I just want to show this cool article (two double-page spreads) from the Korean trend magazine, Adobe sponsored, w.e.b (May 05) about my company; North Kingdom. I have no idea whatsoever what it says when it's all in Korean, but as long as it look cool it´s fine by me. Great to see that they using my typeface Black Nun Bold for the headline.
However, it's a shame for the readers that a cool magazine like m.a.p. have a web page like this... It seems to be a standard for many Asia sites to look like that so maybe it's just me who don't get it?
I have been invited by Ståle Gerhardsen to a design/typography conference tomorrow called hello VARSKO!. I will speak about North Kingdom, adidas, design, illustration, typography... and some other things that could be inspiring. Therefore I have spent my Friday night on my sofa, preparing my presentation. Luckily the World Cup is still running on the TV, and it will be very inspiring to hear the other designers talk tomorrow and to see what's going on in Trondheim.
VASKO is a society that supports creative visual communication and has its focus on the artists that dare challenge and break rules. Through exhibitions and happenings the organisation wants to show the world what is going on in the design underground in Norway, especially in our region Trondheim.
Earlier this week Creative Summit (a VIP event, open only for 150 delegates) took place in Skellefteå. It is an event operated by The Lodge, a creative hub consisting of prolific Skellefteå-based companies working within the field of digital media.
It was some really inspiring days with Brian Solis, Peter Espersen (Lego), Peter Engel (Zentropia) and Teenage Engineering among others. If you want to read about it, a great sum up is made here by Filmarc:
Some of the projects I was part of last year as an Interactive Art Director for North Kingdom have recently been awarded which feels really great! I know, I use to say awards is not that important, but still, when you got one it is awesome!
Yesterday our little digital shop turned seven years. It has been an amazing ride since 2003, from being only two the first years to 36 today. The picture with the two great posing guys ;) is from May 2005 when we did our first trip to US and New York. We had just hired our first team member and the plan was to never be more then ten and to keep the business in the north of Sweden, in Skellefteå. Today we are over 20 just in Stockholm. How life can turn...
We had a great first year 2003/2004. I had launched my portfolio, Designchapel, and we did Vodafone Future which become the worlds most awarded website 2004. That gave us a great start even the branch had some rough years back then. It also helped us that we where located in the north part of Sweden as we got some great support from the government and local community in making this all possible.
A huge thanks to all great colleagues, our partners and dared clients! Without you this journey would still only have been just a dream.
Last week David Eriksson (CD/CEO) and myself came back from Toronto and FITC 2010. North Kingdom where invited by Shawn Pucknell to speak at this, in my eyes, very professional managed conference with nice variation of speakers. FITC is an event for the design and technology community, which is now held for the 9th year. I where in Toronto and spoke back in 2007 and was already then very impressed by the arrangement at Hilton Hotel. This year’s theme was Playground. ”Which is all about...playing!”
During Saturday, the day before everything started, FITC had a 'Get a Job' day where we spoke about how to apply and what you as a student should think about. If you are a designer it is pretty much about portfolio, portfolio and portfolio, and that you can work in a team, which is just as important.
This is cool! For the second time the last three years, we are on the 2010 Creative 50 list. It's a list where Ad Age and Creativity celebrate the year's most inspiring thinkers and innovators.
“Welcome to the fifth annual Creativity 50. Each year, we cite those people and companies that made the biggest impact across all areas of creative culture. There are advertising and marketing people on the list. There are also tech pioneers, designers, directors, entrepreneurs, and others who challenged the established way of doing things and inspired with their action.”
“From GE's Smart Grid augmented-reality site with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to Adidas Teamgeist for the German sports brand, North Kingdom has built a Swedish digital-production agency with work that can translate to any culture, anywhere in the world... The agency actually likes the challenge of working with shops in other time zones and thinks its northern location, away from the creative hotbeds of Amsterdam and New York, means its designers and developers can concentrate on one project at time, since "every single pixel needs love."
I'm not so fond that they only have the co-founders presented thou, when it is an award for the whole team; from Gothenburg, through Klaverström and Stockholm up to Skellefteå.
