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More or less a year to the day from announcing it, we (BERG) are shipping the first BERGcloud product, Little Printer.

What’s more it’s shipping to paying customers in Europe and the USA from a supply chain system we set up for SVK in beautifully-designed packaging we crafted in-house.

I didn’t really have any involvement in the project – I mainly work on our consulting gigs that enable us to invest in our our product development – but I’m still enormously proud to have been included in this company photo a year ago when we celebrated the announcement.


^ photo by timo

And, even though I’m not in the studio at the moment, I’m super-pleased for them all today as the first products wend their way from warehouses to their new owners.

Wall of BERG

“In the next report I submitted, I suggested that the term ‘logogram’ was a misnomer because it implied that each graph represented a spoken word, when in fact the graphs didn’t correspond to our notion of spoken words at all. I didn’t want to use the term ‘ideogram’ either because of how it had been used in the past; I suggested the term ‘semagram’ instead.

It appeared that a semagram corresponded roughly to a written word in human languages: it was meaningful on its own, and in combination with other semagrams could form endless statements. We couldn’t define it precisely, but then no one had ever satisfactorily defined ‘word’ for human languages either. When it came to sentences in Heptapod B, though, things became much more confusing. The language had no written punctuation: it’s syntax was indicated in the way the semagrams were combined, and there was no need to indicate the cadence of speech. There was certainly no way to slice out subject-predicate pairings neatly to make sentences. A ‘sentence’ seemed to be whatever number of semagrams a heptapod wanted to join together; the only difference between a sentence and a paragraph, or a page, was size.

When a Heptapod B sentence grew fairly sizeable, its visual impact was remarkable. If I wasn’t trying to decipher it, the writing looked like fanciful praying mantids drawn in a cursive style, all clinging to each other to form an Escheresque lattice, each slightly different in its stance. And the biggest sentences had an effect similar to that of psychedelic posters: sometimes eye-watering, sometimes hypnotic.”

- “Story of your life“, Ted Chiang

This week we became BERG.
This is BERG.

Wall of BERG

Max Gadney, originally uploaded by moleitau.

I was fortunate enough to work with Max from 1997-1999 right at the beginning of BBC News Online, one of the hardest and funniest times I’ve had in my life.

He’s still at the BBC commissioning and cultivating interesting new formats for online stuff, but he has another life where he creates some lovely blends of comics illustration and infographics for WW2 magazine.

On his blog he also goes into great depth on the decisions and techniques he employs in the creation of the pieces, for instance, this one.

It’s a fabulous resource for those interested in narrative infographics, not least because Max is completely honest about what he thinks has and hasn’t worked.

He’s both exploring what’s possible with some fantastic work and learning in front of us.

Lovely.

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Apart from Kass Schmitt.

She ran the London Marathon yesterday dressed as a sunflower to raise money for hospices.

She’s nearly at her target and if you know her (or if you don’t and just share her love of tractors) then you can donate something here

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Jan Chipchase, a colleague of mine in user-research at Nokia has started a new blog called ‘Future Perfect’, wherein he posts snippets of his experiences travelling the globe studying the use of technology.

Jan has a great eye for the unexpected detail in the everyday, which makes him fantastic to work with as a designer, and will be fabulous to read has his blog develops.

From this post on the culture of mobile phone repair shops in India (where he took the excellent photo above):

“a lot of the hyperbole surrounding western hacker culture makes me smile compared to what these guys are doing day in day out.”

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