1-2-1 iPad Pro review


My oldest brother, Aaron visited me a couple of days ago. I have introduced him to my iPad Pro for the first time - it was so amazing to see how enthusiastic he became as he started to explore the creative apps on my device! 
Our conversation shortly became an interview, which you can read below:

 

Aaron: As a graphic designer, what’s your first impression of the iPad Pro?

Lilla: I’m originally a huge iPad fan, I started with an iPad 2 nearly 7 years ago and I just can’t miss the fact that this device makes my life really mobile - it’s just so easy to it carry around!

As a Graphic Designer, work is not the only thing that I use an iPad for: checking out new design articles and lurking on dribble is on my daily schedule as well! It helps me with organizing my everyday life too.

My iPad pro has a 12.9” screen, which means that it’s perfect as a second screen beside my MacBook Pro - simply that I have an extra screen to check tutorials and work at the same time without switching between tabs makes everything easier!
Let’s not forget that the right accessories make the experience extraordinary: I also have a keyboard cover and an Apple Pencil.

 

Aaron: Do you prefer to use an iPad than a Wacom? 

Lilla: I used Wacom a lot and it was so smoothly integrated into my workflow at the time, but I think at the moment I’m more of an iPad user. I enjoy the advantage of mobility, that I’m not stuck to my chair in front of my computer and also there are a lot of tasks that can be done on my iPad, such as creating vector illustrations and prepare them for motion design.

 

Aaron: Do you think the iPad Pro is the future of drawing?

Lilla: The future is already here if you think about it because all the advantages held by the good old paper and pencil has been embraced and pushed to the next level by the iPad Pro. Alrighty, I must admit here that I still sketch on paper sometimes!

I believe if you really like drawing, you will enjoy every platform that is given to express yourself. Of course, what we have here is a bright toolset, with crazy functions that are not imaginable in reality. For example, a simple eraser in real life will leave a mark on the paper, but in this digital environment, you can even select the brush or tool to act in a form of an eraser.

However, if the iPad is the future of drawing, I hope they will find a better way to charge the Apple Pencil because sticking it into the charger plugin on the iPad can be pretty annoying.

Aaron: What kind of applications do you use in your creative workflow? Do they hit the level of the professional applications that are present on desktop computers?

Lilla: I have access to all the Adobe creative apps due to my Adobe subscription, which is pretty awesome! They are all fab and perfectly compatible with all the creative programs I already got used to. I also purchased Pro Create which is maybe a little bit more advanced for sketching than Adobe, but this is just my personal opinion.

I still had to spend some time to figure out the interface, even though I’m using several programs in which I already got used to the terms they use.

Aaron: How did touch as an interaction change the way you work?

 Lilla: Actually, this is one of the things that I had to google and check several tutorials before I could truly dive into these creative apps. Honestly, I really enjoy the gestures that you can perfectly implement the sense of touch into your workflow. It gives you a kind of rhythm and special experience as you work just like shortcuts do with desktop computers.

Aaron: As a digital professional who’s using a computer and devices for work, do you think that an iPad acts as a mobile device at the same time – people also use it for taking selfies, lurking on Facebook or reading the newspaper? 

Lilla: Well, this is truly a funny question!

As you’re working with the apps you on the device, you do not have time to think about things. I feel that presenting your work on such a device is a good thing and it makes you feel like a real pro.

Anyways, a lot of tools that are available for desktop are now available for iPad too - such as Trello, Slack or Wunderlist. These are the main tools that I use the most to organize my day-to-day life.

 

VIEWER EXPERIENCE THE FUTURE IS HERE (PART 2)

We’ve been presenting VX in part I as a new challenge for the digital folks and how will it change the customer journey. Now, let’s see what will it looks like from the inside!

If we’re thinking on a micro level, the focus should be on the viewer — from A-Z. First, we have to study the viewer so we can relate to their current life decision and situation.

We need to know who and where are they watching the video and what do they want. It can also help if we figure out how are they watching it: on their mobile phone, tablet or even an in-store screen in a shop?

