Scope: 006

Tags: links, industry, brandon, design, scope

Welcome to Scope, our new weekly collection of links from the Northern Ground team.

Each week we collaborate on a collection of things that we did, ate, watched, heard, read, learned or drank and present it for your enjoyment. Have feedback? Get in touch on Twitter at @brandonmorreale or @northernground.

Synth Digest(ion)
Ryan Janecek - Co-Founder, Strategy Leader

First, Synth Fest MKE is this weekend. Then, go buy a $59 Pocket Operator from Teenage Engineering because there is no good reason not to. Over breakfast this morning my 6-year old daughter and I were making tracks with my new OP-1. Apple products wish they had the design-gineering sex appeal and simultaneous no fucks given attitude of this thing. It looks like a Fischer Price toy but it's super deep and built like a brick of concrete - so if all else fails I can use it to bludgeon myself when I can't recreate that Joy Division sound. It's been around for years and still feels so fresh. Watching a cow's digestion system while tuning a synth engine is like, well, like cool shit.

I'm currently obsessed with making beats from NPR samples via the built-in FM tuner. This thing is portable, direct and 100% satisfying. My days are filled with e-mail and phones and meetings and decisions. At night I just feel like turning some knobs (yup) and working on a non-Internet connected piece of kit. Go make weird music.

404 Not Found
Jenni Madson - Content Manager

Everyone has hit a 404 page at one point or another in their Interweb surfing experience. This Tedtalk isn't new, but I ran across it this week and it reminded me of how every interaction someone has with a site matters for both the brand and the user - even when it's as innocuous as a page not found. It's particularly poignant in this industry, but outside of that I love when people get creative and turn a crappy experience into a kick ass one. "Little things, done right, matter. Well-designed moments build brands." Agreed TedTalk. Agreed.

Rodney Mullen in 360 Degrees
Mike Grunwald - Sr. Front End Developer

I never would've guessed I would see professional skateboarding news being reported by Vogue. This video is a bit mind blowing on several levels. Rodney's skating is insane. The photography, effects and editing are brilliant. Definitely one of those videos you can watch over and over and catch something new each time.

Bringing the World Online
Tim Grove - Sr. Technical Architect

If you haven't yet read about Facebook's Aquila project, you probably should, and it's been quite educating and fun to follow. The project's goal is to be able to bring parts of the world online, through solar-powered drones, and its first test flight results were just shared. Bringing parts of the world online that have never been, is quite an amazing vision and if successful, will have a profound global impact.

Midnight Marauder
Brandon Morreale - Art Director

When I was in college I worked at a small 10-screen regional movie theater. It not only helped usher in my love of film but also my love of movie posters; where a dozen of us would crowd around the pile of poster tubes when the mail arrived, hoping to get the newest limited-release one sheet. In the years since, alternative movie poster design has hit the mainstream, championed by print houses like Phantom City Creative and Mondo and their army of talented artists like Olly Moss, Ken Taylor and Tyler Stout. Most recently however, while searching for new posters I came across Midnight Marauder, a designer and art director based out of Los Angeles creating some of the best alternative (and official) movie posters I've seen in a long time. His(her?) posters have a wonderful vintage feeling to them, many rooted in 50s, 60s, and 70s typography with soft imagery. For a movie you've already seen, it may inspire an alternative perspective and for some you haven't, it may be more inviting with a twinge of nostalgia. I've always admired those who can take something that people identify with so strongly and make them rethink how they truly feel about just by studying an image. While we're on the subject, if anyone knows where to find this Frances Ha poster I'd be eternally grateful.

Portishead: Only You
Andi Woodward - Content Designer

As I was browsing through music videos on Vimeo this week, my mind trailed off into its own archives and reminded me of Portishead's video for their song "Only You." I was obsessed with this music video throughout my junior year of college (and apparently still am seeing how I find ways to bring it up all these years later). Directed by Chris Cunningham, who has worked with artists ranging from Bjork to Madonna, this video is hauntingly beautiful. The song, the footage shot underwater and all of its stunning colors and movement - it's just one of those videos you wish you could hang on your wall like a poster.

T3: Building a battery backup Pokedex for Pokemon Go!
Betty Allen - Content Producer

How can my link be about anything but Pokemon Go? Other than the new Ghostbusters, all I care about right now is Pokemon Go. Obviously I'm not the only person obsessed with Pokemon Go, and luckily other people are able to create awesome gadgets that enhance the experience. NPoole designed and 3D printed a portable phone charger that replicates a Pokedex. If you were a fan of the show growing up, you know that this is a big deal. With this device you can keep your phone charged up and look like a true trainer. I want one! Now I just need to understand how 3D printers work. (Also #teamvalor).