From illustrating diagrams to designing signage and wayfinding in one of Sydney’s most iconic buildings—working with Flow was sweet as.
Flow Systems was one of the first clients I got to work with at Digital Eskimo. Basically, they build local sustainable utilities. Such as water treatment plants, and are just now starting to branch into energy.
This was a great client to start off on when beginning at Digital Eskimo. The water and energy facilities that Flow install around NSW are amazing. And to work on projects with a client that promotes sustainability was a breath of fresh air after working in bloody advertising for so long.
There were already existing diagrams and an illustration style for Flow before I started. However, I was able to bring my own treatment to all the new diagrams—and in updating the old ones—whilst still keeping it in-line with the previous stuff done by Ben Hoh, Digital Eskimo’s Design Director.
This involved sticking to an isometric view and using a similar colour palette. I basically ended up making it a little friendlier, by using warmer colours and more green, so as it was less sterile.
It was also nice to revisit an isometric illustration style again. The last project I did in isometric was Habitatland from many, many years ago.
This refreshed style of illustration also started to be used more when we revisited the brand’s art direction earlier in the year. Sash, the interaction designer at Digital Eskimo, created a new style guide for how all of Flow’s communications would look. This involved crops of all the illustration work I had done to date and that.
Below are a handful of the many diagrams I made for Flow over the years. Ranging from detailed processes, simple implementation type stuff and everything in between.
Sketching was super important for these diagrams. As they were all fairly complicated and took several rounds to get right—just in terms of making sure that the information being presented was extremely clear.
All the videos
We also made several videos to showcase Flow’s offering to the general public and to sell them to potential developers. These videos were the first pieces of Flow work I did at Digital Eskimo. It was a great way to get initiated into Flow’s world, as there was a lot to get my head around—I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. So researching the processes and that, at such an early stage, really helped with projects later on.
Below are some well choice screens. But be sure to check out the videos in all their glory here and here. Massive props has to go to Adrien Girault for animating these buggers and putting up with all our changes. Thanks bud!
This is where the current illustration style developed. Using slightly brighter colours and making all the buildings and environments more colourful, warm and approachable.
I didn’t do too many sketches for this video stuff—just some shitty thumbnails. Ben had already done a rough animatic, so there was no need for any storyboarding.
The only real sketch of any substance is above, which is still pretty rough as guts. Though it did form the foundations for all the illustration assets. The little bugger punched above his weight.
Wayfinding at Central Park
This Central Park project was by far my favourite for Flow. I illustrated and designed all the signage and wayfinding for the water treatment facility, which is directly underneath the building. Flow basically wanted to start doing more tours and open it up to the public—some form of wayfinding and informational signage was essential. It helps explain all the complex processes occurring around people. It also gives a great deal of context and insight into what just seems like a whole bunch of freaking pipes and machinery, that looks like it’s been lifted straight from the Starship Enterprise.
Central Park is an incredible and gorgeous looking building. In a nutshell, Central Park reuses wastewater through the recycled water facility, providing apartments and retail businesses with a secure and environmentally friendly source of water for everyday use. As well as to sustain Central Park’s spectacular vertical gardens and balcony greenery, which is what the building is known for. Overall, well sustainable.
Ben, Sash and myself got to go down and do a tour to scope out the facility and see where signage would be appropriate. We pretty much were geeking out the entire time at all the awesome things.
First off, I did some concept sketches to present to the client.
Once these concept sketches were approved I went and rolled out the designs. As well as doing some in-situ comps for the client, so as they could better visualise what the final product would look like.
Photos of the final install lie below. The client was super happy with how everything came out. It was also such a treat to go down there with all the awesome machinery, and see hot muscley dudes put up your designs. But that’s by the by.
It was such a fantastic experience to design and illustrate such a wide range of work for Flow. I’m definitely going to miss doing work for them, as they were a pleasure to work with. Also having my work contributing to something worthwhile, is always a bonus.
Role Visual Designer
Client Flow Systems
Studio Digital Eskimo
Credits Design Director – Ben Hoh
Interaction Designer – Sash Singh
2013 – 2015