OFFF Barcelona 2012 notes

Champaign Valentine
– Diesel campaign (interactive store experience)
– Toxoplasmosis (animation)
– Mormor Ingrid (animation)
– Cat fashion, cat illustration, mechanical cats
– ‘If man sees a naked creature, he’s going to think “Oh gosh he needs underwear” that’s the idea behind these commercials for’.

Lucy McRae
– Philips research
– Body architect
– Human-sized grass-head
– Blog: (use wayback machine to visit)
– Chlorophyl skin – Dynamic skin using Q-tips
– What happens chemically when you kiss someone.
– Electronic tattoo. The human evolution. Woman as hunters?
– ‘Maybe technology’ = Something that isn’t either switched on or off, but in between.
– Robyn music video > colored water tubes
– Robyn cover > physical pixels
– ‘Analog After Effects’
– Swallowable perfum pill > sweat the fragrence
– Summer school at Melbourne U > music video with students
– Fat lamps, hairy lamps, family
– TED Talk

– Mobile first agency
– App to calculate which terraces across town have sunlight

Radical Friend
– Wu Tang Clan mythology
– When you are 3D scanned it’s almost like being baptized.
– Ghost in the shell
– Princess Mononoke
– Interactive music video – Webcam/Mouse affect the light
– Yeasayer music videos – Ambling Alp (Yeasayer’s music is both digital and organic, creates weird worlds)
– Yeasayer – O.N.E. (80’s disco, rituals, inspired by mystical boards / board games)

Jessica Hische (awesome keynote design)
– Daily Drop Cap
– ‘Client work is hard to use to show the kind of work you want to be doing in the future. Side/personal projects are great for that’.
– Mom this is how twitter works
– Should I work for free (infographic)
– Procrastiworking
– Inker Linker
– Don’t fear the internet
– 52× (charity)
– ‘All my side projects fill gaps, in my work, in my life…’
– ‘Make things you wish existed’
– Pack your baggage – Surviving your parents’ divorce – Board game
– ‘I figured what I wanted to do (with my life) by looking at what i was doing when I was procrastinating’.
– Stamp (she designed a stamp)
– lllustrations – ‘You can tell the age of an illustration by the way the iPod looks in it’ – ‘it’s the carbon dating test of illustrations’
– ‘You put stuff in your portfolio that you are most proud of (your best work) but you should show the kind of work you want to do.
– Voice Siren Festival poster (The Village Voice)
– Friends of type (contributions by Jessica Hische)
– ‘Draw it from memory’ > It will be way more original (by not looking at the source, I idealize it, fill in the blanks etc…)
– Barnes & Noble cover illustrations
– Lolita cover project
– Florence & The Machine
– Wes Anderson – Moonrise Kingdom (‘the dream job!’)
– ‘Nobody understands that you can actually draw things’ (the answer to: ‘what font is that?’)
– Lettering vs Calligraphy = Drawing vs Writing
– Type@cooper
– Text type vs Display type
– ‘Look at the PDF instructions, display type can have 1400 characters and over 7 types of U’s)
– Liza Display Pro
– Buttermilk – Buttercream (fonts)
– ‘2 years after you make something, you hate it’ (‘It’s the creative cycle’)
– Char alternates
– Okay type – Harriet (font)
– Type Director’s Club (promoting excellence in typography)

