brainstorming magazine Salke Lagumdžije 3 71000 Sarajevo Bosna i Hercegovina p: +387 33 956 517 p: +387 61 107 832 w: www.brainstorming.ba e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher DDS Idea is all Salke Lagumdžije 3 Hadžisulejmanova 10 71000 Sarajevo Bosna i Hercegovina p: +387 33 956 517 p: +387 61 107 832 w: www.ideaisall.com e: email@example.com Editor: Rusmir Arnautović | firstname.lastname@example.org Review editor: Ena Matković-Arnautović | email@example.com Cover illustrator: Garage There are many truths. One of them is that a shoe can also be a paperweight. Step aside and what you see is a new world. The inspiration is all around. A garage is a Lab to experience dreams, it’s where ideas bloom, limits are distorted, and a lot of noise is made. This is our Garage. A Project to make friends, and keep them happy. We love making movies! Garage, Do You Play? INFO: http://www.garage.pt
We`re always on the lookout for new artist as well as established creatives - so if you`re interested in contributing to the magazine, please send some examples of your work to (e.) firstname.lastname@example.org
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Welcome In philately “typography”, especially in the case of 19th century stamps, refers to letterpress printing. Typography (from the Greek words τύπος(typos) = form and γραφή(graphy) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). Type design is a closely related craft, which some consider distinct and others a part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. In modern times, typography has been put into motion — in film, television and online broadcasts — to add emotion to mass communication.
Meet the artists Marcelo Schultz
Marcelo Schultz is 31 years old and was born in Curitiba, south of Brazil. He is Co-Founder and Art Director at DDQ Design.
Frank Magnotta is an artist and designer from Brooklyn, NY. I was amazed by these beautiful pencil illustrations, that express such ...
Romeu e Julieta
E.W. Thomason is a Graphic designer and Illustrator now living in Atlanta, Georgia. When I first saw these bright and colourful illustrations ...
I really love the work of design studio Romeu e Julieta based in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This 3D illustration designed for Unimed is ...
Anka Zhuravleva, is an artist and photographer from Russia. In 2006 Anka noticed that her inspiration often came from photos and ...
Check out these amazing sports illustrations by designer Krzysztof Domaradzki at StudioKxx in Poland.
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Make The Most Of The Fresh Start Of A New Year
TYPOGRAPHY Typography traces its origins to the first punches and dies used to make seals and currency in ancient times. The typographical principle, that is the creation of a complete text by reusing identical characters, was first realized in the Phaistos Disc, an enigmatic Minoan print item from Crete, Greece, which dates between 1850 and 1600 BC. It has been put forward that Roman lead pipe inscriptions were created by movable type printing, but this view has been recently dismissed by the German typographer Herbert Brekle. The essential criterion of type identity was met by medieval print artifacts such as the Latin Pruefening Abbey inscription of 1119 that was created by the same technique as the Phaistos disc. In the northern Italian town of Cividale, there is a Venetian silver retable from ca. 1200, which was printed with individual letter punches.
Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures, commitments, emotions, and barriers. We cannot change careers because we’re used to what we’re doing and it’s too hard to change. We cannot find time to get healthy and fit because we have all these other things to do. We cannot find time for our loved ones because we have too many commitments. This is all old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let everything from the past go (easier said than done, I know). Clear your plate and your palate.
Assuming Leadership In Your Design Agency There comes a point in the career of many Web designers where the logical progression in that career is to take on a leadership position. A logical step or not, when a designer “assumes” this type of a position, there is often another “assumption” happening at the same — that wizard-like proficiency with HTML and CSS, coupled with a number of years in the industry, equips someone to take on a leadership role. This is, of course, not always the case.
Are you being innovative? The word “innovation” kind of varies and is almost completely subjective; it has to deal a lot with the situation and it’s surroundings. Some will tell you that it’s the act of coming up with a new idea while others will tell you it’s just taking any idea and making it your own. I think it’s safe to agree with both points to a certain extent. The dictionary lists it as something new or different introduced. That’s a concise textbook definition but innovation is not just about an idea or just about creating something new. If that was the case we’d be talking invention, right?
Artist, Illustrators, Photographers, News Alberto Cerriteno
If you like illustration you will love the amazing work of Alberto Cerriteno. I discovered his work on a brilliant website called ...
Vadim Gannenko is an amazing illustrator from Kiev in Ukraine. He is also focused on branding, packaging and booklets which he designs with ...
Petra Van Raaij
Amazing photography by Vladimir Bochkov. Born in 1986, Vladimir is a photographer based in St.Petersburg, Russia.
Petra van Raaij is a Hamburg based fashion photographer, originally from the Netherlands. She first discovered her passion for ...
Mauricio Candela started his career in advertising in the 90s.
Philadelphia photographer Steve Boyle creates photographs for magazines, corporations and advertising agencies.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.marceloschultz.com
Marcelo Schultz is 31 years old and was born in Curitiba, south of Brazil. He is Co-Founder and Art Director at DDQ Design. Marcelo has a fantastic portfolio filled with amazing typography work, but as its nearly Christmas I thought I would share with you all these great Santa illustrations.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.studiokxx.com
Krzysztof Domaradzki Check out these amazing sports illustrations by designer Krzysztof Domaradzki at StudioKxx in Poland. To see more work visit the StudioKxx website
e v i t a e r C s k r wo
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Typo graphy Typography (from the Greek words τύπος(typos) = form and γραφή(graphy) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). Type design is a closely related craft, which some consider distinct and others a part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. In modern times, typography has been put into motion — in film, television and online broadcasts — to add emotion to mass communication.
In philately “typography”, especially in the case of 19th century stamps, refers to letterpress printing.
Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic designers, art directors, comic book artists, graffiti artists, clerical workers, and anyone else who arranges type for a product. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users, and it has been said that “typography is now something everybody does.”
History Typography traces its origins to the first punches and dies used to make seals and currency in ancient times. The typographical principle, that is the creation of a complete text by reusing identical characters, was first realized in the Phaistos Disc, an enigmatic Minoan print item from Crete, Greece, which dates between 1850 and 1600 BC. It has been put forward that Roman lead pipe inscriptions were created by movable type printing, but this view has been recently dismissed by the German typographer Herbert Brekle. The essential criterion of type identity was met by medieval print artifacts such as the Latin Pruefening Abbey inscription of 1119 that was created by the same technique as the Phaistos disc. In the northern Italian town of Cividale, there is a Venetian silver retable from ca. 1200, which was printed with individual letter punches. The same printing technique can apparently be found in 10th to 12th century Byzantine staurotheca and lipsanotheca. Individual letter tiles where the words are formed by assembling single letter tiles in the desired order were reasonably widespread in medieval Northern Europe. Modern movable type, along with the mechanical printing press, was invented in mid-15th century Europe by the German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg. His type pieces from a lead-based alloy suited printing purposes so well that the alloy is still used today. Gutenberg developed specialized techniques for casting and combining cheap copies of letterpunches in the vast quantities required to print multiple copies of texts. This technical breakthrough was instrumental in starting the Printing Revolution. Typography with movable type was separately invented in 11th-century China. Metal type was first invented in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty around 1230. Both hand printing systems, however, were only sporadically used and discontinued after the introduction of Western lead type and the printing press.
Scope In contemporary use, the practice and study of typography is very broad, covering all aspects of letter design and application. These include: - typesetting and type design - handwriting and calligraphy - graffiti - inscriptional and architectural lettering - poster design and other large scale lettering such as signage and billboards - business communications and promotional collateral - advertising - wordmarks and typographic logos (logotypes) - apparel (clothing) - labels on maps - vehicle instrument panels - kinetic typography in motion picture films and television - as a component of industrial design—type on household appliances, pens and wristwatches, for example - as a component in modern poetry (see, for example, the poetry of E. E. Cummings) 14 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
Since digitization, typography has spread to a wider ranger of applications, appearing on web pages, LCD mobile phone screens, and hand-held video games. The ubiquity of type has led typographers to coin the phrase “Type is everywhere”. Traditional typography follows four principles: repetition, contrast, proximity, and alignment.
Text typography In traditional typography, text is composed to create a readable, coherent, and visually satisfying whole that works invisibly, without the awareness of the reader. Even distribution of typeset material, with a minimum of distractions and anomalies, is aimed at producing clarity and transparency. Choice of font(s) is the primary aspect of text typography— prose fiction, non-fiction, editorial, educational, religious, scientific, spiritual and commercial writing all have differing characteristics and requirements of appropriate typefaces and fonts. For historic material established text typefaces are frequently chosen according to a scheme of historical genre acquired by a long process of accretion, with considerable overlap between historical periods. Contemporary books are more likely to be set with stateof-the-art seriffed “text romans” or “book romans” with design values echoing present-day design arts, which are closely based on traditional models such as those of Nicolas Jenson, Francesco Griffo (a punchcutter who created the model for Aldine typefaces), and Claude Garamond. With their more specialized requirements, newspapers and magazines rely on compact, tightly fitted seriffed text fonts specially designed for the task, which offer maximum flexibility, readability and efficient use of page space. Sans serif text fonts are often used for introductory paragraphs, incidental text and whole short articles. A current fashion is to pair sans-serif type for headings with a high-performance seriffed font of matching style for the text of an article. Typography is modulated by orthography and linguistics, word structures, word frequencies, morphology, phonetic constructs and linguistic syntax. Typography is also subject to specific cultural conventions. For example, in French it is customary to insert a non-breaking space before a colon (:) or semicolon (;) in a sentence, while in English it is not.
