The Apple Watch was officially unveiled yesterday (as was a super-thin 13.1mm new MacBook) and as ever the internet is awash with run-downs and reactions slobbering over the new products. For Wolff Olins design director Jan Eumann though, the imminent arrival of the new timepiece got him thinking about logo design, and in particular how app buttons have rehabilitated the logo. You can add your thoughts using the comment thread below…
For a long time Wolff Olins was about branding, not corporate identity, especially not corporate design. We practiced and preached that your brand is more than a logo, that there are more design elements that can define your visual language. That the logo is almost secondary.
Let me clarify, I’m not talking about strategy, content or experience here. We ALL know how utterly important all that stuff is. I’m just talking from a pure design point of view.
Long story short: The logo was key in the early days of corporate design and then we talked it away. We had every right to. The world was changing and more flexible design systems were needed and still are in many cases. But nowadays if we look at the Googles of the world, the Airbnbs, the Twitters — what do they all have in common? They are digital; they live on your desktop but also on your tablet, your phone, your glasses and your watch.
Niels Biersteker's insight:
Bluntly, Corporate Identity deals with the visual aspect and branding with it's personality (ideas in people's mind).
PostNL onderzocht donateurswensen: transparante directiesalarissen; geen informatie per post maar een digitale nieuwsbrief.PostNL onderzocht donateurswensen: transparante directiesalarissen; geen informatie per post maar een digitale nieuwsbrief.
Creativity doesn't start when you punch a clock. Here's a better way to charge for design work.
Someone, somewhere, at some time decided that the value of design directly correlates to the time spent solving a client’s problem. Today, most design firms use an hourly rate to determine creative services. Although clients may agree to a retainer, fixed fee, or equity swap, nearly all of the 30 firms I surveyed for this story first estimate their fees based on some hourly formula.
But anyone who works in a creative field knows that creativity isn’t something that starts when you punch a clock. How many times have you had a great idea in the shower? While stuck in traffic? While watching a football game? When a brilliant idea "strikes like lightning" is it less valuable? If a powerful concept evolves over months of intense effort, does that make it more valuable? Is the hourly model, then, really the best way to determine the value of design and branding services?
In my experience, that gap in understanding can readily be solved by estimating the value for a design program in the client’s own terms, based on values that reflect the client’s particular business or industry. This "value mirror" approach offers a client-centric model that works at any scale. The magic in this pricing model is that it’s built from the client’s point of view, based on his or her own definition of value.
The official Real Madrid club crest, left, and the modified image appearing in the U.A.E., right.
panish soccer heavyweight Real Madrid dropped the Christian crossaffixed at the top of its official crest after signing a lucrative sponsorship deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. At an unveiling ceremony in the Gulf emirate earlier this week, the club's president, Florentino Perez, revealed a new credit card sponsored by the bank, which doubles as a Real Madrid club membership card. On the card, the club's iconic "Los Blancos" badge is missing the cross atop its royal crown.
Its absence is seen as a gesture to placate Muslim fans in the region, according to Spanish sports daily Marca. Outside the U.A.E., the club crest has not been altered.
Designing a clear and impactful visual identity for one school is hard enough; and if that school happens to have two other institutions folded into it? Yeah, good luck with that logo. Cornell Tech is the engineering and technology-focused graduate school of Cornell University, but it’s not just that. It’s also a partner to Israel’s Technion University, and if you ask many of the faculty and students, they’ll tell you it’s a partner to New York City, too. That’s a lot of people to please.
So when Cornell Tech tapped Sullivan, a New York City design firm, to develop a visual identity system, the team of designers had a couple complex challenges in front of it. Clearly, there was the appeasing of multiple stakeholders, but almost more perplexing than that was the fact that at the time Sullivan began working with Cornell Tech, the school hadn’t even taught its first class. “When we started working with them, they hadn’t started putting the meat on the bone yet,” says Nicole Ferry, executive director of strategy at Sullivan. “So some of it was to facilitate those conversations about, what is this going to look like a year from now, five years from now?”
Niels Biersteker's insight:
The analogy with NYC downtown grid seems far-fetched in my opinion.
The automated employees at this mechanical lab in South San Francisco are the clicking, whirring heart of Counsyl, a startup designed to make lifesaving genetic sequencing as commonplace as cholesterol tests. That means finding more efficient, and more affordable, ways of hunting down the telltale markers in DNA that indicate a patient's risk of passing along certain diseases to a child, or of developing specific cancers herself. But it also means transforming the impenetrable and customer-averse field of medical diagnostics into something it's never been--an inviting online experience. Robots are key to Counsyl's strategy. Just as important, though, and maybe more revolutionary, is its user experience. Innovation, in genetic testing, can be as simple as treating your patients like humans.
That Counsyl's tests are presented as actual products--which you can choose to buy (with your doctor's approval) rather than be instructed to undergo, is a radical departure for diagnostics. Even more radical is Counsyl's online cost calculator. Each of the screenings costs about $1,000 (roughly 70% less than what competing companies charge).
Vistaprint made a name for itself literally giving away its flagship product – business cards. Using a strictly direct response approach, Vistaprint created the category and dominated it, reaching $1B in 2012. But while the company enjoyed high scores on brand awareness, they knew that in order to command a larger part of the offline market, they would have to shift the business model. So Vistaprint moved from its transactional roots to a more customer centric model, necessitating a complete repositioning of the company.
Vistaprint took a good hard look at things like transparency, pricing models, manufacturing, design studio, and customer service. Then, it invested in the necessary resources to start shifting both the reality and the perception.
