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And now Madrid: Javier Cañada on mobile apps at the Instituto Europeo di Design



We had a great experience at ELISAVA last Wednesday, a great group of people asking challenging questions. For those who were there thank you for dropping by.

This Monday its Madrid’s turn. Javier Cañada, head designer at Vostok will be at the Instituto Europeo di Design talking to students about mobile app design, the how’s, the when’s the why’s. If you’re interested, it’d be great to see you there.

You can read more information on the event here (in Spanish).

Design for mobile apps: Caoba and more

IED (Calle de la Flor Alta 8, Madrid)

Monday, 27th May 2013


Limited capacity

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ELISAVA: Javier Cañada on mobile design and Caoba



Javier Cañada, head designer at Vostok, will be at Barcelona’s Elisava School of Design next week talking about design for mobile apps. If you’re interested, he’ll be covering:

  • basic design principles and how they’re applied to mobile devices.
  • designing for context vs. designing for tasks.
  • the benefits of systemic design.
  • user engagement.
  • the differences between mobile webs and mobile apps.

He’ll be using Vostok’s own Caoba app as primary case study. We haven’t talked much about Caoba from the design perspective so if you’re interested, this will be a good opportunity to get the full lowdown on the decision-making and the thought-process behind it.

You can read more information on the event here (in Spanish) and make sure to fill out the confirmation form here.

Design for mobile apps: Caoba and more

ELISAVA (La Rambla 30-32, Barcelona)

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013


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Sayonara, an iPhone app that keeps track of your unfollows on Twitter


Pain is inevitable in life but suffering is optional.

That’s a fact. But there’s something addictive about suffering, the bitter-sweetness of rejoicing in it. And, if possible, making those responsible pay for it. This is what Sayonara is all about: falling out of love, taking sides, suffering and vengeance.

What does it do? It sends push notifications to your iPhone every time someone clicks on the unfollow button. You can read the traitor’s last 3 tweets, block him or send him a message.

Not enough? Sayonara’s next big update will  a) let you know for how long the unfollower in question followed you before deciding to change sides, b) show you the last tweet you tweeted before he betrayed you and c) let you publicly shame your unfollowers by publishing their names on Twitter (if you want to, that is).

Who’s behind this vindictive beauty? Vostok’s own Hugo Cornejo does the design while Nacho Soto works the code.

Piqued your interest? Buy Sayonara here.

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Flores Frescas mobile version is now online


This mobile version is the first –and only– redesign of since the service was launched almost four years ago. There has been no need to come up with anything new, the simple and clean layout we thought out back then still stands today. The only thing that has put it to the test is new contexts of use enabled by mobile phones. In the case of Flores Frescas, mobiles allow users to make use of the service in a much more spontaneous way. In other words, buying flowers immediately after the idea of buying flowers pops into their head (avoiding any possibility of the idea slipping away). This mobile version is here to address that.

To celebrate the launch of this version, Flores Frescas is giving away 10% discount codes on purchases that quote MOVIL10. A perfect excuse to buy this week’s beautiful Freesias.

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Buy a postcard and help Fukushima


A few days ago we launched The Tsunami Postcard Project with Toru Morimoto, and the Japanese photographer behind the Akashi Gallery in Barcelona and the Japan Photo Project, treat a beautiful initiative we talked about a few months back.

The idea behind the project is very simple: you make a donation to the Fukushima Donation for Orphans Foundation by buying a postcard or a photograph on the website. You can buy it for yourself or for a friend and receive it in the mail a few days later. That simple.

So why do we do this? We want to help and doing what we do best is the only way we know how.

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Our latest work for our oldest client: Minube 3.0 for iPhone


Last Friday Minube released their new iPhone app and so far, it has been an absolute success. In just three days it has become the number 1 travel app in already 14 countries. The video above was made by the talented team behind Riot Cinema.

Back in December, the previous version of the Minube iPhone app won iTunes Rewind 2011 and the App Date’s award for best travel app in Spain.

We’re proud to say we designed this app hand in hand with Minube’s Raúl Jiménez, Alex Martín, Daniel García and their team. We had the chance of working together not just conceptually but physically, Alex Martín, design manager at Minube was a member of Vostok‘s space-ship for a few days working along with Javier Cañada and Ricardo Fernández detailing step by step the how’s and why’s of this app.

