Started in 1999 as a 5 person start-up based in Detroit, MI, Vectorform has transformed over the past 15 years into an award winning company with 120+ employees in 5 offices around the globe. As we’ve grown, our culture has remained strong and each person who has joined the Vectorform team has been a major contributor to our success. As CEO & Co-Founder, Jason Vazzano, puts it,
“The Vectorform office culture is as fun and diverse as the industries it serves. The halls of Vectorform are full of smart, passionate, talented people, joined by the occasional office dog – giving the company a west-coast start-up feel. The flexible schedule and lack of dress code provides an open and respectful environment where individual contributions continue to shape the culture of the company. The open floor plan allows the group to switch between heads down production or tuning into the latest industry announcements at a moment’s notice.” CBS Detroit, October 2012 – Royal Oak’s Vectorform, 12-Year-Old ‘Overnight Success,’ Is Hiring
So, what does our team have to say about their time here? I talked with some Vectorformers to learn more about their (and our) achievements, the projects they’ve been a part of, and what it is that they most enjoy about working here. Here’s what they had to say….Jennifer Tonio – November 18, 2014
How we rose from the dust of the dotcom bust…
This month marks 15 years since Vectorform was launched out of a small office in a storage garage facility in Davisburg, MI. Back in 1999, there wasn’t the investment support for tech start-ups like there is today. Our co-founders had to get started the old fashioned way, by using credit cards and loans for funding to get Vectorform off the ground.
Over the course of this 10 part blog series, we’ll take look back on how we got started, how we’ve grown and where our continuing growth will take us. Though many things have changed in the past 15 years, one thing that remains the same is our passion for innovation and inventing cutting edge digital experiences.Jennifer Tonio – May 26, 2014
We are happy to announce that we have officially launched the Club Diamond Nation website and iOS app!
Diamond Nation is a baseball/softball training facility in Flemington, NJ which is home to the Jack Cust Baseball Academy and the Jennie Finch Softball Academy. Backed by a collection of former MLB stars (including recent HOF inductee Tom Glavine and Team USAs Jennie Finch), the site attracts thousands of youth baseball/softball players for organized tournaments and training. The 65-acre campus consists of 250,000 square feet of indoor facilities, 700,000 square feet of turf fields and the ability to host 10 games simultaneously, making it the largest turf baseball and softball complex in America. With players, parents and coaches coming in from all around the country, Diamond Nation was looking for a way to keep these players involved outside of the facility and with help from the team at Vectorform, the new and improved Club Diamond Nation took shape.Jennifer Tonio – April 14, 2014
On April 4th 2014, Vectorform Munich welcomed seven 13-15 year old students into the office to learn about the creative process, which takes place when designing any innovative project or application. We took the students from defining ‘the problem’ and conceptualizing ideas, to creating their own UX sketches for multiple apps on behalf of one of the newest technologies in the world today, Google Glass.
Students split into groups and began brainstorming while working collaboratively to tackle one of the three themes set before them: Designing Google Glass apps for the future based on; gaming, sports, or social experiences. Following the design thinking process that was introduced to them (Define, Research, Ideation, Prototype, Re-do and Implementation), students worked together to generate insights from their own experiences. After the teens warmed up by taking a look at their favorite apps and what keeps them coming back, they were surprised at what ideas they could come up with for their own themes. The ideation phase snowballed into three intense brainstorming sessions, generating dozens of ideas in the short 2.5 hour workshop time frame.
The end result: all three groups shared their ideas for their Google Glass applications, one of which set out to combine the best elements of video games (mini maps, player stats, etc) with the fun of real world sports by connecting players to their teammates by voice, real-time player location, stats, up to date game notifications, and instant replay videos. All in all, the Rock Your Life Event was a great success.
Follow us on Facebook to see more photos from the event.Jennifer Tonio – March 27, 2014
There has been a lot of buzz recently about the new Moto 360 Android Wear based smartwatch. While most smartwatches on the market today feature a square or rectangular design, the Moto 360 features a round option. According to Jim Wicks, lead designer of the Moto 360, the purpose behind the round option was to get users on board with the idea without having to sell them something they aren’t used to.