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Yes, all of these questions must be answered: we will need huge research. After this, we can start to identify the (user) stories, messages, styles, and formats. It might sound familiar, but like in UX, a prototype needs to be built and tested. These tests will reveal the concept that will achieve our objective and predict the results of the project. 

When your content is out, it’s time to start the analysis of the results and alter the VX. This is an essential process, as video creation still has a lot of question marks. 
A designer creates something cool, and they hope that the audience will like it - with a VX approach, video equals art and science as well, mixing design and psychology intentionally together.

The big brands will make VX happen soon and they’ll standardize their principles to create a living design system that will be available all of their platforms (e.g. websites, apps) smoothly guiding the crowd to action and engage them.

I know what you think – this sounds a little bit out of this world and it would require brands a lot of effort to create these video assets.

So, VX already out there, but there are a lot of speculations on how it could work. The more content is out about it, more brands will get to know this new approach.
I think we are going to see wide adoption of VX very soon and looking forward to meeting the brands who will lead the movement!

What are your thoughts on VX? 

Viewer Experience the Future is Here (part 1)

I think we all remember how websites looked in the nineties – difficult to use, designed with primitive tools and illogical, clumsy compositions. As the years went by, companies realized the value of advertising on the internet and focused on the appearance of their website. More and more images appeared on the web, pushing the massive blocks of texts in the background and Flash allowed the web designers to create animated pages.

Today, a great website has to be well designed, easy to use and dramatically focused on user experience (UX).
We can say that it was first a luxury, but now it’s a necessity, a must. Well, the same thing has happened to video.
VX – viewer experience is about to transform the way we look at video and change the current production method of it.

The launch of YouTube in 2005 made it clear that people like videos, and within a few years, brands were using online video adverts to gain more clients and audience. They create a video, post it online and hope that the crowd will engage with their brand.
It’s the same way how companies used their websites, remember? Like a big advert billboard in a digital environment.

Early UXers already understood that the digital presence of the company equals the brand. Their customers experience the brand through this channel. It can determine a customer’s actions, emotional moods, and even their loyalty and it really deserves attention.
But back to video! It’s no longer just a trend, it’s now an important piece of the customer journey. 
If we go to any website or app, we can see motion graphics interacting with the whole content, the animations are merging with UI elements, narratives explaining features and how-tos.

A few years back we used video to engage more customers with a brand, but the ultimate goal of VX is to enhance the brand itself. It gives character to the brand, making the content more personal and authentic while guiding the customer journey.

No doubt that VX will be a new challenge for the brands out there and sooner or later it will be standardized. If we think about it, developing strategies for video media could be a magical brand experience for the crowd.
It’s a huge visual package that can have a lot of media assets which all have their production values and they have to fit with the positioning of the brand.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas has just arrived. I have some time to face with the last year, to examine it as it happened. Learn from it, evolve and just simply being grateful for all my achievements and all my mistakes. It is christmas and I would like to say thank you for being here and reading these lines and I also want to present two strangers with two dribbble invite. Balazs Hajnal and Ricardo Sanprieto, thank you for sending me your works! Looking forward to follow you and see your development. 

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I wish you all a very merry and happy Christmas! ⛄️🎄 

Dribbble and Me

What the heck is Dribbble?

Dribbble is a huge platform which allows designers from all over the world to connect with each other, share their ideas, experiments and design experiences. This digital environment is attractive for the employers too that means if you are an active player you have a great chance for job offers will knock on your door.

The whole conception behind Dribbble should be mentioned as well – every shared imagery or gif represents a “shot”. This approach is inspired by the rules of basketball, for example “rebounding” in this concept gets a whole new meaning. A rebound in dribbble is like an answer shot to another designer’s work that inspired you. 

Dribbble can offer everyone an extraordinary online community – a really kind, constructive and friendly group of fantastic, creative people. It’s still one of the best feelings in the world that I can be a part of this! 

