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Instagram introducing IGTV: First Impressions

Instagram introducing IGTV: First Impressions

So...Instagram launched its latest feature called: IGTV. What is it? It's a new update where you will be able to watch long-form and also vertical videos from your favourite creators. What's interesting is that Instagram is pushing creators to actually use it, it's almost the same feel we all had when we were first introduced to Vine. One feature where Instagram could really shine is the fact that the videos that you are filming or uploading can be one hour long. That's just crazy! In terms of UI/UX, it's very similar to what's been already done on Instagram Stories. It's the same behaviour except it's with TV. What this would mean to its competitors like Snapchat. YouTube and more. In their words IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long. Welcome IGTV More Links Read more on Instagram We’ve made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct. Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel. Playing with IGTV (@Abduzeedo)

Adobe introduces Project Rush, Spark Post for Android and major Creative Cloud updates

Adobe introduces Project Rush, Spark Post for Android and CC updates

Today our friends over at Adobe announced significant updates across its industry-leading creativity and productivity tools. They are on a roll and this time they are introducing not one but four new product updates including a sneak peek of Project Rush, a new all-in-one, cross-device video editing app; the public beta release of Adobe Spark Post for Android; new features for the Lightroom CC ecosystem and Lightroom Classic, and Adobe XD; and new integrations between Adobe PDF services and Microsoft Office 365 for creatives. Project Rush Introducing Project Rush: We’re excited to preview Project Rush for the first time! Available later this year, Project Rush is the first all-in-one, cross-device video editing app that makes creating and sharing online content easier than ever. This integrated desktop and mobile solution automatically syncs all your projects to the cloud, allowing you to work anywhere, on any device. It harnesses the power of Adobe Creative Cloud apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects to deliver a streamlined and intuitive user experience. Lightroom CC ecosystem and Lightroom Classic Lightroom CC is now able to synchronize both presets and profiles, including custom-created presets, and third-party presets and profiles between Lightroom CC for Windows, Macintosh, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, as well as on the web. This gives users access to any preset they’ve made or purchased on any device, enabling them to truly edit photos anywhere. This release also includes additional new features in the Windows and Mac desktop apps and iOS and Android mobile apps, two new Technology Previews, and an update to Lightroom Classic. Adobe Spark Post, now on Android Adobe Spark Post (public beta now on Android): We’re thrilled to announce that the first public beta release of Spark Post on Android is now available! Previously only available on iOS devices and the web, Adobe Spark Post allows users to create stunning graphics for all occasions quickly. Visit the Google Play Store to download the app now. Adobe XD Time-saving Features + Enhancements: Following the launch of the free XD CC Starter plan, Adobe is updating the platform with Overlays and Fixed Elements; private sharing for greater security when viewing, interacting and collaborating on prototypes and Design Specs; a new math calculations feature; and design feature enhancements, including crop and placement controls for images dragged from the desktop to fill shapes. Adobe PDF Services and Microsoft Today Adobe and Microsoft are once again joining forces to make it easier for creative agencies and their clients to quickly and easily share draft work, proposals, and other information with each other. Creatives can save and store creative projects as high-quality PDFs that preserve the original fonts, formatting, and layouts without ever leaving Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive.

