May 192017

The idea of a music video is to generate promotion; to give extra air time to an artist in front of a chosen demographic, with the aim of increasing awareness and sales. 

The MTV Generation saw the creation of numerous animated videos, but as technology became more accessible and the platforms available for showing media grew, the possibilities for animation in music videos increased. 

The list below has been compiled to show a broad range of the animated music videos that are out there. Not all of them are strictly 'animation' (in the cartoon sense); some are motion graphics, 3D, lo-fi, hand-drawn and so on. And they're in no particular order...

01. The Killers – Miss Atomic Bomb

Director Warren Fu had previously worked with the band on their video for single Runaways, and returned to take charge of this, their second single. Effortlessly fusing the media of animation and stunning live action shots, this animated music video brings a heartbreaking love story to life.

Josh Goldstein worked as the producer, with Jeff Pantaleo as executive producer and Shawn Kim as director of photography. Titmouse Studio was responsible for the exceptional animation.

02. Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

You could say that the inspiration for this animated music video lies somewhere between Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer and The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. The amount of work that's clearly gone into it makes it a true work of art.

Directors Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling have a creative chemistry that always produces the best results, whether it's applied to set design, window displays, Christmas cards or TV idents. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards is an absolute delight.

03. Home and Dry – Ghosts Are Dancing

  • Released: 2012
  • Directed by: Maxime Causeret and Gilles Deschaud

This video for Parisian art-rock band Home and Dry is a personal project made mostly using Houdini. The dramatic effect was created by filming a motion capture of the band's lead singer Laure Laffererie's face with two cameras. The effect was then created in 2D using motion vector and 3D lighting.

Sadly it doesn't look like the band have put out new music since 2012, but we think this video is still worth a watch.

04. Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing

  • Released: 2013
  • Directed by: Jessica Cope and Simon Cartright

Clearly inspired by the work of Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn (best known for the incredible Tale of Tales) the intense atmosphere of this imaginative and thought-provoking short brings the haunting story of the song to evocative life. The stark and simplistic animation style – based largely on the gentle movements of hand-cut paper models – fits the mood perfectly.

05. The Kleenrz – Sandman

Combining children's television-style cartoon characters with live action, this music video follows the Sandman as he works with his two helper umbrella girls, and reveals what goes on inside the big bag he carries. The action cleverly synchronises with lyrics by The Kleenrz, a collaboration by LA rappers Self Jupiter and Kenny.

The beauty of this approach is that it gets you to listen carefully to the lyrics. This is something that can be difficult to achieve with music videos, as often the action distracts from the song itself.

06. Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight

US husband and wife duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have directed music videos for the likes of R.E.M. and Paula Abdul, as well as Little Miss Sunshine. They paid homage to silent film director Georges Méliès' A Trip to the Moon for this animated video. To me, this is possibly one of the greatest music videos ever made.

07. Daft Punk – One More Time

The 2003 anime film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, also directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi, would be a continuation of the stories told in Daft Punk videos One More Time; Aerodynamic; Digital Love; and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

08. Queens of the Stone Age – Go With The Flow

Shynola are a four-piece collective who have worked with the likes of Beck, Radiohead and Blur, while also producing animation sequences for The IT Crowd and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World.

09. The Cribs – Mirror Kissers

  • Released: 2006
  • Produced by: Diamond Dogs

UK music video directors Diamond Dogs (Olly Williams and Philip Sansom) have directed for the likes of The Hoosiers, Jack Peñate and Maximo Park, and have a very distinct style. The video for Mirror Kissers was shot on a plain white background, then around 2,740 frames were printed, photocopied and manipulated before being edited back together to produce this fascinating video.

The concept works very well – it's stylistically spot on. It's not your typical music video as it's laced with blemishes and is rather ugly, all of which actually compliments the track it's supporting.

10. Gorillaz – El Mañana

Pete Candeland boast a huge repertoire of well-known pieces: the BBC's 2008 and 2012 Olympic marketing campaign, the Beatle's RockBand promos, plus numerous music videos for Gorillaz. You couldn't compile a list of animated music videos and not include Gorillaz, a band that was seemingly created for this format.

11. Los Campesinos! – We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives'/'You, Me, Dancing!

American animator Monkmus has created an array of music videos for the likes of Badly Drawn Boy, Mogwai and Death Cab for Cutie. This double effort for Los Campesinos! stood out the most for me as I love the contrasts and similarities between war and party. The naive style of the illustration is beautiful and reminds me of the tail end of the infamous Dumbo scene with the racing elephants.

12. MGMT – Time To Pretend

American Director Ray Tintori has directed music videos for The Cool Kids and The Killers, as well as MGMT. I love the lo-fi and slightly dystopian look of this video. It's unpolished and very raw around the edges, but also has a very warm psychedelic quality.

13. London Grammar – Hey Now

Chris Ullen's stunningly atmospheric video for London Grammar's Hey Now perfectly reflects the song. For this work Ullen collaborated with string artist Sebastien Preschoux.

In the video, balls of string and light dance amongst trees as a forest comes alive in a night time setting.

14. Kanye West – Heartless

  • Released: 2008
  • Directed by: Hype Williams

World-famous American video director Hype Williams has produced videos for the likes of Jay-Z, N*E*R*D, and Beyoncé. This video mixes simple-looking rotoscoped characters, and highly detailed backgrounds and environments.

15. REM – Man Sized Wreath

  • Released: 2008
  • Directed by: CRUSH inc.

Toronto-based CRUSH inc. teamed up with REM to produce this very effective effort. CRUSH inc. have notably worked with IKEA, Budweiser and Nintendo.

I'm really intrigued by the many different styles in this video – from low-fi techniques, to 3D modelling via pixelated video games graphics. Normally, this really wouldn't work well together – but strangely enough, here it really does.

Next page: Basement Jaxx, Coldplay, The Shins, and more!

16. Basement Jaxx – My Turn

Tomak Ducki is an animator and designer based in Krakow, Poland. He's had numerous festival screenings and won awards for his distinct style of work. I really appreciate the minimal style of this video; the colours work so well together and give it quite a mystical vibe.

