The nice people from Inkubator hired me to help them refresh the layout of Vice Magazine.
After almost 20 years, Vice Magazine's success and worldwide popularity had outgrown its initial idea. The same could be said for its design layout. Metaphorically speaking, a young rebel had become an established adult, and the old clothes didn’t quite fit anymore.
The goal of the refresh was to come up with a concept that would visually unify the eclectic content of the magazine, keep Vice's characteristically blunt visual style, and make it accessible to young readers steeped in the new “byte”-sized reality of consuming information.
Concept: Loud & Quiet
We quickly realized that the magazine's diverse content needed its proper visual counterpart. As the one of the editors summed it up: “The new layout should be like a Pixies song – with its loud and quiet moments.” Loud moments should wow users with their “fast and furious” content, and quiet ones should give them rest to allow for the deep reading that is needed for longer stories. To achieve that, we decided to focus on two aspects: the conceptual (content vs. form) and the utilitarian (paper vs. screen reading).
We embraced the idea that form follows function. In other words, we tried to design a layout that reflects the content of the story and even tells it before it is read.
For example, the article about the scarcity of meat in Cuba (“Red Gold,” see picture) is introduced by a “loud” moment (the Cuban flag made out of meat) that works like a teaser, announcing the story about a place where meat is still considered as precious as gold.
According to neuroscience, we use different parts of our brain when reading from a piece of paper as opposed to a screen. Millennials, the magazine's core audience, are a screen-focused generation of readers. To accommodate their reading habits within our overall concept, we offered small graphic tidbits (ubiquitous in a UI environment) to communicate information and to increase their appetite for longer stories. An example of such eye candy is the nose infographic in the story about Iran’s booming cosmetic surgery industry (see picture).
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is much more than a film festival; it is a creative community and global hub in the discovery and understanding of film. On a year-round basis, TIFF offers screenings, lectures, discussions, workshops, and the chance to meet filmmakers from around the world. One of the world’s premier organizations needed a flexible online platform to deal with its versatile initiatives.
Art Direction, Interaction Design, UX/UI, Web Design
Mostly known for its auction-style sales, affordable prices and special deals, eBay is also a big online seller of common household products. Research revealed that users frequently bought household products as part of a monthly routine. Inspired by this niche behavior, the eBay sales team wanted to improve the shopping experience by developing a specialized mobile app. This app was to allow customers to enable, schedule, and get reminded about a quick “refill” of needed goods.
The initial brainstorming led to three main goals: accurate product categorization and integration with an existing database, design of a reliable and intuitive dashboard, and a unique UI focused on products.
To achieve the first goal, a decision was made to go with the “show don't tell” approach and design a dial-like feature consisting of icons depicting the main categories. In order to achieve a fully intuitive experience, a cell splitting-style animation was added to visualize the move from category to subcategory.
The dashboard design focused on two variables - amount and time. For example, “buy 1 (pack of bulbs) in 10 (days, months).” In 10 days, the app would send a notice about the scheduled purchase. It also provided users with their purchase history, so that they could estimate the ideal frequency and schedule their next purchases accordingly.
To keep in line with eBay’s style, the colour palette was limited to blue and white. A monochrome pattern was added to differentiate the CTAs from the rest of the interface.
Art Direction, UX/UI, Icon Design
Client: eBay Year: 2014 Credits: visiblemedia.com
The subtle monochrome pattern adds visual appeal, emphasizes the button's function, and keeps it in line with the brand's style guide.
Icon design for different product categories: apparel, personal care, baby, household, pets, beverages, and beauty.
Disney App Game
Creative concept and execution of the Disney XD Prank-A-Tron 5000 mobile app game.
Disney wanted to broaden their Watch XD Universe audience in the US market. The goal was to engage 8- to 12-year olds to find out more about popular TV shows in the way most familiar to them - by playing on a mobile app.
