Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Big Brand Makeovers - Love em or Hate em?

When brand identity makeovers make the evening news, nothing good can happen. What are your thoughts on these two, latest big-brand makeovers? I like em, but then again, as a designer, I can't help be attracted to the new. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Being Excited to be 'Wrong'

Jonathan Ive once said in a 1996 ( yes, 1996) interview that " It's the inquisitiveness, the sense of exploration" that drives creative teams to new concepts. "It's about being excited to be wrong because then you know that you've discovered something new". Today, the idea of "new" is often talked about in terms of innovation rather than invention, yet, truly new ideas are often scary, if only because they are unfamiliar, and let's face it - what is unfamiliar today? Very little.

It's true that most industries today have very little appetite for risk taking, let alone being open for truly 'new' ideas. A fact that has design trying to catch up in a world where cliche is more digestible to marketers and consumers, than something, different yet better.

New and different doesn't mean that an object or product is better, but it is often the first step in creating a new and enhanced experience. We all expect so much from products today, that often design teams and development teams over-think the evaluation process, resulting in either an over-design product, or a 'looks-like-wanna-be". Of course, most company's will never admit that they function that way, opting for a less aggressive, more cautious statement such as "evolutionary design' or, consumer friendly".

In the future, the real winners will be those who can set new bars - those who can invest with confidence those concepts that  can become legend. Back to Ive's research just for materials, imagine convincing your computer electronics design team to visit a candy factory to see how jelly beans are coated, to discover a new way to treat plastic, now that is raising the bar.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The nuanced and informed work of Matt Lehman

 Matt Lehmon is talented.

 Oh, and before you check our the rest of his work samples posted here,  note that the Matt Lehman Studio is starting to get attention from everyone from Grain Edit to Nordstrom, it won't be long before this client list becomes more impressive so if you want to use him, hurry up! Not that it isn't well known already, after looking as his client list. Clearly, Mr. Lehmon has the chops, and the talent to combine multiple skills of type master, color, art style and creative tone, setting what are often new looks in a world where it is far too easy to look like everyone else.

It doesn't matter where you are from, what school you went to, or where you have worked before, real talent like this rises no matter what. Again, it comes down to what makes one creative different than another, and these differences must be more than just differences - it remains essential that all creative work meets the high standards of culture today, meaning, perfect execution, or perfectly-imperfect intentional disruption, as well as multiple micro skills that inspire oneself to combine techniques for the first time, or revisit old ones, to dare to use a new color palette, or to craft type with nuance and style resulting in a work of art that captures the attention of the audience. These are the skills which define average designers from the rest of the pack. (Yes, the same goes for the brands who hire those creatives).

 Brands? If you want to stand out from the competition, and connect with the new consumer who demands that you understand them. then this is the sort of work that wins. Matt has the right DNA and clearly the right resume ( a few years at the venerable  Anderson Design Group, and a few more at MTV). Not that either make any difference, for such talent will rise anyway, but it does prove one thing- his URL will be making it into many creative directors' bookmarks faster than you can say vectorize it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wang Bang and Bose? Watch out for these!

Watch out Bose, the sound reducing headphone market is exploding with savvy cool brands and design. This weekend, I noticed at leave four different hot brands on a flight, and I wanted them all. Do they sound as great as Bose? If not, they look better, but looks aren't everything, right?
 Hmmm.... I'm now not so sure. Like bikes, sneakers, homegoods and jewelry, headphones are making huge design leaps, and, best of all, they are layering in a huge does of lifestyle to boot. These folks know their target, and their market. 
Thanks to Thrillist, check these latest ones out...Named after a Chinese factory worker with really awesome parents, FW's a new high-end headphone-maker CEO'd by a former Netscape dude and developed by a sound engineer from Monster, offering Bose-quality sound at half the price of an N.W.A+ brand like Beats by Dr. Dre. Available as crisp black, red, or white over-ears, these sound-enhancers feature an aluminum-hinged duo-fold structure that lets you fold them into a more-compact Nerf football shape, plus a four-way noise canceling solution and custom-paired titanium-plated drivers to guarantee the sound is of the highest caliber, just like Omar's piece. Oh, indeedCoolest of all, every pair comes with a built-in duo jack that uses an in-line cable splitter so you can plug in a second pair of headphones and share crystal clear highs and mids with your bros, which'll come in handy the next time there's a dispute over who gets to watch Fried Green Tomatoes first.
Expect to see FW's noise canceling headphones drop in the US sometime in July with expertly crafted, technology-backed over-ear sound delivery, which was no doubt a painful process for Mrs. Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo.

Read more: http://www.thrillist.com/node/222120#ixzz1Nw6sjjQy

Monday, January 31, 2011

Millennials, Gen X want more from the retail experience

Considering re-inventing your retail space? You're not alone. read here about how JWTIntelligence writes about the trend.
Data point: Millennials, Gen X want more from the retail experience

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Discovering David Klein

While searching for some period influence for art posters, I can across a site for artist David Klein ( 1918 -2005), and I realized that I am more familiar with his work that I had thought. Since my father was also ( is also) an illustrator and graphic artist from the same era in New York ( 1914- ), I recognized the style and many of the pieces from his studio. If you are looking to design vintage looking type, posters or advertising inspired by the mid twentieth Century, you must review the work of David Klein.
The original 1960's travel poster that inspired the Orbitz poster.
David Klein is more will known for his Broadway window cards since his first job was for the theatrical advertising agency Clifford Strohl Associates in New York City. His illustrations for Broadway' dbrdy knoen shows of the era remains on of the most enduring hallmarks of the golden age of Broadway and graphic design.
Hi book illustration ranged from children's books to text book medical illustrations.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A New Generation Pushes the Big Brands Hip

LAB Partners design and Illustration's work for a new HP Retail Publishing group, who will appeal to a younger, hip consumer who expects more ( or less) from advertising. Thanks to the suaveness of Goodby, Silvertein and Partners, this idea grows into something completely new and fresh and very far away from the 1990's model of Neville Brody design that we still see so much of today in big business.