In 2007, when Steve Jobs announced that Apple was going to reinvent the phone, the world didn’t know just how profound an impact the iPhone was going to have on the world. Since its 2007 release, the iPhone has not only challenged and redefined the paradigm of mobile communication and computing, it has evangelized Apple’s user-focused design thinking and deeply changed the way we interact with technology in the 21st century.
The first of its kind, the iPhone broke ground with a primarily touch-driven user interface. Nearly a decade later, touch-driven interface design is firmly established as the primary mode of interaction. Furthermore, when you look at the iPhone 6, you see that its clean design has influences everywhere. Physical buttons have been replaced by gestures, graphic elements in the software interface have been flattened and new design metaphors have been created to help make the user experience more seamless. The following are just a few of the other ways that Apple has made its mark on the world:
UNENCUMBERED & CLEAN HARDWARE DESIGN
The design and physical UX for a pocket-sized computer with a 3-inch screen (the size of the first iPhone) had to be simple and unobstructed out of sheer necessity. There’s only so much screen space to work with, which is why screen real-estate dictates nearly 100 percent of the design choices that go into creating great interaction design for phones and other touch-screen interfaces.
The iPhone has solved some pretty heavy problems and provided a blueprint for the rest of the design world to follow when it comes to utilizing screen real-estate in the most efficient manner possible. Take the Samsung Galaxy line, for example. It is no coincidence that you see the same 3-button approach (home, volume and power) of the iPhone across so many of the mobile phones on the market today.
INTUITIVE & USER-FOCUSED DESIGN
Apple is famous for touting its ability to anticipate what the user needs. And rightly so. There’s a reason the iPhone is so widely used. It’s easy to understand how things work without a user manual. Early on, Apple vowed to place empathy for the end-user first before everything else. This was different than other companies that implied that it was the user’s fault if he or she didn’t fully grasp the set of features their product offered. This end-user empathy is now one of the primary driving forces when it comes to evaluating design and application usability.
Skeuomorphism in design is the practice of imposing visual cues that mimic reality. Apple has used skeuomorphism throughout the iPhone’s user interface design from the beginning. A drop shadow on a toggle button or the depiction of an analog watch on the Apple Watch are some examples. The save button is another example of skeuomorphism — Rather than writing “save” on a button, we all know that the floppy-disk icon means save. The main objective of this approach to design is simplicity and to help the user know what to do with an object of interaction.
Every designer, whether knowingly or unknowingly, has to grapple with balancing beautiful, clean design with functional design. Apple is a master at finding this balance and has given the rest of the world an example to look to.
Flooring is one of the biggest statements you can make from a practical and design standpoint. Whether a home or work environment, what you walk on absolutely needs to be functional, practical and safe. You also want to make sure it looks exceptional and makes a statement. Interior design is all about the details and creative use of tile should be on your must-have to-do list. With advances in technology, there are more uses for tile and the options of styles are more innovative and exciting…
The leading Italian designer and manufacturer of Grès Porcelain tiles, CERAMICHE REFIN is exploring the new booming innovations in tile design technology, drawing creative influences from nature, culture and local elements for some of the most cutting edge products on the market.
Old industrial buildings, weathered wood and urban-inspired brickwork: these are just a few of the inspirations of Ceramiche Refin’s tile collections. Thanks to digital innovations in the past 8 years, the creativity options for tile design have expanded exponentially. Refin uses a highly developed digital graphics systems to be able to produce patterns that strongly resemble natural materials like wood and marble. Whereas the process was once very costly and tedious to produce a high quality designed tile, digital advances have now allowed for effects like three-dimensional qualities and non-repetitive patterns.
“There’s hours and hours of time and research that go into modeling a design after the real, natural material,” says Refin Marketing Director, Paolo Cesana. “We study and try to recreate natural cracks, fissures, defects and stains and the result is uncanny. You can hold a piece of marble up next to a ceramic tile with a marble-effect design and it will be difficult to tell the difference.”
District and Teatro Collections – Translating vintage and historical into modern interiors
DISTRICT is one of Refin’s latest launches that features three different urban-inspired tile variations: Track, Road and Garage, all drawing influence from industrial buildings, old license plates, docks in port areas and vintage shops. With old cycling track arenas in mind, Track was created, taking its “wood effect” from the distressed woods of velodrome cycling surfaces. Road is reminiscent of city streets, channeling a look similar to that of asphalt, while Garage incorporates the taste of old time service stations and stores with a worn-looking marble effect and an underground vibe.
“In realizing the District Collection, we had to conduct a long, painstaking phase of research,” says Cesana. “We scoured a series of European cities to produce such an amazing collection like this. It was our most challenging but most rewarding to see that research translate into a final product.”
TEATRO, which means “theater” in Italian, carries with it a little piece of history. The design is inspired by the Municipal Theater of Modena in Italy, reflecting the exact wood of the stage, right down to indications of the stage markers. Accent tiles also include a re-creation of scenery elements and playbills, making an artistic and historical statement in any interior.
“We are proud of the fact that our company is 100% Made in Italy,” says Cesana. “It is a mark that means high quality, style and creative flair, and so we are happy to be able to work some of our cultural heritage into our collections.”
Innovative designs mixed with locally-found materials
Not only do the designs themselves tell a story, but so do the materials. In the POESIA COLLECTION, Leccese stone from the southern Italian region of Puglia has been used in creating the tiles. A stone that dates back more than 20 million years and was used heavily during the Baroque period, it is extracted today from large open-cast quarries, changing colors with the varying depths. For this, the Poesia collection comes in four naturally balanced hues, ranging from white to mud to grey and a warm gold. The Leccese stone also gives the tile a particularly refined texture, another characteristic of playing with raw materials.
