Since the moment it struck December 1st, we have been fizzing about Christmas like no tomorrow. It is undoubtedly one of our favourite holiday seasons, and so we thought why not research around it and blog some cool stuff! This week we combine a nationwide popular edible, with branding and have conjured up a collection of chocolate brands that celebrate Christmas! Yes, that’s right our Western social calenders impact heavily on design and communication means…
First up, for the organic obsessed, Green & Blacks. On a slight tangent we thought we would throw this is for its sheer superior brand quality. It doesn’t even require a Christmas brand avenue, as it is so luxurious the product sells itself. (They do however provide an Easter package, but this is available all year round on their website!) Check out these brand images, and how yummy they look- you can DEFINITELY get them for a Christmas stocking gift regardless! We think this is the most sophisticated brand of the lot!
Luscious Lindt oh we love you and your velvety ways. Annually red and gold in their primary brand palette anyway, Lindt only really need to introduce a few additional festive touches to their appeal. Have a gander at their Christmas product photography and promotional material, taken from their Facebook page. Our primary criticism is the use of font and generic snowflake graphics…they’re not the most inspiring in our opinion, but nonetheless make the visuals universal for all ages of global chocolate lovers and their advent calenders are a treat! They tend to employ gold embossed lettering which gives them a classic edge.
Montezumas! Sussex born and based, these authentic and traditional chocolatiers make Christmas original in their own way. With vibrant playful packaging, we see their branding almost more aimed at a younger audience to keep up the demeanor of their ‘innovative’ and ‘British’ brand. Again we are not huge font fans, as we are advocates of unique lettering and typography, but hey they work it and know their stuff! It’s about bright colour, patterns and child-like graphics with Monte!
Going a bit more high-end with this one, is Hotel Chocolat. Black and white is their usual brand attire, but they have seen no harm in adding splashes of crimson red this Christmas. They have honed in on the ol’ Christmas photography again, to promote their festive products, but perhaps with a bit more of a professional edge. Their promotional material seems to adopt more of an elegance and mature class to it, compared to the other brands explored above. Well they do have a more adult price range, so don’t go getting too many ideas kids…It may look appetizing but your pocket money budget will not agree.
It’s always tough maintaining the Monday morning momentum throughout the week and keeping up enthusiastic appearances in the mean time. We know office work or constant output can be tough, it’s a hard life being brilliant, so we have conjured up a pretty trustworthy list of things you can do to make your day at work more productive. This is especially appropriate for Wednesday afternoon onwards…
1. A ruddy good night’s sleep. Get at least seven hours we say, no one can think as clearly or as positively as someone with a good rest behind them. NHS state between six to nine hours per night is recommended, but we like the idea of minimum seven (tehe).
IKEA Levitation by Jyo John.
2. Eat sugar during the day. Start with a slow energy release breakfast such as wholegrain toast, porridge, or yoghurt and muesli etc. Try to lay off caffeine- but we know it is vital sometimes, so save it until you really need it during the dragging hours of the day. By sugar we mean good sugars, such as those in fruit! Apples, oranges, juices and smoothies are-OH MY GOSH- oh so awakening and keep you buzzed.
Forbidden fruit by Karan Singh.
3. Try and situate your smaller working environment, if possible, by a window or area with plentiful natural light, and perhaps the added opportunity of an opening. Fresh air can hit you awake and keep you invigorated almost immediately. Being in a cozy, darker, warmer place can help nod you off and reduce focus on the task at hand. (As lush as that sometimes sounds!) Studies have even shown that being connected to views and the outside environment has health and wellbeing benefits.
Rear Window by Alexandra Jarek.
4. Before going to work read the paper or listen to the radio news. This is firstly not only good for kick starting thinking and absorbing information in your brain, but also gives you added chat fuel for those pauses and office breaks. No one enjoys dull company over lunchtime now, do they? It also makes great use of that commute.
Once Upon A Time by Engin Oztekin.
