I’ve long wondered about setting up a cooperative with someone who has complimentary skills to mine, and a conversation with Brian Suda last year cemented it. Brian’s skills extend way, way beyond development, as his book ‘Designing with Data’ attests. Together, as oxvik we can provide a wide range of services. It’s not a brand new company, and we both keep our respective businesses running. Think of it as a different store entrance, one that might bring in people who wouldn’t normally find us.
Being known for a speciality, in my case ‘the icon designer’, has some advantages, but it also has the danger of being typecast. The majority of my work in the last 10 years has been UX design, although the nature of it has meant that it’s not always possible to show in a portfolio. People are suprised that I work on more than just icons and logos. So in a sense, this is an experiment to see if this is a solution to that.
At the moment, the oxvik website is a simple one-page affair, as that is all it needed. So it was especially heart warming to get this comment from Ethan Marcotte on Twitter:
Oh. Oh my. The site for weareoxvik, hicksdesign and briansuda’s new studio, is one of the lovelier responsive designs I’ve seen in some time.https://t.co/3BFiaIPO2G— Responsive Design (`RWD) October 20, 2018
Here are a couple of notes about the site:
We’re both fans of the UK shipping forecast, a curious BBC Radio 4 institution that has become weaved into popular culture. I highly recommend this podcast episode of 99% Invisible if you want to learn more. So we mapped the area halfway between Oxford and Reykjavik - a part of the North Sea called Oxvik, which has been ignored by the shipping forecast.
In terms of identity, our logo is kept deliberately simple as a self-contained wordmark, but with an umlaut that isnt actually an umlaut to represent the two of us. Imagine one of us waving with their leg at 45º! I’m a big fan of short, simple, self-contained logotypes, without the need for a seperate mark.
Early on, I sketched ideas for an ‘Oxvik character’ (below), but decided against this approach:
Instead, the shipping forecast theme was extended into the artwork, using iPad Pro and Pencil in Adobe Draw to create the wave illustrations.
Availability Forecast: Fair to Good
We have availability from Mid-November onward, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to talk to you about your project! Or veer to Twitter @WeAreOxvik for moderate updates and occasional showers.