Freshening Up an Old Logo

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Typejockeys has a writeup on their blog of their work to re-work this logo for a large Austrian waste management company. I like this as a great example of work you can do cleaning up a logo. Often when we think of conducting a branding exercise, people think a new logo is going to be implemented, but it doesn’t have to work like that. Many times the better idea is to polish up the existing logo: refine the design into something more appropriate to the brand’s objectives.

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Lamborghini Countach, an Outrageous Design

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This fascinating video outlines just how poorly – and beautifully – designed the Lamborghini Countach is. I like this as an example of how to break the rules of design, using wretched excess.

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Kulula Airlines

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South Africa’s Kulula Airlines does what I wish more brands would do – develop a distinct character. It’s a shame that more organizations aren’t as willing to have as much fun with their customers. There was a time that WestJet maintained a similar (if not as explicit) attitude, and that was a time that people loved WestJet. Unfortunately that attitude seems to have been replaced with a more bland communications strategy.

There’s a lot more pictures of Kulula’s fleet available on the Kulula website.

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Branding Anonymous

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I really enjoyed Mads Jakob Poulsen’s imaginary re-branding of the activist group, Anonymous. The mark is an interesting concept, but I would have loved to see further exploration of its application. From Mads’ portfolio:

As an exercise in the visual language I asked my self “What if Anonymous went corporate!?” With the group being more and more in the media they could need to button up and streamline their appearance to appear more professional whilst unifying the brand experience.

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History of Western Typefaces

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Stolen this from Mashable, this info-graphic is an interesting timeline of western typefaces that have shaped the (design) world.

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The HP Rebrand that wasn’t (yet)

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I had set this aside months ago – when I first saw it – so that I could do a proper write it up. Unfortunately Armin Vit at Brand New beat me to it, writing it up twice(!) a couple of weeks after I first saw it. Nevertheless, this rebranding project is worth sharing, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate it as much as I did.

Moving Brands has really pared down its original case study from what I saw up there, which is a shame. That’s not to say I don’t understand – it kind of blew up for a while there, and the brand manager at HP probably had a few sleepless nights over all the hubbub. This kind of work is usually kept pretty close to the chest, and I’d guess HP is feeling a little exposed.

Nonetheless, the work that was available is really, enviably nice. Here’s a small handful of shots that I grabbed before they disappeared. Hopefully if someone from either HP or Moving Brands sees this, I won’t get into too much trouble.

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The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance between Business Strategy and Design

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Possibly the best overview of practical corporate branding I’ve ever seen, this book takes your typical “a brand is a promise” lines and gives them real meaning. The exercises in this book are a great starting place for any company wanting to examine its brand. Marty Neumeier has also published Zag, a similarly brilliant look at differentiation, which should also be compulsory reading for anyone thinking about brands.

Buy this book.

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Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Entire Branding Team

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This is the manual for brand identity projects. Not only is it widely acclaimed in the industry’s leading magazines like Communication Arts, but I’ve also seen concepts from this book adapted to the processes of many leading design agencies. Anyone doing branding work should be using this book.

Buy this book.

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More Assorted Cleverness

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I’m a fan of pretty much anything that acknowledges its media/surroundings and embraces it as a part of the design. Here are four examples of that.

Relevant ad for Ford trucks.

Careerbuilder offers some support to office workers struggling with their work.

Denver Water leads by example.

Clever bag design for YKM department stores (hopefully for their fitness section).

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