5. Make a really good lunch before you go to work. Having something to look forward to half way through the day can give you excitement and incentive…well it does us! Nothing better than treating your insides nicely after a powerful morning sesh. We like meaty pasta salads, quinoa and cranberry mixes, savoury brioche sandwiches, nuts and greens! MOREOVER, make something different and exotic each day of the week to keep your taste buds surprised.
Sandwich Packaging by April Naoman.
6. Go on a walk on a break. Get the old legs moving, breathe some fresh air and have a look about. Have a gander at your surrounding area and think about the place; what you like, dislike, what’s interesting, the people, what has changed since you first arrived etc. This is more for fun but it still keeps your mind off work material for a bit before you go back to it. Or even better, get a dog! We bring good ol’ Snoop to work and he gives us a great excuse to keep getting out to refresh ourselves.
Holly by Tom Ralston.
7. Write lists. Lists are boring but wonderful and can downsize an overbearing load that may seem unachievable, to doable chunks. Wunderlist is our favourite online website that keeps us ticking and saves us losing those multiple scraps of paper! Wahey!
Meet Mable by Amy Collins.
8. Take a few nice pictures, pieces of art or posters into work and put them up with pride! It reminds you throughout the day that you’re not just a cog you’re a human. Surround yourself with things that brighten up your day and keep you smiling. This option can also be employed through the medium of music too. If listening to jams that push you through piles of priorities at a better rate than throughout silence, then make a killer playlist!
Artwork by Ian Stevenson.
9. Stretch and use your body after a long day when you get home. Whether it’s yoga, Youtube videos or handstands, (whatever it may be) try it! It allows you to realize all of your limbs and physical potential of your body, relaxes your mind, releases tension and overall, makes you feel more at ease and ready for bed. #Yogayawn
Mellow by HiredMonkeez.
10. When you have done a ton of brilliant things, note them down! Keep a record of your productive achievements, then why not at the end of the year congratulate yourself with a creative plaque! It’s lovely and fulfilling to look back on what you are capable of in an annum and if it was not as satisfying as you may have hoped, it can spur you on for a better next year. Why not use Prezi or Infogram to display how fabulous are in interactive ways!
Yesness by Janus Badenhorst.
We hope these actually pay off and they boost your productivity at work. Let us know how you get on!
This week’s focus in the DEN; photography. As visionaries and big photo fans, (as well as dabbling in some ourselves) we thought it would be highly appropriate to blog and present a series of our favourite photographs of London in circulation right now. Whether we’ve seen them on the news, creative website platforms or taken a snap ourselves, we got it here. Check out our Friday/November collection of London Photography.
This entry was recently in The Guardian and The Metro in November’s news surrounding the city’s impending domain name release. It’s all happening so fast, with domains available to buy soon enough, 2014’s Spring and then their release that summer. Get thinking!
Photograph: Mayor of London, credit: John Phillips/PA
Will Pearson’s ability to capture a vast yet extremely detailed scape of London overhead is unfathomable. Well done sir, this is 5 star! Scope his website for some more amazing scenes and even some 3D tours!
Animals YAY! Ok so here is nature-nurtured view of London from TimeOut, adding some delicacy to the regularly perceived hard, gritty city. These images are down to the fabulously talented John Hodgkiss (Swans, pictured in Little Venice) and Richard Hammerton (Cat on a fence walk). Images spied on the magazines’ photography competition.
Up next a US grad’s work of London. Sarah Luce-Andreyko captures some of the most iconic scenes, influenced by her architectural training background. Check our her Behance portfolio for more top draw photos and even some hand drawings!
This little collection is just marvellous, and are so good they have become popularised wall art says photographer: Roger Barcham. We can see why! He explores light and delay shutter effects on numerous occasions, so explore his collection on his online portfolio.
