Page 1

A Book of Thoughts

Findings & Processes

Critical Issues in Design Fall 2010

Table of Contents

Design Manifesto


Research Presentation


Notes on Presentations


Notes on Films


Design Thinking


Design Revolution


Green Graphic Design


Individual Project




Design Manifesto Visual communications has developed and evolved since the Industrial Revolution, and today’s societies in the industrialized parts of the world are stimulated largely through this kind of communication. The term visual communications is a form of communication that is conveyed by ideas and information that is visually displayed through a combination of images, typography, and illustrations. It is not only a way of viewing things, but also a way of thinking. Much thought goes into ways of solving problems visually.Visual communications can be more powerful than other forms of communication and can certainly help make impacting changes in society depending on subject matter. As a visual communications student studying design, I believe that visual communications is crucial to have in our society. According to “Design Thinking” by Tim Brown, “Great design satisfies both our needs and our desires.” Designers are the people who think critically about problems and try to solve them. Designers also research, reframe and reorganize ideas to be more easily understood by the public. Designers also take into deep consideration what is needed and desired by the general public to essentially make their lives easier and more enjoyable.

I also believe that design is becoming even more important today because of the increasing awareness of waste in the environment. Designers contribute to the abundance of waste from packaging products to printed products, and people are starting to take notice that it is an increasing problem, especially designers. Designers are starting to think about the end of a project’s lifespan rather than the beginning of its life. They are essentially starting to design backwards, by determining where the product will end up once it is discarded, the quantity of products that are to be produced and what raw materials are used to produce products. These steps help determine the process of creating a product. By rethinking the ways in which products are traditionally designed, businesses will benefit and will be on the forefront of new sustainable designs and products. Designed products not only communicate ideas and concepts, but can be developed to innovate and build value for a wide spectrum of businesses and societies. We are in a movement of people who are starting to create meaningful change in communities, and design can be a large part of influencing all of us to change our ways of living to better the environment and ourselves.


Large strides are being taken today by designers to make their impact on society, whether it is a logo to better establish a business, a group of people designing a way for people in third world countries to make their drinking water more safe, or informing a passerby of an upcoming event printed on post-consumer recycled paper to lessen its carbon footprint. This book includes my experience and journey through Critical Issues in Design and how my thoughts have formed and evolved about sustainability and visual communications. The written observations included in this book about the readings, films and research projects during this seminar will help broaden my horizons on how to become a successful and innovative designer after my undergraduate college career. I will take into consideration what has been done in visual communications in past years, both beneficial and detrimental to society, to find new and more sustainable solutions to build value in communities and businesses around me.



Plastic bottles and sustainability


For this project, the class had to spend at least eight hours looking through web links that were given to us to get a feel for the involvement of artists and designers in issues related to environmental sustainability. After doing that, each student had to find a related article about sustainability in design and lead a five to ten minute discussion to the class.



During the time I spent reading through websites about sustainable design, I came across the site called the Story of Stuff. This site is compiled of a series of films that were put together by Free Range Studios. The purpose of the films is to amplify public discourse on a series of environmental, social and economic concerns and facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community’s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world. After watching the Story of Stuff films I decided to narrow down my research and focus on one video, the Story of Bottled Water for my research presentation and discussion to the class.

What can we, as designers do to solve the waste problem of bottled water?

I began my presentation with a series of hard hitting facts about bottled water consumption to get the class thinking critically about the topic. Then, I lead the discussion with a series of thoughtprovoking questions and answered them giving multiple ways to go about solving or lessening the problem. Lastly, I presented visual examples of what is being done to help solve the bottled water consumption and waste problem. The example to the left is a water container made entirely out of paper that is an environmentallyfriendly solution to the problem of plastic water bottles today. It is a case study designed by BrandImage.





EcoPaper, stop sign design and student pacakge design

The paper industry uses waste papers and waste fibers that do not come from wood, and they bleach pulp with chlorine. Both are harmful to the environment. Also, over half the paper that is used by consumers still end up in landfills. The banana agro-industry processes 42 million tons of bananas each year. This industry generates numerous wastes such as: the plastic that wrap the bananas, plastic cords to tie the wrapping, damaged bananas and the pinzote (stems). Over 10 million metric tons of pinzote is thrown in landfills or in local rivers.

