Monday, February 28, 2011

Katlyn Tweedy’s Post

Olympics Logo - Rio 2016

I love this logo! It’s abstract and colorful, both of which grab my attention.  I think that you not only can see 3 “dancing” figures in the design, but also the green as an “r”, the yellow as an “i”, and the blue as an “o.”  The text also combines nicely with the design in regards to the smooth flow and continuity of the shapes of the characters.

I did some research behind the idea of the logo.  It begins with the meaning behind the green chosen to symbolize the forestry and the Carioca’s (native inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro) hopes for the future.  The yellow is representative of the sun and the lively nature that the people of Rio are known for.  The ocean is a major part of their lives - which is shown with the blue.  The design was apparently based on a popular local rock formation, “Sugarloaf.”

The design agency, Tátil, explains their goal in the creation of the design...
“To represent the passion and transformation of a city and an entire country, and project these values to the rest of the world. That was the beginning of the project that granted Tátil the pleasure and privilege of creating the brand for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,”

Tátil’s website:

Overall I feel that this logo works strongly and accurately depicts the community of Rio while still supporting the history of the Olympics.

Starla Koehler’s Post

This logo was designed for SeventyTwelve, a company that assists other business with web solutions. It is a superb solution for the company's identity, as the logo serves as the identity for the company, while also describing what the company does. By combining typography and description, the logo works to create a quality visual representation of the company as a whole.

Also, the logo works because the essence of the design is so simple. It isn't cluttered with too many details, it is unique and it is memorable because of the power button icon that is created through the use of the type. The mark of the logo engages the viewer because you recognize it is a power button, so you are then caused to look at the rest of the logo where the company's name is found. The design succeeds in allowing the viewer to engage in an interactive mind game since the design itself is so direct in communicating the company name. Also, the use of just two colors maintains the sense of sleek simplicity throughout the logo.

What most impresses me about this logo design is its the ingenuity overall. The designer kept the logo simple and sleek, but did not use an obvious solution, which makes it stick to the viewers. Also, because is not just aesthetically pleasing, but captures the essence of what the company does, makes the logo stand out as a well designed identity.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Matthias Roberts’ Post

Sometimes life gives us lessons sent in ridiculous packaging.
-Dar Williams
I love to shop. Whether it be a quick trip to the grocery store, or a massive trip to Mall of America, there's nothing quite like walking into a store and being greeted by everything that one can own if willing to part with the little pieces of paper held in one's pocket. My sisters trained me well when I was young, yet strangely my sisters' favorite stores were the ones that I would refuse to go into. No, not Sephora...second hand stores (insert dramatic sound of doom here). For as long as I can remember, every single time I was dragged into a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or some other poser, I would suddenly get a really bad stomach ache as well as a splitting headache. Obviously, it's all a psychological reaction, but I've only recently realized the cause for the crippling physical effects second hand stores have on me: awful design.

Think about it. Second hand stores are the epitome of design taboos. Florescent lighting, crowded aisles, grungy furniture, dirty floors, and the smell of cigarettes mixed with pet pee. While the purpose of this post isn't to diss second hand stores (since one can find some pretty incredible deals - Dior blazer for 50 cents? Yes please!), they have helped me realize that I am somewhat of a packaging and presentation addict. I like things to look nice, and appearance causes true physical reactions, at least for me.

One of my favorite websites is The DieLine, it's a blog that features the best of packaging design from all over the world. I will sit and digest the website for hours on end, and I always walk away feeling refreshed. As I was perusing The DieLine this evening, I stumbled across some packaging that literally took my breath away and raised my pulse to an almost orgasmic level (yep...I'm a design major!) Just look!

Isn't it blissful? This is design by recent OCAD University graduate, Joel Derksen for the company 8 Fruits and Vegetables - a company that caters to urban farmers and container gardeners. The '8' stands for infinity and is also the past tense of eat (ate). This packaging caught my eye because deep down at heart, a part of me is still an Iowa farm boy (really deep really deep...). I have a passion for growing plants and then using them to create food, and this kit combines the two in an extremely classy way. From the custom branded spades and serving utensils, to the seed packets and napkin, everything oozes sophistication and deliciousness. The moment one opens up the box, it can be seen that the kit is to be used for every aspect of the food creation process - planting, growing, preparing, and enjoying with friends. Derksen presents a very well thought out product that not only pins his target market, but manages to go above and beyond in the area of design. The only thing I don't like about this product is that it's not real - this is merely a mock-up for a company that exists in Derksens ingenious mind. Fail.