A few of our own when out and about the city in our free time, courtesy of Alix Blanx and her snap-happy skills:
To show our support to some old friends we have decided to become a sponsor for the ‘toughest footrace on earth’, occurring April 2014. This is all in aid of the marvellous St Georges Hospital (the Atkinson Morely Wing) in aid of the devastating incident of Mr Nick Fletcher. The wing have been utterly amazing and responsible for saving Nick’s life this year after a major ‘freak accident’ occurring in South London, March 2013.
A tragic occurrence resulted in Nick, 27, being severely hospitalised in a critical condition, labeled a ‘freak accident’ by The Evening Standard in March. The night it happened, on his father’s 63rd birthday, Nick, recently moving into his new home in Wandsworth, was struck by a falling telegraph pole in South London, leaving him fighting for his life. Nick experienced serious head trauma and was lucky to survive. Therefore in order to remember and celebrate the work of this wonderful hospital wing, we are sponsoring the brave (possibly mad) Andy Prickett, Ben Prior, Elliot Grant and Keiren Unwin on their exciting expedition next year. Their challenge entails c.250km over 5/6 days across the Sahara Desert, and is called the Marathon des Sables. The invaluable hospital wing even saved team member Keiren’s life back when he was a toddler, after an ambitious head dive…
We managed to get the all important info from inside man Kieren Unwin about some of our burning questions:
What made you decide to choose this particular challenge and how did you find out about it?
Between us, we have known of a handful of people who have undertaken this challenge in the past (including my brother), so we had all heard of it prior to being accepted. We decided, that given one of our best friends had undergone a huge life changing event, it was only apt to engross ourselves in an equally life changing extreme event to try and raise some money and create something positive from such a tragic situation. The MDS is branded as the toughest footrace on the planet, and there was something incredibly appealing in the thought of pushing ourselves to complete it, with such a powerful story/motive at the foundation.
What training and preparation have you undergone or are due to take up until the challenge?
The training has been incredibly hard. We are running a large number of miles every week. We are also doing other cardio such as rowing, cycling and cross-training. In addition we have been set a number of core training programs by David Fletcher (specialist personal trainer) to help condition our bodies as much as possible prior to the event. We have a number of endurance events coming up, including a 42 mile trail run (in December), followed by another marathon at the end of December. There are also a couple of other long races we have signed up to, such as the Pilgrims Challenge which is held around Box Hill. It is our aim also to start Bikhram Yoga, which will help with conditioning our bodies to the heat, while maintaining our flexibility and core strength. This is something that we will be updating on our blog as well.
We do wish all the best for Nick and his family. How is Nick doing now? What were his thoughts on the incident and how has his life changed since it happened?
He is doing well – he was discharged from hospital only 7 weeks after the accident, which was staggering given the trauma and various operations. He has continued to get better and is now really focusing on his general health and making sure that physically he is in good shape. This is helped with physiotherapy and personal training sessions with Dave Fletcher. He is back to work, although not full time and is still with his girlfriend (who was there before the accident), which is fantastic. Obviously it has made him appreciate his close friends and relish life a lot more, while trying to get his life back in order.
Den, to show our compassion and immense support for the tragic infrastructure incident involving such a loving, friendly young man, have become a sponsor of this exciting endeavour. We hope you can show as much support and spread the news as much as you can for this great cause and look out for our logo on the team kit.
Keep your eyes peeled on our social media pages; Twitter and Facebook for updates, as well as BBC radio and several newspapers in the coming months.
Sometimes it’s fun to take a step back and admire/scrutinize ‘trends,’ and ever-changing western culture. All the fads, and crazes we have had over the last decade have got to have amounted to something by now, so we’ve compiled a series of items that weren’t cool and now they are. Whether they have gone and come back around or just reached fame out of the blue, we’ve popped it in the list. Have a look and a chuckle and see if you have heard any of these bad boys in our list of items that weren’t cool and now they are.
Up at place one are sporks/ portable and foldable cutlery. It used to be known that with these things function came first, were packaged with your Tesco meal deal and with one use they were thrown away. Nowadays they have become a cute part of lunch time and many of us even venture out into purchasing their own stylistic ones to eat-on-the-move. They come properly designed now featured in many home-wear and dining shops and as part of sets, with a bit more class and a bigger price range! Jeezz who would’ve thought, portable cutlery was cool? Go on, pimp out your winter picnic kits.
