Blog

Digital experiences are powerful. They can defy the imagination create wonder and inspire endless possibilities. That’s why we love digital — and we want to share those experiences with you.

6D Podcast: Where we talk about the marriage of technology and design

A firm believer that strong design drives readership, extends brands and just plain makes a difference, Kat Topaz has redesigned hundreds of publications nationwide and repositioned countless brands to huge critical, and financial success. At 6D, Kat applies those same principles to the mobile space, working closely with UX and UI teams to design for every type of mobile strategy. With Kat’s large network of clients and ability to attract top tier talent, design is not an afterthought at 6D. It’s a driving force in the mobile experiences we create. ... READ MORE

6D Podcast: Where we talk about the marriage of technology and design

A firm believer that strong design drives readership, extends brands and just plain makes a difference, Kat Topaz has redesigned hundreds of publications nationwide and repositioned countless brands to huge critical, and financial success. At 6D, Kat applies those same principles to the mobile space, working closely with UX and UI teams to design for every type of mobile strategy. With Kat’s large network of clients and ability to attract top tier talent, design is not an afterthought at 6D. It’s a driving force in the mobile experiences we create. ... READ MORE

Adobe Edge Animate Tips & Tricks

*note that this works for both Digital Publishing Suite and .folio articles in Digital Publishing Solution. Adobe Edge Animate is an amazing piece of software that allows you to easily create interactive or non interactive motion graphics and animations. Along with Adobe After Effects, Edge is one of the most fun applications I get to use at work. Here I’ll go over how to put your Edge Animate content into DPS articles using InDesign, and some tips and tricks that I’ve found with my time using Edge Animate. This is Part 2 of my Tips & Tricks section. Y ... READ MORE

6D Podcast: Where we talk about the marriage of technology and design

Download the podcast Download--> A firm believer that strong design drives readership, extends brands and just plain makes a difference, Kat Topaz has redesigned hundreds of publications nationwide and repositioned countless brands to huge critical, and finan ... READ MORE

Adobe Edge Animate Tips & Tricks

*note that this works for both Digital Publishing Suite and InDesign created .articles in Digital Publishing Solution. Adobe Edge Animate is an amazing piece of software that allows you to easily create interactive or non interactive motion graphics and animations. Along with Adobe After Effects, Edge is one of the most fun applications I get to use at work. Here I’ll go over how to put your Edge Animate content into DPS articles using InDesign and some tips and tricks that I’ve found with my time using edge animate. How to insert HTML Content into DPS It’s a fairly simple process to put your edge content into adobe Digital Publishing Solution (DPS). When you save ou ... READ MORE

6D Podcast: Where we talk about the marriage of technology and design

Download the podcast Download--> A firm believer that strong design drives readership, extends brands and just plain makes a difference, Kat Topaz has redesigned hundreds of publications nationwide and repositioned countless brands to huge critical, and finan ... READ MORE

6D Podcast: Where we talk about the marriage of technology and design

Download the podcast Download--> A firm believer that strong design drives readership, extends brands and just plain makes a difference, Kat Topaz has redesigned hundreds of publications nationwide and repositioned countless brands to huge critical, and finan ... READ MORE

6D Reveals the New Thunder Plus app - Designed for the NBA basketball team, the Oklahoma City Thunder

A firm believer that strong design drives readership, extends brands and just plain makes a difference, Kat Topaz has redesigned hundreds of publications nationwide and repositioned countless brands to huge critical, and financial success. At 6D, Kat applies those same principles to the mobile space, working closely with UX and UI teams to design for every type of mobile strategy. With Kat’s large network of clients and ability to attract top tier talent, design is not an afterthought at 6D. It’s a driving force in the mobile experiences we create. ... READ MORE

6D Podcast: Where we talk about the marriage of technology and design

A firm believer that strong design drives readership, extends brands and just plain makes a difference, Kat Topaz has redesigned hundreds of publications nationwide and repositioned countless brands to huge critical, and financial success. At 6D, Kat applies those same principles to the mobile space, working closely with UX and UI teams to design for every type of mobile strategy. With Kat’s large network of clients and ability to attract top tier talent, design is not an afterthought at 6D. It’s a driving force in the mobile experiences we create. ... READ MORE

Designing for Mobile: Making the Jump from Print Designer - Part 3

Part 3 of 3: Quick Rules for Mobile Design Whenever I hear rules, I can’t help it, I want to break them. So I hesitate calling these rules. However, in our office, these are known as “Kat’s rules” Buttons: the actual touchable area must be 100 pixels by 100 pixels or larger. You can design it to be as small as you want, as long as the active button is 100 x 100. Type size: never smaller than 18pt. Consistency: Don’t use an arrow that means swipe on one page, but means tap on another page. Use icons and other visual cues to mean the same thing each time ... READ MORE

Designing for Mobile: Making the Jump from Print Designer - Part 2

Part 2 of 3: The Process After discovery with the client, the design process begins when Scott Landis and I sit down together. Our combo of designer and developer is key. Not because either one of us couldn’t do it solo, but because it is always stronger when we do it together. By mapping out the navigation together (wire framing), the designer/developer combo is a great way to have checks and balances. It is always helpful to have multiple points of view. In our case, we have very different perspectives. His is more as a digital native, and I am more of an immigrant. We are constantly battling/discussing how not to dumb down the app which insults the natives, while being ... READ MORE

