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10 September 2014
Igloo reacts to: Apple watch

by Bel New

apple-watch-blog-600

Dubbed their most personal product to date, the hype surrounding Apple’s announcement of its first wearable gadget, the Apple Watch, was unprecedented. Before the release, there was apprehensive discussion as to what exactly the Apple Watch would offer, apart from telling the time. Would it be, as cynical commentators argued, just an iPhone for your wrist? Well, sort of.

As well as the ability to make calls, send messages, and access apps, the watch apparently innovates sensory technology, allowing you to simply swipe to view your applications, as well as send drawings, and even (somewhat eerily) the sound of your own heartbeat, to your contacts. Its main new features are the fitness tracker, and Apple Pay, a contactless way to transfer money, already being accepted in McDonalds and American pharmacy Walgreens.

There’s been a significant amount of buzz and discussion around the release in the Igloo office, and each of us have shared our first thoughts on the Apple Watch. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

 

James, Partner:

Back in July 2013, Pebble demonstrated the worldwide appeal for a smartwatch by crowdfunding a staggering $10 million via Kickstarter. Despite the huge potential market, it’s taken the big names over a year to catch up and create their versions.

Although I can see the Apple Watch being incredibly useful in many cases – I love the thought of accessing messages and maps while cycling, and I’ve got nothing against wearable technology – I still can’t see myself getting this: The screen goes blank after a few seconds so you can’t actually check the time without two hands, plus I’m also worried that this will look like a mountain on my skinny geek wrists.

Finally, watching the use videos online, I can’t help but be reminded of the Macbook Wheel… I’m sure I’ll be wearing a smartwatch in a year’s time, but I don’t think they’ve sorted it yet.

Is James on to something here?

Is James on to something here?

 

Olly, Partner:

We have come to expect ground-breaking new products from Apple and this watch doesn’t deliver on that promise, instead it fits in neatly with pre-existing products.

I think it’s interesting that they have attempted to make a much fuller and more usable operating system for the Apple Watch than the Android Wear has, but in the demos the combination of different ways of interacting with the device combined with the small screen make it look very complicated to use.

Ultimately it doesn’t look as good as the Moto 360, it doesn’t seem to be as easy to use as any Android Wear device, it doesn’t appear to be properly waterproof, and there is no news on battery life, which is the major problem these devices are struggling to overcome. When was the last time that an Apple product felt so second best?

Olly's heart lies firmly with the Moto 360.

Olly’s heart lies firmly with the Moto 360.

 

Bel, Digital Marketing:

I can imagine that the Apple Watch will only be popular amongst real gadget fans. It seems to be an add on to your iPhone, something for the really hardcore techies to get involved in. It’s the sort of thing you’ll wave in the face of your friends for a few months to impress them, then eventually get bored of. Either that or it will really take off and nobody will bother giving their iPhone a second glance.

I think Apple have certainly kept to their reputation of innovation with this one, in terms of the connection to your heartbeat, and its ability to differentiate between a touch and a press. But call me a traditionalist, but I think I’d just like my watch to tell the time, not do my dishes.

 

Ben, Senior Graphic Designer:

My first impressions are not great to be honest, and I am usually a fan of Apple products. My main issue is with the aesthetics which I certainly didn’t expect from them and the ease of use looks to be a problem, although I will reserve complete judgement on that. I love watches and in my opinion the more functional (read clean) the better. Whilst some of the features look impressive, it seems bizarre to me that you would need your iPhone at all times to make it work. I can think of many occasions I want a watch, but not my phone.

I think I will stick to my Braun thank you Apple.

 

Tom, Web Developer:

I have no doubt that people will love the new expensive & uninspiring watch recently released by Apple. It looks cheap, it’s complicated to use and has no real use, what more could you want? It doesn’t even have infrared, give me one of those bad boys any day! 

casio

Tom would go for a Casio any day.

 

Hannah, Graphic Design Intern:

How can something so small do so much?! It is an impressive addition to the Apple products, although there is certainly a lot going on. The watch is slick and has a very ‘Apple’ look to it, however it seems quite overcomplicated for a ‘user-friendly’ watch, almost as if they are trying to pack too much into it. The changeable straps do make it wearable for a range of occasions, which I think will be a success.  They have kept the battery life quiet which suggests it isn’t that great. We’ll have to wait and see…

 

What do you think about the release of the Apple Watch?