Presentation by Stephanie Thayer

EcoPaper turns harmful banana waste into ecofriendly paper. Compared to using virgin wood, paper made with banana and post consumer recycled content uses 44 percent less energy, produces 38 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, 41 percent less particulate emissions, 50 percent less wastewater, 49 less solid waste and 100 percent less wood.

I have heard before, that post-consumer recycled paper is the most sustainable kind of paper produced, but I have never heard of banana paper, let alone the EcoPaper company. I think it is great that EcoPaper uses the banana waste from the banana agro-industry. It shows that EcoPaper is thinking critically how to use current waste materials and using them for production. I was doubtful that the texture and color of EcoPaper would be up to par with standard paper, but Stephanie brought samples of EcoPaper to class and surprisingly some of the paper stock was very similar to standard white paper.


The stop sign was hastily constructed in 1914 and in 1927 the stop sign became a standardized yellow octogon. There are different ways of directing traffic safely in intersections: the stop sign, roundabouts, rotaries (large traffic circles), stop lights and shared space. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. The overall question is, is there a better design solution for the stop sign? The stop sign is a simple design with the inclusion of the word ‘stop’ and occasionaly with the inclusion of the word ‘4-way’ or ‘2-way’ underneath the sign.

Presentation by Joey Ekloff

The image at the top left is a hybrid sign of a stop sign and yield sign to help better direct traffic in intersections, and to replace the original stop sign design. This hybrid sign encourages traffic flow with two meanings and gives extra instructions that could distract the driver’s eyes from the road. The meaning of the sign is also ambiguous and confusing.

I thought this presentation was very interesting and thought-provoking. I drive up to intersections and stop at stop signs on a daily basis, and never wonder if they are the most effective way of directing traffic at intersections. I personally think roundabouts are a better solution, because they slow traffic down, but not to a complete stop so not that much energy is wasted from stopping. I also think people do not think about driving safety for themselves as much as they should. Joey also talked about shared spaces, which I had never heard of before. It is the most radical kind of traffic directional that has no signs or signals to direct traffic. Walkers, cars and bicyclists all share the same space. I think it would be really interesting to observe how shared spaces work.


“We’re filling the world with stuff, but what value is it adding to our lives? In order for real change to come about, corporations need to change the way they think about unjustifiable, unstoppable production. That change starts with us.” –Erin Hood Students, just like us, are discovering ways in which we can make a change through package design. From clearer communication, to less paper waste, these small changes can add up to make big differences. Industrial design student, Andrew Kim redesigned the plastic coke bottle that is slimmer, more efficient, collapsable, stackable and 100 percent plant-based. It is a radical redesign for Coca-Cola that would give the company a new, contemporary feel and identity.

Presentation by Fred Hart

Graphic design student Corinne Pant created packaging for headphones that is an extremely simple and ecological solution. The headphones are simply wrapped around a single piece of cardboard, requiring neither glue nor plastic, which reduces packaging waste.

It was nice to hear a presentation about what students across the United States are doing to make greener changes to production design. It reassures me that people my age are being recognized and making a difference in the design world. I thought the Coca-Cola bottle redesign was well thought out and executed very nicely, but I do not know if there is an actual reason to why bottles are not designed to be square. Is it because pressurized, carbinated drinks do better in cylindrical containers rather than squares?





Objectified and the Corporation

“Sustainability isn’t just sort of a glamorous process of using recycled materials to design something that may or may not be the color green. It’s about redesigning every single aspect of a company’s process, from sourcing materials to designing to production to shipping, and then eventually designing a way for those products to be disposed of responsibly. That’s a mammoth task, so it’s no wonder that designers and manufacturers are finding it so difficult.” – Alice Rawsthorn “Nowadays the term ‘interaction design’ mainly refers to software or the screen, intangible components. But the way I think about it, designing hardware, things that we can touch, solid objects, is all interaction design. People tend to think of interaction design for mobile phones as talking and pushing buttons, but I think of having the phone in your pocket, or having it in your hands while talking, as interaction design, since it’s a part of the communication. Touching an object without thinking means that your fingers are interacting with something.” – Naoto Fukasawa “I think in many ways design is about looking at a diverse range of problems and solving them. But the designs we make aren’t solving anything; they’re meant to ask questions. There’s a lot that’s unknown about these new technologies, so we’re very interested in using design to explore what we don’t know.” – Fiona Raby


