When Massimo Biolcati, the creator of the most successful chord sheets and improv practice app on the App Store, first approached me about redesigning his app iReal b — originally titled iReal Books in an homage to the famous jazz "Real Books" bootleg chord books — I had my concerns, despite our clearly shared passions. As anyone at Facebook knows, the smallest changes can frustrate large and vocal percentages of users. Ground-up app redesigns often leave room for competitors to pick up users quickly — or at least a sour taste sewing the future possibility. The app already had 4 stars and over 250,000 happy users.
Despite its default iOS interface styles and intensely complicated features — one screen had over 25 buttons — we worked tirelessly to rethink the application from the beginning, exploring many ideas and visual styles, as shown here.
Our goal was simplicity, and when iOS 7 was shown months before our planned ship date, we quickly adjusted our designs to feel "at home" in the new iOS. As we'd already anticipated the cleaner, flatter, and multi-layered world of iOS 7, this turned out to be a matter of simply removing a few textures and tweaking iconography style.
The app debut was a smashing success, and it has since re-launched on Android and OS X desktop. It enjoys 4.5 to 5 star reviews across the board, growing a passionate user base over 150% since the complete suite redesign, rebranding, and new name we executed together.
Here I'll walk you through some of our early wireframes, mockups, and final designs.
Designed while Creative Director of 10 Speed Labs
Launch Website at iRealPro.com
Check out the Apps on iOS, OS X, and Android App Stores
As a side gig, I directed the covers at Foreign Affairs from 2015-2018 during and beyond my time as Creative Director for 10 Speed Labs.
In the nearly three years since I've taken the role of cover creative direction for Foreign Affairs magazine, we've seen newsstand sales double, and subscriptions have grown by 50%. We've also dramatically reversed the tide of slowing subscription growth — a rarity in today's rapidly changing print publications market.
Awards and Recognition:
2016 Folio Eddie Award for Editorial Excellence, Best Full Issue, Consumer News for our September/October 2015 Issue "Obama's World: Judging His Foreign Policy Record"
2016 National Magazine Award Finalist for General Excellence
2015 National Magazine Award Finalist for General Excellence & Best Covers
Talent Hiring & Management
Illustrations by Various Artists, Including Self
Very proud to have worked with so many people around the world to create this online interactive Report Card on International Cooperation while Creative Director at 10 Speed Labs. We also did an amazing 60+ page printed book which I may share here someday.
Print Book Design
Designed with Ai Kurobe while we were both working at 10 Speed Labs
2010 - 2012
In addition to co-founding and serving as Chairman and Executive Director of the foundation, I designed the branding and oversaw our partnership with the award-winning Brooklyn Brothers in the creation of our Kickstarter video. I acquired the legal representation of legal powerhouse WilmerHale, incorporated the group as a 501c3, trademarked our brand, established a board of directors and nurtured relationships with the city's tourism and marketing department (NYCgo), the Times Square Alliance, fundraisers, advertising agency executives, media buyers, and arts organizations until August of 2012, when I resigned from my position as Chairman and Executive Director to focus on 10 Speed Labs' explosive growth.
Video with The Brooklyn Brothers
Designed with Ai Kurobe
Designed while working at 10 Speed Labs
Brooklyn Industries is a brand normally associated with images of Brooklynites around Brooklyn. But in 2007 and 2008, we explored their brand and marketing as a vehicle for meaningful cultural dialogue. They hired me with the intention of running campaigns that spoke to political issues they and their customers cared about. Whether exploring the idea of weaponizing our purchasing decisions, or celebrating everyone finding their little piece of nature in the city, we explored three strong seasons together and the idea that a brand can be more than a product or a service — it can be a bold and participatory voice in important societal discourse. It remains some of my favorite work.
From testing and pitching campaign concepts, to hiring and directing photographers, models, stylists, hair stylists, to retouching and designing the final campaign art, writing campaign copy, working with window designers for the in-store displays, merchandizers on in-store signage, and the web team on web marketing and the site itself, I worked on every aspect of campaign creative.
CONCEPTS & CREATIVE DIRECTION
CASTING & TALENT HIRING*
Illustrations with Chris Seabrooks
Copywriting with Stephen Fishbach
All work designed and directed while Creative Director at 10 Speed Labs