3 July 2014
Type tour of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014

by Kirsty

A selection of the National Pavilion façades at the Giardini site. Have a look at what’s on display inside them here.
austria

belgium

canada

corea

egypt

france

germany

great-britain

holand

hungary

israel

japan

russia

slovenia

spain

uruguay

venezuela

venice

 

25 June 2014
The new .uk domain name – should you switch?

by James

dotuklarge

As most website owners in the UK will be aware, the new .uk domain names are now available.

This means that instead of having:

yourbusiness.co.uk

as your domain name, you can have:

yourbusiness.uk

We think this is a great move by Nominet (the non-profit company that manages UK domain names), and expect .uk to become the UK domain of choice over .co.uk.

But what if you’re currently using a .co.uk? Should you swap? We think the answer is yes, but it’s worth considering the following.

  1. If you already own the .co.uk then there’s probably no rush. The .uk has most likely been reserved for you until 2019. There are a couple of caveats here, so we recommend using this tool to ensure you do have the rights.
  2. It will take the general public a while to get used to .uk, so it’s important to have both the .co.uk and the .uk in case your potential clients enter the wrong address.
  3. If and when you do swap from .co.uk to .uk, you can keep the .co.uk and forward all visitors on to your new .uk site. This way you won’t lose any visitors who didn’t know about the change.
  4. What if you’ve spent time and money on SEO for your .co.uk domain? This is a very relevant question. If done right, you can guide Google (and the other search engines) through your domain name change, and although you are likely to get a temporary (a few weeks) drop in SEO rankings, these should get back to their previous state very quickly. However, as Google is a fickle thing you can never be completely sure. We can assist you with this to make sure everything runs smoothly.

So in summary, we recommend .uk over a .co.uk domain. If you want to switch give us a call and we’ll make sure it’s done right.

 

 

8 April 2014
Webby Awards top 5!

by Afy

We're a Webby nominee!

We’re incredibly proud to announce that our website for Patentise has been nominated by the Webby Awards as one of the top five law websites – in the world! – this year.

Winners are announced in the next two weeks – show your support by voting for Patentise here.

21 March 2014
Film title sequences: 15 of our favourites

by Kirsty

Here are a few of our favourite film title sequences, including some of the most influential and iconic, that play with audience expectation and memory through style, execution, timing and placement.

skin

Under the Skin (2013)

Look out for the unbearable pause during the title sequence of­­­ this film by Jonathan Glazer, leading to a sense of ongoing descent into an abyss from which one never emerges.

It’s film title sequence design at its best: arresting, hypnotising, fixating the viewer and demanding their full attention.

love

I am Love (2009)

Recalling film title design from the ’30s and ’40s, with snowy shots of Milan almost completely devoid of colour, this feels like film noir. The assumed setting highlights the film’s occupation with time, even as it moves towards the present.

psycho

Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock, director, without Saul Bass, designer? Hard to imagine. Bass’s distinctive work was central in marketing, and immortalising, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.

north

no

Dr No (1962)

The Bond title sequence that started them all. The visual indicators – like that gun barrel circle – are to this day a key part of marketing the James Bond franchise. Shaken and stirred by Maurice Binder.

451

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

This book-burning dystopia gives us no written credits – they are entirely narrated. As well as mirroring the destruction of the written word, denying us the act of reading, this creates a direct relationship with the audience – an alternative and powerful participation.

bullitt

Bullitt (1968)

Designed by Pablo Ferro, who also designed the title sequence for Dr. Strangelove –a beautiful intersection and harmony of type, movement and image. Compare with the title sequence for Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro (2009).

tetro

 

monty

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

An unapologetic sweep through the history of title design ending with a nod to Saul Bass’s typography for Nine Hours to Rama and credits to the on-set llamas. (And then apologising for it. Twice).

alien

Alien (1979)

Cryptic markings slowly emerge on the screen leading to the awful realisation of what the Nostromo crew, and we, will confront. Designed by Richard Greenberg.

shining

The Shining (1980)