Titanium (robust yet modern) from Amazon:
Super ergonomic and tailored cutlery from The Ability Store:
The Chrismas Jumper is always a winner in the Winter season. In films like Bridget Jones, Darcy hates his life in one of these, given to him by his mum and like Darcy, many are forced into sporting them around this seasonal time reluctantly. But we say embrace them! You can never go wrong with chunky, comfortable knitwear and in the festive season, no one will judge you. We featured some of our faves here, without the overly ridiculous Christmas bombardment:
Next have a good show at the moment in the men’s section. Don’t be afraid to embrace the oversized look ladies:
If you haven’t already caught on, 70s music is now back IN. From Pharell and Daft Punk’s- ‘Get Lucky’ with a heavy disco influence to Robin Thicke’s dancy, 70s beat in ‘blurred lines,’ we are glad it’s back in the 21st century! Can’t beat the classics.
Within the animal field, it is pretty difficult not to like French Bull dogs right now. They have crept into the ‘cool’ dog breed list, whereby, much like pugs, that bit of ugliness is IN. Have a cringe at these sorry faces…
Into a complete new sphere, of food and primarily that within the sweet genre, Black forest gateau was a vintage dessert choice, but is now so old it’s cool. Increasingly emerging new baking programmes and the ever popular Come Dine With Me TV shows have helped bring this classic berry baby back. Mmm cake and stuff…
Creepers. Yes small platform-ed pump trainer shoes, invented in the world of 20th century fashion 20 years ago and covered in modern day prints, patterns and bold colours. We are not totally convinced yet by these, but they seem to be going down a treat right now on the high street and amongst young fashionistas.
And last but not least- snacking. Snacking during the day is so much fun, no one can deny that and inspired by modern day chefs and the strong push for a healthier UK population, healthy snacking has been encouraged and made popular! I bet in a day you see plentiful adverts, products or new releases without even realizing it.
Think about the Nakd bar phenomenon; dates and nuts bars in a variety of quirky flavour combinations. Some include cashew cookie and chocolate orange.
Eat Natural, packed full of texture, fruit, nuts and seeds, and often covered in a light vanillary yoghurt, never fails to impress. They are so yummy and a great alternative to a fully refined sugary, fatty chocolate bar!
Yoghurt coated fruit flakes and raisons are all the rage in supermarkets nowadays, and popular with the little ones, frequently on deal and sold in multipacks, even in the local and express stores.
So from the above three snacks a common theme runs through them… They all have a very fixed, strong and personable brand attached to them appealing to the masses. It entices children to pick them up and convinces adults to give them a go, due to their robust, authentic looking packaging. Either way, branding or not, the products themselves are uber tasty. However you can’t beat a good ol’ apple or pear, to keep those doctors at bay.
We hope you enjoyed our end of October list of cool things and current trends. Stay tuned for the next release…
It has come to our attention as of late and over years of being immersed in cities, that conversational habits and new types of urban slang has developed over years. Not only is it an amusing subject, but it also carries a lot of culture and history involved with society and behaviours that have formed in city lifestyles over time.
Starting with some common, traditional types, with historical origin:
‘a cuppa’= a cup of coffee
‘BLT’= Bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich
‘OJ’= orange juice
‘sunny side up’ = eggs done on one side, with untouched yolks
‘bus’= short for omnibus, which is a vehicle that carries a body of people in one journey
‘L’ or ‘el’=short for elevated railway line, that was common in the twentieth century during the time when mass transport structures started popping up and commuting was a new phenomenon.
But some more modern, obscure ones include:
‘twerk’=a verb, meaning to ‘dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance’ through the Oxford dictionary.