Refin’s tiles go international from restaurants to hotels worldwide
Residential clients have long been the target for Ceramiche Refin, but not the only ones. Their tile designs reach an enormous market, including hospitality, offices and retail.
Prestigious establishments like Chicago’s Eataly chose to feature Refin’s Mansion Collection to accentuate the international franchise’s interior. The porcelain tiles can be found in La Piazza, a snack and drinks corner on the second floor, as well as Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s restaurant, Baffo. Mansion reflects the appearance of hand-shaved wood and old vintage floorboards, a way to offset the simplistic design of Eataly.
Refin’s tiles can be interpreted in any, context. Barsa Taberna, the new tapas-style restaurant in downtown Toronto, for example, features Refin’s Majolica Random tiles to complete its Gaudi-inspired and “running with the bulls” theme.
Refin’s factory – Behind the scenes
Refin is exploring more creative options of translating natural materials into tile designs. Options like wood flooring are becoming a thing of the past and something the Italian company is drawing influence from in several of their collections and for good reason. From a practical point of view it gives the desired wood-effect with the durability of Grès porcelain. Grès in fact means a ceramic with a hard, non-porous body and exceptional resistance. During the “cooking” process, they extract as much water as possible so the tiles have a lower absorption level, making them resistant to any and all thermal shocks. They also have a high abrasion resistance, an ideal combination for an establishment with a lot of foot traffic like Eataly and any other store or restaurant.
DesignTaleStudio – A creative extension of Refin
DesignTaleStudio is a project that was officially born about ten years ago, a way to pull together creative minds in a laboratory dedicated to innovation and experimentation. As a registered trademark owned by Ceramiche Refin, DTS is composed of a diverse team of professionals that carry out research on ceramic materials, exploring new options, skills and techniques. Last year they launched the Create Your Tile competition, giving professional architects and designers from all over the world the opportunity to create a tile with originality and commercial potential. Kasia Zareba won the competition with her collection, Fossil, a translation of prehistoric imprints of plants and animals and marks of extinct ammonite shells. In the past year this design has taken flight, finding itself in design projects worldwide.
Ceramic tiles that tell a story. Ceramiche Refin translates culture, nature, experiences and history into modern interiors with Grès Porcelain tiles made 100% in Italy.
Ceramiche Refin Tile Photos: 1. Track 2. Road 3. Garage 4. Teatro, detailed 5. Teatro 6. Poesia 7. Mansion Collection 8. Majolica Random 9. Headshot of Kasia Zareba, winner of DesignTaleStudio create your tile competition 10. Fossil
DISCOVER: Ceramiche Refin
All you have to do is put that damn smartphone down, ship the kids off to their grandparents, pour yourself a glass of your favorite red and start tapping into that right side of your brain you’ve been neglecting for way too long.
I’m in love with this fun coloring book full of some of the most intricate doodles I’ve ever seen. Color Me Crazy by popular illustrator Peter Deligdisch is 50 detailed black and white creations waiting for you to color between the lines.
INTERVIEW WITH PETER DELIGDISCH
Peter Deligdisch’s designs are proof that a doodle born out of boredom can become a stunning piece of art…
brandnewdaydesigns: You have an impressive number of followers on your social media platforms. How do you react when a fan tells you your drawings have changed their life and inspired them to overcome obstacles?
Peter Deligdisch: Even though I’m slowly becoming more accustomed to hearing such kind and gracious feedback, I’m still enormously encouraged by it every time. Like I’ve told my viewers on my YouTube channel before, there’s some sort of “circle of inspiration” going on, where I feel renewed inspiration when I hear I’ve provided the same thing for them.
bndd: Are you surprised at the success of your doodling?
PD: I really am. Maybe not like you would be surprised by a friend jumping out of the bushes and yelling “boo!” and making you jump, but more in the way you might be surprised that a really complicated Rube Goldberg machine just keeps going and doing cool new things you never expected or thought of or planned, even if you’re the one that put the marble at the top and gave it a shove.
bndd: Coloring books have traditionally been created for kids. Many of your designs are super detailed and attract adults. What’s your impression about adults who like to color?
PD: I suppose that adults who like to color might be using it as an outlet for a number of things. Maybe they’re getting rid of some stress, or some bubbling creative urges, or just an excess of time, whether it’s at the doctor’s waiting room, the kitchen table in the evenings at home, or the train ride in between. Or maybe it’s not an outlet for anything in particular and they’re just coloring for the same reason they were coloring when they were kids: it’s an activity they enjoy, and now there are some cool books out there upon which their adult motor skills and attention spans won’t be wasted.
ENTER TO WIN
bndd is excited to give away a copy of Color Me Crazy + a set of colored pencils by Shinola Detroit. Here’s how you enter to win…
1. LIKE the brandnewdaydesigns Facebook page here
2. Leave a comment under the YouTube video about the Color Me Crazy giveaway found on the brandnewdaydesigns Facebook page. Be creative with your comments. What do you think about coloring books for adults? How has art and design made an impact on your life? A winner will be chosen from the comments
3. You can leave one comment per day
4. Contest ends on Tuesday, July 14th at 11:30pm EST
5. You must have a United States mailing address to win
DISCOVER: Color Me Crazy by Peter Deligdisch