Given the main goal of engaging kids, we decided to design a soundboard-like feature. Catchy songs, sounds, and lines from TV shows provided a perfect foundation for a mobile soundboard app. To make it more fun, the idea was to wrap it around pranks. That’s how Prank-A-Tron 5000 was born. The challenge was to come up with the right selection of pranks – to match kids’ expectations, but also to stay within the frame of Disney’s family-friendly image.
Literally translating soundboard features to the mobile environment seemed like missing an opportunity at creating something more unique. We wanted to allow for more user involvement and creativity and let kids customize sounds for their pranks. That’s why Prank-A-Tron 5000 allows users to download Disney’s sounds, create and add their own, set up a mix (“sound stack”), and then apply the sounds to the selected mode (prank).
The modes are tailored to match real-life situations: For example, the “covert” mode mimics a turned-off phone. If the phone is only slightly moved, however, it plays the selected sound – creating a startling effect.
Just a month after its launch, Prank-A-Tron was the number one game in the WATCH XD app. It received 175,000 game starts on iOS, which was 55% more than the next highest-placed game.
Art Direction, Interaction Design, UX/UI, Icon Design
Client: Disney XD Year: 2014 Credits: visiblemedia.com
IF City Identity
Over the last few years Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine) has been losing its architectural style due to the vigorous growth of outdoor advertising. While the government remained inactive, the city community, especially small business representatives, established a public initiative to solve the problem. They set a task to create a brand-new city style and to develop a style guide for regulating outdoor advertisements in Ivano-Frankivsk.
With a rich and dynamic history, Ivano-Frankivsk lacked the identity that could epitomize more than 300 years of a city — conquered, settled, and ruled by different nations and empires.
What do the Polish rulers, the Austrian empire, and Soviet authorities have in common?
Gustave Flaubert said that writing history is like drinking an ocean and pissing a cupful. This could also be said for designing a city’s visual identity.
After weeks of research, I discovered one firm witness, a Ukrainian peasant. Simple, humble and hardworking, he was there to defend the city, or to repair the ruins. A single embroidery stitch from his traditional shirt became a visually striking and easily adjustable emblem which was combined with the architectural fundamentals of the city hall called Ratusha — the most prominent urban mark, both visually and metaphorically.
To enrich the visual identity, I created 4 patterns representing: Rich History, Breathtaking Nature, Bold Ethnographic Heritage, and Contemporary Art and Literature. These four themes emerged among many others as distinctive storytellers. In the form of embroidery, made of the Ratusha stitch, and with clear symbols, they are telling the story of IF.
The visual identity for the city of Ivano-Frankivsk was recognized at Cannes Lions as one of the top five large scale logo projects in the world for its exceptional creativity (2014 Design Lions Award Finalist).
The Toronto International Film Festival, the largest public film festival in the world, wanted a way to engage consumers during the annual Festival—and year-round, too. A key goal would be to provide a consistent user experience across the iPhone, multiple Blackberry handsets and the then-new Playbook. The app has since been downloaded over 25,000 times and was featured in both the iTunes App Store and the Blackberry Marketplace.
Art Direction, UX/UI, Icon Design
Client: TIFF Year: 2012 Credits: artscience.ca
A&S Identity + Website
Art & Science Digital Experience Design is a team of creative technologists who don’t see art and science as two separate things. Brand concept is based on a memorable symbol and bold illustrations of the company rules.
Art Direction, Icon Design, Identity Design, Illustration, UX/UI
Client: Art & Science Year: 2012 Credits: artscience.ca, Nicolas Girard
Agency Promo Video
Tiff Nexus Website
When the Toronto International Film Festival conceived the idea for a new program that would bridge the worlds of technology, games and film, they approached Art & Science for help with developing the online experience. The task was to develop a design, which would stand apart from other TIFF initiatives, and reflect the program’s cutting-edge nature.
Art Direction, UX/UI
Client: TIFF Year: 2011 Credits: artscience.ca
Dynamic Brand Identity Solution
The Juice Agency evolved from a design shop with a seven year history of creating award-winning work for some of Canada’s leading advertising and marketing agencies. In 2011, Partners made the bold move to rebrand and become a direct-to-client agency, with the belief that the Juice could plan and execute digital marketing better, cheaper and more transparently.
