Ross MacDonald, Rhys Ritchie
This week, Ross MacDonald gives us his thoughts on Microsoft's 'Sketch 2 Code', and Rhys Ritchie tells us about the ever changing world of logo design.
Computers can be (kind of) creative too
In August, Microsoft AI Lab (AI.lab) released a working version of experimental software called ‘Sketch 2 Code’ that demonstrates how AI could aid in moving very quickly from a rough sketch or wireframe prototype to usable website code. The software itself is still in its infancy, however it is an impressive demonstration of what the future could hold for AI in the digital industry.
At the moment, ‘Sketch 2 Code’ only supports simple UI elements including labels, text fields, paragraph text, images, and buttons. However, it is not difficult to make the leap and imagine how useful and lucrative (for Microsoft and their partners) a production version could be.
Drawing on a bank on millions of images (reminiscent of the neural network technology utilised by Google Quick, Draw), ‘Sketch 2 Code’ aims to recognise page objects, and does so with satisfying accuracy. At the click of a button, HTML is generated for a stored sample or uploaded sketch. The layout and position of page elements map very closely to the initial sketch.
In my opinion, this is one of the most impressive and practical demonstrations of how AI could really contribute to productivity in our industry and I will be keeping my eye on how this type of application develops in the future.
See below for links to the working experiment and a video explaining the background and further details of the project.
Ross MacDonald, QA Manager
Translating Classic Designs for the Digital Age
Over the past decade as screens have shrunk, logo design has had to adapt to be able to effectively communicate a brand whilst fitting to the miniature constrains social media display pictures or smartphone app icons. This is something the design team at Dog have to take into great consideration on a daily basis as it is a vital part to successful design. The demand for logos to work at a miniature size on a mobile screen has greatly added to the current minimalist trend that has swept every aspect of digital design.
This week, the great FC Barcelona were the most recent to jump on board with a brand revamp, they redesigned their famous crest and created a new personalised typeface. This new look has stayed very faithful to the historic Barcelona crest but smartly adapted existing elements to help modernise the brand. A statement from the club claimed "The new design now has greater reproduction capacity, especially in the increasingly more important world of digital media." And continued “Since the design was last updated, the context, society and technology have changed enormously, and the symbols identified with the club need to evolve too.”
The new design features less vertical blue and maroon stripes to make the colours pop, they’ve dropped the FCB type to help the design perform on smaller scales and internal black lines have been removed to create a brighter, more attractive crest.
This year we’ve also seen other high profile football clubs transform their brand to cope in the digital world, most notably Juventus when during the summer they completely reworked their look. Leeds United also redesigned themselves this year, however didn’t have the same success as the other clubs. After a backlash from their fans over the latest design, they were forced to return to the drawing board and scrap the new crest.
Rhys Ritchie, Junior Designer