4 Reasons Vertical Video is Suddenly OK

Despite our title for this post, most people would agree: vertical video is the bane of the smart phone era. Our eyes aren’t stacked on top of each other, making a portrait shaped image less than natural viewing. They don’t fit on standard TV or laptop screens, leaving huge black bars at the border. Heck, Google’s Android camera app even scolds you for trying to go vertical. And we can’t forget about the scourge of “vertical video syndrome”

5 Books to Help You Break Out of Your Creative Envelope

Universal Principles of Design
125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design

by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler

Universal Principals of Design

If one book exists that can help you step out of a design rut, this is it. Now, when I refer to design, I mean real design from start to finish, not just producing a piece of work based on a spec. The book is essentially a textbook, but it does a great job of getting you back to the fundamentals. So, instead of obsessing over why your color swatch is not working, you think bigger picture about why your overall approach is not working. Anyone who has gone to school for anything from graphic design to interface design has probably already learned most of the concepts in this book, but it is a great way to get yourself back to basics if you haven’t been in class for a while.

Watch: How the 5 Major Religions Spread Across the World

The 5 largest religions today are Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam–but it wasn’t always that way. In this video, Alex Kuzoian at Business Insider walks us through 5000 years of history, showing how the world’s religions initially took root in small geographic areas in southern Asia and the Middle East. They didn’t remain localized for long.

Watch Babies’ Poo Face in Slow Motion. Well Done Pampers.

When your main business is selling diapers, eventually you just have to accept what people are doing with your product. That’s why we love this new ad from Pampers. They know babies make crazy faces when they poop, so their latest ad captures a few doing their business in glorious slow motion. Juxtaposed against Strauss’ epic composition “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” this piece had us laughing hysterically. I guess we like potty humor.

How You Access the World’s Biggest Dataset Using Think with Google

Every day, we are A/B tested, our behaviors logged, our clicks processed through algorithms, our locations turned into heatmaps; we are numbers to giant machines trying to understand our behaviors. What does all this data mean? What can it really tell us? Think with Google, a eloquent industry roundup of insights, trends and analysis, is trying to fill the gaps and share the vast dataset that is Google.

Whether you’re a non-profit looking for better ways to raise money or an ad agency in need of an edge on the next digital campaign, Google has hundreds of articles and insights to supercharge your next endeavor.

TWG-w-text

When Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, their mission statement was simple: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” influenced by the motto, “Don’t be evil.” In the 17 years of the company’s rise to the behemoth it is today, they have been living that motto, changing the world with product after product—offered for free or very little cost to the masses.

While many companies line their pockets selling data and metrics, Think with Google, just like the rest of Google’s offerings, if free of charge. They have tons of awesome videos and the insights in all of their content run across industries. And it’s not just Google geeks telling you what they think. Google is pulling together perspectives from leaders in all content categories, from restaurants, to automotive, to high-level statistical analysis—and it is good.

cookbook-calendar_infographics

See the larger pdf: cookbook-calendar_infographics

So, how can you use it?

Go to the Tools Page
Whether interested in something simple like the most trending YouTube videos or a detailed dig into consumer behavior when purchasing online, the tools page is an ever-growing list of valuable tools you can use to better understand society’s behaviors in the digital world. You can do learn about everything from search trends for recipes by month to what it takes to make an unskippable ad. TWG lets you get into Google’s head—and as with most of Google, it is overwhelming how much there is to dig into.

Browse Content By Platform
Content on TWG is very well organized. It can be browsed by industry category, but, more importantly, you can look for content based on a specific platform. Want to see what Google has regarding mobile interface? Looking for a better way to engage on social? Find it here. This is a great way to not get stuck in your industry rut and see what other forward-thinkers are doing with new technology.

Learn About Google Products You Should Be Using
Whether a deeper dig into Google analytics or an introduction to AdSense, TWG gives you insights on both what their offerings can do and how other people are using those offerings. It’s not everyday that a company gives you this level of resources to get more out of their products.

Inspire Your Creativity
With different series of articles showcasing awesome work in creative industries, TWG has tons of great ideas to help get those creative juices flowing. Click on the creative tab to see the latest.

TWG is geared toward marketers, but a quick glance is interesting for anybody who wants to learn more about what’s happening on the Web.

The Easy Way (and the Hard Way) to Make a GIF from a Video

Animated GIFs have been around since CompuServe introduced them in 1987. Since then they’ve been used for everything from MySpace glitter graphics (uggg…), to sweet dance clips, and some really refined cinemagraphs like the one above. While GIFs are everywhere, it’s only a small section of the internet that makes them – so let’s look at two ways you can make a GIF.

A Single Day on the London Tube Condensed Into a 2-minute Visualization

Everyday an average of 3.5 million people ride the London tube. Where is everyone going, and when are the busiest times? Developer Will Gallia was curious to see it visualized, so he gathered a day’s worth of data and created a timelapse visualization. 

What’s the Most Popular Girl’s Name? This Video Tracks Their Evolution from 1880 to 2013

From Anna, to Jennifer and Isabella, the popularity of different girl names is always in flux. But what’s in a name? As this bubble chart animation illustrates, there’s a lot of cultural significance to how we name our girls. It tracks the changing favor of different names in America from all the way back in 1880 up to 2013. And while one name may hold the top position for a decade or two, parents are always swaying between following tradition and choosing something different or modern – eventually even the most popular names fall from the spotlight.

Skaters Build a Railroad Riding Half-Pipe & Rowboat Ramp in the Latest Film From Zenga Bros.

You might recall the Zenga Bros. from their energy charged, nostalgia inducing film Ski Boys (and if you haven’t seen it yet, I’m envious). Now they’re back with a new short that’s equally enthralling. They worked with a load of skaters to create imaginatively artistic mobile skate ramps like you’ve never seen before. One is a railroad-traveling half-pipe with a conductors cabin on either end. Just roll it down the rails for a different view.

2014 Gravity Glue Highlight Reel: Watch Michael Grab In Motion

One of our favorite artists to cover uses nothing more than the rocks found in an area to make nature even more beautiful. Michael Grab, with his phenomenal rock balancing abilities, has garnered much internet attention. His works, which are collectively called Gravity Glue, look impossible, but this series of videos show him in action. The first, which is a highlight reel of some of his best works of 2014 is set to the hypnotic, inspirational voice of Alan Watts. It’s a perfect match for the process.