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OUR BLOG

Our Favourite Trends of 2015

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The ever present need to always be up to date with trends can be an exhausting job. Even more so for an obsessive designer with the attention span of a squirrel, however having said this, there are some trends that have entered the realm of existence and have found a happy home in our studio.

1. Mock Up Environments

The absolute glee of finding a great mockup environment, photographed at a great angle with many different objects can truly make a designers heart sing. We truly love this trend and the endless possibilities that it offers. It is also a great tool to help explain a design and the concept behind it when it is housed in the perfect environment. We find that this also helps sell our ideas to a client much more easily as the visual aid truly helps sell the concept.


2. Large Typography

Gone are the days of bland typography. Hooray! We love the bold typefaces, mixing and matching of different typography and the use of differently weighted typefaces to create a visual story. Pair this with bold imagery and you really have a winner!

3. Gorgeous Photography

Large lifestyle scenes, beautiful landscapes and epic product shots are some of our favourites. The vibrancy of the colours and the use of these grand images in both print and digital design make a great statement.

4. Geometric Design Elements

From the ubiquitous square or card form as seen on Pinterest to the great use of diamond shapes in many printed media. Graphic geometric elements are a great way to house typography and block off sections of information for easier reading and digesting of information.

5. Tropical Vibes

Who doesn’t like a photo or illustration of a pineapple? We certainly love seeing them pop up on our inspiration boards. They make you feel like a bundle of sunshine and also make you wish you could possibly be on some divine island looking out at a calm idyllic sea instead of behind your desk. But we digress, using tropical tones of greens, yellows, oranges and black really does add a pop of freshness to any design and sneaking in a tropical leaf of some kind always makes us smile.

The various trends this year inspired us to new heights! We can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters, cheerleaders, clients, friends and family for always making our job fun and exciting. We look forward to working with you all again in 2016.
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iPhonography

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We think the iPhongraphy trend that is trending lately is great! The idea that you don’t need bulky equipment and a large DSLR camera to take awesome photos, means that you can shoot from the hip and capture moments by just touching a button.

That being said, taking beautiful photos with just your iPhone does take some practice. The general rule is to take a lot of photos, that way you can increase your odds and get more practice.

Here are some of our favorite tips, tricks and apps:

When taking your photos, keep the composition simple. You don’t want to over complicate your photos, this will only distract the viewer from the actual subject of the photo. Don’t worry if the majority of your photo is filled with empty space since that will only make your subject stand out more.

Another reason to simplify your photos, is if you share your photos on Instagram or other similar photo sharing networks, your viewing audience are usually using their phones thus a lot of the finer details will be lost on their screens. Keep your iPhone photos simple and your audience will enjoy them.

Find interesting angles. Don’t just shoot from your chest height. Experiment with low and high angles. Don’t be afraid to take a seat or lie down to get the perfect shot. Another benefit of taking photos from a low angle is that you can show interesting details in the foreground that would be lost otherwise.

Follow the rule of thirds, which states that an image will look more balanced and visually pleasing if the important elements within the scene are positioned off-center. Don’t put your subject right in the middle of your frame. Experiment with having the subject move off to the right or left of the frame. And once you’ve mastered the rule, you can experiment with breaking it!

The App store contains thousands of awesome apps for shooting, editing and sharing your amazing photos directly from your iPhone or iPad. Here are some of the apps we suggest, but here too, experimentation and personal preference plays a role.

Instagram: Do we even need to introduce Instagram? It is one of the most, if not the most popular app for sharing your best iPhonography. Recently acquired by Facebook, Instagram is one app we use every day.

Snapseed: Snapseed makes any photograph extraordinary with a fun, high-quality photo experience right at your fingertips. Anyone can enhance, transform, and share their photos with ease using incredibly advanced features. If you don’t have Snapseed yet, make sure to download it now.

VSCO Cam®: Visual Supply Company’s terrific app has a spectacular range of tools for avid photographers and amateur shutterbugs alike. The no-frills design makes it easy to apply filters, adjust exposure, and share your creations with others.