‘FOMO’= (can you believe it made it) fear of missing out
‘BYOD’= bring your own device. (Yes we have reached the digital age and there is no looking back now it’s made it to the dictionary)
‘Selfie’= a self portrait photograph taken by oneself, usually uploaded onto a social media platform. (Wow, we reeaaallly can’t believe this made it, we thought the Oxford dictionary was proper and formal. Apparently it is now an open-minded and hip read. This is actually kind of cool as it documents the changes of language and culture evolutions over time, creating a base of historical reference!)
Our favourite has to be ‘food baby.’ A term used to describe a protruding stomach caused by eating a large quantity of food, resembling that of a woman in the early stages of pregnancy. This tells a story beyond its literal meaning. It is a characteristic and term of speech originating from the Western world and culture of mass consumption. Consuming and having more than we need, is not uncommon, so stemming into the world of food and eating, over consumption occurs just ‘cos ‘we can’ and there is plentiful supply of everything. What a greedy society it depicts, when you think about it, ey? …But we do love a good ol’ baguette choice at lunch…
Other more informal language, coined by the good old public for everyday ‘in jokes’ and sub-cultures, in smaller groupings, whether in cyber or real space include:
‘Passive learning’ which, defined by Urban Dictionary, means ‘watching the TV and letting the knowledge come to you.’ Loving the laziness oozing from that one.
‘Like Shock’ occurs when one person suddenly gets an unexpected volume of likes/comments/retweets/favourites on social networking sites than usual. Story of our lives…. * tumble weed *
‘Pringlelingus’ is extremely hilarious. It is ‘the act performed on a can of Pringles when pouring the chips directly from the can into your mouth; especially when using your tongue to get the last few pieces.’ Thanks again Urban Dictionary!
For more musings on this topic, see the oxford dictionary blog.
This week in the DEN we’re focusing on the theme of holidays. It’s now clear our climate is embracing icy temperatures and spitty rain so to reminisce about the not-so-far-gone summer season of plentiful sun rays and, well actually some rainy days too, here’s our post on graphics containing holiday themes!
First up: Good Vibes. Combing text with image creates Typography. The positive elements of the letters have been removed here, and have been replaced with a backdrop behind the outlines. Cool huh? It’s bringing back those good vibes that resemble a Miami coast summer, due to the colour scheme and palm trees on show.
This entry is from We Heart It.
Second to the list is this photo and text merge once again, from We Heart It, this time with an opposite aesthetic. Combining a faded summer scenic background photograph, with a variety of black typefaces overlaying it, created a humbling, peaceful scene probing you to reflect on those soppy summer memories. Naw…
Fine line drawing, a splash of bright colour and busyness equals this summer piece by Ariana Perez, Spain, form Behance. See more from here on her portfolio:
Summer in art form. Resembling a very Edgar Degas/ Georges Seurat –esque artwork, this cute Esty graphic is a summertime walk in the park collage sheet, that is downloadable for only 95p. It makes life look darling!
And finally these cool seasons cards! Their slick linear graphics against a block range of unusual colours on their unique format make this collection of visuals our favourite of the bunch. It’s not often we come across playing cards that are out of the ordinary. These are designed for Holstee inviting the viewer enjoy life’s moments. Martin Azambuja, the designer has the ethic that ‘enjoying your life will make those around you happy.’
As an ‘all things creative’ type of company, we thought it would not only be relevant and fun, but also helpful to provide you with a valuable summary of the best music apps around at the moment as we know you’re all so busy. So if you’re looking for a place to stream music, sample it, borrow it, browse free music or simply discover new recommendations, you have come to the right place. Den’s music app round up…
In no particular ranking order, up first we have ‘Bloom Fm.’ Bloom Fm, with reviews like ‘Dayumn,’ ‘this is a crazily nice app’ and ‘the newest Spotify rival’ this one’s got it going on. Yellow by branding and plastered on every available tube, bus stop and street billboard space this Autumn, this one’s got to be big. It’s a free online radio, whose system can be likened to that of Last Fm and possesses a very enjoyable and memorable user interface. The branding is based around bees and the production of honey, and has more of a livelihood than some of the other music apps about in the past. We think this one has a much larger appeal to a much larger audience because of this, so they’ve done well with their visual strategy. Less corporate and mundane, more playful!
