Welcome to Giraffe and Elf

With this site we endeavour to share with you some of the projects were working on, and give you the opportunity to get some in depth knowledge about them.

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Japanese Study Tour Guide 2023



Study tour diary magazine cover – spiral bound published book

As part of a school overseas trip to Japan we were asked to create a diary for the Students to be able to document their travels. Usually when traveling overseas there are plenty of photos taken as well as lots of souvenirs brought back home. However, we find that after a few years it becomes difficult to remember the name of that one location you visited that had that thing you wanted to go back to. Sometimes good intensions are had if you take a generic notebook with you, but these are mostly left blank if not organised properly. It made sense to us to design and create a tour book specifically for the journey the students are about to embark upon, with specific organised sections to fill out.


Japan trip diary general information pages – traveling Japan

As the book is designed specifically for this trip it can also contain all the itinerary information with it, which is helpful if the students don’t have access to electronic devices or the internet. It can also contain more helpful information about the trip they are on relevant to the experiences they are going to partake in. From here, the content of the book only grew with information about packing lists, Japanese customs, etiquette, nuances, and addresses. It got bigger as spaces for emergency contact numbers and what to do in case of an earthquake was included. Finally some activities for the Students to fill out, and a scavenger hunt to complete during their travels was added.


School trip Japan Scavenger hunt – Japan tour group activities

The last big chunk of information was about the nuances of the home stay portion of the trip. Information about how to resolve issues that may occur, with further etiquette and expectations that may be faced while living with a family for a week. Most importantly it contains pages to log a journal entry for each day of the trip, with suggested spaces to write down place names, contact details, and weather information.


Japanese tour book – shrine and temple guide pages – school tour

The books were handed out to the students to go over it with their parents a few weeks before the trip, to help answer questions they may have and alleviate any concerns. Full of information-graphics, pictures, and colour coordinated for each section of the book to help make finding information easy. The styling and cover of the book was intentionally made cheerful, bright, and unique with the hope that this will become a keepsake for the students on the trip to help remember their journey and make their first experience of Japan an exciting one.


Creating an animated in-progress button for Elgato Stream Deck


In this video we demonstrate how we created an Elgato Stream Deck button that animates for a specific duration when pressed before returning to a static state, without needing any plugins or third-party apps. This is useful when triggering something like an animated lower third, by showing a looping indication animation while the om screen animation is active and stopping us from accidentally pressing any other buttons. By default, the Stream Deck doesn’t offer any native solution for a button that, when pressed, plays a looping animation and returns to a static picture.

By manipulating the multi-action switch and combining it with a back-to-front animated GIF, we can give the appearance and functionality of a button that looks to be in an animated holding state while an action is performed, and then returns to a static image once the action is completed. The button gives the appearance of having an off state and animated on state, which is helpful when running a live stream that uses screen bugs, lower thirds, and other one-shot animations.

#powerpoint #design

Arcade Control Panel Printable Plans



Arcade Cabinet Control Panel sticker with finished acrylic top and joystick buttons installed

With the design of the Arcade Cabinet Control Panel finalised and tested. It is time to share the printable plans online for you to use in your own project. Available below are printable plans at a 1:1 scale for the Arcade Cabinet Control panel.

These are the plans we used to precisely cut out the panel and drill any holes for components. The plans should fit in a 1:1 ratio on a A0 (1189mm wide x 841mm high) sized piece of paper and can usually be printed at your local office supply store in Black and white for a reasonable price. This makes it very easy to transfer the designs to your material without having to scale or convert any measurements.
The guide hole sizes and potions of the arcade components precisely fit most arcade hardware. We specifically used ‘classic dimple top’ buttons and ‘zippy joystick’ control for our build, so check your component size in case you need to drill holes in different sizes. Features of the Control panel are either a two player or four player arcade setup, or a transformable version where the player three and player four wings can be removed, and added, as needed. This feature, and a complete guide to the arcade cabinet build, will be the subject of a future video and live stream series.


