Wired (live chat) — “Next we see a Hobbit game running on the Nexus, lots of rich features, made possible by WbGL. A Rivendell game lets you dive in and explore the world, using touch, on the Web. It’s fast, rich and very impressive, honestly.”
Daniel Isaksson, Tech Director North Kingdom — “People can’t wait to see more when we launch later this year and are amazed that it is all happening from within the Chrome browser on the Pixel and Nexus Devices.”
Another image I did for our North Kingdom site, showing some new projects from us.
n°1 – adidas archive, adidas, Feb 2013. More info
n°2 – Disney New Fantasyland, Walt Disney Park & Resorts Online, Dec 2012. More info
n°3 – adidas NEO Lookbook, adidas, Feb 2013. More info
n°4 – Netflix The Flixies, Netflix, Feb 2013. More info
n°5 – Paranorman Stop Motion Zombie Lab, Wieden+Kennedy, Aug 2012. More info
I made a new image yesterday for our front on North Kingdom. Only because we have been really bad the last years to update our site with new cases. Yeah, you know how it is… However, here are some of the cases we have done lately.
n°1 — Vodafone Netguys, Vodafone Germany, November 2011. (Robert Lindström)
n°2 — The 5 Experience, Tribal DDB South Africa, May 2011. (Jakob Nylund)
n°3 — Daybreak, AT&T / BBDO, May 2012. (Jakob Nylund)
n°4 — Google ROME & 3 Dreams of Black, Google Creatve Lab, June 2011. (Robert Lindström)
n°5 — Build with Chrome, Google / Mark, June 2012. (Robert Lindström)
n°6 — ONLY - The Liberation, ONLY / UncleGrey Copenhagen, April 2012. (Jakob Nylund)
n°7 — Vodafone BufferBusters, Vodafone Germany, September 2011. (Jakob Nylund)
n°8 — Daybreak, Jack Boxers, AT&T / BBDO, May 2012. (Robert Lindström)
n°9 — Weetakid, BBH London, September 2011. (Robert Lindström)
In brackets I have mentioned who was Art Director from North Kingdom.
North Kingdom project — This spring I was involved in a really fun project for a Google Maps and LEGO® as a Art/Design director with focus on the build section. The whole concept is about you building LEGO creations on a map of Australia (LEGO turns 50 years in Australia this year), where you claim your own spot on the map. It´s called “Build with Chrome”. I have always been a huge LEGO fan so it was a great project to be involved in! The result was pretty OK, specially the “builder” that rocks big time with an amazing programming solution, but the limitations of how we could use/hack the Google map pulled down the result a little, I think.
A rough mock up by Alfredo Aponte, our User Experience Designer. He was the guy solving the seemingly impossible.
LEGO Digital Designer is a program you can download for free to build complex LEGO models. A program that became a close reference about what we was going to build. However, this program was in our eyes to complicated and to hard to use, so our focus was to make our “builder” much more easy and playful to use.
Klas Kroon, our programmer and the brain behind the builder, made lot of different prototypes and developments. These prototypes helped us to early see what we could do and not. The client described his work as ‘like Christmas morning waking up to see what North Kingdom had delivered next’.
“Having recently worked with particles, my mindset was set to that.. So my initial idea was to treat the LEGO bricks as particles or several particles makes up a brick, etc.. The idea is to use a sprite/particle of the smallest brick and so on. 1 vertex = 1 sprite. So this is not “real” 3d, but more isometric/ortographic, no perpective. Here´s the first test, so you can see what I mean:
One of the early ideas was to have some sort of terrain variation, here´s a test of that:
(Mousedown and drag left/right to rotate, arrowkeys to pan) Isometric 5 (flipped)
… So I tried with the more classical approach, that is more on par with the LEGO Digitial Designer, which is really nice, but it’s more advanced and more “cad” than what we were aiming for here. Builder 2
One that tested autosaving with local storage. Builder 4
Above are my first mock ups on the same screen. We all wanted a very simple solution regarding “the builder”, therefor I thought a clean open design would match that idea when we also had Google to think about. Some big juicy LEGO bricks would make it more playful and interesting, we still want it to feel LEGO right?
