March 31, 2008

Something very facebook about this...

There is something very facebook about this new site... seems like the right people are playing with it... campus leaders playground usually leads to next big thing... but maybe not. I will keep a look out for this site, check it out here.

March 30, 2008

Aussie Wood

Ashley Wood is an amazing Australian painter who seems to have penetrated this digital world with his rich paintings and modern themes. His work is very luscious and well worth admiring.

There must be a flash designer out there who wants to work with some kick ass assets... any young guns out there who want to wow the world, go offer Ashely your services for free of course to redo his rather awful eCom site.

Check him out here

Roar!!! 08

I love the whole concept around the FutureLions Cannes competition. Last year was a bit of a let down however I am hoping that this year is going to produce a real star! I have this feeling it might. I have been wrong, many times. Lets wait and see, the site for this years competition is awesome, I love the mixed medium.

Maybe I should start recruiting and training some young blood at Touro and see if we can win this thing. Maybe next year.

Check it out here.

Ashamed and Confused.

I am ashamed and confused over the last few posts. Something came over me, it wasn't corporate sponsorship, I don't get that many hits, but I just felt like I had to list these favorite items of mine. The feeling has passed, I will not remove them in order that I should learn from my mistakes. I will move on and continue documenting design and technology on the web. I apologize for the lapse of sense.

These are a few of my favorite things... part 5

Ok last one of the series, again my wife, who is pissed that I am wasting my time posting these, reminded me of another favorite item i love to consume and always comment how cool it looks...

I would never ever think in a million years that I would fall in love with a drink endorsed by a rapper named 50 Cent... guess what!? This stuff is awesome. Its a light grape drink. Genius! And that metallic pink color on the label is very cool.

These are a few of my favorite things... part 4

This year my lips started getting dry. I am not sure why, perhaps because I quit smoking. I have no clue, I am visiting a doctor soon. One of the nice discoveries that I did make is lip balm. I like lip balm.

Two brands that i absolutely love are Berts Bees Clove Oil lip balm and Chapstick.

The immediate relief that one gets from applying the little slice of love to your lips is heaven.

So I had to add these two to my list. My wife reminded me how much I love these two things.

These are a few of my favorite things... part 3

The foot is to the body as the body is to the soul...

I'm not sure who said this, it wasn't me, perhaps some Kabbalistic master, however it is very true.

These comfy slip ons are not only cool looking but so damn comfortable. And talk about design! They are completely user generated because the sole molds to your exact foot specs...

Pick up a pair of these on the web, don't overpay $60 should be the limit. Most stores carry them for 100 and over...

Definitely a design and functional achievement.

These are a few of my favorite things...part 2

There are very few words that can describe this device. Its reputation proceeds itself and is know worldwide as one of the great design and functional devices ever created.

You know what I am about to say, you know what is coming. I have had it from the beginning and I am not even close to being bored of it... thats right... the one... the only...

The iPhone.

March 29, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

I am starting a new series of posts on my blog showcasing some of my favorite little items that I feel are both well designed and also really useful.

When i say useful I mean like several times a day useful, if you were to get LOST on an island you would really wish you had these items not just to survive but to just make the place look better.

All the items on my list are aesthetically awesome and functionally fantastic!

The first item I would like to mention is one of the most deliciously compact and really simple to use items for feeding an addition. No its not a syringe or a bong, not a cigarette or a bottle of wine.

The Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker.

This well designed item looks great on your counter as well as your desk at work, your cabin, your hotel room, anywhere. This thing looks great anywhere and with a $12 canister of medium ground illy coffee it will kick any Venti Latte's ass!! Seriously, forget the $200 brewer this thing really rocks!

March 28, 2008

What has this world come to??

I typically like to keep this blog on brand in terms of writing only about the interactive industry, however I saw a news item on CNN that shocked the hell out of me.