Color In typography, color is the overall density of the ink on the page, determined mainly by the typeface, but also by the word spacing, leading and depth of the margins. Text layout, tone or color of set matter, and the interplay of text with white space of the page and other graphic elements combine to impart a “feel” or “resonance” to the subject matter. With printed media typographers are also concerned with binding margins, paper selection and printing methods.
Readability and legibility Legibility is primarily the concern of the typeface de-
signer, to ensure that each individual character or glyph is unambiguous and distinguishable from all other characters in the font. Legibility is also in part the concern of the typographer to select a typeface with appropriate clarity of design for the intended use at the intended size. An example of a well-known design, Brush Script, contains a number of illegible letters since many of the characters can be easily misread especially if seen out of textual context.
Readability is primarily the concern of the typographer or information designer. It is the intended result of the complete process of presentation of textual material in order to communicate meaning as unambiguously as possible. A reader should be assisted in navigating around the information with ease, by optimal inter-letter, inter-word and particularly inter-line spacing, coupled with appropriate line length and position on the page, careful editorial “chunking” and choice of the text architecture of titles, folios, and reference links.
“However, even a legible typeface can become unreadable through poor setting and placement, just as a less legible typeface can be made more readable through good design.”
One of the clearest distinctions between the two concepts was presented by Walter Tracy in his Letters of Credit. These … ‘two aspects of a type’ … are … ‘fundamental to its effectiveness. Because the common meaning of “legible” is “readable” there are those – even some professionally involved in typography – who think that the term “legibility” is all that is needed in any discussion on the effectiveness of types. But legibility and readability are separate, though connected aspects of type. Properly understood … the two terms can help to describe the character and function of type more precisely than legibility alone. … In typography we need to draw the definition … of legibility …to mean the quality of being decipherable and recognisable – so that we can say, for example, that the lowercase h in a particular old style italic is not legible in small sizes because its in-turned leg makes it look like the letter b; or a figure 3 in a classified advertisement is too similar to the 8. … In display sizes, legibility ceases to be a serious matter; a character that causes uncertainty at 8 point size is plain enough at 24 point.’ Note that the above applies to people with 20/20 vision at appropriate reading distance and under optimal lighting. The analogy of an opticians chart, testing for visual acuity and independent of meaning, is useful to indicate the scope of the concept of legibility. ‘In typography … if the columns of a newspaper or magazine or the pages of a book can be read for many minutes at a time without strain or difficulty, then we can say the type has good readability. The term describes the quality of visual comfort – an important requirement in the comprehension of long stretches of text but, paradoxically, not so important in such things as telephone directories or air-line time-tables, where the reader is not reading continuously but searching for a single item of information. The difference in the two aspects of visual effectiveness is illustrated by the familiar argument on the suitability of sans-serif types for text setting. The characters in a particular sansserif face may be perfectly legible in themselves, but no one would think of setting a popular novel in it because its readability is low. Legibility ‘refers to perception’ and readability ‘refers to comprehension’. Typographers aim to achieve excellence in
“The typeface chosen should be legible. That is, it should be read without effort. Sometimes legibility is simply a matter of type size. More often however, it is a matter of typeface design. In general typefaces that are true to the basic letterforms are more legible than typefaces that have been condensed, expanded, embellished, or abstracted.
Studies of both legibility and readability have examined a wide range of factors including type size and type design. For example, comparing serif vs. sans-serif type, roman type vs. oblique type and italic type, line length, line spacing, color contrast, the design of right-hand edge (for example, justification, straight right hand edge) vs. ranged left, and whether text is hyphenated. Legibility research has been published since the late nineteenth century. Although there are often commonalities and agreement on many topics, others often create poignant areas of conflict and variation of opinion. For example, no one has provided a conclusive answer as to which font, serifed or sans serif, provides the most legibility according to Alex Poole. Other topics such as justified vs unjustified type, use of hyphens, and proper fonts for people with reading difficulties such as dyslexia, have continued to be subjects of debate. Websites such as hgredbes.com, ban comic sans, UK National Literacy Trust, and Mark Simsonson Studio have raised debating opinions on the above subjects and many more each presenting a thorough and well-organized position. Legibility is usually measured through speed of reading, with comprehension scores used to check for effectiveness (that is, not a rushed or careless read). For example, Miles Tinker, who published numerous studies from the 1930s to the 1960s, used a speed of reading test that required participants to spot incongruous words as an effectiveness filter. The Readability of Print Unit at the Royal College of Art under Professor Herbert Spencer with Brian Coe and Linda Reynolds did important work in this area and was one of the centres that revealed the importance of the saccadic rhythm of eye movement for readability—in particular, the ability to take in (i.e., recognise the meaning of groups of) around three words at once and the physiognomy of the eye, which means the eye tires if the line required more than 3 or 4 of these saccadic jumps. More than this is found to introduce strain and errors in reading (e.g. Doubling). These days, legibility research tends to be limited to critical issues, or the testing of specific design solutions (for example, when new typefaces are developed). Examples of critical issues include typefaces (also called fonts) for people with visual impairment, and typefaces for highway signs, or for other conditions where legibility may make a key difference.
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Much of the legibility research literature is somewhat atheoreticalâ€”various factors were tested individually or in combination (inevitably so, as the different factors are interdependent), but many tests were carried out in the absence of a model of reading or visual perception. Some typographers believe that the overall word shape (Bouma) is very important in readability, and that the theory of parallel letterwise recognition is either wrong, less important, or not the entire picture. Studies distinguishing between Bouma recognition and parallel letterwise recognition with regard to how people actually recognize words when they read, have favored parallel letterwise recognition, which is widely accepted by cognitive psychologists. Some commonly agreed findings of legibility research include: - Text set in lower case is more legible than text set all in upper case (capitals), presumably because lower case letter structures and word shapes are more distinctive. - Extenders (ascenders, descenders and other projecting parts) increase salience (prominence). - Regular upright type (roman type) is found to be more legible than italic type. - Contrast, without dazzling brightness, has also been found to be important, with black on yellow/cream being most effective. - Positive images (e.g. black on white) are easier to read than negative or reversed (e.g. white on black). However even this commonly accepted practice has some exceptions, for example in some cases of disability. (See UK National Literacy Trust for their findings in this area.) - The upper portions of letters play a stronger part than the lower portions in the recognition process. Readability can also be compromised by letter-spacing, word spacing, or leading that is too tight or too loose. It can be improved when generous vertical space separates lines of text, making it easier for the eye to distinguish one line from the next, or previous line. Poorly designed fonts and those that are too tightly or loosely fitted can also result in poor legibility. Typography is an element of all printed material. Periodical publications, especially newspapers and magazines, use typographical elements to achieve an attractive, distinctive appearance, to aid readers in navigating the publication, and in some cases for dramatic effect. By formulating a style guide, a periodical standardizes on a relatively small collection of typefaces, each used for specific elements within the publication, and makes consistent use of type sizes, italic, boldface, large and small capital letters, colors, and other typographic features. Some publications, such as The Guardian and The Economist, go so far as to commission a type designer to create bespoke (custom tailored) typefaces for their exclusive use. Different periodical publications design their publications, including their typography, to achieve a particular tone or style. For example, USA Today uses a bold, colorful, and comparatively modern style through their use of a variety of typefaces and colors; type sizes vary widely, and the newspaperâ€™s name is placed on a colored background. 16 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
In contrast, The New York Times uses a more traditional approach, with fewer colors, less typeface variation, and more columns. Especially on the front page of newspapers and on magazine covers, headlines are often set in larger display typefaces to attract attention, and are placed near the masthead.
Experimental typography Experimental typography is defined as the unconventional and more artistic approach to setting type. Francis Picabia was a Dada pioneer in the early 20th Century. David Carson is often associated with this movement, particularly for his work in Ray Gun magazine in the 1990s. His work caused an uproar in the design community due to his abandonment of standards in typesetting practices, layout, and design. Experimental typography places emphasis on communicating emotion, rather than on.
Display typography Display typography is a potent element in graphic design, where there is less concern for readability and more potential for using type in an artistic manner. Type is combined with negative space, graphic elements and pictures, forming relationships and dialog between words and images. Color and size of type elements are much more prevalent than in text typography. Most display typography exploits type at larger sizes, where the details of letter design are magnified. Color is used for its emotional effect in conveying the tone and nature of subject matter. Display typography encompasses: - posters; book covers; - typographic logos and wordmarks; billboards; - packaging and labeling; on-product typography; calligraphy; - graffiti; inscriptional and architectural lettering; - poster design and other large scale lettering signage; - business communications and promotional collateral; advertising; - wordmarks and typographic logos (logotypes), - and kinetic typography in motion pictures and television; vending machine displays; online and computer screen displays. The wanted poster for the assassins of Abraham Lincoln was printed with lead and woodcut type, and incorporates photography.
Advertising Typography has long been a vital part of promotional material and advertising. Designers often use typography to set a theme and mood in an advertisement; for example using bold, large text to convey a particular message to the reader. Type is often used to draw attention to a particular advertisement, combined with efficient use of color, shapes and images. Today, typography in advertising often reflects a companyâ€™s brand. Fonts used in advertisements
convey different messages to the reader, classical fonts are for a strong personality, while more modern fonts are for a cleaner, neutral look. Bold fonts are used for making statements and attracting attention.