Final interface design by Jonas Eriksson.
We also did a LEGO version on the Google mnemonic; a 3 seconds 3D animation. Conceptually; very simply idea with a Google logotype explode into LEGO bricks that would go around its core, but it was for sure little tricky to get correct. Above you see my rough direction of how I saw it would work.
Mathias Lindgren, our 3D artist, put it alive in 3D Studio Max.
NORTH KINGDOM PROJECT — “Daybreak 2012, a transmedia webseries by Tim Kring (Heroes, Conspiracy for Good), launched on May 31st with the release of the first of 5 weekly chapters of the webseries on Daybreak2012.com. Along with the Daybreak 2012 website, the Jack Boxers app was also released for both the iPhone and Android smartphones, along with an accompanying website, We Are The Jack Boxers. The purpose of both the app and the website is to enlist help for the cause of the Jack Boxers, who are fighting the forces of darkness and bringing the Truth to light.” — Wired Magazine
The “Jack Boxer” app is in the story built by an underground organization with the same name. The app is mainly a way for them to communicate securely using text, image and audio messaging. The “Jack Boxer” is found in Daybreak, which is a web TV series deeply integrated with an immersive digital layer. It’s a continuation of a sidetrack from the tv serie “Touch” with Kiefer Sutherland.
“The Daybreak main story unfolds in five, roughly ten minutes long episodes shown on daybreak2012.com and fox.com. But the story doesn’t end there, rather the opposite. On websites and via the smartphone app, the viewers can explore different fragments of an exciting and complex journey. The Jack Boxer application lets the audience be a part of the main character hunt to succeed with his mysterious mission. The app together with jackboxers.com lets fans dig deeper into the Daybreak experience. Much deeper.” — Monterosa
The project was a close collaboration with Monterosa Stockholm who impressed me a lot with their expertize and focus on details! They did an amazing job! A true creative technology master piece!
Read more about the project & making of — North Kingdom (coming soon)
Read more about the concept — Wired Magazine
Watch “Touch” — FOX Broadcast
I have personally been hooked by iPhone apps since I bought my first from US 2007. Today, 5 years later, I have finally designed my first app. And yes, it was so fun I always had imagine! The app was described by someone as a “James Bond app for geeks”, which is pretty true. I have I rendered the images you see here in Cinema 4D with screenshots from the app.
The only brief I had designing Jack Boxer, was to make old school user interface with a fresh tweak. We wanted a look and feel of a site/app run by a major Unix hacker. This old retro style was perfect when the production time was pretty tight. The challenge was still to make an unique style.
THE DASHBOARD (above) contains a real time 3D globe surrounded by a glass dodecahedron. Underneath it we have a graphic frequency EQ in two layers. One measuring microphone input and the other connected to the pentagon hair cross that sits on top of the globe. Built in pure OpenGL on iPhone and Unity3D on Android.
One of eight sections is the RECORDING and SOUND EDITING TOOL. The sound editor let users change the playback direction and playback rate. This way they can find hidden messages within audio clips that’s almost impossible to hear otherwise.
The FREQUENCY ANALYZER is another tool built to find messages, this time hidden in series of frequencies. The Jack Boxers have mapped a number of characters to tones/frequencies enabling messaging via sounds that can be found anywhere. The scanning for frequencies are represented by a dynamic point cloud.
My workfile where I have collected all my design in an “Art Direction Overview Map”. For me, this was the only way to get a picture of what I was doing. To see how everything worked against each other. The time I had for this was super short, so it helped a lot the design was pretty simple. The feeling had to be an old computer system combined with a new, hi-tech technology. Most of this stuff was created during one hectic week.
A snapshot from my iPhone at Monterosa. On my left side is Carl Rung, Creative Director at Monterosa, going throu the latest updates via an Apple TV. Danilo Boer, Art Director from BBDO New York, and Marcus Ivarsson, Creative Director at North Kingdom are sitting on the other side table.
