Monday, October 25, 2010

Words of the Week

Hello again. I got to pick the words of the week and I thought I'd post some that might be useful to know for your packaging project.

: A pattern or design of sharp blades that, when mounted on a press, are used to cut shapes out of paper or board.

Hairline Rule
: Traditionally, the thinnest line that is possible to print. Usually 0.25 point.

Tummy Band
: A strip of paper containing a sales message fixed around the middle of a publication [or package]. Also called a belly band.

Good luck finishing up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Caleb Khazoyan’s Post Advertisement

This bit of local advertising for a relief organization (ShareOurStrength) caught my eye while eating out after church one afternoon. In particular I was struck by the typography, which generally seems to be quite nice. But what really caught my eye is that at first glance it almost reads “Buy Help”. Ironically that drew me in and caused me to read the rest of the ad because I wondered whether it was a mistake or intentional. Even after now reading the ad thoroughly and going to the site (a sign of a successful poster in this case, no?), I am still not honestly sure. Seems to work well nonetheless.

Another bit that struck me was the logo in the bottom left corner. While this is not the first time I have seen the concept, I believe this one is probably the best executed. Often designers creating this effect use the same face on both sides to give the icon a lot of nice symmetry. In the case of an eaten apple core, however, I think that the designer's lack of symmetry helps it a great deal. What it is remains very clear, and it still feels very stable (harder to achieve without symmetry). Also, just think about it: How often to we eat apples while leaving perfect proportions on all sides?

The typography of the logo is also worth noting. Ordinarily I'm very against this much variety amongst so little text, or even amongst the text throughout an entire poster. In this case, however, it seems to work very well. The use of color corresponds well to the rest of their ad campaigns (or perhaps that's the other way around?), and despite the changing weights it still feels like a very cohesive whole.

This brings me to the last bit I'd like to analyze, which is the color of the ad as a whole. Orange is not a common color in advertising. When it is used, it is either a) trying to be very in your face, such as with a toy advertisement or b) very very subtle, such as with, say, a pumpkin scented candle label. The color pictured here strikes me as neither. To me it resides in a very happy medium between an energetic, fast food feel (appropriate considering it was in a restaurant and concerns food) and an amount of subtlety and trustworthiness required for an aid organization. Orange is a hard color to pull off, and I believe this designer did it well.

Note: My apologies for the blurred imagery. It was taken with a friend's iPhone and it seems clarity was not his foremost concern. I tried for a better image the following week but the campaign had been removed by then. 

Brent Ellis’ Post

I am a member of Cross Church, at the Springdale Campus. Many people most likely have never heard of Cross Church. Why? It is the brand new identity of First Baptist Church of Springdale, and The Church at Pinnacle Hills. I would say a lot of people, even across the country have heard of those names, especially here in Northwest Arkansas. One would beg to ask the question, “Why change the name of a church so well known? Wouldn’t that minimize the recognition and legacy the church has built over the years?” While the well known name is no longer, at times, you must make a decision that may seem to be going backwards, but necessary to go forward.

In January 2011, we will be launching a new third campus in Fayetteville. With that, we would have First Baptist Church of Springdale, The Church at Pinnacle Hills, and the new campus, which would also need a name. You can’t simply carry over the name First Baptist Church of Springdale, because it has a specific location, which is why we have The Church at Pinnacle Hills, located in Rogers. Keeping in mind, this is all one church, many locations. If you continue to add names, it would not be recognizable as one church. Unity is very important for building a strong identity, the foundation really.

In recently researching about logos, the background of the organization is of great importance in the logo, as well as the name. Our missional vision is to “Reach Northwest Arkansas, America and the World for Jesus Christ.” We are a very cross-centered church. The logo is obviously reflective of that. The 3 crosses are a great representation of when Christ was crucified with the 2 thieves. One thing that is great about this logo, and that we have studied, is it works in black and white. No matter what medium this is placed on, be it a newspaper ad, a fax cover sheet or other publications that are primarily in black and white, it is still very recognizable. It is also good for sizing. Obviously it can go as large as needed, but can (and is) used as an end mark of articles in our church magazine. The type used on this logo is different than the last. It uses a Sans Serif font, where the last one was a serif font, very similar to the almighty, Trajan. I am not certain, but my guess is the choice is for a couple of reasons. The first being a new identity, you wouldn’t want it to look the exact same as the last and have a clear distinction between the two. The second being that it is a more modern and “youthful” font; that may not be the right word, but compared to Trajan, it is much more “youthful.”

The color choice for this logo is somewhat carried over from the last. The colors are a bit darker, but also adding a fourth and fifth color to the palette. The darker colors give more solidity and that’s a good thing. Nobody wants a logo that seems weak. The color is also an element that blends the mark and the type, with the maroon color in the mark, and the word “Cross.” The gray, also in the type, is a great combination that compliments these deep, rich colors.

