Multiply website and identity

Logo

Multiply offers affordable, short term software development courses. The courses which are meant for beginners will help those who want practical new skills for a technology-centric future. Courses are typically five days or less, conducted in 8-student batches and taught by real professional coders. Another highlight is post-course support which other coding courses don’t provide beyond the classroom.

Multiply asked for simplicity, clarity and brevity in its logo brief. So I put simple geometry, simple typography and lines to work in creating an identity which we all ended up liking a lot.

Sacred Geometry

The mark is designed based on sacred geometry and depicts two overlapping leaves drawn over the Flower of Life. The Vesica piscis shape is archetypal for a blade of leaf. There is no simpler geometry by which the leaf can be represented. The plant/growth motif works great for an education brand.

I selected Brandon by HvD as the one single typeface for the identity – Brandon Grotesque for headings and Brandon Text for the body. It’s used on all elements including the wordmark and website text. The identity is deliberately pedestrian so as to come across as far away from pompous as possible.

The same spirit was carried across to the web design. I took a mobile-first approach as we predict the majority of our potential students would be using the site from their phones.

Mobile website

A generous block of forest green brings the primary message to focus so the user can know what Multiply is within seconds. Details of the abovementioned courses follows immediately. Course meta information and prices are clearly delineated. The overall look feels like a single-color classifieds ad in the back pages of a magazine.

Tablet view

On a tablet, the content takes up two to three columns, much like a printed brochure, depending on orientation.

Desktop view

Lastly, on a laptop/desktop, all content is visible.

After signing up for a course, one gets a welcome email with essential information to prepare for the upcoming classes.

Email

The email is also rensposive and will appear as one or two columns.


Visit Multiply.

Fear, regression and creativity

It’s scary to be a child. We start off as helpless infants totally dependent on our caretakers. As soon as we leave the safety of our mothers’ wombs, we had to start getting used to fears and anxieties as the world unfolds itself in ever increasing complexity.

I remember a nightmare when i was three, the frightening image of a top hat-wearing skull woke me from sleep. It might have been Baron Samedi but I have never seen him as a child. As an adult, darkness don’t unsettle me much anymore. I remember when I was five, I cried from fear of abandonment when my mother was late to to pick me up from kindergarten. These days, lateness is merely an annoyance we tolerate of one another. I remember dreams of threatening situations in which I froze, throughout my adolescence. Although I still dream of danger I no longer freeze in them.

As we grew older, we traded our neuroses with the other four of the big five as we learn to regulate our emotions, as if numbing the amygdala against future anxiety. With the amygdala taking the back seat for the emergence of executive functions which are critical for the growing up to thrive in an increasingly cognitively demanding environment, we had sacrificed our innocence.

Some of us are meant to be kids. If you find yourself stifled in a boring and depressed adult world, if you realized becoming an adult was simply the only way we knew to cope with our childish fears, if you think the world would be a better place run by children, you are one of us.

The return to innocence starts with controlled regression. ARISE, or Adaptive Regression In the Service of the Ego is a psychoanalytic concept recognized for decades, but little appreciated today. While regression is not considered a good thing in most fields and implies a return to an earlier or inferior state of being and functioning, Joel Gold (Psychiatrist; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine) describes adaptive regression as an important ability we all need.

There are numerous vital experiences that cannot be achieved without adaptive regression: The creation and appreciation of art, music, literature and food; the ability to sleep; sexual fulfillment; falling in love; and, yes, the ability to free associate and tolerate psychoanalysis or psychodynamic therapy without getting worse. Perhaps the most important element in adaptive regression is the ability to fantasize, to daydream. The person who has access to their unconscious processes and can mine them, without getting mired in them, can try new approaches, can begin to see things in new ways and, perhaps, can achieve mastery of their pursuits.

When you play a game the first time, you have no idea what comes next. You can only react to situations. You build up tools and strategies which you apply systematically to later challenges and hopefully you would have enough competence to defeat the final boss by the end. Most people are content with playing on as long as they do not die. I prefer more control over my game. Regression allows you to start over at an earlier level with the acquired tools and strategies. The game gets easier and most importantly you get to experience it more deeply than the first go. You would have the creativity of a child and the coping ability of an adult.