Operationalize your Design Workflow with DesignOps Handbook

Operationalize your Design Workflow with DesignOps Handbook

Our friends over at InVision keep delivering amazing content. Today they launched the DesignOps Handbook, an excellent resource for companies that are willing to invest in design. What are DesignOps and when is it time to build a team around it? As companies mature and invest in design, they need to operationalize workflow, hiring, alignment between teams, and more so designers can focus on design work while someone else takes care of the rest — enter DesignOps. They’re the key to scaling digital product design teams with more efficiency, but the craft of a DesignOps team is a process. Below are some of the key things to keep in mind when you start to build out your team. Know when to put DesignOps processes into place It can be hard to gauge when to ramp up a DesignOps function, but three scenarios are good triggers: Craft specialization: it’s no longer feasible for roles to blur Operating a design team at scale: it’s no longer possible to keep everyone in sync Safe harbor: designers need protection from the grind and thrash of creative development. What makes a great DesignOps leader? The most effective DesignOps teams are servant leaders to their organizations and respected peers to design leaders and teams. Whether in an operations or project support role, the DesignOps function is there to push projects forward while providing creative teams the space and time to create. Design program managers should be able to set expectations with the broader company, get the right people with the right skills on the right projects, scope phases, and manage those expectations to delivery. Hiring the perfect team Regardless of the situation, there are some universal qualities and skills to look for in a DesignOps candidate: Hire someone who can build cross-functional relationships while representing design, and who understands the design process. These relationships will necessitate understanding the product development process and product engineering principles. The role calls for an excellent project, time, budget, and resource management, and an understanding of different project management ideologies (like waterfall and Agile, among others) The ideal candidate is calm in ambiguous and changing environments. One size doesn’t fit all. Make the mission clear Well-written mission, vision, and value statements can unify and inspire design teams. Think of these as the glue that brings and holds teams together — they’re great resources to be used within the design organization during onboarding and recruiting, and during those times when designers need guidance to tackle a tricky problem or scenario. These statements should also be shared with cross-functional teams as a reference to better understand how the design organization aspires to operate, solve problems, and define success. Collaborating outside of the design team Relationships are so crucial to successful outcomes for both design and DesignOps. When tackling any design challenge, whether it’s designing a new product experience or designing a new process, identify key cross-functional partnerships and stakeholders who can spot the opportunities for design to provide the most value. Establishing and fostering strong cross-functional partnerships ensures that all possible solutions are surfaced by balancing the user experience with business needs and company goals. Helping others get comfortable with change Managing through chaos is a superpower and flexibility is the most valuable asset. Change is inevitable and happens on all levels at all scales. When working in DesignOps, teams are on the front lines, helping everyone do outstanding work amid the chaos and rapid change. DesignOps keeps design teams focused on the work, not the processes. As everything is subject to change—from the company level down to the individual pixel—it’s important for DesignOps to remain calm and collected. By talking to an extended group of stakeholders, leaders can gauge where the organization stands and determine the strengths, weaknesses, biggest problems, and biggest opportunities.

Adobe Revives Fonts from Legendary Bauhaus Design Masters

Adobe Revives Fonts from Legendary Bauhaus Design Masters

Today Adobe announced the launch of The Hidden Treasures - Bauhaus Dessau, a campaign that will bring to life nearly century old original typography sketches and unpublished letter fragments from legendary Bauhaus design masters that were rediscovered and completed to inspire the next generation of creatives. Bauhaus Dessau, the world famous school of design, was closed in 1932 by the National Socialist Party leaving behind unfinished masterpieces, created by legendary design masters: Xanti Schawinsky, Joost Schmidt, Carl Marx, Alfred Arndt and Reinhold Rossig. Typography from Bauhaus Dessau is instantly recognizable. Simple geometric forms, unadorned with serifs. Vibrant, expressive colors. Balanced layouts that convey a clear and direct message. Some of the world’s most celebrated ad layouts, political posters, album covers, and logo designs owe their power to lettering designs created at Bauhaus Dessau. World-renowned typeface designer Erik Spiekermann led the effort to turn the lost letter fragments and sketches from the Bauhaus archives into complete and fully functional fonts. Working with experts at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, he supervised an international team of typography professionals and design students to digitally create five font sets from Bauhaus Dessau designs, with the first two fonts – Xants and Joschmi – based on artwork from Bauhaus designers Xanti Schawinsky and Joost Schmidt, available for immediate download via Adobe Typekit today. Adobe is also launching a series of five challenges over the coming months for the creative community to put these fonts to use. For more information, please visit The Hidden Treasures – Bauhaus Dessau website. 

