A year ago, I wrote about a video I made for our Nosh 404 page. Shortly after the success of that video, we set out to film a sequel. The idea behind the followup centered around the same fictional Special Forces team we used to handle that very dangerous and exciting 404 mission. This new video is sort of like a highlight reel of all the skills and tactics they can offer in the “web services” realm.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a process post here, so I figured this would be a good project to start back up again with. It’s pretty far afield from some of the typical design writing I’ve done, but it was a really fun project and an interesting case-study in non-traditional marketing for startups.
Final video above as well as a quick breakdown showing the original footage and the eventual effected final output. Follow me on Twitter here.
There’s always been an arms race of sorts, between startups, surrounding their 404 pages. Often times sites do something unusual on this (hopefully) seldom viewed page. When we first started working on Nosh, we had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas for our 404 page. We wanted it to be crazy and I think it ended up being just that.
Above you will find the video that became our 404 page. It’s loud, crazy and weird. Definitely the most fun I’ve had on a Sunday in a long time. I’ve written up some production notes here — if I miss anything feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer. Follow me on Twitter here.
I don’t think I’ve slept in days. Today our company launched our first app: Nosh. Above is the promo video I made a few days ago which will give you a quick little intro. I plan to write a few process posts on this whole thing: one on the video (which was an EPIC 24 hour production), at least one on the app development, the branding…there was an insane amount of work that went into all this that I’m really excited to share. For now though I am beyond exhausted and am going to go sleep in my chair.
Check it out and let me know what you think! You can read the Techcrunch article here. I’ll write more details later
While it’s fresh I thought I’d write up the process behind the Firespotter Labs logo I designed. This was an incredibly fun logo to design and probably one of the quickest, at least when contrast to some of the luxurious multiple month (!) design explorations I’ve done in the past for school or other companies. That said, it was exceptionally challenging; it’s hard to take a step back and think objectively about the company you’re a part of.
Before this, I had already designed a couple logos for some of the products we’re working on now. I had to break out of the “consumer application” design mindset I had been entrenched in for a few months. For the mothership, we needed something that conveyed that we were a lab full of crazy people brewing up cool things, while simultaneously appearing to be trustworthy gentlefolk worthy of venture support.
Well I have a new toy. No it’s not a $3500 underwater housing for my 5D (though that would be awesome). I’ve been shooting with a little Canon Powershot D10 for the last week and it’s been a lot of fun. If you are considering a trip to anywhere water-lush, I suggest giving the D10 a shot. It’s not perfect, but it sure beats spending a boat load for an SLR underwater housing if you’re strapped for cash.
First, the D10 is waterproof and shockproof. I tested it thoroughly (trust me, I break point-n-shoot cameras regularly). I carried it around in my swimming suit pocket and sat on it, swam with it, dropped it out of moving golf carts and threw it to friends when we didn’t have a ball. The thing is solid. I didn’t have a strap and this was a crucial error. If you are going to parade around with one, definitely invest in some kind of way to connect it to your person.
Next, it’s massively fun to have an amphibious camera that can fit in your pocket. I underestimated how much fun it would be and spent a very long time on various bizarre photo missions (#43. Try to take a photo with the lead singer from Kings of Leon, underwater. *Unsuccessful, but close). Even if you are just in a pool, the camera is worth trying.
The photos above are a few of the cooler ones I got. Dolphins are kind of a cheating way to make a photo look cool, but still, the colors and clarity are nice, especially for a wee little camera. These photos were shot with sand everywhere, all over the lens, and my complete lack of concern for the camera’s well-being. Pretty cool I’d say — it’s nice to not have to treat your camera like a fragile little hamster (5D).
On the negative side, it’s very bulky for a point-n-shoot. If you are in water, who cares, but if you are looking for a one stop shop that you can also bring out with you at night, this isn’t it. Putting it in your pants pocket renders that leg odd looking as it protrudes rather unfortunately. Personally, I also find it ugly, but I gravitate towards all black cameras, so take that with a grain of sea salt. The camera definitely looks more like a toy than a Bell & Ross.
This post certainly cements my affinity for underwater photos (Asako Narahashi will always reign supreme). I have a bunch more, but most are of my friends and I floating in the water, and we isn’t Facebook friends!
Yes, both of those passports are mine. The first thing that was said to me upon my arrival in Narita was “Do you know Interpol?” I answered yes and was lead into an interrogation room where I sat for about 45 minutes. Periodically someone would come explain that my passport was stolen. I would explain back to them that it couldn’t be, as it was right there in front of us. In the end I was told to go to the American Embassy and get a new one (hence the two above). So now I have two passports and a unique knowledge of the underworld at Narita Airport. That was at the beginning, much has happened since then.
Since my last update I have been out mining for cool things. No more tourist attractions (besides the Ramen Museum in Yokohama. My Mom already made fun of me for visiting a noodle museum, so don’t start). I am happy to say that I have been successful in my searchings for all things weird and wonderful. Most of my time has been spent in Aoyama, Harajuku and Naka Meguro (with some Daikanyama too). It’s been hard to decide what to focus on; clothes, housewares, interiors, music, games, food…I could easily spend all of each day bouncing between all the different shops in those areas. One place I literally had to leave because I was afraid I might buy too many things (Sempre). I also found a hair salon that was having a yard sale. Their three items for sale were a replica M16, faded porn, and a Twitter sign. Awesome.
Right now I’m packing for my trip to Japan tomorrow. I will be in Tokyo for 10 days, exploring and adventuring around with a photographer friend. It will be my second time visiting Tokyo (I went by myself for two weeks in 2008). Since I’ve been before, my to-do list this time is quite different from the last; I plowed through about three guidebooks worth of tourist attractions last time. With this trip, I am going to try and stay off the beaten path and explore parts of Tokyo I either missed or hadn’t heard about yet.
I’ll also be focusing a lot more on my photography. I was shooting from the hip with my D40 two years ago (gallery) — this time I’ll take a little more care and consideration with my shots. I’ll be carting the MKII with me everywhere and will be posting periodic pictures and travel updates. My Twitter should also be fairly active with Tokyo related musings.
I’ll definitely be on the lookout for all sorts of design related artifcats and thingamabobs. If anyone has any Tokyo recommendations along these lines, I am all ears.
Last year I invented an aeronautical research company called Aeolas International. Their sole purpose was to take my Youtube personality hostage and post videos of their scientific findings. Ideally people would think that this was actually happening and I would eventually become mega famous. This didn’t happen exactly as planned, but the process of diving deep into a self initiated project was terrific and something I would highly recommend. I’m excited now to get a chance to further explain the project; the motivations behind it, the process, and what eventually unfolded.
Some of you may know that I am also a musician. Most of the work I have online is design related, but I also maintain a Youtube page where I mainly post covers of my favorite songs. I’ve been posting over there for about 2 years now and some videos have done quite well (150K + views). Most chill somewhere around 15K. Overall it’s been a great way to get my musical side out there and generate a fan base. An example of a “normal” pre-Aeolas video is below.
At the end of last year I decided it was time to switch it up. I was enjoying my periodic recording sessions, but I wasn’t nearly as into it as I was when I started. The market had become significantly more saturated with cover artists and I felt like I was just one of thousands of people doing exactly the same thing. Initially, I felt like I was distinguishing myself with higher quality recording techniques, but even this became relatively commonplace. After an intense brainstorming session, I decided it would be best to invent an old aeronautical research company called Aeolas International that would take me hostage. I didn’t really have much of a plan beyond that when I started.