This was my debut shot https://dribbble.com/shots/3748513-Hello-Dribbble

This was my debut shot https://dribbble.com/shots/3748513-Hello-Dribbble

Audddience by Justas Galaburda

Justas Galaburda is one of the most inspirational characters that I look up to. I could not wait for his book to be published – and as you’ve already figured, I bought it and read it as soon as it appeared online! This book works like magic: a powerful and energetic motivational piece, mixed with the wise guidance of a professional. 

Please follow this link to find the book http://iconutopia.com/build-your-dribbble-audience/

Audience a Comprehensive Guide to Building your Dribbble Following

Audience a Comprehensive Guide to Building your Dribbble Following

I can still vividly remember one chapter which explained that our career is all about crossing our personal and professional journey. If it would be easy, it wouldn’t be precious and valuable. Inspired, I began to post daily and I loved it, it became my morning ritual. By being active on the website, I met a lot of excellent and exceptional designers, gathered inspiration from others and even received several offers. My heart always skipped a beat when someone whose work I adore liked my posts. 

Easy achievements like that will surely bring you joy...for a couple of days or weeks. But it won’t give you this long lasting feeling of achievement and pleasure.
— Justas Galaburda

 After reading the Audddience

I’m not really sure that other designers are anxious about publishing their work – I was terrified at first. I was really scared to hear the negative comments and critics and was afraid that other designers will judge my work and project. Audddience gave me courage and helped me overgrow this fear. I’m a grateful and happy Dribbble user ever since. 

Dribbble gave me a lot of professional feedback and self-esteem. The feeling of earning other designers respect, getting the attention of my role models is amazing – and when we realize that every follower is a real person, a real designer that’s beyond words. 


Want to join the Dribbble community? Now’s your chance! 
I’m giving away 2 precious invite for the right persons! 
All you need to do is just press this button or go to the contact page and send me links to review your works that you are the most proud of.

Please write me in one sentence why you would like to be the part of this community and I’ll contact you.

I am looking forward to hear from you 😊 

What makes a good visual/graphic designer?

 It’s widely known that we, graphic designers are here to create bright and creative images and graphics, however, we are also responsible to make mankind’s life better and easier. If you ever wondered what are the greatest qualities and mindsets behind our art, you should read further!

1. Communication

A great graphic designer is able to productively communicate with clients and other designers, teammates to ensure that the project is running smoothly and the tasks are finished until the deadlines. Negotiating rates and presenting (new) ideas require good communication skills as well - we need to articulate what we have to offer to secure projects and jobs.

2. Reliability

A good designer intuitively knows that the clients don’t just want talent - they want to hire someone who’s reliable and they can count on. Reliability might be the most important thing in our field - it’s good to know how to manage your time, develop a consistency and treat your clients’’ needs and the project as a priority.

3. Curiosity

 If you want to be a successful designer, you need to be curious about the world around you. It’s true that designers always look beyond the surface of things to understand the big picture; and to get there, they need to have an endless passion for learning new things. It’s really about the constant analysis to produce a piece of art that everyone’s happy with.

4. Accepting criticism

Let’s just face it - nobody likes to be criticised. A good graphic designer can hear the criticism with an open mind and is willing to be flexible with the clients’ needs. We must learn and remind ourselves that when our work is under criticism, we should not take it personally. Being receptive is the best solution for these situations.

5. Self-criticism

Every experienced designer knows that the key to improvement is, to be honest with themselves when it comes to responsibility and the work’s quality. Staying disciplined and focused on the project when the creative director is out of office can be difficult sometimes, but it’s a good practice to challenge yourself.

Check out my little gif Project: Designer’s Mind

Check out my little gif Project: Designer’s Mind

6. Creativity (of course)

 Do what you love, love what you do - yes, it might be a bit cheesy, but it’s more than relevant in our field. You don’t just end up in the creative industry if you don’t have the passion and love for art. Coming up with new and exciting ideas is a must - we’re building a better world and a brighter future!

