Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Contemporary Hotel Menu, 1970's

Hello Room Service? Yeah, hi, this is Gino De Young in room 4421. It's been a long day at the park, and I'd like to order dinner. We'll start with...
- 2 shrimp cocktails
- 2 of the filets, medium rare
- a bay lake cheese tray with brie
- The hospitality package, with Dewars and Fitzgerald's Bourbon
- a chocolate rum moose and a southern pecan pie
Can you tell me the room service charge? $36.20? OK, great, I think that should be it. About how long? Half hour? Perfect.

This handsome menu from the late (?) seventies was placed in Contemporary Resort rooms at Walt Disney World. I love the abstraction of the North and South facade of the hotel turned into a pleasing pattern.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sony Pictures site design - 1999

SPE was the original name for the Sony Pictures site. Sony wanted pages on SPE focused on teens, soap opera, action and comedy fans and kids in order to support new portals for these markets, as well as to give the entire site a visual makeover.

The color system was expressed in textural patterns, content headers and small details such as links, providing each sub-brand with a unique look on the same template. These existed together on the home page and needed to be compatable. The SPE brand was enhanced in with a romantic hollywood feeling and integrated with the new golden navigation scheme. Multiple opportunities to highlight movies and television shows and their related merchandise were created.

On each sub-brand page, space was provided for Sony to highlight content from the new portals - here shown as Unitic for teens, and the Laugh Hole for comedy.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Captain & Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together

  • Requires Toni Tennille's trademark bob.
  • Features one lucite bar stool.
  • Has Toni sitting...
  • ...playing a white piano.
  • Is not a sped up version of the song (a lip sync is acceptable.)
This is not a perfect performance, but four out of five isn't bad.

Not to disrespect Toni's obvious talents, but for a lipsync, her primary job was to exude incredible, nearly insane levels of happiness, which she did perfectly here.

Update: This was the runner up, and I'm sure some would say it's a superior performance. They're actually performing, but her exuberance isn't at the level of the other clip (you've got to give her credit though, she's got both her hands full.) Nice set, but no lucite stool.

eParties: The invitations

reduced in size

I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at the eParties invitation system.

Before eParties was a company with it's own management and people working for it, there was just an idea from Sky Dayton and Jake Winebaum to capture the market for party supplies online and provide useful functional tools for a party planner. At the time, we were combining the staff of Venu Interactive with the very small eCompanies staff and doing the design work out of the Venu offices in West Hollywood, while eCompanies was located in temporary space in Santa Monica.

eParties attempted to differentiate itself from other offerings by providing high-quality visuals. We were aware of Blue Mountain, which at the time had hokey little greeting cards, and then suddenly eVite was on the scene with a similar set of badly drawn invitations. In order to expedite the creation of the hundreds of themes required at launch, we created the card viewer, which allowed minimization of the invitation theme to two small areas at either side of the invitation message, while still providing a browser window full of colorful "invitation." The party information and RSVP tools were integrated into this viewer along the right edge, and just about that time, we began understanding the new power of the viral application, so every invitation came with a suggestion to "Throw your own eParty!"

The viewer itself was populated into 11 color schemes to coordinate with a variety of events - there was a silvery white one useful for weddings and anniversaries, and darker ones for evening dinner parties and more elegant invitations. Soon there were three groups of viewers; pale, bright and dark. I created layered Photoshop files with predetermined beveling values for each of the groups to make new viewers easy to create - you could just go in, play with colors and turn out something new and nice quickly, considering how graphic intensive they were.

For the party themes, you started by selecting one of the viewers as a base, and then created the theme with high-quality clip art illustrations or your own design. At first, we developed themes in house to develop standard and determine where we would want to go with them, then later we hired out huge numbers of themes. My friend Colm Ryle was brought in among other freelancers to create the massive number of themes that were needed.

From time to time, it was fun to jump out of the normal work you were doing on the eParties interface, and entertain yourself by producing a unique theme. I was fond of challenging myself to integrate the white "wedding" viewer ironically into other, unexpected event types.

Also on Ginormus: See the eParties application interface.

6230 Update

It has been a while since I took some pictures of 6230, but this weekend there was a little time to take some shots of recent changes to the living area and the exterior from the front.

I can't believe how quickly the trees are growing - they were literally sticks last year, and this year they are starting to get really dense. They still don't offer a lot of privacy for the bank of windows behind them, but that's partially the plan - I love looking out, but I just want to give the casual passerby something to look at besides me tooling around inside.

The big missing piece as of now is a dining table and chairs. I'm planning on a small round table near where the little orange-covered chair is, with a pendant hanging from the ceiling above.

The projector really needs to go up on the ceiling now, because I'm starting to not even notice the skewed angles but guests sure do! Don't want to get complacent about this, but getting this done is tied to some electrical work that needs to happen, which in turn is tied to something else.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

eParties: Website design from 1999

reduced in size

eParties was an online party event manager and a competitor to eVite. I began work on the site design in August of 1999 - it was eCompanies first incubated company, code named New Orleans, and as the site developed we were all learning about what it would be like to work under the eCompanies umbrella.

Centered around novel online party invitations viewed in a fun, templated invitation viewer, eParties provided provided the party host with beautifully designed themes and a simple user interface to invite guests.

Party hosts could keep track of their invitees and provide RSVP status and comments from their guests and party supplies could be purchased from an online store. The first incubated company to graduate, eParties was purchased by eToys.

It wasn't until my friend Joss Rodgers drew the comparison between the confetti of eParties and of the 1984 Olympics, that I realized where the confetti drew it's inspiration.

Deborah Sussman's Olympics color palette presentation impressed me with the idea that even something as pedestrian as a color board could be a beautiful visual when presented; incorporating this idea into my work became a goal, and is reflected in the eParties brand exploration, which was used to convey that the eParties brand could be extended into multiple product lines by varying color and pattern.

Seeing these today even at full size on Flickr they seem tiny, but at that time CRT sizes were small and laptops smaller. Safe window widths were under 600 pixels.

Also on Ginormus: See the eParties Invitations.