Squaredy: It's a completely FREE App! No in-app purchases to unlock features.
It is the EASIEST, FASTEST and most FLEXIBLE way to post entire photos on Instagram without cropping.

Diptic: Diptic helps you easily combine multiple photos and apply artistic effects to create exceptional photo collages. With 14 filters, rounded borders and 52 customizable layouts, there are unlimited options to create unique images.

Camera Awesome: This app takes your photos to the next level by shooting fast and taking sharper, better-exposed shots. This is one of our new favourite apps that we are currently trying out.

When it comes to taking photos, remember to have fun, break the rules and experiment! Taking a walk just to find awesome textures is a great way to find new and exciting things to photography. The more you practice the better you will be. So get out there and start snapping!
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Top 5 Design Trends for 2015

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Large Design & Video Backgrounds

Long scrolling websites have increased the amount of usable space on modern websites and designers have taken advantage of this with increased font sizes, images and even video backgrounds. The overall effect of large design is to enhance the web experience and create an environment. Many designers have used the long scrolling effect to go further and create a story telling effect. Coupled with this is the video background effect, something which in the past was inconceivable. But now short looping videos that don't consume too much bandwidth are breathing life into 2015 design.

Responsive design

The web design environment is moving with technology and is becoming fully customized for different viewports on all devices and screen sizes. But others see responsive design practices expanding further than just web, spilling over and becoming more important in native apps, in part through a proliferation of wearables. Apple Watch, for example, relies on a responsive-like flow to accommodate a small screen, and so while 2015 isn't the year the web and native become the same, it'll get us much closer.

Performance and Speed

Some design trends have been motivated by the need to make sites load faster and consume less bandwidth for those using mobile, tablet devices or slower networks. Site designers and developers are becoming more keenly aware of the size of their sites and how their users interact with them.

It will be no surprise that the need to be faster and perform flawlessly with no lag time will drive design decisions on many new websites launching in 2015.

Ghost buttons

One of the fastest growing trends in web design is the ghost button. This style follows in the footsteps of flat UI design where buttons use a single color background with a seemingly 2-dimensional appearance.

Ghost buttons are designed to be empty or semi-transparent by default. They light up on hover which adds some color and distinctive notoriety to the design style. If you look at ghost buttons found in websites they often look like boxes with colorful borders.

Feature icons

Startups, mobile apps, and creative agencies like to use graphics and blocks of text to outline their features. Most of the time you’ll find these features on the homepage in a list of pithy sentences coupled with small icons.
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The Lenovo Superfish Scandal

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Towards the end of 2014 and early 2015 Lenovo sold over 20 different models of laptops all preinstalled with Superfish VisualDiscovery, a piece of software that allows third parties to insert their own targeted ads into users web results. Over the last few days it has been revealed that the Superfish software exposes Lenovo users to internet traffic hacks, because all actions made by the user are recorded to allow Superfish to place targeted ads in your browser.

Preinstalled software is nothing new and has been in place for years. Manufacturers have been preinstalling software that they feel benefit the end user but over the years this practice has become so common that most users don't even question it. However the more tech savvy users are growing exceedingly annoyed by the bombardment of unnecessary software on their machines and have nicknamed this software 'Bloatware'.

But the Superfish Bloatware has gone too far! As a result Lenovo itself has been a victim of a cyber attack when hackers temporarily took control of the Lenovo website showing a slideshow of bored teens, which then linked to a Twitter account of 'Lizard Squad' the hacker group responsible for the attack.

Founder and CEO Adi Pinhas has defended Superfish saying it was not to blame but that it was Komodia's software that allowed Superfish to decode internet traffic and insert ads.

Regardless of blame, manufacturers outsourcing components will continue to increase the risk of exposure and this means that Bloatware is here to stay but third-parties providing software for their components need to take responsibility.

Other Bloatware such as Heartbleed and Shellshock have past under the radar for nearly a decade because companies trusted the small group of developers creating this software.

After a lawsuit filed by a Lenovo laptop owner Lenovo has vowed to stop including unnecessary software on their machines. While there seems to be no end to the Bloatware epidemic, Lenovo and Microsoft have both provided online solutions to help affected users remove Superfish from their laptops.
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