Inscriptional and architectural lettering The history of inscriptional lettering is intimately tied to the history of writing, the evolution of letterforms and the craft of the hand. The widespread use of the computer and various etching and sandblasting techniques today has made the hand carved monument a rarity, and the number of letter-carvers left in the USA continues to dwindle. For monumental lettering to be effective it must be considered carefully in its context. Proportions of letters need to be altered as their size and distance from the viewer increases. An expert letterer gains understanding of these nuances through much practice and observation of their craft. Letters drawn by hand and for a specific project have the possibility of being richly specific and profoundly beautiful in the hand of a master. Each can also take up to an hour to carve, so it is no wonder that the automated sandblasting process has become the industry standard. To create a sandblasted letter, a rubber mat is laser cut from a computer file and glued to the stone. The sand then bites a coarse groove or channel into the exposed surface. Unfortunately, many of the computer applications that create these files and interface with the laser cutter do not have many typefaces available, and often have inferior versions of typefaces that are available. What can now be done in minutes, however, lacks the striking architecture and geometry of the chisel-cut letter that allows light to play across its distinct interior planes.
What is typography today?
Most people think Typography is about designing and selecting fonts. This is true as far as architecture is about designing or selecting furniture. In reality neither is a purpose but a means to an end. That end with architecture is (hopefully) accommodating its inhabitants, for typography it is accommodating the human mind, making the reader read, the viewer watch (not only look), drawing and keeping the attention. Typography historically used to be somewhat confined to type, although the selection of paper and even some aspects of bookbinding were still things one had to think about when designing for any printed matter. Ever since phototypesetting, digital publishing and even more the occurrence of the World Wide Web this confinement has completely been lifted. But even historically typography has always been more than putting text on paper. It is the study of how we read, how the human mind and eyes process information, how we recognise things, how the brain augments information. For that matter it is more of a science than an art. And because of that even many conceivably ancient rules stand up to this day, because they weren’t formed based on tastes or artistic styles of the time, but on the facts of human cognition [*1]. 1. We don’t regard Newtonian Physics as outdated, just because they were written long ago. They are true, because they were formed observing nature and drawing the right conclusions from that observation. Some of the rules were adjusted over the centuries, but the very foundation is still considered correct
What is the shaping factor of design? What do we design for? What is actually the one factor that makes designs work, makes them good design? It’s the people using it with ease. When the end-user can use the designed product effortlessly, the goal of design has been achieved. This is a universal principle and limited neither to print nor digital media nor two-dimensional design in general. When we design furniture we design it for the humans using it. We need to shape a chair after the human body. When we design print products, we design it for the humans reading them. The science that helps us making sure that people can and will read those publications is typography. It’s the craft of making visual communication readable, legible and comprehensible. If it’s done well it will go even farther and make communication pleasant. Typography makes content palatable for the human brain. The human is the deciding factor of how and what we design. Design must have this as the ultimate goal, and TYPOGRAPHY | FINAL ISSUE | 17
the principles used to achieve that goal (usability, cognitive sciences, typography) are independent of any tool we use. Tools need to be shaped to fit their purpose (they, too are designed objects). Using those tools the designs we create need to be shaped to fit their purpose. Typography is essentially: accommodating the human mind, human cognition and perception, it is brain ergonomics if you will.
The tools of typography They are basically divided into microtypography and macrotypography. As the names suggest, microtypography is dealing with the minutiae of type and layout, such as selecting the fonts themselves, the kerning (spacing between letters), spacing (between words) and correct orthography. Macrotypograpy looks at the big picture of communication such as line length, margins, line height (leading), balance of text and images, how to use white space, font sizing/weighting and the layout as such. That’s the classic description which again confines typography to text and some layout issues, but I would even go further. Jan Tschichold’s “Neue Typographie” was a translation of Bauhaus principles into typography [*2]. The so-called “Swiss Typographic Style” is basically teaching Tschichold’s book. The new technology of the time paired with the new way of thinking freed typographers from the sole restriction to handling type only. Many typographers got involved in logotype design, signage and visual communication in general, which further deepened the studies of human recognition for that purpose. 2. Tschichold’s book also unfortunately forced people to falsely believe that sans serif fonts were the be-all and end-all to typefaces, but Tschichold corrected his mistake in later years
Welcome to the 21st century Typography in the age of the Web—an inherently interactive medium—must be more than that. Is has to be about how we interact with the web site/web page. The interaction with a print product was very limited, so that wasn’t necessarily a central requirement (if the paper was too thin e.g., turning pages was more difficult), but if a typographer wants to make the product of his work readable, or even pleasant he needs to take things like usability and user experience into account. When a designer gets into motion design he/she needs to start thinking about time. About how things change over time, how the elements move and change appearance or colour, about transitions and timing of cuts. If we move from print media into Web and interactive media we have to start thinking about time as well. In regard to Websites part of this temporal aspect is usability and user experience. How does the reader spend his time, how does he/she interact with the Web site over time? My belief is that user experience and usability should be part of any typographic education, because they are natural continuations of what typography has been all about anyway. And if typography is brain ergonomics, then time must be another element taken in to consideration. TYPOGRAPHY | FINAL ISSUE | 19
CREATIV AD PHOTO`S
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Logo Design: Cats We keep going through our weekly journey checking out great logos! We’re thinking ahead and we want to find new topics, good ones, to share with you guys. Last week we had a great post about logos with numbers, and today it’s all about logos with cats!
Cap Sante Yacht Sales
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The Cult of Ideas
“Innovation is not about ideas—it is about being productive with those ideas. It is about implementing them and generating value.” The Cult of Ideas is a dangerous cult lurking within the field of corporate innovation. It is a disturbing cult in which members worship massive numbers of ideas above all else. On the surface, this seems a good thing. After all, innovations are founded on ideas, are they not? So, if a company wants to innovate, the more ideas it creates the better. Sadly, however, the ugly truth is that the cult of ideas can actually stifle creativity and inhibit innovation. WHAT IS THE CULT OF IDEAS? The Cult of Ideas is the worship of large numbers of ideas above all else in innovation. You see it when Starbucks proudly proclaims that they have received over 100,000 ideas from their online-suggestion website. You see it when IBM brags of Idea Jams that generate tens of thousands of ideas. You see it whenever a company boasts of an innovation initiative, solely based on the number of ideas collected. It is easy to understand why the ‘Cult of Ideas’ has grown so powerful in recent years. Most senior managers come from analytical backgrounds, often with MBAs from presti26 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
gious university. And that background has generally served them well as they manage operations in ever more complex businesses.
a crazy idea and only begins to worry when I continue to talk about an idea for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, she reminds me from time to time, that my ideas can easily become a distraction from getting anything productive done.
Unfortunately, finding meaningful numbers in the innovation process can be tricky. Technology and pharmaceutical companies can count their patents—and many do. But patents fail to measure operational efficiency and business model innovation, which are also important. Moreover, many innovative firms take out few if any patents. The number of new products launched every year, or the income generated by products introduced in the past five years is another approach for measuring product innovation—but it also fails to recognize other forms of innovation. Moreover, a visit to any supermarket suggests we must question whether the introduction of new products truly represents innovation. A look at all the variations of Nivea shampoo products, many of which claim to be “new”, for instance, is hardly indicative of product innovation.
She is right, of course. Moreover, the same thing is true for companies. If they measure innovation by the number of ideas generated and focus too much on generating lots of ideas, rather than implementing ideas, they fail to get anything productive done. But, of course, innovation is not about ideas—it is about being productive with those ideas. It is about implementing them and generating value.
So, managers have latched on to the counting of ideas and the assumption that lots and lots of ideas must be a good thing. This has been enhanced by innovation-service providers who also espouse the notion that more ideas are better than fewer. And from this situation has grown: the Cult of Ideas.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
INNOVATION CONSULTANTS ALSO TO BLAME The Cult of Ideas is not inhabited only by analytical senior managers. Many innovation consultants, familiar with brainstorming methodology and creative problem solving, have learned to stress the importance of generating a lot of ideas in hopes of finding a few gems. Brainstorms, for instance, are often judged by the number of ideas generated. Likewise, idea management software vendors will boast about the number of ideas their software can generate, conveniently forgetting that it is employees and not the software that generates ideas. WHY IS THE CULT OF IDEAS A BAD THING? Of course, ideas in their own right are not bad at all. I should know; I have lots of them myself. So many, I sometimes want to switch them off. Indeed, it used to concern my girlfriend that I would always come up with ideas about new businesses to launch, new activities to do, and new paths to follow. These ideas worried her. Surely, she thought, it could not be a good thing for me to do so many things or to throw away everything I have done professionally, in order to follow some whim. But as she has come to know me, she has learned that I have even more ideas than she has shoes. She knows that I will talk about an idea today, and forget about it tomorrow. So, today, she smiles knowingly whenever I announce
REAL INNOVATORS DEMONSTRATE INNOVATION Companies—like Gore, Google, Apple and others—that we think of as true innovators, never brag about how many ideas they generate in this initiative or that initiative. Rather they demonstrate innovation. Indeed, if you look at Fast Company’s list of most innovative companies—those on the top ten are recognized for their innovations and not for quantities of ideas.
The solution is simple. If you want to innovate, you need to innovate. This means your focus should not be on the number of ideas generated, but the value generated through implemented ideas. A million ideas will do you no good if you do not implement any of them! In order to innovate, you need an end-to-end innovation plan that looks not only at idea generation, but also on focusing idea generation on strategy, evaluating ideas efficiently and developing processes to implement the more outlandish ideas that could be breakthrough innovations. Instead of simply trying to wring as many ideas as you can out of each employee, allow employees time to develop ideas. Companies like Google and 3M are famous for allowing their employees to use 20% of their time to work on personal projects. Many great ideas have come from this personal time. Indeed, Google’s founders have “tracked the progress of ideas that they had backed, versus ideas that had been executed in the ranks without support from above, and discovered a higher success rate in the latter category”.