Arcade cabinet control cabinet plans stylised 2 to 4 player setup

The two player version (middle square layout) is also designed to fit through a standard door frame. One of the features of our overall arcade cabinet design, and one that has come in useful when moving the cabinet around the workshop and final resting place inside the house.

This was the main reason for making the three and four player pads removable, but not a necessity when designing your own cabinet, you will have to alter some of the guide lines if you choose to keep your control panel two player, or want a complete board for a four player set up. The plans also feature Front and Side views of the panel, with specific details of the three and four player extensions. The green lines represent the panels to be cut out to scale. The purple lines are the panels assembled from their respective projections.

Click here to view and download the plans for your own use.

#arcade #design

Custom Animated Countdown Timer


Follow along to see how you can add custom countdown timers to almost any live performance or presentation. Without needing any plug-ins or third party solutions.


The game is afoot



Study Planner first hidden puzzle treasure hunt

Just before the Study Planner was sent out to be printed, there was a final opportunity to run through and test the game, to see if all the puzzles were in fact solvable. When hiding clues in a book that is written in code and backwards, the one thing not wanted is a spelling mistake.

One lucky staff member was, with allot of hints, given the final version of the study planner and told of the clues within. They were, with some helping nudges, a first and only real test case of the game before it would go off to print. It was a nervous few hours as we watched them discover and solve each cypher hoping that everything was spelt correctly, and that all the number trails lead to the correct pages. The real-world test was a success, and the book went out to print that same day.


Study planner school diary treasure hunt secret message

On the first day of school each student was, as every year, handed a copy of the study planner. With no notice, announcement, or hint given as to its extra special purpose. It wasn’t until two months later, inconveniently on April 1, that a message was left in the morning bulletin that would hopefully encourage some curious minds to begin discovering that a game is afoot. On the last day of the school term and the Thursday before the long Easter weekend. The notice read “Best of Luck: There is more than one Easter Egg to discover this year. A puzzling treasure hunt to the key and a $100 gift voucher for first place. Make sure to Plan your Study and are ready player 29?”.

While the timing wasn’t great it sparked the interest of almost every student who was hoping to solve the puzzle by the end of the day. While a handful of students had found and deciphered the first clue before the announcement, the message in the daily bulletin sent hundreds of students in all directions around the campus as each one came to a different conclusion.

The bulletin message itself needed to be solved, while not overly difficult, we needed to show that this was a puzzle to be completed and not simply a “follow the breadcrumbs” path. The cipher in the message laid out a few different bits of information; the phrase “ready player 29” is reference to Ready Player One, a book/movie about a video game having a long hidden quest to a prize. Again, reinforced with the wording “More than one Easter Egg to discover”, which is also reference to a secret hidden inside visual media. The wording “Plan your Study” was in refence to the Study Planner, and the “29” was the page number that contained the first puzzle and start to the quest, and a deliberate mistake of the ‘ready player one’ title.


Student Diary background page hidden number treasure hunt

The daily bulletin message kick started the entire school’s interest in the secret game included in the Study Planner, even in ways we didn’t expect. The most satisfying of which were those students who pooled their knowledge and worked together as a group. This was completely unexpected considering only one major prize could be won. Seeing that the journey of discovery, solving the puzzles, and finding the clues was something that was bringing people together completely exceeded our expectations.


Study Planner message translation student diary hidden message cypher

As time went on, the openly public hunting and solving of puzzles in the planner subdued. Those seeking the solution to the riddle and wanting the prize became less and less vocal about it. We received messages on occasion asking for hints, or wondering if a theory was correct. While nothing was ever given away, we relished in the knowledge that students were wanting to seek out and find the treasure. If they could actually solve the puzzles and get to the end was a mystery to even us, one that only time would know.


Welcome to Giraffe and Elf


giraffe and elf design logo banner

Giraffeandelf.com is live and we would like to welcome you to our little corner of the internet. It has taken time and dedication behind the scenes to get this web page off the ground, and with it we look forward to showing you more of what Giraffe and Elf Design has to offer.

Follow along as we showcase our endeavours and produce some unique items and other projects. Thank you for visiting, and let us know your feedback and comments by following our social media channels.