Monday, July 31, 2006

29. Know When to Say When.

Sometimes, we designers need to know when to stop and when to leave well enough alone. Allow me to use a somewhat silly example to reinforce this rather important princple. Take the Pillsbury Funny Face Drink Mix package designs from the Sixties and Seventies. Using a simple visual timeline, you can see that with each revision some of the soul of the original is lost.

Granted, each design may have been the work of a different designer with a different client mandate - but the end result definitely shows that they would have been much better off keeping the original design. It has fewer elements but it also has more personality while not trying too hard.

Let's all remember that sometimes, a light touch is best used when revising something that already works well. And when designing a new project - the craft is occassionally in what you do not add, more so than what you do.

Monday, July 24, 2006

28. Please Care.

I rarely like to link to other blogs, mainly b/c I don't want to be redundant and partly because I'm arrogant enough to want to create my own content (tee hee,) but here's an excellent article about a designer's education that goes quite well with one of the books I recommend called, The Shape of Content, by Ben Shahn. The article is written by Dmitri Siegel, who admittedly, has a much better designer name than do I.

27. Payless Redesign.

Ok, here's the new Payless ShoeSource look. I won't say as much about it as the last Mastercard fiasco (because that was terrible on a whole other level.) It's probably a little trendy and probably will not stand the test of time - but the one thing that does make me cringe is the growing problem of using bland, modern fonts in logotypes that render the identity almost meaningless and certainly blends in with the 50,000 other fonts of the same ilk. Don't get me wrong, I have no love for Cooper Black (the font in the old mark), it's just that all these new logos and their typography have no real personality. A million fonts to choose from (or create) and we get the same ones over and over again - as if the point is to look like everyone else. I (and others) have a suspsicion that marketing directors look at other major identity redesigns and figure if they do the same thing, they'll keep their jobs.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

26. San Francisco.

Hello everyone. I don't have regular internet access here in San Fran yet - so it's been impossible to blog. There are so many things going on that will be posted as soon as I can, including Kevin Lynch's (of Hadrian's Wall Advertising in Chicago) answers to the questions in our series on the Art of Presenting. So stay tuned.

Monday, July 10, 2006

25. Wash Me.

Check this guy out. If Scott Wade ever did this to my car, I'd have a hard time washing it. Come to think of it, I have a hard time washing it anyway.

24. Mastercard Redesign.

Well, this one almost happened without me noticing. Usually, I try to keep my opinion understated - but I really hate what MasterCard has done here. It will not display very well in certain situations, it doesn't add anything to the brand compared to the old logo, and in the end - it's just kinda ugly. I believe it will date poorly, time will not be good to this design. Here's what MasterCard Chief Marketing Office Lawrence Flanagan said about the redesign, just for giggles:

“The new corporate brand better represents the globally integrated structure and unique insights that MasterCard leverages to deliver business value to our customers, merchants, consumers and shareholders...As we took a close look at the company’s unique competitive strengths, we recognized that MasterCard Worldwide is a leader in advancing relationships, insight and commerce around the world. We developed a new corporate brand to reflect the company’s strengths in these areas, as well as MasterCard’s leading role in defining the industry playing field.”

Uh huh. Yeah, what he said. (Here I thought it was just a silly transparent sphere.) It's a mess.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

23. The Art of Presenting. One of a Series.

This is going to be good. I've asked a few of the best Creative Directors and design professionals that I know to give me their thoughts on presenting, and I'm going to share their advice in short installments. I'm calling this, The Art of Presenting. I hope that this helps shed some light on one of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of working in a creative field. The first edition features Louie Moses, Creative Director and Partner at Moses Anshell, an advertising agency based in Phoenix, Arizona. I've worked for Louie for the last three years, and have had front-row seats to his effective and casual presentation style.

Here's the link.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

22. The Best Movie Posters?

Here's something that is sure to be debated: a link to the 100 greatest movie posters of all time. This collection, chosen by, includes posters for films ranging from Breathless (No. 98) to Pulp Fiction (No. 3). I have a few favorites not included on this list, but do you? And if so, what are they?

Monday, July 03, 2006

21. The Cuba Book.

In my ongoing attempt to bring you visually interesting material, that you might otherwise not get to experience... The Cuba Book documents one traveler's trip to Havana. Enjoy.

20. Icograda Design Week.

For those of you in the northwest, this looks pretty interesting: Icograda Design Week in Seattle is an international forum for discussion about the role of design in the face of incredible change in the world. It will address how designers can contribute to a healthy world economy while being mindful of the cultural, environmental and political impact of design. (Summary taken from event website.)