Impact through substance, utility, and beauty

A look back at our 15-year journey to impact people’s lives positively through design and engineering.

2018 marks our 15 year anniversary, and we’re enjoying our reflection on the incredible journey it’s been thus far. Early on, we embarked on a mission to plan, create, and grow digital products with utility and substance, designed to improve life. We didn’t want to be just another digital agency; we had to do it with soul. We must be an agent for change—applying design and engineering to a productive end—to make the Internet an extension of our lives, our work, and our ambitions, not a distraction from it.

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Remembering Arnaud Mercier

Remembering Arnaud Mercier

Arnaud Mercier and Audrey Templier at the Slash Magazine launch party (June 2011)

Six years ago, we lost our dear friend and partner Arnaud Mercier. Widely considered to be among the most important and prolific digital designers, his memory lives on through the work and hearts of the innumerable designers he inspired.

A year after his death, we created a tribute to Arnaud and his work – a permanent online collection bringing together over 2000 images. His influential body of work from 1999-2011 is an incredible time capsule of pioneering digital design and continues to be salient today.

arnaud.area17.com


Archiving every pixel from 2003-2017

Since our early days, we’ve kept a public archive of most projects we’ve designed, a collection of used, unused, and refused work. It contains nearly every pixel we’ve pushed since 2003 and is not curated. Today we’ve updated it with works from 2015-2017.

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A family reunion of used, unused and downright refused logos

A family reunion of used, unused and downright refused logos

We like logos – making them, looking at them and taking them on long walks on sunny afternoons in the park. Please don’t laugh, it’s unkind.

The process of exploring a symbol for someone or something presents so much potential. The road is clear, the sky is blue and the options are many. Creativity abounds, imagination runs wild and our electrons and neurons bounce around in an ever changing free-for-all that would make quantum theorists proud.

And then, the dreaded day comes, the selection process. One by one, the mark flecked, the seal splotched, the stamp smeared, the emblem blotched. One by one specked, stained and smudged until the one—that one—stands out.

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Choosing a 3rd party service without losing your shirt

Choosing a 3rd party service without losing your shirt

Segment enables you to collect customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing.

As digital product engineers, there are a few over-riding principles that govern our work. As an agency, one of the most critical of these is “build once, use many times.” Using existing building blocks for standard features allows us to develop rapidly while leaving budget for the innovative features that will actually differentiate our clients’ product.

In many cases, these building blocks are part of our own arsenal of code, standardized for reuse. In other cases, we evaluate 3rd party services that allow us to introduce production-ready features without the expense of developing and maintaining them.

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Five Things Your Interactive Agency Should Be Doing for You

Five Things Your Interactive Agency Should Be Doing for You

This article was originally published on Adage.com as the first in a three-part series authored by AREA 17’s leadership team.

Is your interactive agency doing everything in its power to make your projects — and business — successful? How do you know? Whether you’ve just hired your interactive agency or have had a relationship for years, you may wonder if you’ve made the right choice. With digital budgets increasing year after year, it’s a question worth considering.

Here are five things to look for to make sure an agency is truly right for your organization.

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Syncing Data Between Web Services

Why build something when their is a web services for it? Over the years, more and more web services have offered the ability to add functionalities to the apps we create so that we can focus on the core business. But in doing so, we often find ourselves in a situation where our data is spread across multiple services.

Syncing data manual is tedious and doing direct API integration takes time away from working on the core services of the apps we create. And when we want to sync data between two web services, direct integration is not an option. Until now….

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This is your brain

I just discovered this gaming site that intends to improve your brain health and performance. According to the website, “Lumosity partners with researchers at Berkeley, UCSF, Harvard, and Columbia, among other prestigious universities. We also work with numerous health care organizations to provide cognitive training services.”

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Brands shouldn’t be afraid of social media

We speak about the future of “interactive advertising” and the question always comes down to technology. But here is an example of a truly interactive advertising campaign that is part of a two-way conversation on Facebook.

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Pulse redesign

Pulse redesign

There’s a new Pulse in town and it looks pretty good with news reimagined by none other than Internet Explorer.

Looks like “Tablet Web” is the new black. Sometimes it is overdone and becomes a crazy experience (too much cool) but in some cases it is just enough and the user experience is focused and simple. What I love most? No right column for the sake of right columns!


Testing retina graphics on non-HiDPI displays

If you have OS X Lion installed, there’s a small trick that will allow you to switch to HiDPI resolution display modes. It doesn’t work on the MacBookAir because the screen is too small and the resolution will drop below the minimum required resolution for HiDPI. It works on a MacBook Pro but the maximum HiDPI resolution you can get is 720×450. However if you are on an iMac or have a display with higher resolutions, then this trick should do the trick.

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Business development manifesto

Here’s a compilation of many emails between Arnaud Mercier, Dominique Deriaz, Kemp Attwood, Andrew Ackerman and myself on the subject of business development within our company.

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Creating a tribute to Arnaud Mercier

Creating a tribute to Arnaud Mercier

In memory of Arnaud Mercier who passed away on the 26th of September 2011, AREA 17 launches a permanent online exhibition dedicated to his work.

Last year when our dear friend and collaborator passed away, we decided to do a tribute to him and his work. There was a lot of information about Arnaud Mercier on the web, but there was no place to see all of his work in one place. We wanted to gather all of his designs to show the breadth of his work and give people a chance to get to know the designer a bit more on a personal level.

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Welcome to the Optical Cortex

Welcome to the Optical Cortex

The name of our agency AREA 17 refers to the Optical Cortex of the brain where visual data is received, patterns are recognized and images are formulated. As a company, we have used the term Optical Cortex as an internal code for our ideas, process and methodology, including the challenges we encounter, the tools we use and the work that inspires us.

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