Moreover, think about what you would like employees to be doing during that 20% of their time: generating as many ideas as they can, or developing a small number of ideas into experimental projects. Likewise, your company should not be focusing on generating as many ideas as possible. Rather it should be focusing on developing a small number of interesting ideas into trial projects. TYPOGRAPHY | FINAL ISSUE | 27
VINTAGE CHRISTMAS ADS Christmas time is a great opportunity to find time and enjoy the holiday with family and friends. Every time, there’s Christmas, there’s just ads everywhere we look. It got me inspired to look and share this collection of vintage Christmas ads, what really stroked me is the ads were so simple and yet so informative. Also it’s also great to see the needs of people really differ from our present time.
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Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.behance.net/JeanCampos/
Romeu e Julieta
I really love the work of design studio Romeu e Julieta based in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This 3D illustration designed for Unimed is incredible and adopts a lovely playful nature. The combination of detailed textures and bright exciting colours brings it to life.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.joshcochran.net
Josh Cochran is an illustrator who grew up in Taiwan and the United States. . His work is commissioned by a diverse group of clients in editorial, advertising, publishing, broadcast and the web. Josh teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts and occasionally fills in as art director for the New York Times Op-Ed page. His work it fun colourful and each image holds its own story.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.fmagnotta.com
Frank Magnotta is an artist and designer from Brooklyn, NY. I was amazed by these beautiful pencil illustrations, that express such detail and innovation. I have only included a small selection of Franks work, so go over to his website if you would like to see more fantastic pieces.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.becha.me
Becha Becha is an illustrator from Serbia and she has a very unique style. When I first saw these illustration I was amazed by such style that I havenâ€™t quite seen. Itâ€™s a mix of retro, photo collage and typography with some mind twists in it. Take a look for your self and enjoy!
Corre Cutia Bookstore
Advertising Agency: Lápisraro Comunicação, Belo Horizonte, Brazil Creative Directors: Carla Madeira, Cristina Cortez Art Director: Francisco Valle Copywriter: Flavio Chubes Illustrator: Francisco Valle
Advertising Agency: Ă?ntegra, Fortaleza/CE, Brazil Creative Directors: Lauro Marcus, Paulo Fraga Art Directors: Gesse Colares, Lauro Marcus, Malu Lima Copywriters: Bruno BiĂş, Paulo Fraga Illustrator: Diego Maia
ASSUMING LEADERSHIP IN YOUR DESIGN AGENCY
There comes a point in the career of many Web designers where the logical progression in that career is to take on a leadership position. A logical step or not, when a designer “assumes” this type of a position, there is often another “assumption” happening at the same — that wizard-like proficiency with HTML and CSS, coupled with a number of years in the industry, equips someone to take on a leadership role. This is, of course, not always the case.
Over the past few years, I have gone through this transition myself, moving from a Web designer to a Creative Director to my current role as the Director of Web Development. During this transition, I turned to the blogs and other resources that I had found helpful in my career to that point, looking for tips and lessons that would help me in my new role. I quickly realized was that while there are countless articles to help you become that aforementioned HTML and CSS wizard, there are precious few that deal with the move from designer to director.
In this article, I will share some of the lessons I have learned over these past few years. These are not earth shattering truths and many of these lessons are common sense, but these are the lessons that helped me along the way, and that I found myself needing to be reminded of most often, as I moved from team member to team leader.
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Leading by Leading Typically, someone who has risen from a Web designer to a director has done so because they excel in the technical aspects of the job (design, HTML, CSS, etc.) and also at solving problems. Because they are skilled problem solvers, it is easy for a director to want to solve the problems for those they are supervising, rather than leading them to solve the issues for themselves. The concept of “leading by doing” isn’t always the best solution, however. I think John Maeda, the President of the Rhode Island School of Design, says it best in his book, Redesigning Leadership:
“Leading by doing ceases to be leading when there is more doing than leading.” For someone who is used to rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty to solve a problem (or as dirty as HTML and CSS can really get your hands), this lesson of leading others to solve problems for themselves is one you will likely need to be reminded of often (I know I was). To learn more about leadership, I highly recommend reading John Maeda’s book and visiting his blog. How do you start letting go and allowing others to solve problems for themselves? Simple — you trust them and give them a shot. The solution they find with may not be the one you would have come up with, and you may need to direct them through a few extra rounds to get to the solution you would like, but the result is that you will help them get to that solution eventually! This learning will pay off the next time they have to solve a similar issue, because by leading others to find solutions for themselves whenever possible, and really trusting them along the way, you will make your whole team stronger and free yourself up to do the other important work that is part of your new role as a director.
will get frustrated and need to blow off some steam from time to time, but you will find that by being the voice of reason and keeping calm, your own frustrations will often be diffused in the process. If you do need to vent, remember to never do it in front of your team. Their mood will mirror your own, so stay positive.
Buy Someone a Sandwich Positive reinforcement is important to any team. This reinforcement can come in many forms, from financial rewards to additional benefits or time off, etc. One of the most effective ways that I have found to show someone their hard work is appreciated is also one of the simplest, however. Buy them some lunch. Besides being affordable in even the most challenging economy, taking team members to lunch gets them out of the office for a bit and it allows you to interact with them on a real level. It’s easy to get caught up in the amazing advances in CSS3 or Responsive Web Design and forget that your team members are more than Web professionals — they are people with lives outside of the office and interests that have nothing to do with HTML. Take someone out to lunch and leave the office behind. Don’t schedule the lunch like you would any other meeting, make it a surprise and delight someone who wasn’t expecting to go out that day. While you are out, be sure to say “thank you” for your team’s hard work. You’ll be amazed at what some good food, a real conversation outside of the office, and a genuine “thank you” will do for your team’s morale. Give it a shot for yourself — take your team out for lunch today and see what happens.
If There’s Going to be a Meeting, Everyone ParNo Room for Negativity ticipates If you have risen to a leadership position in an organization, it’s very likely you have commiserated and complained with the rest of the team on a number of occasions about everything from client feedback to project deadlines or budgets to general workplace frustrations. That has to stop. Your team will take their cues from you. If you are frustrated and complaining, they will be frustrated and complaining. If, however, you take a bad situation and make the best of it and keep a positive attitude, that will go a long way to keeping the overall morale of your team positive as well. When the complaints do come, don’t ignore them, address them head on and diffuse the situation. Now, this isn’t to say that you won’t get frustrated at times. Uncle Ben may have told Peter that “with great power comes great responsibility”, but he failed to add that with great responsibility also comes great headaches. You
Regularly scheduled meetings can help keep a team in sync, but meetings for the sake of meeting can be wearisome. When I first took over the responsibility of running meetings for our department, I tried a number of configurations. I tried different days of the week and different times of the day. I tried to do a number of short meetings throughout the week versus only one longer one at week’s end. I mixed it up as I tried to find the right formula, but my meetings still seemed to be lacking something. Then I figured out what was wrong. It was me. By “leading” the meeting, I realized I can come to dominate the conversation, turning it into more of a lecture than an actual exchange of ideas. That was what needed to change. It doesn’t matter if you do short meetings each day or a single longer meeting at the end of the week, what matters is that everyone gets engaged in the conversation. If TYPOGRAPHY | FINAL ISSUE | 47
your meetings are suffering the same way mine were, try mixing it up and ask someone to present a project they are currently working on, or a site they recently saw that blew them away, or ask them to summarize a great article they recent read. Get everyone to participate and you will clearly see the energy level of your meetings instantly start to rise.
Be Selective With Projects As a team leader, you will often be one of the first ones in front of a new client and a new project. You will be part of all that initial excitement and exchange of ideas. This is a very exciting time in a project and it is not unusual to get out of a kickoff meeting and want to do all the work yourself. Unfortunately, that is no longer your role. One of the biggest challenges in the transition from designer to director is the reality that your job is to often assign work to others that you really wish you could assign to yourself. As a director, will have less time to design and develop websites, because more of your time is required to help others more effectively design and develop websites. That being said, you need to strike a balance. From time to time, you should assign a project to yourself, but be selective. Knowing you can’t personally design every new project or develop every new site gives you the chance to pick and choose which projects go to which team member, yourself included. Just remember not to keep ALL the great jobs for yourself — the team will definitely notice that!
Grow Your Bookshelf Web professional are lifelong learners. The always changing nature of our industry forces us to constantly be learning if we want to keep our skills current. The change to a leadership role does not eliminate this need, it simply adds to the type of learning you must do. In addition to books on HTML, CSS or design principals, your bookshelf should grow to contain titles on managing others or running a business. Recently, I’ve added the excellent titles from A Book Apart to my bookshelf. These titles are written by the likes of Ethan Marcotte, Dan Cederholm and Jeremy Keith — authors whom I’ve read for years via their blogs as well as books. I have also recently added some titles that are not related to Web design to my shelf, including Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hasson, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, and Redesigning Leadership by John Maeda, from which a quote appears earlier in his article. Your role as a director is a duel role. You need to manage and lead, but you also need to be current and relevant in your Web design skillset. This should be reflected in the learning you are doing. Next time you look for Web design books, also add a few titles to your cart that have little or nothing to do with manipulating pixels and more to do with managing people. 48 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
Listen and Decide A big part of being a team leader is making decisions. A big part of making decisions is realizing that, no matter how hard you may try, you will never please everyone. As the team leader, you will need to listen to different points of view, but you will also have to be the one to decide which ones point in the right direction and which ones do not. In the end, you need to be the one that makes the right choice for the project, the team, or the company as a whole. You should encourage others to share their opinions with you, from the CEO to the intern that started last week. Listen to what they have to say with an open mind and be willing to have your own opinions changed, but once you have considered everyone’s opinion, including your own, you need to decide the path to take. In the end, others may not agree with your opinion, but they will be more likely to support you in the decision you made if you truly took the time to consider all options before you made your choice.
