Blog

I will be posting some random thoughts, projects and doodles to this page. Stay posted.

Level Mx Launch
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In the beginning of my freelance career I was approached by a German client that wanted to capture the motocross market with a custom glove concept. They did not have a brand established, just a general idea of a personal customized motocross glove that would kick start their venture into the market. With the help of a great graphic designer we delivered a complete brand package, along with design solutions and technical manufacturing guides for the gloves.

The brand just launched this fall so feel free to check out the lineup here, and be on the lookout for a complete portfolio page under my "Work" in the near future.

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#blowingwithcs
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Another fun little community design challenge, thrown together by the guys at Creative Session. The project was to redesign a desk fan with the following criteria listed below.

1.Desk Fan,   2.On/Off,   3.Battery/USB powered,   4.Articulate at various angles,   5.Blades

I wanted to go with a more unconventional shape of the fan, where most of the fans in the market today have a flat fronts and are quite shapeless. I wanted the user to be able to interact with the fan and to move it in whatever direction they needed the air to flow. A sphere seemed like the best possible solution and the cradle/stand would act as a power source and a nest for the desk fan. After a few quick rounds of sketches and building the cad, I started to render the 3D in a darker environment and the shape reminded me of a planet or a moon. I thought it would be appropriate with a name that represented this vision so I went with Triton - the largest moon of Neptune. 

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It has come to my attention that the overall shape and size of the vent cuts might be too small and create a lot of noise when the fan is running. So if this was to be made, I would have to re-think the vent shapes and overall design and open the container a lot more (thought for the future). The USB power cable could be attached to a power adapter or directly to a laptop with an App to control the fan speed and activation. 

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Zorrata_Academy Watch Launch
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A while back a Canadian company by the name of Zorrata reached out to me for some watch concepts to add to their already reputable jewelry line.  The design process was quick and to the point, and about a year and a half later they just launched their first watch – the Academy. Here’s an initial image of the timepiece, check back for a full portfolio page of the design process soon. 

Sweat the small stuff

A few years back I had the opportunity to work with Burton snowboards as a part of a creative team that worked on their AK collection. In addition to designing their glove/mitt line I also got to explore some of the trim details on the jackets.

Yeah I know, nothing crazy right? A front jacket zipper and pit-zipper puller, big deal….

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They might seem trivial and for most “non-designers”, just something that is already there on a garment, probably smacked on at the last minute. This is definitely not the case. These little suckers are often well thought-out and designed specifically for each function that they should perform. This mainly because the details aren’t just useless ornamentation or an after-thought, they are the things that will enhance the brand (at least they should be). It will also justify the price for that extra good garment, and it will bring cohesiveness to the overall look and feel of the product you design.

To refer to something that Charles Eames once said: “The details are not the details. They make the design.”

Reimagining the ergonomic functionality and shape of something as small as a zipper puller, pit-zippers and zipper garages takes time and the process can be quite tedious. It might just be the unglamorous part of the outerwear design process, but is vital for that tactile feedback to the end user. At least, that is what I tell myself at the end of the day. I thought I'd share some pictures below to give some context to the process.

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Factory pictures of the injection molding of the pit-zippers and how they are removed manually one-by-one.

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#breathebetterwithcs

A little while back the guys over at Creative Session, set up a community design project, where the idea was to redesign asthma inhalers. #breathebetterwithcs

The ideation and creative process was supposed to be loose and the design criteria's simple. They provided a quick CAD file of the canister for anyone to use as a base and starting spot. The concept must have a counter, 200 count to be exact, and you could use whatever tool you wanted to present your concept.

I wanted to approach the overall shape of the case and see if I could make something that could be attached to a lanyard/carabiner etc. and at the same time avoid any accidental hits of the canister. I also wanted to avoid the side entry mouth-piece and create a more streamline "pill" shape. Here's a few quick renderings of the concept I contributed to the project.

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Attitude during the creative design process

I drew up my own diagram for the attitude change that occurs throughout my creative process during a project. It is a mix between the Creative Design Process tweet by Marcus Romer and design courage by David Whetstone.

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What I’ve experienced as a freelance product designer, is that you’re constantly going through periods of self-doubt. This is or course natural, but sometimes hard to grasp for people outside of the industry or even for clients that just want you to deliver.

Fear is generally the biggest obstacle I face during this process. Fearing that you won’t deliver on time or to the expectations of the client, fear that you took on too much, and the fear that you’ll deliver sub-par design that will wreck further job opportunities.

My exercise lately, that’s come through a lot of rounds with myself, is to try to absorb that fear and turn it into a motivational driver to work harder and extend further. It doesn’t always work, and I often fall back into the same track of ups and downs that are presented in the diagram above, but being cognizant about the emotional roller-coaster and accepting it as a process makes it somewhat easier to perform the tasks at hand.

I do have a love/hate relationship with design and I think it’s healthy to be able to take a step back and be critical to what you’re doing, but at the same time let the process take control and in the end try to be content/happy with what you have produced as long as you gave it your all.