 7. Time management

 A great designer loves to go with the flow, but tricky workloads, lifelong edits and endless briefs can steal a lot of minutes from our “creative hour”. We have to combine some time management skills with our passion for art to survive - learning how to balance our tasks and projects require a lot of organizing and patience. Pro tip: prioritizing can effectively help with meeting deadlines and managing your workload!

 

8. Constantly looking for inspiration

Being up to date with the design world’s newest trends will allow you to mix the current swings with your unique style and sell it with the same professionalism. Trust me, every designer has a bunch of design inspiration boards and collections which are helping them to reach their creative flow.

 The above are just some of the qualities great graphic designers share - what do you think, do you have what it takes?

Designers’ Favourite: The Feedback

If we would live in an ideal world, every designer would be designing cool things for their grannies or their dogs – Imagine: every one of us would receive only positive feedback for our work.
However, in the real world, the clients and the users have their own and specific expectations and sometimes their (negative) feedback could be easily overwhelming if the designer doesn’t know how to handle the critics with the proper emotional observation.

In an ideal world, every designer would be designing cool things for their grannies or their dogs

In an ideal world, every designer would be designing cool things for their grannies or their dogs

 Tip one: Read the Brief

With this, I really mean to read the brief, not just take a glance at it and that’s it. You need to read it through a few times and construe it.
If I have a certain question, the first thing’s first: research. If I could not find the right answer, I will just simply ask for guidance from the client. 
In the beginning, I always had second thoughts when it came to this part of the communication with my clients: Will it make me look unprofessional? But lately, my opinion has changed regarding this segment of my profession. If I think with the clients’ head, actually, it’s a good thing that the designer, who I’ve hired, really pays attention to the details and treats my project as a priority. On the other hand, if I’m following the client’s instructions, the expected job/quality will be delivered to them. This is surely the way as you can simply avoid the negative feedback.

 Tip two: Love the Brief

Sometimes we will encounter with various style guides which we can find difficult to implement in practice. The most important thing for us is to realise the consistency which comes from following a straightforward style guide – It will help you see the whole picture of the project. This consistency can and will earn the targeted audience’s attention and gives a good/dependable impression of the company. 
It’s possible that this will leave us with fewer opportunities, but let’s try to look at this from another angle.
Personally, I like to think of it as a challenge: am I capable of creating something fresh and exciting while obeying the rules? To be honest, it makes me feel more enthusiastic.

Tip three: The feedback is not against you – It’s teamwork

When working on any project, I’m always giving my best. That’s why my first thought was often „OMG, what did I do wrong?” when I received a neutral or negative feedback from my clients. 
I’m treating every critique differently now: like a new idea, or another way that we can follow together to design a better creation, which will positively change the outcome of the project. 
At the same time, if I can justify my professional decisions, I will let the client know what causes were behind my choice – they are employing me because of my experience and competence in the first place. If the feedback still stands after this professional discussion, the best thing to do is to think it through again, learn from it and build it into the project.

 Tip four: Acceptance

There’s a reason why they say that acceptance might be the hardest thing in this world – however, there’s no clearer and valuable guidance than a constructive critique.
We’re creating brand new things, so it’s acceptable that we don’t succeed on the first try. This is a usual and essential process which accompanies creative design.

 Tip five: There is always a new idea!

Yes, there’s always a new idea and there’s always a solution. If I’m treating this as a fact, I can let go of my previous ideas (obviously I will write them down first!). 
The easiest way is, to be honest with myself and rationalize why was the criticized idea important and dear to me. After this, I can bring a whole new energy into the project, implementing and experimenting with different ideas in my work. 

Let’s try to think about critique as a tool that will guide our progress. How do you apply feedback in your daily projects? I’m curious to know! 😊

Looping Animation


The first step to looping animation was a toy, called thomatrope which was a paper circle displayed a bird on the one side and a cage on the other. You should thread a string through the paper and when you spin it fast voilà - the bird got in the cage.

Thomatrope - how you can put the bird into the cage? 