The I in Team Throughout this article, I have referenced the move from team member to team leader, but the reality is that even though you may be leading the team, you are still a part of it, not apart from it. Remember to use the word “us” often and show those under your supervision that you are with them. I think a quote from E.M. Kelly says it well and gives me an appropriate way to end this article:
The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says “Go!” — a leader says “Let’s go!” Are you ready to assume leadership? Excellent — let’s go!
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.ewthomason.com
E.W. Thomason is a Graphic designer and Illustrator now living in Atlanta, Georgia. When I first saw these bright and colourful illustrations they definitely put a smile on my face. You can visit Thomasonâ€™s website and twitter page here for more of these beautiful illustrations.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.max-kostenko.com
Max Kostenko I work with the largest agencies all over the world, develop characters and draw illustrations. !!!For communication with me use only E-mail, please do not write me personal messages!!!
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://anka-zhuravleva.com
Anka Zhuravleva, is an artist and photographer from Russia. In 2006 Anka noticed that her inspiration often came from photos and decided to take up photography. Anka later joined the Russian Union of Art Photographers. She has the most beautiful collection my favourite being the photograph collection distorted gravity. Too see Anksâ€™s work take a look at her website, she has a varied collection from photography to paintings and drawings.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.theodoru.com
Teodoru Badiu is a creative media designer, and 3D addict based in Vienna, Austria. His work is unique and full of unusual but fun looking characters. He is an avid collector of vinyl toys and a lover of art. I love so many of his pieces, they definitely remind me of childhood and put a smile on my face!
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://kissmiklos.com/
Ajándék Terminál exhibition, fair and auction was one of the Christmas events organized by Design Terminal, where Hungarian designers showcased their work. Between 9th and 18th of December products from 50 talented designers could be bought. Design Terminal is a state owned, nonprofit organization which is taking as main goal to promote Hungarian design culture, organize cultural events and show various international and Hungarian design projects to the public in the building. I was in charge of the graphical design and the image of the Ajándék Terminal, who combined the classical but new calligraphy with a few mixes of vintage typography.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.albertocerriteno.com
If you like illustration you will love the amazing work of Alberto Cerriteno. I discovered his work on a brilliant website called Lovely package where he has produced illustrations for INQ Mobile. His work in rich in texture and decorative patterns. His is inspired by urban vinyl toys, alternative cartoons, and the pop surrealism movement.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.bensteers.com
Ben Steers is an illustrator and designer based in South West England. His work has a playfulness and humor about it, making every illustration a pleasure to look at. Benâ€™s work adopts a variety of graphic styles incorporating influences ranging from 80â€™s animation to early graffiti. He is currently represented by London Illustration agency Handsome Frank.
Are you being innovative?
With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, a lot of people and experts are crowning him one of the greatest innovators of our time, if not of all time. It’s rather hard to disagree, as he’s helped bring forth many innovations that have seriously changed the way we look at our future.
AND WITH ALL THE TALK ABOUT INNOVATORS, FOLKS ARE STARTING TO CELEBRATE THE LIVES OF OTHER CREATIVE GENIUSES AT ANY LEVEL OR PLATFORM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. BUT ALL THE TALK ABOUT INNOVATION IS LEAVING PEOPLE THINKING, WHAT IS REAL INNOVATION AND HOW CAN ONE BE INNOVATIVE IN WHATEVER THEY’RE DOING? IS INNOVATION JUST A SYNONYM FOR “INVENTION”, OR IS IT REALLY JUST A POSITIVE SPIN ON “IMITATION”? I GUARANTEE
IF YOU ASK FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE, YOU’LL PROBABLY GET FIVE DIFFERENT ANSWERS. NOT BECAUSE EVERYONE IS WRONG, BUT BECAUSE THE EXACT DEFINITIONS FOR ‘INNOVATION’ AND ‘INNOVATOR’ SEEM TO VARY BY SITUATION. ONCE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE ANSWERED THE QUESTION, THE NEXT STEP IS TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU CAN BE INNOVATIVE SO THAT IT MIGHT HELP YOU GO FURTHER IN YOUR SITUATION.
And the answer is…
ent introduced. That’s a concise textbook definition but innovation is not just about an idea or just about creating something new. If that was the case we’d be talking invention, right? And if we were talking just about ideas, we’d be just dealing with cultivating creativity, right? Innovation is much deeper than that, and lies in creating new processes.
The word “innovation” kind of varies and is almost completely subjective; it has to deal a lot with the situation and it’s surroundings. Some will tell you that it’s the act of coming up with a new idea while others will tell you it’s just taking any idea and making it your own. I think it’s safe to agree with both points to a certain extent. The dictionary lists it as something new or differ66 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
Coming with a new and creative idea is just one point of being innovative because the next step is making something tangible from that idea. When you make that tangible thing, are you just hoping people like
what you came up with or are you really thinking about it? Innovation begins with research so that you can, in turn, come up with a great process. Think about this: some of the most innovative things are not new ideas, they’re just better processes. You create a better process by looking at what’s out there, figuring out what’s right and what’s wrong with it, and coming up with something new. The “idea” portion isn’t the most important thing; it’s about how you portray it. For example, if you are a web designer with your own business, your innovation doesn’t necessarily come from an “invention”, but it may come from the way in which you carry out your process: for example, finding a great way to figure out what your client wants or creating an easy way to communicate with clients can be your claim to innovation. You may also show it through your super intuitive designs. The most important part, however, is doing something different. It’s a competitive world out here, and when a company sees another company come out with something new, oftentimes they try to mimic it and mark it down a couple bucks. I guess I understand the current marketing strategy, but how does doing something like that gain you real loyal customers? Companies in this situation (where they feel behind), have a better chance at re-doing the process and coming out with something new—pay attention to what those customers are saying they hate about said product and fix it. Don’t make the same thing and expect people to come running
What are the differences? Once again, trying to really define and teach innovation is really sticky, so perhaps one could understand it when being put against related terms. Innovation can be a completely new idea or a borrowed and improved idea. The thing, however, is not to get caught up in the “idea” of it all, but to focus on the finished product. We all have ideas. Invention has a very similar definition to our topic. When we think of inventing, we obviously think of making something new. But the process of invention really only deals with creation. In the invention stage, we are working things out, on what’s usually a new idea. In the invention stage, we are trying our hardest to put money into the creation of an idea. We want whatever it is to work and be amazing. Innovation suggests that whatever we have isn’t necessarily a new idea, but it’s our new attempt to basically put it in front of people’s faces. In innovation, we have our finished and tangible reflection of the idea and now we typically want to make money off that, or at least get it seen on a larger scale. For example, if you’ve studied a bit of science history, you may know we attribute the invention of the telescope to Galileo. The problem with this, is that telescopes were around for a while before Galileo got his hands on it and many people used them. He actually joined that bandwagon fairly late; he was about a year or so behind. Telescopes prior to Galileo’s usage weren’t used as a device to look at moons and stars—it was basically a pretty useless
magnifying glass, sometimes purchased for fun. However, Galileo decided there was something important in the sky and he wanted to take a look at it, so he researched the product, made it better by increasing the distance in which you can see things and ended up giving us the precursors of the modern day telescope. Galileo did not invent the telescope, but he helped to innovate and cultivate the idea. Steve Jobs didn’t create the MP3 player, but he helped to innovate the idea. Being or creating something that is innovative is about making the right connection to your consumer. There are many products that take extremely complex topics and scale them down to put them in front of an individual so that they may use it. There are also products that seem to be useless, that can be innovated into extremely useful products. However, if you have a simple audience and try to sell them an extremely complex product, you’ve completely lost hope. It’s just about making the connection between an idea or invention and an individual who has a problem to solve. Inventions can be innovative, but innovations do not have to be inventions. Innovation relates not only to creation and making connections, but the organization as well as the design. If you want to create a better process that relates better to your audience, you’ve got to design it and organize it in a way that is easily understandable to your audience. Else, you’re a lost cause once again. Any product usually does not live without invention in some stage, but at some point there has to be a focus on the process and how to make it better for what ever problem needs to be solved. It’s easy to confuse invention and innovation, but the truth is, innovation is much more important.
