Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So, you have gone through the difficult and potentially painful process of creating a logo for your company. The rest of the project should be a breeze right? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, having a good or even a great logo, while crucial, isn't enough to create a good brand. Branding isn't just having a logo, it's how the look and feel of the logo are consistently applied to all of a company's design. Ideally, people should be able to recognize the look of your company whether they explicitly see the logo or not.

In example, Starbucks. However you feel towards the company and their coffee, you have to admit they know how to market. We all know their cups, their signature green and their siren. In fact, we know their look so well that they didn't even include their name on their recently updated logo. That's the power of branding.

Starbucks' use of branding doesn't stop at their logo and store fronts though. Starbucks has countless parts of their company that have to maintain their brand. Take Starbucks VIA, the company's hyped instant coffee. Look at the packaging. How to they maintain the feel of Starbucks as a whole while at the same time giving VIA it's own look? Well, to keep things consistent they have their logo on the package and keep the familiar cup shape and check boxes. But to set VIA apart they give it unique and eye-catching packaging, it's own color palette and a logotype. It's consistent, unique and feels right for the product.

Another, less hyped, example of Starbucks branding is their Black Apron Exclusives. This line is meant to be a "premium" collection of "rare and intriguing" exclusive coffees available in very limited amounts. This packaging just nails that exclusive feeling. It is uniquely beautiful, looks expensive, and oozes class and sophistication. The look is entirely different from VIA, but both brands are appropriate the the needs of that product and are excellent examples of design. If you want more information checkout

There you have it. Take the inspiration and go. If you need some other good consistent brands you should check out Tea Forte and Apple (not that you don't know them already) .

Monday, March 7, 2011


I thought I would post some logos that I think are well designed. These are scanned from a book called Really Good Logos explained. I have also included the explanations so that you can read about them. Read the description, and then study how each uses imagery, type, and color to communicate the company. (Click on the image to see it in a larger form.)

Chrissy Schoenrock’s Post

I love this book. Not only is the content good, I can spot it from a mile away. People might not like the colors but I think they do a good job of making it easy to pick out. When I go into Christian bookstores all I have to do is scan the book shelves for the bright yellow book and I will find it. They somehow made yellow look decent with light blue. The illustration is interesting enough, but I like the use of white to emphasize the hand in the side hug. The typefaces all go well together and I read everything in the order that they want me to read it in. I’ve included an excerpt of the book (the first page) just because I thought it was worth reading when I picked up this book out of all the books in the bookstore and started to read. It is a funny and sobering read in that it is mostly true. I like that they included the website as well at the bottom of the cover because that’s where it all started and the website is pretty well designed too.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lance Brandt’s Post

Some things just can't be described with words.

Thats why BMW came up with this advertisement for their cars. They wanted to show people, that many physical things can be described using words, however the pleasure that you get from driving one of their cars cannot be described. I like this ad because it creates a picture that focuses on the car. There is a complete scene, but the car is the only thing in color, and therefore is the center of attention. I also like the use of typography in this ad because it utilizes the words to make the picture of what it says. For instance, the street is made up completely of the word 'asphalt'. I love the scene and the picture that it creates is something you might actually see. The use of the typography against the photography creates a great contrast, and showcases exactly what they want, the car. Also the tagline is very clever, and it gets you to think about how great the experience of driving a BMW actually is. Its indescribable.

Katrina Pohle’s Post

Mustang Logo
When I first think about logos I think about what my favorite brands are.  One of my favorite logos is the Mustang Logo.  There are a few reasons why the Mustang Logo is my favorite logo. 

First of all, mustangs are one of my favorite cars.  I also think the mustang logo is very descriptive and advertises the brand very well.  I like that a mustang horse is used for the logo to represent the name of the car. Using an image of running horse represents speed and mustangs are known to be fast cars. I think that the design of the logo is fairly simple and uses simple colors.  I like that red, white, and blue are used as the colors on the logo.  I think it shows patriotism and works well with the mustang horse.

Katie Poteet’s Post

I think that designers who have fun, come up with the best designs. When I saw these business cards, I could tell that whoever came up with this idea was having a good time. Today, design has to be very unique in order for it to be memorable. I think these business cards do a successful job of doing this.

People like things that they can touch and interact with and the bobby pins on this business card add this element to the design. Also, as a girl who is always losing her bobby pins, this business card would draw my attention and make me want to see this hair and make-up artist.

