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

Moving Forward with Web Fonts

In the past, we’ve talked about the emerging trend of web fonts. In particular, “our posts during SXSW 2010”: were glowing with the potential of this new trend. But oddly enough, up until our last couple of projects, Armadillo Studios has made a concerned effort to take this latest trend with a side of caution.


Well let us explain.

Moving Forward With Web Fonts (Read More…)

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

* A Graphical representation of the SXSW Conference thorough a series of “Moleskin notebook sketches (via. Roh Design)”:
* Unhappy Hipsters, a collection of “Wallpaper magazine photos with unhappy hipster commentary”:

New Tools For Everyone:

* “”: a simple web site that allows anyone to develop simple and stylish web forms.
* “”:, which is a pushing the boundaries of what Google Maps and Yahoo Maps can do for small businesses.
* “”: is an inexpensive Toll Free phone office service for small businesses. (There is also a Canadian Equivalent called “RingCentral”: which Canadian businesses should check-out)
* “Launch’s take on Leave Your Job Start An Agency”:, the feedback to our talk from SXSW
* From our good friend Andy at “NonImage”:, is the amazing Invoicing app called “FreeAgent”:, which will revolutionalize how freelancers control their own books.
* “”: the ultimate resource for Twitter apps to leverage for your business.
* A great presentation on the power and beauty of “Co-Working and how it will change our own way of working”: If you are interested in coworking in Calgary check out “”:

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.

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.