From the shape of the dodecahedron I created some clean and simple digits and logotypes.
The system icons. I wanted them as simple and clean as possible, but still interesting.
Before entering the Jackboxers blog, I have animated a boot up sequence of their computer system. A very short and very simple animation made in Flash, but still very fun to do. And with some cool sound effect it turned out quite cool I think.
North Kingdom project — An online 3d game utilizing the hardware acceleration introduced in Adobe Flash 11.
The ATL developed by Jung von Matt focus on visualizing the possibilities and power of the Vodafone network through four main characters – The Netguys. These Netguys can be seen in TVC, Print, Out of Home and also in an interactive experience. In the interactive channel Vodafone wanted to give their customer a fun, casual and engaging game experience centered around the Netguys characters in the browser.
In the interactive channel Vodafone wanted to give their customer a fun, casual and engaging game experience centered around the Netguys characters in the browser. The decision was made to evaluate the all new Adobe Flash 11 platform that allows for creating rich dynamic 3D content in a browser.
Our idea to communicate was that Vodafone customers have access to the Network of Tomorrow (im Netz von Morgen) but it is really up to them to make use of all the possibilities with Vodafone as a mobile provider.
For a couple of month ago I worked on this project as Art Director and designer. Netguys was a big challenge for us when we where working with the new 3d engine in Flash 11 with a very small team and a very tight time limit. However, this kind of projects can be really fun to do!
What is really cool in this project is that the 3D blocks in the city appears randomly so you never know what’s coming up, you never know how the city will look like. More about this later at our Behind the Scene section.
These 3d images have I done in Cinema 4D, just to make the screenshots from the game little more interesting. I bought the display model at TurboSquid.
A poster I did most for fun, but later on become the splash page you can see below.
1 Year Long Global Competition
365 Site Of The Day Winners
12 Site Of The Month Finalists
1 International Public Vote
1 People’s Choice Award Winner
“Part of the goal was to move and inspire the creative community. Therefor it feels extra good to receive the FWA PCA 2011.
A big thanks to everyone involved making this happen: Chris, Aaron, Doob, Sandra, Thomas for giving us the opportunity. Special thanks to Branislav, Eskil, Bartek, Micke, Klaus and the rest of the guys involved pushing the limits. Full credits here – each and everyone on that list deserve a shout out for being so dedicated.”
Read more about the project here (North Kingdom) and about my stuff in the project here on the blog.
This spring we at North Kingdom did a small web project including both an iPhone app and five movies with Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo. We created an online guide with the 25 most spectacular winter adventures in Scandinavia, a project called Volvo Cross Country Travels. With the app you can receive special designed badges from each location. Forsman & Bodenfors made the concept idea, my role was Interactive Art Director.
To mock up the first design (B) I received some rough sketches (A) from Forsman & Bodenfors, who wanted a clean magazine so it could run on an iPad. Therefor we chose HTML5 as a platform.
Some screenshoots of the final result (small changes have been done since launch).
We created some cool badges for each location which you could get digital if you checked in at chosen location. Our idea was also make them physical so people could receive them by post so people could put it on their cars. Illustrations by Anton Eriksson, directed by Jakob Nylund.
We also sent two guys for 3 weeks of filming. Jakob Nylund and Riccardo Tagliabue made five beautiful spots (above). I sold in the idea and really wanted to go with them, but the time issue made me to stay at the base.
The total result turned out so so I think except for the badges and the videos that had higher level. Some annoying tech problems with external partner cut down almost all love. Instead of doing the whole thing with HTML5 we ended up with a hybrid solution (Flash) the last two weeks of the project.
However, it was great to work with my old friend Staffan Lamm at Forsman & Bodenfors again. They are doing such excellent work these guys! Mathias Lindgren (North Kingdom 3D) and I was working inhouse at their Gothenburg office the last week. On the picture you can see Mathias at their total orange place, 8.45 PM, Friday night. We where the last one leaving. (Photo taken by iPhone)
Concept art by North Kingdom (Robert Lindström & Mathias Lindgren). Deer by Mirada.