There have been an overwhelming number of mother's killing children, fathers microwaving children, children killing children, and so on... but this next story is just sick!!

A woman killed her nephew, she weighs 1000 pounds so she cant go to jail and is sitting at home chilling out!!!

What a metaphor for our society! I am a very visual person and the picture this paints in my head makes me want to leave this God forsaken country!

Watch it here

March 27, 2008

Oldy but Newy

I just felt like posting this....

Agencies have a hard enough time producing creative work in general, how many campaigns end up being timeless? Now they are expected to deliver media technologies as well? Smaller interactive agencies have been doing this for years now; we have been innovating new ideas for launching all kinds of brand messages. Minisites, rich media banners, environmental installations, unique kiosks, online games, viral techniques, uploading, downloading, cross loading and more! Agencies are having a hard enough time keeping up in general when it comes to the web. Web 2.0 is all of the things I mentioned above and more, it requires breaking many of the rules that have been established in the Ad Biz and redefining what works and what doesn't and requires going completely against conventional wisdom.

It seems to me that the point isn't are agencies willing to invest in new platforms, because its simply not their core competency, the question is are they now willing to play second fiddle to companies that are creating new platforms. Old habits are hard to break and the agencies have been holding on to the corporate reigns for a long time now, they manage the accounts, come up with the ideas and distribute the money but perhaps that role is now being reduced because of the overwhelming emergence of technology that smaller and younger companies have a better grasp on.

Rather than buying up these smaller companies and driving them into the ground by making them adhere to old rules, why not just play nice and let the experts do their jobs in the environments that suit them best (smaller interactive firms) and let them drive the campaigns. Ideas thrive in smaller open environments and when the stresses of the corporate world take over then the ideas suffer, creating new platforms and ideas requires breathing room and coloring outside the lines and that means that new lines can't be drawn once the color is in place, you cant assume that an agency is ripe to now become a technology firm just because it has the money to do so, sometimes it takes adversity and struggle of being small in order for great ideas to emerge

March 26, 2008

Legends of the Rise

Check out this new series called Silhouettes!

Big props to Rob Ford for taking a chance on this one...

We have an all star line up of the innovators of interactive design and development.

Stay tuned for a glimpse inside the minds of the great men and women who have blazed the path for where we are today on the web.

March 20, 2008

Video on the Web Article from Creativity

This is from last year but I only had it in print until now... This was published in Creativity Magazine

By now, HD is a fixture in many household television sets and has even infiltrated the radio waves. But in terms of mainstream web implementation, especially for advertising, it still has some way to go. Bicoastal production/design studio Firstborn is showing creatives how it can be done successfully with its ambitious online initiative for Microsoft and its new business-security software, Forefront. With the support of Microsoft agency McCann and director Dante Lombardi, the Firstborn team realized a bevy of amusing security-themed ideas (like fighting zombies, ninjas, and secret agents) with a meticulous video shoot that culminated in a highly interactive online experience. Firstborn producers Craig Elimeliah and Dan LaCavita discuss the highs and hurdles of creating original high-end video for the web.

Give us a little background on the shoot and the significance of filming specifically for the web.

Craig Elimeliah: There are no static assets on the site whatsoever. Everything is full video. The site itself needed to be localized in 90 different countries and had to talk to a really broad audience. So the design, the video and the language needed to be as broad as possible. We went to Hollywood to film it, and web really had to look at the production as if we were looking at it on the web. It wasn't a typical film where we were going to shoot just any type of assets and throw them up on the web. It was specifically indicated that we design for the web. We understood that the characters must be very elaborate in their motions; we needed to have their clothing just right and not clash with the color scheme of the actual website; and makeup, hair, everything, was really important to ensure that it was crisp and clean. If everything's going to be video, the video has to be perfect. People on the web are sitting an inch away from their monitors, and detail is everything.

The detail factor must explain the decision to shoot in hi-def.

