17th November 2011
Oomph is growing fast! To make sure we continue to deliver excellence in our platform and customer support, we are excited to announce that Tony Redhead has joined Oomph as our first Creative Technologist. Tony has a wealth of experience working on some amazing projects in the US and Australia plus he’s bursting with enthusiasm for the Oomph platform and what it can deliver for our clients. Tony will be managing the Oomph community and help provide support and guidance to our clients and dev teams. I asked Tony a little bit about himself – and to explain exactly what a Creative Technologist does.
The start of my life as a graphic designer started many years ago at Channel Nine in Willoughby creating “supers” for the promotions department, but before long I moved to Channel Seven to take up the role of Art Director for news graphics.
In 1984 I joined digital pioneer Quantel and worked on the development and promotion of a system called the “Paintbox”. The paintbox became a key component in the commercial acceptance of digital imaging. In 1987 I left Quantel and started my own production company, Electric Paint, in Los Angeles using paintboxes to create “key art” or what are more commonly known as movie posters. We were one of the first companies in the United States to use computers to retouch high resolution images suitable for printing as movie posters.
In 1992 I left Electric Paint to work as a consultant and relocated to Japan to develop an in-house digital studios for Tokyo agency Leo Burnett-Kyodo.
After working as a consultant for a number of years with software companies such as Macromedia, Fractal Painter, Live Picture I returned to Australia in 1995 and established on of the first internet agencies in Australia, Red Square Productions. Red Square went on to develop long lasting relationships with a number of key brands including Qantas, Panasonic Australia, YHA, Maersk Shipping, the oneworld Alliance of Airlines to name a few.
In October 2008 we merged the business out of Red Square with another internet agency webqem and I entered what I thought would be semi-retirement, how wrong can you be!
Oh oh, no golf! Well I’d been involved with the Adobe beta of DPS and as a consultant I wanted to get a good understanding of the different technologies that companies such as Woodwing, Adobe, Aquafadas had to offer. In early September I was inquiring about a publishing program on a Linkedin group, when Keith Ahern, the CEO of Mogeneration, mentions his product Oomph. So I sent off an email saying I was interested and about a week later I was invited to a demo of the platform. I don’t know how many hours and sleepless nights exploring the wonders of Oomph I’ve spent in the last month but it’s certainly opened my eyes to a fantastic platform and now I find myself being part of it’s success. Serendipity is a wonderful thing
What can you say about Orion but a great crew, wonderful food and a beautiful ship. During the 15 years we ran Red Square, my wife and I, as sole owners really didn’t have time for holidays, so after the merge with webqem we promised ourselves a trip to Vietnam to see my daughter who had been living in Hanoi for a couple of years. Cruising was never really on our horizon but Kelly, my wife, saw Orion and read that they were doing a inaugural cruise up the Gulf of Siam to Ho Chi Minh city, so we booked our passage. Now 360 panorama photography is one of my passions and during the trip I took a number of panoramas around the ship, as it turned out, the owner of Orion, Sarina Bratton, was onboard for most of the cruise and as it’s a small ship and you end up on very small zodiacs it’s not hard to make friends. After our return we met at a social event and I showed her some of the panoramas I’d shot on-board and she was very enthusiastic about them and asked if she could use them on the site. This started a great relationship and now I’m in the process of creating an Oomph app that will highlight the Orion 2012 sailing schedule as well as showing the beauty of the ship via the 360 panoramas I’ve taken. It’s that old serendipity again!
You have a wealth of information in software and specifically dealing with the new world of digital publishing. What excites you about this industry?
Gosh, where do you start? I’ve been digital since 1984 and for a long time is was a gentle wave now it’s a Sunami, the change of pace is accelerating and digital publishing is up there on the crest of it going at a 100mph. It’s an incredibly exciting time and products like Oomph are putting such powerful but fun tools in the hands of creative people who are developing the future. The change that happened so far and the change to come in the near future will have such an impact on so many aspects of our lives it’s the most exciting time.
What does a Creative Technologist do?
There’s lots of debate going on at the moment about Creative Technologist and their job description. I’m a bit of an old romantic and I always liken it to the artisan of old, they were creative but at the same time they had the technical skills to make their own brushes or create their own paints. For me it’s not about coding etc it’s more left brain right brain working together to create conceptual applications based on good technology.
What are your impressions of Oomph? What are the best features? What about the crew?
Once the light went on in the old brain I was so impressed by what Oomph had delivered, it’s such an elegant solution with almost unlimited flexability for designers to develop unique interactive magazine. I don’t know how you guys came up with the underlying workflow but thank you very much. Rather than a particular function, of which there are many, I think it’s more the complete package that wins you over. The ability to create complex multi layered pages is probably my favourite. I think if you can create the feeling of layers then there is a depth and richness to the page. If every element has to sit within it’s own little piece of the screen you just don’t get the richness. The crew are great, as you can imagine I’ve been pushing the product in ways it probably wasn’t meant to be pushed and the development team has been very patient dealing with my enquiries. I think everyone at Oomph realises they are witnessing and participating in a radical change in the way we publish and it’s reflected in their attitude and desire to make it work.
I want to create a groundswell of opinion from creative individuals in the publishing industry both in Australia and worldwide that they want to develop in Oomph, that Oomph gives them the best platform to express themselves in this new medium, that Oomph allows them to experiment and be innovative but still make that deadline.
Thanks Tony – and stay tuned for more blogs, insights and tips from Tony!
Lisa Walton, Marketing Director Oomph.