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Friday
Jun022006

5. Thank You for the Smokin' Titles.

If you have seen this movie, you probably noticed the exquisite title design, crafted by shadow play studios. This down-home, trip along tobacco-road is very well done. I particularly like the use of texture that keeps the titles from looking too crisp and digital, something that is a problem in some cinematic designs. I was beat to the punch on figuring out all of the fonts, which you can find here. Take a look at what has become my favorite part of movies these days.

Wednesday
May312006

4. Cabspotting and urban planning/design.

I don't remember how I came across this site originally (probably from a link to another, better blog?!?) but I think there is probably an idea hidden in here waiting for someone to uncover it. In their words: "Cabspotting traces San Francisco's taxi cabs as they travel throughout the Bay Area. The patterns traced by each cab create a living and always-changing map of city life. This map hints at economic, social, and cultural trends that are otherwise invisible. The Exploratorium has invited artists and researchers to use this information to reveal these "Invisible Dynamics." I think this is fascinating and the visual footprint of these taxis says a lot about urban planning. Wouldn't it be great to be able to go to a site and click on a taxi and have it pick you up using your computer/mobile...oh wait - I guess you can just call them, eh?

cabspotting brought to you by The Exploratorium

Tuesday
May302006

3. The Flow institute.

"Everytime you spend money you cast a vote for the type of world you want to live in." These guys are making a big point about consumerism and overconsumption, and somehow selling $5 bottles of nothing labeled 'peace of mind' in order to do it. Sardonic examples of what progress and industrialization have done to create imbalances in the world take the form of anti-design packaging that coincidentally, I find quite pleasing. I'm not sure if it's because I remember those ugly yellow packages in the cupboards that read "cereal" and "cola" when I was a kid or what, but I like what they say and I like how they look. Simplicity of material and design can work well, and apparently are the perfect vehicle for this message.

The Flow Institute

Tuesday
May302006

2. Overhaulin' Logos.

Everyone knows how easy it is to be a monday-morning design critic. However, take a quick peak at the following identity overhauls. Though admittedly more modern, each one seems somehow less ...despite the money, reputable design firms and research employed by each company. I'm not saying I hate the new versions, it's just that I question the rationale for messing with the old logos in the name of modernity.



Quark's quest for a new mark was particularly messy. The first version (on the left) was designed by SicolaMartin, a division of Young & Rubicam Brands, and got them into a little plagiarism trouble. In the middle is the pedestrian original logo. And on the right is the final logo, which I believe was designed in-house. There's a cleaner version of the final out there that I like better, but overall the result is very uninspired. Especially when you consider what it is that Quark does.

But, you say you want an example of a major logo redesign, done well. Here you go: Unilever. Designed by Wolff Olins this new version transitions this formerly stodgy, dirty-factory company into one that is lively, friendly and inviting. Some might say that this design is too complex for a logo mark, but this design reproduces beautifully even at small sizes and demonstrates a rare show of whimsy by a large corporation. (The small icons represent all the different brands within Unilever.) Approving this logo took guts, but I think it will pay off. Even though it uses a questionable script font, at least you feel like it's making a statement and will stand out from all the other swooshy, arc-laden, highlighted, drop-shadowed cliches out there.

Monday
May292006

1. The Color of Cool.

Here's an article written by my creative director, Louie Moses.

The Color of Cool.
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