Tuesday, October 31, 2006

53. Ad of the Week.

I should have started this long ago - as I have hundreds upon hundreds of the best ads I've seen in a huge digital archive on my desktop – but here is my favorite ad campaign I've stumbled across over the last week. A fellow AdCenter alumn, Steve McElligott wrote the campaign at BBDO/NY for the BBC World News. As an aside: BBDO is benefiting from Eric Silver being the Executive Creative Director in my humble opinion and this is just one example – but what do I know?

Why it works: I love the solution because the typography isn't simply a decoration for the message - it's actually the message. They managed to convey complex ideas using no imagery, but also a strategic differentiation that the BBC is presenting only the facts and that they prefer the viewer interpret those facts how they choose. And this is all done with just a few elegantly placed, and carefully chosen words. Greatness, I tell you. (I'll be bringing this feature – focusing primarily on print – on a weekly basis just like the links of the week. Which I have neglected this week. !+#$%@!*)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

52. The Art of Presenting 4 - Debbie Millman.

Let's keep this presentation series rolling; for volume 4 we have Debbie Millman sharing her perspective on the subject (click here to view.) Debbie is a Managing Partner and President of the Design Division at Sterling Brands, a board member of the National AIGA, a mentor at the High School of Art & Design and she teaches at the School of Visual Arts. She is also an author on the design blog Speak Up, a contributor to Print Magazine and she hosts a weekly internet talk show on the Voice America Business network titled Design Matters. So, yeah - she probably can help us out. Check out her Design Stories from NYC and this video when you're done. Thanks Debbie.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

51. Monday's Links on Tuesday. Volume 4.

Friday, October 20, 2006

50. The Art of Presenting 3 – Cathy Monetti.

Continuing our series on presenting, Cathy Monetti graciously gave her thoughts on the topic. Currently she serves as President and Creative Director of RIGGS, an integrated marketing, advertising and public relations firm headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also co-founder of the national CreateAthon network, a small agency partnership that has donated more than $7 million in marketing and advertising services to nonprofits in North America in the past six years. I met Cathy awhile back and know we're lucky to have her expertise on the subject. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

49. Sony Bravia's New Spot.

Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the new Sony Bravia TV spot is an example of how to be daring and engaging in a traditional medium. I don't know if I believe that their screens show 'colour like no other,' but I want to believe it. Some details from their site:

"Our latest TV ad - featuring massive paint explosions - took 10 days and 250 people to film. Huge quantities of paint were needed to accomplish this, which had to be delivered in 1 tonne trucks and mixed on-site by 20 people. The effect was stunning, but afterwards a major clean-up operation was required to clear away all that paint! The cleaning took 5 days and 60 people. Thankfully, the use of a special water-based paint made it easy to scrape-up once the water had evaporated."

If you haven't seen it already, check out the old Sony Bravia TV spot - which is every bit as dramatic. Both spots were done by Fallon, London. Great stuff, though I wish the soundtrack was different.

Monday, October 16, 2006

48. Monday Links Volume Three.

It's Monday – and what better way to start off the week than to do so slowly, coffee at your side and mouse in your hand? Some of the links are serious, some are fun, some are nonsensical, but all of them will help us be .0000000001% more interesting. (Don't worry - I won't post anything that is a YouTube video, just out of principle.)

1. Make Online 2. Design vs. Illustration 3. Kurt Halsey Frederiksen 4. Packaging Digest 5. Delocate Starbucks 6. San Francisco Center for the Book (I'm so lucky to be here.) 7. Baseball Uniform Database 8. Fail Harder Video by WK12 9. Paul Howalt Rocks 10. Mark Fenske Wisdom 11. Real Beauty / Dove Short 12. Doppelgangers 13. What the Fluff Festival

Friday, October 13, 2006

47. Duffy & Partners.

Have you ever realized that one agency or studio is reponsible for a lot of your favorite work? Well, Duffy & Partners is that design firm for me. They are big time - and their founder, Joe Duffy, has been around awhile now - but inevitably I'd see a package design that stood out on the shelf, or an identity system that was phenomonally executed - and be surprised that it's one of theirs. Suffice it to say, I'm no longer surprised, I just assume Duffy did it. If you are studying branding and design, you should look at the great work they do for mostly conservative clients, with real budgets and real constraints.

