Minimal design misconceptions

After 2010 we witnessed “minimal” or “flat” design becoming the cool and hip trend all around. We’ve seen flattened brands and products (like below), flat websites, flat apps and more. The world has suddenly stopped being round and became flat, just as some suspected it is a long time ago.

corn flakes minimal redesign

Minimal became the new hip. At first Microsoft pushed the idea with their redesigned Windows interface of flat, colourful tiles and clear typography. Google created their own “minimal” style with a small touch of shadows and transparencies here and there, and Apple followed suit with iOS 7 redesign. That way minimal and flat took over the world.

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Watch this now: Font Men at SXSW 2014

Font Men SXSW 2014

A short, 6 minute film about two guys – Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones – who designed a lot of fonts that we know, love and use daily. It’s interesting to see bits and pieces of their process, with a nice, warm narrative to the whole thing. Definitely worth a watch if you’re into design or typography (or both).

Font Men – SXSW 2014 Official Selection from dress code on Vimeo.

Apple posts design tips for developers

apple design tips

We recently raised the subject of how most apps don’t really look like the design when they are developed, and here comes Apple to the rescue! ;) The developers are generally lazy when it comes to implementation and believe that if it displays (in any way) then their job is done. They don’t care about margins, spacing, platform rules and ui paradigms. No, they are the mighty app developers, a rather small elite among other devs, so they don’t lower themselves down to implement things perfectly or to worry about how the information is presented.

Apple has published a set of rules and guidelines (a short one still, but always something) to educate developers about some basic mistakes they do. Let’s just hope they’ll start rejecting crap-design apps from now on, because a warning is only meaningful when it’s a threat.

Forget Flappy Bird clones! Dotpocalypse is out!

Dotpocalypse iOS arcade game

We are happy to announce our second, free iOS game called Dotpocalypse (press release image attached). It’s a simple, minimal arcade game that’s all about how fast and accurate you are with your fingers. The only thing that matters is skill and dexterity. Oh and technique too. The game adjusts to your speed, so the faster you are, the higher you score – some players can do insane, inhuman combos because of that. Check it out at:


HYPE4 + ManBat team!

This couldn’t be more true


In our industry there’s always the notion of finding someone cheaper to do the job. Be it a designer, a programmer or a copywriter, cheap is always best. Most companies with that attitude don’t take into account the fact, that usually cheap ends up being poor. We have done a lot of web and mobile projects over the last few years (design only), and while on the web about 50% is coded very close to the design, on mobile it was only five or six apps, one of which is the game we did internally. Why is this happening? The main reason is probably the fact that a lot of developers don’t really have any visual sense, to the extent of not recognising the differences between a nice design and a crappy one that’s falling apart. The other part is their laziness, coming from the fact that they did all that super-hard-to-learn coding and it sort of works, so it’s fine.

It’s not.

Startups especially should take an approach where crap-coding is eliminated as soon as possible. It’s possible by either educating the developers (some of them just need a little push), or doing very detailed audits by the designer, of the finished product. But that’s added cost so for most companies it’s not “worth” it. And those companies end up with a product like in the above image.

We are a design company and we try our best to do awesome designs, but unfortunately we can’t control the developers. It’s time to make our own devs then in our secret lair inside a volcano. Or educate the current ones with ebooks or lectures. Whichever is easiest ;)
We already helped some mobile developers achieve that, but new projects bring us in touch with new developers and we haven’t encountered new ones that already had visual quality of what they code in mind. Maybe someday…