Black Hole Porter Saves the World

Space Foundation Black Hole Porter

John Sterling Vinson was commissioned by Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham to craft the Space Foundation's first celebratory beer titled Black Hole Porter, making its debut at the team Halloween party. The porter was sweet but not too sweet, with a light nutty taste, and dark like a black hole. I loved it, and hope to try more of John's microbrew creations in the future.

With the new beer came an opportunity to design. I've always wanted to design a beer label and needed to get out and be creative for a weekend after much programming. I hung out for a few hours at a new discovery near downtown, The Coffee Exchange, smearing colors, painting clouds (found a nifty cloud brush here), blending graphics, getting spacey. It was awesome.

Designing the label was also a chance to experiment with the use of QR codes on a product and gain some mobile website experience. QR (quick response) codes are scanned using a mobile phone camera with a "QR reader" found in iPhone and Android app stores. They're catching on very quickly in marketing print campaigns and invite mobile phone users to interact with print (or screen). At the time of writing, we're now using QR codes on the National Space Symposium website here to quickly get website visitors connecting with their phones.

Ultimate Black Hole Challenge

I used the beer bottle QR code to launch the "Ultimate Black Hole Challenge", where mobile users could test the strength of their black hole wisdom and get a fun ranking in the end (thanks team for the ranking title ideas!). The quiz was developed using iui JavaScript library, making it a mobile web-app. Mobile apps are developed to run natively on whatever phone they are on (e.g. iPhone apps run on iPhones). Mobile websites load within any phone's web browser (some doing a better job than others). Mobile web-apps are mobile websites that pretend to be mobile apps. Crazy aye? The "Ultimate Black Hole Challenge" was created to behave like an iPhone app, with screen transitions and familiar buttons seen in many apps, and it ran nicely on Android phones as well.

The end use of this beer bottle QR code was flawed. It looked nice on the bottle, but in regards to the Halloween party it wasn't doing so well wilting on ice, touched only by a helpful bartender. It may may have been better suited for a mass produced beer distributed to casual drinkers seeking entertainment in local pubs. Of little consequence though, the beer was great and that's what was important. The party was excellent! I also had a chance to get to know our newest graphic designer a little better, and just have fun.

Sugar Daddy and Hot Tamales

Hot Tamales and Sugar Daddy approve!

Disclaimer: Views and statements contained in this personal blog do not express the views of the Space Foundation.

About Christopher Stevens

Me, wearing a tieChristopher is a web developer/designer who loves renovating and empowering over-sized web projects and exploring the unknown. He is powered by coffee, electrons, and passionate people.

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"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away, if your car could go straight upwards."
--Sir Fred Hoyle