1st Ave Machine
– Gonrdry monologue on ‘Getting the girl’
– From Problem Solvers to Problem Makers
– 9 different problems: Pain, Experience, Discomfort, Repetition, Delegation, Style, Art vs Commerce, Comfort, Ambition & Hubris
1. Pain (physical, sleeplessness, carpal…)
— Feet/Hands in blocks of cement
2. Experience
— Teaching kids animation, they got it in 2 hours.
3. Discomfort
— Animations using light (slow shutter) while naked
4. Repetition
— Crocheting
— Special Guest (video)
5. Delegation
— Audi paper box animation
— Audi paper box ad
6. Style
— Chrome ads
— Perspective tricks
— ‘Style is a manoever around what you can’t do’
— He was taking the path of least resistance (for his brain > laziness)
7. Art vs Commerce
— ‘Find an artform in manipulating the art directors’
— ‘You’re right, it should be like this’ > Clients agree
— Google Maps block
8. Comfort
— ‘What happens when you project seems too easy’
— Google ‘Search on’ ad
9. Ambition & Hubris
— ‘Every project seems to be needing to tether on the edge of failure or get harder or else it’s not worth doing or you’re not growing’
— Had to let go of magnets idea, then glass shattering sound concept
— Every project/concept was becoming harder
— Chrome speed tests
— ‘When applicable, make some problems and everything should be fine’

Fantasy Interactive (awesome keynote design)
– Ramayana, Chrome store, Civil war
– ‘Never send JPEGS, send explanatory videos’ !!!
– 3D Sitemaps (wireframe structure)
– ‘We think in layers’
– Alternating story lines between Ramayana, Chrome store and Civil war
– ‘We made things subtly changing even if you’re idle to let you know you could interact with them’
– Case studies born out of designer pride (for external AND internal pride)
– ‘We also showcased original ideas/designs that were rejected by the client’
– ‘We made it personal with photos of team members in the field’
– ‘We make each subsequent case study better, richer, more interactive’

‘You’re curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you’re waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices and remember that you are always making up the future as you go.’
XKCD, Choices part 4 (referenced in the Gonzo Futurist Manifesto)

Memo Atken
– My secret heart (interactive installation reacting to the music with controls to vary the parameters)
– Paint with your body
– Webcam piano
– ‘It’s not about mapping visuals to sound, it’s about “how can I create a (meaningful) connection between the person and the outcome”
– Using parameters like Time, Direction, Intensity (but not individual notes of music)
– Reincarnation project
– ‘I don’t just write software, put something in, and then this comes out’
– ‘I spend a lot of my time looking fo the magic numbers’ (parameter values)
– Iterative process
– 10% coding, 90% tweaking
– Depeche Mode – Fragile Tension
– Blaze – the streetdance show
– Simple Harmonic Motion: extracting and amplifying the unseen
– Forms (olympic athlete mapping)
— ‘Rather than focussing on the obvious tracking the path of the athlete, we focussed on the relation between the athlete and the environment’ (made in Houdini btw)
– Playstation projection mapping
– ‘We were funded to do research in an area we wanted to explore’
– Piano’s greatness: Dynamic mapping of your expression

Hellicar & Lewis
– Wall of Sound for Massive Attack
– Unified wings
– Analogue sets (interested in analogue looking like / crossing over into digital and vice versa)
– Jump into Levi’s jeans
– Fold t-shirt (the Japanese way)
– Tell the truth
– Agnes Martin quote (dunno which one)
– Myron Kruger quote (dunno which one, emailed the guys to ask)
– ‘If you can’t predict it, it’s interesting’.
– Systems that document themselves (photobooth example)
– ‘Share to enable other people to learn’
– Share / open source everything ‘Because we don’t want to work on the same thing twice’ :)
– Coca Cola 24 hour session
– ReacTickles & Somantics
– ‘Breaking business models for the lulz’
– Self regulation via software (ReacTickles)
– Somantics: tools for self-expression (

Sehsucht (great work!)
‘A WiFi
A WiFi
My kingdom for a WiFi’
– Mentioned that he’ll present some scientific tidbits
— ‘If you’re a neurobiologist, feel free to correct me. There’s a URL at the end of my presentation to all the references’
– Good artists copy, great artists steal
— Originally by T.S. Elliott about poets
– Pictoplasma credits
– ‘We usually dive into visual development very early on’
— ‘See images really early on’
– Look&Feel approach first
– Cocteau: “Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don’t like – then cultivate it. That’s the only part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping.”
– Used 3D to build and then illustrator/PSD for styling
– ‘I’m always looking, like a child, for the wonders I know I’m going to find’ (Richard Feynmann)
– Group hug (
– Thumbnail characters
– Silhouettes showing personality
– ‘Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration’
– Red Bull
– Physical comps (prints glued on foam tiles) instead of sending jpegs
– Richard Serra: The four o’clock problem/block
– Lamborghini
– Paperworld lottery