Thomatrope - how you can put the bird into the cage? 

Then came the zoetrope, which produced the illusion of motion by displaying a series of drawings showing phases of motion. So you had to spin this thing and look trough the tiny windows to see the magic. That was the first time when the human eye have seen moving drawings. To perform this motion, the same picture needs to be on the first and last frame of the device so that is why  we can consider them the very first looping animations.

Zoetrope

Zoetrope

Once upon a time, the big animators drew the keyframes and when the deadline was approaching, they hired trainee designers to fill in the gaps. Their work was usually criticised by animators because the animations were not as they have imagined, as they were composing these motions with rhythm and speed in their minds.

Nowadays, After Effects helps us with drawing these keyframes, however, this is an enormous job which needs a lot of patience. We also need to synchronize these frames with the music and create a harmony between the adjustments. I love this part of animation, but let’s be honest, it really needs a lot of concentration and fortitude.

But back to looping animation! In After Effects, the first and last keyframe must match and what happens in between, that’s totally up to our imagination!
You have a lot of choices to choose from, for example, you can use a Loop Expression which can be assigned to the selected layers or if you want to make the Loop Expression even more appropriate, use The LoopMaker, which is a free script developed by Lloyd Alvarez. With just a few clicks, this script allows you to apply custom loops to multiple layers at the same time! Cool, isn’t it?
You can still use the classic copy & paste technique of course, but knowing that this script exists, why would you?😊

It’s brilliant that we can easily solve almost anything with these tools – if we want one specific motion to loop continuously (for example a plane’s propeller) but also another thing to happen in the background, it can be done in no time!


In my opinion, the animator’s humour or significant demonstration is what makes a looping animation engaging. What about you?

Colours and Inspiration

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If I think about which design style was my greatest inspiration so far, I would say BAUHAUS, without any hesitation. When speaking of BAUHAUS, consider me a true fan of Johannes Itten’s work – I’m implementing his methods and work philosophy day by day.

After the colour wheel – big thanks for this brilliant and innovative invention of Isaac Newton – Itten’s work was a significant ascertainment in the world of colours. He stated that the tone of a colour can be warm or cold and explained how these contrasts interact with each other. As we now know, these colours have a massive effect on the psyche and they resonate with different, abstract concepts. This study has a huge impact on today’s digital world as well. Understanding these concepts brings harmony and balance in one’s life. I really encourage everyone to read Itten’s book and learn the principles. 😊
There are a lot of different tools to gather inspiration and generate ideas from the warm and cold colours and I’ll share three great tools with you below!

1. Colourhunt.co

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This tool is brought to life by Gal Shir, an amazing designer, who was inspired by an everyday dilemma of all designers – the hunt for the perfect colour palette, which will corroborate with our project.

With his own words:

„I set some rules such as limiting the amount of colours in each palette to four and displaying the colours in each palette with a specific hierarchy I came up with. A ratio that gives each colour a different importance by displaying it in a different size.

After getting this simple web page ready, I decided to transform this personal collection into a public resource for the world. Then came the two following ideas: A) the like button that lets users save their favourite palettes, and B) the sorting menu that lets users change the order of the listed palettes based on their popularity, their age, or just random.”
Sheer brilliance!

2. Grabient.com

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Gradient is a hit in 2018 too – I could spend hours playing around with colours and having fun on this website!

I believe that this movement is not just a fashionable trend that will disappear as it has a huge impact on artists around the world. It’s perfect for creating an atmosphere that’s not as abstract as we have created something around 4 years ago with flat-design-thinking.
Gradient will show you the tone that you see all around you – the colours of nature and the environment.
I’m also grateful that we use high-resolution devices every day because, without them, this tool wouldn’t be such a big hit!

3. On the go – Colour mate

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This is a fantastic app on my iPhone that’s always with me when I need it on the go!
I usually use this app while I’m sitting on the train and thinking about my new projects – finding a totally random colour always makes me happy! When I get the perfect one, I just save it or convert it into RGB, HEX, CMYK or HSB formats.