Moving forward Any good business, whether large or small, knows that in order to stay ahead of the game, they’ve got to be innovative. It isn’t about being better than anyone else, instead it’s about creating products and services that will have longevity. The great thing about innovative products is that they are typically timeless. Gimmicky products? Not so much. Why is it so important to cultivate innovativeness? For one, people have short attention spans and get tired of new things fairly quickly. Secondly, innovation is what changes the world—it changes our interests, it changes our government and it changes the way we move in the future. Some products are for a time period, even some categorically innovative ones. But it takes that quality to be continuously visited in order for the product to remain relevant. You don’t just update features, but you update how it works, how it interacts and what it looks like. For example, the Nintendo GameBoy at every stage in its life (from the bulky handheld to the slim two-screen), hasn’t just simply added a feature, it changed the way you played handheld games. Not only did other copycat companies have to keep up, but game developers had to do the same, as did mobile phone makers and full gaming consoles. Nintendo has always been an innovator in the game console arena. Companies that spring up just to copy off another comTYPOGRAPHY | FINAL ISSUE | 67
pany won’t make it. Even as designers, if we are trying to design like our favorite and follow the same path, we aren’t going to make it. You have to be different. You have to want to change something. The longevity of a company is in question when their main purpose is to copy every move of another company. Think about two companies that have broken the mold of typical companies; for example Starbucks, Apple, and PayPal just to name a few. Now think of the companies that came to be because they felt like “they could do that too”. The innovators mindset is not “I can do that, too”, but rather “anything you can do, I can do better.” We must also keep in mind that innovation is not just directly related to products and commercialism. There are ways available to innovate in society through economics, laws and much much more. It is the propeller for all things linked to progressive movement. Innovators have to keep in mind that they have an opportunity to change the lives of 6+ billion people. It isn’t all about products and consumerism, but it is definitely about raising the bar for everyone.
How can you be innovative? As a freelance designer who has clients, you’re probably not thinking you have to be innovative. That’s just the job of your clients and you follow suit. But as previously stated, any business knows that they must be innovative in order to prosper and be successful. Don’t you want that for yourself? You already have the upper-hand because if you’re a good and mature designer, you know that graphic design is about visually solving a problem. You have a client that wants to use their website to sell their product; how would you do it? Your client needs a flyer for an event that people have to RSVP for; how do you do it? If you can answer these questions, you are already a problem solver of sorts and have no issues thinking in that mind frame. The thing about innovation, however, is not just what you’re going to use to carry out your tasks but how you’re going to do it. See, innovation for a designer can present itself in several different ways. Do you find yourself and others in the same situation often, so you want to try to invent an app to take care of something? Do you want to change the way people look and see design, so you create the difference? Or perhaps you just want to change and better the process of graphic design all together, so you want to organize things differently. Many innovators have mastered the task of paying attention. If there is a problem that needs to be solved, you must pay attention to the solutions already out there and you must also pay attention to the way consumers have reacted to the solution. Figure out what works and what doesn’t work and come up with something new. The trick to creating that new thing, though, is creating it so that it is used intuitively by your audience. If a solution or process is outdated or doesn’t work, flip it around and look at it from all angles. Try to figure out what works. 68 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
In order for innovation to take place, of course you need some creativity and you need some entrepreneurship capabilities, and you need an excellent relation between both. But you must know how to make things intuitive. Products and services are used when they make sense for people without the use of training and such. You must know how to find the bigger picture and act on and solve that. You also want to make your self as susceptible to innovative thoughts as possible. It really begins when you attempt to think outside the box. It sounds cliche and boring, but the truth is a lot of people have issues thinking outside the box. Many of us our cultured into believing certain things and in some systems, that when one thinks against it, you automatically get scared. As a musician, I run into a lot of other musicians who are looking for fame and fortune. If anyone knows anything about the music industry, it isn’t doing so well. These musicians want to catch their big break while they are still running through the dying techniques of the industry, and when they have an out of the box idea, they shy away from it because it’s “too different.” If you want to be innovative and move forward, you have to abandon the thought that all different ideas are bad ideas. Keeping an open mind and paying attention to your surroundings are some of the best things to do in order to be innovative. Innovators look for unique ways to solve problems. There’s no better way to think uniquely than to be open, daring, and bold; don’t be afraid of your creativity. Taking risks and not being afraid to break down barriers and walls will take someone further than playing it safe. There’s nothing wrong with being different, especially if you can bottle it up in a product that people will love.
Conclusion The definition and thoughts on innovation will always vary, but there’s never any real question of those who are innovative. Innovation doesn’t have to be this thing you put on a pedestal or fear but it should definitely be something you strive for and try to welcome. It comes in many different scales and in many different situations, you just have to open your eyes to it. Is there a difference between the person who creates his own new innovative idea or the guy who borrows an idea and makes it better? Not really, as long as both things work and are accepted as such. Is there a difference between the guy who invents something but it’s deemed unusable for the public and the guy who takes that invention and flips it so that it is usable for the public? Absolutely—the latter person is an innovator. You don’t have to invent the newest, shiniest technology, but you do want to bring something different to the table. If you find a consistent problem in some sort of process, turn it upside down and see if it still works. If it does, use it. If it doesn’t, try some other amazing idea. Innovation doesn’t require you to reinvent the wheel, but it does challenge you to look at that wheel differently.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.artmonolit.com
Vadim Gannenko Vadim Gannenko is an amazing illustrator from Kiev in Ukraine. He is also focused on branding, packaging and booklets which he designs with his agency Artmonolit Studio. Many of his illustration remind me of childhood, as each piece has a playful feel. You can see many more of Vadimâ€™s illustrations in this article or check them out over at his website!
Intercontinental Advertising Cup & Summit 26 - 27 January 2012 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Istanbul ICAC, The Intercontinental Advertising Cup was established in 2007 by organizers of the world’s three biggest regional advertising festivals: Asia Pacific’s ADFEST, Ibero-American FIAP and New European Golden Drum. From the first year onwards the ADC*E, Art Director’s Club of Europe, is also a member. The mission of THE CUP is the affirmation of locally inspired creativity. The purpose of THE CUP is not competition with any other advertising show, but a very new international concept that makes it possible for local creativity to be judged on a global scale by its local merit. It is a natural extension of local festivals with regional judges, who recognize the quality of local creativity and bring a fresh perspective to global judging. Basic principle of this new advertising competition is that shortlisted entries from participating regional festivals gain exclusive right to enter into the Intercontinental advertising selection judged by the highest level international jurors. Genius Loci “Dedicated to GENIUS LOCI” is the leading principle of THE CUP. Genius loci is in Roman mythology a spirit of the place, a friendly spirit safeguarding the integrity of a location’s character. New York and Paris, Alma Ata and Buenos Aires, Sarajevo and Bora Bora – every place that has ever been touched by people has a spirit all of its own. To feel, to understand and to express this local spirit is a big thing. Especially in advertising and this is the reason behind the birth of the Intercontinental Advertising Cup. MORE INFO: http://www.thecupawards.com/
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://bukoff.500px.com/
Amazing photography by Vladimir Bochkov. Born in 1986, Vladimir is a photographer based in St.Petersburg, Russia.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://suqer.deviantart.com/
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. For a web designer, Typography not only used to provide information but also it can improve the user experience. Today Iâ€™ll show case a collection of Typography Artworks by Swedish designer Martin Schmetzer, which will inspire you and boost up your creativity.
Interview with: INFO: http://www.alexandrefarto.com/
Alexandre Farto RESOURCE: http://abduzeedo.com/
Today we have the pleasure to show you a fresh interview with one of the big names in the urban art scene of the world, his name’s Alexandre Farto aka Vhils. Alexandre is recognized by his “destructive” creations and in this interview he speaks about his background, techniques, style and other interesting subjects, check it out. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it’s an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for art, graffiti and urban art began. I believe that my interest about the expressionist world began with everything I saw in the streets of Lisbon, Portugal while I grew up: a contrast among the decay of the political murals painted around the 70’s and 80’s, after the 1974 Revolution, and the overlap of the capitalist publicity and its colors and shapes, getting around in full speed by the end of the 80’s. I started to do some graffiti when I was 10 years old and started to take it more seriously when I was 13. It was the graffiti that got my interest for art and 80 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
everything surrounding it. It was the graffiti that made me study art in school, and everything I got to know after it in terms of world arts, contemporary or classic, everything began with my interest in graffiti. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? When I started I really admired artists related to Lisbon’s hardcore graffiti, some of them became friends, and I also admired artists from around the world that I got to see on magazines, movies, etc. Crews from Lisbon as GVS R1 3D 2S LEG 1003PV were big references, as the EWC from Poland, SDK from France and many others. After a while I discovered the work of Banksy, which inspired me to take a new direction, not in terms of style but in terms of concept and what to explore in urban art. Nowadays I admire the work of many people, including Gordon Matta-Clark, Katherina Grosse, JR, Conor Harrington, Word 2 Mother, NeckFace, Faile, Blu, Gaia, Barry McGee, Os Gêmeos and more. 3) People recognize you for starting a destructive
urban art movement, something new and fresh that nobody tried before. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? The development of this line of work has essentially two bases: one is graffiti in its most destructive side, which I have been connected to for many years; the second is the stencil technique that I discovered while I was looking for new paths that allowed me to express a new way of communication. From the first one I picked up the concept of destruction as creative strength - based on this idea I developed a way of work that uses the removal, decomposition or destruction. The concept is the idea that we are made by a series of influences that shape us throughout historical layers, etc, that come from the environment where we grew up. In a very symbolic way I believe that if we remove some of these layers, showing other ones, we can bring to surface some of the stuff we left behind, forgotten things that are still part of what we are today. Technology is changing things so quickly that we don’t have enough time to think about what is changing (new layers), what is affecting us. I try to underline this process in general, my work can be seen as a kind of archeology that tries to understand what is hidden behind things. These ideas found expression when I started to experiment with the stencil technique and understood that I could revert the process to have more impact: instead of creating while adding layers, I explored the idea of creating by removing layers. I experimented with this process using several methods - cutting clusters of posters, corroding silkscreen ink with acid, etc. - and naturally things started to gain a brutal and raw shape. When I passed the idea to walls it was natural to work with this removal concept, this negative field. The process itself can be brutal and violent, but the result in my opinion, is expressive and poetic. The result was visibly interesting and allowed to start to incorporate the wall as one of the physical components to the intervention, unlike what happened to the painting, where the wall was a base. From there, the usage of explosives was another step that evolved after a lot of research and tests. These testing stages are something really nice to do, it’s actually a pleasure, and it usually results as a main part of my work.
