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Weekly Inspirations: April 1st, 2016

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Staying one step ahead at Pixar: An interview with Ed Catmull

Ed Catmull has been at the forefront of the digital revolution since its early days. The president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios began studying computer science at the University of Utah in 1965. In 1972, he created a four-minute film of computer-generated animation that represented the state of the art at the time. In his 2014 book, Creativity, Inc., Catmull chronicled the story of Pixar—from its early days, when Steve Jobs invested $10 million to spin it off from Lucasfilm, in 1986; to its release of the groundbreaking Toy Story, in 1995; and its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company, for $7.4 billion, in 2006. But even more, he described the thrill and the challenge of stimulating creativity while keeping up with the breakneck pace of the digital age. Catmull recently sat down with McKinsey’s Allen Webb and Stanford University professors Hayagreeva Rao and Robert Sutton for a far-ranging discussion that picked up where Creativity, Inc. left off.
Read the article here

The Popslate 2 Is an E-Ink iPhone Case That May Actually Make Sense

A LITTLE OVER three years ago, the Popslate presented an intriguing idea: What if a case could turn the back of your phone into an E Ink display? Like a lot of first-generation, crowdsourced products, the original didn’t quite live up to the promise. Popslate 2, though, looks like a very promising course correction.The original Popslate, which finally materialized last spring, worked as advertised. Its limitations, though, made it difficult to justify as an everyday case. It charged with a different cable than the iPhone 6 it was designed to fit, and at launch only displayed still images pushed from an app on the front of the phone. It eventually used IFTTT to prompt screen updates without manual intervention, but even that required a little bit more digital elbow grease—and a little less functionality—than might justify the added bulk and expense.
Read the article here

5 Brilliant Books That Will Unleash Your Creativity

It’s so easy to get stuck in ruts and fall into habitual patterns with your work. Even the most creative and prolific people struggle with this from time to time. That’s when it can be helpful to have a tool to shake up your thinking and behavior and to force you to explore new avenues of thought. This article is a list of excellent, but often overlooked books that can help you re-frame your work and unlock new ideas.
Read the article here

Raw Material: An Interview with Google Design

The SPAN Reader, a book released by Google Design in conjunction with its SPAN conferences in New York and London, is an eclectic collection of design thinking that investigates a variety of contemporary issues, such as the ethics of interface design, the implications of smart homes regarding privacy, the nature of time in digital space, the WYSIWYG paradigm, handmade computing, the haptic joy of contemporary stonecutting, and even the architectural implications of burglary. As a glimpse into the thinking behind Google Design, the SPAN Reader seemed a good place to start when trying to understand the culture and philosophies at work in the office. This post begins with a short interview with Rob Giampietro and Amber Bravo, creative lead and editor of Google Design NY, respectively, discussing the editorial mission of Google Design, the ever-evolving metaphor of “material,” and the process of creating the book.  Finally, Rob and Amber respond to a number of excerpts from the book offering us a chance to understand why these issues are important, and how they fit into the larger framework of Google Design.
Read the article here

Wikipedia Redesign Concept

This is a concept design by German designer George Kvasnikov. Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites in the world. It hasn’t been changed or redefined during the last 10 years. This is a try to make Wikipedia more modern, readable, useful and personal.
Read the article here

Draw your own typeface in minutes and use it in your favorite iOS apps with iFontMaker for iPad

Created by development team Eiji and Tom in collaboration with 2TFF, the app is self-explanatory yet inviting and powerful, allowing serious typography aficionados to truly create their own fonts on the iPad. You can create completely original hand-drawn fonts in minutes or start with a basic typeface and drag the lines to change the look. In pen mode, you draw vector shapes that make up your font’s characters. To make precise adjustments, you can adjust a stroke with bezier handles in the Edit mode. Advanced options like kerning customization, tracing and guides, stroke width, pen style and radius, canvas zooming, image and GIF animation export and operations like moving, scaling or rotating an entire glyph tool are available as well.
Read the article here

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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