So, these are my top 3 inspo tools, what are yours? 😊

Mentorship 1.0: Being a designer sister of the (best) designer brothers

Let’s start with an obvious fact: we were always close to each other and grew up as good siblings. We love each other for who we are and I’m grateful that we have found infinite trust and support within our sibling triangle while letting our ideas fly as high as the sky. Finding a mentor for your career/life can be difficult, and I’m happy to say that luck is on my side with these two fellas!

Aaron Kato – the brave explorer

Aaron was the first who chose the designer path and led the way for us. He was always the bravest explorer who is never afraid of anything – he knows that everything is possible with hard & smart work.
His friendly and confident personality allows him to practice his truly amazing ability to start and finish every work as an expert. Despite he is an honest critic, he always figures out how to transform and upgrade a project to a higher level (and this is equally true even if we’re just talking about a simple breakfast).

Janos Kato – the always curious fitter

I have learned that the decisions Janos makes are relying on well-deliberated theories and even if I don’t understand them at that moment, later it all comes together in my mind. His superpower: he opens brand new perspectives for me because he dares to think differently and I can often see him in the ocean of his thoughts standing solid as a rock.
Janos is going down some roads I didn’t even know that existed and his tireless concentration and dynamism towards the projects are astonishing me every time – and he’s doing this as it was the easiest thing in the world!

Lilla Kato – the source of ideas

Yes, I’m the youngest and the one who always has a new idea. I’m certain that I would not be living this creative, balanced and happy life without my two superheroes who are helping me through my career path and life. My brothers taught me not to be afraid to make mistakes and how to learn from them plus they have provided me with tonnes of advice and unconditional love – this is the way we’re mentoring and motivating each other.

So, this is our bomb trio – we have chosen this path together where we are exploring, understanding and altering the various and colourful universe of design, then creating a cool new thing together out of it.

Mentorship – the honourable guidance
Finding the perfect mentor means that one can develop unbelievable qualities with the speed of light and acquires knowledge that can’t be found in books. On the other hand, being somebody’s mentor is an honorific and super fun role -  looking back on the path we came up brings back valuable experience and memories. Passing on these gold wisdom and qualities is an indescribably good feeling. If we could implement this close mentorship in every designer’s life, not just the mentored person but the whole design community would be a big, happy family.
What are your thoughts on mentorship?

Behind the scenes of the Old People Stereotypes project

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We all know that getting an idea to realization is a very long journey with a lot of pitfalls, especially, when it’s a personal project. These plans can be usually found on the bottom of our to-do list.

That’s why I’m proud that my will power and love for animation has helped me through all the barriers that were present while working on this project.

The big idea

My new ideas are mostly just floating in my mind like the clouds in the sky and just the ones suitable enough come to realization. Behind every idea there’s an inspiration – for this one, it was an old lady’s honest manifestation. As I heard her words, the lightbulb in my head went on and in that moment, I already knew the whole script in and out – all I had to do was to sneak in some good old visual humour in the whole story. We can say that this project just fell into my lap from a casual everyday conversation.

Sometimes we just need an extra push

One time, I was attending an interveiw at Nutcracker and they have encouraged me to create a longer animation, where I can present my motion design knowledge as well. I am still truly grateful for this opportunity and they gave me the extra push with opening a whole new perspective for me.

Dream, Plan, Do – the bomb trio

When creating the storyboard of the project, I’ve individually adumbrated a voice effect plan for every scene and I dived into the work.

Illustration, the hunt for voice effects and music, making motions and transitions come to life in front of my own eyes – honestly, this is my favourite part of my work! When the illustrations were finished for the animation and after cutting out few a things and adding some others, everything has come together in after effects and my short animation was finally ready. When you’re working on a idea, everything that you know, understand and learned manifests in one given thing  and you realize that little part of you just came alive.

The very same thing happened to me when I finished my Old People Stereotypes project – a huge progress was made and I can proudly tell that I’m ready for the next challenge!