The theme of the film is about objects. Objects are everywhere and every object is designed by someone. Each designer in Objectified talks about how they intentionally think about every aspect of an object and its design. Design and intention are synonymous. The film also expresses the relationship between the creator, the object, and the user. The film discussed product design from the erganomics of handles on hedge cutters to the sleek, lightweight design of an Apple laptop. The designer Dieter Rams talks about the principles of good industrial design. Good industrial design should make a product more useful and be innovative, easy to understand and environmentally friendly. He also says that good design is as little design as possible. The film also explains how the world is being filled with trash from all the objects and stuff that is produced. The average shelf life of an object is eleven months. There is a rising need for sustainable products that will lessen the increasing waste. Objectified is probably one of my favorite documentaries next to Helvetica. What I love about the film is getting to hear how other designers think about design and how and why they create objects. It is a lighthearted film with not a lot of conflict like most documentaries, which I enjoyed. After watching the film, it makes me want to continue pursuing design in a way that is intentional and sustainable.


Tim Brown, from IDEO was in a segment of the film. He talked about tendencies people have such as saving pennies, for example. He took this action that people take into consideration and created a button on the Bank of America website that says ‘save the change’ for people who want to save their change. There is a psychology to designing an object. Designers think of ways to refine a design to make it be the most successful object it can be. Companies put objects on the shelves for the public to consume too soon, before the object has been refined to its utmost potential. Companies hold back, in order to design a better, more efficient second generation object. This idea of putting objects on the shelves too soon, means more money in the hands of the companies quicker.

Jonathan Ive, from Apple stated that design is a complicated and difficult thing to do. It takes a lot of time and energy to refine an object down to its simplest form. It is also easy for designers to be so far removed from an object in the design process because objects are not made in the same place anymore. Part of an object could be made in Asia while the designer is working on the design in the United States. Jonathan Ive also gave the definition that who you are as a designer is the way you look at the world. Designers are constantly looking at things around them asking the question, why is it like that, and not like this? Dieter Rams also said that we have too many unnecessary objects in the world, and that not many companies take design seriously. He said that the only company that takes design seriously in all aspects is Apple.

I think it is wasteful and selfish that companies put products on the shelves for public consumption too soon. Much waste can be alleviated if products can be designed the best the first time around. I related to the designer Jonathan Ive in this film. I agree with him that good design is difficult to achieve. I am constantly reworking my designs to make them be the best they can be, and when looking back at my designs I still find ways to make it better.


“A corporation is an externalising machine in the same way that a shark is a killing machine. Each one is designed in a very efficient way, to accomplish particular objectives. In the achievement of those objectives there isn’t any question of malevolence or of will. The enterprise has within it, and the shark has within it, those characteristics that enable it to do that for which it was designed.” –Robert Monks “What happens in the areas where the corporations go in and are successful? They soon find that they cannot do anymore in that country because the wages are too high now. And what’s that another way of saying, well, the people are no longer desperate. So, okay, we’ve used up all the desperate people there, they’re all plump and healthy and wealthy. Let’s move on to the next desperate lot and employ them and raise their level up.” –Michael Walker We’re predators. It about competition, it’s about market share, it’s about being aggressive, it’s about shareholder value. What is your stock at today? If you’re a CEO, do you think your shareholders really care whether you’re Billy Buttercup or not? Do you think that they really would prefer you to be a nice guy? Over having money in their pocket? I don’t think so. I think people want money. That’s the bottom line. –Marc Barry


A corporation is considered a legal person that emerged in the mid-1800s. The corporation has a highly anti-social personality that is self-interested, amoral, and deceiful. The corporation also violates social and legal standards to get its own way. The corporation also does not have guilt. It is responsible for many cases of illness, death, poverty, pollution, exploitation and lies. If a corporation was a real person, it would be a labled as a pyschopath with these personality traits. Two reporters, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson worked for Fox News were supposed to cover a news report about contaminated milk, but Fox News wanted them to report to the public that the contaminated milk did not have any rBGH in it, but in reality the milk did have rBGH in it. The reporters refused to cover the story and feed the community lies about potentially dangerous milk. Fox News fired them after they refused to report the story.

