Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

Good Design Advice

18 May 2013.

Recently, a good friend of mine sent me an email asking for design advice. I was flattered that he reached out to me and then briefly thought about how to respond given the vastness of his inquiry. Before I knew it I had written a lengthy email filled with important nuggets from my personal design philosophy, useful links and an invitation to bounce ideas off of me at any time.


Tonight it occurred to me that along the way I have saved up quite a few pieces of advice for designers just starting out, with a few years of experience, or looking to push past a development plateau. Obviously, I linked him to Good F-cking Design Advice, obviously. Some of the suggestions below were in my email, some came to me after I had hit send. Here they are:

1. Have a concept before you start pushing pixels, you’ll work 3-times more quickly. This took me years to start doing regularly, and now it’s my process. I’m a pen and paper guy, that helps me get my plan together and allows for freedom of exploration. Not only sketching for layouts and logo comps, but creating timelines and mind maps for mini-documentaries.

2. Listen to feedback, consider it, then very possibly disregard it to follow your instinct. You have to trust your decisions. This is especially important for editors of any kind. Decisiveness isn’t natural for some, so hone it.

3. Your first idea isn’t always your best. Scrap or set aside your first draft and push through to find the possibly better 2nd or 3rd idea. Time will be the enemy of this pursuit. Stay up later.

4. Clearly communicating is your #1 goal, everything else is secondary to that. Keep it simple. Your job is done when there is nothing left to subtract.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brand Managers: Loosen Up on Your Logo

16 May 2013.

D-10-capesigners who have interacted with corporations have undoubtedly also interacted with, or otherwise had their potential creativity stifled by branding guidelines. These ‘necessary evil’ documents range anywhere from 5-to-infinity pages and lay out the rules and regulations in dealing with a given company’s trademark (or logo) and name.


Here’s the problem: If you haven’t updated your branding guidelines in the last 2-3 years your brand is in all likelihood severely outdated and suffering in today’s marketplace as a result.

Furthermore, the fact that you’re bustin’ my chops about my having placed another design element less than the mandated 3/4″ clear of your logo is a draaag, bro. Loosen up.

Brand Managers need to think about and convince their c-levels that adapting a more flexible branding system is the future. What I mean is, find a way to write into your guidelines that they aren’t 100% rigid.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Digital Armory re-design by Von Glitschka

3 January 2013.

Someone I follow on Twitter recently posted a link to a project by a designer named Von Glitschka. His project, The 5-Minute Logo runs you $5 and nets you a cool little illustrative logo, or in Von’s words “For $5 we’ll take 5ive minutes and become your short order design cook and whip you up a tasty visual morsel before you can say “Craptacular!””

I’m think this is a neat idea, although Von is a little bit of a jerk for producing what I think are pretty neat little hand-drawn logos for $5. It got me to thinking that maybe I would try to sweet talk/bribe some of my friends and cohorts with alcohol n’ snacks into  re-designing my logo as well, and turning this into an ongoing series.
von glitschka