17. Everything Everything – Schoolin'

London-based freelance illustrator and animator Nicos Livesey produced this fascinating minimalist music video for Everything Everything. I really like the style and pace of this video, and how it tries to capture as many of the lyrics as possible, with brightly coloured, but minimal imagery.

18. Sebastien Tellier – Look

This wonderfully creative music video for Sebastien Tellier follows around a female bottom for the duration, but shows the evolution and devolution of everything around her, from clothing, to grass and her skeleton. For a simple outline animation, it's very captivating. Mrzyk & Moriceau's style of capturing a journey is also visible in their video for Air's Sing Sang Sung.

19. Coldplay – Always in my Head 

Animation duo Alasdair + Jock created the animation for a full 43-minute stream of Coldplay's sixth studio album, Ghost Stories. 

They used Mila Fürstová's beautiful album artwork – etched angel wings over an ocean – as the basis for their video, and brought it to life using a combination of 3D, 2D cutouts and 2D drawings. A total of 50 individual sections were created before being edited to ensure the line style of the animation exactly replicated that of the album artwork. The result is mesmerising.

20. The Maccabees – No Kind Words

This video features actors Mathew Horne (of Gavin & Stacey fame) and Matthew Baynton (who also starred in the comedy series) in what reminds me of an Alas Smith and Jones conversation piece, laced with pixelated video game visuals – before the camera swings round to a front-on of Mat Horne, complete with neon green visuals tracing his face.

Brown has also worked on music videos for James Blake, and Gabrielle Aplin's The Power of Love

21. Is Tropical – The Greeks

  • Released: 2011
  • Produced by: Seven

This animated music video went on to win at the 2011 UKMVA's for Best Indie/Rock Video – UK and Best Animation in a Video. It's a perfect blend of live action footage of children playing with toy guns, plus animation bringing the guns to life, in a dark-yet-naive video.

22. TOY – Lose My Way

Brass Moustache is an independent film collective based in London. Individually, they are musicians, photographers, illustrators and journalists. This effort for TOY is simply done, but extremely effective – a wide one-shot performance overlaid with a beat-matched psych particle system and sections of the singer/guitarist performing.

23. House Shoes ft. Danny Brown – Sweet

Russ Murphy/RUFFMERCY has animated and produced numerous videos for the likes of Paul Weller, as well as live loops for Ministry of Sound. 

RUFFMERCY has a very interesting visual style. This video in particular boasts a trippy flow of melting faces.

24. The Shins – Rifles Spiral

Jamie Caliri is a Grammy-nominated director who created this very eerie-looking music video for The Shins. The video follows a battle between magicians and a rabbit. I love the aesthetic of this. It's very unpolished and rather Tim Burton-esque, and really nicely blends 2D and 3D elements.

25. Silvery – Horrors

Alasdair + Jock met at Edinburgh College of Art and have gone on to produce numerous music videos, win multiple awards and produce sections for 3D feature, A Liar's Autobiography, by Graham Chapman (of Monty Python fame). I love the flow of this video. The simplicity of the moments and the intensity of the aesthetics really go well to compliment each other and the track itself.

Next page: the videos that didn't quite make the cut!

HONOURABLE MENTIONS (or ones that are in most lists...)

Dire Straits – Money For Nothing

Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer

Radiohead – Paranoid Android

Blur – Coffee & TV

White Stripes – Fell In Love With a Girl

Jack Beats – Careless

  • Released: 2012
  • Directed by: Rob+Rob

Also read:

May 192017

Every designer should have a side project. But whether you're developing a world-changing startup, an enterprise to eventually replace your day job, or just something fun, you’ll inevitably be sacrificing your spare time. So it's important to make those precious hours count. How? Here's a series of tips to help you on your mission.

01. Start small and build up

Remember that a new side project starts as a blank canvas – it won't be perfect first time

It’s tempting to keep adding features and details to your project because you want it to be perfect from day one. Resist the urge.

It's important not to overcomplicate on your first iteration. Test the water and prove that the idea can work first. Producing the bare essentials and then iterating based on results or feedback is a proven method, plus it keeps any costs manageable.

Focus on your first version, and worry about all the problems that might occur if you’re successful once they're closer to being a reality. For example, you don't need to build your own retail website when you could begin by using Etsy.

02. Follow your passion

A Song A Day began as a passion project to help people discover new music

Above all, your side project should be about something you're passionate about. If you have a day job, then it's going to be your free time that's sacrificed. Assuming that this job is paying your bills, you have the advantage of not having to focus on making money with your side project (for now). So it's vital to focus on something you really enjoy.

If you're looking for an opportunity to eventually break from your day job and generate income, don’t let this dampen your passion and guide all your decisions. Focus on great work and the money will follow, otherwise you may be setting yourself up for heartache later on.

03. Learn as you go

You're not going to know where you'll end up at the beginning – and that's okay

Choose something familiar and develop more expertise in it. Your side project might be to learn a whole new skill from the ground up, and this guide should still be applicable. However, if you use this as an opportunity to master something you’ve previously enjoyed and already have some skill in, results will come faster. If these skills are also transferable to your day job, you’ll see a multiplying effect in your advancement.

04. Don't worry about failure

Don't let the fear of failure stop you before you've even started

You might find yourself thinking too hard about the details – this can turn into a form of procrastination. Before you know it, you've found 100 reasons not to do anything. Naivety and determination have carried through many successful start-ups. Don’t worry about failure – what else can you absolutely fail at and still get back up and have another go? If your side project fails, simply try again or try another project.

05. Play to your strengths

Graze magazine, a side project that combines a literary magazine with a food publication

Being a creative means you have likely acquired some instincts that are useful for starting off a successful side project or business. Playing to these strengths will give you a head-start. Let's take a look at a few of them.


While producing work for clients, you'll inevitably put yourself in their shoes. To design effectively, you must understand what makes their service or product tick. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have learnt loads about how other businesses operate and how they generate revenue.

Visual awareness

You make things look great – for a living. Be it branding, packaging, interactive design or illustration, combining this ability with great ideas ensures your project is attractive to customers and supporters.