The sublime landscape overlaid with the reverse scrolling credits makes for a truly disconcerting effect. Created by Chapman Beauvais & National Screen Service with helicopter photography by MacGillivray Freeman Films.

seven

Se7en (1995)

The sequence credited with inspiring the resurgence of film title design in the 1990s. The close-ups of John Doe’s materials are an unsettling glimpse into the mind of the methodical, relentless, meticulous serial killer. Designed by Kyle Cooper.

matrix

The Matrix (1999)

The power of a single colour – oily green – to define a film.

void

Enter the Void (2009)

What David Fincher wished for Fight Club – typography that burns onto the retina. Directed by Tom Kan.

drive

Drive (2011)

The typeface Mistral – used by Sandals Resorts and Only Fools and Horses – is given a whole new persona in the title sequence and marketing for this Nicolas Winding Refn directed feature.

moonrise

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Wes Anderson – a director as devoted to typography as centred composition. Jessica Hische designed the typeface that appears in the opening title sequence and end credits.

As shown by recent films, the creation of distinctive, beautiful opening title sequences is in no danger of waning.

20 February 2014
Post-it note manifestos

by Afy

colourful manifestos

Inspired by the Manifesto project, we’ve written our own mini manifestos.

What would your one-line manifesto be?

7 January 2014
my prognosticating genius

by Afy

spam

Here’s this week’s most beguiling blog comment — posted, it seems, by a troubled clairvoyant:

But isnt enough. but I will not allow those type of trifling details to derail my prognosticating genius. pilloried and disparaged is about to deliver a season of redemption. bringing in a financial professional can take the emotion relationships out of the process,If such an opportunity comes you way,Police report that she?

…that she…?

that she what?

WHAT??

20 December 2013
Five things that happened in 2013

by Afy

magic_code

A new development

At the beginning of the year, Tom joined Igloo as our second developer. He
makes your websites look amazing, using the fine art… of magic.

Sorry I’ve just been told that’s CODE he uses — code.

fifth_floor

Igloo moves studio

We’re now in a sunlit, spacious unit on the fifth floor of Regent Studios —
come visit, the view’s great.

bye_mike

Bye, Mike

After six years and some stunning identity, print, and digital projects at Igloo,
we say goodbye to our senior designer Mike, who’s moving on to focus on
freelance work and his own projects.

webby_award

Webby Award Success

Our website for Interior-iD has won us a Webby Awards honour (kinda like
an Internet Oscar). The site’s been listed in the top 20 for Aesthetic Visual
Design this year. We’re chuffed.

More on the Igloo blog

bel_new

Welcome, Bel!

This year we welcomed Bel to Igloo, as our new SEO assistant. A
fashionista with a self-confessed Peter Pan collar complex, she’s a
marketing natural, too.

Not your standard interview
Or read Bel’s very own blog

21 November 2013
Cutting, engraving, wood gluing, varnishing, sanding, drilling, fixing

by Kirsty

photo-(4)
Here’s our new projecting sign for the studio. Designed in birch plywood with a 0.5mm engraving, it was produced by Cut Laser Cut and fixed by a needlessly large team of five.

8 October 2013
Igloo in net magazine!

by Afy

Net magazineNet magazine, the leading publication for the web industry, has featured Igloo in its website showcase! In this November’s issue, our lead developer James talks JavaScript: specifically, about the JavaScript behind the website we designed and built for INTERIOR-iD.

Download the full article to read how we created our own in-house JS framework, and used code as efficiently as possible.

Read more about the INTERIOR-iD site here. We’ve bragged blogged about our Webby Award nomination here.

7 October 2013
Gerald Cinamon: Collected Work Since 1958

by Kirsty

gerald

Last Thursday we visited the Gerald Cinamon retrospective at the ICA.

Spanning a career of five decades, the exhibition showcased the designer’s work at Penguin in the 60s and 70s alongside his published writing, books and posters, all characterised by his distinctive – and at the time radical – use of bold colour and Swiss-influenced typography.

During the evening we were lucky enough to be joined by the man himself, to talk about his work and give us an insight into the thinking behind his iconic designs.

Here’s a short film shown during the exhibition: ‘Close Not Touching’, which features a conversation with David Pearson.

film-still

You can see the video here and view more of Gerald Cinamon’s work here.

 

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