Currently featured in the iOS App Store is a Get Stuff Done (Productivity) category. I found it interesting that the first seven Apps all use a check mark prominently in their icon. While I appreciate that a check mark is an easily recognized graphic for a to do list, I feel that there is a massive [...] Read more – ‘Bland Branding: Can You Spot the Difference?’.
Graphic Design is a Strategic Exercise Requiring Clear Communication. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a great deal of miscommunication for a design project to go wrong. To reduce the risk of miscommunication, I insist all clients approve a written creative direction before I proceed with any design development. This step of distilling the information collected thus [...] Read more – ‘Direct Communication Matters. Pass it on.’.
Out of the many apps I download for the iPad and iPhone, very few end up being used regularly. The following is a list of the apps that survived the year on my devices—the ones that I think most graphic designers will find make their working day a little easier. Read more – ‘Top Apps for Graphic Designers 2012’.
To be effective, every brand must make decisions regarding when to say “No.” Your brand must embrace aspects that some individuals will perceive as a ‘dead-end’. A brand must do this to benefit from what your actual audience views as a strength. Read more – ‘Great Branding Says No’.
Pharmadrome is a recruitment consultancy based in Barcelona, Spain. Pharmadrome works with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies across Europe, as well as individual professionals within these industries. Read more – ‘Pharmadrome Logo and Branding’.
The branding for Ottawa-based Coredge Software is included in the recently published graphic design book, Mastering Type, the Essential Guide to Typography for Print and Web Design by Denise Bosler and published by HOW Books. The Coredge branding is included as an example of a successful letter-based logo. From the Mastering Type website: Communications technology permeates [...] Read more – ‘idApostle Work Published in Mastering Type’.
I admittedly have a few bad habits. One of them is constantly ordering books that I do not read. They pile up on the bookshelf with the usefulness and weight of bricks. Setting time aside for reading can be difficult with client work and the distractions of blogging and social media, but experience has shown [...] Read more – ‘Bricks and Books’.
Processed Identity is a website that allows graphic designers to share the creative processes behind the development of brand identities. The site uses case studies, articles and discussions to explore the value of a non-stock solution. Read more – ‘Processed Identity Logo and Branding’.
Well, at least that’s the opinion of the new book Damn Good: Top Designers Discuss Their all Time Favourite Projects by Tim Lapetino and Jason Adam of Hexanine. Branding for Processed Identity and Ottawa’s Westboro Nursery School are included in the book as examples of graphic designers personal favourite work from around the globe. Rather than focussing soley [...] Read more – ‘idApostle is Damn Good’.
Ben Day, is a 1996 black comedy by Dana Arnett. Ben is the ficticious creator behind Happy the Hamburger Helper Hand, Americas most beloved corporate icon. After an eight year rut, Ben finds a new source of inspiration in ‘closet man’ and his groundbreaking work results in both awards and an unparalleled ego. Read more – ‘Before Mad Men, There Was Ben Day’.
Every audience has particular desires and influences, and no single solution can meet everyone's needs. Understanding context is the key to creating meaningful connections. It's a designer's and clients best opportunity to ensure their audience smiles wide and proud. Read more – ‘Relevance, Context and Making Your Audience Smile’.
I wince when hearing a potential client say “I know what I want”. This phrase is quickly followed with an explanation describing how this knowledge will make the project quick and easy. The monologue is then wrapped up with a plea for reduced costing. Read more – ‘Two Types of Graphic Design Clients’.
A good photographer often shows the ordinary in an unexpected way. This wordmark for Ottawa-based photographer Dwayne Brown was designed to reflect that ability. Without any adornments, the type is flipped to show the photographer’s name in an unusual perspective. Read more – ‘Dwayne Brown Logo and Brand Identity’.
The Ottawa Health Group provides clients with an integrated approach to wellness through a range of services including Chiropractic, Massage Therapy and Acupuncture. With nearly every other competing health care provider incorporating an image of a spine and cliché stock photography for their branding, we knew we wanted to do something to stand out rather than blend in. Read more – ‘Ottawa Health Group Logo and Brand Identity’.
Kyoorius Magazine is the sole magazine in India focussing on graphic design, branding, and visual communications. Not only does the magazine have world class contributors like Michael Wolff and Michael Johnson, but the print and production values are very high, making for an outstanding publication. I was asked to contribute an article for the quarterly [...] Read more – ‘Armed With a Purpose’.
Cudazi is Curt Ziegler, a WordPress theme developer specializing in clean, modern, and simple web site design. The goal was to capture this passion for minimalism in every as best of the branding. The logo based on the concept of a site map, symbolizes growth, structure, and purpose. Read more – ‘Cudazi Logo and Brand Identity’.