Vectorform team members gave their take on the design and if round is really critical to watch design and the experience as a whole. Read moreJennifer Tonio – December 27, 2013
Many of us remember High School Mock elections recognizing a variety of behaviors and characteristics such as; Most Likely to Succeed, Class Jock, and Class Cutie but when it comes to the workplace it’s very rare to see similar awards voted on by your peers. It’s a lot more common to have an employee of the month voted on by upper management, which is great, but where’s the real fun in that?
Vectorform is not your typical company, we take pride in our strong company culture, all of our employees are very unique and deserve to be recognized for the standout things that they do all year long, not just in one given month. So this year we decided to do something different and hold the 1st Annual VF People’s Choice Awards.
We sent out a ballot with 24 awards listed, ranging from Yoda to The Welder, and opened the voting to all of our Royal Oak team members. After the votes were counted we announced the winners during our Holiday party. Each winner was awarded a LEGO minifigure that corresponded with their given award in place of a trophy. If you are familiar with Vectorform, you know that LEGOs are a big part of our culture and are a perfect match for our winners. A special shout out goes to our HR Coordinator Aimee Dooling for putting it all together. Thanks for all of the hard work Aimee!
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for…the Winners! Click through the gallery below for the full list of winners and award descriptions. By the way, the awards were held after our “Ugly Sweater” contest so some winners may still be wearing their holiday attire in their photo.
You can also view pictures of the winners on our Facebook page.Jennifer Tonio – December 19, 2013
Vectorform delivers two of Disney Publishing Worldwide’s top iOS apps to the Android and Windows 8 marketplaces. Both experiences allow children to read and create alongside their favorite characters.Jennifer Tonio – September 6, 2013
In our 2nd edition of our Intern Spotlight we highlight our Marketing Intern Kayla Knitter. Kayla was a great addition to our marketing team! She was always eager to learn more and consistently brought great ideas and energy to each day. We miss her already now that she is back at MSU but we are confident she will do great things in life!
Here is what Kayla wrote about her internship here at Vectorform…Jennifer Tonio – August 16, 2013
Summer is coming to a close which means that some of our All Star Interns will be heading back to school. Over the years we have built up a very strong intern program with over 75% internship to employee ratio. We continue to bring some of the brightest and best to Vectorform and are very proud of all of their accomplishments! Since each one of our interns are such stand-outs they will individually be featured in the Vectorform Intern Spotlight. The first to be featured is our very talented Motion Graphics & Video Production Intern, Austen Scheer. We wish him the best of luck in his senior year of high school at Birmingham Seaholm and can’t thank him enough for all that he has done in these last few months!
Click on the link below to read what Austen had to say about his summer at Vectorform…Jennifer Tonio – June 20, 2013
With members of our team heading to San Francisco for BUILD next week, our Think Tank has been in high gear predicting what will happen at this year’s event.
A Developers Utopia
“One Kernel to rule them all, one Kernel to define them, one Kernel to bring them all and in the Cloud bind them. In the Land of Redmond…” You can finish the rest in your head (at least, if you’re cool you can). It is an exciting time to be a Windows developer! BUILD is approaching, Xbox One is announced, Windows “Blue” is leaked, Windows Phone is getting it’s next round of devices, Skydrive and Azure have moved from bumpy awkward teens to handsome adulthood, and Microsoft is LISTENING to developers again!
The time is right for a host of announcements that could mean a Developers Utopia – we are just waiting… this year? Next? Microsoft has surely laid the groundwork for this utopia – where I can sit at my PC and in one Visual Studio project create an entire data architecture, web service, pc app, tablet app, phone app, and TV app – and deploy those projects to a single marketplace that even includes hosting for my service.
In this Utopia, my apps operate independently AND communicate harmoniously when needed. They use sensors and unified logic to serve me timely and contextually relevant data together as team. My apps bring together a world of disparateness and hone it to a laser focus that bores a hole in reality and lets me peer through into the future. My prediction for BUILD is that – at BUILD 2030, I’ll be at hackathon with my friends and say “it all started in 2013…” ~ Vito DiMercurio Director of Execution at Vectorform.