The TJA core brand pillar is constant evolution and change. That believe led to an idea of dynamic, changing one identity; a core shape that could serve as container for different layers of meaning. After exploring several promising options, became obvious that the simple, organic droplet is the shape. It spoke to the brand story better than anything else, and held the potential for a larger identity system.
Recognizing that the logo needs something clean and rigid to lend stability and maturity to the ever-changing, colourful variations of the droplet, the DIN typeface became a logical choice with its neat, technical appearance. However, it was necessary to eventually alter DIN’s “J” in order to improve its relationship with the curve of the droplet. This flipped “J” is also a nod to the innovative solutions company strive to bring to business problems.
Dynamic branding made a lot of exposure for The Juice Agency, it has been featured in numerous books, including Los Logos Volume 6 (Gestalten), Dynamic Identities (BIS Publishers), Dynamic Logo (Dopress), and Creative Business Cards (Send Points). You can also find it featured online at sites like Identity Designed.
Client: The Juice Agency Year: 2011 Credits: artscience.ca
Agency Promo Video
The business cards provide a good example of the flexible, dynamic identity. The eight selected iterations for the cards are the reflections of the agency's personality. For example, the “strategic” dart, the “social” bee and the “energetic” hummingbird.
1. Luminato Festival Website (2012). Luminato Festival is one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America, having commissioned over 66 new works of art, and featured 7,500 artists from 40 countries.
2. The Mix by Danier Blog (2013). Blog of Canadian retailer of leather garments, handbags and accessories.
3. Ideator Website (2011). Ideator is a quirky device developed to help with a naming process or just as a pure fun toy. The interface mimics a 1960’s era style to evoke what Don Draper might have used for inspiration.
4. Brightroam Website (2011). Technology platform for international SIM cards, cell phones and data plans.
5. Zendo Website (2013). Supplier of endodontic instruments and dental materials.
6. Septembering.ca Website (2011). Innovative fundraising model for Camp Trillium Childhood Cancer Support Centre campaign in September.
9. My Artlab Website (2012).
Selected Identity Design
1. Zendo Identity (2013). Supplier of endodontic instruments and dental materials.
2. Design in Three Dimensions Identity (2012). D3D is a Toronto-based consultancy working with museums and arts institutions on strategy, engagement and foresight issues.
3. Aneta Guzina Identity (2011). New York City-based freelance architect.
4. What The F…est Identity (2012). Toronto-based online video festival.
1. Hintsider (2013), Toronto-based startup. Illustrations for online platform for travellers (personality-based recommendations).
2. Chatterbox (2012). Infographics for Canada's only socially-enabled, fully brandable touchscreen video booth.
3. The Juice Agency (2011). Illustrations for the Juice Agency’s online experience.
4. Tandem Tales (2015). Illustrations for Toronto-based comic blog (personal project).
In its first year of operations, Windrose Aviation became a recognized brand that has made a name for itself. The new identity had to capture unique experience of the company's core services. Exploring the concept of discovery, the motif represents wings and tails emerging from a wind rose symbol.
KB Regions Posters
Kievbass is a monthly cultural event bringing the world's best underground DJs to Ukraine. The project became a cult clubbing event, gathering an army of fans, and even spreading to parties organized in other Ukrainian cities. For the regional concept, the idea was to show the first letter of the city (in cyrillic) where the event was being organized in the shape of light breaking through the dark night.
Jeans was the first youth mobile brand in Ukraine. But, in just a few years everything has changed. Strong players appeared on the mobile market. Their aggressive campaigns and fresh look shook the position of Jeans.
The task was to bring back the lost bloom, in other words – to rejuvenate the teenager.
Solution was to flirt with fashion and bright dynamic images of youth subcultures.
Kievbass is a monthly cultural event bringing the world's best underground DJs to Ukraine. The project became a cult clubbing event, gathering an army of fans, and even spreading to parties organized in other Ukrainian cities.