2008
12.23

As part of our ongoing drive to reduce our paper usage and to pass on some festive merriment we’ve produced a web based, simple flash based animation with some festive fun interactivity.

We hope you’ll enjoy dressing ‘Frostie the Throw-man” up and chucking him around, click to play!

http://www.blogdir.co.uk/xmas2008

Merry Christmas!
The DNA Team.

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2008
12.23

I know this may be old news now but with Christmas being upon us many companies, ourselves included like to send a fun greeting to the people they have been working with over the past year. Many have chosen to go down the ‘eco friendly’ route of sending out an email greeting, animated Santa’s, Christmas tunes, throw-able snowmen and so on. Using our HTML wizardry we have increasingly been able to send these rich media greetings directly to your inbox which was fast becoming as capable as a web browser such as Internet Explorer (or Firefox for the more discerning web user) for displaying sounds, animations and even video content until the release of Microsoft’s Outlook 2007.

In this latest version of the favoured email client of the business world Microsoft decided to replace the HTML rendering engine with that used in its Word application!? But isn’t Microsoft Word a desktop publishing package with a terrible HTML export option bolted on to it I hear you cry? Well yes; this means that you cannot display rich-media content such as Flash, audio, video or even the humble animated gif in any email within this new incarnation of the Outlook Software.

I know Microsoft have never been one for conforming to standards where web content is involved but for myself and other rich media content creators this appears to be a huge step backwards, begging the question why? The official reason seems to be consistency for its users between its product suite but surely this kind of ‘Nanny-ing’ won’t only frustrate developers but ultimately put off customers by seeming to vet the content that is available to them and ultimately inhibit user experience. Frustrating, but for now Microsoft know they have the lions share so we, as content developers have to conform to allow our customers to reach their audience.

(Opinion by: Simon Farrow ? Web Development Manager)

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2008
12.22

As you can imagine, an agency such as ours generates huge amounts of data which is stored on a central fileserver. Documents, artwork, images? all of these files are vital to our business and to our clients. But could we afford to lose any of this data?

Simply put, no. Hard disk failure, fire or theft could wipe out many irreplaceable files as well as requiring many hours of studio time to re-create lost artwork.

Our first line of defence in this respect is that our fileserver uses a RAID system to protect against hard disk failure. This uses an array of separate disks where the data is spread across all disks in such a way that, should one fail, a new one can be installed without loss of data. Click here to read the full article >>

(Opinion by: John Dawkins ? IT Manager)

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2008
12.19

Let it snow…




As festive merriment spreads throughout the Studio at DNA, so does a little Christmas mischief. Being the season of good will to all men, I decided to stitch up Rich with a box full of polystyrene snow. Click the movie above to see it in action.

Jon Price ? Designer

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2008
12.18



Playstation Home (BETA) is now available for download on PS3 from the Playstation Network. In development since 2005, Home is a community-based service that allows users to create an avatar for use in a virtual world. With sleek, modern environment featuring spacious common areas and custom spaces dedicated to specific games, your avatar gets their own virtual apartment space which can then be adorned with items users can receive in several different ways. Almost everything can be customised to your liking with items you collect or purchase

Best described as a mixed of The Sims, Second Life and a home media centre ? Home also allows interaction with an online community of millions of Playstation users ? browse the Hall of Fame for trophies players have collected in various videogames, or just hang out in a virtual outdoor lobby to talk with text and voice. You can enter cinemas to download and view films, rally a group of people to jump between online multiplayer games, play pool or bowl together. Within this ?real world? environment you can even invite others to view your personal video, pictures and other digital media content found on your PS3 hard drive in your apartment. I’m sure it’ll be great in short bursts but all fun aside, I think I’d rather spend my pocket-money on a real sofa and meet up with three-dimensional people that have more than a hand-full of emotive responses.

Take a look at the video above to see ?ME? body-popping and raving in my luxury (albeit empty) apartment!

(Opinion by: Jon Price ? Designer)

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2008
12.18

We have recently strengthened our 3D design capability by teaming up with Marcus Horsfall. Marcus has ten years experience in the design and production of custom-built exhibition stands and point of sale displays and enabled us to increase our impact in Monaco for Devonport. Over the course of his career Marcus has brought a combination of creative flair, eye for detail and advanced design and visualisation skills to a wide range of UK and international clients. Marcus? experience takes our existing exhibition design skills to a new level and will enable us to manage larger exhibition, POS and retail design projects from initial concepts right through to production and installation. He is a valuable addition to our creative team and we are delighted to welcome him on board.

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2008
12.12

Barclaycard have updated their logo and while it?s inoffensive and colourful it also appears to be quite meaningless. As a designer that has created many a corporate identity, unless I?m lacking some divine revelation as to the significance of this logo, I?d say the £600k fee that Brand Union pocketed for this logo design alone wasn?t exactly money well spent. Beyond the clichéd ‘global’ connotations, apparently the logo represents a ?chip? being released from the constraints of the plastic card and welcomed in by new, exciting methods of payment??

Rather than distancing the brand from its competitors it merely blends in with the myriad of similar logos following a recent trend of circular logotypes (think Sony Ericsson, BT, AT&T). With only seeing a new logo, you can?t really form a full opinion on a rebranding. However, while the £1.5m identity refresh will certainly put a smile on the face of Brand Union?s bank manager, this logo design appears to be simply as hollow as it?s spherical motif.
Creative review have more on this…

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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2008
12.10

All of our projects are now coordinated through our central client services team of Sarah Znideric and Katie Hickmott. By channelling all of our projects through a central team, we can manage resources more effectively, making sure every project is delivered on time and on brief. This does not mean you can?t talk to our creative team though. We are firm believers in cutting out the middle man where it makes sense to do so and often our designers will talk directly to you. So if Paul, Matt, Jonathan, Debs or John are putting some ideas together for you, don?t be afraid to ask them questions.

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2008
12.08

So I finally got around to watching Disney Pixar’s Wall-e at the weekend. While the film was a masterclass in storytelling, animation and sound design it was the brilliant end credit title sequence which came as the biggest surprise. Not only do the credits act as an epilogue to the story but we also see the visual design and illustrations of the titles transpire seamlessly through time from cave drawings, through hieroglyphs, early cartoon illustration, to impressionism and even 8-bit video game graphics. Simply the icing on the cake! Take a look for yourself;

(Opinion: Jon Price – Designer)

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