Logos, logotypes, and trademarks have become integral to everyday life, from the pictograms used to order your lunch at Mickey Ds to finding your way to the next road trip gas stop.
This six-minute primer from the PBS Off Book series looks in on the history, tradition, and uses of a visual identity and establishes the argument for professional design versus the DIY approach that’s emerged as a result of desktop publishing empowerment.
Properly done, visual identities are a powerful marketing tool that work to fulfill an observers expectations. When that design is poorly developed, communication suffers.
Just noticed YouTube’s updated favicon. Cleaner? Yes. Better? No. Favicons are one of the web’s finest tiny treasures, used to impart individuality and brand identity at the most basic browser URL address level. It’s a mini-logo that IDs the site as original and authentic.
The process of favicon creation is a definite art, not just the result of taking a logo or trademark and shrinking it down to a 16 x 16 pixel square. Roughly comparable to building a sailboat in a bottle, the successful digitalization of a mark is done at the pixel level; the harsh limitations of bitmap art that will eventually live as a rasterized facsimile.
In the case of YT, it’s pretty obvious that Google is in the process of homoginizing their various properties. I never thought the original YT worked, but it was identifiable. The new favicon is simply a reskinned play button that, while cleaner, doesn’t communicate anything unique.
Khol Vinh is a designer. Not that unusual, but his previous job as design director for nytimes.com makes him unique and his skillful accomplishments considerable.
He publishes his highly refined blog ‘Subtraction’ on the Expression Engine platform, which alone qualifies him for a spot at the podium. Khol takes what might be the long tail view of publishing content for consumption when he predicts that he, “…just can’t see the end-to-end magazine format surviving.”
In a short, insightful interview on digiday, he challeges the cultural tradition that starts on C1 and proceeds to C4, digital pages turning at regular intervals like scheduled stops on a train trip.
Read more of Mr. Vinh’s insight into digital magazine publishing here. Originally sourced in a posting at Poynter.
Our speaker at the August 2011 CreativeMornings/London was Chris Bangle, formerly design director at BMW Group and now running Chris Bangle Associates. (chrisbangleassociates.com/) The event was generously hosted by Buro Happold (burohappold.com) and Sense Worldwide (senseworldwide.com). Breakfast was provided by the amazing folks at L’Eto Caffe (155 Wardour Street, Soho) and Vantra (11-13 Soho Street, Soho). Finally, a big shout out to ‘Femi T for providing her photography services on the day.
CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types. Each event is free of charge, and includes a 20 minute talk, plus coffee! You can currently join us in New York, Zurich, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. (creativemornings.com)
A big thank you to Nick Culley (nicecreation.co.uk/) for filming and editing the talk.
chris bangle presentation promotes design accessibility
This provocative August, 2011 Creative Morning/London presentation argued the benefits of extending the design decision loop beyond the purely economic realm of client-designer, and the potential effects a new style of style and design involvement could have on driving societal change.
since you put it that way, what was erik thinking?
Who says you can’t beat that dead horse? Fast Company compares Ulysses to Barcolounger! Whoop! Buell gets a posthumous dressing down over on Fast Company’s Design channel. Their current pictorial serves up a night and day visual of the role design plays in the consumer acceptance cycle. Message? I guess you know it when you see it. Screw around too much and you’ll pay the price: see iPod vs. (M.C.) Hammer clown pants over on the United States of Design for rock solid proof of usually avoidable consequences based on (bad) taste alone. Which is why the t.v. audience for Boise State home games will never exceed friends and family.
Much of the charm of this effective cause pr video for the Marin County California School District is due to its simplicity, but there’s nothing simple about the concept, great graphic design or production quality. The quick pace and easy to follow graphics are perfectly on target, delivering a powerful message on the importance of public education in a budget challenged environment. Bonus points for a soundtrack that taps into Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring for emotional nudge.
But can it sing? Judging by the handout highlights, it’s pretty clear we’ve moved well beyond desktop publishing. When I joined two dozen or so other invitation only attendees in Orlando April 5 for an Adobe technology sneak peek, bets at the $2 window were on a new full version Creative Suite release. Instead, a recalibrated release timetable was rolled out along with a CS5 dot-five version upgrade, company insight into areas of major focus, and a show and tell review of CS5’s major product (mainly Photoshop) improvements.
it slices, it dices, all very well
The two-hour session, held in an anteroom at the Seaworld Renaissance Orlando, was hosted by Scott Morris, Senior Director of Product Marketing, and Noha Edell, Senior Solutions Engineer, in a tag-team format of feature highlights and live how-to demos. Message of the day? An almost urgent awareness of the importance attached to serving content to mobile platforms; the role of metrics as the company extends channels (Omniture and hosted services); and a clarifying ceasefire in the Adobe-Apple Flash On-Flash Off Mobile War. Continue reading →
Steve Bauer takes readers behind the scenes for an in-depth look at how Polaris’ Victory division served up the revolutionary Vision in the August 11 issue of PowerSports Business.
The article features interviews with lead designers Greg Brew and Michael Song as Bauer breaks down the importance design and focus feedback played in creating Victory’s bold stroke in the touring market segment.
Obviously Polaris had the resources to mount the effort, but the takeaway here is why they’ve succeeded in launching a truly breakthrough product that goes far beyond slapping new graphics on familiar styling and calling the result fresh.
Recommended reading for a variety of reasons – team goals, administrative encouragement, marketing insight, breakthrough styling and creative freedom.