One of the things we discussed in class is that simplicity is important, and I am learning that more and more everyday. I’m learning to love simplicity. Pastor Floyd mentioned many things about how this change will strengthen our identity, and he said something very profound; “By changing our name to Cross Church, we will strengthen our identity by providing: Greater simplicity, because less is more.” Our name and our mark, our identity, tell exactly who we are and what we are about; the Cross of Jesus Christ. The name change and logo both are very successful, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Anna Rose’s Post

The FIFA World Cup has been around for many decades. The first logo was done in 1966 when the World Cup was held in England. Since then our technology has improved immensely allowing us to create better designs and logos.
The logo for FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa is a very nice solution for the problem of incorporating everything that represented the world cup for this year. I really love this logo because I think it captures the essence of soccer and the good-hearted and spirited nature of South Africa.
I believe the typeface chosen for this logo suits it very well. It has a very humanist feel to it and just has a really fun look to it, which goes well with the spirit of soccer.
The colors in the background of the logo actually are in the shape of South Africa (I didn’t notice this until recently).  I love how they incorporated the country but without stamping in on there. Also the colors in the background represent all the colors of the teams participating in the World Cup.
The interesting small icon in the top right corner is actually and abstract of the World Cup Trophy. Im not so sure if the that was the best placing for the icon of the trophy, especially since there the soccer ball is right next it, but it still works.
The figure kicking the ball is doing a bicycle kick. This kick was made famous by soccer legend Pele who played for the Brazil team and won 3 World Cups.
I think this is a really great logo. This logo is a very symbolic design, yet remains simplistic. It gets the point across well, and draws in the viewer. It’s not only fun and colorful, but it really incorporates the important information about the World Cup as well as capturing the essence of soccer in South Africa.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sara Talyor’s Post

While looking at the design of different foods, I came across Justin’s Nut Butter. There was a small paragraph explaining that the design company, asked to redesign their packaging, had written in their design brief that they wanted to combine the company’s “culinary, natural, and fun qualities.” I think the new packaging does just that. The simple picture of the nut on the front makes me think they’re proud of the ingredients and they aren’t going to put a lot of crap into their product. The “all natural” underneath the nut also helps us know they care about their butter, along with the fun qualities. It’s a nut on a jar. The label makes me laugh a little each time I look at it. The handdrawn typeface helps it to feel carefree and simple.

Redesigning the packaging, the company also wanted to “increase distribution in fine food outlets without jeopardizing existing sales at lower-price supermarkets,” and I can see this packaging working well in both markets. The clean nature of it fits with finer food places, while the fun nature and white background will help it fit in among the lower-priced places.

I’m including a picture of what the labels were before. I can see it working with the lower priced markets but the old label would have definitely hindered them
 in the nicer food outlets.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A GAP Between Designer and Public

As some of us may be aware of, an interesting branding brouhaha broke out this past couple of weeks surrounded the rebranding of Gap. The company hired a NYC agency to lead the effort, and voila! The new Gap logo with little square was born, and Gap signed off on it. But, much the same way the new Seattle's Best logo has begun to slowly emerge rather than through a wholesale rebrand rollout, Gap's new logo had been leaked to an online public for early feedback and digestion ahead of a larger roll out. But, designer blogs were all abuzz about the effort. And, consumers expressed strong opinions closely matching the critical opinion of graphic designers. Nobody liked it. One blog made a game out of it and crowd-sourced the logo. Flop. That's another story: crowd-sourcing is amateur-sourcing. This was an encouraging side story to note—that our profession might be safer from the creeping crowd-sourcing phenomena than I previously thought. So, the president of Gap listened and announced today that we will not being seeing this. No change! A good move for Gap? I think probably so. But, they did generate a lot of buzz which can end in successful PR when the president announces that he listened and rescued his consumers from a bad move.

My opinion? They must have moved toward a rebrand as an effort to refresh the look. I don't think they have a positioning problem suspending Gap between the upper scale Banana Republic and the lower end Old Navy. I think they are firmly positioned nicely in between. Good. But, likely there is corporate buzz within the company desiring a refresh. Just a guess. But, I really do believe I have their refresh solution that will carry them the next 10-15 years before they need to revert back to the "classic" Gap logo: they need their logo to retain the same proportions, colors, and overall equity. But, simply go sans in a uniform weight. No thick and thin, no serif. These are the attributes of their current logo that have wrinkle lines. They just need a little facial. A rough draft of what I believe their solution should be is posted here although I would give them a pointy A instead of this round version. This would need a barely-discernable reduction in line weight, too. This might be ever so slightly too heavy. Just a thought for the day!