Three screenshots from the final work and the landingpage of ROME, everything made with webGL.
Read more about the projecthere and check out the huge making of article at our North Kingdom blog here. This post on Designchapel only concerns my involvement and my personal notes.
A couple of weeks ago we launched a little different project from North Kingdom called ROME, an interactive music video made in webGL from Google Chrome. To learn more about the technique you can read more at ROME technology site.
I wasn’t so super involved myself unfortunately when it was the music director who was in charge of all the visual stuff. I only did some early concept drawings together with our 3D artist Mathias Lindgren and some design directions on the website. These pictures will I show here below.
The beautifully Norah Jones, one of my favorites, is singing “3 Dreams of Black” in this interactive music video with Jack White from Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi’s album ROME.
Some really early concept drawings. I had an idea of a mirror world underneath the surface, a more twisted version of the dream world.
“A dark world is found under the surface, as if you would look under the water’s edge. This dark, odd, bizarre world contains a mirror image of the “real” world but within another shape. Here will you find the dark soup. A soup that could have same style in all three dark worlds.”
This year we had one project in the FWA’s big final; Best site of the Year. Myself wasn’t involved in this one when Nils Arvidsson (North Kingdom) was our interactive art director. Actually, I haven’t done so many cases at all during 2010 when I had been involved in other stuff/roles within North Kingdom. However, I hope to do lot more work during 2011 when I’m back on the drawing table full time.
“Battle of the Cheetos made it all the way to the third spot in 2010 FWA People’s Choice Awards – Website of the Year. Thanks to all of you who voted for our piece that we developed together with our old friends at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.” (Case movie by GPS)
Last month we launched a pretty cool project at Times Square for LG on their huge LED screen. A project within the project was to create a character, a process I will show here below. Usually I don’t work as an illustrator but sometimes it happens…
Overall we created over 50 characters during two hectic weeks…
A — Final direction from client B — My redesign and modification of the character when we wanted him more mature and cool C — Klaus Lyngeled (Character Designer och Animation Director) did some tweaks on my sketch D — The final character made in Unity 3D
When a project have a character in focus it’s of course super important to give him a look that works both for the brands philosophy and the project itself, a combination that can be very tricky sometimes. This autumn I helped one of our teams with some early concept ideas and development of a character for LG. The character was going to have artificial intelligence and “live” inside the biggest LED screen in NYC; a huge 15×25 meters display (1984×1136 resolution) on Times Square. His name is Gil (Life Is Good backwards) and he’s LG’s Good News Ambassador. Gil is animated in real-time 3D (Unity 3d) which means instead of using loops of pre-rendered animations, he actually can respond differently to messages, weather reports or news feeds so that he feels really alive
We have continue to make Behind the Scene for our projects. It is a great way for us to build our culture and it is hopefully fun to see for others. Here is material from the making of two recent projects from North Kingdom;
It took us seven years to get an Golden Egg but finally we got one! We’ve been very lucky and quite spoiled with international awards so we are really happy to receive the biggest award here in Sweden. I think we haven’t succeed in Sweden earlier because we have been working mostly with international clients/agencies and with projects that has been to little “commercial”. I think the Golden Egg have more been focusing on the idea instead of execution which is good. The motivation from the jury also talking about these big flashproductions, questioning if we will see them in the future (an interesting question). And not to forget; the Swedish agencies are doing really good stuff so the competing have been really hard.
The Golden Egg was given to The Swedish Armed Forces project which was a pretty fast production which we made last spring. The motivation is (in Swedish);
“Personlighetstestet / DDB Stockholm / North Kingdom
2009 var inte de stora Flash-produktionernas år. Det var året då alla skulle gå åt det sociala, mobila eller det virala hållet. Men med en ordentlig dos kreativitet och ett gediget hantverk lyckades ett gäng duktiga människor skapa en helhet som ingen annan kom i närheten av. De skapade en lockande upplevelse som var lika smart som den var snygg. Kanske är detta den sista stora flashproduktionen av sitt slag. Men om så är fallet, kunde vi inte fått en bättre avslutning.”
