Best Brand Related Links for October 2010

by Steve Zelle, Graphic Designer, Ottawa Canada

Here are a few logo, brand and graphic design related links I enjoyed this month:

Trade Marks and Symbols by Stefan Kanchev

“… He creates his trademarks one after another. Every one of them is a clearly shaped artistic form with distinct typographic nature. The long and thorough work is evident in every detail. The essentials of the subject that has to be presented are discovered. An ingenious idea has been presented by the artist in the most adequate artistic form for this content. The distinctive typographic graphical design was found. Sometimes this graphical image is just one letter or combination of letters, sometimes it is a shape of something or just a symbol, other times it is a combination of shape and typeface. All these have matured in profound artistic processing, they have been changed, refined and in the end the artist has presented the work in a simplified, clear and unique way.”

Take a few minutes to check out his incredible legacy in identity design.

Paul Rand Quote

“Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”

Achieving true visual coherence: building a brand identity toolkit that’s flexible, durable, shareable—and yours

In today’s decentralized, tweeting, demand-printed, www universe, achieving compelling visual coherence is tough. There are many applications that need to be brought into brand (an e-newsletter has different requirements and opportunities than does a brochure or a microsite); people far outside any marketing department have the tools to make communications (and do); and even if an organization masters its own staff, there are communications being created outside your walls, 24/7, that affect your brand. Read More

Source: Sametz Blackstone Associates, Author: Roger Sametz

Rebranding Girl Scouts

Very nice look into the Girl Scouts logo history and rebranding  Read more

Source: Original Champions of Design

Nine Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing Identity

1. Can it result from a process, and can that process be evidenced in the mark?

2. Can what seems arbitrary in fact be meaningful?

3. How are you defining simplicity?

Read More

Source:  California College of the Arts, Author: Christopher Simmons

Committees, Designers and Compromise. Speculations on the Pan Am Games Logo

A designer’s success in convincing a committee (or even a single person, for that matter) to reconsider inappropriate and damaging surgery is determined by their ability to defend their vision, and the clients’ willingness to trust their judgment. Even the most persuasive designer cannot win every battle, no matter how ‘right’ they may be.

There comes a time when despite all your best efforts to serve the clients best interests, you fail. All the reasoning, alternative solutions, compromises and opinions you proposed to save the design are met with a loud, decisive “No!”

(Shameless as this is my guest post on Applied Arts) Read More

Source: Applied Arts Magazine, Author: Steve Zelle

Paula Scher Quote

“Focus groups can’t be expected to respond positively to something new, because if it’s something really new it’s going to look “too something,” which means not sufficiently like other things like it that already exist in the marketplace. Focus testing tells you what the consumer already accepts, not what they will accept in the future.”

Source: Make it Bigger, Author: Paula Scher

Paul Rand: A Designer’s Words (Free PDF Download)

From the Paul Rand Symposium on April 3, 1998 at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

This small, perfect bound booklet accompanied the exhibition and is filled with insightful quotes about everything from design to goo and rococo. Sources range from articles or papers written by Rand himself or interviews and lectures throughout his career. They truly help to understand his thinking and strengthen his position as a modernist master. Read More


Ralph Caplan Quote

“Design by committee represents a solemn commitment to mediocrity.”

Source: Tweet by @gary_hustwit

I Won’t Do Free Design Work to Win Your Business

A well written response to requests for spec work. Just personalize the letter by adding the recipient’s name using the link below.

Dear enquirer

Thanks for your interest in working together.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to pitch for your project as you’ve asked for free speculative design work as part of the process for us to try and “win” the project.

“Spec work” invariably leads to frustration for you and encourages a sub-par standard of work from the designers pitching. Why?

Read More


1960s Braun Products Hold the Secrets to Apple’s Future

An interesting post on inspiration:

When you look at the Braun products by Dieter Rams—many of them at New York’s MoMA—and compare them to Ive’s work at Apple, you can clearly see the similarities in their philosophies way beyond the sparse use of color, the selection of materials and how the products are shaped around the function with no artificial design, keeping the design “honest.”

This passion for “simplicity” and “honest design” that is always declared by Ive whenever he’s interviewed or appears in a promo video, is at the core of Dieter Rams’ 10 principles for good design.  Read More

Source: Gizmodo, Author:  Jesus Diaz

If you have any great posts I missed this month, please share them below.


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