LA Funtimes…. with the Leica Q (Typ 116)

I recently bought the new Leica Q from Ken Hansen (if you want great Leica dealer–I highly recommend him) and was lucky enough to be able to take it for a spin during a trip to Los Angeles.

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I’ve dropped a few photos into this Flickr album.

This was the first time I’d used the camera, but wow, what an amazing piece of kit. There’s a lovely quote from Ken Hansen to Craig Cutler which I’ve pulled from the Leica Camera blog to share:

“These are the best lenses in the world, choose your f/stop, set your shutter speed, start shooting, and throw away the owner’s manual. It’s that simple.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Like a lot of people I totally fell in love with this camera. It’s next level no-compromise product design. But more importantly I had fun shooting with it–and am looking forward to throwing it my bag, taking more photos, and maybe even becoming a better photographer in 2016.

It’s also an absolute stunner.

(via)

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Introducing my latest project: Google’s New Logo & Identity

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Most of the stuff I work on is confidential so I don’t get to share it publicly—but my last project could hardly be more visible. I’m not going to write lots about it as there’s already plenty of coverage out there. All I wanted to say is that it’s the meatiest (and most rewarding) thing I’ve ever tackled. We kicked the project off in January 2015 with ten people in a room sketching ideas. By the end of August we had over 200+ engineers, designers, writers, product managers, and marketeers preparing to flip the switches on over 30+ product updates. As well as the product updates and a ton of guidelines and toolkits – we also made this Google, Evolved video, a Google Doodle for the occasion, and shared the thinking on the Official Google Blog.

Everything went live on September 1st 2015.

Bonus: we also broke down the process + thinking in much more detail over on the Google Design Blog post  If you’re into how things get made you should definitely take time to read it. You’ll get a better understanding of how the process worked, why the system & framework were designed to hold together, and what we wanted to reflect in the brand by making Google more accessible and useful to our users—wherever they may encounter it.

Here’s a little teaser.

Early this year, designers from all across the company, including Creative Lab and the Material Design team, convened in New York for an intense, week-long design sprint. We drafted a brief that identified four challenges we wanted to address:

  • A scalable mark that could convey the feeling of the full logotype in constrained spaces.
  • The incorporation of dynamic, intelligent motion that responded to users at all stages of an interaction.
  • A systematic approach to branding in our products to provide consistency in people’s daily encounters with Google.
  • A refinement of what makes us Googley, combining the best of the brand our users know and love with thoughtful consideration for how their needs are changing.

It was a huge team effort. Hope you like the work!

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Project Soli: a new radar based wearable technology

I’m excited to be able to share something I’ve been working on with team at Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group over the past few months.

Project Soli is a new technology that uses radar to enable new types of touch-less interactions. My team worked on the overall project design + branding, early interaction ideas and use-cases, demo & prototype ideas, narrative storytelling and connected ATAP with the talented Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall.

Project Soli was announced at Google I/O in May 2015 to rave reviews, and the project team are now building out the DevKit. Developers and interested parties can now sign-up for updates on the official site.

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Huge props to Ivan Poupyrev, Carsten Schwesig, and the entire team at ATAP. Excited to see where this will go.

Hello Google

It’s Sunday evening. I’m a bit all over the place after getting off a plane late last night – flying to New York to start a new job, tomorrow, at Google Creative Lab.

Yep. It feels strange to write that. I’ve talked about it before a little bit; but have only just found the breathing space to get something a bit more long-form down. As well as finishing a job I loved, I’ve also just got married, been on honeymoon, and am selling up and moving out of London. It’s been a crazy few weeks.

So, some history.

It’s only been 15-months since I joined Stinkdigital; I honestly loved being there and it stills holds a very special place in my heart. I was surrounded by a bunch of talented and fun people. I learnt loads. I made some mistakes. We did great work. We did it with a smile on our faces. I was slightly in awe at the quality of the place when I joined – I still am now.

So, why did I leave?

I’m a lover of creativity and technology; I’ve always thought Google is one of the most exciting and forward-thinking companies on the planet — and that Google Creative Lab is doing some of the most amazing, ambitious, and interesting work out there.

I could get all wordy about it, but you don’t pass up an opportunity like this.

I spent a bit of time with a few members of the team last week, taking about the work. They’re so switched on it’s unbelievable. It’s also exciting for me personally to be part of a team at Google that already includes some amazing people.

Iain wrote something when he joined that really struck a chord: “Everyone I’ve met who works at Google and Google Creative Lab feels like they’re part of a company that is both a great business AND can change the world for the better. I’m overjoyed to share their beliefs and look forward to joining them.”