One of the best things about it is that it doesn’t require 3G or Wifi to listen to music wherever you are. Bloom Fm say try the app for yourself, it speaks volumes over all the fussy facts and other jargon out there. * Big smiley face *
The brand was born by a happy accident it has been said. A team member suggested the word ‘Balloon’ misheard as ‘bloom,’ and thus this concept of the bee and honey was developed. Dreamgrow says ‘The app uses a navigation structure that resembles a flower, with a single genre or artist at the center, while sub-related genres and related artists surround it in petal-like circles. The brand mascot of a single bee continues to tie together the rest of the visual language; the brand colours rarely deviate beyond yellow, black and white, while additional navigation uses a hexagonal layout akin to honeycomb.’
Hashtag number 2 is 8Tracks- also a free music radio app. It brings up a wealth of playlist choices based on your mood that you can carry around with you on your mobile, listen in the car through an AUX cable on your mobile or play online as you work at your desk!
Discover and share music through a track list of 8 on this internet radio portal. 8Tracks themselves say “On 8tracks, people can do two things: listen to a mix, or create a mix. Listeners can search for a mix by artist or genre, stream it in a legal, radio-style manner, and follow others who make compelling mixes. DJs upload MP3s or AACs to craft a playlist, add context with description and art, and publish their mix on 8tracks.com and a personal webpage.”
With a 5 star rating on the Appstore download page, just select what you fancy from the abundance of tags, including ‘chill,’ ‘study,’ ‘nu disco’ etc. and you’re off. The branding is less dynamic and visually interesting, but it does what it says on the tin and very well at that. One review stated: “if you are a music fan you have to try this app. I don’t know how I coped without it.” A less fortunate down side to the app: ‘the rules of the compulsory license require that the sequence of playback cannot be pre-determined by a listener, and the listener may also not know what song he or she will hear next (i.e., no pre-announced playlist). Accordingly, a user cannot see the all of the songs included within a playlist at the outset and then fast-forward or rewind to songs of interest (which would make the service interactive).’
OK so at 3 here’s ‘Rdio.’ Brilliant in blue, you can take ‘Rdio with you wherever you go.’ It’s available on your computer, on your mobile device and your laptop. Check out all the techy gadgets you can enjoy it on, on the Rdio website.
You can search for anything you want, queue it, play it later and enjoy over 20 million songs and counting. With this app however, there is a free trial and after that its £4.99 for unlimited songs on the web (browser/desktop) or an unlimited library usage for £9.99 for web AND mobile. To elaborate the latter option it incorporates millions of songs on your smartphone, plus Sonos or Roku.
Give ‘em a go and hit us back with some feedback? Our branding favourite has to be Bloom Fm, the idea of 8 tracks is inevitably valuable in this day and age of innovation and hectic lifestyles reducing the time and effort needed for new music discovery and if you’re a Sonos user or Spotify enthusiast, Rdio/Bloom Fm are the ones for you. Rdio ideal for a 14 day free trial if you’re heading on a trip and don’t have time to plan a playlist or grab your favourite CDs for the car. So there you go! Den’s music app round up of the best.
This week we have gathered a lovely collection of infographics all related to consuming things! If you have a sweet tooth are heavy in food game, this one if for you. As little tech geeks who love sipping and slurping away swimming pool quantities of tea and coffee, as well as (sorry not sorry) eating sweet treats in the office while we ‘web’ away, this one came from the bottom of our hearts. Infographics are a great way of presenting and learning about topics, using data in a visual way and communicating them innovatively and interestingly to an audience.
This a food infographic compendium a la DEN CREATIVE. Join us consumers and learn about what you put in your body! Mmm tea…
Up first, SUGAR. ‘Nursing your sweet tooth’ is by OnlineNursingPrograms.com. It notes the amount of sugar that Americans consume on average. Fancy finding out where most Americans get their sugar from? And what sugar munching types leads to health problems? This one is a banger…lucky we get to mouth water while this is a serious problem in the US * worried face *
Find out more on Design Taxi.
