February 16th, 2010
This project, brand and identity development, was for long time friend and photographer Ian Matteson. Ian is an action and commercial based photographer out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with Ian’s action and commercial work, he shoots a lot of film/fine art photographs. As the project progressed, I realized just how great it would be to incorporate these other areas into core components of his brand. We both have put in endless hours working on this project and really are excited to have this portion of it completed.
Objectives & Goals
Our first main objective was to develop an identity for Ian that really complimented his style of photography also keeping his long and short-term goals in mind, while at the same time, enabling him to stand out among others in the photography industry. After talking about these goals we came to recognize that simplicity was key in this case. We needed people to remember his name through his work and needed to be unique in the way that we were doing it. A brand that was cohesive would in itself set Ian apart from his competition.
Before diving into headfirst into the design, Ian and I sat down (mostly via iChat) and researched current and past photographer logo trends. Based upon our research, we saw a pattern. It showed that generally the more successful photographers opt to utilize their name as their logo. In some cases, Ian’s competition also did this, but completely lacked the visual stability throughout their brand and the uniqueness of the logotype.
The few sketches above show alleys that were explored. Although my initial icon sketches didn’t make the cut, they still provided a point in which I could look at how an icon could assist or take away from the main logo. This was the point where we really questioned tradition and steered away from using an icon. There would be no case where Ian would need to use one and going back to our original goal: We want people to remember his name–not an icon.
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February 11th, 2010
When large typography and monochrome color combine, I fall in love. This is without a doubt, one of my favorite package designs this year. The product, Ms men by Mesoesthetic, was designed by Espluga + Associados a Barcelona based design group. If anyone from Mesoesthetic just happens to be tuning in I would love to get my hands on some of this product.
January 11th, 2010
So you’re about to start the best project in the world and are thrilled to have it in your portfolio. Fast-forward twenty days and you’re now wishing that you’d never agreed to do this project because your client has forgotten why they hired you as a designer–to build something really great. It’s safe to say that that most of us in the industry have experienced a similar situation. Feel free to vent your story in the comments.
Hit the jump to read the comic and have a good laugh.
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January 6th, 2010
So this has more than likely made its rounds but I can’t let it go unposted. I flew Alaska Airlines over the holidays and couldn’t help but notice just how shoddy the design is on their boarding passes. Actually, I’m not sure if I would even consider it a boarding pass. The stock it was printed on had very little weight to it. It felt as if I was holding a large receipt from Costco. Not to mention the design was not well thought out. The above example is from Delta, but you get the point.
Alex and I briefly discussed these boarding pass designs by Tyler Thompson and both agreed that they were visually pleasing but the use of the condensed type is a little harder to read. The layout, particularly the time, flight and seat number really stand out for me.
Read more about Tyler’s boarding pass solutionhere. Also check out Timoni Grone’s different approach here.
December 21st, 2009
The following design firms/agencies were chosen based on their work, not on their revenue or size. Four out of the five are graphic and web design focused leaving the remaining agency with roots solely in graphic design.
Experimental Jetset is an Amsterdam graphic design firm, founded in 1997 by Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen. Their focus is on printed material and installation work. Experimental Jetset has worked on projects for Stedelijk Museum CS, Purple Institute, Centre Pompidou, Colette, Dutch Post Group and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux with work featured in group exhibitions such as Terminal Five in JFK Airport (New York, 2004) and Riviera Gallery (New York, 2004). You may have seen some of Jetset’s work posted here on the blog this year.
Visit their site: Jetset.nl
Struck/Axiom is a full-service hybrid agency with offices in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Portland. Some of their clients include Botticelli, AIGA, Discovery, Ogio, Ski Utah, and Addidas. Although the majority of Struck’s portfolio appears to be web, they do have a print team in Salt Lake City that has put out some stunning pieces such as the Botticelli packaging.
On the web side of Struck, the Utah Travel site and Adidas Techfit Microsite compliment the portfolio beautifully.
Visit their site: Struckcreative.com
Hit the jump to see the rest of the most inspirational design firms of 2009.
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December 14th, 2009
I’ve spent the majority of my time this past week drafting up logo ideas for a project. After putting out about 50 sketches and sifting back through them, I realized that I needed to focus on current logo trends before I continued. I dusted off one of my books that I found last year in downtown Seattle called Logology.