Nico Casavechia (great keynote design, nice font)
– Picasso painting footage
– ‘You need to fight the will to copy the images you’re so attracted by’
– ‘Your taste develops faster than your skills’
– Psyop (great film & motion graphics agency)
– ‘Life is not a three-act piece’
– ‘50% of the job is empathy’
– ‘Finished projects find a home’ (so don’t drop your projects)
– ‘Professional careers are not linear progressions’

The Guardian Interactive
– Celebrate the work!
– Communicate with ‘less information, more often’
— Continuous small communication
– Enter meetings with an objective: ‘What is it we want to achieve?’
– ‘Let decisions happen in time’ (when necessary) (cross bridges when you get there)

Joshua Davis
– Beyond play
– Opposite of work… is play?
– For me, work and play are the same thing.
– Our industry is trying to define a new word for creative play. It used to be ‘Flash’, but Flash is dead. Flash used to be about experimentation.
– The Vans shoes constantly remind him to be childish.
– Give yourself projects/assignments.
– ‘Keep sane by escaping your tools’
– ‘Freehanding it so mistakes happen’

Note to self: Maybe I don’t want to solve more complex problems.
Maybe I want to make more complex things.

– Lars von Trier: The five obstructions
– ‘Go to SoundCloud, listen to random music, make a brand campaign for an artist, then send it to him’.
– Collaborate with kids. Embrace collaboration.
– How Chuck went about getting work:
‘Hey, my name is Chuck. I really like your magazine. I want to do illustrations for you….’
He would send it to ‘’, it came back, so he tried ‘’ and if it didn’t come back, he knew it was the right address. 70% wrote back. 100% of those became work’.
– ‘I’m constantly broadcasting to the world: “This is what Josh likes” in hopes that people will hire me to do this’.

James Victore
– ‘In the particular, lies the universal’.
– ‘A guitar player doesn’t ask marketing what song to write’.
– Trying to put meaning in our work’.
– Faux-real posters for the DOP
– Have meetings outside, over lunch.
– Let Go Kitty posters
– ‘Your work is a gift’
– When you start thinking about your work as a gift, it changes your approach to the work.
– Themes of the OFFF:
— Do what you love
— Collaborate with your friends
– Op-Ed: Confidence vs Shyness
– 99% blog posts by James Victore
– Q&A Tuesday on youtube
– ‘You just gotta ask’.
— ‘Ask for more time. Ask for more money. Ask for what you deserve’.
— James Victore’s for an ‘official’ letter to his mother about his exhibition at the MOMA

Juan Miguel Marin
– Compliment the audience, say your humbled by the amount of talent in this room
– (neville brody logo)
– Carlotan Rock
– Sincerity/honesty is an incredible delivery style
– Let love reign
– Attended the 99% > Do what you love
– Or the importance of personal projects
– ‘A paycheck could be your worst addiction’
– Hillman Curtis’ moving portraits (OFFF 2010 Paris)
– Vincent Moon (OFFF 2010 Paris)
– La casa del ritmo > Los amigos invisibles > Kickstarter
– All that matters is that you start

