I made some posters

Our new offices in Shoreditch are a little bare with their white walls. I’m missing the blue and green colours from the old Soho office, and figured I could do something to add a splash of colour and personality. I created and printed a set of 4 posters in A2 format, and tacked them to the walls.

Everyone’s seen the old Keep Calm and Carry On wartime motivational posters, and I had to include it in the mix. I had it printed in BraveNewTalent blue, which added to the calming effect of thinking this phrase through. Works like a charm!

Get Excited and Make Things

However, keeping calm is great and all, but it’s not going to get things done. I came across the Get Excited and Make Things version of the poster, complete with a crown made of wrenches, nuts and bolts on Flickr, and loved it right away. It was this that kicked off the initial idea of creating a set, and I’ve had it printed in BraveNewTalent green.

Move Fast and Break Things

I’ve got to give credit, I think, to Facebook (although admit there’s probably more history to the saying than what I’m stating here) for the statement Move Fast and Break Things. If we want to keep up in this world, we can’t be afraid to ship code and see what comes of it. We can always fix it later.

NB: on closer inspection of the poster at work, I see one of our developers affixed a post-it not adding EXCEPT FOR UNIT TESTS. Yes, okay, don’t break unit tests, guys ;)

Fail Fast and Change Things

The last one is a testament to the idea that it’s okay to screw up, as long as you’re willing to learn from it.

These posters line the walls of the development team room right now, and they’re most often referred to in jest. I’m not one to believe in a single set of ‘words to live by’, but looking up and choosing one of these to guide my thoughts throughout the day has been useful.

I’m happy to share (since, of course, none of this is really my original work anyway). It’s a large file, but feel free to download the PSD I printed these posters from. If you make use of these, send me some pictures or gear (anyone feel like printing me a t-shirt?). Enjoy!

Jul 2011
POSTED BY Janna Bastow

Personal, Product


The last of the longest

BT Tower in dusk on June 21stWith sunrise coming up at 4:43 this morning and setting at 9:21 in the evening, today marks the longest day of the year. Living at such a high latitude in London (yes, London is further north than both Toronto and Montreal, my previous bases), this day is essentially one of the longest of my life.

With a critical bug swooping in by 10:30 this morning, it certainly felt like the longest day.

As of tomorrow, with already 2 seconds shaved off the time, we’ll be slowly creeping into a darker set of days. However, having lived here for 2 years now, I know the best and brightest bits of summer are still on their way, and I’m seriously looking forward to spending some time in whatever UK sun I can sop up.

You’ll find me in the park, book (or digital equivalent) in hand, any sunny weekend from here to September. Both of them, if I can crack it ;)

Jun 2011
POSTED BY Janna Bastow



Epic Ode to Zelda

This Geekologie post recently exposed me to one of the most gorgeous odes to a video game I’ve ever seen:

Epic Zelda Painting

Seeing this and slowly scrolling past each detailed character makes me so, so nostalgic… my heart is tugging to be 13 again, spending hour after hour exploring the depths of Ocarina of Time. Epic, indeed.

The guy who made this also put together a fantastic video showing the process of creating this, sped up considerably. Not to copy Geekologie’s style, but I’ll post it here as well. Well worth the 15 minutes if you’re into having your mind blown.


For me, it’s not just the final piece that astounds me; it’s the skill and the process of actually putting it all together. I love how the video captured this.

Sketch on Dot Grid JournalIt’s also the same reason why I love my job. Every day, I play a hand in creating and watching the formation of new features and interfaces for BraveNewTalent.

There’s nothing more satisfying than capturing an idea in a napkin drawing or in my dot grid journal, then into wireframes and mockups, before transforming into a final, usable product. Where I sit as Head of Product, I get to play a hand in each of these steps, and enjoy getting stuck in elbow deep, playing with half-finished prototypes on our development sandbox, adding my thoughts and, here and there, my own personal flair.

Building, creating. That’s where it’s at.