Choice can provide an illusion of security, a false guarantee that quantity will result in something good. The reality is that more crap results in a bigger pile of crap—it doesn’t make it better.
Successful brand design relies on understanding, strategy and hard work. Design services that offer unlimited logo designs and revisions also offer very limited understanding and strategic value. Read more – ‘Logo Design and the Misconceptions of Unlimited Choice’.
Like rushing headlong into tattooing your lower back during a drunken stooper, fast tracking and penny pinching a logo will leave you with a painful and expensive reminder of a bad decision. Slowly, the full effect of your uninformed choices will come to light. The work might have been done by a relative, a “desktop [...] Read more – ‘10 Tips to Avoid Logo Regret’.
On a recent trip to San Francisco, the identity that connected most with me, was the logo for Muni. It’s a great example of how standing by a well designed logo rather than ‘keeping up with the times’ can sometimes provide a deep feeling of authenticity. The identity feels real, lived in and stylish to [...] Read more – ‘The Muni Logo Rolls With the Times’.
I discovered a new website this week offering customers unlimited logo designs for $20. What do their customers expect in return for the price of a movie ticket? Do they really believe they are getting a custom identity? Thinking $20 pays for enough of a graphic designers time to create anything worthwhile is like believing [...] Read more – ‘$20 Logos. You Know They Can’t be Real Right?’.
This was the first idApostle giveaway, and had over 300 entries. The winners of the two copies of the Logo Nest book are: Lindie Stauder and Aaron Pin Once I sort out your mailing addresses (please contact me), I will send off the books. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks to everyone that entered—there will be [...] Read more – ‘Winners for Logo Nest Book Giveaway’.
Following publication of idApostle logos in three new design books, I am very happy that LogoLounge has selected the Stealth Security and Ricochet Creative Thinking logos for their upcoming book, Master Series: Type and Calligraphy. This is the third LogoLounge publication to include idApostle work. Previous logos selected for the series were TaraSpan, idApostle, Processed Identity [...] Read more – ‘idApostle Logos Selected for LogoLounge Type and Calligraphy Book’.
Is Adobe Crowdsourcing a New Logo? The competition is being run by Adobe Creative Juices, a community ‘powered by Adobe’ aimed at a UK and Irish creative community. Graphic designers are being asked to design the new Creative Juices logo with the winning entry receiving an Adobe CS5 product. In return, they promise that the winning [...] Read more – ‘Adobe, Does CS Stand For Crowdsourcing?’.
I am thrilled to have contributed the article The Role of Sketching in the Creative Process to Logo Nest 01. The newly released book is now shipping and I am giving away two copies of the limited edition run. Logo Nest: The Book From Logo Designers For Logo Designers At 192 pages, the hard cover book includes [...] Read more – ‘Logo Nest Book Giveaway’.
It is incredible just how many cropped logos adults can recognize in only black and white. It is even more incredible to see reports like: New Study Finds Children Too Young to Read Recognize and Understand Corporate Logos. The study finds that “Kids … are using brands as indicators of popularity or success.” Hmmm, sounds [...] Read more – ‘Logos Before Words’.
For the past year I have been very active on Twitter but have completely ignored Facebook. Having recently seen that People Use Facebook 44% And Twitter 29% For Social Sharing, I have decided to take the leap and start using the service. I will be posting more frequently on Facebook than I do on this site [...] Read more – ‘Logo Design is Not Like Mr. Potato Head’.
Here are a few logo, brand and graphic design related links I enjoyed this month: Authenticity Is King Because Branding Bores Everyone “People are willfully engaging with your brand, starting discussions about it of their own volition, and using it as a way to define who they are, by “liking” a brand on Facebook, or [...] Read more – ‘Best Brand Related Links for February 2011’.
Four idApostle logos appear in the recently published Logolicious!, Design DNA Logos, and LogoLounge 6 books. Logolicious! is “a tasty collection of the best logos from around the globe” and showcases the logo for Jennifer R. A. Campbell and the Westboro Nursery School. The volume focusses on “work with high-level thinking”, “representing a careful thought [...] Read more – ‘idApostle Logos in Three New Design Books’.
The following is an excerpt from Creating the Perfect Design Brief, How to Manage Design for Strategic Advantage by Peter L. Phillips. “Over the years, I have traveled a great deal all over the world. When I arrive at the airport in a city, I have a business problem to be solved. I am at [...] Read more – ‘Designers Shouldn’t Be Taxi Drivers’.