8 certainly isn't something one would find in a second hand store, and it has me leaving with a smile on my face.


Ian Barker’s Post

Hi guys!  Well as I'm sure is true for all of you, I love music and I also love music packaging, so I'm going to take a look at a few of my favorite examples of creative packaging in music.  I think we have a packaging project coming up... which is actually for a soft drink... but hey it kinda fits, right?

Firstly, here's a collector's package for Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.  The regular edition of the album is themed after prescription drugs (notes in the booklet say things like "The active ingredients of of Spiritualized include..." before going on to list the band members, for example), and while not particularly attractive to see on the store shelf, is a lot of fun to flip through.  The collector's edition takes things to a whole new level.  Every aspect of the packaging emulates drug packaging.  Each of the album's 12 tracks is on its own disc, and they are all enclosed in blister packs: the same packaging you would find over medication.  Slips of paper in the package say things like "12 tablets 70 minutes" and "Please consult doctor regarding recommended dosage".

Of course, the entire package is entirely impractical.  You can't listen to the album without destroying the packaging, and if you did you would have to change discs for all 12 songs.  This is not meant to actually be listened to.  Not to mention the fact that it's expensive to produce.  While it's very unlikely that any of us will ever need to design something with complete disregard for actual use, this package is a great example of how far you can go to follow a theme and create something that feels very authentic and creative, not to mention exciting and memorable.

For something slightly more practical, let's look at Richard Skelton's albums.  His music is very grassy and natural sounding, so he takes that theme and runs with it in his package design by including actual natural elements such as pressed leaves.  Now, while this is an album package that people can actually use without feeling terrible about opening, it's still very impractical from a production standpoint.  A very small number can be produced... after all, only a small number of people are going to end up buying it.  Again, it's unlikely that any of us will end up getting hired to design something like this.  However, it's a great example of how far you can go to give a project intended for limited production a personal touch... for example, your senior portfolio!  Hey hey!  (as I gulp nervously and think of mine being due soon...)

Lastly something that anyone can use and is reasonably practical to produce.  Menomena's Friend and Foe is an album with holes in the front and back cover so that when you spin the disc in its tray or flip it over, you actually change the illustration on the cover.  It's not necessary (the cover would have been really nice on its own), but it's an example of how by going a step further you can really capture people's attention and give them something that they'll remember.

Zachary Brown’s Post

I don't know about everybody else, but I love movies. Probably more so than the average person. How they're made, their story, the music, and the posters. The posters of movies are what I'm interested in, in this post. It's a shame that so much money gets pumped into different projects, yet it seems very little thought is put into the posters that are advertising their movies. Unfortunately, a common trend in movie posters is to just slap on a picture of the stars and use some Photoshop magic to touch them up, such as The Dilemma. There is pretty much nothing in the design that makes me want to see it. On the other hand, there is the promotional poster for the movie Buried. It's pretty geometrical and somewhat vague as to what the story is about, which makes it that much more interesting. Movie poster design should entice someone to see it, or at least satisfy some artistic hunger that might be there within the person, but for the most part we just get celebrity faces staring at us on a poster that no one really put any thought into. One might think I'm quite upset about the quality of movie posters, but I can ensure you, I'm not. I like to think myself as somewhat mentally stable.
Those were just a few thoughts of mine on the current state of move advertising. I don't really see the negative trends going anywhere any time soon, but we can always look forward to those rare gems that stand out amongst the other posters and tries to represent its film well.

Ashley Elkins' Post

Olive Tree Clothing is an (mainly) online clothing/accessories store that was created in 2009 by my friend, Caleb Harris. His heart is “not that Olive Tree Clothing gets big, but that God's love is spread.”  God has built him with a passion for graphic design. Caleb explains “I hope that Christians hear this story and finally grasp that the same power that conquered the grave lives inside of them! That's the same power that rose Jesus from the dead, Lazarus from the dead, parted the red sea, turned water into wine, and took Elijah up to heaven in a chariot of fire! It's a big deal! And if that same power lives inside of us, then I know that the same power can change someone's heart through music. I know that the same power can hold a family together because of a film. I know that teenagers can break their addiction to porn due to a website. And I even know that that same power can lead someone to Christ through a t-shirt.”

These following t-shirt designs are possibilities for the new spring line that has not been released yet.

