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A Website Named Desire

Those who know me and/or read this blog know I'm a fairly large Flash platform fanboy. So it may come as a surprise I am blogging about a project recently completed here at XPLANE's Portland studio for Microsoft and their new suite of interactive production tools -- which includes Silverlight.

The project is called "A Website Named Desire" and we at XPLANE created a poster (note: not the related website built in Silverlight) of the entire process a typical agency would go through to create a large website. While the poster does not directly mention the Microsoft suite of tools, it does do an amazing job of showing the whole ecosystem in an engaging, visual storytelling manner. Fairly humorous, too -- be sure to spend some time checking out all the various little details.

If you'd like to check out the whole poster, you can download a PDF of it (6 MB) here, or visit Microsoft at one of the upcoming conferences where they will be presenting it. You can find a list of those conferences on the supporting website.

Helvetica the Movie Encore Showing in Portland


If you missed the first showing of Helvetica in Portland a few months back, this is your chance to set things right. The documentary has been touring for awhile now and has sold out across the country to mobs of designers, typophiles, and anyone else who can appreciate a classic font that is seen everywhere but seldom noticed.

I highly recommend seeing this film, either at the Hollywood Theater in August, or in a couple of months when the DVD is released.

Tickets for an encore showing, presented by the director Gary Hustwit, are on sale now through the film's website:

Portland Screening
Q&A with director Gary Hustwit
Saturday, 8/4/07, 7pm

Hollywood Theater
4122 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR

Did You Know 2.0 Video Presentation Released

Today, after a few months of Flash and video editing, custom sound design, and a lot of fact checking, we have released "Did You Know 2.0" to YouTube and Google Video.

I had previously posted about working with Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod on this project at XPLANE, and I'm very excited about the new version. In fact, Scott has already previewed the video at several large lectures to rave reviews.

As this video is meant to be a launching point for more discussions on the topics within, I suggest you visit http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com and join the conversation. Scott McLeod has posted more information on his blog, Karl Fisch has his thoughts on his blog, and Dave Gray (founder of XPLANE) is also looking for feedback on his blog.

[Update: After the first two days the video has already been viewed over 5000 times!]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/pMcfrLYDm2U" height="350" width="425" /]

“Did You Know” Presentation Sequel at XPLANE

At XPLANE one of the projects we're currently working on is a new version of the popular "Did You Know" video from Karl Fisch (read Karl's post on the upcoming sequel) and Scott McLeod (...and Scott's post on the sequel). If you haven't heard about this video, the gist is that it provides you with some extremely provoking thoughts on the world economy, education, and general globalization. The original has been viewed over 2 million times on various video postings around the web, including YouTube.

We're taking what was a PowerPoint presentation (turned video), updating the content with new stats and thoughts as provided by Karl and Scott with some consulting help from us, and then redoing the graphics/design. Instead of limiting ourselves with PowerPoint we're designing in Illustrator, animating in Flash, then exporting to QuickTime. That said, I'm excited to have a project that will allow me to try out several parts of the new CS3 workflow so quickly.

I believe the original video has been accepted to a film festival in Telluride, Colorado, and the organizers will be taking a look at the new one once completed and possibly presenting it. So keep your eyes peeled to Karl and Scott's blog, YouTube, and of course here for more information as we wrap up this sequel.

This is an exciting project, and I'm glad to be a part of it!

XPLANE Culture Map

XPLANE | Culture Map

We try to eat our own dog food at XPLANE as often as possible, and thus a visual map of our culture was created for internal use. Not only does the map describe all the core values of the company in a clear and concise manner, but by making it visual it is also remembered with ease.

More information is available on Dave Gray's blog (Dave is the CEO and founder of XPLANE):

and a marked up and larger version with Dave's notes is available here:

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