Creative Review Granimator pack series

Ustwo, the digital user interface design and app-developing company, asked Creative Review earlier this year to curate a series of artist packs for its Granimator iPad app. We said yes. Now they’re ready to download and play with…

Shortly after meeting and interviewing Mills and Sinx, co-founders of digital user interface design company ustwo – for a feature that ran in our July issue earlier this year – the pair asked me if Creative Review would be interested in curating a set of artist packs for ustwo’s then just-about-to-launch graphic wallpaper-creating iPad app, Granimator. I said yes, please, that would be smashing…

Seeing as ustwo was already doing a great job of contacting and collaborating with established designers and visual artists (when they asked us to collaborate, they already had the likes of James Joyce, Research Studios, Airside, Buro Destruct and Jon Burgerman on board creating Granimator packs with them), for the Creative Review Granimator pack collection we thought it would be great to select and approach some image makers whose names are perhaps not so well known, but whose work we really love.

We were delighted when the six artists (Chris GrayDavid Henckel, Matthew The HorsemcbessNeasden Control Centre, and Rob Bailey) we approached said yes – and now, after months of hard work developing their Granimator packs with ustwo, they are ready to download via the Granimator app’s built in pack store.

Actually, five out of the six packs are ready to download – but we thought it was high time we told our readers about the project…

In case you don’t know anything about the Granimator iPad app, see our previous post which explains the concept here. Below are some examples of wallpapers created on the iPad using the Creative Review artist packs with a bit of blurb about each of the artists approach to the project.

First up is Chris Gray‘s Papercut pack…

“When asked to create a pack for Granimator I experimented with numerous options before coming to the conclusion that the majority of my work is based on the use of a select few graphical shapes,” explains Gray of his approach to his Granimator pack. “Another consideration was that although the entire application is based on digitally altering work constructed on a computer I wanted there to be a human element that was done by hand, something that a computer cannot cheat or re-create. This is where the idea of cutting a large selection of shapes originated from. After completing an initial batch they were put into a transparent zip bag and shuffled to see what abstract shapes would start to appear and how with simple alterations they could be molded into whatever you saw within the randomness.” More info at


Artist David Henckel’s Hadron Collider pack contains a huge variety of images, both photographic and hand drawn, which can be combined in any number of eye-popping ways…

The idea is that users can have fun combining and connecting chips, cheese, planets and bricks with bones, bricks, tubes and “parps”. More info here:


Artist mcbess (Matthieu Bessudo) is an illustrator, musician and animator / director living and working in London. We’ve been fans of his since seeing the music video he co-directed for Wood, a track by his own band, The Dead Pirates, in May last year.

The mcbess pack consists of lots of objects which can be moved around an isometric grid which allows users to build up scenes consisting of men playing instruments, naked tattooed girls, food stuffs and more. You can put your own rock band together or create a weird party with axes, talking instruments, disembodied hands and burgers. Each illustrated item makes a sound that goes along with the background music – also created by mcbess specially for his pack. Here’s a video of a wallpaper being created using the pack:

More info at


Matthew The Horse‘s Reggae Conkers pack allows users to create abstract poetry from a selection of words and phrases and also arrange various illustrative motifs:

“This pack functions as a random generator of maxims with which to embrace or ignore,” says Matthew. “Arrange faces, shapes and objects to suit your vibrations, whilst allowing a special audio loop to transport you somewhere pointless.” More info and images at


Illustrator Rob Bailey‘s All Square pack consists of just 10 shapes and ten colours. These are the building blocks which snap to grid to enable you to create geometric images. Each swatch you use has five levels of opacity meaning you can overlay shapes and colours to create new shapes and more colours….

More info on Bailey’s pack can be found at

There is one more Creative Review Granimator artist pack in development – by Neasden Control Centre. We’re not sure when it will be ready for action so the best thing to do is keep an eye on the Granimator website at

Huge thanks to all the artists involved in this project for agreeing to do it and for working so hard on their packs.

NB: Granimator is a free iPad app available from the iTunes store. Individual artist packs are available through the app’s inbuilt pack shop. Artists are free to decide how much to sell their packs for so costs of the packs vary. All money made through sales of individual artist packs is split between ustwo and the relevant artist. David Henckel’s Hadron Collider pack and the mcbess pack are currently free to download – fill your boots!


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