Archives for category: Identity

In an effort to pay homage to some superb Italian design manifested widely through consumer goods, Italian-American designer Gianluca Gimini conceived this series of fictional co-branded sneakers. Looking at Gimini’s body of work, particularly this imaginative series, appropriately titled “Sneakered”, it’s clear that Gimini operates on a creative plane not easily defined. At a time when consumers (very broadly speaking) seem to be steeped in the marketing of nostalgia, Gimini capitalizes on that trend and also taps into a youth culture that holds footwear, specifically sneakers, in high regard. Think of it as an exercise in mashing up historical examples of excellent product design with a vehicle that has global youth appeal (sneakers). Brilliant.

Via Behance

gimini-01 gimini-02 gimini-03 gimini-04 gimini-05 gimini-06 gimini-07 gimini-08 gimini-09 gimini-10 gimini-11 gimini-12 gimini-13 gimini-14 gimini-15 gimini-16 gimini-17 gimini-18 gimini-19 gimini-20 gimini-21

Tourism marketing is not something that we think of as terribly design-y. We just assume the process involves input from many people and interests, and therefor gets boiled way down from the designer’s original vision. But in the case of a Smoky Mountain Tourism campaign from several years back by Tennessee-based designer/creative director Shayne Ivy, that vision seems to have won out for the most part. We love Ivy’s style here, which lends itself really well to the concept and is beautifully executed. It’s even a bit reminiscent of other multiple exposure work (here and here), and most notably that by the great Olly Moss (here), which is certainly the highest compliment. It appears that Smoky Mountain Tourism has since shelved this campaign, but a resurrection may be in order… Ivy’s double exposure silhouette concept and treatments are far superior in our mind.

Via Behance

ivy-01 ivy-02 ivy-03 ivy-04 ivy-05

You must admit, the “pumpkin spice” phenomenon that has taken over in recent years may be getting bit out of hand. We find premature pumpkin spicing particularly offensive (as does this guy)… we do not need pumpkin spiced anything in August! In any case, with the autumnal flavors creeping in, so do all the colors, textures and visuals of the season. We love food-related typography (here and here and here), so when UK designer Daniel Coleman pulled back the curtain on his process for this fittingly delicious take on pumpkin spiced typography, we were immediately intrigued. In his own words, Coleman discusses the project: “Esquires’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is the coffee chain’s hero product for Autumn 2016. We were asked to produce a key visual that captured the Esquires brand points of being artisan and handmade, whilst conveying the products ingredients as authentic (and not just a syrup shot). We designed a visual that captured those standpoints, with a particular focus on the authentic ingredients. By creating the type out of cinnamon, we could emphasise the flavour in the latte. To further set the mood, we added leaves and key ingredients around the typography. We experimented with various ingredients, looking at what gave the greatest clarity, colour and perception of flavour. Given the nature of the product we decided to work with cinnamon. The type was created by adjusting a font named ‘Beyond the Mountains’, making sure it had no complete bowls, eyes or loops. The next step was to laser cut it out onto card to create our stencil. The final result took a few experiments, using varying amounts of cinnamon to ensure the best detail and legibility.”

Via Behance

coleman-01 coleman-02 coleman-03 coleman-04 coleman-05

Legos and art have been crossing paths for years now (here and here and here). These colorful bricks that come in a vast spectrum of colors inspire not only young children, but also creative-thinking adults the world over. We are in awe of this brilliant ad campaign for Lego from a few years back, featuring highly minimalistic configurations of single-stud bricks depicting some of the most iconic paintings by masters from da Vinci to van Gogh. The human brain is truly intriguing. The fact that most people would recognize these works of art, with mere hints of details, really is amazing when we think about it. Kudos to Milan-based art director Marco Sodano for the clever concept and flawless execution.

Via Behance

sodano-01 sodano-02 sodano-03 sodano-04 sodano-05 sodano-06 sodano-07 sodano-08 sodano-09 sodano-10 sodano-11 sodano-12

No matter what you think of CNN’s new corporate font, aptly named CNN Sans, CNN’s investment in not only the font itself, but this humorous, highly-produced video touting its attributes seems like a win for those of us who hold the value of typography in the highest regard. As far as we’re concerned, increased awareness of the importance of typography can only be a good thing. Albeit, there are some haters who consider CNN Sans to be a blatant ripoff of Helvetica (CNN even acknowledges the, um, resemblance between the two). In case you’re wondering about possible copyright infringement, no worries… CNN Sans was developed by type foundry powerhouse Monotype Imaging, who has brought us ubiquitous typefaces such as Times New Roman, Gill Sans and Arial. Oh, and they own the rights to Helvetica.

Via cnncommentary.com

CNNSans-01 CNNSans-02

BEFORE:

CNNSans-03

AFTER:

CNNSans-04

Minimalism is often just the right treatment for getting to the essence of a visual identity (previous examples here and here and here). And that is precisely the case with Minneapolis-based designer/art director Tony Buckland’s project, Birds of Minnesota. You don’t have to be into ornithology or bird watching to appreciate this work, there’s an aesthetic appeal that stands on its own. Buckland’s objective is to “edit the defining characteristics of each bird down to the absolute minimum without losing the essence of the bird.” And he achieves that brilliantly. An ever-growing collection of prints available here.