Levi Ackerman

This is the Nendoroid figure of Levi Ackerman, a 34 year old elite soldier who fights man-eating humanoid giants in the Attack on Titans anime and manga series. Nendoroids are plastic figures of neotenized anime, manga and video game characters. It is what I see when I imagine an arisen adult.


Children may be the answer to an ageing population. Arisen adults are the answer to a boring, screwed up world.

Brandon vs Whitney

After being busy with client work for a while I’m back writing and at the same time I wanted to renew the site with a simpler and more fluid design, and a new font to go with the format.

I narrowed down to Brandon Text by HvD and Whitney by Hoefler & Co. and decidedly chose the former.

Brandon Text and Whitney Comparison

Originally developed for New York’s Whitney Museum, Whitney is utilitarian, safe and solemn. It’s a perfect typeface for institutions and serious publications. Unfortunately this also made it boring. The letterforms are so upright that a Whitney paragraph resembles a regimented military parade. Brandon Text, on the other hand is relaxed and livelier, without appearing playful. If Whitney is as described by Hoefler, an extroverted typeface then Brandon would be friendly and warm.

Is Whitney the new Trajan?

DN × iPhone

Introducing Designer News for the iPhone.

Nothing more, nothing less but the full DN experience.

Designer News for iPhone

Scroll, tap and swipe.

Gimmick-free interface not just for designers, and that’s a good thing.

Designer News for iPhone

Content that fits.

One of the few entries that feature landscape orientation.

Designer News for iPhone

Designer News for iPhone

PS: This isn’t the official DN app. It’s my entry for the Design+Code Giveaway contest organized by LayerVault. I started using LayerVault because of this contest and I have to say it’s much better suited for a design workflow than Dropbox. I probably won’t be switching because I have just too much space on Dropbox. Early adopter bonuses you see.

Font files off Typekit

I have a Typekit subscription and have full access to all their fonts. Adobe also recently introduced the ability to sync fonts to the desktop via Creative Cloud for use in mockups, print design and word processing. It’s really convenient because before this one has to have the actual font file installed to be able to design with it before using it on a web project.

Often people who use Typekit already have desktop licenses for fonts they want to use for a website. In fact Typekit was originally intended for this purpose. There are however those who signed up for Typekit because they want nicer typography for their blogs – solely for the web, and are thus unlikely to own desktop licenses of the the fonts they need. Typekit’s desktop sync feature really helps designers to avoid using pirated fonts just so they can design with them before using them legitimately fonts on production sites.

Unfortunately not all fonts on Typekit are available as desktop fonts. Yet or ever I don’t know. I chose Rooney Sans Web from Jan Fromm for a web project to match its rounded sprightly identity. I realized there is no desktop version I can sync to in Photoshop. I could have just designed the site in code but I didn’t want to concede to the sense of defeat.

Ripping font files off Typekit

Typekit’s implements @font-face with the Data URI scheme and fonts represented as base64 with the mime type of font/opentype, as revealed by the web inspector in Safari.

Inspector

The full base64 string contains all the information required to reconstruct the font file. The first step is to convert the base64 string into a binary format. The service I use is Base 64 Decoder. Be sure to copy the entire string and without the first comma and everything before it.

For example if your string is:

data:font/opentype;base64,d09GRgABAAAAAIFsABMA…

Remove data:font/opentype;base64, to make it look like:

d09GRgABAAAAAIFsABMAAAABApgAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…

Paste the string into the decoder:

Decoder

Then press Decode. The binary output will be sent directly back to the browser as a stream which you can save as a binary file.

Next we need to convert the binary file into a font file. I used OFC. Just upload your binary file and it will present you the option to download the file as a variety of formats. Since Typekit indicates the font as having the OpenType mime type, I downloaded it as OpenType. I’m not sure if other formats would work. I like OpenType fonts anyway.

The output will then be downloaded as a tarball which will expand into the font file. Install the font and you can start using it on the desktop.


This is great for using fonts unavailable as desktop fonts in the design phase but Typekit fonts are meant for web use and wouldn’t be optimal for print use. I wouldn’t recommend pirating Typekit fonts this way for print. Please support foundries and designers by purchasing the proper license for actual print use.