menu

Georg Petschnigg: Rebranding Pen And Paper For The Digital Age [PSFK 2013]

Georg Petschnigg: Rebranding Pen And Paper For The Digital Age [PSFK 2013]
Advertising

Founder of fiftythree and creator of the Paper app discusses his experiences developing Apple's 2012 App of the Year.

Betsy Mead
  • 12 april 2013

As part of the run-up to PSFK CONFERENCE 2013 in New York this April, PSFK will be publishing a series of short interviews with speakers to give a taste of what will be discussed in this meeting of creative minds. Georg Petschnigg, co-founder of FiftyThree and creator of the highly successful Paper by FiftyThree app, will be giving an update on its development and success. He chatted with PSFK about what has been achieved so far, including a collaboration with WWD, and what it feels like to have made Apple’s 2012 App of the Year.

How was the idea for Paper born?

We created our company, FiftyThree, to build tools for mobile creation. We had our first ‘Aha!’ moment in 2011. Even though we were deep technologists, we would always begin by developing ideas with pen and paper, physical pen and paper, which is strange since it was 2011.  We thought, if you want to change how people create in the digital age, you need to recognize that they are still using pen and paper. The medium had not yet been retooled for mobile creation, so that’s what we set out to do.

Paper has found huge success–it was named App of the Year by the Apple in 2012. Why do you think it has gained so much traction?

It communicates ideas digitally through sketches, illustrations, and diagrams which is incredibly powerful. This is how the vast majority of people understand information. The vast majority of people understand concepts and ideas visually. An application like Paper addresses people’s need to express things easily and beautifully.

You had a very successful collaboration with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) during New York Fashion Week. How did this come about?

WWD initially contacted us to increase its digital profile at its annual CEO summit, and we had proposed the idea of live sketching talks from industry titans such as Mickey Drexler, Ron Johnson, Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld. Through the drawings we were able to connect with the audience in a new way.

WWD found it fascinating that you could capture the essence of an idea using a sketch and realized this approach could be applied to Fashion Week. The publication asked us to help capture the ideas behind some of the collections at NYFW. It was a return to their roots, as WWD used to feature a lot of fashion sketches, and we ended up finding a fresh, contemporary approach to depicting runway shows.

What’s next for Paper?

Paper has been downloaded over 7 million times from the App Store, and we will continue to evolve the product. We think people are their best when they create. Everyone is creative, and it’s a great tool for people to capture their ideas. But ideas have to go places to have impact. They need to come together, so we have been working on a way for people to collaborate.

We first presented at PSFK on the day we launched, so PSFK has been part of our journey from the beginning. We are very much looking forward to giving everyone an update in April.

Thanks Georg! 

FiftyThree // Paper

To learn more about PSFK CONFERENCE 2013, click here, and to watch the live stream go to PSFK.com, where the action will be live until 5:30pm EST.

psfk-nyc-2013._650

Advertising
Trending

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.