Chris Grabinski

Design & Front End Development

Featured work

WDR Digit

An online archive for vintage photography

German public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk asked us to shoot three teasers for their newly launched online platform „Digit“, a community for vintage photography.

We decided to highlight the aspects of stumbling upon photos and film footage by chance as well as searching for specific motives for Digit’s monthly topics.


Stop wasting and share your food instead

Every year, german households waste about 22 billion Euros in food products. „Taste the Waste“ director Valentin Thurn wanted to tackle this problem and start an internet platform that targets individuals, merchants and producers of food alike.

Foodsharing offers an easy way to give your leftovers to the community instead of throwing them away.

We've supported the project with an induction film for the crowdfunding campaign on startnext.


Dive into the world of Cold War intelligence

During the Cold War, intelligence agencies used so called numbers stations to communicate with their agents abroad via short wave. Insted of delivering plain text, they encrypted their messages often using a code consisting of numbers. Some of these stations transmit their messages even today.

Being fascinated by the sound of numbers stations recordings, I decided to create a short film based in the Cold War era. It was filmed at historical locations in Germany such as Astropeiler Stockert – a radio-telescope with a unique architecture or Ausweichsitz NRW – the former nuclear bunker of the state government of NRW.

Costumes consist of various parts of military wardrobe and equipment from the USSR, CSSR and GDR.

Überleg's dir noch mal

Use the internet to get political information

This movie was meant as a call to action for young people to use the internet to find valuable information about political parties for the NRW state elections in 2010

It showcases three easy ways not to form a solid political opinion but to gain a general overview of the political parties and their programs.

Operation: Leakspin

A viral message that went around the globe

When Wikileaks released a huge collection of US embassy cables in 2010, a small subset of people within the activist network Anonymous formed to analyse and distribute newsworthy tidbits from the top secret documents.

When my friend Simon started a website – Crowdleaks – to help people to translate the cables in various languages, I decided to create a viral video to support the campaign.

The video became a viral success, being broadcasted in TV stations all around the world and leading to an article about us in the german Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazine.

Pirate Party (2009)

A new political party for Germany

The german Pirate Party started a contest for one of their offical commercials for the german Bundestagswahl in 2009 which I attended and won. The spot was aired on several german public broadcasters prior to the elections.

Press Pause

One message in 30 seconds

Our task was to make a short, thirty second long animation that delivers a self-assigned message.

Being stressed out by a huge pile of work and living from deadline to deadline at the time, I decided stepping off the gas and relaxing once in a while would be a good idea not only for me but also for other people. :)

In a dystopic world, K. struggles with conformity

K. lives in an opressed society which is ruled by a huge, black pyramid in the center of the city. Nobody knows exactly what it is, where it comes from or how it operates. K. wants to find out more until one day he gets an unexpected letter…


Maintain focus and improve your productivity

Rispen is a web app that helps you to maintain focus and improve your productivity by dividing your workday into 25-minute-intervals. Break down huge projects into smaller pieces and finish them off one task at a time.

Track both distractions and productivity across multiple workspaces to find out where you get the most stuff done.

It's built entirely with web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, so you can enjoy it on any of your devices.

Subliminal Playlists

Deliver messages via Spotify playlists

When Twitter’s users started to put #hashtags into their messages, they were inventing a new feature that wasn’t intended by the social network’s creators.

We were asked to go to any social network and use its feature set in an unconventional way, coming up with new usecases – just like Twitters early adopters did.

So we developed „Subliminal Playlists“ – a way to deliver hidden messages using Spotify’s core functionality: Playlists.

Whether you want to send a love letter to your girl- or boyfried, transport a political message or even advertise your products: Everything’s possible!

Just arrange your message using Spotify’s huge and evergrowing collection of over 20.000.000 songs.

Mit Milch und Zucker

An online magazine about local cafés

Finding a descent café other than Starbucks can be a real bag of hurt. Online platforms such as Yelp make the scavenge easier but then again you are confronted with star ratings, crappy cellphone photos and unhelpful user reviews.

We took a walk around Düsseldorf, Germany and looked out for the small cafés that not only serve a tasteful coffee blend but also tell a story.


Making room for students

A lack of workspaces at Düsseldorf University of Sciences lead to the occupation (Besetzung) and transformation of one room by design students.

A website was created to showcase students and their work that has been created inside the room as well as recaps of workshops and other events.


Visuals for a vintage astronomy tape from the GDR

When I bought an old tape tape recorder off of eBay, I was very surprised to find that it came with a tape inserted. When I plugged the device in and pressed play my surprise was even bigger.

It was an old educational tape about astronomy from the former German Democratic republic which explained where the science of space started and what the state of the time was.

We animated short sequences of the tape and built an interactive web experience around the tape recorder that delivered me that wonderful piece of history.

Zak McKracken: BTaS

A classic 2D point-and-click adventure game

Zak McKracken – Between Time and Space is a 2D point-and-click adventure game released in 2008 after being in production for 7 years. It was produced as a fan-sequel to the original „Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders“ from 1988 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

The story goes around hack-writer Zak McKracken from San Francisco who finds himself on a mission to save the world from the Caponians, an evil alien race who‘s leader suspiciously looks like Elvis Presley himself. On his journey, Zak travels all over the world and through time.

I joined the project in mid-2001 and worked in several areas such as screen-design, website-design and maintenance, item-design, story and puzzle design and animation.

The game features several hours of gameplay, 2D-backgrounds, fully dubbed dialogues by professional german voice-actors and even got support by David Fox and Matthew Alan Kane, the creators of the original game.

The release in 2008 was accompanied by a lot of press coverage on the internet, in print and also on tv.