As a designer, it is always nice to be able to contribute to a new corporate identity, brochure or other communications medium. Every project excites us and atypical questions make us do a little celebratory dance. Like this one from Velbus Domotica, for example: our colleague Arno took care of the layout for the OLED screens of the Velbus Edge Lit controller with built-in LED lighting, which he did pixel perfectly.
Lots of information, little space The controller combines design with functionality (thermostat, clock, messages, etc.). You get the picture; a lot of information had to be displayed on a limited medium. Velbus Domotica needed an easy to read and contemporary font in 3 different sizes (small, normal and large), an icon set in 16, 24 and 32 pixels and the layout of all types of pages.
Inspired by pixelart
Armed with the brief and an OLED screen of 128 by 128 pixels, I took the next step in this figuratively small project: finding inspiration! Pixel art helped me a lot.
The selection of the ideal pixel font was especially challenging. It couldn’t be too heavy, given the limited memory of the module, and it had to be readable in the smallest format.
Certainly, in combination with the accompanying icons, this project turned out to be a micro puzzle of size. Multilingualism provided an extra challenge: ‘donderdag’ and ‘Donnerstag’ might only differ by 1 character, but it did make a huge difference on this small OLED screen. We used Photoshop for the layout of the screens, which is the ideal software for exporting the designs to a .bmp format for OLED.
A pixel perfect result
I like to build interfaces for the web and for apps. Helping to design an OLED screen raises a whole new set of issues and considerations. The 128 by 128 pixel screen has its limitations, so it requires some brain work to optimally design it.
Our collaboration with Arno was very pleasant and productive. He was punctual, involved and open to suggestions; a winning combination generating beautiful results.