galleries, which usually are interested in selling art. There is naturally a big difference between things produced freely on the streets and things produced to be showcased in a closed space, but I believe they are not opposites or exclude one another. For those interested in expressing their work both spaces are interesting, we just need to look at the productions inside their context. Street art is in a public space - what is produced for a gallery or museum is essentially a new version of a work, in a new context. What each artist makes with his work is something very particular. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Actually it’s a bit complicated because I never know what will happen... It depends on where I am, and lately I’m always doing something in different places, so things vary a lot. In general I work everyday, in my house, studio or even at the airport - when I’m traveling. I don’t have a pre-defined space for work and pleasure, everything happens naturally. My life involves a lot of production, research and a lot of work, which I really like, so I don’t separate that. It’s pretty normal for me to be involved in several projects at the same time, and it’s usually in different countries. I have a base in Lisbon and another in London, it’s interesting to always be on the move but sometimes it’s hard to manage everything - sometimes I really need to stop everything and take some days off. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? I’m not sure, I usually like my latest work the most. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important 1- There are no rules 2- There are no small materials 3- Persistence is key 4- In error we find creation 5-Go with the flow 9) Tell us sites that you like to visit woostercollective.com unurth.com notcot.com
4) Today there is a big discussion about the legitimacy of urban art and graffiti, what are the limits that an artist must put on his work and what exactly would be the public space. What is your opinion about this issues? As a citizen I understand that this is a complex issue that can’t be seen as ‘light’ or black and white, yes or no - there are a lot of factors involved in this. In a more personal approach, in the other hand, I understand that we shouldn’t have limits in art, nor to the space where we apply it. No rules should be applied to art. 5) What do you think about the recent transition of several urban artists into fine arts and galleries? Is urban art still urban art inside a museum? Yes, if the art is honest with its essence and if you take the space “to be what it is” and not be domesticated, which is a natural tendency in closed spaces because art in closed spaces is, essentially, marketable art. The museums may be exceptions to this because they disclose art, but not TYPOGRAPHY | FINAL ISSUE | 81
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://petravanraaij.com/
Petra Van Raaij
Petra van Raaij is a Hamburg based fashion photographer, originally from the Netherlands. She first discovered her passion for photography while studying fashion design, at the School of Arts in Maastricht. After that, Petra enrolled as a successful free-lance make-up artist, working all over the world.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://buffdiss.com/
Buff Diss is a graffiti artist from Melbourne, who uses scotch tape instead of spray paint for his work. His approach to creating street art is as specific, as are the materials he uses. Contrary to the traditional graffiti approach of maximum exposure, his location choices are deliberate in reaching the maximum effect. His works are direct, oftentimes critical but always witty!
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.berendtstudio.com/
Eric Berendt I was drawing as early as I remember, and started reading shortly after that. Aside from a thirty year visit to abstract expressionism land, all my work is about telling stories. I especially like those stories that between the world that is and the worlds of pure imagination, where measurable truth and day dreaming desire mash up, but tell a coherent and compelling tale none-the-less. And if they are non-sensical and/or silly, all the better.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.staudinger-franke.com/
Staudinger + Franke
A Vienna based and well-oiled machinery merging photography, retouching and cgi to realise every conceivable visual idea at the state of the art. From the first production steps to the final artwork, everything is done in-house and supervised by Andreas Frankes 20 years of experience.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.gregbo.com/
Gregbo Watson Gregbo Watson is a Creative Designer and Digital Artist with over 17 years of experience. He works from his Upstate, SC studio for clients located all throughout the United States and abroad.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.mauriciocandela.com/
Mauricio Candela started his career in advertising in the 90s. He worked as an art director for some of the most important agencies in his country of origin. In 1999 he moved to the U.S., where he became creative director. At the same time, he developed his passion for photography, developing his skills and applying his creative knowledge to this discipline. As an advertising creative, he learned to live off of his ideas. Today, his idea is to live off of photography.
Interview with: INFO: http://mcbess.com/
Matthieu Bessudo RESOURCE: http://abduzeedo.com/
Today is the lucky day for some of you guys, because we got a exclusive interview with one of the highlights of the illustration area: Matthieu Bessudo aka. Mcbess. So, we tried to make some questions funnier to him, less formal than usual! So our conversation could be way more spontaneous as normal interviews, hopefully you guys will enjoyed it.
of expression. Music as always been taking a bigger place than drawings so I never really took the time to see the potential, it’s thanks to my friends that I’ve been able to see what could be fun in doing images.
1) In the name of the Abduzeedo Team, I would like to thank you for accept taking part on this interview, it’s a great pleasure for us. Let’s start by asking you when all this madness started? It was when you’re a kid with boxes of crayons?
Well I really like people with no bullshit, like louis CK, ricky gervais, josh hommes, it’s harder to find people like that in the “image” field because people think they’re all artists and keep raving about their concept. Obviously not everyone is like this and it’s why I love people like Chris Ware, Dave Cooper, their work speak for them and it’s say: “amazing”
Well I guess I’ve always been drawing but really it started in college, it’s like I’ve been drawing like a zombie for 19 years and then I understood what I actually could do with it. I was surrounded by people with taste and idea and it became a new way of saying things, violent things, unspeakable things, quickly became addicted to that form 94 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
2) Tell us about some guys you admire and why then.
3) I already tried to label your style several times as “50’s revival cartoon with spice” or other bizarre genres, but it’s unique and hard to describe. When you developed this style and how could you de-
scribe it? Well It’s a mixture of things, I didn’t really think about it when I started it kind of came out like that . When I was a kid I was a fan of 80’s cartoons like ninja turtle and ghost busters and my dad would watch a lot of merry melodies and betty boop, that’s a mixture that always stuck with me . When I started to play with curves and colors this just became a natural thing, going back to what I knew best. I’m not sure how to label it, old school shit with newer shit, not that I don’t want to be labeled I just see them as drawings. 4) You’re already tired of answering this, but why only black and white colors? I am tired of that answer indeed, I’m colorblind, can’t see color so I always though that what I drew was purple and yellow. The real reason is that I was very poor when I started drawing and I never was able to afford colors.
1. Do not care about what people say 2. Listen to what people say then immediately forget 3. Do not draw about things you don’t know about 4. Do not always try to do everything perfect, it’s usually makes it impossible to finish anything 5. Be proud about you work but not too much because it’s annoying. 10) Thanks for your time and attention, please leave a final message for every kid that’s starting out as a artist. Well I hope you’ll get to do or be whatever you want, as soon as you’re happy the work will follow and if you’re depressed, well it usually is a good time for creation that might then lift you out of depression then your work might not be as good but you won’t be depressed and if you get depressed because your work is not good well then it will be a good time to create something, it’s a very funny spiral . Just don’t get too cynical that kills everything .
5) So, how’s Mcbess daily routine? Coffee and croissant in the morning, I choose a good series to watch all day, then I draw . I surf the inter-web multimedia for in depth references or stories about things I like, then I look up a good place to have lunch. After lunch there’s my nap, for like 3 hours then I go to the pub to get smashed. When I’m really drunk I try to draw some more but it’s usually useless. I’d say that’s an average kind of day for me . 6) You’re already a successful artist, tell us what were you’re best moment and what was the worst moment in your career till now . There’s never really been a worst moment, working for a commercial project is usually the type of things that I don’t enjoy but it also give me a reason to moan and I love that, bitching about the work and people . Best moment might during opening of shows, when you get to meet people and it’s the achievement of a long period of work, it’s hard to choose one, they’ve all been special . 7) What’s the best media you’ve worked till now and why? Well I’m a bit of a geek so I love working on the computer but more and more I try to stir away from it and use different kind of pens on paper, I really like that. Computer result is always very smooth and I love that, paper got more texture and it’s more real and risky so I love it too, I don’t want to choose . 8) Give us five sites you love. Abduzeedo.com mcbess.com thedeadpirates.com somepornwebsite.com ffffound.com 9) Tell us your top 5 lessons you’ve learned to become a badass illustrator.
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Meet the Artist: INFO: http://www.steveboylephoto.com/
Philadelphia photographer Steve Boyle creates photographs for magazines, corporations and advertising agencies. Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and studied photojournalism at the University of Missouri.
Adam Teva V’Din: Air
AAd agency: BBR Saatchi & Saatchi Tel Aviv, Israel Chief creative officer: Yoram Levi Account Group Director: Nir Federbush Supervisor: Nataly Ziv Account Executives: Anat Sadeh, Ofir Blumstein Media: Ori Halevi Commercial Director: Yoram Rosenbloom Creative Director: Eran Nir Art Director: Naor Itzhak Copywriter: Shachar Aylon Designer: Yaniv Shachar VP Planning: Gilly Sasson Planning Supervisor: Nir Abraham Planner: Nir Levloviсh
Citius Travel Solutions
Advertising Agency: Cheil, India Executive Creative Director: Shobhit Mathur Chief Operating Officer: Alok Agrawal Creative Director: Piyush Jain Art Director: Niharika Rastogi Copywriters: Shobhit Mathur, Sreya Basu Image Courtesy: GettyImages Photographer: Miguel Navarro
Make The Most Of The Fresh Start Of A New Year “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”—Buddha We’re several days into the New Year, and many of us are still basking in the glow of a fresh start. Every year, January brings renewed optimism for change, for a better life, for a better you. And that’s a wonderful thing. It’s wonderful, because this fresh start gives us a chance to reinvent our lives and ourselves. It allows us to reinvigorate ourselves, to shed the baggage of the previous year and do anything. Anything is possible! That is a gift, my friends, and I suggest we make the most of this gift. Not just by creating and sticking to resolutions, but by reinventing the way we live.
