If you’ve been paying attention to my Instagram, you may have noticed these little food-centric, stop motion animations. Since everyone loves a good origin story (if the success of superhero movies has taught me anything) I thought I’d explain a bit more about what they’re about.
I work at Cosmic Design, “A full-range design agency, navigating problems, driven by the shared intention of arriving at a common destination” (Do you like the copy? I wrote it ;) Probably my favourite thing about working at Cosmic are my co-workers. We share a kinship….or at least we share snacks and our insatiable hunger. Habitual snackers, we shamefully congregate in the kitchen to munch on popcorn or to steal someone’s food in the common fridge.
One day we were brainstorming what kind of unique content we could create for our social media platforms.
There were a couple of objectives we wanted this initiative to accomplish:
1/ It should support our brand and reflect our core values
2/ It should be interesting enough to us that we would be motivated to stick with it
3/ It should stand out in social media feeds
CREATE THE WORK YOU WANT TO SEE
Inspired by the beautiful food art that was filling our Instagram feeds (i.e. Becca Clason), we brainstormed DesignBytes, a creative project that would satisfy our eyes that were bigger than our bellies. The concept was to use the universal appeal of food as a medium to clarify aspects of design. One of Cosmic’s core values is understanding in the sense that because we, the designers, work directly with clients (minus account managers), we aim to cultivate clear communication so everyone is on the same page. We get that design can be confusing. "Kerning" DOES sound like it refers to popcorn and not typography. DesignBytes aim is to teach non-designers easy-to-digest lessons that gave some insight into what we did.
WHY ANIMATED GIFS?
I love stop motion animation which I explain a bit in this post. If you’re trying to communicate something in 15 seconds or less (thanks to Instagram limitations and short attention spans) you have to be very efficient in what you’re communicating. Since I mostly deal with static images in design, it’s actually a luxury to be able to add layers of meaning with animation.
VALENTINE'S DAY BYTE
The most recent DesignByte was to celebrate Valentine’s Day by indulging in some design-geek humour using the classic treat of this romantic day: Chocolate. Imagine what kind of pick-up line a cute hipster designer would pull on you at a Type Attack Event*: “Baby, this Valentine’s Day I’m kerning “U” and “I” together [Insert Face With Tears of Joy Emoji]. In design speak, "kerning" is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters to create a visually pleasing result.
*Oh yes, non-designer friends. That DOES exist and I HAVE attended. Ligatures hosts them and they’re great fun!