Have you ever had that moment, that instance when you realize that you have come up with a design that consists of completely unrelated (even uncomplimentary) elements but when you put them together it results to an amazing design? You are completely puzzled why these elements work together but you are also astonished that they do.  You've had doubts at first and thought that its unlikely this will end up with something you'll like but then you ended up with arguably the best design you've ever made. If you haven't had one of these moments, we're hoping this week's design inspirations, shared by Creative Director Erin Essex, will help lead you to one. Goodluck!  

Designing Flavor Through Failure

As an IPA lover I know that David Chang (New York City-based chef and restaurateur) and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to beer. But, when it comes to his story and things he has learned, I can very much relate. During his talk entitled “Designing Flavor Through Failure” at Wired, he outlined his history, failures, successes and risks. He also tells a story about mentorship (about 10min in). There's a good chance, if you've seen my previous posts, that you've already noticed how I appreciate the correlation between food design and graphic design processes.  This talk illustrates that beautifully.

"You learn from over-seasoning and you learn from under-seasoning"

Side note: I love Momofuku, especially the pork buns, but my #1 ramen place in NYC is Ippudo, hands down.  If you are ever in the city, decide for yourself! Let me know what your conclusion is @erineliz99 on twitter. Found here: David Chang on Momofuku's greatness  

NPR: Look at this, this is color

NPR: This is Color | Webonise Lab What a fun little site.  Who would forget about Roy G. Biv? I wouldn't but it would have been cooler to know about these cool facts listed on the site. Here's a fun tidbit about one of my favorite hues: Though many people think of San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge as red, it’s actually painted a special shade of “international orange.” More color facts here: This is Color: A weird little lesson, in rainbow order  

Currency in living color

Currency in Living Color | Webonise Lab I was in a small town in Costa Rica when I exchanged my first $20 bill US for colónes.  I was delighted by the plastics, holograms, colors and imagery.  It represented the country in such a unique way! Not to mention that there is a monkey on their 5 mil and its damn cute, but I digress. This take on a new US currency is minimalistic yet complex and thought provoking.  The overhaul is both striking and forward thinking.  I do still want my $1 bills though, thank you! Featured here: An artist totally reimagined what U.S. dollar bills should look like on Mashable  

An art show tribute to the films of Wes Anderson Bad Dads V: Art Show Tribute to the Films of Wes Anderson | Webonise Lab

Ok, so this is more fun than "inspirational" but I'm putting it here anyway because I think its cool! As a Wes Anderson fan, I can say that this art show definitely captured the Wes Anderson appeal. If you have no idea who that is, watch The Royal Tenenbaums, that would be a good place to start. More photos from the exhibit here: Bad Dads V  

Design is a conversation

I love the idea of thinking of things as if they exist in the real world. I personally have drawn or used my hands to figure out the most logical way to make something light up or move. Its cool to see that Google has applied similar processes.   They also used what they learned and applied their template to other apps to see if it worked.  What a great exercise to fine tune your brand. Watch the video here: Google’s Material Design: An In-Depth Look  

Casablanca: The greatest film of all time

Casablanca | Webonise Lab

Shadows cast in the background creating interesting layers in the scene.

My birthday is coming up this month and every year on my birthday I sit down with some wine to watch Casablanca. Now, I know that saying something is "the greatest film of all time" lights a fire storm in some people, so ill tread lightly here. Beyond the classic lines, outstanding story and wonderful casting there is the sublime artistry of the film. What I find inspiring is the attention to detail, the contrast and texture created in the film using light and shadow.  Especially the scenes in Rick's Cafe and the Blue Parrot. Pay attention to the way plant shadows and smoke is used to create such interesting detail in the film. Image from: Slant Magazine

CASABLANCA, Paul Henreid, Ingrid Bergman, Sydney Greenstreet, 1942

Scene in the Blue Parrot where texture is used.

Scene from Casablanca where fog was used to soften scene and highlight drama. | Webonise LabFog used to soften the scene and highlight drama.


Erin Essex – Creative Director

 "If you're going though hell, keep going." -  Winston Churchill

Creative Director Erin Cummings | Webonise LabHow long has it been…ah, over two years now since I started with Webonise back in the summer of 2012.  It feels like it was so long ago! Since then I have pushed a lot of pixels around, and we have made some very cool products. In my current position, I love working with my team and being a mentor to junior designers, as well as coming up with new and creative ways of problem solving with UX and design. Working with me you will find that I am straightforward and assertive; creating beautiful products is important to me. Aside from all that I love beer, antique motorcycles and traveling.

Design Theme: Keep it clean.

Design Rule: Make it striking, make sure it works and most importantly learn how to edit.

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