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Blog posts tagged as 'berg'

BERG in Fast Company’s list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies

I’m super proud to see BERG at #44 in Fast Company’s list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.

It’s an incredible list to be on! Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon, Square and Twitter are all there — and to pick just a few of the others, Jawbone, Polyvore, and Kickstarter.


Little Printer gets a shout out — our product for the home that prints you a miniaturised personal newspaper, daily.

It also seems like BERG is the only design consultancy on the list. We spend 50% of our time collaborating with clients, people like Intel and the Guardian, prototyping and producing everything from cute toys that talk in augmented reality to the first magazine (and magazine platform) for the iPad.

We’re currently planning our work across March and April. If you’d like to work with us, inventing and innovating, do drop me a line. The email is

In the meantime here’s our profile in Fast Company’s list: #44 Berg – For wildly imagining the marriage of the digital and physical worlds.

Thanks FastCo, and thanks team!

Making Future Magic: the book

There were an awful lot of photos taken for the Making Future Magic video that BERG and Dentsu London launched last week; Timo reckons he shot somewhere in the region of 5500 shots. Stop-frame animation is a very costly process in the first instance, but as the source we were shooting was hand held (albeit with locked-off cameras) and had only the most rudimentary of motion-control (chalk lines, black string and audio progress cues), if a frame was poorly exposed, obscure or fumbled, it left the sequence largely unusable. This meant that a lot was left on the cutting room floor.

In addition, we amassed a stack of incidental pictures of props, setups, mistakes, 3D tests and amphibious observers during the film’s creation.

Clicking through these pictures, it was clear that a book collecting some of these pictures, offering little behind-the-scenes glimpses alongside the finished graded stills used in the final edit, was the way forward. As well as offering a platform for some of the shots that didn’t make the final cut, the static prints want to be pored over, allowing for the finer details and shades (the animations themselves had textures and colours burnt into them in prior to shooting, so as to add a disruptive quality) to come through.

Our copies arrived today from Blurb. The print quality and stock is fantastic – especially considering it’s an on-demand service – and for us it’s great to have a little summary of a project that doesn’t require any software or legacy codecs to view it and will remain ‘as is’. We’ve made the book available to the public and in two formats; you can get your hands on the hardcover edition here, and the softcover here.

More images of the book are up here.

This is BERG

Some history

Jack Schulze and I dispute where we met, but I know when we first worked together. In 2005 he offered to have his students design icons for some experimental social software I was making. He showed me the options, and the best one had gone against specific requirements in my brief. I picked it anyway. It wasn’t from any of his students it turned out. He’d done the work himself and put it under my nose secretly.

Schulze & Webb Ltd isn’t the original name of the company. Schulze and I renamed an off-the-shelf company we bought in summer 2005 — that’s often the easiest way to start up in the UK. So for a while the company was called Z.V.B. Ltd. “What does that stand for, Zero Version Behaviour?” said Schulze’s dad. And that particular company was formed 1 June 2005. I like that it pre-dates us, if only by a few weeks.

In the summer of 2008 we began the Dayuejin. It’s important to name the eras of a company. It gives a sense of purpose, and of history. The Dayuejin is also known as the Great Leap Forward. To make the products we wanted, we needed more money petrol, which needed bigger projects, which needed more people and a bigger studio, which needed more money, which needed our own projects to build confidence. Everything had to move forward at once. It took a year, more or less, to find the right way to do it and lock it in.

The current era started last week. It’s the Escalante, the Grand Staircase. We’re in the third stage of the business plan I wrote in 2006. Tom Armitage started with us as lead developer and writer at the beginning of 2009. Matt Jones joined mid this year.


This is an invention, strategy and new product development design company. Schulze looks after NPD. Matt Jones looks after design and client services. I help keep the wheels turning. In addition to Tom, there is a network of expert practitioners in electronic and mechanical engineering, industrial design, print, 3D, animation, videography, visualisation, data-mining, coding and technical development. We have growing experience in more and more of fulfilment and the supply chain, with patents in progress, and some neat products either out of the door or in development.

I look at the ideas, people, projects, ways of working, products in development, our friends and culture, and I have to say it: I’m proud. S&W laid the right foundation, and it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this part of our lives.

We need a name for the next four years. I’ll ask Schulze to say more about the brand in the coming days. For the moment, from all of us, welcome.

A new name

This is BERG.

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