Two cents blog

Design Porn

by Thomas Butler on 16 January 2015

Our Two Cents posts cover the latest tech, provide insights to engaging creative, and report on the worlds trending topics. Today I want to add to this list and write about the glue that helps pull all these things together. I’m talking about ‘design’.

Firstly, let me point out that I am actually a designer, so I’m going to try sticking to what I know — being less words and more visuals. Introducing Design Porn, a collection of 7 inspirations from the world of design.

01 space-division_post-image

01 — Identity design for Space Division

The identity for Auckland architectural practice Space Division is a typographic play on the name. It’s a testament to keeping things simple, but being smart about it. Our instincts often tell us to get the maximum value out of a piece of design, by adding more messaging and elements. But as demonstrated above, sometimes the most memorable design is refined — where white space and restricted typography do the talking.

02 joris-rigerl_post-image02 — Portfolio site of Joris Rigerl

The portfolio site of European designer Joris Rigerl is clean and efficient. The layout is inspired by an emerging digital trend, where the homepage doubles as the site’s full-screen navigation. This method introduces the brand and navigation in a single step, and heroes your site’s various pages front and centre.

It’s also worth noting the little details that add to a user’s experience, such as Rigerl’s witty url structure. I first noticed the url http://joris.works/hard while reading his about page, in-turn prompting me to explore the other pages and discover their url presents.

 

03 motion-theatre_post-image

03 — Posters and branding for Motion Theater

Good design should withstand trends and time, which is why I always come back to this Motion Theater project for inspiration. It’s all about balance and composition, the interaction of typography and image. Aside from the beautiful design, I particularly like the use of a generative logo. Instead of a typical logo that’s static and set in stone, the above is free to morph and interact with the image — better representing the brand and movement of theatre.

 

04 lettering_post-image

04 — Hand lettering collection

I feel the ad-world could really benefit from the recent resurrection of hand lettering. Vectorised lettering is great for headlines or lockups, and can often capture a brand message more efficiently (and beautifully) then a logographic.

 

05 need-supply-edm_post-image05 — eDM from Need Supply

This image was a hero-panel in a recent eDM for online store Need Supply. The full-image nature of the email may not be as accessible as traditional html text, but it’s definitely more engaging in today’s increasingly ‘visual web’. Building on this trend is the use of animated gif images, where I’ve seen a lamp turn on/off in a Kate Spade email, and many exciting opportunities for fashion brands.

 

06 google-illustrations_post-image

06 — Google Calendar illustrations

Ever noticed the beautiful illustrations in the background of Google’s calendar app? This seasonal series is created by Lotta Nieminen, with a flat aesthetic that perfectly compliments Google’s Material language. Illustrations like these are a great point of difference in the digital world, where type overlaid on imagery is the dominant trend. Aside from the time to create such illustrations, their scalable vector nature and tiny filesize make a lot of sense for responsive design.

 

07-made-by-tung_image-post07 — Made by Tung splash-screen

Last up is the splash-screen from Made By Tung. You’ll have to experience this one for yourself, as the brand name smartly morphs into a new word with each silky smooth wipe of colour. The animation is a great example of motion playing an increasingly important role in the digital space. In this case movement engages the user, but it can also be used to provide response to interactions, or act as a subtle guide through an interface.

Check out Google’s Material Design for further insights to the use of motion, where it is should be meaningful and appropriate, serving to focus attention or provide a more delightful interaction.

Ok that’s it. If you’ve made it this far, awesome work! Leave a comment if you’d like to see more design related posts on two cents, or potentially more Design Porn in the future.

Thomas Butler is a Experience Designer at BCM

- Jo Stone on January 20

Thanks for sharing your design inspirations Tom. I'd love to see more Design Porn in the future. Looking forward to your next post!

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