Uncategorized Work

A new job

Early 2010 my boss started talking to me about the need to make some changes in the way our designers worked and were organized.

I helped out and got involved in the discussion at its early stages, taking the chance to jot down some long-held ideas about how things could be improved.

Around June, ideas began to crystallize and roles be defined. As it seemed more and more likely two teams would be formed, I was asked to head the smaller, senior team. It was, evidently, something I could not refuse.

I was given freedom to pick my team and did so trying to assemble a group of highly experienced professionals which were also heterogeneous enough to provide a versatile team.

Internally, we are the Innovation & Design Team, although the corporation sees us as the Normalization Team, which is OK, since we do have that role as well.

The second, larger team – the Web and Media Design Team, or, not by accident, the WMD Team – deals with most of the creative and technical Design jobs that are at the core of the day to day business at sapo.

I’ve barely even started at my new position but challenges abound. Not only do the four Designers working with me on the I&D team have brought their ongoing projects with them, but we were almost immediately offered the challenge of designing all communication and graphic materials for this year’s Codebits, hands down the most important event sapo organizes yearly.

During the whole process of forming the teams, defining their parts and responsibilities, planning out future work and starting to learn about management, I was myself put ‘under new management‘ with a big internal reshuffling of the deck. For the (much) better, I believe.

2010 has been, undoubtedly, an interesting year. I bought an apartment, had it remodeled, moved, got promoted with a chance to learn a new job and see things from a new perspective, got a new boss and, as interesting as all that is, nothing can come close to the truly remarkable event this year has brought me: my daughter was born.

So, as we approach the end of this agitated year, I feel as if the roller-coaster wagon is just reaching the very top of the highest peak in the track. Hold on, folks.


CSS for Beginners

Recently I was invited to give a short talk on basic CSS at work, as part of a session of four presentations on web development.

Despite my lack of experience with public talking I think it went pretty well and I got the message across. I was happy to find people were coming up to me at the end letting me know they had learned something new.

Although this is an English language blog and most my readers are from the US I haven’t had the time to translate my slides into English for publishing. So, I’ll leave you with the Portuguese presentation for now and later I’ll post the translated version.

Here are the slides:


Pissed-off frog

I understand a brand needs to be nice and ours certainly is. Emoticons, however, need to convey… well… emotion. So I have the pleasure of being allowed to make a completely pissed-off version of the frog mascot of SAPO.

Really, it’s criminal how much fun I have sometimes.

Pissed off


Football frogs

As I continue to explore higher detailed icons, I’ve been having some fun redoing old emoticons. These are the representatives of the three main Portuguese football clubs: S.L. Benfica, Sporting C.P. and F.C. Porto. They are essentially the same frog, wearing the club colors in the shape of a scarf.

Football frogs

As with the Batman emoticon, I started out with a FreeHand drawing, imported into Photoshop as a smart object. Not much of the original vectorial is left as I redraw everything in Photoshop.

I believe in the flexibility of vectorial drawings, however, FreeHand is rather limited in what comes to gradients and so I’ve been exploring my options in Photoshop.

I know Illustrator is vastly better at gradients, with its mesh gradient tool. Sadly, my company has not bought me CS3 yet. I use the word ‘yet’ with some hope, you will notice.