Has Milton Glaser gone a mark to far?

The recent mark created by Milton Glaser has made me question its suitability as a marque. The concept and cause behind it are sound, but, will it work across all touch points, doubt it. Would it have worked better if it were adapted to work across all media?

There is no doubting the man's contribution to modern Graphic design, but can our great design mines keep producing standout identities?
Maybe the marque is not meant to be something that works across both print and web. Is it than just a statement, straddling both art and design?
After listing to his radio interview, I feel his aim was just to draw attention to the issue, which he has most certainly done. 

Source: https://www.dezeen.com/2014/08/04/milton-g...

Stand back I'm a Designer!

Hi there guy's, just came across this article on the reworking of Everton FC crest. Just like the rebrand of the Californian college, the name alludes me, there seems to be another public vote on the design of a mark. As a designer what is most concerning is why non-designers are having the say on a re- brand. Design is subjective by nature, and leaving the final decision in hands of someone who's evaluation of it is "I just don't like it", is I feel undermining the profession of the designer. In time fans will get used to a crest. I can remember when Arsenal changed their crest, there was a dislike to it straight away. This soon changed when when the team started winning championships. It seems that the In-house team of designers buckled to public pressure. If all the objectives set out in the design brief then a project should be deemed success.

A great short video on the benefits of design for SMEs

Hi guys; I came across a wonderfully animated video on design, (Click on title)

The short animation states all the benefits that design brings to business. These benefits that are stated in the video cannot be overlooked by business owners. What is key to this is creating the environments that foster this type of thinking. This type of thinking has to come from the inside out; championed by CEO/ Manager, staff and all stake holders. What can be one of the pitfalls that small businesses fall into is thinking that design is just making things look pretty. Investing in design is investing in your business. 

Source: https://vimeo.com/73619059

The cost of readymade logos!

Hi guys. Here is a interesting section of a website that highlights the benefits of good logo design process. As a business owner, when you are formulating your business plan, trademarking your logo should be top priority. If your company has plans to expand / export its goods and services, a unique and original logo is even more important.
Just think of this scenario, you take the option of getting your logo from one of hundreds of cheap logo website; your business is doing well, you have built up a strong customer base over a number of years. You then want to expand your business in other countries, and after launching your brand in that particular county you get a solicitors letter through your door. This letter informs you that your logo is infringing on another company / brands logo / trademark. 


Now picture this, you have opened that shop what ever it may be, you have got exterior and interior signage done, menus, business cards, website, uniforms, pens pencils, signage for vans; the list goes on. This all has to be re-done, you have to go back to the drawing board with your logo, “literally” and start again. All that brand equity that you have built is gone, your company is now just an imitation of something else. What consumers look for most depending on the sector, is trust, and this type of scenario would not be good for you brand image.
Now this all happened from a few clicks on a website, and cost the company a significant amount of money, but not only that, it will take time to build up that image again. 


So the takeaway here is invest in design; particularly logo design, and you’ll be able to Know that your brand / logo is unique.

Source: http://www.registeringatrademark.com/free-...

The power of design for your SME

Hello there.
Recently I have been conducting some research in Horizon 2020 and the The European Design Leadership Board. The research establishes thatdesign is the key driver for innovation. As a designer I have always known this, and this is common knowledge within design circles, not so much within the European commission, until these reports were established.  Part of the report established that:

There is a lack of specialised design- based training and mentoring pro- grammes for entrepreneurs and SMEs across Europe. This highlights the need for a fundamental integration of design into the programmes and activities, (and culture), of existing business 39and innovation-based incubators ofEurope.

For years design has been seen as an add-on at the end of a process, but as the report establishes, design integration at every stage will give SME’s a competitive edge, by creating user centred products and services. There is no better example of a design driven company then Apple, with design at the forefront, they have become the biggest technology brand of our time, not bad for a company that started off in a garage.But what happens next for SME’s? Design can be a confusing area, even more so when it is mentioned within business. Is it a case that Innovation centres that they run meetings and workshops on design implantation? This would be ideal for a small business staring out, helping them save cost and create a design driven brand. I have attached the report, ideal for some bed time reading.

Airbnb re-brand

Airbnb revealed their new logo, and I most say my first impression was that it seemed well implement aesthetically pleasing. The marque is a significant improvement on the original. And to be honest I quite like the end user interaction regarding the logo. The amount of research conducted by the Design studio was huge. In the case study, you could see just how much effort went into the branding project. 