Every month HOW magazine compiles a list of resources they feel graphic designers should know about. The folks at HOW were “ . . . so taken with your site that we have listed it as one of our website’s Top 10 sites to see this month”. This marks the second time an idApostle site [...] Read more – ‘HOW Magazine Selects idApostle for Top Ten List’.
A logo is often the fastest way to build brand recognition. It is the easiest way to consistently apply a visual brand, and is usually the most powerful single visual or verbal brand asset companies possess—apart from their name. In some cases, where a company suffers the misfortune of a poorly crafted name, the logo can become brand asset number one. How well a logo performs for an organization is often a reflection of the company’s willingness to see it as an investment, one they continually have to nurture.
Without constant investment, a logo can become a visual crutch, a go-to that receives little effort and certainly no evaluation of specific needs. It winds up centered on the top of the letterhead and placed with the same heavy-handedness on every other piece of marketing material. In cases like this, the logo had better scream, “This is how we are different and why you should care about us”—a tall order for any symbol. Read more – ‘What is the Value of a Logo?’.
Getting your new 60" television home, you open the box, and with a little help lift it onto the stand and push the power button. Stepping back, the first thing that you realize is not the impressive screen size, but instead, the size of the gaudy manufacturers logo that is now a permanent distraction. You now have to look at that oversized logo every time you sit down to watch the latest episode of Dexter. You have the added annoyance of the beast fighting with the ever growing “bug” that networks place in the bottom right of the television screen. Rather than accomplish what both logos were intended for—to foster a positive association with the brand, they are distracting, annoying, ugly, and negative attributes are being associated with them Read more – ‘Why a Bigger Logo Can Harm Your Brand’.
Photographers grumbled, and now designers are whining as stock takes over, making them obsolete. This seems to be the sentiment of a comment left for my recent post on the Logo Design Love website. I agree in part. I have heard the grumbling and whining, and I do see a similarity between the increased use of stock photography and stock logos — change does not equal progress. Read more – ‘Logos and the Lowest Common Denominator’.
A recent discussion topic at the Linkedin Marketing Communication group is: What is the best question to ask in a Creative Brief? If you were only given one question to ask a client about her business, what is the most important? Of course, you don’t need to narrow the creative brief down to just one question [...] Read more – ‘The Most Important Question in any Creative Brief’.
It’s not very often a brand surprises me and creates an immediate connection. What was once the domain of Girl Guides selling cookies seemed very rock ’n roll today. It convinced me there would always be alternative ways to reach your audience while remaining authentic to your brand. The doorbell rang and I went to [...] Read more – ‘I Saw Someone Zag Today’.
After taking the summer off, I am slowly getting back into things. Here are a few logo, graphic design and branding articles I have enjoyed this month: Paul Rand Retrospective Film “For Paul Rand’s posthumous induction into The One Club’s Hall of Fame for 2007, we created a short film, combining original animation with a [...] Read more – ‘My Favourite Logo Design Posts for September 2010’.
It seems that, as a community, we are feeding off pretty pictures with very few words, creating a daily "show" of work with very little "tell" to accompany it. In the process, we are all missing a great opportunity. Writing is an investment in your own education and it’s a way of expanding your knowledge and awareness in a way that looking at an endless parade of pretty pictures will not. Read more – ‘Creativity and the Written Word’.
I was approached by Applied Arts Magazine to be involved in this series of interviews that highlight some of the "online Canadian creative community who help bring creatives of similar interest together through their words." It was a great experience and an opportunity to talk about the Processed Identity site—my experiences so far, and where I see it heading in the future. Read more – ‘Profiles of the Canadian Creative Community: Steve Zelle’.
As logo designers we are trained to make things look good. Much of the creative process can sometimes appear as a struggle to maintain both the strategic and the aesthetic nature of the solution. As a group, we are opinionated and are often very quick to point out what we like and dislike. We have [...] Read more – ‘Ugly and Bland Can Win the Race’.
My creative process has radically changed over my twenty-plus years of designing logos. The greatest change is the shift away from visuals, and towards words for inspiration. Back in college, every graphic design project I completed had to be accompanied by the material that inspired it. As design students, we had to show how we got [...] Read more – ‘Logo Design Inspiration or a Bad Habit?’.
I think ideas are overvalued. Like billing design by the hour, I believe it is another misunderstanding both clients and designers have about logo design. You certainly don’t need to be a good designer to have lots of ideas. Ideas are relatively easy to come by, but ideas are not the key to logo design. Describe any great logo as an idea and it sounds ridiculous. Read more – ‘Ideas Have Little Value’.