Focused thinking

You’ve likely experienced working on several projects in parallel and have become adept at swapping your creative thinking from one task to another. This skill ensures that you can give your side project the focus it needs, even when you only have short bursts of time to spend on it.

06. Seek feedback

Seek feedback from people you trust to be honest

It can be hard to fully articulate your vision before you’ve started working on it. Talking to people is the best way to cohere your ideas.

07. Ignore naysayers

Thin Martin incubated MusicMetric as a side project

Listening to feedback doesn't mean you have to take every piece of criticism. Early on there might be people who will deter you and those who think you’re crazy, either because they can’t see the opportunity you’ve spotted or are concerned you might fail.

Believe in your project and don’t be deterred by naysayers. It’s more productive to bounce ideas around with people once you've taken the first few steps and your project is a reality.

08. Don't outlay a ton of cash

Don't fork out until you know the direction your project is going

I've been party to this. If you're going to shell out on equipment or software, you’ve really got to be sure your venture will fly. If you later decide that it isn't going to work, then you're stuck with the equipment or a financial commitment. Find innovative ways around the issues; maybe rent or borrow equipment. Inventing a solution will deepen your understanding of the problem.

09. Balance your commitments

Make the most of your time to ensure your project doesn't fall by the wayside

Your day job likely involves deadlines, goals and admin to ensure your work is progressing effectively. You should apply these same high standards and care to your own project work. Don’t treat it like it’s a second-class pastime. Make use of the tools at your disposal to get organised: for example, Evernote for recording ideas; a task list for getting things done; and your calendar to schedule your time. This will also help you maintain focus on your day job and not get distracted.

10. Consider collaboration

Scrum Your Wedding was a side project started by a group of friends

Ask yourself whether your contribution can be completed alone or whether you would benefit from partnering with someone to expand your ideas. You can keep arrangements quite casual and, as things progress, agree some terms in principle.

Next page: more tips for how to start a side project

On page one, we covered Jamie's advice for starting a side project. Here, we've spoken to a range of other industry voices. Here are some of their tips...

11. It's not all about the money

The success of a project shouldn't be measured just in terms of profit and loss

"Sideline projects shouldn't be about the money," argues Manchester-based freelancer Matt Booth, who moved into app development using his existing Flash skills. "They are about exploring new techniques and technologies without the pressure of a client or a deadline." 

His advice is to stop talking about it, and do it: "It's all about getting something out there for people to see and interact with," he adds. "It can be refined later, but it needs to exist first."

12. Have big dreams

Life Audit, a system for evaluating your life and priorities, began as a personal project

Based in Portland, Maine, Matt W. Moore runs an online store selling prints, posters, books and typefaces, as well as skateboards, surfboards and clocks. 

"It's the energy and focus I put into these 'sideline' projects that ultimately keeps my phone ringing for client work," Moore says. "I love personal work, so if I can afford it I'll do it, regardless of the likelihood of sales. Don't think of them as sidelines; think of them as dream projects. And enjoy yourself!"

13. Consider your goals

Consider whether your goal is profit or exposure

"Consider whether your goal is profit or exposure," advises Florida-based Joshua Smith, aka Hydro74, who's in the process of producing custom playing cards, coins and poker chips to serve as business cards.

"It's all about margins. If your selling-cost breaks even, then you've already lost money on it, unless it's strictly for self-promotion. But for me, extra income is a by-product: the relationships I build through my sidelines help fuel the core part of my business."

14. Keep exploring new options

side projects

Keep an open mind and keep trying to generate new ideas for your side project

Argentine designer and illustrator Leandro Castelao likes to spend at least one day out of his working week on sideline projects, and sells prints online. "I've started giving some time to exhibitions, as well, as I've found these can be very important for promotion," he adds. "It's all about challenging and exploring. I don't really think about the money I'll get, but sometimes I've received a commission because of a personal print, and that can really make it worthwhile."

15. Work hard to work less (eventually)

Planned Outage was born when a couple of co-workers planned a trip to unplug from startup life

Freelance designer Alan Wardle also runs the streetwear brand AnyForty. For Wardle, the rewards are creative, rather than financial: "I invested a lot to get it up and running, and put any profit back into new ranges. For the first two years I worked on it for six hours every night, and all weekend. But now I only need to spend an hour or so a day, unless a new range is about to drop."

16. Practice, practice, practice

Just keep going!

"If work has quietened down for a few weeks, I'll throw myself into something self-initiated," reveals Huddersfield-based freelancer Jeffrey Bowman. "For me, it's about keeping going. Sideline projects give me the chance to step back and try something new: use them to challenge yourself and your practice. It's a chance to be free, and give back to yourself and others. You don't want to become a machine that reproduces the same work, visual style and ideas."

17. Find a really good printer

A decent printer will cost a bit, but it will be a good investment in the long term

"Invest in a really good printer," suggests Israeli-born, New York-based illustrator Tomer Hanuka, who sells reproductions of his work online. "Prints should be as high quality as original art or silkscreens." Any seemingly daunting outlay should be compared to the cost of a limited-edition run with a professional printing firm, and Hanuka advocates spending $1,200 or more. "Yes, these are expensive machines, but the investment should pay for itself," he insists.

18. Don't use cheap packaging

Invest in the right packaging for your project

Hanuka warns against skimping on packaging when selling your work online. "Resending damaged prints can be costly," he points out. "Make sure your packing is super solid. I put the print in a plastic sleeve and tape that between two hard backing boards, which are in turn inserted into a sturdy cardboard envelope. Another route is to use a tube, if your prints are on a lighter paper that rolls naturally."

19. Step out of your comfort zone

Try something different with your personal work

"Customising products is definitely something I'd like to do more of," says Birmingham-based freelance illustrator Tahgasa Bertram, aka Sweaty Eskimo. "I find most of my commissioned work is for print and web, so I try to avoid this type of work when I do personal stuff," he continues. "Recently, I've started working on personal projects that keep me away from my Mac altogether: drawing on walls, skateboards and anything else that I can apply my style to."