Big big thanks to Försvarsmakten, DDB, Jesper Kouthoofd, Illianced, Dinahmoe and Stopp!
Michael Ballack, the captain of the German national soccer team, concentrating before a film shoot and Rene Adler, the goalkeeper, is doing an interview in front of our scenography. Cologne, September 2009. A couple of exciting days for us from North Kingdom when the film shoots for Adidas Teamgeist took place.
Here is my personal thoughts and pictures from this autumn. These “Making of” parts have been very important for me to me to keep when I want to collect parts of the process, which never is seen in the final result and to have something to look back on when we work with new projects in the future. Working as an Art Director for this kind of projects can be pretty difficult. Big complex game campaigns for big brands, where lot of different parts runs parallel. You need to keep everything in the same style and quality, and you always have a client with very high expectations. Times like that, the most important is to have a well working team, which we have in North Kingdom! Many of us at NK have been working together over ten years so we know each other very well. Nobody is afraid to say what he or she thinks. A project will never turns out good if people in the team don’t say what they have in mind. It is so true that the details will betray you, so when Marcus Ivarsson (our Project Manager) said “Every single pixel need love” I couldn’t agree more.
I’m pretty happy with the final result. The sound and voice overs are absolute fantastic! DinahMoe did a great job! They handled all sound dynamically at runtime, all integrated and affecting each other. Visually it is almost perfect. With little more time I think we could make the game itself a little harder in the last two chapters and with more variations. But still, we had over 500,000 games played the first three weeks, chosen FWA Site of the Month, and a very happy client, which is most important. However, I have to admit I wasn’t totally sold about the game idea, the strategic style, but it gave me even more reason to try to make it as visual outstanding as possible.
My first rough concept drawings from August 2009, showing how the white takeover would look like, how the players would transform to these white “ghosts” without any identity, history or power.
During the project I worked with two very talented illustrators; Therese Larsson (intern at North Kingdom), who did the covers and Anton Eriksson, who was in charge of backgrounds, based on our 3D sketches. The graphic novel style came from 180 Amsterdam who did the very cool “Spark” movie for Adidas earlier this year, which gave Adidas a new mystic, dark feeling. I wasn’t so fond of the rest of the campaign they did, when their graphic novel style was too lame and to regular. Adidas let us make our own style within the genre which we both loved and thought would be necessary for a great outcome. Basically I got free hands with my illustrators. Why can’t all clients be like that?
Project: Website by North Kingdom. My work: Lead Art Director & Designer. Client: Adidas Germany. Information: On November 13th 2009 the new fed kit for the German national football team for the World Cup in South Africa 2010 was officially launched and presented to public. This jersey is of national interest, with huge PR activities behind it. Having centred the DFB communication campaign in classical ATL channels over the last years, adidas Germany were now looking for a cutting edge approach with a web based centrepiece. The main objective was to create hype around the team and its new jersey and in the long run anchor adidas as the leading football brand in Germany. The campaign targeted towards German football fans, is driven by the idea of team spirit, the fun of the game and the design of the new DFB jersey.
We at North Kingdom created a web based centerpiece called adidas Teamgeist. An unique online graphic novel game where the fans can discover and learn more about the story behind the jersey while competing for the ultimate prize of flying together with the German football team over to South Africa next June. The story is centred on the jersey and the importance it has to the team, the players and the fans. To find out, the users have to go back in time and replay the three German World Cup gold matches of -54-74 and -90 in a real time football strategy game.
Except the advergame the campaign consist of a set of viral video that was launched as teasers, an augmented reality novel, a blog, a twitter feed and a facebook fan page.
Project: Website by North Kingdom. My work: Interactive Art Director. Client: DDB Stockholm. Information: This site is the major part of a recruit campaign for the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) by DDB Stockholm. We worked very closed with both DDB and Jesper Kouthoofd (Teenage Engineering) who was Film Director and in charge of the scenography. Stopp did the Post Production and 3D. The web experience and the eight commercials were shot on a 330 feet set inside a secret naval base outside of Stockholm. The website consists of a 15 minute interactive film that was shot in one take.