Anicorn introducing Order, a timepiece inspired by NYC

Anicorn introducing Order, a timepiece inspired by NYC

We would like to introduce a cool project that launched today on Kickstarter coming from the makers of Hidden Time Watch. Now they are back and introducing Order. They have partnered with we partnered with graphic designers Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed. You must have heard about their well-known projects like the Standards Manual, the reissue of NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual when they were at Pentagram. Following their departure, the duo team opened the only bookstore in New York specializing in graphic design (would love to visit!) and it sits right in front of their design office, Order. In their words Now, Anicorn is continuing their journey in New York City—the location chosen by backers of their first campaign on Kickstarter—and partnering with graphic designers Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed to create the next The Trio of Time timepiece—“Order.”. Anicorn Watches Last year, they have launched The Trio of Time, a collaboration where we visit three different cities around the globe to partner with local designers and explore their perception of time. They are thrilled to introduce our newest collaboration—"Order"—a timepiece inspired by New York City. More Links Learn more about Anicorn Watches Follow Anicorn Watches on Instagram How to read the time Order has no watch hands. Instead, the entire watchface is perforated with an ascending number of dots, which rotate to align with the frame and tell the time in 15 minute intervals. The designers hope to inspire the wearer to not worry so much about the exact time; instead, to focus on the world around them. The 40mm case is designed for both men and women. Order runs on a Ronda 512 Swiss Parts Movement. The watch has a 316L stainless-steel enclosed casing, available in black or silver. The casing is ultra thin—only 8.7mm. All straps are interchangeable with TTT#1—Hidden Time Watch—thanks to the smart docking system. Introducing Order, a timepiece inspired by NYC

Introducing: The Adobe XD CC Starter Plan and Adobe Fund for Design

Introducing: Adobe XD CC Starter Plan & Adobe Fund for Design

What a great time to be a designer. We have incredible tools at affordable prices and we also have a lot of incentive from the big players. Today Adobe announced that Adobe XD is now free via a new Starter plan. Additionally, Adobe has launched a new $10 million investment fund for design technology and released a host of new features and assets for XD users. Introducing: The Adobe XD CC Starter Plan The free Starter plan for Adobe XD includes XD for Mac and Windows, mobile apps for iOS and Android, and services to empower users to design, prototype and share user experiences with colleagues. With this announcement and the release of new features and enhancements, Adobe XD is the only cross-platform experience design platform to combine both design and prototyping with industrial-grade performance. A milestone for the global design community, the XD CC Starter plan enables professional and aspiring designers, teams and students to learn, cultivate and apply their design skills through free access to Adobe XD and share up to one active shared prototype and design spec at a time. And, as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe XD tightly integrates with designers’ existing workflows and top tools such as Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC. The Starter plan also includes Typekit Free and integration with Creative Cloud Libraries, making it easy to share and manage assets across devices. The Adobe Fund for Design Adobe also today announced the $10 million Adobe Fund for Design, which will be distributed in the form of grants and equity investments. The fund will help designers and developers innovate in the world of experience design and leverage Adobe XD as a platform supporting tooling plug-ins and integrations with third party tools and services.  It is open for individuals, small teams or companies interested in or already building products to empower creatives. In addition to providing the financial means to enable growth, working with the Adobe Fund for Design will provide recipients access to industry experts, and significant resources to fuel development, including early access to technology, partnership and go-to-market opportunities, and exposure to Adobe’s network of passionate customers. New Features & Assets for UX Designers These announcements coincide with the release of new features and enhancements in Adobe XD, including time-saving workflow updates. Adobe is also releasing a series of free UI kits and resources for the design community, created by prominent designers around the globe, such as Daniel White, Ana Miminoshvili, Zhenya Rynzhuk, Steve Wolf and Mike, the designer behind Creative Mints. Let me know if you’re interested in speaking with any of the designers and I’d be happy to facilitate an interview. More information on the designers and links to download the kits can be found here.  Adobe has released six Font Packs to provide users access to a collection of licensed commercial type for use in a variety of projects including UI/screen design in Adobe XD. The packs are a great way to easily experiment with fonts across a variety of design tools, and Adobe will be releasing a new pack every week for the next six weeks. More information on accessing the packs can be found here. Please visit the Creative Cloud blog for more information on the Starter plan for Adobe XD, Adobe Fund for Design and latest XD product updates.