20. Turn a sideline into a product

Lauren Hom hand-draws signs for local restaurants in exchange for the food she writes out

Through his sub-brand Legacy of Defeat, Hydro74 also designs and sells custom typefaces. "It's a minor side business that was built to create a residual income that can support various endeavours, or assist me during dry months," he explains. "It's always relaxing to take a hobby and make it into a successful sideline, and the beauty with digital products is that there's nothing invested except time, so they tend to be pure profit that you can reinvest."

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May 192017

In today's media landscape, it can be difficult to stand out. You need to know how to talk to people in an effective way and attract eyeballs. The Digital Media and Public Relations Bundle will teach you how to do exactly that, and you can get it on sale now for 93 per cent off the retail price!

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You can get the Digital Media and Public Relations Bundle on sale now for 93% off the retail price! That's a huge savings on these essential tools for any aspiring marketer, so grab this deal today!

May 192017

The play of light from flames, the mystery of shadows and the reflections of fire on transfixed faces are the main goals of this masterclass.

Composition is the most important part of a painting. Here, my picture is composed of location, people, big areas of light and shadow, and the play of contrasts. My aim is to focus the attention of the viewer onto the faces of the people and the light of the fire. 

The rest of the painting will only be detailed slightly to portray the cold surroundings. The fireside is the main focal point of the composition, with the family being the secondary focal point. The candles will create small additional light sources and reflect onto the wooden floor to create a sense of warmth.

Because I usually paint from nature, I don’t use photos in most cases. But if there’s something special or specific that I want to create, I will use a reference photo. Also, when I paint flowers, trees or landscapes, I don’t usually make pencil sketches. However, in scenes with people, proportion is very important, so when I paint figures, I usually make a sketch first.

I’ve used a few photos here. I have a photo of the family near the fireplace, a separate photo of a fireplace that I preferred, and lastly a separate detailed photo of fire. If you feel that any details in your reference photo are unnecessary, just ignore them.

01. Start sketching

Use grids or proportions to create the sketch

First, I attach my paper to the board with masking tape. If you like, you can grid up your photo, but I prefer measuring by eye. I sketch the fireplace, then find the correct place for the family. I check the proportions of the figures, especially the girl, who is on a front plane. I can now move onto the additional details.

02. Prepare the palette and paper

Ensure paints are wet to keep them usable

I place my paints on a plastic palette. If they get dry, I wet them with water from a small spray bottle. The same goes for the paints in pans. I then wet my paper on both sides and place it flat onto some glass. It will sit tight until it gets dry. Once dry, I wet the edges of paper from the back.

03. Painting shadows

Wet-in-wet painting creates beautiful shapes

I apply the main colour to create the shadows. The paper is wet so the paint behaves very nicely – colour flows in every direction creating great shapes. This wet-on-wet technique looks good when paper has natural torn edges. This is why I don’t tape the paper down at this stage, in case it damages my nice natural edges.

04. Adding colour

Colour flows easily over wet paper

It’s now time to add in the main areas of tone. Here, the intention is to split shadow and light. Because the paper is still very wet, the paint is flowing nicely. We're now starting to get a lovely strong sense of the scene.

05. Fixing mistakes

Rogue paint can be easily lifted off the page

With this technique, it’s easy to remove unnecessary paint while things are still wet. I squeeze out any excess water from my brush with my fingers, then use the brush to absorb any unwanted paint on the paper. You can also use a clean wet sponge or paper towel.

06. The fire is white

Nothing looks brighter than white paper

Now it’s time to paint the fire. White paper will always be brighter than any paint, so I often use it to show the brightest spots, such as the fire here. It requires some planning to keep these spots clean from the beginning. I create the flame as a gradient starting with white paper, then Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Light Red, Sepia, and Payne’s Grey paint, in that order.

07. Working on shadows

Cold colours create a sense of depth

Wet-on-wet works great for shadows too. To add depth to the room, I paint cold shadows to create an opposite to the warm orange flames. I use a mix of Indigo and Payne’s Grey. It gives a huge contrast and the fire looks much brighter already. If the paper becomes dry at the edge, just wet it again using the water spray.

08. Christmas tree

Remember to keep details on the border rough

I paint the tree and add tiny reflections in the window on the left. I use wet-on-wet for the branches and remove the dark paint to form the baubles, using a piece of paper towel. There’s no need to add intricate details so close to the border of painting, as it will only distract the viewer from the centre of composition – rough spots for the baubles are enough.

09. More detail

White paper helps to illuminate the warm colours

I can now start adding in new tones. First, I add light to the faces. Because it's produced by fire, I use very warm tones of red, orange and yellow. These are the same colours as the textured rug, which I paint with a very thin brush. White paper plus orange fur gives us a white rug illuminated by direct fire.

10. Detailing fire and reflections

Dry paper makes the detailed brushwork really stand out

I added the candles when I painted the fire, so now I just need to refine them to include the reflection. I also add small details and work on the fire a bit more. By now, I’m painting on dry paper, which makes it easier for detailing. I use my smallest brush here. My painting is now done.

11. Flattening the painting

Time to smooth out the wrinkles

The paper becomes more wrinkled as it dries, making it unsuitable for framing. So, I wet the back of the painting with a sponge and leave it for 15-20 minutes. I then spray it with water, until it becomes flatter. I can now remove any excess water with a paper towel. After, I place the painting between clean cloth and cover it with hardboard. I place some heavy books on top to act as a weight.

12. Ready to frame

The finished painting is ready to frame

I leave the painting under the books for a whole day, then remove it. It's now dry, flat and ready for framing.

This article was originally published in Paint & Draw magazine issue 2.

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May 192017

You might have noticed that there's an election just around the corner in the UK. If you're at all plugged into social media, you've probably got a friend or relative spamming your timeline with manifesto pledges, derogatory statuses or dismayed emojis that express a wish for this whole politics thing to just chill out for a day at least.

There's one group of people, though, who are more apathetic to the election than anyone else. That's right: young people. Defined as anyone under the age of 25 (sorry), young people are statistically the least likely to exercise their democratic right to vote in the general election on 8 June. They're also the main group of people targeted by the Rize Up campaign.

