and, consequently, restricting our choices. He had a point.
Fast forward a decade or so and now one of the primary sources of net information is not an unbiased collection of knowledge accessible via sober enquiry but bits and pieces cobbled together from your friends ‘likes’, and the like, found through social media (see previous post here).
At the same time it’s now commonplace to find adverts for products and services you’ve previously shown an interest in being ‘magically’ displayed on completely different websites. “What a coincidence” you might think, “that puppies.com has ads for toasters when only yesterday I was looking them up. ”
Of course it’s no coincidence – the net knows what you’ve been looking at and what you’re interested in. This is obviously profitable and arguably it’s beneficial – if there must be ads then at least let them be for something I might be interested in.
It seems though, that we are now moving towards filtered searching, where the results of your search engine enquiry is not absolute – the top ranking links for that keyword – but relative – the results that Google thinks you want to see.
Remember when there used to be a ‘UK Results Only’ checkbox? Presumably it’s removal means Google knows where you are and will only show you what it judges to be geographically appropriate material. Not necessarily a terrible thing, but remember, Google is not a friendly librarian, working in a publicly funded institution for the benefit of society, but a shop assistant, there to make a commission on sales.
We’re already getting a lot of our information pre-filtered from friends via social networking tools, and now search engines are giving us pre-filtered information based on what they know about us from our previous digital activity.
Do we run the risk of living in a ‘like’ ghetto and having our choice restricted to things a bit like things we’ve previously chosen – or which ‘They’ think we’ll be interested in / likely to buy?
Check out ‘The Filter Bubble’, extracted here.
What did we do before Toodledo? Despite it’s ‘amusing’ name and not especially appealing default interface this is probably the thing we use most to get us through the working – and non working – day.
There are lots of GTD style systems out there (and we’ve tried ‘em all), but Toodledo is tops. Really easy to use, simply accessed via a browser (or app, which works even without wifi), it’s expandable, and it just plain works, doing a job that is genuinely useful on a daily basis.
“The times we find information aren’t always ideal for consuming it. Instapaper helps you bridge that gap.”
A fantastic little free tool that’s enhanced my life since I started using it a few weeks ago. Capture long text content and store it for when you’ve got time to read it.
Install a widget in your browser then just click ‘Read Later’. Text and images go up to a cloud and can be revisited, in simplified easy to read format, either from a browser or downloaded to your i-thing and read offline – brilliant on the tube!
For a while now I’ve been digging these Faber Poetry Collection books.
The best 20th/21st century poets, design that’s beautifully restrained yet full of life (Justus Oehler at Pentagram, based around Perpetua, since you asked), and with a tactile quality that your Kindles and Pads can never even hope to dream of. They make the Northern Line in the morning a place of joy, and that’s no small thing at all.