They say ocean swells travel in sets of 5 to 7 waves and I was very fortunate to catch the first wave of the digital design set. In 1990 the combined power of the desktop computer revolution and the partnership with my wife Denise gave me the confidence and business savvy to open the first all-digital design firm in Philly. And it is the successive technology waves from Adobe and others that have sustained us through 25 years. Ride along with our story and experience some of the history of digital design,
25 Years of Marcolina Design
The ebb and flow of technology influencing the creative process
the perfect 5 wave set
tap the arrow to the right
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Or a Short History of Digital Design
As an example of a "next wave" design tool we built this experiance with one of the best emerging cloud-based publishing systems called Ceros, which blends web and print based logic into beautiful, interactive media that plays well on all screens. Tap for more info
Some of our early illustration work printed on the Kodak printer
SET WAVE NUMBER ONE
Marcolina Design is one of the industry's premiere digital print design studios. Their fresh solutions demostrate that they are not encumbered by software-instead, they design concepts with unlimited imagination.
Photoshop offically launched the same year we went into business. For their 20th anniversary Adobe asked us to produce this playful, LIVE magical presentation - 2010 a Photoshop ODDyssey. Skim through the video you won't regret it!
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In 1993 we helped Letraset develop the first ever "picture font" called Fontek Design Fonts. Additionally we created branded materials, including catologs posters, packaging, and ads.
The first wave was desktop publishing. I was lucky to have eight years of traditional design and typographic training where I learned the 'hands on' craft of design. This conditioned me to all of desktop publishing's little quirks like kern pairs and color separations. But it was Adobe Photoshop that really got us noticed. Of course you really had to be psycho to attempt the things we were doing in early 1990, as PS had no undos, no layers, and took 20 minutes to apply one filter… all while only being able to save a very low res 1 to 2 MB file. And since there was no Internet you couldn’t share creations with anyone, so you had to figure it out all on your own. Also there was no way of showing clients what you had created to anyone unless you carried your computer to their office. In our case, we were so excited about the images we were creating, we bought a military-grade satellite imaging printer for $15,000. It literally changed the trajectory of our business. It gave us beautiful 12 inch square die sublimation prints that we could mail and show in our portfolio to spread the word about our work. Our samples and interviews ended up on many early Photoshop install disks and design magazines like Graphis and Communication Arts. Mostly because we were mad enough and persistent enough to explore what was possible with that slow lo-res technology.
Various Print 1991-1999
Graphis Magazine 1994
Screens from Discovery's PowerPresenter from 1995
Virtual Gallery Project Done in Aurasma
Interactive Awards From 1994
Russell Brown, Adobe Senior Art Director
FOX Sports Preso Done In SlideRocket
SlideRocket, now owned by ClearSlide, grew out of our Discovery Channel project. Some of my favorite interactive presentations are show below. Tap each to view.
I have seen many digital design firms work but there are very few I have recommended. The MDI team have a great design sense married with an expert use of electronic tools. They cross mediums from print to interactive to motion very well and thus represent a good example the New Designer
Personal Project Done In SlideRocket
The second wave was interactive and we created our first CD-ROM before CD-ROM drives were even in computers and an external CD burner cost $1200. Again, by allowing our design passion to drive early adoption of new tech, the disc we created, called Digital Dexterity, won awards all over the place and a year later landed us a major deal with Discovery. The interactive sales tool we created for them in Macromedia/Adobe Director 2.0 was a big challenge, but ended up being very successful and actually morphed 15 years later into an online product known as SlideRocket which is now owned by ClearSlide.
SET WAVE NUMBER TWO
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Through this interactive work for Discovery Channel, we had to learn to produce mock-up TV titles for proposed shows. Thanks to a compression technology called Cinepac (which became Quicktime), and the first viable video software called Adobe Premiere we began to ride the third wave: motion graphics. Over the years we've done titles for many networks TV programs and films along with corporate video for trade shows. Now that the web is increasing in bandwidth, video is become much more integrated into our site design, not simply as an inset player on a page, but also organically entwined with the design's interface, as shown below.
The Lightroom mobile keynote video was some serious eye candy & Marcolina beautifully captured an evolving concept on a tight schedule
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Video used as interface elements for MacWorld websites 2013 and 2014
TV Titles 2004 - 2006
Frames from the Photoshop World keynote video introducing Lightroom Mobile. Done in our with our favorite Motion tool Adobe After Effects.
