Patatap Will Have You Creating Visual Music in No Time

Well, this is addictive. Patatap is a ‘portable animation and sound kit’ which lets you create melodies by tapping your keyboard or your phone. Along with each sound a corresponding shape animation is played against a backdrop of color. On the desktop, just hit spacebar and the soundscape transforms, as do the colors.

FEMA’s New Data Viz Tool Helps Communities Understand the Risk and Impact of Disasters

FEMA just launched a new data visualization tool aimed at help communities better understand the risk and impact of disasters. The tool charts historical disaster declaration data reaching back to 1953, giving a clear, county-specific picture of the type of disasters that have struck and how much FEMA spent on assistance. With this knowledge, communities can be better prepared for the unexpected and put their focus where it matters most.

Why Good Designs Starts in a Word Processor

Scope creep is something that plagues many industries, but creative work takes the cake for being the most ambiguous when it comes to expectations. In the design phase, client feedback (you know, words like “clean” or “modern” and phrases like “make it pop more” or “that is not at all what I explained to you”) can turn a great contract into a money pit for your firm. Managing expectations is tough when you start in the wrong place.

360 Music Videos Are Here: Google Tech Puts You in Control

What if while watching a video you could look anywhere you wanted? We’ve all imagined it… and now that dream is here. Google recently introduced 360° video playback. Just move your phone around (or use arrows on your browser) and you’ll get a virtual reality panoramic view of the filmed world. It’s super trippy and we think it’s going to be a big deal.

Tools of the Trade: 8 Creators and the Pens, Pencils and Markers They Love

Being creative doesn’t take any specific tool, but after years of work and exploration we all develop our favorites. Maybe the ink from that pen flows just right or makes the perfect tiny dots. Maybe that marker has the color with the most punch. You know what’s best and so do these artists using pens, pencils or markers. We rounded up 8 from past features to learn which tool they like to keep close, and what kind of work they’ve used them for.

Ira Glass Gives You All the Motivation You Need to Be Creative

The creative struggle is, in a word, miserable—especially when you’re first starting out. It doesn’t matter if you’re entering a new field or just trying to master a new skill; the urge to create, to try something new, is too easily overshadowed by fear of failure. Although you know you have talent, you’re too afraid that what you make will suck. Next time you find yourself struggling with feeling stuck and frustrated by what you’re creating, take a look at this video. (And bookmark it while you’re at it.) 

Gamechangers: Honoring Content Creators Breaking Away from the Norm

I have no memories of the days of giant ad agencies, martini lunches, and art departments that actually used sketch books to create ads. I never had anyone like Don Draper as a boss. I wasn’t even alive in those golden days of huge budgets and captive audiences. Times have changed—dramatically—since the advent of instant communications, online video, Google analytics, and follower counts. Things are more efficient than ever but somehow often more ineffective than ever.

#BrandCrush: Wilton Cakes Has a Super Sweet Social Presence

Although it’s been around for 85 years, Wilton Cakes is not your grandma’s baking company. The cake-decorating company is known for its baking supplies and cake inspiration, but in the era of Pinterest, food porn, and a billion baking blogs, it’s hard to keep ahead of the flock. Still, this brand has been in the baking game for a long time, and they know how to keep it sweet.

From their vibrant Instagram to Pinterest tutorials, Wilton has created a community for baking experts and newbies alike—no matter where they are on social. For a brand that is all about creativity, they are definitely eating their own cake. Here’s why they’re killing it on social. 

Hollywood Street Characters Captured At Home

Just take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard and you’ll quickly figure out why the area is often dubbed ‘Hollyweird’. Part of what makes the place so strange and special are the many colorful street performers that dot the street. Some lookalikes impersonate famous movie stars, others don masks and become iconic cartoon characters, but what fascinated photographer Ken Hermann was their private, personal lives. Who were these people at home?