Zombies, eskimos and more take over Fusion
Here at Fusion, we think nothing of getting an email from Dave, our owner/CEO, that looks like this:
The above red-eyed, green-skinned zombie is Dave. Far from being a scary brain-eating undead, he's a pretty fun guy. So when we here at Fusion decided (on October 30 at 3:30pm) that we should come to work in costume for Halloween this year, no one had a problem with that - least of all Dave.
So this week our monthly potluck was held on Halloween and in attendance were The NHL Lockout, a MuayThai fighter, an Eskimo (complete with sled dog), a taco, a spider, a terrifying lion, a jet pilot, Peter Pan and a guest appearance from one ridiculously cute tiger.
We work pretty hard around here, where timelines are always ticking and deadlines looming, but luckily we manage to have a pretty good time doing it. Happy Halloween, everyone - hope yours has been as fun as ours so far.
When we were first preparing to move into the new Fusion office (January 2011) we were all invited to submit artifacts that we thought might potentially suit the space. Our office is a nice blend of late 1800’s exposed brick, timber and iron combined with contemporary lines, materials and colours. It’s a great place to work.
At one point I made a scouting trip to see my big brother. Stored in the bowels of his house is an old unused drafting table that was gifted to my nephew by my mentors Glenn and Fran. It’s really nice and has some lineage. Glenn got the table from his mentor, a prominent 20th century Winnipeg architect named Herbert Moody (Moody’s sister was married to Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson).
The table never did pan out for the office, but also in the basement were some old soda signs my brother salvaged from a work-related building before it was torn down. I took them to the new office and they seemed to be a hit, but they sat leaning against a wall for a year and a half collecting dust.
Since the signs never actually made it up on any of our walls my brothers and I decided to donate them to a home town auction that raised funds for causes near and dear to us. To our pleasant surprise they sold for a total of $375.
We felt pretty good about our contribution – until I found a Mountain Dew sign on ebay like the horizontal one we gave away. That one sign had just sold for over $300. A few days after that I caught an episode of Canadian Pickers on History Channel where the TV pickers bought two old signs in Ontario for a thousand bucks, valuing them for resale at fifteen hundred. One of those signs was what they termed “an extremely rare Mountain Dew sign,” exactly like the tall one we had.
I wish I would have done some research before giving those signs away.
We could have set a much higher reserve for them in the fundraiser auction.
Pros and Cons
We are blessed to have Red River College second year graphic design student Allie Thiessen here at Fusion for her practicum. She’s been a big help so far to some pretty busy people and hopefully she’s learning new things in return for her hard work. Spending time with her last week, on the way to tour a printing plant, I realized that I have been working as a graphic design professional longer than she’s been alive.
When I was a second year design student we had one Mac in our entire computer lab, the internet was about to be invented, mobile phones plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter and they were big enough to wear their own seat belt. I wondered if Allie and I had anything at all in common (other than Transcona – Hi Caitlin!), so together we cooked up a few topics about our college days and formative years and answered, independently, with pictures (thank you google images).
What made me decide to become a graphic designer
An album cover I thought was awesome
Favourite designer at the time
Shoes I wore on the first day of college
My sunglasses when I wanted to look cool
Favourite tool to design with in school
Early art influence
Design teacher I had that wore a beard (a loaded question)
First logo I can remember
My first job
Entrance portfolio drawing
My answers are on the left and Allie’s are on the right–in case you didn’t figure that out. As Allie is here learning to be a pro I am still wearing Cons. I hope Allie is too, 20-some years from now. Chances are I’ll be dead by then. Let’s hope not.
** Bearded teacher illustration by Nick Iskierski (another Fusion practicum student from RRC who came to us in the earlier part of this century)
Make your Mama proud
Let me start by paying homage to legendary Freddie Mercury and his rock band Queen. Among all the songs produced by the band, "Bohemian Rhapsody" remains my favorite and for millions around the world. It’s an extraordinary piece with the legendary performances that are tough to replicate.
Okay, all those who haven’t heard the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, raise your hands. Anyone? Great!
And all those who haven’t heard the ‘Brand Rhapsody’, raise your hands. Okay, put all your hands down! Here it is: Click Here.
Yes, it’s a parody. Making of this radio spot was so much fun and enlightening experience.
As unnerving as it could be to do a parody on legendary Bohemian Rhapsody, our own in-house virtuosos made it a breeze. With Barrett on vocals and Kathryn on piano the spot was recorded in just a few takes at our friendly neighbourhood studio Dacapo.
It’s amazing to work along with people who are so gifted and have such enriching and interesting lives. From Price is Right winner, whale saver, car builder, ace pilot, cup-cake connoisseur, Western Canadian Kung Fu winner, marathon runner to Mixed Martial Art trainer and of course our own Canadian Idol Finalist and Opera singer, we’re proud to have such talent on board and I’m sure their mamas are proud too.
This blog would have been completed anyways, without a little help from friends at Fusion.
Special thanks to Brooke for sending me encouraging email reminders with original slogans; ‘Yes, You can do it!’ to write this blog post in time.
Heartfelt thanks to Lorraine for giving me the guilt of letting the team down if I didn’t write in time.
Notable mention: Claudine, Flo and Andrea for cornering me around the water cooler and checking the update on writing.
Last but not the least my dear friend Kathryn for walking into my office and offering help.
Thanks for all the confidence, team!
In the order of appearance from left to right: Leightons' shoe, Barrett, Kathryn and Gagan (behind the camera).
St.Vital Centre Homepage
After many months of hard work the new St.Vital website is finally live! I couldn't be more excited and I could probably talk about it all day - I won't, because you can check it out for yourself here!
I will however talk a little bit about our partners in crime.
Often people speak of a love-hate relationship with web projects... or any project that takes months to complete for that matter. Now I admit, I may be biased because the project is now COMPLETE and I am officially in the honeymoon stage... but from my side of the experience it was all love, love, love.
I loved working with a client who is so open-minded. I loved having Visual Lizard program the site because "we can't do that" is simply not in their vocabulary. I loved designing a website that challenged me to think of design, functionality and user experience. So it isn't a surprise that we had an end result that the client also LOVED. Just a big ol' lovefest over here. (overkill?)
The reality of it is that it was a huge process that involved a lot of thinking, a lot of fussing over small details and a lot of hard work from all parties involved... and in the end it was totally worth it.
If you are interested in reading more about the site, see what Visual Lizard has to say about it here!