Via birdsofminnesota.com

Buckland-01 Buckland-02 Buckland-03 Buckland-04 Buckland-05 Buckland-06 Buckland-07 Buckland-08

Just this week, Uber unveiled a global rebranding that not only strayed a bit from its recognizable logotype, but also introduced a rather detached set of app icons. Can’t say that we suffered from extreme design envy over the previous Uber logotype, but it was fine. While their new logotype seems like a step in the right direction (thicker letterforms and tighter composition for maximum readability), the highbrow concept behind the app icons and larger identity seems rather misguided, and will surely be lost on most. Yes, Uber’s official statement references “bits and atoms” (“The unique aspect of Uber is that we exist in the physical world. When you push a button on your phone, a car moves across the city and appears where you are. We exist in the place where bits and atoms come together. That is Uber. We are not just technology but technology that moves cities and their citizens.”) In theory, the thought process behind the concept, which is customized identities for specific markets that aim to draw colors and patterns from “art, architecture, tradition, old and new fashion, textiles, the environment”, is a thoughtful one. But from a branding perspective, it seems to dilute the impact of the Uber brand as a whole. And that doesn’t even address that larger concern that the icon itself is not identifiable in any way as Uber. Though we had issues with the previous icon employing a dissimilar “U” letterform from the Uber logotype, at least it was just that, a letter U. This icon, or rather set of icons – one for riders, another for divers – make no effort to resemble the new Uber logotype in any way. Why abandon the “U”? Our view is not the basis of some pretentious design theory, but simple human nature. In our estimation, the biggest stumble here was not hiring branding experts for the task. We are not knocking in-house designers… they are often immensely talented with an invaluable familiarity and investment in a given brand. But this was surely not a 12+ months-long task meant to be spearheaded by a non-designer CEO. There are experts in the field who do this sort of thing, we are among them. We hear the cry among our peers: “Help us help you!” Sure, the presentation of Uber’s new identity is slick, but the principals behind the design concept as a whole indicate a lack of design leadership. An unfortunate case of just looking pretty, but not meeting a brand’s true potential.

Visuals via Uber

 

 

Before:

Uber-01

After:

Uber-02 Uber-03

New look. Same ride.

A post shared by Uber (@uber) on

Uber-04 Uber-05 Uber-06 Uber-07 Uber-08 Uber-09

Bucking tradition, and just about every rule in a marketer’s playbook, global powerhouse brand Coca-Cola has taken a bold stance on topic du jour: equality and prejudice. In observation of the month of Ramadan in the Middle East, Coca-Cola has, for the first time in its storied 129 year history, stripped its cans of its iconic script logo in an effort to demonstrate a world without labels. Aptly titled “No Labels”, the campaign is sort of a social experiment to get into the minds of people regarding labels, preconceptions and stereotypes in general. Bearing nothing but its highly recognizable “dynamic ribbon” and the message “Labels are for cans not for people”, the limited-edition cans make a bold and beautiful statement. As designers, we are drawn to the visual simplicity juxtaposed with the powerful message. It’s actually rather telling of the current corporate branding landscape at large: businesses are opting to streamline their identities by making their logos simpler and flatter. Be sure to check out Coca-Cola’s masterful commercial to accompany the socially conscious campaign.

Via coca-colacompany.com

Coca-Cola-1 Coca-Cola-2 Coca-Cola-3 Coca-Cola-4 Coca-Cola-5

Given the late breaking, historical news that a NASA probe, launched some nine and a half years ago, and traveling an astounding 3 billion miles, has finally reached Pluto just hours ago, we thought it fitting to showcase this series of custom astronomy logos by Berlin-based designer Jonas Söder. We love Söder’s style here, sort of giving a nod to sci-fi graphics of the 1950s, but with a modern twist. His use of texture is quite nice, with a clear typographical prowess, as demonstrated by his custom letterforms. Out of this world, indeed.

Via Behance

Soder-01 Soder-02 Soder-03 Soder-04 Soder-05 Soder-06 Soder-07 Soder-08 Soder-09 Soder-10 Soder-11 Soder-12 Soder-13

So, we stumbled upon this viral video recently, and were in complete awe. You will be too, if you haven’t seen it already, guaranteed. It made us ponder the irony of being so taken with corporate logos carefully drawn by hand, even though that’s exactly how they were developed in the not so distant past. It’s no wonder this video has circulated so rapidly… we live and design in a time when doing things without the use of a computer is such a novelty. Armed with little more than some calligraphy pens, London-based Seb Lester, a trained graphic designer with a penchant for calligraphy, miraculously recreates distinct and recognizable complex letterforms with complete ease and surprising accuracy. Sit back snd marvel, as these logos seem to just emerge from his steady hand. We bow down to Lester and his tremendous talents.

Compilation video below, plus a few of our other favorites follow. Can you guess what’s about to materialize as he starts each logo?

Keep up with Lester and all of his hand drawn logos on his various social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter

Via seblester.com and Vimeo

More doodling.

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Harry Potter

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

I doodle a lot.

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Latest doodle

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

News doodle

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

%d bloggers like this: