Ric Holland's Blog

Ken Lambert interview

Broadcast Branding Design


Ric          Welcome Ken to the Art of Making Marks.  Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do.

Ken         My name is Ken Lambert.  I’m the Creative Director and co-founder of Ink Project, and we’re essentially a brand communication company specialising in the fields of print and broadcast design which also involves us in strategic thinking, creative development and also production. From there that can go anywhere from Animation to Live Action to Cross Media. There are no boundaries so it’s completely open. 

Ric          So the technology can take you in many directions?

Ken         I don’t really rely on technology that much. It’s a relevance play so we always want to be about ideas.  That’s the forefront of where we are, and we’re about servicing those needs for clients and ourselves.  So where I think Wacom is interesting is that I have been using the tablet for about 15 years, and I’ve come to a point where I’m actually totally reliant on it.  When we hire new people and they come here I actually encourage them to go through that process.  It’s about two or three weeks  where it’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable, but I actually feel that as we’re working with the Wacom tablets it’s actually more akin to drawing, it’s more akin to a creative process, so I think the mouse is actually redundant, and for me, I can’t actually use a mouse.  So that’s really important, and that comes down to even laying down technical things like topographic roles and that sort of thing.  So in terms of that I think the Wacom tablet is incredibly important, however I don’t actually encourage my guys to design on the computers.  We design on paper and again it’s more akin to the creative process, and so the natural step from that is pen to tablet.  I’ve always thought areas that I’d really like Wacom to improve on would be to have more mouse functions in terms of the scrolling ability. To actually have a scrolling function on the pen, I think that would be cool. The thing with the pen is that it’s actually quite good and that in terms of software I think that Wacom can go a little bit further with  screen capture and recording mouse and pen strokes, that sort of thing, giving us data that we can actually use like scripts that can be used within programmes like After Effects, and other applications.  I think things like that would be really useful and also for Wacom to step into the media side, actually start giving us tools that connects it all better.

Ric          Of course we’re very reliant on other developers and most of our development is around just making sure that the drivers all talk to everything properly. 

Ken         Yeah.  Look, I love the product, I think it’s fantastic and I’m really encouraging us all to use it.

Ric          What type of tablets do you use in your studio?  I notice a lot of designers here using Intuos3.  Is there any particular size that’s preferred?

Ken         We used to use really big tablets, because we were using Flame, Flint and all that sort of thing, but it’s not very portable, and I think the A4 size works for me and it seems to work for everybody else.  We’ve actually got rid of all of our large tablets because one they take up too much room, and they are a little bit large in terms of the art becomes bigger and that sort of thing.  The A4 seems to be adequate size.  Any smaller seems to be too small for us, but A4 seems to be adequate, because again it equates to your wrist and that sort of thing. 

Ric          So tell us a little more about the work you produce?

Ken         One of the main things that we do is branding, like for example we’ve just branded a well known advertising agency in Sydney, and that all goes throughout Australia.  More so we’re known for branding television stations, so things like TVNZ, SBS, we work in the United States with companies like the SciFi Channel, AETN and Showtime. It’s mostly to do with channel branding and all the auxiliary things that go with that.

Ric          Fantastic.  So we’ve touched on it earlier, but do again what future innovations, would you like to see come from Wacom.

Ken         I like the touch screen thing.  I’ve seen that screen.  The only thing I feel, we’re so used to that it’s almost like third party now, and we concentrate so much on the cursor that  when we go over it, I still think there’s a gap between what you can do with technology and what you can do by hand, and so I guess that’s what you guys are trying to do to make that gap smaller and smaller. I look forward to those sorts of innovations, but I don’t have any big dreams for anything.  To me it would be great to eventually have no tablets and no strings, and you’re basically in this particular virtual world where you’re grabbing things off shelves and manipulating them and placing them, and so actually physically involved so you’re up from your seat and you’re actually pushing things around in a dimensional space.

Ric          So using VR or a holographic head up display?

Ken         Yes, I think that would be cool.  I’ve seen some innovations from Sony where they’ve done things like they would have a brain stormer where they actually write a piece of text and it comes out in script, and then they’re able to actually take that piece of type – being projected using lasers – and they can take that piece of type and put it on the wall. But I think that you’ve got to be really careful about gimmicks. The industry moves so slowly that I think it’s much like the iPod. If you can find that one thing that everybody wants, and right now it’s, for me the thing would be the ease of use.  You know what would be great?  Do you guys have a portable Bluetooth version of the Wacom?

Ric          Yes we do it’s called the Graphire3 Bluetooth.

Ken         Oh great.  Well that’s enough for me.

RH          Thank you so much for participating in the Art of Making Marks and good luck with all your future projects.

Ken      Thank you very much.