Search Archives




Powered by Squarespace

Entries by jj (280)


175. Cannes Design Lions.

canne.jpgCannes announced the design category winners yesterday for this year’s show and the work includes great stuff from design studios and ad agencies alike. Check out the grandprix (well deserved packaging design by TunerDuckworth for Coke) and the rest of the winners here. (Be patient, their site isn't the most user friendly.) On Saturday the Film Lions, Titanium and Integrated Lions, Film Young Lions Competition, Agency of the Year, Network of the Year, and Palme d'Or awards will be given.



174. Dunkin' Donuts Retail Experience.

dd.jpgAwhile back, we blogged about Far Coast coffee, Coca-Cola’s attempt to bring a different feel to the coffee shop experience. The interior space, fabrics, posters, packaging and lighting all contributed to a fairly sophisticated vibe. No doubt it was an expensive concept to implement. Another approach to the coffee shop is being driven by Dunkin’ Donuts. They’ve recently began to update their retail look, with new stores popping up all over here in the south. And although not nearly as exquisite/pricey as Far Coast, the result is just as unified and consistent. The exteriors of the stores communicate more as a graphic than as architecture, making the traditional road-side signs almost unnecessary. The interiors are bright, spacious and offer plenty of seating while the counter/menu area is pleasantly simplified. Little details abound such as the DD door handles, the pink and yellow paper under the doughnuts, and the America Runs on Dunkin icons. Overall, they’ve managed to update their look without losing those intangibles that made them who they are; which is a tough thing to do. Take a look at the pics here. (In full disclosure, my agency is part of Hill Holliday, which has DD as a client.)



173. LHF Indian Script.

indian.jpgIf you have read this blog for awhile, you know that I'm a big fan of Letterhead Fonts. They continually produce high-quality, comprehensive, and historically relevant typography solutions. (And no, I'm not on their payroll - just a happy customer.) Like most fonts, they can be abused without remorse, but in the right hands on the right job, LHF fonts really shine. Purchases usually come with helpful ligatures and the little extras that make $50 for a font seem like a steal. Today, they introduced LHF Indian Script, inspired by the classic Indian Motorcycle logo. Be sure to browse their catalogue for more answers to content that simply cannot be set in futura and garamond. Well done, guys.

Check out that Cap G: 




172. Woodward Dream Cruise Logo.

woodward.jpgI just stumbled across the new logo for the 2008 Woodward Dream Cruise, the world's largest one-day automotive event that runs along Woodward Avenue near Detroit and will be held August 16th. What’s enjoyable about this particular logo is that it was conceptualized and designed by long-time automotive designer Dick Ruzzin. As the former Director of Design for both GM Europe and Chevrolet North America, Ruzzin knows a thing or two about cars and it was interesting to see how he went from initial sketch to final logo, a process documented – albeit briefly – on the Woodward Cruise site. (Catalyst design helped digitize the final options.) The detail I most enjoy is the cloud reflection in the body of the vehicle in the form of dust coming out from the wheels, a very nice touch. Enjoy. (Photos courtesy of The Woodward Dream Cruise.)

 Final Logo:woodward2.jpg 

Alternative Logos: woodward3.jpg



171. Poster Offensive.

posteroffensive.jpgYou should check out Poster Offensive, an organization that is trying to use the poster to promote peace and democracy. In their own words, “...the show acts as an independent, nonpartisan collection of contemporary interpretations of political dissent, social awareness and hopefully unfettered optimism.” Based out of Minnesota the organization has three archive galleries and a bound collection of work by well-known and lesser known artists alike. You can view and then download any poster you choose, which is a nice feature since the whole point of doing a poster like this is for as many people to see it and use it as possible. I’ve pulled a few of my favorites, chosen more for their artistry than how much I agree with their point. There are probably too many anti-Bush pieces (though that is more than understandable), but a few jewels that tackle other issues as well. (All images courtesy of their gallery and credits can be found there as well.)









170. A New ATM.

atm.jpgA great post by Holger Struppek about the new Wells Fargo ATM interface is up at Physical Interface. (I came across the link through The designer, formerly at Pentagram where the project was completed, shares his perspective on the choices that were made during the development of the interface – and I couldn’t resist posting. ATMs have always been frustrating in their sometimes illogical loops of options and every machine added to the frustration with seemingly unique input restrictions. And forget about depositing a check – that would require an engineering or computer degree. Wells Fargo decided to go the touch-screen route in 2005 and hired Pentagram to design an intuitive interface that would take full advantage of the touch-screen capability while also correcting the sins of all ATM machines that had come before. It's just now bieng implemented across their netowrk of 6,900 ATMs.