Besides, the brilliant inclusion of the bobby pins the design is simple and sweet and to the point. I think it is easy to get carried away sometimes while designing, but this business card is a good example of a good concept executed with a clean design and the end result works really well.

Rachel Doretti’s Post

Designers make the world a better place. This project proves that fact. A student at the NYC SVA Masters program decided to put together a project that had one purpose: to make people happy. Their given project was to see if design could touch someone’s heart. The student came up with idea to solve the mystery of how that one sock always disappears, and how the thieving culprit made amends. Their contrived character, Gene the Washing Machine, traveled around NYC laundromats to deliver single socks to the people there. He admitting to devouring innocent socks for years but wanted to make up for it by giving a sock in return. They custom designed the packaging and tagline on the sock, “I’m single and I’m all yours,” and silkscreened every package and sock.
I love this project. I think it is such a testament to how quality work can be achieved even if it’s just for the fun of it. The witty sayings on the inside of the packages show how much time and thought they put into this project. It was a stroke of genius to also use a topic that is relatable to anyone that has worn and lost a sock before. Gene, the washing machine suit that travels around NYC delivering said socks also added a personal touch and extended the storyline of the mischievous machine. It was an ingenious idea, and even better execution. The craftsmanship is impeccable and has even furthered my interest in silk-screening. These students reminded me that design isn’t always about making money and landing huge clients, sometimes it’s about making cranky New Yorkers smile while they do their laundry.

Zack Hersha’s Post

Amazon should keep its logo forever.

I think has a pretty neat logo. The company has been around since the dawn of the Internet; when for a brief time when was represented by a large “A” with a negative-space river through it. Around 2003 Amazon began experimenting with new logos and eventually chose the one that they continue to use today. The change was spurred from the company’s decision to set aside the bookstore identity

Compared to the ones before it, the current logo is much more appealing, but it’s not just because it’s sharper. Amazon’s logo includes a yellow arrow spanning from the “a” to “z”—they have everything from a to z. The unprecedented selection of items available on is what the company is known for. Amazon’s customers are particularly bargain shoppers looking for used and wholesale items amongst a vast selection of all kinds of merchandise. Because Amazon makes making a purchase online so easy, Amazon makes us happy, and to represent this happiness, the arrow on the logo was made to resemble a smile. The use of this universal symbol of satisfaction is recognizable from all over the globe, which is Amazon’s market.

Amazon’s logo is nice conceptually because it isn’t initially clear what’s going on in the logo but after studying it for a minute, the elements of this design are noticeable and acceptable. It’s a good corporate logo.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Trent Chopski’s

So when I think about design I don’t think about logos or posters. I think about band tee designs which may be more illustration than design however I see it as design. A group named Attack Attack has always been the first to catch my eye with the designs of their tees. They seem to always use an extreme animated animal with crazy bubble letter type for their name.

This first tee is my favorite designed band tee of all time. The illustrated bear really grabs your attention, then the type just draws you in even more. Also like the added effect of the blue lightning bolts in the background. The other two shirts by Attack Attack also use bright colors and extreme exaggeration of usually perceived as vicious animals to give off the aura of Attack Attack.

Some may refer to them as illustrations but band tees are the type of designs I love. They do something that posters could really benefit from doing.

David Amonsen’s Post

 Hello all,

I suppose the point of this blog is to prompt investigation into areas of design not covered in class, but while researching for Section B’s soda pack project I couldn’t help but take note of the incredible work that’s been put into DRY Soda Co.’s product packaging. 

It is a testament to DRY’s thorough embedding in the “specialty” end of the soda business that I, though living just north of the Seattle area, had never heard of it before. I was, however, intrigued both by its clever, unique mission statement (to create sodas that can be paired with fine meals like wine can) and the remarkable purity of design that drives its limited marketing. A quick visit to the company website ( yields the discovery of an entire tab devoted to explanation of DRY’s design, and a list of accolades it has acquired over the years. It is easy to see why the list is very long.

Let’s start with the logo, since it bears relevance to not only our current project but to this past assignment dealing with typographic syntax. The type is big and bold (it looks like some form Franklin Gothic, but isn’t); the three-letter company title speaks for itself and is perfectly suited to portraying the no-nonsense, adult sensibility that drives the creation of some seriously high-end soda. But also note the inclusion of that paradoxical little detail of the water droplet replacing the inner “hole” of the D. It doesn’t interfere at all with readability; in fact, it took me a second to notice it the first time I was exposed to the logo. It’s playful, and in being playful it shows me, at least, that the company, while serious about their product, are still just in the business for the fun of it. That droplet, in my mind, becomes a key element of DRY’s ethos.