This first t-shirt is for the girls line and is appropriately titled “Take Root. Bear Fruit.” This has been one of Olive Tree’s slogans for almost two years and has appeared on five different shirt designs. The wording of this slogan goes well with the name of the company; it encourages people to “take root” in God and “bear fruit” by sharing God with others. This is a great conversation starter because unless you really know what it is talking about, it can be very confusing and make people curious. The way the typeface takes up almost the whole shirt really puts it right out there for all to see, and the way it intertwines gives the feeling of “taking root”. In the words “bear fruit” there is a growing olive branch (appropriately placed) to give the image of “bearing fruit.”

The next t-shirt design entitled “Waves” is for the guys line. This is currently my favorite design from Olive Tree Clothing, probably because of the graphics. The meaning behind this t-shirt comes from Pslam 93:3-4, which states, “The floods have lifted up, O LORD, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves. More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea, The LORD on high is mighty.” The way the words “the Lord on high is Mighty” are placed on the waves makes it appear that they are literally being “lifted up.” This is a great visual for this verse.

Dustin Kessler’s Post

When I first saw this package design on StumbleUpon (excellent website for finding astounding work) I immediately had to find out more about this package design.  It just looked incredible.
Ok, so when I found the entire article from the designer himself, I would say that the word "incredible" was an understatement.  This kid is the same age as most of us and is popping out designs and concepts like this?  I want to meet this kid—he's a genius.

Anyways, on to the actual design.  I actually dont know where to begin because Im still kind of mind-blown by it all. The package shape itself is ingenious, especially implementing the eco-friendly aspects to it to 1.) leave a smaller carbon footprint, but also 2.) to be able to ship more units per container [which, in turn, creates less usage of shipping, thus = eco-friendly].

The sleek lines and square shape the design holds gives the bottle a more modern feel to it as well as a much easier shape to work with for people who stock shelves and coolers.
The colors - oh the colors!  Ok, theyre really not much different than any of the other Coke products now.  Moving on. The actual graphic element that the bottles have shows an excellent use of a smooth gradient to create a modern, clean, and simplistic feel to the design.  Also, the white swoosh that starts from the top and wraps around two sides, ending at the bottom?  Love it.  It takes the classic Coke swoosh, keeps the vintage curve, but puts it in a modern form.  Excellent, excellent, excellent design.  I would have liked the swoosh to start from the cap, but starting from the top of the wrapper works too.  Just my two cents on that matter.

Ok, after looking at this, you cant tell me you wouldnt buy this new Coke packaging in stores...I mean really people? You cant.  I wouldnt believe you.  It grabs your attention too well and makes you really look at it.  Th simplistic design and sleek lines of this eco-friendly [oh, that draws in a lot of suckers too on most products, bonus points for this kid] bottle just makes you want to take a drink and feel super refreshed -- this is the new face of Coke.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Megan Toney’s Post

I like witty design. Maybe this comes from my English minor, my love for typography, or simply (in this case) burritos. I went to Chipotle when I was in oklahoma City a couple weekends ago and just giggled through my lunch. I admire the thought that went into it and enjoyed the way the type became the design.

The first being the napkin. It makes you at least smirk, doesn't it? The "forgive and forget" line made my restaraunt experience that much more enjoyable, not to mention the step-by-step how to eat your burrito tutorial. It just seems thorough to me and makes me believe that they do value my experience and not just my money.

Next it the paper for the burrito tray. The type becomes the design as well as the point. Again, it plays into that silly aspect and conveys the concept of an thorough, enjoyable restaraunt experience.

Their creativity and ability to be thorough and witty impressed me. I want to make people giggle sometimes, even if it is only designer types.

Katrina Pohle’s Post

   When I logged onto the blog website one of the first images that stuck out to me was the PLS DNT TXT + DRIVE poster.  I think this poster clearly demonstrates the message that is being portrayed (don’t text and drive).
   I noticed right away that the poster represents a website or some campaign against texting and driving (or road safety).  The message is clearly shown by the big bold letters that state the meaning “don’t text and drive”.  I like how abbreviations were used for the words don’t text and drive.  I think it was a good idea to abbreviate don’t text and drive as dnt txt + drive because, that is a common way someone might abbreviate a text message.
   The poster grabbed my attention enough to read the smaller text to figure out what the poster is trying to support.  I think it is a great idea to make a poster about texting and driving because I have personally known people who have gotten in car wrecks because of texting and driving.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Amelia Klemm’s Post

Disgusting Yet Delightful Design
(not for the squeamish...)