Created by Studio Output in collaboration with film-maker and photographer Josh Cole, Rize Up is a party-neutral campaign that wants to get under 25s, the homeless and economically dispossessed to register to vote before 22 May. Crucially, they aren't doing this for the benefit of any party: politics isn't working for young people, and they want to make a difference through design.

This is accomplished through a powerful visual identity that "speaks from the language of resistance". The concept is communicated through a black and orange colour palette, bold typography and the timeless, classic image of a fist raised in defiance.

Rize Up has an unmissable design that speaks the language of democratic revolution

Supported by high street brands including the ever progressive Lush, plus celebrities we presume young people are into, such as Tinie Tempah, Professor Green and Doc Brown, Rize Up is set to make some noise in the build up to the registration deadline.

“In the 2015 General Election over 15 million people – primarily the under 25s and the economically dispossessed – didn’t vote, which outnumbered the supporters of every single party in that election," says Rize Up founder Josh Cole. "With all parties designing policies to suit those typically most likely to vote, the youth voice is often ignored. Also, only 53 per cent of those within the lowest income bracket voted, compared with 75 per cent of those in the highest."

“I felt like there was a need for a campaign that gives a platform to the forgotten generation to have their say. To start a conversation, rather than being patronising or telling people what to do.”

For more information, head over to the Rize Up site, and don't forget to register to vote here.

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May 192017

If you’re involved in logo design, keeping an eye on the latest logo trends is a useful thing to do. 

You don’t have to copy them: in fact, you may choose to move in the exact opposite direction. But no design exists in a vacuum, so it’s important to be aware of what the world’s biggest brands are doing with their visual identities. 

In this post, then, we’ve rounded up eight of the most notable logo designs and redesigns of 2017 so far. We’ve featured an image gallery at the top of each redesigned entry; use the arrow icons to compare the old and new logos.

01. Mozilla

Mozilla is the global non-profit organisation behind the Firefox browser, and it harnessed the spirit of open source when it came to its new logo, released this January. 

Beginning in June 2016, Mozilla worked with London-based agency johnson banks to develop the new identity. But rather than doing so behind closed doors, it let the design community follow along each step of the way, on this blog.

Most notably, the new logo incorporates the colon and forward slashes of a URL to reinforce the idea that the company is at the heart of today’s internet. 

While the previous design used FF Meta, for the new wordmark Mozilla collaborated with Dutch type foundry Typotheque to create a custom slab serif font, Zilla (which is free and open to all to use, by the way). 

Clean and clear, Zilla was intended to evoke Courier, which was used as the original font for coding back in the day.

You can learn more about the thinking behind the new Mozilla logo in this blog post.

02. Calvin Klein 

Underwear brand Calvin Klein aimed to go back to the future with its latest new logo, which was released this February. 

Swapping the lowercase letters of the previous design for all-caps, the new design was announced by the company as: “A return to the spirit of the original; an acknowledgement of the founder and foundations of the fashion house.”

The new logo was created by Calvin Klein’s in-house creative team, led by chief creative officer Raf Simons, in collaboration with famed British art director and graphic designer Peter Saville. 

03. Aldi

With a 50-year history behind it, German supermarket chain Aldi is today represented in nine countries with more than 5,600 branches and around 124,200 employees. In March, it released a new version of its logo, designed by German consultancy Illion Markensocietaet. 

The new design gives the stripes of the old logo more flow, coherence and three-dimensionality. There’s also been a colour change, a refinement of the border and a new curved typeface. 

In contrast to current trends, then, the new logo represents a move away from the aesthetics of flat design, rather than towards them.

You can read what designers had to say about the new Aldi logo here.

04. South by Southwest 2017

Held annually in Texas since 1987, South by Southwest, aka SXSW, remains one of the world’s coolest music, film and interactive festivals, and has helped turn the city of Austin into a major hub for tech and design.

While the logo changes every year, this year’s logo from Foxtrot was something of a departure from the usual colourful, cartoony lettering of previous logos, such as the 2016 design. 

Monochromatic and utilitarian, this new sans-serif wordmark was designed to be much more flexible within an overall identity system. It could also be said to reflect the relative importance the digital side of the festival has assumed in recent years.

You can see more of Foxtrot’s branding for SXSW 2017 here.

05. Euro 2020

The Euro 2020 logo was released in April

In April, the organisers of European’s biggest soccer tournament released this new logo, created by Y&R Branding Portugal. 

Normally, logos for the Euro championships showcase the host nation in some way: the 2016 logo for example, represented France’s art tradition. 

But in 2020, the competition will be played across all corners of Europe for the first time, in 13 host cities. The new logo celebrates this by using the metaphor of a bridge, bringing together fans and players across Europe, represented as happy, colourful, waving figures. 

06. Huffpost

Founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington, the liberal news blog Huffington Post has gone from strength to strength. So it was about time that it got a proper wordmark, rather than the variety of newspaper-style titles it had been using. 

In April, the newly named HuffPost released this logo, which was created by New York agency Work-Order. It’s typeset in the Klim Foundry font National, and set in bold italic because, according to a press release, “they point us forward”, as well as being “reminiscent of the slashes in URLs”. 

You can see more of the new branding for HuffPost here, and read about how designers reacted here

07. Action for Children

Action for Children is one of the UK’s largest children’s organisations, running centres, fostering and adoption services. This new logo by johnson banks, released in April, takes a quite radical approach by setting the name of the organisation within a statement: ”How Action for Children Works”. 

This concept stemmed from an idea originally expressed by the client – that they should ‘demonstrate the difference’ they make to children’s lives.

“Rather than simply hiding behind a ‘new logo in the corner’, this forces the organisation to always show how they work, and the difference they have made,” explain the johnson banks team in this blog post

It also helped provide a clear direction when johnson banks created a series of powerful posters for the charity. “From almost the first layouts, we were able to talk about and illustrate the vast breadth of what they do – something that they struggled to do before.”

08. Paraguay

The new logo for Paraguay was released in April

If you’re a developing country that wants inward investment, you need to project an image of economic dynamism and high growth. If you’re a developing country that wants to promote tourism, you want to emphasise the vast, unspoilt natural beauty within your borders. 