The bottles and packing materials go hand in hand, as they feature similar designs. Each of DRY’s unusual flavors is color coded logically – purple for lavender, red for rhubarb, etc.  Normally this would be somewhat cliché, though the need for flavor recognition amongst buyers most likely makes it a necessity.

Instead, two things make a big difference here. The first is the intricate patterns that back the logo and the flavor label on each bottle and package. A closer look reveals that each pattern is made up of a repeated symbol that is representative of the flavor; you can make out, for example, orange slices for the “Blood Orange” flavor, sprigs of lavender for “Lavender,” and stalks of lemon grass for “Lemon Grass.” Granted, some of these work better than others. I have trouble, in particular, with the “Rhubarb” design, which eschews the long, straight root for small, jagged leaves to prevent confusion with “Lemon Grass.” These fit well together as a pattern, but I don’t naturally associate these leaves with the idea of the flavor they represent. “Blood Orange,” in my opinion, works the best by far; the repeating symbol is easily recognizable and the placement appears to be more controlled than with other labels. But no matter the result, the concept here is undeniably high. DRY breaks the mold by choosing an irregular label over the more common rectangular format, and because of this I could instantly distinguish a DRY Soda bottle on any crowded shelf.

The other important design element of the bottle, astonishingly, is the color of the soda itself: it’s absolutely clear. This makes for a stark and fascinating contrast between the label and the contents of the container. The overall effect is very clean, almost sterile, and this plays perfectly to the overall “grown-up” mentality of DRY as a company. It’s this simple but unorthodox strategy that makes DRY Soda Co. the best example of unified product design that I’ve ever seen. 

Ron’s Post

The world is full of letters and words.  I was one of those people who noticed a witty design with clever placement of letters, or beautiful artwork that the letters seemed designed to be there as an integral part of the work.  The troubling part of noticing something is how to understand its purpose, the meaning behind why it created, or completed one way instead of another.  It seems to me that everyday we are surrounded by communication and we are so used to it that we do not even see logos, or advertisements for the genius design that has gone into it.  Since beginning this particular class, I have found an amusement for the simplest forms of typography.  I can actually see things that were there before but I was too busy to truly SEE it.  My first piece is simple typography.  Plain, simple, and yet effective forms of communication that we overlook on a daily basis are right there in front of our eyes. My favorites are the picked and intoxicated!

At first, they seem almost to be too simplistic in design to be of any use to anyone except a child.  However simple the designs may be, I have found that I enjoy looking at these pieces so much that I actually put them in my sketchbook.  They are easy to read and deliver a message in one word in a way that there can be no mistaking what it stands for. I only wish communication between two people, or groups of people was so easy.

The next area I wanted to address is the use of graffiti.  This is an art form that takes many years to perfect and has yet to truly be experienced or appreciated outside of many U.S. cities.  Yes, it can be destructive, and certainly, it is costly to clean up when it is carelessly applied to property that does not appreciate its inherent visual value.  Graffiti is nothing more than an attempt to communicate something to those who walk by it.  Next time you see graffiti, try stopping and testing your brain to figure out what the message is about.  The letters are very cleverly placed within the context of the word or words.  Shape is given to the letters in order to facilitate a particular style.  In the examples below, there are so many wonderful things to see, but most important to me is the fact that everything I have come to appreciate about typography, exists within this type of typography.

Criston Anderson’s Post

Check out this really fun descriptive logo! I like fun logos the best :) I think this mark is successful for a number of reasons. First of all, perhaps going the fun rout wasn’t just for the sake of being fun. Turtle Island is a Spa. Spas are where people go to do relaxing things and everyone associates relaxing with leisure time and leisure time with fun. Another reason why I think it works is because the descriptive element of the design has multiple meanings. For example the design could be seen as little islands out in the ocean, or as the design on a turtle’s shell—AND it’s shaped like a turtle. You can’t beat that. I think the font is complementary, I think the colors are appropriate and I think the composition is appealing. YAY TURTLES!

Rachel Pontier’s Post

Who doesn’t love food? And what is better than great food with great packaging? I’ve always been the one that loves to walk around grocery and department stores. This is not because I could ever love shopping, but simply because I like to feast my eyes on whatever well-designed packaging happens to catch my eye. One of my favorite places to go is the Whole Foods, so learning about this new package design for them is very exciting!

