2 Out of Three is pleased to announce the launch of it’s latest project, a health care consulting website for Dr. Chris Carruthers who coincidently happens to be the father of 2 Out of Three’s VP of Engineering Kenny Carruthers. It’s shiny and new, the code is valid, the images are optimized, it’s ChrisCarruthersMD.com.
Logos have always fascinated me and so I get excited when I learn more about how the great ones get designed. These small symbols often made up of simple shapes or even the intersection of letters can take on a very large meaning. Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign logo quickly captured a nation and then the world’s hopes and dreams. It eventually took on a life of its own and became instantly recognizable – it was plastered on everything and came to mean so much to so many.
It took longer than it should have, but we’re excited to announce the launch of our most recent creation CulturalImages.com. Cultural Images is a jewelry collection created by my Mother nearly three decades ago. Detailed photography and an earthly, metal color scheme bring the website to life. The navigation divides the collection based on the predominant imagery found within the designs – Judaica, hands or hamsa, and goddess. The entire site is built on top of the Magento Commerce platform which delivers a very clean and user friendly eCommerce experience for visitors.
The culmination of months of design, photography, and development have been assembled together and launched onto the information superhighway….and its name – Neela Bags. Neela Bags is a new, reusable bag venture for those who want to be environmentally friendly and stylish at the same time. When Neela’s founders approached us to create their web site and provide art direction they were looking for a way to show off their stylish bags and demonstrate the company’s commitment to environmental issues all within a clean, modern design. We’re very happy with how things turned out. Jump over to Neela Bags and let us know what you think.
Great web site design concentrates on the small picture as well as the big picture. Little things like icons and graphics turn a web site into a memorable browsing experience. The next time you’re looking into a new product that you might purchase take a look at the company’s web site and look at their visuals. More often than not, if they have great images or icons they probably have a great product – look here & here. The thinking is if you’re going to spend hours, days, and weeks obsessing over the graphic imagery of your web site, you’ve probably spent twice as long designing a great product that will satisfy you’re customers.
I just returned from a trip back to the Bay Area to help one of 2 Out of Three’s clients with this idea – delivery on the small things. We spent four marathon days capturing creative and high quality product and lifestyle images for the Neela Bags‘ website, which will be launching in the next few weeks.
We went into the four days of shooting with ideas for eight different types of shots at six separate locations around the cities of San Mateo and Burlingame. Everything from detailed product shots, to lifestyle shots, to images of the company’s founders we’re taken. It’s fun to look at some of the numbers involved in our 4 days of shooting.
2 Out of Three recently finished a project for our former Electronic Arts colleague Nitzan Wilnai and his new video game social network VG Views. Working closely with Nitzan – and the 2 Out of Three engineering team – we created a site we’re very proud to show off. We also thought it would be fun to take you through the design processfor VG Views; showing you some of the wireframes, rejected logo designs and the multiple stages of web site design.
For each project it’s good to try and get to the core of the product or service that is being offered. In the case of VG Views we did not have to do much research as we have been working in the video game industry for over six years. So when it came time to find a design metaphor that encompassed the variety of different video games and gaming platforms we quickly gravitated to the idea of pixels. All video games – from low fidelity cell phone games to the graphic intensive games found on the “Play Station 3” are made from pixels – therefore, it just made sense to create the logo and website design for VG Views with pixels in mind.
Skateboard graphics come in all sorts of styles and cover a broad range of topics – everything from social commentary on politics and race relations to juvenile cartoons, attractive women, and drug references. I’ve always loved these graphics because of the broad spectrum of subject matter that is compressed onto a single skateboard deck. Their influence has been so great that I even named this website after art produced by the legendary skateboarder Mark Gonzales. So you can imagine my delight when I got my hands on a new book on the subject by Sean Cliver titled Disposable. I was even more excited once I started reading the book to find out that he spends much of the 239 pages discussing the creative process behind the graphics.
I recently started reading Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge, one of the founders of the influential product design firm IDEO. The book is a fascinating compilation of interviews and analysis of the best designed and most innovative digital products. It covers everything from the industrial design theories behind the original laptop to the interface design for Google’s search page and all in between.
In particular, I was struck by Monggridge’s definition of essential design skills that he stated early on it the book:
The core skills of design are synthesis, understanding people, and iterative prototyping.
When I was a teenager I had a beautiful Italian language movie poster of The Godfather in my room. It was jet black with a red silhouette of Marlin Brando and text that read “Il Padrino”. Little did I know that years later I would have the opportunity to design and develop for The Godfather the video game.
As The Godfather was brought to the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii we added a handful of new UI screens primarily to compliment new game play features. It was very exciting to work on one of the first open world video games to implement controller based mechanics to initiate action within the game world. Our user interface faced a whole new challenge as we attempted to design intuitive controller tutorials and other UI tips to help teach a player how to effectively fight by gesturing with the controller being held in his/her hand.
If you like adventure/open world Grand Theft Auto style games you’ll have fun with this game. Give it a try, if nothing else you can watch my name go buy in the credits.
There are very few projects with the history and pedigree of James Bond – and this was Sean Connery’s James Bond. Artistically the User Interface From Russia with Love had to look like it was from the early 60’s but still have the high production values and modern look of a twenty first century video game. This hybrid look was achieved by integrating classic footage from the original movie along with a retro graphic design for the user interface. In a very short timeframe (11 months) Sean Connery was successfully brought to life in a modern video game.