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Inspiration

We absolutely love the low poly illustration style of Timothy J. Reynolds and have been using it as one of our inspirations for Shapeways.

Only wish we could hire him to do all our stuff!

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Where are we now?!

A lot has changed here at Shapeways and the Design Team is no exception. We’re growing, getting strong, faster, able to kill a man with one punch. 

Last December I posted some ideas of how to make Shapeways better and I think some 8 months later we are finally achieving this goal. We’ve added 2 awesome members to our Team and have another about to join. This has enabled us to give the focus to problem areas that we couldn’t before.

Our brand continues to evolve and really embody the core values of Fun, Personal, Enabling, and Inspiring. I for one am really excited to continue to see how we make the next year amazing for Shapeways.

Who are the people who make this possible?

Anthony (me) - Senior Interaction Designer

Trey - Interaction Designer

Emily - Interaction Designer

Ryan - Interaction Designer

Henrik - Director of UX

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Shapeways Holiday Party Was Last Night…

Feeling a bit off.

upside down

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2012 in Numbers Infographic

Infographic I’ve done for our end of year stats. I decided to go with a dark background to really make the numbers stand out.

Shapeways 2012 Year in Review 

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Out of the woods?

We’ve hacked away at the big picture stuff and now we’re focused on tweaking the small stuff along with really bringing the brand together visually.

But, as you might expect there’s still a ton of stuff that needs to be edited or better yet just all together killed. Something like this gem: http://www.shapeways.com/creator/full_color_photoshaper

The way I see it, we have 2 goals: 1. Improve on big picture tickets like Discoverability, upload, community sharing and shop tools. 2. Sweat the small stuff. Really make the site uber polished and as shiny as a new born baby’s ass.

The next few months will be interesting.

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Divs upon divs upon divs upon tables upon…

One of the maddening things about the rebrand was sifting through all the countless empty divs and or tables that lived in the code. It was almost like you stepped into an MC Escher painting. Every turn lead to another looping maze of empty divs or tables.

<div class="holy-crap-wtf-fml"></div>

We’re still dealing with a lot of this old code, but have managed to do some significant slaying so far.

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Our journey begins…

One of the most difficult aspects of rebranding a company or website is where to begin. How do you establish that base of information that leads you down the path of unearthing the beautiful butterfly from it’s old cocoon? Some of it may be obvious, but I’ve found it to be extremely helpful in avoiding more headaches than necessary when rebranding.

1. Establish core values

These words or phrases are the very heart of your brand. In the case of a rebrand, these values may already been established, but it’s important to reiterate, revisit and let them be your guide. If something your working on doesn’t meet the criteria it doesn’t belong.

2. Your logo should tell a story

One of the hardest parts about creating a new logo for Shapeways was how do I express the  idea without screaming WE DO 3D PRINTING in a clunky way. You can see here some of the process that started trying to yell 3D and how they just didn’t work. In part because Shapeways may not be just 3D printing in the future. It may be other things like laser cutting, brick laying or lion taming, who knows.

Shapeways Logo Process

What it did need to convey was the future of how people could make ideas a reality. And that’s not easy to say with a simple logo. But once I told the story of the spark being your idea, the future, possibilities, it all came together and made sense for everyone who saw it for the first time.

Final Shapeways Logo

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Come All Ye Slayers

This site is dedicated to documenting our process in redesigning shapeways.com. The name stems from the existing color palette. It’s a drab blue that makes us feel kinda depressed. It’s Sad Dolphin. Like so.

Our goal is to reinvigorate the look and feel along with making the site a much better experience for the user. So make sure your armor is strong and your blades are sharp. We have a dolphin to slay.