Kristen Hanko’s Post

Pour Te, a Swedish beverage, is an authentic iced tea brewed and flavored with natural and organic ingredients. The tea bases its design concept on the idea of a message in a bottle. Like Jones Soda Company, Pour Te allows consumers to personalize the back of the Pour Te bottle label with their thoughts, love for the tea, or any other message they would like to express. The tea is quite modern and hip. The giant peel-able thought bubble with text underneath is fun and creative! The design is simplistic, readable, and colorful. I personally love this tea company! It reminds me of a Swedish Jones Soda with a slightly different twist. Pour Te is also French for “For You” personalizing this product even more. If I was in Sweden and I saw this in a grocery store I would definitely be inclined to buy it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Adam Howard’s Post

So as we are working on logos, I thought that I would research a logo. I am a musician and have often been around the Yamaha logo and enjoyed the simplicity of the logo.

The logo, as you can see, is simply three tuning forks enclosed in a circle. The meaning of this mark is described on yamaha's website as such:
The three tuning forks of the Yamaha logo mark represent the cooperative relationship that links the three pillars of our business -- technology, production, and sales. They also evoke the robust vitality that has forged our reputation for sound and music the world over, a territory signified by the enclosing circle. The mark also symbolizes the three essential musical elements: melody, harmony, and rhythm.

It seems that the Yamaha mark is representative of some sort of musical trinity but Yamaha is, as we all know, not confined to the manufacturing of musical instruments but makes motorcycles and a variety of other things. They use this same mark to define their whole company though. I think that such is a wise move for them, as they had already established their mark before they moved into other realms of manufacturing. I think to change would have been, in a sense, starting over without any real visual tie to an already respected company.

I also think that is interesting that originally their logo did contain the tuning fork, but that the focus of the logo was not the tuning fork, but rather a mythical bird called a "hoo". I don't know why they chose to use such a bird as their logo but they do explain what the bird is, so I have included that explanation as well.

The hoo, a Chinese phoenix, is a mythical bird of luck, long revered in China alongside the kylin (an imaginary fiery horse), turtles, and dragons. Its appearance is said to herald the birth of an Emperor possessing saintly virtues. The front part resembles a kylin, and the rear that of a deer; the neck, a snake; the tail, a fish; the back, a turtle; the jaw, a swallow; and the beak, a chicken. In addition, the feathers of the hoo are said to feature a five-colored crest.

Matt Hoffmann’s Post

I feel that this may have been too obvious a choice to pick for a “good” ad, but I just really like it. 

Coca-Cola has been around for a long time, and I’d say that it’s pretty much impossible to not know the product. I think that the ad really plays on a we already know. What I really like about these series of ads is that you get a real sense of the object in 3D space. You can blow up a picture of a soda bottle and put it on a billboard, but most times it’s just a flat image. No matter how dimensional the image is it’s just an image trapped in a box that is designated for a product. What makes this series of ads different is that they break out of the box, and engage other pictures, and the surrounding structures. The artwork is so superbly done, that I can’t tell from just a picture of the ads where the art of the straws end and the real pipes begin, if in fact those pipes are real and not just an extension of the poster. The ability of these Coca-Cola ads to escape the normal ad box that ads are often relegated to serves the ads well. What I think is really important is that unobtrusively engaging the environment, and in turn they really grab the attention of the viewer. I am a very cynical and cold when it comes to advertising, I generally try to ignore ads, and unless they are really well done, I mentally gloss over them.

I know that a lot of times that companies will get your attention by just bombarding the same image or slogan, and you’ll “get” it, but you won’t appreciate the ad and product the ad is selling because you were pretty much forced to acknowledge its existence. Like when a station runs the same add over and over, on every commercial break. You may acknowledge the ad, but you will often come to loath the product being pushed, because you were bored and bombarded into hate for said product.  This ad has your generic slogan that you expect from any beverage ad, but the way the straws act like spider’s legs, getting outside of the picture, draw you to the ad, non-brutally engaging you. The ad with the straws going from one poster to the next, I’d like to call meta advertising, for whether those other two brands might be real or not, your interest lies in the central poster that is breaking out of the box.
I’m not sure what else to say, I think that these posters worked well to capture the attention of the viewer, and really stand out compared to a lot of other ads that are out there; (at least until this style gets imitated to death, and the advertisers move on to the next best advertising scheme that the general populace has not gained an immunity to yet).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

THE OTHER WEEK, I discovered (just as many of you did, I'm sure) that a "brilliant" is a traditional term for a type size of 3.5 points. The threshold of legibility for the human eye is around 7 points. Perhaps this is how the 7.3 point "minion" or 7.6 "brevier" came to be? These amusing group of words quickly reminded me of one of my favorite typographic endeavors, "Minuscule". The purpose of Minuscule is exactly what one might suppose. This typeface was created to be typeset at small point sizes, specifically below the usual legibility threshold. In fact, five versions have been developed (italics were also added, recently): Minuscule Six, Minuscule Cinq, Minuscule Quatre, Minuscule Trois, Minuscule Deux for six, five, four, three and two point type, respectively. Two point type, you say? Yes! Don't believe me? Print out of copy of the .pdf sample on the website (link posted below) and see it for yourself. I must admit that reading French set at 2 points is a little difficult, but that is only because I can't read French… not because I can't make out the letters!