Take 10: Impulsive by Erik Johansson

Take 10: Impulsive by Erik Johansson

When you’re open to possibility, a challenge is always good—you learn something whether you succeed or fail. That was Erik Johansson’s perspective when we asked him to tackle a new challenge we’re calling “Take 10”: We give an artist one word and 10 digital images, and he or she must combine them into a new piece that represents the word. Johansson’s word was impulsive, and we think his response to the challenge was a success. It didn’t come easily, though. “It’s the complete opposite of the way I am used to working,” Johansson explains. Normally, he carefully plans every detail before going out to photograph the individual elements that will make up a collage. For this challenge, he says, “I had to adapt to existing material and include them all, not pick just the ones I wanted. I enjoyed it, but it does look a bit different from the work I normally create because of that.” Before Johansson touched a single one of the 10 images, he considered the word impulsive. “I’m not very impulsive. I’m a perfectionist,” he says. “I would say that the opposite of impulsive is rational.” The ironic twist? Johansson is well known for his irrational imagery. While he may not be impulsive, he does tap into the surreal. “To me, impulsive means something that is happening in our brain, a decision or thought on the inside that can lead to an unexpected action,” says Johansson. “I wanted to capture that feeling where we let go and the thoughts flow freely, much like the moment right before falling asleep where we leave the rational behind. In a way, the final image is a self-portrait of my own mind. I constantly try to make connections between unexpected things.” The 10 images Johansson used are above. Putting the pieces together Johansson divided his Adobe Photoshop CC canvas in two. Elements on the left side would symbolize the inner mind, and the right side would represent the rational outer world. The photo of the woman in profile would bridge the two sides. (All the images are from Adobe Stock.) He realized that he could combine the woman’s hair and the tree photo: “That helped me create the transition from the realistic portrait to the inner world of the mind.” Johansson used a layer mask and blending modes to collage the two. He also copied the tree several times to build a base layer on the left side of the canvas. To introduce variation, he transformed each copy using tools under Photoshop’s Edit menu, including Warp and Puppet Warp. To give the illusion of perspective, he added a haze to the trees that appear to be farther in the distance. He added texture by copying bits of the jagged peaks photo into a new layer and blending it into the trees. “Impulsive thoughts often come in fragments,” Johansson says. To express this idea, he put the abstract stock image with irregular angles on a new layer and blended that into the background. He then copied the abstract image but offset it slightly from the original and masked out different parts of the duplicate. The resulting effect looks like a crystal reflecting light. Johansson placed the cube stock image in the upper right corner of the canvas to represent the organized part of the mind. “At this point, I was happy with the image, but I hadn’t used all 10 of the challenge photos. So I had to push myself.”  He took the image into a dream world. The fantasy came in the form of the fish swimming in the air and surreal bits of stripes, houses, and swooping power lines and poles (culled from the train photo). Although it wasn’t part of the Take 10 rules, Johansson chose to further test himself by completing the piece in 24 hours. “I normally work on images for weeks or months,” he says. The tight deadline makes his attention to detail even more noteworthy; for example, he decided that he wanted another instance of the irregularly angled, abstract stock image to enhance the glass reflection illusion, but he didn’t want to replicate what he’d already done. So he saved the image file as a map and used Photoshop’s Displace feature (Filter > Distort > Displace) to shift light and dark areas in unexpected ways. Another example: To give the image a little more punch, he increased local contrast with Photoshop’s High Pass feature (Filter > Other > High Pass); then he toned it down by setting the blending mode to Soft Light.   And there’s much more: He dropped in a lens flare; changed the color balance with a photo filter adjustment layer; added a vignette and a little vibrance; and performed what he calls the “secret trick” he does with all of his images, a gradient map that casts a slight green-yellowish glow on the entire image to warm it up. Finally, he added noise “to make it all come together nicely.” That noise, by the way, comes from a macro that he uses on all of his work. “Somehow,” he says, “it creates a more photo-realistic scene.” Take the challenge and win What does the word impulsive mean to you? How would you express it with these images? From February 19 through the end of day on February 24, 2016, you can download the images for free and submit your unique artwork. Erik Johansson will judge the entries, and Create Magazine will award the 10 winners and give them prizes! Get the download link and all the contest details here. By Terri Stone