That’s the feeling I got when I spent time there.

When I talked with Kevin about things he casually dropped in: “This place is a bit like the Butterfly Effect – everybody who joins has the opportunity to make a difference.”

I hope I can make a positive one.

So it’s been an absolute joy to be part of the unfolding Stinkdigital story; I loved every minute of it. And here’s to the a next adventure with Google. I’m excited by the future that lays ahead – and that’s all you can ask for, right?

I start tomorrow. Wish me luck

TweetFuel. A new(ish) experiment from Stinkdigital

Tweetfuel from Stinkdigital on Vimeo.

TweetFuel is an Arduino-controlled experiment that uses the Nike+ FuelBand to measure the health of our Twitter account.

This is something I meant to write about a long time ago. I also wanted to write a detailed and smart post about how and why the project came about, what it’s meant to say about Stinkdigital, how we had to get Nike onboard because we do a lot of work for them, maybe share some details about how and why we simplified the site design to make it feel less like a ‘product’ launch, how we used HTML5/JS, Arduino, Python, and the coverage we got in FWA, FastCo Create, FastCo Design, and lots of other magazines and blogs.

But time has passed, it’s was launched almost 3 months ago now…. so all you really need to know is that we got it from concept to working prototype in 5 days.

Whenever someone follows, RTs or mentions @stinkdigital, our custom made motorized kit spins a mounted Nike+ FuelBand.

So far the video has had 24,100 plays — and I’m still super happy with it as a piece of work.

http://tweetfuel.stinkdigital.com/

Retweets count. (So do mentions.)

1 month in at Stinkdigital

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Some (not very good photos) of Stinkdigital London.

I’m 1 month into my new role as Exec Producer: here’s 10 things I’ve noticed.

  1. We work direct with brands and in partnership with agencies.
  2. We get lots of enquiries.
  3. We are lucky enough to be selective about the work we take on.
  4. We have a core of fulltime staff backed-up by a pool of trusted freelancers.
  5. We run the business on Google Apps. (Gmail, Google Calendars, Google Docs)
  6. We use Google Talk in the office and Skype for international calls.
  7. We use shared docs and collaborative editing… a lot.
  8. I haven’t opened MS Office since I started.
  9. I have 2 regular meetings a week (one at Stinkdigital, one at Stink) and a call with NYC.
  10. The meeting room is usually free.

The thing I’ve really noticed though is how fast things move. No I mean it…. really fast. It’s built into the DNA of the place. Part through necessity, part through planning. Obviously that brings it’s own subtle challenges; but on the whole it’s been really refreshing.

Apart from how we work; the actual work is pretty great too.

We started the year off by winning FWA Site of the Month for CNN Ecosphere, we then launched Wrangler Europe SS12 Directed by Arno Salters. and we’ve just been rated in the Top 5 Production Companies Worldwide in The Gunn Report. There’s much more great stuff in the pipeline too.

I can’t believe it’s February already.

Twitter Reboot™

The annual social clean-up is in progress. I’ve already shut down my Posterous and Tumblr accounts to focus on my blog. Now it’s time to deal with Twitter.

I love Twitter. It covers such an incredible spectrum of information; but recently it’s begun to feel out of control. The signal-to-noise was wrong and stuff from people I cared about was being drowned out.

I started by unfollowing a few heavy/active users. But I enjoy a lot of the stuff they share so it didn’t feel massively practical. Then @sermad suggested I made more of lists. I created a few and moved a bunch of people over.

Great! But my timeline was still too noisy.

I tried unfollowing a few more people but couldn’t create a clear mental criteria in my head.

Take my friends and ex-colleagues at glue as an example. I don’t want 180+ people on my timeline, but once you start to add a few, you’re into a strange mental world of… If I add X, I should add Y, because we did X together. In the end I was trying to do something ridiculous like:

People I worked with for more than 4 years + that I regulary went out for beers with + that use Twitter regularly + but not so much that they drown everyone else out = Following.

It wasn’t working. I got frustrated.

So I went BIG and unfollowed everybody.

WOOHOO!!

It might’ve been a bit impulsive but it’s democratic and I can slowly add people back over time.

I have a nagging doubt though. It’s counter intuitive. Lists guarantee I see peoples stuff; but they think I’ve unfollowed them. Not great really. But I needed to wrestle control back of the timeline so I’ve taken the plunge.

I’m sure some people will unfollow me.

Or add me to Lists…