Armadillo Studios Inc.

Eating S’Mores At Calgary’s CAMP Festival

Earlier this month, I had the chance to attend the inaugural CAMP Festival at Theatre Junction GRAND in my home town of Calgary. In conjunction with FITC, this conference was an intense two-day sprint session revolving around the fusion of art, technology, creativity and new media.

CAMP Festival 2014

Throughout the two days, attendees were bombarded with traditional sessions and intimate studios conversations revolving around the emergence of art within the technology and creative sectors. Talks touched upon topics such as Design and Happiness, Big Redesigns, Tough Clients and a Lot of Work!, Designing the Future of Augmented Reality, Rich Web Experiences and the Future of the Web.


It was a mind melting two days of uplifting discussion and idea generating conversations about the direction of Web Design and the Internet. Artists such as GMUNK, James White, and Sarah Blake delved in to their own personal style influences and how they create unique work for clients and their own personal pet projects that have driven their artistic voice. While creative agency veterans such as Anton Repponen, Irene Pereyena, and Kim Alpert shared their collective experiences dealing with the business side of the creative industry; discussion such topics as client relations, project budgeting, the art of the pitch and team planning and resource management.


CAMP Festival was a fantastic two days and a breath of fresh air into an otherwise stagnant local conference scene. The fusion of internationally renowned speakers and industry shakers with some of Calgary’s own local success stories, really created a unique experience. As an event it was fantastic opportunity to catch-up with every single one of our local friends from the the Calgary design community, meet some new friends and to hang out and discuss the topics that were shown throughout the day.

If CAMP Festival’s goals were to challenge and inspire the growing Calgary tech and creative industry, then mission accomplished. It goes without saying that pretty much all of the 330 people who attended this conference left with something inspiring or challenging to incorporate into their own business models or creative endeavours. For a first run conference of this magnitude, it was a pleasant and energizing surprise. So a massive thank you to all who was involved in the planning and organizing of CAMP Fest.


Plus they had S’Mores. Nothing beats a conference with Beer and S’Mores.

Check out the Social Media Stream

SXSW10: Links For Your Enjoyment

As previously mentioned SXSW is long over and the overviews are starting to roll in. As usual, I’m a little late with my final blog posts. So instead of waxing poetically about the conference, here is a run down of some of the links that you should have a gander at. They cover the entire spectrum of the conference, from influential thinkers to upcoming design techniques to new tools for business:

Social Media Thinkers & Shakers

  • Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, the two brains behind the exceptional book Trust Agents. If you are involved with building an online brand or personal brand, invest in this book.
  • Washington DC Visual Information collective JESS3.
  • Uber-entrepreneur Gary Vanyerchuk, who is an amazing inspiration for people looking to build a Company brand.

Web Typography

  • Samantha Warren a fantastic designer who is pushing the World of Web Typography, with some great poster based design.
  • Jason Cranford Teague wrote a book called Fluid Web Typography, which is a fantastic and straight forward break down of the up coming shift towards Web Typography.

Interesting Takes On SXSW and Design Culture

New Tools For Everyone:

SXSW10: The Big Trend is Web Typography

Without question the big stir in the design world at SXSW 2010 is the emergence of Web Typography.

For those unfamiliar, the web design world has been stuck in a conundrum for the past 10 years, as the only typography options universally available for web sites has been incredibly limited. In truth, Web Designers have only been able to use five very basic fonts to build web sites. Which is akin to forcing a painter to paint a portrait with three colors. So without question it has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the design community.

But 2010 has changed all of that

At least four of the sessions at SXSW have dealt with this topic and the emergence of new technologies, ranging from dealing with the legalities of embedding web fonts to the the variety of tools which are emerging.

Two of the panels, that I’ve attended at SXSW have been incredibly informative. The first panel from Samantha Warren, entitled Getting Stoked on Web Typography was an incredibly inspiring session. It dealt with various new techniques and sources of inspiration that designers can leverage to kick their design into the next level. The second was from Jason Cranford Teague of Fluid Typography, which was a brilliant crash course in the logistics and theory of Web Typography.

This is definitely a trend that is going to improve the beauty of the web. So keep an eye out for Team Armadillo and our upcoming projects, as we’ll be working to incorporate Web Typography in the next few projects releases.

yycPhotobook.com

With the advent of online collaboration, it’s amazing at how fast a simple idea can go from a random thought to online collaboration to web site launch. Take our newly launched yycPhotobook web site as an example.

After being approached by Duncan Kinney, of yycBlogs fame, to take on the task of designing the layout for the new collaborative/crowsourcing photobook project – yycPhotobook we quickly went to work on establishing a home base for the project. Utilizing a simple black, pink, and white color scheme and inspiration from Italian outfit loveleft’s stunning use of typography, we have created a simple informational site to spread the word to calgary’s growing photography community.

Armadillo Studios will continue to post entries on the progression of the project, from the initial meeting to the development and publication of the project. So check back shortly.

The Enermatix Inc. Redesign

In 2007, Armadillo Studios was approached by the Enermatix consulting firm to develop an online identity and corporate brand. Within a couple of months we had provided a functional web site, a unique logo and the company’s promotional products.

Fast forward to 2009 and Armadillo Studios is happy to continue our relationship with Enermatix Inc. with the release of their new redesign.

The initial branding and corporate web site for Enermatix Inc. embraced a vibrant color scheme and a simple navigation, but after a few years it became apparent that the identity needed a small tweak; something to improve the web site’s usability and overall feel.

By inverting the color scheme of the initial web site, the new Enermatix Inc. site embraces a softer and more open feel. By enlarging the text and removing the boxy layout, this new design showcases a more approachable Enermatix Inc.

In addition, we have improved the navigation and placed key informational elements (recent articles, team profiles and contact information) on each page to allow potential clients easier access to the company. Elements of the Enermatix philosophy have also been showcased with graphical blurbs to grab the readers attention. Armadillo Studios has also improved the Search Engine Optimization to garnish a stronger audience for the company.

Armadillo Studios is once again proud to team-up with Enermatix Inc. to help improve the company’s image and to help enhance their bottom line.