With its first-ever country branding campaign, Paraguay has set out to combine the two, based on the idea of an “economically fertile” country. 

The logo was developed by Uma Studio for Bloom Consulting (strategy) and Kausa (advertising). They explain that the symbol represents three elements: a flower, representing growth; the sun, representing wealth; and a gear, representing the opportunities offered by Paraguay.

You can see more of the new branding here.

May 182017

The gap between what Adobe XD can do on Windows and Mac continues to shrink thanks to the software's May update. Bringing the two platforms together is the latest goal of the Adobe XD team, and this release is the first big step in making that happen.

Headline features include the highly requested Layers panel and the ability to update shared prototypes. There's lots here for UX designers to get excited about as they'll be able to collaborate more easily, so let's get stuck into the main updates.

First up is the Layers panel. You can access it by pressing Ctrl+Y, or alternatively selecting the icon on the lower left-hand-side of the application screen. There's still no news about being able to drag-and-drop layers to change the Z-order, but Adobe promises this capability isn't far off.

Next, is the ability to update shared prototypes. In the past users had to create whole new prototypes, but not any more. Simply open the Sharing pop-up dialog, and click Update to share prototypes to the same link you had before. To see your new content, you just need to refresh your screen.

You asked for it, you've got it: the Layers panel comes to Windows

Also in the update is a PDF export feature. This builds on the software's previous capability, which allowed users to export to PNG and SVG. Assets can be selected individually, as an artboard or as a group of artboards. Multiple artboards can be exported as a single PDF.

The copying and pasting function from the File Explorer also gets an update. It's now easier to import assets, with users able to copy from the File Explorer and paste directly into XD to import the file.

Last on the list is increased language support. Extending to support French and German, it looks like XD for Windows 10 is set to be a whole lot more European-friendly.

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May 182017

Whether you’re looking to speed up your creative process or take your career as a graphic designer up a level, we’ve collected the month’s best graphic design tools to help you do exactly that.

So what have we got? All sorts. From a new version of design bible Designers Insights: How to Succeed as a Graphic Designer, to a dramatically reduced design bundle – you’ll save over $4,500 – to Illustrator bushes, patterns, actions, textures and more, read on for our collection of the 10 best graphic design tools for May.

01. Designers Insights: How to succeed as a graphic designer 2

This popular book shares valuable tips for fledgling designers

Aimed at graduating and junior designers, Designers Insights: How to Succeed as a Graphic Designer 2 is double the length of the popular first version. Nine new chapters share step-by-step methods, strategic new approaches and on-the-job professional knowledge for boosting your career that can be acted on immediately. Topics covered include how to get better paying jobs or better clients; how to get recognition from an employer, client or peers; establishing a winning designer/client relationship; and more.

02. The all-purpose Modern Design Bundle

This mega-bundle includes everything from mockup templates, to backgrounds, textures and pitch packs

You can get your hands on $4,988-worth of design goods for just $29 over at DesignCuts this month. The deal lasts until Monday 22 May, and consists of “the very best time-saving tools and career-expanding resources”. 

This includes: mockup templates, infographics, logo templates, business card templates, social media templates, backgrounds, textures, resume templates, Powerpoint/Keynote templates, pitch packs, clean vectors, icons, UI kits, flowcharts, wireframe kits, Lightroom presets and stock photos - everything, it seems, a modern design might need.

03. QuarkXpress 2017

The new version of QuarkXpress sports improved typographic features and new non-destructive image-editing tools

For anyone interested in non-Adobe design and page layout software, QuarkXpress 2017 is due 24 May. It brings improved typographic features – including the ability to add strokes and shading, proportional leading and smart text linking – and new non-destructive image-editing tools, including Transparency blend modes, new shape tools and more. It’s priced at $849 (or $179 to upgrade from Quark 2016 or 2015); no subscription necessary.

04. The One-Hour Photo Filter Collection

These filters include film noise, matte effects, film dust and more

This pack of over 100 one-click Photoshop filter actions includes vintage fades, film noise, matte effects, fades, film dust and more, plus 21 film brushes to add authentic touches (like you’d get from dusty negatives or lens scratches). 

The filters – which are non-destructive, have been handpicked by photo-filter master Mike Maloney from FilterGrade – and are being offered with a large discount. You can get them for $29, instead of $82.

05. How to Draw Type and Influence People

Get hands-on with type in this new book

The latest book from graphic designer and author Sarah Hyndman is an easy-to-follow guide for learning more about the psychology of type. Featuring a number of different creative exercises, the activity book goes behind the scenes on a selection of fonts, showing you how to draw each one, encouraging you to explore the associations evoked by each style and to create your own versions.

06. Geometric Seamless Patterns Bundle Vol.1

Customise these patterns by changing the colours

Volume 1 of this set of geometric patterns comes with 40 seamless vector patterns in four categories: chevron, dots, triangles and hexagons. You can edit the colour, making them ideal as backgrounds for T-Shirts, packaging, business cards, wedding invitations, greeting cards, fashion projects and more. They’re compatible with Illustrator CS6 and higher.

07. Liquid Style Brushes

This bumper pack includes over 80 brushes

Love the liquid-style illustrations that have been popping up everywhere recently? The latest Illustrator brushes from Jeremy Child, aka The Artifex Forge, let you recreate the style in your own work quickly and easily. In the pack you get over 80 brushes covering a range of shapes and sizes (with pressure sensitivity for tablet users), plus a quick reference guide and instructions. It’s compatible with Illustrator CS5 upwards.

08. Lightwell

New software from New York-based company Hullabalu lets designers, artists and animators transform their work into mobile apps - without writing a line of code. Lightwell turns your static art into interactive, animated experiences for iPad and iPhone using a suite of easy-to-use features in a Photoshop-esque interface. Simply drag-and-drop your characters and environments into app and away you go. It’s Mac-only at the moment.

09. Golden Paint Transparent Textures

These vibrant textures are the work of Jim LePage

Looking for some rich, vibrant paint textures but don’t have time to paint, scan and mask your own? This collection of high-res textures from Jim LePage ($5) could be just the ticket. You get 12 gold and 12 full-colour textures – and you also get a set of Photoshop brushes too, so you can create your own paint textures with custom colours, gradients and so on.