Santa Marta
– ‘We help brands we’d like to see exist’
– Copy or inspiration, where do you draw the line?
– Museum of plagiarism (Plagiarus museum near Cologne)
– Picasso & Braque
– Quentin Tarantino (Everything is a remix)
— ‘It’s a tribute’
– What’s the difference between a tribute and a copy?
– Matrix & Ghost in the shell
– Oteiza vs Chillida
– At least Beyonce went 40 years back to find her inspiration (for the video Single Ladies)
– ‘The problem comes when you take something without adding anything to the conversation’
– Milton Glaser’s definition of a copy: ‘When you look at it, something doesn’t feel right’
– Jim Jarmush: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
– A bout de souffle, by Godard > Baccardi ad
– If you have no (knowledge of) history, you’ll be forced to follow whatever trend is currently in fashion
– Honda Accord ad ‘Cog’, based on Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s ‘Der Lauf der Dinge’
– Does it matter if the copy was a photoshop/after effects version of an original? Does effort matter? Authenticity?
– Does the execution add something to the conversation?
– Sometimes when we use references, ideas start sparking. But then the trick is to not stick to the references and just start working on the idea, focus on the work and forget about the reference.
– ‘If you feel proud at the end of your work, then you’re probably okay’

Mario Lombardo
– Berlin Biennale (forget fear)
– Happy new fear!
– Spray paint on shop windows
– Newspapers
– ‘Wir sind papst’
– Temporary pleasures : magazines
– Liebling
– Illustrate interview conversations (translate soft-loud-fast talking into typographic variations)
– Analogue work by hand (magazine covers)
– Viva

Andreu Balius
– Typographer
– Type republic
– ‘Type is the voice of text’
– Pradell
– Designes
– Barna
– Carmen
– Fabrik (modular font)

Turns out that just because someone did good work doesn’t mean they have something interesting to say about it

Jonathan Harris
– Turning points
– Has the most awesome sketchbooks
– Slowly building something (diaries, a page a day…)
– Digital footprints
– We feel fine
– Previous thinking: ‘Give me enough data, and I’ll understand’
– ‘Give me a laptop, and an internet connection, and I’ll you anything you want to know about life’
– Moved away from this thinking: ‘infographics are the new pornography’
– ‘There’s a lot of bullshit in there’
– Book: We feel fine
– ‘We start simple (12-14) but soon fill up with angst (15-18) and feelings of confinement (19-22), until we leave those behind to conquer the world (23-26), before gradually trading ambition for balance (27-30), developing an appreciation for our bodies and our children (31-35), and evolving a sense of connectedness for which we feel grateful (36-40), then happy, calm (41-49) and finally blessed (50+)
– Whale hunt
– DNA sequences of narratives
– ‘The most important signs are usually not labeled. So they are like secret signs’
– ‘It’s like being an actor in your own life.’ > hyper trance
– ‘Your greatest creation is your life story’
– ‘Understanding this really affects how you live and the kind of situations you put yourself into.’
– ‘But it gets harder as our smartphones constantly require our attention and make us react and we become passive instead of active.
– And life needs to be actively lived.’
– ‘For the last 100 years—from letters, to phones, to faxes, to emails, to chats, to texts, to tweets—communication has been getting shorter and faster, but we are approaching a terminal velocity. I doubt there is a shorter means of communication than the tweet, unless we start to make monosyllabic grunts at each other.’
– ‘We can’t keep expressing ourselves by what we think is cool’ > curation
– Self-promotion: ‘It’s like we’re all competing for how cool our lives are’
– This is a movement away from self-promotion and into self-reflection. Away from curation and into creation. Away from disposability and into timelessness. Away from compression and into a deepening. These are all shifts that Cowbird is trying to encourage.
– With Cowbird, I have three main goals: The first is to create a space for a deeper, longer-lasting kind of self-expression than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the Web. The second is to pioneer a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events. The third is to build a public library of human experience — a kind of Wikipedia for life experience.
– It’s the idea of teachable moments: moments that can teach us something.

Mattias Corea (great keynote typography)
– ‘Get rid of the noise/crap’
– Is someone already doing it? Do.It.BETTER
– Don’t think about your ‘big idea’. Do what you care about.
– You don’t have to be the best before you try.
– It’s better to have a hole, than an asshole (in your team/company)
— Protect your team culture