Elimeliah: We were obsessing over the video quality, and we really pushed to shoot in HD. We eventually had the opportunity to shoot in progressive 1080p, which was very important in order to capture, pixel for pixel, every single frame in case we needed to edit specific frames or to do something specific technologically—maybe bring down file size by seaming frames together rather just than streaming out the video. There are a lot of little technical nuances you need to play with in order to achieve that goal. The detail was extremely important because, again, people are going to look at it an inch away. If you look at the places on the opening selection carousel, you see a quality of detail that you don't see that often on the web.

What was the technology used in bringing HD video to the web?

Elimeliah: We started off in typical web fashion, putting our designs together in Photoshop. We had some photography to work off of that McCann had done for a film shoot. But we really didn't expect to get the type of quality that we got. It was great to be able to have the high-definition assets to work with, and it just made the site come alive. From a design standpoint, everything was done in Photoshop. We work in Flash, and that's our sweet spot.

Dan LaCavita: In our intro, we created everything from scratch with 3ds Max. So we used 3ds Max, After Effects and then Flash for the final deployment of the technology.

How did the relatively brief time frame affect bringing the Forefront assets online?

Elimeliah: It's funny that way because there's so much more that has to go into the web. If you look at it on the front end, it seems pretty, as if maybe we cut and pasted. But the programming that was involved and the flexibility in order to localize this for every different country, the load times, the buffering . . . we not only had to do the programming of the site, we had to do a lot of testing in order to make sure the videos loaded up and played properly, that things worked. For those three and a half weeks, it was working every night until 11, just pounding away and figuring out the best possible way to do certain things.

What were other main hurdles in implementing the original video online?

Elimeliah: We're used to doing static intros and transferring those to do whatever we want with them. But now we're working with gigs and gigs of high-definition video, which takes a lot more with gigs and gigs of high-definition video, which takes a lot more time to work with, to render and to load up. You could be really creative with how you do it. When you have only a few seconds to work with, this is not a video that can be buffering and playing like a DVD. This is something living in an environment. What we capture is only going to be a few seconds, so you have to be really creative in what those few seconds are going to be and the impact they're going to make. The files are so heavy, it won't work if the quality isn't perfect.

March 19, 2008

League of Bust!

I honestly thought the days of poorly rendered video were done. I really thought everyone "got it" when it came to video on the web. I really believed that there was a general consensus that when it came to big brands that video needed to be as good as images and copy... i was wrong.

Gatorade put out this new site that is absolutely horrible. The entire execution is bad, everything from the video to the animation to the speed and the navigation and even the text sucks.

Check out this site as an example of what NOT TO DO! If your site looks anything like this one, then redo it now!

March 17, 2008

No Silverli(ing)ght

Microsoft licenses Adobe’s Flash Lite: The motives in a nutshell we will do whatever Apple doesn't do. Looks like good ol Ballmer decided to base his decision on Job's refusal to install Flash on the iPhone.

I guess Silverlight isnt the Silverlining around the dark cloud hovering over Microsoft. Adobe seems to be sitting pretty these days. Who knew the design software makers would emerge as the powerhouse in the software arms race.

Acrobat and Flash has propelled them into the running...

Getting Physical on The FWA

I got Physical on The FWA today... had to give props where props were due. My excitement for the medium cannot be contained, its like getting new toys to play with every single day!

Check out this new article I wrote for The FWA


Go Green Today! Drink a Beer and Hug A Tree!

March 16, 2008

NIN Sees Dead Places...

NIN took a major step forward with the new album entitled Ghosts. Although after downloading and listening to the track I feel that it is simply an instrumental version of their typical industrial style, what I do think is important is that Trent Renzor has applied his talents to the Interactive realm by producing a body of music that is meant to accompany places that are meaningful to him.

I think it is also important that he is using an alternative method of distribution via the web for his new release and that he is being sensitive to the fact that there are people who will pay top dollar for a premium product as well as those who will certainly download it for free. Rather than making it illegal he has embraced those fans as well and given them a means of attaining his music free of charge and perfectly legal.