When I saw this, my first reaction was “Oh my goodness! That is so ingenious!” My second reaction shortly after was, “...gross.”

I think that one of the things that works the best for this product is the shock value. This is not exactly the norm. I mean, this is stationary for crying out loud. It is stereotypically supposed to be peppered with geometric shapes, company logos, or butterflies, right? No one (well, very few) usually use zombies on their letterheads. The thought of blood squirting across an official letter does not generally enter the average person’s mind. At least not purposefully. There have been incidents with letter openers however... or exacto knives...
      The thing that impresses me most about this stationary set is the interaction between the design and the office supplies. I am sure that most students, especially most art students, have drawn pictures incorporating the holes in their notebook paper or tracing around the staples in our homework. It makes me wonder if the creators, Jacques Pense and his design team, have done that before. Their work is certainly taking the concept to an entirely new level. The fact that they used zombies is also a bonus. While I am not a zombie’s biggest fan (never met one I liked), the growing craze among society for zombies makes this product more interesting to a larger number of people. I can’t imagine what one would use this stationary for. Perhaps if one were making a film about zombies, pulling a joke on some poor unsuspecting teacher, or working in a morgue that liked humor then it would be fine. I doubt that the average person’s boss would be very elated to be looking at blood and brains every time he read a memo. I am guessing that this was a special event project. It was created for NBC UNIVERSAL Global Networks in Germany. What they needed it for, I could not find. Whatever the need, I am glad that it was designed. Overall, it was gruesome yet creative, inspiring and memorable.
      Oh yeah. I found this on This is an amazing website with thousands of professional designers posting their work. It encompasses every aspect of the art world from advertising design, to music, to claymation and puppetry! They even post job offerings. I would encourage any artist to visit and browse through the different categories. It is amazing.

Brittany Spaulding’s Post

My major is photography so those are the websites I enjoy looking at the most. I try to find ways of how other photographers design there websites and to find similarities in style to get ideas of things I can do for pictures. I found this website called Aves Photographic Design,, I like how the website has a vintage feel to it and the uses of transitions between pages. One particular photographic design I like was of the engagement session called Sweep Me Away. I like the use of old vintage items in the shoot. One of my favorite things to do in pictures is taking normal household things that normally belong inside and take them outside. That is what intrigues me the most about this shoot. The concept is very cool with the old vintage bed and chandelier. I like the added element at the end with the use of feathers. It captures the couples fun side and shooting at sunset makes the entire shoot feel more intimate.

Meghan Glenn’s Post

Ok, so you know the DKNY perfume that has an apple theme to it, and is suppose to smell like apples? Well I love it. Because 1) the perfume smells really good, and smells like apples and 2) Look at how the bottle is designed…. It looks like an apple…..well not exactly like an apple, but it’s in an apple shape which makes the experience of having a perfume that smells like apples that much more fun and enjoyable. 3) They have different kinds of apples and each apple perfume smells just a little bit different. I just think that this is a really cute idea, because I feel like I have seen other perfumes that have an apple theme, or an apple scent, but the packaging for the scent is boring and there’s nothing interesting about it. Truthfully I don’t really like apples, but I love this idea and I love these perfumes. And everytime I go somewhere that has these perfumes, I always stop and smell them.  

Jenny Redfern’s Post

B1G Design

I’m a huge sports fan, especially football. So, when Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference this past year, I was curious to see what would happen to one of my favorite logos.  Many of you might have seen the famous Big Ten logo with its excellent use of negative space.  When it was designed almost 20 years ago, the Big Ten had just added another team.  So instead of changing the name, the designers expertly hid the number eleven on both sides of the “T.”
        Now history has repeated itself.  And the old logo no longer works.  I would hate to be the one asked to top the last design, but Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke of Pentagram took the project head on.  And this is what they came up with.
        The reaction?  The sports world absolutely hated it.  But, I disagree, and this is why.
        First of all, the design is timeless.  The “powers that be” of the Big Ten Conference decided to keep the name, despite the contradiction.  So, instead of trying to force the number 12 into the design and stamp on an expiration date, the designers decided just to stick with the name and the name only.
        Secondly, it is simple.  Football fans around the nation griped that a kindergartener could have created the logo.  And understandably, they are used to the explosion of color and detail of countless sports teams’ logos.  However, the clean, bold lines of this design demand attention and create a feeling of domination.  Perfect for a conference that would love to compete with the front-running SEC.