10. 20 Dynamic Seamless Patterns

Brighten up your designs with just the click of a button

Everyone loves patterns. This collections of 20 seamless patterns comes with both raster and vector files, letting you brighten up any design with the click of a button.

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May 182017

Advanced user interface technology was once something that only seemed to happen in sci-fi movies. When we marvelled over the technologies we saw in The Matrix years ago, the concept of controlling and moving 3D objects on walls of glass seemed far-fetched.

But now these technologies not only exist, they're increasingly commonplace, as companies rush to adopt user interface technologies to please their customers and promote their businesses. DJ booths, bar tops, café menus – even virtual store windows – are all utilising these new technologies to create an innovative touchscreen experience, with the aim of delivering a unique, optimised end-user experience to their customers.

As the adoption and development of user interface technologies continues to develop at breakneck pace, we look back at the Hollywood movies that inspired us so much to create them...

01. Minority Report

Minority Report screen technology is a reality in 2012

This modern sci-fi classic involves Tom Cruise working in a futuristic police department where three psychics (or 'precogs') can foresee murders before they happen. Its most iconic scenes see Cruise shifting images and screens around an enormous glass wall display. This was very cool in 2002; it's now very much a reality, with multi-touch interfaces appearing in mainstream products such as Microsoft's Surface and the Xbox Kinect.

02. Iron Man

Tony Stark's helmet holograms brought a new look to movie interfaces

Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man does much of his interfacing via a hologrammatic display inside his helmet – even when he's flying. No one can deny this is very cool, and when something is cool in imaginary sci-fi, it's a good sign we'll eventually see in reality. You can find out more about the incredible FX work Perception NYC did on Iron Man 2, including its interfaces, in this article.

03. Total Recall (2012)

The Total Recall remake featured some amazing looking tech

The new Total Recall features a number of awesome-looking touchscreen technologies, plus lots of new and interesting concepts – not least, changeable computerised faces.

04. Mission Impossible 4

The fourth in the MI series upped the ante further in terms of action and technology

The Mission Impossible juggernaut seems unstoppable, and even those who find Tom Cruise unbearable to watch have to admit a grudging respect for the success of this action franchise. Like its forerunners, and indeed other Cruise movies, number four features a range of cool-looking, futuristic touchscreens that make us fall in love with interface technology just a little bit more.

05. The Matrix Reloaded

What the sequel lacked in terms of plot, it made up for in its vision of futureworld interfaces

Although the plot itself was somewhat disappointing for fans of the original Matrix movie, this sci-fi sequel still features some incredible technologies and concepts – touchscreens galore, voice controls, main frames, robots, spaceships and more.

Next page: five more movie user interfaces

06. The Avengers Assemble

While the muscle men fought the bad guys, the backroom boys and girls used a variety of stylish technologies to keep the show on the road

2012's big superhero movie focused more on its muscle-bound personalities than fancy tech. But there was still a lot of cool glass-screen input technology flickering away in the background, making sure everything ran smoothly as the super friends strutted their stuff.

07. Avatar

Avatar took the idea of virtual reality to a whole new level

One of the biggest blockbusters to come out of Hollywood, grossing over $2 billion, Avatar brought virtual reality technologies to possibly their ultimate conclusion, where one man can control another (alien) body using the power of the mind. Touchscreen and gesture technologies were front and centre throughout, portraying an exciting – if somewhat dark and depressing – future for user interface technology.

08. Quantum of Solace

Bond wouldn't be Bond without cool tech

James Bond wouldn’t be anywhere without his gadgets, so it was only right that the secret service turned their meeting room table into a touchscreen computer. Like Microsoft PixelSense but cooler.

09. The Hunger Games

In the Hunger Games, an entire terrain was controlled by computer

Getting bigger and better every year, the 2012 Hunger Games took futuristic technology to another level with an entire terrain connected and controlled by a main computer. Gesture and touchscreen technologies were promoted heavily, with 3D projections similar to those seen in Avatar.

10. Prometheus

Prometheus looked into the future with its interface design

Reviews were mixed on Prometheus, but it's safe to say the blockbuster's futuristic interface technologies – implemented within robots, spaceships and even alien architecture – were stunning. Rather than an overly 'sciencey' feel, the team at Territory took influences from coral reefs and abstract art to give an organic feel to their interface designs.

Making dreams a reality

Although some of the technologies we've witnessed in Hollywood’s interpretations of the future are far-fetched, a lot of the tech seen in these movies is already being utilised by businesses and companies around the world.

AnderDX is one of the companies that can make this a reality. Providing projected capacitive (P-cap) and optical IR multitouch components and monitors, award-winning multitouch software, embedded multitouch displays and miniature fanless, low-energy computers, we can enable multitouch on your devices, and help you differentiate your products and stand out from the crowd.

We'll leave you with a few more examples of exciting input technologies to get you excited...

A Day Made of Glass

Wesc Interactive Store Front

ReacTable DJ Decks Rihanna – Please Don’t Stop the Music

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May 182017

There are all kinds of ways for designers to make the most of social networks. One of the biggest benefits of social media is the access it provides to instant global inspiration – and one of the best platforms for this is Pinterest. 

Having said that, with so many boards to wade through, Pinterest is also an easy place to lose hours of your life. So to help you find and pin the most interesting images, we’ve picked some of the best graphic designers to follow. Enjoy!

01. Mike Dew

Philadelphia-based, Cincinnati-born graphic designer Mike Dew is one of Pinterest’s most followed pinners with a staggering 3.5 million fans. A little more contemporary than the usual, Dew’s boards include ‘rad shit’, ‘badgography’ and ‘stuffology’, alongside the usual design-related pins.

02. Daniel Nelson

Swedish graphic designer and developer Daniel Nelson has amassed over 225,000 followers on Pinterest. The founder of hugely popular design blog From Up North collates pins from across the design world, covering graphic design, gig posters, street art and even 80s design.