SET WAVE NUMBER THREE
Tom Hogarty, Adobe
SET WAVE NUMBER FOUR
Mary Nakahara, VMware
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Marcolina Site From 2002
Responsive VMware site Legacy websites sampler Responsive Business Wire site
All the above prepped us the for the fourth wave that no one saw coming, but changed the world in just a few short years: the Internet and web design. The worlds very first online site went live in 1991. Our URL www.marcolina.com went up in 1992. One of our first web jobs was to design the interface graphics for the Compuserve site which soon became AOL. But when Macromedia/Adobe Flash was released in 1996 we could really exercise our skills in layout, image creation, animation... opening up a whole new realm. Fortunately though, we always kept busy with print, illustration, and video work because when the Internet bubble burst in 2001 we had enough other work to offset a disaster. Through the early 2000s we leveraged our unique experience with this wide range of media and offered what we called a Design Ecosystem of print, interactive, and video to our clients.
You captured a highly technical process and then produced a demo website & tablet App that really blew the socks off our own solution architects. VMware Marketing
We created interface graphics for early Compuserve / AOL websites
MicroSoft called the book "The world's first truly interactive book" Tap to See
We are excited to be among the first up on this new wave. Our early involvement saw us working closely with Adobe product managers and software engineers to shape the digital publishing workflow. This early ground-level experience has given us an intimate knowledge of the platform and inspired us to push the edge in digital publishing, recently winning a Webby Award, an Art Directors Award, and Adobe Adweek Publishing award. Our apps have been downloaded by over 200,000 people in over 80 countries. Akin to the possibilities in mobile/tablet publishing is the ability to create images with mobile devices. These app processing possibilities have reinvigorated my love for photography and visual experimentation. I got the opportunity to author the first book on the subject called iPhone Obsessed from Peachpit Press. Additionally, my four iTunes eBooks on the subject have been called the best creative resource for discovering the art of iPhoneography. There is so much to discover about this new digital workflow. I love sharing techniques and have lectured widely in Apple stores and other venues across the country.
The Motorola Android tablet App done by Marcolina Design is one of the best tools I have seen for demoing a product for a long time and a great case study in the power of Digital Publishing.
We were given a US Patent on a 5 finger Multitouch Method we devised while designing the UI for one of Adobe's first tablet apps called Eazel see them all tap here.
Paul Nicholson, Motorola Global Marketing
Mobile Design From 2010
SET WAVE NUMBER FIVE
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The Human face of Big Data App get it now Tap Here
And just as I began to wonder when the next wave of opportunity would appear, the fifth wave in the set quietly welled up on the horizon thanks to Apple. Touch-based mobile and tablet design was born! Each turn of our business has grown organically out of our previous work. As we start our 25th year, we have come full circle – a new set of tools including Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite are helping us combine these three skills – print, interactive, and video, for the first time – and showcase them all on one self-contained surface, the iPad. The “Second Screen” (tablet/phone) is driving design possibilities. The limitations of bandwidth and the restricted use of Adobe Flash have thrown designers into the dark ages, where bells and whistles can no longer compensate. Now it is back to basics, with well-thought-out concepts executed in a smartly designed, highly usable, and touchable way.
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Our New Location From 2015
THE NEXT WAVE
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We have been fortunate to catch each set wave at just the right peak. The downside of having always been on this bleeding edge is the lack of a knowledge-base to help you navigate forward. What has driven us is the real joy we get from the creation of concepts and exploiting the latest digital tools to bring brand stories to life in fresh and unexpected ways. The confidence to drop in on each set wave comes not only from having the right tools and conditioning but from sharing the excitement with our small, inspired and talented team of coworkers. Also, it is the collaboration and trust of our clients like Business Wire, Adobe and GTE Sprint that have allowed us to drive deeper on each turn. Our workflow has become intuitive and inventive as a result of all we’ve learned in digital design over the past 25 years. Thus, we can render print, web, video and tablet solutions fluidly and economically. For me, the rush of forging unique visual experiences with the new mobile and cloud-based design tools reminds me of my first year in business, when I would literally run to my desk to see where I could take an idea. I look forward to seeing where we can go together. Tap Here to see our Design Adventure Series of virtual postcards. This ongoing series shows off what we are currently working on. And stop by for a Cappuccino at our new state-of-the art office in a renovated 100-year-old one room schoolhouse in Ambler, PA
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Our New Contact Info:
Marcolina Design Inc 311 Lindenwold Ave Ambler Pa 19002 215.840.3355 firstname.lastname@example.org www.marcolina.com