However, keep up the good work folks, it's the third time that is the hardest ;)
Cool also to see Lady Gaga on the same list! She is doing some crazy stuff out there! However, I would rather do a project with her then be on the same list... :)
TOP 50 Creative People (These are not presented in any specific rank order)
Roger Stighall, Robert Lindstrom, David Eriksson, Co-founders, North Kingdom
Sachin Agarwal and Garry Tan, Founders, Posterous
Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Architect, Microsoft Live Labs
Craig Allen, Art Director, and Eric Kallman, Copywriter, Wieden and Kennedy Portland
Karin Dreijer Andersson (aka Fever Ray), Musical Artist
Marco Arment, Lead Developer, Tumblr; Creator, Instapaper
Kathryn Bigelow, Director
Neill Blomkamp, Director, RSA
Alex Bogusky, Chief Creative Insurgent, MDC
James Cameron, Director
Roy Choi, Mark Manguera, Founders, Kogi
Damon Collins, ECD RKCR/Y&R
Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvedurai, Co-founders, Foursquare
Andreas Dahlqvist, ECD DDB Stockholm
Bart Decrem, CEO Tapulous
David Droga, Founder, Creative Chairman, Droga5
Dave Eggers, Author, Founder, McSweeney’s
Daniel Ek, Co-founder/CEO, Spotify
James Farley, Group VP Global Marketing, Ford
Cindy Gallop, Entrepreneur, Founder IfWeRanTheWorld.com
Lady Gaga, Musical Artist
Christian Haas, Creative Director/Associate Partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
James Hilton, Co-founder/CCO and Rei Inamoto CCO, AKQA
Damon Horowitz, Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer, Aardvark
Mike Hughes, President, Martin Agency
Jonathan Ive, Senior VP Industrial Design, Apple
Jan Jacobs and Leo Premutico, Co-founders, Creative Directors, Johannes Leonardo
Matt Jones, Director of Design, Berg
Spike Jonze, Director, MJZ
Linus Karlsson and Paul Malmstrom, co-founders/CCOs, Mother New York
Ashton Kutcher, Founder, Katalyst Media
Tom Kuntz, Director, MJZ
Michael Lebowitz, Founder/CEO, Big Spaceship
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, Co-Founders, Opening Ceremony
Pranav Mistry, PhD Candidate, MIT Media Lab
Ty Montague, Co-president, CCO North America, JWT
Tor Myhren, CCO, Grey New York
Filip Nilsson, Creative Director/Chairman, Forsman & Bodenfors
David "Nobby" Nobay, Creative Chairman, Droga5 Sydney
Rob Reilly, Andrew Keller, Jeff Benjamin, ECDs, Crispin Porter Bogusky
Eric Rodenbeck, Founder/Creative Director, Stamen Design
Vivian Rosenthal, Jesse Seppi, Co-founders/Designers/Directors, Tronic
Matt Ross, Creative Director; Matt Oxley, Head of Tech, Tribal DDB London
Keith Schofield, Director, Caviar/El Nino
KR Sridhar, CEO, Bloom Energy
Matthew Szymczyk, Hans Forsman, Creative Directors, Zugara
Iain Tait, Global Interactive ECD, Wieden and Kennedy
Andrey Ternovskiy, Founder of Chatroulette
Ray Tintori, Director, Partizan
Ge Wang, Co-Founder, CTO, CCO, Smule
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!
The Wired Tablet App — A video demonstration from Wired and their thoughts. Mag+ — Nice research project from Bonnier R&D. And great move to launch it a week before iPad :)
Nitendo Facetracking — This is cool. 3D combined with facetracking on a DS. I think we will see lot of this in the future. 3D Face Technology — Little old footage taken from Japanese TV. But still very good!
I started to work as an Interactive Art Director back in 1998, so the section "Decade of web design" gave me some reel nostalgia because Computer Arts have chosen one site/project/agency from each year that they thought woiuld represented that years internet evolution best. Who didn’t remember when 2Advanced entered the scene 2001 or Praystation back at 2003? Facebook represented 2006 and 2007 by WordPress.
The coolest thing was to see our own Vodafone Future from North Kingdom represented 2004! If you would told me that back in 2003, I would think you where insane! I mean, we where just a tiny tiny agency up in the north, doing our job.
“When this website launched, it portrayed the future of technology through a progressive and innovative design that went on to be one of the most highly awarded sites of all time. It was also the only site ever to pick up both the FWA Site of the Year and FWA People’s Choice Award in the same year.”
And to correct CA; it's not true that Vodafone is the only site ever to pick up both SOTY and PCA the same year. Our "Get the Glass" did the same 2008, not to forget :)
” TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.”
During my last vacation I brought my iPhone loaded with movies from TED.com. These short talks (3-10 min) had a big variaty of both quality but most of them are very interested listen at. Here are a few that caught my mind so far:
Stefan Sagmeister — The power of time off
”Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.”
— Very interested so hear about how they are doing at Sagmeister Inc. to keep up the creativity. I love to see people finding their own way to work because good creativity isn’t, and have never been, something you can get from a line production. Just sitting in front of your computer will never make you very successful.
From the sabbatical year Stefan found out that “Everything we designed in the seven years following the first sabbatical, had originated in that year” Of course, it is hard to do as Sagmeister Inc. if you not are very economical independent, but we can learn a lot from their thinking.
Richard St. John — 8 secrets of success
“Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.”
— This is a very short movie about how to success in your business. Lot of humor but so so true! Check it out!
Imogen Heap — "Wait It Out"
"Imogen Heap plays a powerful stripped-down version of "Wait It Out," from her new record, Ellipse."
— I just love her!
We had two sites shortlisted (out of 12) for this years FWA Site Of The Year. We did not win this year but finished on second place with Adidas Teamgeist, which is really fantastic! We Choose The Moon took the first place. Not my favourite site but it is nice and it's great to see something from the lunar landing, cause I love space research.
