Can we design our lives?

Like design, life can throw up challenges all the time and we need to take a step back and reframe the problem and approach it from another angle. Modern life is extremely stressful and there are many moving parts. Taking that step back and trying to cut out all the unnecessary stuff is probably the best starting point.This can be hard I know, but the rewards can be transformative.

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Tesla, changing the way sola panels look!

Hi there guys, it has been an extremely long time since I last posted, somethingI feel a little embarrass about. I'll start posting regularly.  

This looks like some great work done by Tesla. Solar panels always look like an afterthought, so to actually have them blend into the house is a good piece of design. Elon Musk continues to push the boundaries of whats possibel.  


Does the beautiful game have a beautiful logo?

The English Premier League recently revealed the new visual identity for the 2016 /2017 season, a step away from the sponsorship of Barclays. My first impressions were good, I mean it is a nice clean identity. But one thing caught my eye, the descender of the ‘P’ and the ascender of the ‘L’ just feels a little awkward. Design Studio turn out some great work, and with time we will get use to it. I suppose there are elements of typography that will always create these awkward moments.
When I think back to the London 2012 Olympic visual identity I remember how divisive is was, but the role out and implementation of it was fantastic.  
I hope it is the same for the PL visual identity.


Name change of my company.

Hello  I have gone through the first phase of a re-brand. This first phase consisted of trademarking a new name 'We can imagine' when choosing a new name for the company I wanted to chose something that evoked collaboration and imagination. The process of design is about imagining the future and I wanted to incorporate this into the brand name. Trademarking a brand name takes about 5 months. 2 months to do a search and then 3 months in the trademark journals. The 3 months was up on the 23rd of DEC. I was then able to buy the domain name.
Watch this space for further identity changes, ie logo mark.

Design in Ireland

A wonderful short documentary constructed by Irelands design community. As us Designers have always know, design is hugely valuable to not only businesses, but our society as a whole. I think we will see the true magic of design process when our political parties start to use the design processes, we have so much to gain by doing so. In the documentary there was an example of UK Government website redesign. A great example of how properly thought out service can be so beneficial to a society.



Design Disruption

Just seen this video from Invison which gives a quick peek at their new documentary Design Disruption. I'm looking forward to watching this when it is released. If businesses here in Ireland invested in design we can transform the economy. There are small things starting to happen such as the design for growth being piloted in one of the LEOs in Dublin. Hopefully this will be rolled out across Ireland. 


IBM is building the worlds biggest design team.

IBM Opened a new studio in London back in February, one of their many emerging design centres. The studio will employ around 40 Designers, working in a space designed by Architect Fraser Brown MacKenna. IBM Design Director Karel Vredenburg states

the new London studio will cover all design touch-points and be more focused on creativity and design than engineering”

IBM see this as the way forward for developing new products and services and judging by their amount of design centres and Designers, they are taking this externally seriously. It will be interesting to watch their design centres grow.



Invest early in branding for your start-up

Some interesting advice for early stage start-ups from the guys over at moving brands. Branding particularly in the start-up world is seen as something to do or tick off later down the development cycle of a start-up. I feel that branding needs to run parallel with the development of the start-up. It gives them the benefit of understanding who they are and what they stand for. Branding is about communicating what is most important to a brand, and what you need at the early stage for investment is good clear communication. For your product or service to appeal and fit into the daily lives of your consumers / end-users you first need to understand what they value and also have a grasp of your own values. This can only be done with early stage branding. 


Video of a recent Service Design Jam in Cork.

The Service Design Jam was run as part of the Irish Design 2015 year long event. You were put into groups of around five. In these groups you were given the the problem of re-thinkg the coffee shop experience. Using  design thinking and service design tools, the groups had to profile their user and the customer journey, and then go out onto the street and interview the customers and also the staff working in the coffee shops. After this you had to go back to base with your groups and think of ways the service could be improved. 

The whole experience was fantastic and has given me more information to provide service design to my own clients. 


A Video of Paula Scher's Identity for The New School, does it work?

This is an interesting talk about the new identity created for the The New School in New York. Opinions have been divided  in the design community about the successfulness of this identity. The identity was created by Paula Scher and her team at Pentagram.  As with most identity projects of this size, the research was extensive, and spread across many teams and departments. My own opinion about this, the word mark, is that it's interesting, I neither like or dislike it. There are certain elements of the typography that seem to jump out as needing to be corrected .e.g the “W" and the overhang of the “T” but maybe with time it will grow on me :) 
But as Designers we know that design by it's very nature is subjective, "not everybody likes Marmite.” When you see the logo in amongst other institution’s logos, it does stand out, and most certainly is different. 
This identity does push the boundaries, and whether you like it or not, the boundary has been pushed. Is that not what branding and design is about?