Living with Facebook Paper

Most people have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. For many it has changed the way we interact online, and the launch of Paper earlier this year took things a step further, with a Flipboard-esque, super-minimalist approach to the social network on our smartphones (or in Paper’s case, specifically the iPhone).

It’s currently only available in America and is unlikely to officially come to the UK, or the rest of Europe, any time soon. Frustrated and wanting to try out this jazzy new format, I turned into an American for approximately ten minutes whilst I downloaded it from Apple’s US app store. First impressions were positive.

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Is LinkedIn Really Useless?

I recently attended my old university’s (of which I am now an ‘alumnus’ – how exciting) graduate BeCreative day, to be on hand offering advice and answering questions of current students in the fields of art and design. One strong theme that came about was students questioning the effectiveness or usefulness of social media when hunting for jobs, especially the likes of LinkedIn. These routes of contact were largely met negatively by some panel members, but I totally disagree. Let me tell you why.

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Review: Geneva Motor Show 2014

My design career can be traced right back to drawing cars as a small child. This was pretty much all I did. I’d even get requests to draw certain cars. My parents took me to the British Motor Show at Birmingham’s NEC (and at Earls Court in London on the odd occasion) for about 8 years on the trot, before it shifted to London’s ExCel Centre and then fizzled out completely in 2008. So it seems fitting that although I once dreamed of becoming a car designer, I still work in the design industry and still love cars… and still go to Motor Shows.

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Big in 2014: Rush Hour

This circulated at work just before Christmas, and I think it’s absolutely brilliant. At present there’s only a trailer of the gameplay, which does a pretty incredible job of selling the idea. The creator, Antonia Heslop, is on the lookout for a top games developer to put what looks to be an extremely addictive commuting-themed game into production. Heslop says it’s ready to go for iOS and Android, so if someone jumps on board, expect to see this brilliant little game on your iPhone some time in 2014. Better than listening to people moan or looking at miserable faces on the Tube, anyway.



5 Games For Your Break

Thanks to so many different advances in technology and design, we’re seeing more and more ‘Browser Games’ appear. Browser Games are, not surprisingly, games or challenges designed for certain internet browsers, such as Google Chrome, which can be enjoyed individually or as a wider social experience. I’ve rounded up some of my favourites – go and give them a try! Preferably on your lunch break though, because you’ll end up sending your colleagues into a bit of a state thanks to their zany collection of sound effects!

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10 Tips for Design Students: Part One

As a recent graduate, I thought I’d put together some tips from my experiences as a student, for those of you who are starting or continuing a creative course this year. It’s really easy to get bogged down near the start of the year, but here are some tips to motivate and help you to aim for those high grades.

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That’s a Nice Site: Every Last Drop

To keep you all hooked, I thought I’d introduce a mini-series looking at my favourite websites on a fairly regular basis. I thought I was keen on investigating the world of digital design whilst I was at uni, but that has gone completely through the roof since I’ve been a full time digital designer.

As a result, I’ve been coming across more and more brilliant design, and I’d really like to share some of that with you.

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Talking Point: The Real Power of Microsoft Paint

We’ve all been there. At some point we’ve been sat on Paint (the computer programme, not the stuff you put on walls) or an equivalent bit of software, drawing clumpy lines inaccurately with a mouse. It’s come in for its fair share of stick too, with people shunning it, and understandably so, in favour of more sophisticated pieces of software. But there’s still a fun factor with Paint.

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Talking Point: My Take on iOS 7

This week saw one of the most hotly anticipated design launches of 2013, with Apple showcasing both iOS 7 (their latest iPhone/iPad operating system) and the new Mac OS X Mavericks for their iMac and MacBook lines. iOS 7 has been one of the most talked about launches since iPhone and iPad were released, mainly because it is the biggest revamp the iPhone has seen since its launch in 2007. Before the event at which the software was revealed, WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), there was much talk across the internet as to how Apple’s new iOS operating system would look, with many rumours suggesting that Apple would ditch their thoroughly familiar, often imitated skeuomorphism (digital things made to look physical, like the leathery textures, fake notebooks and that horrific green felt in Game Centre), in favour of an all-new ‘flat‘ design aesthetic.

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Behind the Scenes: Degree Show Ready

I’ve just finished my degree in Graphic Design by putting the finishing touches to my exhibition space of our Final Degree Show, which runs from 20-26 June 2013 at the University of Chester’s Kingsway Buildings.

It’s been a very heavy week. Since my last blog post, lots has happened. I’ve been at my exhibition space every day this week, trying things out, mounting, sorting technical issues and getting things printed. I’ve included some photographs that I’ve been taking on my iPhone as the space has progressed through the week.

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Behind the Scenes: Degree Show Preparation

With all of my official deadlines met and presentations completed, attention has turned fully to our Final Degree Show, which opens on Thursday 20th June 2013 at the University’s Kingsway Arts & Media campus. I have made the decision to use Glovebox as my main exhibition piece, and have been working over the past week to visualise how my space will look.

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Talking Point: Flat UI Design

Today, over at CreativeBloq, I stumbled across a design concept for Instagram, if it were to follow the escalating ‘Flat Design’ trend. I’m not entirely sure what to think.

First of all, I hear you asking, what exactly is Flat Design? It’s pretty much the opposite of what Apple does in their stock apps. You won’t find any super-detailed bookshelves, leather or fake paper in flat design. The trend arguably started with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and takes UI (user interface) design right back to basics. This means simple icons and flat colours, with little to no shading. I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this trend, so below are a few examples of flat design, with, in my opinion, varying levels of success.

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