1. LET GO. Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures, commitments, emotions, and barriers. We cannot change careers because we’re used to what we’re doing and it’s too hard to change. We cannot find time to get healthy and fit because we have all these other things to do. We cannot find time for our loved ones because we have too many commitments. This is all old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let everything from the past go (easier said than done, I know). Clear your plate and your palate. Let go of attachments to what you’ve been doing for the past year, or years. Let go of failures. Let go of fears you’ve built up. Let go of reluctance. Let go of your ideas about what your life has to be like, because that’s the way it’s evolved so far. Let go of long-held beliefs and habits. You have a fresh start. Let go of last year, and start anew.
2. DECIDE WHAT MATTERS MOST TODAY. Forget about your goals for all of this year. Instead, decide: what do you want to do today? 100 | FINAL ISSUE | TYPOGRAPHY
What matters most to you, to your life? What are you most passionate about, right now? What excites and invigorates you? What would give you the most fulfillment? Often, the answer is in creating something, making something new, helping other people, becoming a better person, or working on a project that will be an accomplishment to be proud of. But whatever your answer, have it clear in your mind at the beginning of the day. This might be something you work on all year, or it might just last a month, or it might last a week or a few days, or just today. It doesn’t matter. What matters is today—that you’re going to work on this with all your heart, today. Tomorrow … we’ll decide on that tomorrow.
3. CLEAR AWAY DISTRACTIONS AND FOCUS. Clear away email, Facebook, Twitter, your favorite blogs, news websites, and social forums. Clear away the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or cell phone. Clear away all the little nagging work, chores, and errands that pull at your attention. Clear away the clutter that surrounds you (sweep it off to the side to deal with later).
In fact, if you can, shut off the Internet for a while. You can come back to it when you take a break.
your time, heart and focus… be happy! You’re doing what you love. And that is truly a gift.
Now, find focus. Even if only for 15 to 20 minutes at first, but preferably for 30 to 60 minutes. You can take a break and check your email, or whatever, after you’ve focused. Focus on the thing that matters most. Do it for as long as you can; until you’re done, if possible. Feel free to take breaks, but always return to your focus.
5. REINVENT YOURSELF, EVERY DAY.
When you’re done, focus on the next thing that matters most, and so on.
4. FIND HAPPINESS NOW.
Every day, you are reborn. Reinvent yourself and your life, every day. Do what matters most to you, that day. It might be the same thing that mattered most yesterday, or it might not be. That isn’t important. What’s important is today—right now. Be passionate, be happy, right now. You’ll have a fresh start every single day—not just on 1 January. And that, my friends, is the best thing ever.
Don’t look at happiness as something that will come when you’re done with this goal, or when you’ve attained a certain accomplishment or certain amount of wealth or material goods. Don’t look at happiness as a destination, or something that you’ll get later. Happiness is possible right now. Always remember that. When you push it back until later, it’ll never come. When you learn to be happy now, it’ll always be here. When you’re doing whatever you’re passionate about, whatever matters most, whatever you decide is worthy of TYPOGRAPHY | FINAL ISSUE | 101
Clear Indications That It’s Time To Redesign Redesign. The word itself can send shudders down the spines of any Web designer and developer. For many designers and website owners, the imminent onslaught of endless review cycles, coupled with an infinite number of “stakeholders” and their inevitable “opinions,” would drive them to shave their heads with a cheese grater if given a choice between the two. Despite these realities, redesigns are a fact of any online property’s life cycle. Here are five key indications that it’s time to redesign your website and of how extensive that redesign needs to be.
Metrics Are Down The first and most important indicator that your website is in need of a rethink is metrics that are beginning to tank. There certainly could be other reasons for this symptom (such as your product not fitting the market), but once those are eliminated or mitigated, a constant downward trend in conversions, sales, engagement activities and general user participation indicates that the efficacy of your current design has worn off. Many people call it “creative fatigue,” but what this really indicates is a disconnect with your audience. The key to solving this in the redesign is to figure out where in the workflow the design is breaking down and then address those areas as top priorities. The extent to which you redesign to solve sagging metrics could be limited either to adjusting your conversion funnel, if that’s where the problem resides, or to optimizing the
product’s main workflow. It does not necessarily mean having to rethink the entire face that your product presents to the world.
Your Users Tell You It’s Time Metrics give you immediate insight that something is wrong, but to get to the core of what needs to be addressed in the redesign you need to speak with your customers. Surveys work well, but usability testing is most effective. The fluidity of face-to-face conversation allows you to explore the dynamic threads that surveys restrict. If through these conversations you notice consistent patterns that shed light on the drivers behind your downwardtrending metrics (and you will), then it’s time to redesign. In addition, these user conversations will reveal prevalent attitudes towards your brand, which can also be addressed in the redesign. In some instances, negative brand perception should be enough to trigger a redesign — but you’d never know about it unless you talk to your customers. Customer feedback will tell you not only whether to rethink parts of your website, but to what extent. Typically, customer conversations focus on specific elements of your workflow. Those areas are the ones that the redesign should focus on. In most cases, this wouldn’t be the whole website, but if the feedback is broad and far-reaching, then tackling the entire experience may be a priority.
The Tech/UX “Debt” List Is Longer Than Your Forearm Over the course of building a product or website, an organization begins to accrue tech and UX debt. This debt is made up of all the things you should have done during the initial build but either didn’t get around to or had to cut corners on in order to ship the product on time. Each subsequent iteration inevitably adds more debt to the list, until the list becomes so long that it is almost insurmountable. While there are many ways to tackle tech and UX debt on an incremental level, there comes a point when the website, in essence, becomes “totalled.” Like a car that has sustained damage greater in cost than its value, your website gets to the point where starting over would be cheaper than fixing all of the items on your debt list. This is a perfect time for a redesign. When the debt list gets this long, taking on “incremental redesigns” is easy, where you knock off bits from the list but not the majority of it. This turns into death by a thousand paper cuts, because as you fix elements on the list, you start to accrue more debt around other features. If the list truly is longer than your forearm, then rethink the website if possible.
It Just “Looks” Old The website’s aesthetic reflects directly on the perception and trustworthiness of your brand. Even if your design was the hotness when it first launched, aesthetics evolve. An old design will be detrimental to your product, leading to the declining metrics mentioned earlier. How can you tell whether your website’s aesthetic is outdated? Look at your competition. Look at hyped-up newly launched services in other sectors. Compare your aesthetics to those of brands that are performing well. Those factors provide excellent barometers by which to assess the currency of your design. The challenge is to review these other websites objectively. Living with your website day in and day out can amplify the feeling that it’s stale and old. Ensure that your assessment is accurate by reviewing your findings with a cross-section of employees in your company. In this case, the redesign would essentially be a facelift, a superficial upgrade of the presentation layer that doesn’t necessarily address the fundamental workflow or conversion funnel — although those aspects will undoubtedly be affected by this aesthetic upgrade.
It’s Been More Than 12 Months Since Your Last Refresh Even if none of the above indicators apply to your website, the shelf life of an aesthetic in today’s highly iterative online reality is hardly ever more than 12 months. If it’s been a year or longer since you last redesigned your website, then it’s time to redesign. Not only will it refresh the experience for your loyal customers, it will attract new ones. In addition, it will breathe life into the brand and show your user base, the press, your investors and staff that you’re committed to keeping the experience fresh and top of mind. Again, the focus here is on an aesthetic improvement that keeps the brand current, not necessarily an overhaul.
In Conclusion These are five simple indicators that it’s likely time to redesign your website, but the list is certainly not exhaustive. The number of them that apply to your situation will determine whether a redesign is imperative. But each indicator on its own is still a strong reason to kick off the next phase of your website’s life. Maintaining a current and fresh face for the online world will yield dividends in customer acquisition, conversion and retention. Also, your staff will stay immersed in the latest technologies, design trends and presentation-layer wizardry if they know that they’ll soon get to exercise their chops in a redesign. What indicators have you found work best in your organization to drive a website redesign?
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Y Design Conference San Diego March 30-31, 2012
AIGA San Diego 17th Annual Y Design Conference March 30–31, 2012 San Diego, CA Visit www.y-conference.com for updates and to register!
It may have been last month, it may have been a couple of decades ago, but at some point you started along the road as a designer. But what keeps you following this path? What fuels your desire to move forward? The chance to create something new? The opportunity to influence people or make a difference? Becoming part of a team, learning, and sharing what you know? For each of us, it’s something different. Once you figure out what motivates you, you’ll be able to inspire those around you and create amazing things. What drives you? Find out what keeps you moving forward at the 17th Annual AIGA San Diego Y Design Conference. With two days of amazing speakers and hands-on Thinkshops, Y17 will bring together some of the best creatives out there. This year’s conference will be held March 30-31st, 2012 at the University of San Diego. And with beautiful ocean views and plenty of warm sunshine, what better place to fuel your creativity. Put yourself in the driver’s seat. Register online today at y-conference.com/y17.
Meet the Artist: INFO: http://be.net/FabriceLeNeze
Published on Jan 5, 2012
Brainstorming is the successful monthly spin-off of DDS “Idea is all”. Each issue gives you an in-depth guide to a different creative subjec...