Because some of the most popular articles on Inspired Mag are iPhone related we continue to keep you informed on all things iPhone & iPad. This time we had the honor to sit down for a talk with our favorite iPhone and iPad app maker – Mills of ustwo™ – regarding their highly appreciated iPad app – Granimator™.
How come you mainly craft apps aimed for the design community?
We are truly passionate about creating original design experiences, initially for ourselves and then putting them out to the public to taste. So far we’ve focused on creating experiences we as designers would want to see out there. We’re not trying to sell to the mass market, but instead appeal and become appreciated by the industry people in the know. Showing we care about the industry we are in, our design is the vehicle we choose to spread the brand flavour. The app creation side of the studio has given us a platform to open doors to a diverse range of exceptional designers and we therefore invest in projects that allow us to work with nothing other than quality acts. We like to tell stories that support every project we do and by mixing and matching our work with the different creative image-makers we decide to work with, the story constantly evolves. Too many studios release a continuous stream of similar looking ‘house styled’ work, our house style is to make sure each project is different and unrecognizable in style.
What is the Granimator™
The concept behind the Granimator™ has been bubbling around the studio in various forms for the last couple of years. It started a while ago as an abstract flash experiment where you could draw shapes and so on. When the iPad was announced, we knew we wanted to be there for the launch and therefore the Granimator™ seemed like the perfect one to go for. It started out as 1 ‘pack’, which would let the user draw in 1 style only, and then we thought why not add some other ‘packs’ with different styles. We approached some designers and illustrators who we really respect and love, and they all started saying YES and it snowballed from there. Users can select and drag different graphical elements onscreen to create interesting looking wallpapers. Each element in the composition represents a different sound that can be played by tapping it. Once you’re happy with your creation, you’ll be able to save it as iPad or iPhone wallpaper and share it with your friends via http://www.granimator.com . It’s here that anybody in the world can download iPhone or iPad wallpapers for free, even if they don’t own the app. We choose the best wallpapers each day and highlight them here. In essence – Granimator™ puts you in the shoes of your favourite designers and allows you to create unlimited compositions with their designs.
How did you find all those cool collaborators?
The choice of artists has happened quite organically. We have gone for artists and designers that we feel will work well on the Granimator™ platform. Initially we chose designers that we grew up admiring, as we wanted to work with people we respected. Working with other creatives has helped us develop the app even further, layering more levels of new functionality and features that we would probably not have thought of. The Granimator™ interface is reasonably minimal, so when the menu is populated with the collaborator’s assets, it really allows the icons, assets and the individuality to stand out.
Which are your favourite artists featured in the app, and why?
For me it’s not about having a favourite, it’s about seeing all these great designers under one roof – so to speak. Seeing them all so passionate about being part of the project is the very reason we are in this industry. Saying this – the Houxo Que pack was a special pack cos we got to travel to Japan to document and film the making of the assets, being part of the creation phase was truly special.
How many artists do you have on board for Granimator?
The list is growing daily and we are now selecting specific designers that we feel can bring something unique to the table. The plan is to have over 50 premium packs on the Granimator™ platform by the end of the year. To name a few: James Joyce, Buro Destruct, Airside, Pete Fowler, RexBox, Jon Burgerman, Moving Brands, GASBOOK (Japan) Questa (Japan), Groovisions (Japan), Devil Robot (Japan), Sense (Japan), Power Graphixx (Japan), Non Format, Research Studios / Neville Brody, Tom Hingston, Creative Review, Neasden Control Centre, McBess, Chris Gray, David Henckel, Matthew Hodson, Ian Stevenson, David Carson, Joshua Davis, Yker Moreno, Hush, Manhattan Born, Frankenstyles, Timba Smits, One and Done Studio and Kate Moross.
Why do you keep the app free?
The Granimator™ is our first Freemium release. Freemium means we give the app away for free, reaching a far bigger audience than we would if we had a price point barrier. 90% percent of the downloaders will probably never buy a pack. But at least they taste it. The user gets 6 packs for FREE (5 ustwo™ house designers as well as a special Inkstrumental™ Jon Burgerman pack) when they download it from the App Store. Users are then actively encouraged to download new packs from the PACK STORE for a small fee of Â£1.19.
To celebrate the latest release of Granimator™ and the brand new Mini Menu we’re doing a very special promotion: The BÃ¼ro Destruct pack, which usually costs Â£1.19, is now FREE! The pack will return to the regular price of Â£1.19 on Friday 6th of August, so grab it while it’s free!
What was the Tokyo trip all about?
We recently released a capsule collection of six GASBOOK artists from Tokyo including: ten_do_ten, Hidehito Shinno,Yuko Kanatani, shinpei ONISHI,SONPUB, Hiroshi Iguchi……alongside a very special Houxo Que ‘Day and Night’ Granimator iPad app artist pack. The assets is this pack change depending on the time of day you use it. We spoke about the Granimator™ project at the Apple Ginza store and will be doing another talk at the Regent Street store on Thursday 26th August at 7pm. Granimator™ as a creative platform, allows us to meet interesting designers from far afield all over the world. For example we will be launching a set of New York and Melbourne based designer packs later in the year.
You’ve been featured in Creative Review as “The Chaps for Apps” – what’s next on your bucket list?
We want to win a D&AD for the Granimator™ project. That’s the ultimate goal and the dream. We’ve invested a lot into the project and it’s only getting bigger and better each day. Seeing it receive such an honour would be the icing on the sweet cake.
Please unveil us a future app you’re working on!
We’ve just this week started on a special project with a very talented 16 yearold GCSE student who is currently doing work experience with us. Most interns have to sit in the corner and make tea, but seeing as he is a very talented child genius, we have set him a 2 week project to create an iPhone app game called Terry Touch™. It’s all part of our strategy of trying absolutely everything in the app selling game. Also exclusively – we will also be releasing our first game with our new partners at [Adult Swim] within the next month. Named MeatStroke™ . Look out for it!
Extra Goodies from the Granimator
Click on the links for the full retina size wallpapers :-]