The article highlights a few key decisions:

  1. Eliminate the need for the ATM ‘side buttons’, as well as the need for content/choices to line up with those buttons. (Personally, I never thought they actually lined up and I often would guess which button I should select. The difference was often between withdrawing $20 or $160.)
  2. A more transparent check depositing system, that allows users to see each check they submit and correct errors.
  3. Make a quick transaction even quicker while allowing easy access to other sub-features of the machines like stamp purchasing.
  4. A history of recent transactions that allows the machine to learn what an individual user does most often and make it easier to repeat.
  5. Extremely large buttons were used to compensate for the aquarium effect the thick glass covers create for the screen.
  6. Simplified buttons allowed for many button choices without visually overwhelming a customer.

Old vs. New:


Deposit Check Screen:


Many other banks are improving their interface on ATMs too; take Bank of America for instance. If their machine isn’t able to make a transaction it displays a list of the closest alternative ATMs in the area, instead of only the annoying ‘temporarily out of service’ message (see below). Pretty helpful. There’s a lot of room for improvement across the board and it’s an important branding tool for a bank – as branches and tellers are used less and less. Information design expert Eliot Phillips writes that it’s a key touchpoint for a bank and can make or break the relationship with the account holder. Check it out here. More evidence that design can be a powerful business tool - though probably not enough to offset lending people with atrocious credit enough money to buy a 5,000 sq. ft. McMansion.

The Helpful BofA Screen:




169. Pontiac's SpyHunter Spot.

pontiacg8.jpgYou probably have seen Pontiac's SpyHunter ad recently, featuring effects straight out of the video game and the new Pontiac G8. This spot definitely got the attention of every 25 - 35 year old who can rememeber getting arcade/nintendo-thumb while dodging oil slicks and avoiding helicopters while racing for time in this classic video game. The spot is well done but I've recently come across a short making of video that is entertaining and helps one appreciate the final result a bit more. (both the ad and making of video are embedded below.) Created by Leo Burnett Detroit and effects house SWAY, this spot features the car as hero - just the like the game that inspired it. Well done. In typical graphicology style, I'm also attaching another ad from Pontiac that takes direct aim at the small performance sedan market leader, BMW. It's a rare, on the offensive spot and although I'm not sure I'm convinced – I am intrigued. If nothing else, Pontiac is trying to be relevant again and that has to mean something.

2008 Pontiac G8 SpyHunterSpot

Making of Video:

And the Attack Ad:


168. New Bond Hardcovers.

bond.jpgI’m loving the redesign of the Bond Novels by Michael Gillette. He was commissioned to paint fourteen titles by Penguin Books and the result is stunning. Using the bond girls as the visual and incorporating the typography within their figures makes for a stunning bookshelf display if not a few good reads. The new Bond hardbacks will be published (tomorrow) on May 29th and commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming's birth. See more on Penguin's blog. (Images courtesy of Penguin.)

Casino Royale Spread:



The Spy Who Loved Me: 



167. Radio Mercury Awards

mercury.jpgJust got back from the Radio Mercury Awards, held in Beverly Hills this past Wednesday where one of our radio spots was recognized as the best PSA in 2007 - which is really cool. You can listen to the spot here, a single piece of a much larger responsible drinking campaign created for Clemson University over the past year. Only 15 awards are given out each year, and just to be a finalist is no small honor. However, this post is more about two spots that were done by others that I think are great. One is a fabulous, "wish I did that" use of the medium developed by BVK (link). And the other is just a well-written, top-notch, humorous campaign for Finnegan's Ale (link.) I enjoyed hearing the spots and meeting the guys behind them as well.



166. Ad of the Week: Nike Zoom China.

zoom.jpgHere’s a great use of technology that makes advertising a participation sport. The Nike Zoom campaign, by MindShare China, fitted billboards with a shoe display that was equipped in each city (Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou) to send a Bluetooth signal aimed at nearby mobile phone users. When people approached the billboard, they received short-range signals on their activated mobiles to start a virtual stopwatch. Then they received a message to run to the nearest designated Nike store as fast as they could, where a second Bluetooth signal stopped the stopwatch and recorded their time. Every day, for the length of the promotion, the store gave away one different pair of running shoes for the fastest athlete. This is the kind of marketing that I like – it’s participatory and immersive. Though, I wonder how many innocent pedestrians were knocked to the sidewalk during this time? You can check out the Nike site (via a direct link to the .swf file.) It’s in simplified Chinese characters, but take a look around and be sure to check out the videos by clicking the bottom right navigation button. This concept won Campaign of the Year at The Venice Festival of Media - which, in full disclosure, I never even knew existed. (Photos via Nike's Site.)

1. User activates his/her phone.


2. Bluetooth message starts a timer.


3. Hold up your shorts as you run to the closest NIKE store.


4. Compare your time to others throughout the day.