8.26.2009

Jamie Stolarski

I've been enjoying the beautiful design, type and illustration work of Jamie Stolarski. The definitely check out the rest of the portfolio.






via The Best Part

8.24.2009

Oh google…

So my wife asked me to look up what process is to become a physical therapist and like all Gen-Yers I started to type "how do you become…" into Google and Google responded with this list of helpful suggestions. My personal favorite is the first.

8.23.2009

Brand miscommunications

When I go to the mall with my wife we usually tend to stop by The Limited. Luckily for me The Limited is a visually stimulating store. The displays and colors are usually beautiful and the use of typography is elegant so even though I may not be interested in checking out pants or skirts I can look around not end up bored. During a recent trip I saw an autumn sales flier and eagerly picked it up, hoping for some good design to look at. Unfortunately I ended up with this:

I was completely surprised. I began to wonder if I had picked up a catalog from a different store or if there was some kind of mistake. For those of you not familiar, here's a screen shot of their website. The website exhibits The Limited's actual visual identity.

I don’t think these two designs could be any more different. Seeing such disparate pieces from the same organization just reminds me that the importance of consistent visual branding still seems to be undervalued. While it’s certainly true that there’s much more to a brand than it’s visual identity, it is one of the more important factors that sways a person during their first encounter with the brand. This concept is probably illustrated most clearly if you compare a brand to a person. People form their initial assumptions about other people based on their appearance. Actually it makes a lot of sense that way. Most of the time vision is probably going to be the first of the senses to encounter any given person. This is where the visual brand comes in. The visual brand tells you what kind of a company you’re dealing with. It tells you whether you’re about enter a Shop Rite or a Dean and Deluca’s. Granted a well-dressed person could still be a jerk and a great visual identity could still belong to a crummy company. However as designers we don’t want our audience to wade through a sea of mixed messages hoping that if they hang around for long enough they’ll find out what a good brand the company is on the inside. The goal of visual branding is to communicate the personality and values of the organization visually so that when a customer interacts with the organization the interaction is consistent through and through.

8.10.2009

A small idea to improve twitter

I'm not a rabid twitter fan. I check twitter once or twice a day and might tweet 5 to 6 times a week. When I go to follow a new person and look at their feed and see that they have 3000+ updates and have updated 20 or more times in the last 24 hours I get a little concerned that their content will be overwhelming and so I sometimes pass on users who update very frequently. Additionally when considering following someone I want to know what the person tends to tweet about most commonly so I can avoid users who only update about their exploits on the morning commute or what kind of sandwich they're about to eat.
It would be amazing if right below the total number of tweets there was a listing for the average number of tweets per day as well as a list of the user's most frequent hash tags. See the example below

Pepsi's Colorful New Bottles Part 2

A little while ago I mentioned the appeal of the new pepsi bottle design. I bought one because I thought it looked nice not because I usually drink soda, so the bottle sat in my fridge for a while.



Every time I opened the refrigerator door I noticed how well it competed visually with everything else in there. Even when I wasn't looking to get a drink it was always the first thing my eye was drawn to when I opened the door because of the bright colors and simple design. Not only does this bottle compete well on the shelves in a supermarket but it also competes well for attention once it's made into your home among the other products that you've purchased. This is just one more reason why the packaging is really effective.

8.09.2009

Light writing

The last assignment in Ed Benguiat's class was to design a three dimensional E. The assignment sounded like he was expecting to receive a lot of "E's" that were physically constructed so I wanted to break out of the expectation and make something that would be truly three dimensional but different than just giving depth to a Bodoni. I chose to do light writing. I've seen it a lot lately so I was worried that I wouldn't be the only one who did it or that it would just come across as really trite. I think the results were pretty nice so here they are.





After the class ended I got a few questions about how did them so I thought I would share the process.


How to do light writing



The supplies you will need are:


  • A dark place to take photos

  • A camera that you can control shutter speed

  • A tripod or surface to act as tripod

  • Some kind of light source you can hold


Once you have all of this the actually process to produce the "E" is really simple. Just set up your camera and tripod, disable flash, set the shutter speed to somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds, click the button, turn on your flash light and draw until the shutter clicks closed. It takes some practice to get good shapes so if you need to do this for a project with a deadline you may want to give yourself some time.
Happy light writing!


Update:
If I had done a little more research before writing this post I would have mentioned Rob, one my classmates, who posted about his process making a three dimensional E. He did a really amazing animated version, it's definitely worth checking out.

8.02.2009