Heading into 2014, with Creative Directors Dave Ball and Karen Bedard, we led the monumental task of translating our brand strategy into a new identity for Vistaprint – logo, voice, visual language, the whole shebang. Our goal? To give this brand the soul it has long been searching for.
Niels Biersteker's insight:
Today i received the Vistaprint newsletter (NL) and by surprise found that the logo had changed. I couldn't find a review online so guess this must be quite a recent change...
You may remember that last year Cadbury was blocked by rival Nestlé in its attempt to trademark the distinctive purple it had been using for its chocolates for more than 100 years (now defined as Pantone 2685C). Now it's Woolworth's turn to be the spoiler, via its objections that have led to the rejection of oil giant BP's twelve-year attempt to trademark the use of Pantone 348C, the green it employs for much of its branding. In this case the decision was made by the Australian intellectual property authorities, in contrast to BP's earlier victories in England and Europe.
English designers Knyttan make customizable, high-quality sweaters and scarves with a twist. Their knits are woven with bold, glitch art-inspired designs, which customers can mess around with to whatever extent they please. Blow up the pattern, drag it around, change the thickness of lines, flip the colors—you get to play designer.
Knyttan's products run from about $100 for their cheapest scarf to $250 for a sweater, and are fully customizable either online or at their brick and mortar shop in London.
De 'deeleconomie': is dat een voor iedereen toegankelijke feel good-economie, of bestaat het vooral uit bedrijven die in hun jacht op winstmaximalisatie misbruik maken van de welwillendheid van naïeve burgers? De documentairemakers van Tegenlicht gingen op onderzoek uit.
Het valt niet mee om een nieuw merk succesvol in de markt te zetten. Vandaar dat startende merken zich bij hun introductie graag associëren met een bekend merk, vanuit de gedachte dat roem besmettelijk is. Zo’n co-branding met een gerenommeerd merk kan heel goed uitpakken. Een van de eerste succescases op dit gebied waren de keukenproducten van Philips – Alessi. Maar doet het gunstige uitstralingseffect van co-branding zich wel in alle omstandigheden voor?
Bij co-branding vindt associatie-overdracht plaats: de naamsbekendheid en positieve eigenschappen van het ene merk stralen af op het andere, en andersom. Over het algemeen wordt aangenomen dat zo’n partnerschap tussen een oud en een nieuw merk de nieuwkomer bevoordeelt, omdat deze kan ‘meeliften’ op de naam en faam van de ander. Anders gezegd: de nieuweling heeft nog weinig ‘inhoud’ van zichzelf, en is als het ware een onbeschreven blad dat klaar is om ‘beschreven’ te worden. Onderzoekers Cunha, Forehand en Angle zetten echter vraagtekens bij deze veronderstelling. Sterker nog, ze redeneren dat het netto-effect van co-branding op het onbekende merk niet per definitie gunstig hoeft te zijn. Het hangt volgens hen af van de timing van en manier waarop het samenwerkingsverband aan het publiek wordt gepresenteerd.
Welke merken wil je absoluut niet missen? Zo luidt de centrale vraag die wij Nederlandse consumenten voor het zevende jaar op rij hebben voorgelegd. Op grond hiervan presenteren we de EURIB Top-100 Onmisbare Merken 2014.
Pentagram partner Natasha Jen discusses the price of creativity, and why that may be nothing at all...
Since joining Pentagram as a partner, Natasha Jen's overheads have increased "by 20 times". One of the youngest partners at the global design firm – and the only partner in Pentagram's history to have started as an intern – Jen talked money ("Wake up people!") on the second day of Kyoorius Designyatra, India's three-day creativity conference held annually in Goa.
"Design is like a Rubik's Cube," she told the 1,500-strong audience. "You have to put a lot of time and effort into getting [the design] right. And on the other side you have time, project duration, staff overheads and fee. Those factors aren't necessarily proportional all the time," she admitted. "We're struggling with a disproportional distribution all the time."
So what if, she asked, there was no budget? How do you deal with overheads? Should you just say no? Or is it possible to turn pro-bono projects into creative opportunities?
We took five with Jen after her talk at Deisgnyatra 2014 to find out more about how she factors pro-bono work into her Pentagram practice, and how she made the leap from intern to partner at one of the world's most influential design firms…
studio philippe apeloig have designed the visual identity for the new louvre abu dhabi (LAD) designed by architect jean nouvel. apeloig chose to symbolize the building’s spiritual dimension and recreate its very particular climate. the challenge was to evoke the mysterious whiteness and lightness of this exceptional space, including the region’s warm temperatures.
Unknown Dutch automaker Carice Cars has introduced the limited edition Carice Mk1 electric vehicle.
Joining Spyker, Vencer and Donkervoort, Carice Cars is another specialty marque from The Netherlands and their first product is a limited-run electric vehicle called Carice Mk1. It draws its styling cues from the classic Porsche 356 and has a body manufactured entirely from plastic. Tipping the scales at less than 350 kg (771 lbs) including the battery pack, the Carice Mk1 will be offered in two states of tune: 15 kW (20 PS) and 40 kW (54 PS). There will also be a Junior Version (for 16-year-old drivers) with just 4 kW (5.4 PS).
The Carice Mk1 features a so-called "backbone chassis" with a central single thick bar running the entire length of the car which incorporates the battery pack and grants an ideal 50:50 weight distribution.
Only ten units will be made and each will carry a starting price of 26,620 EUR (including VAT) but don't expect to get a roof because there isn't one, only a tonneau cover. For more money clients will be able to opt for a range-extending small capacity gasoline engine and there's even a hydrogen-powered version available. Order books will open on June 21.
Source: caricecars.com via telegraaf.nl
Niels Biersteker's insight:
Not really crazy about the emblem, but the car itself, YES!!
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