Logology is a very resourceful piece of visual literature to have on your shelf. It is an extensive collection spanning over 280 pages with logos and type treatments from many designers. At the beginning of the book it contains case studies. Each of the case studies shows the logo design process and the application. Logology is definitely worth picking up if you have an interest in logos.
If you have some spare moneys after procuring gifts from the designer’s gift guide, then give this book a home. It’s about $30 and comes with a gorgeous imprinted leather cover.
December 9th, 2009
It’s been quite some time since I’ve owned a watch and there’s a good reason for it. I seem to somehow always break the bands. Not to mention I don’t really check the time using the watch, I just use my iPhone. But recently I came across Rado, a Switzerland based, high quality watch company that designs these beautiful watches. I was about to snag one as a Christmas gift for my wrist, but then I caught a glimpse of price tag. Definitely hefty price (a good reason for leaving them off the designers gift list)–we’re talking four digits before the decimal. I’m certain that you’re getting what you pay for and probably a lifetime warranty, but the price doesn’t seem to come down when you put those to mind.
If you decide you want to have a closer look at their collection you can request their catalog. It’s printed in Switzerland and has a really good feel to it. Rado definitely takes their graphic design seriously–one of my favorite things about the Swiss.
December 1st, 2009
Lists of gift ideas from friends or family are great, but when you don’t get those lists, its always good to have gift ideas in your head. These are my ideas for you to give as gifts to your design friends or to put them on your own Christmas list or even sneak them into your own stocking.
Hit the jump to see the remaining items on the list. Feel free to chime in if you have any other gift ideas.
1. Lovebirds tea cups & saucer
When I first saw this, I was in love with it. I’m a huge fan of Si Scott’s work and this particular illustration is amazing. It comes packaged in a nicely designed box and includes an art print signed by Scott himself. If anyone wants to gift me one of these I won’t complain.
2. Tycho Coastal Brake
Scott has done it again. This new Tycho vinyl release has amazing artwork and four new stunning tracks. This would make for the perfect Christmas unwrapping background music. Quite possibly it could be a great stocking stuffer (depending on how much your stocking can stretch). This is a definite must give or get gift.
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November 16th, 2009
The sketches above are a few of many pulled from two recent projects of mine. Just over a year ago, sketching concepts was one of my least favorite things to do. It seemed less time consuming to go straight to the computer to try and bring my concept to life. The truth was though, that it took two or three times longer to come up with my concepts than it would have taken to sketch by hand.
The reason it’s faster to sketch is because we can think faster from our brain to pencil than from our brain to computer. In a sense we can compare it to talking. An example would be that we use our voice to communicate; it’s far more effective than communicating digitally and there is little room for misunderstanding. This is my point exactly. Talking is natural and sketching is close to natural (the cavemen did it). When trying to use the computer to hash out our ideas, there seems to be a physical communication barrier that, no matter how good you are with computers, stunts your creative drive.
Being able to provide two or three-minute sketches to clients or the design firm you work for is a valuable asset, but only if you understand the principles of proportion, spacing (type), and ingenuity. In the sketches above, you can tell which ones were the 2-3 minute, 10 second, and 45-minute sketches. The 2-3 minute sketches are the ones you should focus on. The 10 second sketches don’t have the direction they need and the longer, 45-minute sketches are too timely (unless you’re creating an art piece). The 2-3 minute sketches help myself or my client envision the evolution of the project in the design phase. If I were to immediately show my client refined sketch, it may give them the impression that this is the final product. It’s also a safeguard to make sure you don’t spend too much time on an idea that may not be the best solution.
It’s funny sometimes what areas of a project get sketched the most. For example, the HH Annual Report project had more sketches about binding the book, than the design itself. Some of my other projects–a project for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington–started with word lists instead of sketches and eventually moved on to sketches of the photo-driven concepts.
Sketching has helped me spend less time staring endlessly at my monitor so I can spend more time making progress on my personal projects. Since I feel pretty strongly about the power of sketching, I’m curious to know what your thoughts on it. What is the balance between pencil and pixel in your work? Share with us.