03. Tad Carpenter

Designer, illustrator and partner at Carpenter Collective, Tad Carpenter has over 80,000 followers on Pinterest – and you can quickly see why. His boards range from retro pop themes to logos, classes design, type, vintage euphoria. If you’re looking for inspiration, it’s right here.  

04. Mr Cup 

French graphic designer Mr Cup, aka Fabien Barral, is passionate about images and graphic design. His Pinterest account is a smorgasbord of design inspiration, from letterpress to signage, maps, identities, vintage deign and more. If you like design, you should definitely follow him on Pinterest.  

05. Jessica Hische

Sure, you’ll see Jessica Hische on most social media round ups. But there’s a reason the talented letterer, illustrator and type designer has a huge following: her portfolio is fantastic – and her personal inspirations are even more wide-ranging than her work. You’ll find a lot of lettering love on her Pinterest account, plus patterns, books, homeware and a lot more.  

06. Richard Baird

British freelance designer and writer Richard Baird works in brand identity design. His Pinterest account is filled with design and branding goodness – you’ll see everything from business card designs to fonts, logos, packaging, brand systems, brand guidelines and more. If branding’s your thing, he’s definitely worth a follow.

07. Luke Tonge

UK-based graphic designer and art director Luke Tonge curates a vibrant Pinterest account. Previously art director of the excellent Boat magazine, Tong’s Pinterest shows a focus on everything from magazines and movie posters to book design, logos and more.

08. Rusty Cook

Chicago designer and illustrator Rusty Cook uses her Pinterest account to share her passion for branding. Her design and print board showcases posters and online design, whilst additional boards are dedicated to exploring the very best in branding and identity, illustration and iconography, and web and mobile. One to add to your follower list.

09. Jeff Andrews

Jeff Andrews is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Oregon, with a passion for logo design, brand identity and illustration. His Pinterest boards cover a wide range of design-related topics, from architecture to signage.

10. Fabio Sasso

San Francisco designer and blogger Fabio Sasso is a bit of a social media celebrity with thousands of followers across all the major social networks, including Pinterest. His five boards cover sources of inspiration, web, design, ads and style for his nearly 5,000 followers to enjoy.

11. Jenna Chambers

From graphic design to stylish CVs to crochet, Jenna Chambers’ Pinterest account is a mix of creativity and colour. Her graphic design inspiration board is a collection of all her great design finds, including menus, business cards, web designs and print ads.

12. Jen Vasseur

Connecticut-based freelance web designer and developer Jen Vasseur has a great selection of boards with a number of practical-based pins on colour theory and fonts. Most insightful is her board on web design, which she uses to pin some of the most interesting design concepts and colours that she’s found across the web.

13. Xinkui Wang

If you’re looking for some mobile design inspiration, then this is the pinner to follow. Chinese designer and developer Xinkui Wang has posted thousands of pins on mobile design, with boards ranging from web design to Android to logos.

14. Terri Holtze

Describing herself as a “web designer, librarian, and lover of all things beautiful”, Terri Holtze has created boards for you to glean lots of inspiration. Her web design board focuses heavily on responsive design, and her boards on colors and patterns are also worth following.

15. Adam Smith

President and creative director of Advent Integrated, an integrated agency with offices across the world, Adam Smith has lots of great boards to take inspiration from. As well as boards on web design and typography, he also collates work on branding, packaging and print design. And there’s a whole host of other interesting stuff to check out in his boards dedicated to sustainability, too.

16. Violeta Patolova

Bulgarian designer Violeta Patolova has over 50 boards to source inspiration from, whether you’re looking for design-related content or something artier. Her board on graphic design contains an extensive mix of design, branding and packaging, and her boards on typography, illustration and web design are also worth following, too.

17. Oen Hammonds

If you’re looking for a Pinner that oozes cool, then Oen Hammonds is your man. As well as his brilliant board on design, this art director, designer and educator showcases the best in web design, branding, fashion, photography and manga. And with over 216,000 followers, he’s one popular pinner to follow.

18. Derek Kimball

If you’re looking for graphic design inspiration, then follow Derek Kimball and you’ll be spoilt for choice. His 38 boards are dedicated to all things design, from gig posters to colour palettes to work spaces. Particularly cool is his board dedicated to ‘Gifts for graphic designers’ – just in case you were looking to treat yourself.

19. Malin Otmalm

Swedish designer Malin Otmalm collects pins that are aesthetically beautiful. As well as her boards on typography and graphic design, she has a huge collection of boards dedicated to lifestyle, illustrated through different hues of grey. Particularly nice is her board dedicated to chalk art.

20. Maria Grønlund

Describing herself as a ‘design Jedi’, Maria Grønlund’s boards focus on the use of colour, be that in branding, architecture, graphic design and even gardening. With a really varied list of boards to follow, hers is a great account if you’re looking for a little colour inspiration for your work.

21. Jessica Walsh

Jessica Walsh, partner at NYC design agency Sagmeister & Walsh, has over 31,000 followers and nearly 60 boards dedicated to art and design. Bursting with colour, her boards range from typefaces to iconography, motion and collage, and are a great source of inspiration.

22. Kazuya Arakawa

There are so many sources of inspiration on the Pinterest account of designer Kazuya Arakawa. As well as the more traditional deign-related boards, he also focuses on colour and texture, with boards solely dedicated to leather, the colour green and even strawberries. It's a realyl eclectic mix to follow.

23. Nancy Carter

Looking for some logo design inspiration? Seattle-based logo designer Nancy Carter has a huge collection of fantastic boards that offer a huge range of pins, as well as boards covering graphic design, illustration and colour. Check out her other boards, too, if you’re a fan of arts and craft.

24. Meg Sullivan

From books to branding, and vintage to motorcycles, graphic designer Meg Sullivan has a really eclectic mix of boards. We recommend following her web design board, which highlights some interesting design projects, as well as her boards on branding, typography and zines.

25. Laurent Desserre

French graphic designer Laurent Duserre has a really good selection of boards to choose from. With over 114,000 followers, his boards collate the very best in everything from advertising, graphic design, branding and editorial layout. We particularly love his board on toy design.

Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

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