It has been great to follow Rob Ford´s FWA since it started 2000. I remember the first version cause I had my own Designchapel presented there. Who could foresee that this little yellow site would be "The Oscars for Flash sites" a couple of years later?
This week is our first week in our new Stockholm office. We have moved from Gamla Stan, where we have been located the last four years, to Kungsholmen. These pictures are from December during the restoration which still is running. The office are hopefully finish in the beginning of March. Here are some cool pictures during the first day by Jakob Nylund.
I will post some work in progress later on. Architect Fabian Wanqvist and Charlotta Havh (North Kingdom) is helping me out with the interior design.
"2009 saw a move away from destination websites as brands sought to integrate themselves into social networks and engage in real time media. However, there were still a fair few URLs that rocked our world."
adidas — Teamgeist
"Sporting giant adidas used a stylish online game inspire by the graphic novel genre to allow fans to explore the true value of the adidas jersey worn by the German national football team. Through Stockholmbased agency North Kingdom, the Teamgeist site placed captain Michael Ballack and star players in an augmented reality, interactive comic book. Visitors helped the team win back its identity after players became lost in ‘blank’ jerseys. The game was played 500,000 times in the first three weeks. Contagious 21."
Swedish Armed Forces — Recruitment
"In order to recruit exactly the right calibre of candidate amongst the country’s 18-25 year-olds, the Swedish Armed Forces used a dark, complex website that sent users through a series of psychological tests assessing intelligence and motor abilities. Direct mail provided personal feedback on the online tests, resulting in a response rate of 72.6%. The average dwell time was almost nine minutes and the site (www. mil.se) received record breaking figures during the campaign. Via DDB Stockholm, with North Kingdom, Skelleftea, Teenage Engineering and Stopp, Stockholm all contributing. See Contagious 20."
Microsofts Body Recognition Project — Where will this end? This system seems to be sold with every Xbox in the future. EyePet — I think this can be huge as well! PlayStation is using the Eye camera to bring a furry pet to life in your living room. New York Nearest Subway — An augmented Reality App for iPhone that make it easy to find your subway. ihologram — Nice app for iPhone that gives the illusion of a 3d hologram. I think we will see lot of this kind of stuff during 2010. Social networks are getting huge — Social networks are getting so huge that many of them are competing in size with some of the largest countries in the world. RUSE — I just want this table to be reel! Great to see our old friend Joseph Leroux from Coca Cola Zero as one of the actors. Samsung Magic Unboxing — When do we have these kind of boxes? Nice idea but a very cheap end on the video. Augmented Reality — Seems to be everywhere these days.
Jeff Voris (Disney, LA), Miguel Moreno Toscano (Coca Cola) and Andy Orrick (The Mill). It has been some very inspiring days in Skellefteå this week with the Creative Summit.
"Creative Summit is a VIP event arranged to strengthen, introduce and bring companies, industry people and creative talents together on both a regional, domestic and international level. The event is only open for 125 delegates each year." — Creative Summit
Lunchbreak. Peter Olofsson has designed the new North Kingdom tshirt.
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.
This spring I had the honor to part of the jury of One Show in New York with Michael Lebowitz from Big Spaceship as Jury Chair. 28 invited from the business where gathered at the amazing IAC building on Manhattan, where we voted and discussed work from all over the world for a week. I had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks Kevin Swanepoel and Jeff Hirch for the most organized jury week I have been at!
Augmented Reality from Lego. Great to see a brand using AG which is really useful and engaging! World Builder by filmmaker Bruce Branit. Pretty cool short movie with a digital fantasy world. Headtracking with AG. When will we see the first websites using headtracking? Or when will the first game arrive? Vision 2019 by Microsoft Lab. I always love to see visions of the future.
I was invited to speak about inspiration at Berghs School of Communication by Peder Rotkirch, who is in charge of Interactive Communication. For me personal it is very inspiring to visit design schools when I self never had the chance to study at one, so next year I will try to do more of this when it is very important for North Kingdom as well when we always looking for talented students.
The T-Mobile Dance - An amazing “spontaneous” Flash Mob Dance at London Train Station. Coraline by Wieden + Kennedy. How to get a broader audience to be excited about a movie. Did You Know - Fantastic video on the progression of information technology. Kate Moss Hologram - Holographic Projection of Kate Moss for Alexander McQueen, 2006.
"December inspiration" is a collection of some of the best stuff I have seen this autumn, when this is my first inspiration post. The red thread is new technique and I´m very curious to see what 2009 have to offer!
"The tiny city of Skellefteå in the extreme north of Sweden is an unlikely place to find one of the world’s foremost web design agencies, and yet it is the spiritual home for the award-winning North Kingdom." Cool interview by Computer Arts. Read more here; The online version.
I have moved down to Stockholm and the very calm area of Hammarby Sjöstad which also will be my Designchapel Studio. It is a very calm and quit area, almost like Skellefteå in north, so I think I will stay here for a while. So from now on I will be working at our North Kingdom Stockholm office in Gamla Stan. Why I moved? Well, my relationship unfortunately ended last year so it's a chance to try someting new. I guess I will miss the north thou…