As a Designer I am well aware of how the process of designing a logo can be extremely arduous, all the more reason the social media backlash is not warranted. It's as if people feel there was a genuine attempt to copy Automation Anywhere's logo, or the various others that have popped up. This seems to be common place with a large number of new identity  releases. Everybody is a design critic these days,"not." 

It is not apparent to what extent Design studio did their research regarding the logos originality, but I'm sure it was thorough.
The bigger question here is how hard as designers do we have to work to achieve originality. 

Source: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew...

Can we design our lives?

Ever thought of designing your life ? well Stanford Professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans giving people the tools to do just that. Their book "Designing your life" (on my to read list) gives readers the tools and methods. Burnett and Evens advice people to start with a beginners mindset and have an open mind. I know myself how busy life can be. I recently became a father  and trying to run a business at the same time can be demanding. Well my wonderful partner takes care of our little girl the majority of the time,but you still have to help out. Changing nappies,appointments and playing with your children can eat into your daily routine, but I enjoy all of it. 

So how do you think that you can design your life?
As I said the book is on my to read list, but you can get a sense of what the book is about from the many articles on it. 

My thoughts on how to design your life
I think as a Designer I do a ok job at designing my life. There is definitely room for improvement, but my ship is pointed in the right direction. 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. For me its about simplification, do I need to have this in my life right now? Asking yourself these questions can help in cutting out the clutter. For those of your that have kids clutter can be around every corner. Kids can only play with one toy at a time, so try and cut down what they have. If your kids are old enough, teaching them to keep some order to what they have will benefit them as they grow. As well as your kids you will need to declutter things in the home and look for a more minimalist environment.Think about that cupboard that is bursting at the seams. You know that cupboard you just shove everything into. I've had one of those cupboards.Take a day of half a day to bring some order to that cupboard, or maybe its a room that needs tidying. Just make that start. 

The confusion of life
I think that the confusion, and messiness comes from a lack of purpose in our lives. I say this because we can fill our lives with meaningless things that we buy or take part in just to make us feel better.This sometimes can be confusing or seem a little messy.  
Finding this purpose can be hard, but doing some visualisation (I'll outline this at the end) will get you thinking in the right way. 

I was many years finding my purpose. There was lots of ups and downs, different jobs and many paths travelled, and I know I am on the right path.I think we all have a calling that is inside of us; that little whisper that needs to be developed into a roar. This can take time but you need to stick to it and in the end you ship will be pointing in the right direction. Now you may run-a-ground sometimes but you will fined your way back out to sea, heading towards a fulfilling life. 

Some thoughts on how to think about your designing your life
Get a sheet of A3 paper and draw a picture of yourself in the middle. A stick man and or women is just fine or even your name. Then write the all the elements involved in your life both good and bad. This could be anything from mortgage debt to the wonderful relationship that you have with your husband wife. Also put down stuff that your passionate about such as food, reading photography or helping people. It could be anything just get it down on the paper.

Now slowly start to look at each post-it, sorry yes use post-its  for this. Their easy to chop and change. Look at things you could take out, adapt, postpone to a later date.Its really just like a brainstorming process.

Now see are there things left that your really passionate about. Can I pursue that photography career I have always thought about? Can I blog about food? Is it a more feasible option then opening a restaurant. I could do that at a later date. Its just making that little start and seeing where it takes you. These are only my thoughts and it a process that I have used myself for getting stuff out of my head. Best of luck with it and let me know how you get on.  

How simple is your business

Simple. That word can give a customer a sense of relief, particularly customers that use services. The Oxford dictionary defines simple as:
Easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.  
Providing your customers with a simple experience when using your service or buying your product can be easier said than done.There are many factors at play here to achieve a simple experience. One of the main elements in achieving these simple interactions is the environment. Creating the environment to achieve simplicity is one of the key factors. Now, these environments are either physical, i.e a shop or non-physical such a website.
Now if you think about your business whether it's a small cake store or a large chain of stores. There is a journey that the user or customer goes on to acquire your services or product. 

If you sit down to think about all these interactions from end to end then you can trim things down in terms of steps needed to make a purchase.  Businesses can gain from creating the  environment where they can gain  insightful information about how people find the experience of using their product or service. If something is not simple then it can be hard/complex and this can create frustration for users. 

How your brand identity can help!

Wrapped up in this service is the brand. The product, service or organisation with a personality. I have mentioned this last but not because it is of lesser importance, far from it. Your brand and its identity and how it is managed, are fundamental to a simple experience. A brand's visual identity needs to be uncluttered and simple in form and not complex or cluttered. These simple interactions with clean and simple visuals are some of the key parts to a company such as Apple, some of the reasons why they are successful. Remember guys,  
It Keep it simple!