Ottawa is one of the major innovation centres in the world, and Invest Ottawa has established many years of good cooperation relationship with Zpark. These are the main reasons that convinced us to choose Ottawa as the best location in Canada for the ZDG Ottawa International Incubation Centre,” said Qiang Xu, general manager of ZDG, [...] Read more – ‘Test Post for Responsive Columns’.
Deadlines force designers to act, to focus, and to create. Without a deadline, projects can easily drag and lose momentum and the designer’s interest along the way. I find the most difficult creative projects are the ones for myself. If a client inched a job along the way I do when working on my own identity, I would go nuts. Like many designers, I feel limits are what drive inspiration and creative problem solving. Read more – ‘Why Time Drives and Refines Creativity’.
The first Process Study is by We are Him+Her, a very talented team out of the UK. Their study explores the development of their own logo. My experience is that as far as clients go, it doesn't get tougher than designing for yourself. Read more – ‘Processed Identity Launched’.
Branding an Ottawa Nursery School Ottawa’s Westboro Nursery School delivers a high level of personal attention and care for their students. The goals for the branding project were to express the school’s values and create an image that was simple, emotive, and honest. The original sketch for this logo was done on my iPhone while [...] Read more – ‘Westboro Nursery School Logo and Branding’.
Branding an Ottawa Effort to Stop Hunger The Ottawa Food Bank required a logo to promote and brand their Hunger Stops Here campaign. The goals for the branding project were to design a simple image that would inspire action. It was also important that the graphic design considered cost as printing budgets were very small. [...] Read more – ‘Food Bank’s Hunger Stops Here Logo and Branding’.
Branding an Ottawa-based Software Company Ottawa-based Coredge Software creates knowledge discovery tools with ease of integration and usability as key differentiators. The goals for the branding project were to communicate the core brand attributes in a clear and minimalist approach, starting with the tag line “discover simplicity”. In addition to the corporate branding, I developed [...] Read more – ‘Coredge Software Logo and Branding’.
Branding and Packaging Software Logik is a knowledge discovery tool developed by Ottawa-based Coredge Software. Having already designed the branding for Coredge, the goals were to communicate the core brand attribute of simplicity. ∧ Product naming ∧ Logo (black) ∧ Logo (reverse) The idea of connections was communicated by creating a ligature for the letters [...] Read more – ‘Logik Logo and Branding’.
Branding the Unseen Ottawa-based Stealth Security provides custom security systems for both residential and commercial clientele. The goals for the branding project were to articulate the company’s ability to “invisibly” install systems and leverage the strength of the bold company name. The idea of invisibility was achieved by removing the bottom portion of the letterforms. [...] Read more – ‘Stealth Security Logo and Branding’.
Branding a Custom Furniture Company The Wooden Tailor is an Ottawa-based, family-run company that provides custom furniture and cabinetry. The goals of the branding project were to develop an image that conveyed quality and the hand-made authenticity of their products. The solution was reached by having a traditional tool of the trade interact with the [...] Read more – ‘The Wooden Tailor Logo and Branding’.
Branding an Ottawa Graphic Design Studio ∧ Logo Colour Ricochet Creative Thinking is the Ottawa-based company I ran for 15 years before starting idApostle. I provided a wide range of graphic design services to the high-tech, government and private sector. The goals for the branding project were to reflect the vitality of the design process [...] Read more – ‘Ricochet Creative Thinking Logo and Branding’.
Branding the India Market Opportunity With offices in India and Ottawa, TaraSpan accelerates value creation and business growth for both emerging and established technology companies by providing highly effective entry into the rapidly expanding India marketplace. The goal for the branding project was to capture TaraSpan’s ability to act as a catalyst and enabler for [...] Read more – ‘TaraSpan Group Logo and Branding’.
Branding a Canadian Government Counselling Program The Employee Assistance Program for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada provides a number of services. These include: counselling for employees and their families; training and education as well as crisis intervention. The goal for the branding was to position the program as being friendly, accessible [...] Read more – ‘Employee Assistance Program Logo and Branding’.
Branding a Home Security Specialist Brentek provides residential security systems to its Ottawa-based clientele. The logo is a bold image that conveys a strong sense of coverage and security—something key to its audience. ∧ Logo (monochrome) ∧ Logo (colour with type) ∧ Logo (reverse) ∧ The logo solution was reached by integrating elements of a [...] Read more – ‘Brentek Security Logo and Branding’.
Logo for Canadian Pulp Mill Blue Water is a pulp mill owned by E. B. Eddy. The goal for the branding was to create a logo that leveraged the simplicity and descriptive nature of the company name. The solution was reached by manipulating the similarity of the shapes found in waves of water and rolls [...] Read more – ‘Blue Water Logo and Branding’.