Windows Phone Live Tiles
“Most rumors seem to be talking about Windows 8.1, but I am most excited about what is next for Windows Phone. I’m hoping for more customizations through new controls offered to Live Tiles. It would be great to see Microsoft expand on their current offering so developers could create their own solutions. This way, developers would have the ease of using the current infrastructure but empowered to discover new potential with their tiles. Not only would this benefit the developers, but users would see a much larger variety of tiles, allowing them even greater customization of their phone. Expanding on what makes the Windows Phone special is going to be key for the future of the platform.” ~ Rich Geyer, Interactive Developer at Vectorform
“With Toolbox for Windows 8, we pushed the WinRT library to its limits with our multi-window framework. I am really hoping to see new APIs and functionality added to the WinRT library that allows Modern apps to include even more powerful features that integrate deeper into the operating system to better match the capabilities of desktop applications, ” ~ Kevin Foreman, Director of Product Vision at Vectorform.
More Snap Views
“I’m excited to see the (rumored) 50/50 snap view, and hoping they also release an option for horizontally split snap views.” ~Taylor Hanson, Account Manager at Vectorform.
Expand The Grid
“What I would love to see come from Build 2013 is a rethinking of some of the Windows 8 design restrictions, such as the heavy reliance on horizontal navigation. If Windows 8 were to offer new approaches and layouts that optimize the screen real estate, I would expect to see more innovative implementations of their unique features like semantic zoom, edge UI, and live tiles. Now that Microsoft has aggressively defined the grid it’s time to support breaking it. I want to see more immersive experiences that break from the expected grid layout, yet still leverage the organization, simplicity and gesture focused interactions that have helped redefine what a Microsoft experience is.
To date, the folks in Redmond have spent massive efforts providing developers with tools and options to improve their workflow and create simple yet beautiful apps. I would now like Microsoft to open their arms to UX and UI designers, as they have done for developers, and arm us with tools and support to take the foundation of the modern aesthetic, combined with progressive UX elements, and push experiences to utilize the available space and accurate input mechanisms to their fullest potential. Doing so would undoubtedly continue to excel Microsoft forward to not only have consistency in their visual language but innovation and progression in their marketplace. “ ~ Ken Disbennett, Associate Creative Director at Vectorform
“I’m hoping to see some Enterprise-focused sessions at BUILD this year. With the expansion of the snap view functionality in the upcoming release, the flexibility of running standalone and traditional desktop apps increases. If Enterprise level purchasing and market penetration increases, we can expect watch the business/productivity section of the Marketplace start to build momentum.” ~ Jason Richert, Account Manager at Vectorform
“Personally, I think MS is a step ahead of the competition and no one realizes it right now. What they’ve been attempting with the Launch of Windows 8, Xbox One, and Windows Phone is something that Apple and Google haven’t addressed very well yet.
Consistency across platforms – if I’m familiar with one platform, I can transition effortlessly to another. This is a rather important topic right now with the rise of the “Post PC” world. Computers are no longer the beige boxes that sit on your desk. Nearly everyone has a computer over 100 times more powerful in their pocket than what we used to send guys to the moon. Tablet computers and motion control have given rise to a generation of kids who think keyboards are a baby’s toy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMy1zO8m8sM anyone?).
So my predictions for BUILD this year are towards more of this consistency, and further integration between the platforms. Whoever is the first to find a way to effortlessly share content between all your devices is going to be the winner of this generation. “ ~ Will Hinchman, Research Engineer at Vectorform.
Bold Competitive Claims
“Most of all, I want to see Microsoft compete. During WWDC, Apple didn’t miss an opportunity to take a dig at its competition. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, started with statistics around the Mac vs PC business with phrases like “it isn’t even close.” He emphasized satisfaction over size, asserting Windows 8 is “struggling” to even get to 5% on adoption. But it was perhaps Phil Schiller’s defiant language used to introduce the new Mac Pro computer that exemplifies it best, “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass!” Statements like these wrapped with the hyperbole of a conference setting could convince you that Apple’s got it all figured out. But, when you look at the influence Microsoft and Google have had on the new design of iOS 7, you realized that behind these comments, Apple recognizes the innovative thinking Microsoft and others are bringing to the table. And when that happens, we all win.” ~ Trevor Anulewicz, Creative Director at Vectorform
What are your predictions for Build 2013?keep looking »