        Finally, it is clever.  We have been discussing creative uses of typographical syntax and I think this is a perfect example.  When I look at this, I can easily read both BIG and 10.  It has that “Wait. What? Oh!” effect that is always my indicator of good design.  The sports world declared it was too simple.  But really, how many of them would have come up with something like this?
        I know this is not a negative critique.  But my only problem with this logo is that it loses its effect when it is expanded to include the word “ten.”  To me, it is just repetitive and reads: Big 10 Ten.  Also, without the black in the B, it doesn’t appear as visually strong. 

       Overall, I think the Big Ten logo is a great example of good design, easily trumping the logos of other conferences such as the Pac 10, Big 12 and, yes, even my beloved SEC.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kellsi Spalding’s Post

Hey guys, I looked at the schedule and thought it would be good to start thinking about our logos that are coming up. I think this article is very benifical because it gives us the common mistakes many designers make in designing logos. If people do not like your logo, they will not respond well to your company. We always talk about good designs but never point out what bad designs contain. I think it is important to examine both in order to know what to do and what not to do. I seem to always know what to do in designing a logo but never know what not to do and that is a fine line. It is benefical to me to see good logos as well as bad logos. I think the logo is the most important element in a company's design. It will either interest people or push them away. As we think about our upcoming logos, it is important to think how a person will be impacted either negatively of positively.

This article is great for understanding the commom mistakes of logo design and how they can be fixed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Some Inspiration

Right now y'all are in the process of putting together social awareness posters. I know these are difficult and I thought I would give you some examples for inspiration. As you look at these, think about how some of the aspects of a good social awareness poster that you've talked about in class relate to these campaigns. Who is their audience? Would the poster catch the attention of someone walking by? Would people stop to read it? Does it clearly motivate an action? Does it tell you why you should act? And finally, does is it give enough information to act?

The first is a poster I think communicates simply and very well. The text isn't elaborate but it is well integrated and a clever play on text abbreviations. (Typographic syntax, anyone?) Most importantly, you get the point immediately. I do think though that this poster is week on impact. Why should I not text and
drive? It isn't very clear. It's so close though! Maybe if they added some statistics dealing with texting related accidents and deaths. What do y'all think? How would you improve the impact of this poster?

The second photo is an interesting campaign (way outside of any of our resources or our budgets) by Amnesty International dealing with domestic abuse. It senses the motion of people walking by and when they are not looking directly at the display it shows a picture of a man beating a woman. But when people look at it directly it shows them happy and smiling. Highly eye-catching and high on impact. It is a bit unclear on action though. What do I do? But at least it provides a website for more information.

One last photo. This is to give you an example of a campaign dealing with subject matter that is a bit lighter. I mean, it's cheesy. And, quite frankly, it isn't my favorite design. But it does illustrate something, you don't have to make people weep to have a poster that makes a point.

So there you have it. Look at these posters and think about what you've learned in class and how to apply those things to your posters. Something else these posters should show you though, it's hard to make an awareness poster that answers every question I posed at the beginning of this post excellently. So, don't be discouraged if you are struggling. But that doesn't mean it isn't possible and that you won't be able to. Keep at it!

PS. For another campaign I think it clever and impactful, especially from a photographic standpoint, check out

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Integrating Text

So, it's me again. Today I'm supposed to talk to you about type. More specifically, ways to make type feel better integrated into your design. Type doesn't just have to sit on the page black and in a straight line. It shouldn't look like an afterthought. Your type should make people want to read it.

Here are some examples of well integrated type. This first one is a PETA ad against animal discrimination. Whatever you think about PETA as an organization, you have to give them credit for their ads. They are attention grabbing and effective. The text in these is tilted so it draws more attention to itself but is still simple enough to read. Imagine if the text was just straight; it wouldn't be nearly as interesting.

The second ad is for and is pretty hilarious. Notice that the type is integrated to the point that it is actually a part of the photograph. Text doesn't have to look added after the fact, in fact it's better if it isn't. If this text were just added on top of the photo this ad wouldn't make any sense and certainly wouldn't be funny.

This last ad is another PETA ad. The one I want to talk about is the one on the top right. The text in this is what makes it. The font fits the style of the illustration and highlighting the "eat" in "death" is what makes the shirt make sense. It's gross and smart and makes me not want to eat steak. Hopefully, I'll forget about it before I have steak next.

I hope this gives you some ideas for how to more effectively integrate text into your design. Notice though that these solutions are still relatively simple. Be creative with your text. Flip it, add color, overlap it with other design elements, but always be sure it makes sense and that you can read it.