(Pay particular attention to Smart Start, a beautiful example of great design sense in an ugly category. Unfortunately, the newer versions have been junked up to look more like the rest of the cereal aisle...which used to be a lot nicer. Yeah, back when Trix only had four colors, um I mean flavors.)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

46. Shhhhhh Cards.

From the "I wish I had done that" department comes Shhhh Cards from Coudal Partners, a design and advertising agency/studio in Chicago. They don't go around telling everyone how creative they are - they keep themselves busy actually being creative. Kudos. (Have I mentioned that I really, really wish I would have done these?!?) And in case you are a cell-phone offender check out this link about cellular etiquette.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

45. The NBA's New Basketball.

Though not design of the graphic variety - the new version of the NBA basketball should prove a very interesting study of product design. Formerly comprised of eight oblong panels, this new one is built from only two interlocking panels (think of the construction looking like two Cingular logos.) And the material apparently allows for moisture to evaporate more readily than soak into the ball itself. Still, there is a significant amount of controversy surrounding the new ball from fans and players alike and it will be interesting to see how well or how quickly it is accepted. (Compare with the old ball.) I'm not so sure about Spalding's 'Cross-Traxxion' technology, because you just can't trust anything spelled so ridiculously. Apparently, these guys had something to do with it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

44. Coca-Cola's Far Coast.

Add another entry into the already crowded coffee business, that being a Coke project called Far-Coast. Initially opening only in Toronto, Canada; there are plans to expand internationally into Oslo and Singapore. And the reason it's on this blog is to comment on its identity and design merits; which I think are fairly well-done. I like the african-persian visual palette, and the brighter take on the coffee house. Although definitively not - it has a more authentic feel than say, oh Starbucks. However, big corporations need to stop with these kind of superfluous explanations for their new logos or marketing efforts: “Consumers are looking for quality and variety and are increasingly curious about the world around them. Far Coast was created to provide them with a window into different cultures through our range of delicious brews and infusions.” (from the official Coca-Cola press release.) Ughh. Check out these extra pics:

1 2 3 4 5

My kingdom for helping me find out the designers responsible for this effort...

Monday, October 09, 2006

43. Monday Links Volume Two.

Here's another addition of the miscellaneous links that I have discovered over the past week - saving you the time and trouble of finding them yourselves.

1. Wine in a Can? 2. Very Small Object Classification 3. The Draw-Bot 4. Hidden Rooms 5. Ban Comic Sans 6. Another Good Type Site 7. Aztec Art 8. Neat Video. 9. Hillman Curtis' Videos 10. Designers Who Blog 11. The Bob Ross Cult 12. Pantone Paint

42. Illustration Class.

One of the more prolific illustrators out there, certainly if only in terms of web presence, Von Glitschka has a great resource for those using Adobe Illustrator called Illustration class. Although in it's early stages, the site already has a few tips that can make the difference between average and professional vector graphics. He is also responsible for bad design kills, and an interesting project called the doodle archive. Also check out vonster.com

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

41. No Spec.

Here's an issue that is relevant to every designer and very much related to how we can be more respected within the business world: Doing spec work. If you don't know what spec is, or why it can be a bad thing, or you just want to be better informed on the subject there is really only one place to go. Here's a short excerpt from the No-Spec! site: "With legitimate design opportunities turning into calls for spec work at an alarming rate, it is our goal to arm designers with the tools they need to take a stand against this trend, as well as provide businesses with resources and information on why spec work harms our industry, and alternative solutions to their design needs that do not involve working on spec."

Monday, October 02, 2006

40. D&AD's New Identity.

Talk about pressure – try updating the logo for an organization of Design and Art Direction professionals – that's pressure. But that's a job that Rose, a design agency in London, took upon themselves; rebranding what was known previously as the British Design and Art Direction organization. Here's an excerpt from Adcritic.com:

"The project, led by creative partners Garry Blackburn and Simon Elliott at London's Rose design consultancy retains the D&AD logo designed in 1962 by Fletcher/Forbes/Gill, but with a substantial twist. "We took the original logo and combined it with a yellow hexagon — the shape of the pencil when upended," says Blackburn. "The original marque sits in the middle of the hexagon, like the lead running through the core. The D&AD 'seal of quality' will be easily identifiable from now on." Once again, we see that a graphic solution need not be complicated to be thoughtful. I like it even though it's a little close to the One Show logo in spirit. Check out the new mark in action on the organization's website.

39. Monday Links. Volume 1.

Here are a bunch of links I have recently found, either on my own - or on the numerous blogs I regularly check. Some are helpful. Some are fun. And some will simply take up that five minutes before you are ready to go home. Check back every Monday for more.

1. Penguin Books flickr Set 2. Mini Burgers. 3. The potpourri that is the NYC subway system 4. NBC being all self-depracating 5. The World's Most Uselessly Useful Knife. 6. Little People Art. 7. Redesigned Monopoly Pieces. 8. The Year in Book Design (keep clicking.) 9. A New Way to Hurt Yourself. 10. Baby Toupees. That's right. 11. Pittsburgh Signs - I sent them a bunch of signs from my Pittsburgh days. 12. More Type Links. 13. Olympia to Seattle in 2 minutes.