Unnoticed Design-Gas

Good design should be simple and intentional. Many times, however, it goes unnoticed. For example, the always there, but yet unseen gas gauge that is in every car and truck made today. Look closer though, I am talking about the icon for the gauge.
If I were to show almost anyone other than a young child where that icon is from, they would most likely say it is from a car of some type.

Fuel gauge

Now here is a question. Which side of the car is a Volkswagon Passat’ gas cap to fill up the car? Left or right? Have you ever driven someone else’s car or a rental and you drive up to the filling station and you realize you are on the wrong side? Why do I ask? Well like I said above, sometimes good design goes unnoticed. Get into your car and look closer at the gas symbol, notice anything else? An arrow? Yes, the often unnoticed arrow that is intentionally there to do one thing—tell you which side of the car your gas cap is on.

Simple, intentional and often unnoticed.

And now you know!

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Back to the Start

Another ad that I found extremely well done both in telling a story and in the execution of the production was this two-minute ad produced for Chipotle grill. The story in the ad is about a farmer that decides to grow his farm and in the process becomes a mega farm in which the animals and product no longer look like they are intended. In the end, the farmer decides to go back to the start where the farm once was—basically getting back to the roots of farming.

The other interesting story is how this ad was produced. Event though this could have been animated easily—it was produced using stop motion photography and a dolly over a 50-foot table! Even better, the models were made using an additive printing process.

What I think really comes through on this ad is the culture and mission that Chipotle is trying to convey. Simple, clean and fresh. Well done in my eyes.

Enjoy, and as always, let me know what you think!

Here is the making of the commercial.

Model Airport that Amazes

I found this video online about a replica model of Hamburg, Germany’s airport. This display is part of the Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg display which features the world’s longest model railroad setup, a cruise ship port, space shuttle launch and this model airport just to name a few things. The airport features 15,000 figures, 6,000 trees, 4,500 cars, 40,000 miniature LED lights and up to 45 planes that taxi to and from runways after takeoff and landing which uses a pole system under the runways to simulate the action of flight. Should I ever get the chance to travel to Europe and in particular, Hamburg, Germany, this will be on my list of stops to make.

Navigate Photoshop from your iOS Device

Today I downloaded the Adobe Nav app for my Apple iPad and was like a little boy in a candy store once again. Even though my coworker said that this app must have been designed by a guy due to its resemblance to a remote control, it has already proven useful for me on several occasions.

As a designer that works in Adobe Photoshop constantly, I am always looking for faster and more convenient ways to improve my workflow. This app allows me to customize and then use my most often used tools from the toolbar, switch viewing modes and look through, as well as activate different documents that are in the background. Yes, one can argue that a true Photoshop pro should know all the shortcuts, but the clear and colorful interface becomes your shortcuts. It is like having a second; or in my case third monitor that is a touch screen. The Adobe Nav app is $1.99 which is a fair price, but I feel it should just come as free since you need to have bought Photoshop CS 5 or newer which is already a chunk of change in itself. Aside from all the customization, the app program works using WiFi which is connected to your version 12.0.4 or newer Photoshop.

Adobe Nav app for Photoshop and iOS devices

My wish for this app would be that it allows you to use it for the other Adobe applications such as Illustrator and InDesign where once again, a toolbar is used very regularly as part of the design process. It seems like a natural idea to me, but who am I but a user?

Adobe also came out with several other mobile apps that sync with Photoshop in one way or another. These apps are Adobe Eazel and Adobe Color Lava. Eazel allows you to paint on the iPad and then once finished, send it to Photoshop for more work, while the Color Lava is a color mixing tool that integrates into Photoshop’s color pallets. It also allows you to mix colors much like a painter does and then save your colors in groups like Adobe Kuler does on the desktop. Once again, Adobe charges for these tools as well, which I again think should be free as they almost need to interface with Photoshop to be useful. My one wish is that they would come out with an Adobe Bridge file browser for the iPad.

Get more information on Adobe Nav here.

Mobile apps overview information here

seven inches too long

BK Super Seven Incher Ad

BK Super Seven Incher Ad

Burger King (BK) is known for having . . . well some dumb ads. Recently BK introduced their BK Super Seven Incher with a print add that I would find a bit funny, albeit offensive too. In any light, BK has drummed up some controversy in the food and ad world, but will it be for the good or the detriment to BK and their sandwich? It has me talking about it. Personally, I think the ad will end up being forgotten, and so too the sandwich. But I will say, I would love to have been in that ad pitch and see the reactions on some faces. Priceless. Make sure to read the copy too. It sure helps in supporting the visual of the ad.

Let me know what you think.