These are some of the features that make this app special:

It’s resourceful but also inspirational.
There are two ways of picking travel destinations: the I know the where, when and how way and the I have no idea, I just know the when way. Up until now, very few online travel services offered you the possibility of picking places for the latter. The Minube app provides a selection of places according to distance, color and time. This is a pretty neat feature because it amplifies your scope, the results give you places you would have never known existed. You want something beachy? Choose turquoise from the color meter and you’ll see there are dozens of places you’ve been missing.

You can save places.
They can be private or public. It’s just like creating your own scrapbook of favorite places you want to travel to. Perhaps not today, but maybe tomorrow…

It’s social in a way that matters.
Yes, you can share places and experiences with your facebook friends or your twitter followers but, what’s more valuable is that you can share stuff with the people who actually care (and they might not necessarily be your social-network buddies)on a one-on-one basis. It’s the difference between tossing a message in a bottle into the sea and using certified mail: less adrift, more selective and personal.

You can plan trips with friends.
Organizing a trip has always been a collaborative effort but instead of having bits and pieces spread over dozens of emails users can use this feature to have all the information in one single place. The list is instantly updated and users are always notified if something changes.

Minube‘s content is getting better and better with time, this app looks to encapsulate that in a way that’s useful and beautiful for travelers. If you try it out let us know what you think. You can download the Minube app here.


Arquinauta continues collecting prizes for ABCKit


ABCKit won a Golden Laus yesterday. The Laus awards are the most relevant design awards in Spain, they’re organized by the ADG-FAD (an organization that promotes Art and Design).

ABCKit is an excellent app for kids to learn the letters of the alphabet in English, Spanish and Catalan. The video was made by Vostok Studio and RiotCinema last year.

Congratulations to Karina Ibarra and the rest of the team behind it!

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Simplicity is not a visual style


It’s not about minimalism or the absence of clutter. Simplicity involves digging through the depth of complexity. To be truly simple, you have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential.

Jonathan Ive

Simplicity is probably one of the most over-used words in the design field today. It’s become an empty word with empty consequences. But it didn’t use to be that way…Once upon a time, simplicity had a purpose.

It wasn’t about the visuals (though the visuals were an underlying consequence), it was about the structure. It wasn’t about using white backgrounds, helvetica light and negative space.  It was about understanding the essence of the product and digging deep in order to clean the surface.

Simplicity is not the same as minimalism.

It’s the difference between organizing your drawers and ordering your desk. It’s about knowing your product at the core, knowing what it’s supposed to do, it’s purpose. That’s the only way you can remove unnecessary options and processes through a natural and conscious process of reduction, not a self-imposed one. The rest: aligning, cleaning, giving elements air, etc. is something that will be taken care of later.

If you do it the other way around you’ll end up with a fake simple product. Which is actually worse than a complex one because it’s dishonest.

One thing is certain: you can’t have a simple product if you don’t have a simple structure. Simplicity is not a visual style.


Designing James Bond’s world, an exhibition at The Barbican Centre


This is a damn good reason to book a ticket today and fly to London THIS weekend. No ifs, buts or thens.

Jean-Luc Godard used to say “you only need a girl and a gun to make a good movie”, the 007 films have taken this premise and added elegance, money, wit and a hot english accent to that combination. The result: 50 years of one of the most important film-franchises ever.

We love that The Barbican has decided to showcase the behind the scenes of it all: the design decisions, the astronomical budgets, the amazing people behind it (art directors, production designers, tailors, special-effects teams, etc). They make you long for the days when money wasn’t the issue, when the only thing that mattered was making the right decisions, hiring the best people and creating the best possible product. Yes, product. Because there’s no art here, just pure, glorious and mouth-watering entertainment.

Designing 007: 50 years of Bond Style will be open until the first week of September.

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Instituto Cervantes selects Vostok to represent Spanish digital design around the world


El Instituto Cervantes (Spain’s British Council) has selected Vostok Studio along with Manolo BlahnikCamperZaraPatricia Urquiola and other renowned names to represent Spain in their exhibition Desigñ: Spanish Accent in Design. The exhibition comprises 100 posters that feature designs from all sorts of design disciplines: graphic, furniture, industrial, interior, etc. The digital representative in the selection is Vostok.

The exhibition began in Dublin last february and is now doing a tour through some of the 50 Instituto Cervantes’ around the world, among them: Milan, Prague, London, Belgrade, Beirut, Río de Janeiro and Curitiba.

This is a compilation of the works selected. Extra points for the person who finds Wally.

We’d like to thank Ramón Úbeda, the curator of the exhibition for including Vostok in this selection.


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