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Hello everyone. I'm here to find designers

I'm here to talk to graphic designers about a project we're working on that requires many graphic designers to provide images for virtual towns that are being built in the cloud. From experienced designers to student projects, all are welcome to join in to be able to demonstrate their talents and , hopefully, get commissions for themselves. We shall be at the Business Show at Olympia on 17-18th November 2016 if you want to come along and talk to us. Details:



Staff member
I'm here to talk to graphic designers about a project we're working on that requires many graphic designers to provide images for virtual towns that are being built in the cloud. From experienced designers to student projects, all are welcome to join in to be able to demonstrate their talents and , hopefully, get commissions for themselves. We shall be at the Business Show at Olympia on 17-18th November 2016 if you want to come along and talk to us. Details:

I don't quite understand the concept of the "town".
Are you looking or work that represents architecture in some way?

Sorry if I missed the point.
Hi Scotty,
The concept of town is not any kind of virtual reality.. The towns are made up of pictorial images that represent buildings or some other kind of physical structure you might find in a town. The early prototype we provide as an example (see www.wikitowns.info) shows one town where the streets are scenes from a riverside walk. By placing photographs of fashion bloggers in these scenes the analogy is that you are walking along a river bank and meeting these bloggers and by clicking on the button you can visit their website. In other words it is a convenient way to group websites belonging to a particular theme in a spatial context.
There is a variety of ways that spatial arrangements can be visualised, which is why we are particularly interested in designers with a creative mindset. Over the next few weeks we shall be adding more towns and hopefully be able to come up with many original and different ways of representing website within a spatial context. If you have any ideas, please join in.


Staff member
@scotty don't worry I'm not getting it either.
The way I'm reading it and the links given imply it's just another 'store front' for designers using imagery rather than search criteria which doesn't really seem beneficial to me as a designer. If it's a 'store front' for designers then there are plenty of already established sites for promoting my services.
Elsewhere you're going on about smart tv being up and coming medium for advertising and IMO that is way off the mark, VR or more specifically AR is the next 'big thing' when it comes to advertising etc as it will link in with your 'facebook profile', your location and add customised adverts over the top of locations as you're walking around (think minority report etc).


Staff member
In all honest I think to engage contributors, they need to be able to understand the concept right away really.
I think this is what could stop what could be a great idea from taking off.
I had a (albeit) quick look over the info on the link and I'm still none the wiser really.
Sorry if I'm coming across a bit thick here and I'm honestly trying to be constructive but it has been a long day.

What I'm getting is that people have a store front on a digital street, on islands themed to represent what they do which links to their site?

I do admit that I kind of skimmed the info but that's what everyone does with todays info overload world and I guess I may be an example of your audience.
I think it needs to be more clear.
I know this isn't easy and maybe some sort of visual element would help. Maybe in the form of an info-graphic styled approach or a mock-up of what it will be?
I sort of feel like someone's tried to explain the rules of Dungeons & Dragons to me and it's all gone over my head.


Staff member
Yeah still don't see a reason for it based on your bio Peter. It literally sounds like you're trying to create a shopping centre via hyperlinks which is an incredibly dated approach to online shopping going back to the old days of AOL (showing my age here) and their portals. Online shopping/services isn't done in that way by the younger generations that have grown up with tech like they have. Most younger people (and lets be honest they're most companies target market) use google, facebook or social media as their 'portal' to the main site if they need something... in some cases they don't even leave social media to go the 'store' they want to get to.
Thanks for your comments Scotty and Levi,

It is probably my fault that you are not appreciating the underlying principles of what this project about. The prototype I have started with and the explanations I give I thought might be the best way to explain it because everyone understands how e-commerce works and can readily see how websites can be grouped according to a particular type of item they sell.

You probably guessed from my bio that I'm familiar with fashion retailing in the real world and have experienced the attraction of markets and speciality shopping areas. Another reason for choosing these retail sectors to demonstrate the wikitowns project is that they provide ample visual images to use in the facades.

However, the wikitowns project is not really about retail. It is about what is known as "bordered realities". The idea is that a town represents an area where people can go if that want to learn about a particular subject area. Curators - specialists in a particular subject area - choose up to 100 websites to include in a town that in their experience would provide an excellent coverage of the subject. (this town then represents the bordered reality of that subject area).

