Taylor Garries

Branding, Creative & Art Direction
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A glimpse of my work in progress…

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A nice shot I took of the Edmonton Courts Building.

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Seven questions to evaluate your design

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It’s important to go beyond “Is this good,” or “Do I like it” when looking at design work. Here are seven questions that will help determine if that design is actually working.

  1. Is it authentic?
  2. Is it credible?
  3. Does it reflect the client’s personality?
  4. Is it interesting?
  5. Does it have emotional impact?
  6. How does it compare to competitors?
  7. Will it stand out in its intended environment?
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Design’s Importance to Clients

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While going through some underused reference materials I found this reference to the Danish Design Centre’s four levels of commitment that clients have to design.

  1. Nondesign
    Design is inconspicuous and performed by untrained/non-professional staff. User’s needs and points of view are not considered. This is decoration by amateurs.
  2. Design is Styling
    Design is only considered for the final product. It may be completed by designers, but non-professionals are primarily responsible for the direction of the project. “Let’s give this to a graphic artist to make it pretty.”
  3. Design as Process
    Design is viewed as a work method, and design principles/approaches are employed from the earliest stages. Solutions are driven by end-user requirements.
  4. Design as Innovation
    The designer collaborates with client executives in adopting innovative approaches to substantial parts of their business. Design processes are used to articulate the company’s vision to impact all aspects of the client’s products or services. Experience branding.
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Making Meaning

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This book was a little more focused on large corporations than I was expecting (eg: they discuss hiring ethnographers to roll out new services to foreign markets), but it had some ideas that really resonated with me. This passage describes my philosophy about brand development nicely:

Experience branding is a company’s effort to be consistent in its value proposition and its expression in every connection to the consumer.

I also marked the comprehensive – but not exhaustive – list of universally valued experiences. Of the 15 presented, I really think wonder, accomplishment, and community have the best potential for my future work.

Buy this book.

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This is a generic brand video

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This is (ironically?) produced by a stock footage company, partly to illustrate the quality of their footage that you can use in your own generic brand video.

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When Outrageous Was Possible

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This video reminds me of how many designers work. All style – no function.

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I was crushed to learn that this is fake

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Despite how much I wanted it to be real, it turns out that this screen grab is fake. But trying to verify its authenticity reveals an interesting comparison of corporate run Twitter accounts.

I started by looking at the Cottonelle Twitter feed which reveals a boring one-way broadcast of corporate written marketing messages. It’s as boring as their product. No mention of this screengrab, though you can see the actual tweet that kicks off the war.

Then I had a look at the Charmin feed, where they recently tweeted that it was fake (I can only imagine that the “it” in question is the screengrab).

But then I had a look at the rest of their feed, and was surprised to see that there’s an actual personality here, and it’s entertaining. Here’s a funny tweet from earlier in the week:

 

Before today I didn’t have much of an opinion on this category beyond “not newspaper,” but now I am decidedly more fond of Charmin. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

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