Here above you can see the design in progress for the first room: The Freezer. It is a test where you have to save two persons of four, or can you maybe solve the test different? Check out the Behind the Scene part here below.
This winter North Kingdom made a project with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for GE, containing a website and a Augmented Reality solution. The project turned out great with a happy client, a Silver Clio and S.O.T.M FWA.
Project: Website by North Kingdom. My work: Interactive Art Director & Designer. Client: Forsman & Bodenfors. Information:This autumn we did a small work together with Forsman & Bodenfors for Tele2. They come to us with a rough concept and a very short deadline. It wasn’t the biggest challenge when we talk creative freedom, but we did I good teamwork and put together a pretty cool campaign in the end.
When we worked directly with Coca Cola for The Coke Zero Game project, the whole process took a while when we did everything from idea and concept to the whole production. Here will you find photos I took from the filmday and some work in progress.
Project: Website by North Kingdom. My work: Art Director & Lead Designer. Client: Coca Cola Zero Germany. Information: We developed the online concept in near collaboration with Coca-Cola Germany. North Kingdom was responsible from concept thru filming, production and delivery, collaborating with many of our favourite partners and subcontractors.
Results: 1 400 000 visitors (completed games). Avarage time spent on site: 9,5 min. Awards: FWA Site of the day and Site of the Month, Bronze at Clio Awards 2008, Silver at Cannes Cyber Lion 2008.
Some of the screens from the four games you have to go through to complete the mission. The scenography is built and filmed in a studio in Skellefteå. Check out the Making of “Coca Cola Zero” here if you want to see how we did it.
To get a stronger game feeling I wanted an illustrated manner between the games and to the tutorials. This was done by Anton Eriksson.
This is a first glimpse on our upcoming fashion brand MINK / Made in North Kingdom. The logotype of a blinking deer character have I drawn in Illustrator. The hangtags (on the right side) are for the t-shirts and will be printed on canvas. From the beginning it will only be printed t-shirts with Limited Edition. I am not sure though when this project will be launched. Hopefully during 2008 or 2009.
For a couple of years ago I started an internal project at North Kingdom where our different designers made their own version of our NK symbol. It turned out pretty cool actually! Here above can you see 4 of these t-shirts prints designed by Kenny Lindström, myself, Charlotta Havh and Bjarne Melin. More to come!
We from North Kingdom is for the moment working with a microsite for Toyota Europe called Build Your IQ. This is Episode 1 of 3. I have not been so much involved myself in this project (mostly very early concept work) but it is great to follow the process. This is our fourth project for Toyota. The room was built and filmed in a studio in Skellefteå.
Me and David Eriksson (CD/CEO, North Kingdom) had for a long time wanted a project where we could build something physical, something you have not seen earlier, and when we first heard about the new Got Milk? project we understood that this would be the project! I guess Goodby thought we where a little bit crazy in the beginning but when we described the idea they loved the idea.
Project: Website from North Kingdom. My work: Art Director & Lead Designer. Client: Goodby, Silverstein & Partner. Information: A new “Got Milk?” campaign together with GSP. This time we did a boardgame where we actually built a real board as a ground for the site. The model was around 2,5 x 3 meters. Art Director from GSP was Jorge Calleja.
During the last period of making “Get the Glass” we had Jorge Calleja and Paul Charney from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (San Fransisco) visiting us in Skellefteå. Lot of work but we had time to have some fun as well! They thought we had a pretty cold climate though.
Right now we at North Kingdom are building a miniature landscape for another “Got Milk?” campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (San Fransico). The result will be an online game where we will combine filmed material with 3D graphic. Ted Kjellson in the red t-shirt is leading the building of the model here in Skellefteå. These pictures are showing the status 7 days before filmday.
Project: Website from North Kingdom. My work: Art Director. Client: BRIO. Information: BRIO is a piece of Swedish history. BRIO, who is making toys by wood, have changed their profile and therefor wanted a new face on the web.