Infographic number two is all about the beloved take away. All brits love (to hate to admit) the Chinese take away, so why not learn about the different Chinese genres as an eating guide? ‘Your Guide to Chinese Food: Styles of Cooking Chinese’ is a project from Daily Infographic.
It’s the morning time so this is highly appropriate. We bring you a lovey array of breakfast styles from around the world! YUM! From tagines to sausage made of mince beef, take a visual world tour through this infographic by the Chef Works. Check out Visual.ly for the full story!
Last but not least ,‘Your Brain On Beer Versus Coffee!’ Who doesn’t want to know about this topic? If we’re not in the office with a fresh hot cup of Starbs, we are having a cheeky pint down the local on a Friday to celebrate a hectic week and no doubt you office or creative types are too! Don’t pretend you’re not…
America-based Japanese coffee lover Ryoko Itawa of I Love Coffee came across the article ‘Coffee VS Beer: Which drink makes you more creative?’ written by Ooomf’s cofounder Mikael Cho—which she found interesting, and decided to create an infographic based on the article.
Design Taxi say:
‘The conclusion: beer makes you more creative to come up with an idea; while coffee helps you find focus to execute that idea.’
And to go with the last one, here is an entry on how to make the perfect cup of coffee! Hurrah finally a fun, visual way of making the perfect Latte, Mocha and Miami Vice(?) There are plenty more unusual cup combinations to discover while you’re at it too…
This one’s from the great chaps at Plaid-Creative! WOO COFFEE GUIDE.
Well you learn something new everyday now don’t ya!
The Design Aesthetic…
WOWIE. (focus on mobile testing in this Apple iOs 7 review)
What a pretty little thing this is! With a very contemporary, bold change, consisting of a flat logo aesthetic and no longer clinging to that shadowed, screen-popping, 3D visual, app icons are cuter and brighter! Edges are smoother and look almost ‘chubbier’ on the home screen, with a more visually-digestible, smaller size on the even more compacted menu lists and settings screens. This could be the product of illusion, due to the reduced fussiness of the icons, but it works with the lower weighting of the linear menu separators and against the simplistic backdrop.
The icons themselves have had a makeover too, with many of the staple app logos nearly unrecognizable. Take ‘photos’ for instance, (one of our favourite revamped logos, employing the use of transparency with geometry and creating pleasant overlapping colour swatches and shapes within the negative spaces) and the more cartoon animated ‘Newsstand.’ Good ol’ keypad screen has also jumped on the makeover train and gone for a simplified, maturer look, with thinly weighted lines creating the only clarity between the circle number buttons against a plain background, coupled with again, visually chubby font. On the point of typeface, the choice of font within the whole re-design is slightly refreshed. Something about it makes it look different on screen, especially within text-heavy apps such as Twitter. It’s only slight, but look out for it- it’s a slight but perfect little extra that we favour over the old one.
Transparency is a big thing within the schemes’ entirety, whether it’s covering a bit of the background on the bottom dock of the home screen or taking a call over running operations, it adds to iOS7’s overall classiness. Ooo it just knows it’s good, doesn’t it?
Comparison to Competitors…
It is handy to review it in comparison to Apple’s mobile competitors. For example the Samsung Galaxy OS has a very similar, lively design nature like this iOS7, as does the increasingly lovable Windows rebrand, with flat graphics and increased motion of on screen features.
Therefore the question boils down to why Apple have creeped nearer to this genre of OS design as opposed to holding the fort with the renowned 3D Apple software reputation? Don’t get us wrong, the three are not the same and it’s our role as consumers to decide from the choice variation, but they are steering in close proximity to one another these days, with each new technological movement… Who will win the race eh!