I also like that with his free download he gives people web graphics, backgrounds, icons and similar branded media as a means of allowing a very vocal group further market his NIN brand and to help it develop into the web cult that it seems to be heading for. Reznor has been waiting for the web his whole life. Its a playground for him and a place for him to thrive. And there is plenty of room for many people like him to do so.

I applaud this move by Reznor. I hope to see more artists take this route when releasing any type of medium be it music, video, art, animations, whatever!

Behind the Times

Being an artist, a designer and a true innovator a person MUST be one step ahead of the game.

2.0 is upon us and its purpose is to finally establish standards, design practice and solid medium for the platform. It is about ease of use and data visualization. Flash, video, layout online and a maturation of the platform as a whole. 2.0 is about being comfortable in our skin and laying down another foundation for the most rich and robust medium in history.

I think that we need to focus on philosophy, analytics, and delve deeper into the human mind for 3.0 we will see motion sensors, touch screens, reaction and emotion. Databases and data visualization will also be sent to the forefront of this push. Things will be smarter, faster, more engaging and strategic.

We are on a fast pace towards the future, everything is accelerated and it is upon the designers, the developers and the innovators of the world to keep up with that pace in order to make sure the future is well organized, pretty and makes sense...

March 14, 2008

Motion sensors

It takes a real belief in the medium to put something like this out there.

Check this out! Make sure you have a web cam active. go to

Publicis & Hal Riney deserve massive props for taking the first step into the split sea....

Way to go guys!!! Took a simple execution to change the future!

March 12, 2008


SoDA, you're so full of bubbles, when I drink you you solve all of my troubles.

Those RFPs are so naughty forces us to be real haughty.
Big bad agencies throwing their weight, but thats not going to seal our fate!
We will not budge on that second line, and indemnification should be just fine!
2 directions are all you'll get, thats what we discussed when we first met.

SoDA, you're so full of bubbles, when I drink you you solve all of my troubles.

Those big agencies are starting to learn, our proposals are no longer difficult to discern.
Our rules are simple they benefit all, you have that site by early fall.
Our ideas were never free, and another design will incur a fee...
Day and night we break our neck, and you still expect our work on spec??!

SoDA, you're so full of bubbles, when I drink you you solve all of my troubles.

March 10, 2008

Squeeze me

I had gotten tons of feedback on an article I wrote a few years ago called Art Vs Design and this is one response to that article that I really enjoyed.

You can check it out here

I especially liked Jennifer's conclusion:

While this article does a great job of defining the basic distinctions of the Artist vs Designer, it doesn't take into account the entire 21st century role of Postmodernism in art. While the Modernism movement might have agreed with the distinctions between the two types of visual composers, Postmodernism is defined by it's antithesis.

I like what she said because I strongly disagree with it!

First of all this whole "modernist' and "postmodernist" bullshit is simply that! Bullshit.

Art transcends all "terms" and these terms are usually added to subjects because of the desire for people to organize things in such a way. Art is expression, and expression is not only timeless but time bound, it lives in the moment and hangs there as time passes. You may mark its creation but it lives on regardless of that mark.

So to use terms such as modern, or post modern only strangles the subject and makes it even more elusive.

To me the very term POSTMODERNISM is absurd. Everything that isnt yesterday is modern, postmodern is just a distinction that helps those who need to tag and clarify for the sake of organization, do so. The question still stands. Am I an artist or am I a designer?

The roads remain parallel yet they seem to be crossing at every turn.

"The term is closely linked with poststructuralism (cf. Jacques Derrida) and with modernism, in terms of a rejection of its bourgeois, elitist culture."

This is a complete farce... Art begs for attention, it is the deep desire of most artists to have their expression accepted by the world and to be lavished with the riches of the bourgeois and the elite...