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November 27, 2010 / kaigani

My week this week (27 Nov 2010)

Blogging is back!  You heard it here first.  

I thought I’d get back into blogging more regularly by posting these weekly updates, because some things can’t be neatly summarised in a 140-character Twitter update.


Royal Mail Redesign

I’ve been working with the team at Proximity London for a few months now on the Royal Mail redesign.  Proximity was recently responsible for a refresh of the look & feel (which I wasn’t involved in) – and they brought me in to work on the next phase of the project which is a complete overhaul of Royal Mail’s front and back-end.  Royal Mail haven’t changed their website infrastructure in over 5 years, and the plan is to build something that will support them for the next 5 from both a technology standpoint as well as in creating their next generation user experience.

I was also surprised and impressed to see that the plan is to build the new site in Drupal. Score one for the open source community.


This ‘ecosystem’ is one of the deliverables I’ve been working on for Royal Mail. It illustrates the entry points, user behaviours, system response, and interaction with the Royal Mail teams.  I’ll try to create some new diagrams with the same concepts but in a different format, without client-specific information, because it contains concepts that can be applied to many user experience design projects.

Not that I have very much free time, but I don’t get to scratch the brand identity and graphic design itch on my main project, so I’ve been working on a side project for my girlfriend.  

She’s an actress, who until now, had been relying on casting websites and IMDB as her primary means of self-promotion.  These sites, however, don’t give her the flexibility to present her credits and acting portfolio exactly as she would like– so she’s in need of a website where she can post her latest news, images and YouTube videos.

The concept for the visual identity came naturally from Helen’s interest in 50s-era imagery, along with the current buzz around shows like Mad Men, and her recent casting as a 1950s housewife in Joe Worricker’s Finger Waggers music video – a look & feel referencing the 1950s advertisements made a lot of sense for her personal branding.

I’ve come up with a few visual concepts for the website (above) as I try to beat WordPress into submission. 


Courvoisier Special Reporter – @CVSR1

and the blog:

I’ve been running the Twitter account @CVSR1 on behalf of Courvoisier for their sponsorship of The Daily Show in the UK on More4. I’ve been helping out with their social media strategy to engage with new audiences on Twitter and through The Daily Show Backstory Blog

In thinking about how Courvoisier can add value to the conversation in a dialogue with The Daily Show audiences, I came up with the concept for the blog as a valuable resource and jumping-off point for further discussion about the show.

Oxidant is also desperately in need of some design love.  And a website refresh to make it more robust than a single landing page.  

I decided it’s time to leave the Sapient red and white influences behind and move on to a new colour palette– one that I find more complex, mature and a little bit whimsical.

For an idea of where I’m going with the identity, check out the work of Bob Staake.  I’m heavily influenced by constructivist and modernist posters of the 20s, 30s and 40s.  Staake’s work is similarly influenced, and I like his modern approach.  In fact, if I could get him to do the artwork, that would be a dream come true.  He doesn’t seem all that busy.  New Yorker, new schmorker.



Hope your week has been as much fun as mine has — Thanks for reading! 

One Comment

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  1. Michael Litman / Nov 27 2010 12:32 pm

    Nice Kai, real nice.

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