This set of fonts are probably the most intriguing to me of any that I have ever come across because of the research behind them. Under the "About" section on the website, you can read a brief section about the 19th century ophthalmologist, Dr Émile Javal, whose work inspired Minuscule. If there is an ounce of curiosity or love for typography in you, I would highly recommend spending a few minutes perusing the other categories that follow, as well. Here is a snippet from the section "The Word Outline" if you need more coaxing than that: "The eye first reads the words outlines. We do not read by deciphering one letter after the other, but by identifying, at once, already memorized word images. This point favours the use of lower cases." It is just plain fun knowing the "why" behind why we do what we do.

Now, we all know that a "minikin" is a traditional term for a type size of 3 points. Thanks to Minuscule, we can read one. The only question I have is, "What do you call a type size of 2 points?"

Emily Anderson’s Post

These ads are trying to educate people on how to recycle. There are tons of people, companies, ads, everyone, all telling you to recycle, but many people are ignorant on the actual process of recycling. These ads were created to let people know about the some of the common recycling pitfalls.
I personally love these ads. I was doing a massive search online trying to find something to critique. Finally, this caught my eye. Some clever person made an awesome looking pizza monster. It made me laugh. So I clicked the little thumbnail so I could see the whole thing up close. Beside this little pizza monster there was text telling me that not to recycle paper products that are dirty, such as pizza boxes with grease embedded in the cardboard. The way everyday objects are personified into something almost scary is quite humorous. In reality, a pizza box would never attack me. But the fact that this pizza (or tape, or cellophane) looks so scary is part of why I think these ads are so effective. They are what made me look at these ads. I saw something absolutely ridiculous and it made me laugh. The fact that it made me laugh made me slow down my search through various images. I then stopped and read it. I care about the earth some. I recycle when I can, and when it's convenient. If I have a bunch of newspaper, or if I just bought something that came in a huge box, I might throw it in the recycle bin. But there's no way I would ever read a list of what can and can't be recycled. I honestly just don't care that much. But if this company made a funny ad for every rule of recycling, I would never recycle improperly again. Now, I know that I shouldn't recycle my pizza boxes. So I won't ever do that and I will now save the recycling people wasted time because of this wonderful ad I read. My personal opinion is that if this ad made me remember not to recycle "dirty paper", then surely it will make people who actually care about recycling remember that too. Many of the comments on the website where I got these pictures commented on the poor design or that they didn't understand what was going on.  What do you guys think? Am I just easily amused? Or do you think these ads are effective?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dry Soda Co.

Thank you Anna Carol for your post. 

As I was examining the Dry Soda Co. website, I noticed their logo. It is a simple and clean typographic logo with a subtle concept which uses a play-on-words. Dry is spelled out and uses a water droplet shape as it’s negative space. Their concept is simple yet communicates the idea that the soda has a “dry flavor” while being a liquid. If their target audience is the wine connoisseur than their logo speaks well to the audience’s refined palette.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Since y’all are currently working on a soda design Goehner wanted me to post some examples for you. If you Google “soda design” you will find hundreds of examples of soda branding, good and awful. I just pulled a couple for you analysis.

I find this one interesting: Dry Soda. This soda is begging to be considered second only to wine. The website even suggests cheese pairings and potential drink mixes for each flavor. The design plays a big role in how you perceive this soda. It is crucial it looks like it is worth the price. I mean, try selling a bottle of Mountain Dew for $19 a 12 pack. I think this design is successful. It looks simple, refreshing and expensive. What to you guys think? Classy or pretentious?

Another interesting point. When I found this soda on Wednesday the design was the picture above, but when I went to find the link again to post this they had change the design. I personally prefer the old design. I think it fits better with the classy aura they are trying to give off. I think the new design feels too young to be suggesting alcohol pairings. Check it out the link and let me know what you think.

Here’s another one: Izze. I think they are an excellent example of all around design. They have a wide variety of packaging, bottles, cans, cartons, etc. and all of them are consistent and excellently designed. This is a great company to

look at for ideas of how to implement a cohesive look in every part of a brand. This picture just has just a few examples, check out the website for more.