From our perspective, we favour brand loyalty, reliability of the OS*, user experience and innovation, therefore Apple will always be dear to our hearts for those reasons, responding particularly rapidly to public feedback. We just can’t wait for the iOS 7 edits!
*One Den member made the conversion from Blackberry due to this reason; plentiful occasions of slow loading and crashing. Remember the big Blackberry uproar due to the regularly failing Blackberry OS (RIM, now Blackberry Ltd) within the last year or so? It’s not easy to keep on top of developing and refining to meet that amount of mass demand. Food for thought… Read the Telegraph’s commentary on it.
UI Perks and Hindrances…
The internet Safari tabs new look is rather swanky; it’s like browsing through an iTunes artwork library when you are switching between the multiple browser screens you may have open. Albeit it nicer looking, it could be viewed as longer to open, close and find tabs you need.
One of our favourite features is the sophistication of the UI, phwoar, you get what you pay for with Apple! Have you noticed your screen is responsive when you move your phone around? Yep! The background image moves with the phone’s movement while the text on screen stays static. It isn’t so dissimilar to looking into a small 3D world beyond your app icons on the home screen! Magical.
Overall there is obviously greater interactivity and motion of features. It adds more ‘fun’ to general usage compared to iOS6, rather than it just being ‘a device to make calls from’ (the original mobile hone) or a ‘techy, cool gadget,’ (the iPhone’s reputation so far).
Sometimes text heavy screens are harder to interpret on first look. With less contrast and text hierarchy between the body and the outer headline or menu texts, it can take that bit longer to digest messages and elongates the responding process. This is especially apparent with bulk deleting emails and navigating into individual text messages, due to the lack of colour. We almost crave a bit of text weighting and size differentiation on these list screens.
It is an initial battery life-sucker (for those on the 4S, more so, from experience) and in general results in slower user usage and performance of standard operations. For instance just closing an app to exit to home screen is lovely because you can view all the information disperse on iOS7 like a little presentation finish, but obviously this take a bit more time. The iPhone 5 however does not seem to experience the delay as much, and motion is pretty instantaneous. Of course, as always speed is usually dependent on what lard one has stored on their phones. One of the DEN members proclaimed it didn’t decrease the battery life anymore than the iOS6 did on their iPhone5! Bonus.
NB: There is a discreet battery drainer feature that is automatically on when iOS7 is downloaded. This can be switched off thanks to a friend’s finding of the toggle option. In Settings, ‘General’ the ‘BACKGROUND APP REFRESH’ allows apps to constantly refresh their feeds. Applicable to apps such as stocks, Twitter, weather and ones using your location, this can be turned off- phew-which: 1. reduces your data usage and 2. conserves a bit more battery.
Summary: ‘À Den Avis’
It was a very brave move for Apple. They traded in their token and utterly infamous 3D, shadowed, UI design and sturdy OS brand, for something playful and radical. People love to hate it, so controversy is inevitable with any digital move. Word on the street is that developers are already in the midst of implementing iOS8, alongside the renewed bug fixed, edited download versions of iOS7 .1 and .2
We were instantly enthused by the newness! There has been hardly any major problems reported, which screams instant success in its own right. You hear of some OS horror stories which devastate the the nation in just a few hours of download, but not this time with Apple 7! Yes, it was easy for everyone to go Twitter moaning mad the evening of the release, shortly after the clock hit 6pm, because download time was either unreal or non-apparent, but other than that, we all survived and were pleasantly surprised the next day when the server was calm again! *Sigh of relief*
Den’s prediction: it will be a hit in no time, even if it had a misunderstood start with some users- it’s very easy for us humans to dislike change. However, once performance is tightened up and the user interface (UI) is refined, it will be a great phenomenon. After all it is responding to the design trend cycle! Check our little explanatory graphic of what we mean via the evolution of Apple’s logo:
Much like fashion it has to go round in the loop and bring back what was the ‘in thing’ a few years back but in the present, with tweaking, more confidence, sophistication. Recycling. 7.8/10 iOS7, fortune favours the bold!