Whole Foods is a company that sells natural, healthy, or organic food. The company strives to support local farmers, and their vision has always been to provide high quality products that also respect the planet. However their packaging design and brand identity was weak, and really needed this overhaul.

The new package look was designed by Duffy & Partners. The company wished to celebrate the diversity of Whole Foods items, which come from many different areas in the world, yet still convey the overall dedication that Whole Foods has for marketing quality, earth friendly products.

I love the overall consistent look to these packages. Although the stylized illustrations on each are still different, the overall package look is very congruent and pleasing, whether it be on white plastic tubs, or dark cardboard packaging. The overall feel is very modern, yet the nature-inspired design clearly shows us that the brand is earth-friendly.

Thankfully, the designs don’t clutter the packages too much, and the use of white space is tasteful and refreshing. I also appreciate the little blocks of text which talk about the products and the vision of Whole Foods. For me, these packages make you me good about what you buy, from the outside, in.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

David Brown’s Post

Ever since discovering this fruity and delicious beverage, I have always really enjoyed their entire design layout. Although a simple idea, there labels are so unique and different every time. At one point, I even submitted a handful of photos with hopes of getting one on a bottle, but since I never got any kind of confirmation I assume my photos never got used. I still however, enjoy looking at the labels and reading the story that goes with each one. I find it neat that behind every Jones soda label and photo there is a unique story and person that took it. The labels offer a view into thousands of different lives all around the world, and in a sense we have the opportunity to share that moment with them. We all have our story to tell and share, and Jones Soda offers the world an opportunity to share those moments on their labels.

Elizabeth White’s Post

I stumbled upon this while scrolling through a blogging site known as Tumblr. It isn't so much a wonderfully creative graphic design that has been executed exquisitely, but an entirely simple, everyday design that has made life easier. Such a simple concept for such a simple thing: the freshness of bread is marked by the little plastic colored clip or tag on the loaf of bread. These colors are alphabetical (B, G, R, W, Y), which corresponds with the progression of the week. This was originally designed for the store stockers, so they would know what bread they should pull of the shelf. It's a fast and simple tag, which is easier to read than having to look for the marked date on the bag. Simplicity of identification. When shopping at the store you should only see two different colors (maybe three) on the shelf. But, note that Wednesday and Sunday are not included in the tagging system -- obviously those are the bakers' days off. So, when buying bread on those days you will want to grab a green or yellow tag (respectively) for the previous day's baked bread. If all the tags are the same color that probably means the company does not used this tagging system, because it is not a universal system; these companies just print the "Sell By" date, so check that. But, generally speaking, find the corresponding color to whatever day it is and you will find yourself the freshest baked bread! :D How nifty!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sarah Crawford’s Post

Thirsty Musings

Design: simple, clean, to the point. I am an avid tea and coffee drinker. Consequently, I can’t really help but be a connoisseur of unique mugs. This brand is one of my favorites. Not only is the mug itself designed well (with a lip and comfortable handle), but the printed design is terrific as well. 


The design is simple. It is straight forward, and it is clean. The single line of text against the white background makes the word pop and grabs the attention of the consumer. Also, the typeface is thick and curved, matching the shape of the mug itself. 

Splitting words often makes it difficult to read. At first, it was hard for me to know what the mug “Hones-Tea” said. I had to give it a couple of glances and pronounce it differently in my head like in the game Mad Gab. (Now I just feel dumb for not getting it at first!) Evidently, the designers sought to alleviate any confusion by placing the definition along the top rim on the inside of the mug. This is very helpful to the consumer. More importantly, it is just good design. 


In order to distinguish between the mugs and add some more pop to the collection, each kind of mug is painted on the inside with a different solid color. This adds color, individuality, and brightness to the mugs without overpowering the crisp, clean design work.


The packaging for the mugs is not a box, but a tea bag. How creative! Each mug is placed in one of these clear, tea bag shaped packages with a tea tag stapled to the front. There isn’t one thing about this package that was not designed intentionally and with much thought.  Alina Wheeler said it well, “Design is intelligence made visible.” As I sip on my cup of tea, I know this is good design, because it incorporates creativity with simplicity. Also, it is fun with the added color but far from overpowering. 

One last thought: 

As a designer, remember that creating good design is praiseworthy; however make sure at the end of the day to have a little humilit-tea…er, a cup of it at least.