For example, take the subject area of bitcoins and block chains. This is a real nightmare to get all the information using search engines. To have an expert tell you which are the best websites to start looking at would be a great time saver.

From my bio, you will probably be aware that the systems I have worked on are based upon biological systems. In particular, self-organising systems and the phenomenon of stigmergy. Stigmergy is the name of the seemingly magical self organisation that enables social insects, like ants, to build highly complex nests without any central control or plan. The Wikitowns project is designed to self organise in this way. Perhaps you might now understand why I have chosen to start with an e-commerce model rather than having to try to explain the underlying principles and move straight into specialist niche areas of knowledge.

Spatial organisation and imagery are import elements of the concept because they allow people to remember where information is and to easily be able to find it again. Experiments in decorating areas of car parks have proved how it helps people to find their cars.

If you can make it to our tiny stand at the business show at Olympia on November 17th and 18th, I'd be pleased to explain the concepts in more detail.


Well-Known Member
I may be interested in this, but I can't really get my head round the concept, and there's far too much
information to read through. Personally, I just need to know what you want us to illustrate, is it simply a few
shop windows and/or maps? I think you would be better off commissioning two or three illustrators/designers
to come up with a few designs first, then you would have something more concrete to show as examples.
I am aware that this is going to be a difficult application for me to explain to people, so I have to produce a video to explain it and, more importantly, provide a proof of concept.

To do this, shouldn't I use it to solve my own problem of finding enough graphical designers to create the hundreds of facade images I'm going to need to complete my prototype target (20 towns involving 2,000 plus images)?

But, isn't the need of the Graphic Design Forums very similar: a need to bring this forum facility to the attention of as many graphic designers as possible?

If anyone is willing to work with me to achieve this dual purposing, I will make this my proof of concept example: hopefully, benefitting the forums with a substantial increase in exposure.

All I will need is information: expert knowledge as to what websites would be most beneficial to graphical designers. I haven't the knowledge to provide this information myself, but many of you do.


Staff member
I'd be more concerned by the amount of explaining you're needing to do to explain your idea, there is a saying in design called K.I.S.S (keep it simple, stupid) and this is the complete opposite.

I still feel that after all your explanations above that the idea you're proposing is quite a dated approach to what is essentially an online market place/directory. Not to mention the time it would take to load a 'graphical search interface' or the issues with scaling for different hardware screen sizes compared with a text based one, the internet is heading down a road towards responsive design and fast delivery yet your concept seems to be the complete opposite of this. Then there are issues with actually searching it, most current websites have the ability to refine your search criteria where as yours sounds more find island, find town, find street, find 'store'.... which just seems like a lot of effort compared with going to a search engine and typing graphic designer, grunge style, near london postcode into say google, dedicated design sites even allow tick boxes to refine searches to specific genre/fields etc... If you need to include that as well as the map it seems like the map is completely unnecessary.
Are you making a judgment before giving me a chance to provide a proof of concept Levi? But, then you may be proved right and your prejudgment can be justified :)
Perhaps others will not be so quick to decide it is a bad, outdated idea and come along for the ride?


Staff member
I'm basing my opinion on what you're describing and have shown via links.... I know my work looks towards future products more than most on here but it doesn't even come across as something present let alone for the future. It may be down to your descriptions but I honestly can't see a need for it when there are easier/simpler solutions doing the same thing already.
I shall be honoured to have the opportunity of trying to change your mind, Levi :)

By the way, I bought the Oculus Rift development kits and the Samsung Gear to explore the possibility of running these towns in VR , but I considered it to be too early at this stage. Besides which, most of the demos I showed to people made them feel nauseous.
I've also tried out versions in panorama (using Garden Gnome's Pano2VR) but these towns took too long to load.
I had the same problem when I created towns with parallax effects using Adobe's Animate. It looked great, but the loading times made it impractical.
One of the best effects I experimented with was creating towns in Second Life. Unfortunately, when more than ten people are on the site all the animation goes to a crawl.

However, the system I have set up is very versatile and can easily be transferred to any of these media if future technical developments allow them to take off.