Thursday, July 25, 2013

The PIxel Painter

I came across this video today on Jared Erickson's site, and had to share. It's an incredibly inspiring, positive, touching, and eye-opening video directed by Josh Bogdan and Ryan Lasko. It shines a whole new light on how, as designers and artists, we can grow - even when we approach a century of living life. It also opens you up to a surprising beauty that Microsoft Paint can be used to create (something I never thought I'd see).

Check out the short film below, and be sure to show some appreciation on Vimeo to Hal for his incredible work. You can also visit to learn even more and purchase a print of his amazingly detailed art - plus, 10% of each purchase goes to Veterans of Foreign Wars programs.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Samsung Advertising: big budgets really do pay off

A recent article has proven to me (once again) that Samsung has officially taken over the smartphone market. - and maybe a little too much. Over the past year or two - primarily last year - Samsung has been everywhere. They've been pushing their flagship devices so much that it seemed like every commercial break, billboard, retail store and mobile network was shoving the Galaxy & Note phones down our throats. It's definitely safe to say that all those ads, all the marketing, all the sales pushes have been a complete success.

Samsung is now the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world. They've recently broke the record for the fastest a smartphone has ever sold (yes, even more than the iPhone), and other manufacturers are crumbling at the quake of new mobile giant. Recently, HTC has made news that they're falling apart, and if something doesn't happen soon, they could be gone for good. This is pretty much an almost direct result of the power of Samsung's advertising and marketing budget (along with other internal changes and possible flops in features by HTC).

Last year, Samsung spent over $4.3 billion on advertising alone, plus another $5.3 billion on sales and promotional marketing. To give you an idea of how much that is compared to "normal" ad spending, below is a graph of some of the top brands in the United States, and their ad spending from the past few years. That's right, Samsung spent significantly more than Apple, Microsoft and even Coca Cola.

The success of Samsung over the past year is definitely not a result of the quality of their devices. When compared to the build quality and design of HTC, Sony or Apple - Samsung looks like some cheap toy you buy at the clearance section of Walmart. The Gorilla Glass is usually Samsung's strongest material, but it's surrounded by awkward bezels, cheap plastic and an overall poor build. Not to mention, Samsung's "TouchWiz" user interface is possibly one of the ugliest ones around (there really never was an era where that interface looked good). However, some of the small features that Samsung adds (like the ones in the new Galaxy S4 commercial below), are pretty handy. As a Samsung Galaxy S3 owner myself, I can say that the extra features hidden within the settings are nice, and the performance is out-of-this-world, but man would I love to see some better design and better materials in Samsung devices.

That being said, big advertising budgets really do pay off. When you flood the market...or...the world in Samsung's case, you really do come out on top. The big question now - can Samsung maintain this place as 'Top Dog', without having to spend almost $10 billion a year to promote their products?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Classic Viral Videos Everyone Must Know

Lately, my DirecTV has been replaced by the powerful combination of YouTube on my phone and TV. Normally I just browse through the subscription feed I have on my phone, and send the videos to my TV to watch (#magic). Tonight though, came across the "Internet Melody" video that's been out for some time. It's one of my all-time favorite YouTube videos, and reminded me of some classic viral videos that I don't think most people remember.

Being a YouTube addict since about late 2005, I had to share some of my favorite YouTube videos that I feel like everybody who lives in the 21st century should know. Plus, it's just fun to watch these. I'll start by the first viral video I remember watching, and go on from there.

And the video that mashed these up (plus many more internet memes) and spawned me writing this post:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Phoenix Federal Credit Union

This is a little project I've been working on here-and-there. It's a totally fictitious, just for fun concept of a new credit union in Phoenix, Arizona. Credit unions are notorious for having terrible branding and cheesy design, so I wanted to create something refreshing to the credit union industry. Something new. A credit union that could play against the big banks (in terms of branding, design and technology). It's still a work in progress, with a mobile app, advertising and retail signage to come still. Check out the whole project on my Behance.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pantone Phones

I'll admit it - I'm a fan of pretty much anything that's "Pantone" branded. There's tons of items you can buy that are Pantone products, including cell phone cases, but what if you could get an actual Pantone phone? Well, our friends over in Japan can! Once again taking cellular technology to a whole new level, SoftBank offers Pantone phones. You can get a higher-end Android, or a simple dumb-phone - all decked out in official Pantone swatches. I love the colors, and honestly, I'd be happy with just having one of the small 202SH flip phones.

The manufacturer is Sharp, and I'm sure you could buy these on Ebay to have them shipped to the U.S. However, in case you are traveling to Japan, check out the rest of the phones by Sharp through SoftBanks site.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Black & White Logos

Call me old fashioned, but I'm still a firm believer that a successful identity should work in one, solid color. This amazing collection of logos by Emir Ayouni and Simon Alander shows the striking beauty of a solid black & white logo. These were my top favorites, but visit the full project on Behance to see all of them (there's quite a few).

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Compact Cars - UK

Volkswagen up!

I've always been a fan of compact cars, but the ones here in the US are nothing like the ones of our neighbors across the pond. After watching nearly all 150 episodes of Top Gear UK on Netflix, I figured I'd share some of my favorite UK compact cars. It's a shame these will never come to the States because of the lack of power and safety on our high-speed roads (at least, that's what I've heard).

Vauxhall Agila

Toyota Aygo

Nissan Micra

Ford Ka

Audi A1