Designing for Mobile: Making the Jump from Print Designer - Part 1

Part 1 of 3: Starting a Mobile Design Project I love publication design. I love the short timelines, small budgets, and all the elements that have to come together. I hate a blank canvas—too many possibilities. But the more restrictions, the more obvious the solution becomes. And when I do my job well, I can prove it. I can show my value, because there are measurable results. Proof. More magazines are sold, more readers, more advertisers. Even the velocity of pick up points to the success of the design. Designing for mobile is a publication designer’s dream. All the things I love are there: ... READ MORE

Stop Swiping

The Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) was first created as a way for magazine publishers to get their content onto the iPad. So it’s not a surprise, that swiping was built in as a way to get from article to article. Whether it was done to mimic flipping a page, or because it made it easy for publications to take their existing pages and port them over to the iPad, the end result is the same: bad user experience. The examples are everywhere. Arrows pointing down, pointing right. Don’t swipe back or you’ll find yourself at the end of an article, instead of the beginning. Or worse, you will find yourself in the middle of an article, making it difficult to know where you are. No ... READ MORE

Adobe DPS 101: For Print Designers Transitioning to Digital

Using the Adobe DPS (Digital Publishing Suite) to make a phone or tablet app is just like using any other product, it’s a tool. Strong creatives will be successful regardless of the tool they use. It is about how you use the tool. If you are not familiar with DPS, print designers love it because it allows you to create apps in InDesign. It allows designers to create and update apps without needing developers. That said html code can be added, as well as integrating a range of other programs and plugins, i.e. Edge Animate, After Effects, Salesforce . .  . Storycode began as a platform agnostic shop. A few years ago we made the d ... READ MORE

Designing in Different Languages

I am not a multilingual designing professional. In fact I would call myself a neophyte when it comes to designing for languages other than my native english. However, In the time I have spent designing across multiple languages I have observed some interesting challenges and solutions that brought up discussions around the office. While working on the Sotheby’s Anthology app we created an overview section for the entire app in seven different languages. We initially laid out each page in English, utilizing the majority of the page space with lots of breathing room for the text and images. This was all great until we started dropping in the text in different languages. Some languag ... READ MORE

Featured App: Durocher

Client: Artist Louise Durocher Use case: Portfolio Device: iPad Platform: Adobe DPS Folio size: 127MB Background: Trying to put Louise Durocher’s incredibly powerful work into words does not do it justice, yet the way she begins each sculpture is by doing just that. She writes a poem, the story of the piece, and then she begins. On the surface her work seems so varied, from marble to steel to plexiglass to pencil and paper. However, each piece, large or small, shares a deep emotion that is undeniable. Louise is much like that too. Working ... READ MORE

Featured App: Semicon

Client: Greater Portland Inc Use case: Trade Show Tool Device: iPad Platform: Adobe DPS Folio size: 4MB Background: This summer Storycode helped Greater Portland Inc (GPI) add another folio to their growing list of digital sales enablement and marketing tools. The latest piece was used to inform computer and electronics manufacturers about the Greater Portland region during the Semicon trade show in San Francisco. This was the first time GPI used iPads at a trade show to help them sell the strengths of the region. Their driving force: the overwhelmi ... READ MORE

What we learned at PePcon

Last month Scott and I spoke at PePcon in Chicago. It was our first time attending this Publishing and e-Publishing conference. Anne-Marie Concepción and David Blatner have done an amazing job creating this completely sold out InDesign specific conference. A constant theme we heard was how many creatives have been charged with turning their print material into engaging and interactive digital publications. It was exciting to see just how wide the use cases are spreading. We saw many examples of corporate communication, catalogues, presentation tools, programs and portfolios from all sizes of businesses. However, seeing how many creatives were expe ... READ MORE

Q&A with Kat Topaz

Excerpts from PNCA design students asking Kat Topaz how she made the transition from Print to Mobile, March 2014   Describe your change from print design to mobile? I wasn’t looking to change. I love publication design. My entire career has been about publication design one way or another – either as an art director, or creating/redesigning magazines, newspapers, annual reports or setting up templates and production processes to be successful. I love working with writers, photographers, illustrators and printers. Some of it is the rush of the short deadlines and small budgets which can produce some of the most creative solutions. But a big part is ... READ MORE

Best Practices for Button Sizes

Recently, I started a discussion in the Adobe Digital Publishing group on LinkedIn about best practices for button size for all mobile devices. This stemmed from a project we are currently working on where we are taking an existing tablet app and recreating it for iPhon ... READ MORE

Power of Design

Today there was a lot of talk around our office about the look of iOS7.  It leaves me with the same feeling of overstimulation as I feel in a mall  —  with too many bright colors, too many sounds, too many flashing lights, all fighting for you attention. As we debated iOS7′s design success, I kept hearing the argument that I’d “get used to it”. In contrast, tonight I treated myself to reading the latest issue of National Geographic on the iPad. It was a treat to enjoy a magazine when I wasn’t distracted. As I went through the issue (from front to back, something else I don’t do often) a tear ran down my face. I had become so deeply engaged, that ... READ MORE