Evil corporations are not just present in the United States, but in other parts of the world as well. In Bolivia, all water was privatized, even rain water. People of Bolivia were in an uproar. Citizens protested in the streets and the city became violent because they could not afford water to drink. The soda Fanta Orange was created during the Nazie Regime in Germany to keep the Coca-Cola Corporation afloat during World War II. While millions of Jews were being executed, Coca-Cola was making money from Nazis drinking their beverage. Corporations helped Fascist Europe during World War II. The IBM system was used in concentration camps. Concentration Camps used punchcards that were printed by IBM. After the war, the profits were given to IBM. Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, the world’s largest commercial carpet manufacturer, had an environmental epiphany and re-organized his $1.4 billion company on sustainable principles.

This film was very heavy in content in contrast to Objectified. I did not enjoy this film because of this reason. I felt as though the documentary only focused on all the negative aspects of corporations. After watching the film, it made me wonder if all corporations are really as bad as the documentary made it out to be. I did find parts of the documentary interesting though, such as the idea of comparing a corporation to that of a human being and what its personality traits are. After watching The Corporation, it has influenced me not want to work for a corporation in the future because individuals do not get a say in big decisions if they work in a corporation.





Thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop products, services, processes—and even strategy.

Design thinking came about from Thomas Edison’s approach of creating something that he envisioned how people would want to use what he made. Innovation is powered by a deep understanding by directly observing what people want and need in their lives and what they like or dislike about the way particular products are made, packaged, marketed, sold, and supported. Edison created a team-based approach to innovation. Design thinking has much to offer a business world in which most management ideas and best practices are freely available to be copied and exploited. Leaders look to innovation In the past, designers have not played early roles in the work of innovation. Designers come along and make the idea look good. Today, companies are starting to ask designers to create ideas that better meet consumers’ needs and desires rather than having designers make an already existing idea more attractive to customers. Innovation objectives are no longer just physical products. An example of the broader nature of innovation “products” is that Kaiser hospitals reengineered the shift changes of the nursing staff.

Many people outside professional design have a ntaural aptitude for design thinking. The characteristics of a design thinker: Empathy. They can imagine the world from multiple perspectives. By taking a “people first” approach, design thinkers can imagine solutions that are inherently desirable and meet explicit or latent needs. They notice things that others do not and use their insights to inspire innovation. Integrative thinking. They exhibit the ability to see all of the salient aspects of a confounding problem and create novel solutions that go beyond and dramatically improve on existing alternatives. Optimism. They assume that no matter how challenging the constraints of a given problem, at least one potential solution is better than existing alternatives. Experimentalism. Design thinkers pose questions and explore constraints in creative ways that proceed in entirely new directions. Collaboration. The best design thinkers do not simply work alongside other disciplines; many of them have significant experience in ore than one.

Prototyping does not have to be complex and expensive. The goal of prototyping is not to finish. It is to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the idea and to identify new directions that further prototypes might take.


In 2004 Shimano, a Japanese manufacture of bicycle components faced flattening growth ints traditional mountain bike and road bik segments. Shimano came up with an idea to ceate high-end casual bikes that appealed boomers. There would be no controls on the handlebars, no cables on the frame and the brakes would be applied by backpedaling. The new bikes would feature padded seats, be easy to operate, and require relatively little maintenance. The team at IDEO developed a brand that identified Coasting as a way to enjoy life.

Aravind has held “eye camps” in India’s rural areas, in an effort to register patients, administer eye exams, teach eye car, and identify people who may require surgery or advanced diagnostic services or who have conditions that warrant monitoring. The company provides buses that take patients needing further treatment one of its urban facilities and then home again. Aravind made inexpensive lenses for $4 a pair. Aravind has built a systemic solution to a complex social and medical problem.

Sometimes innovation has to account for vast differences in cultural and socio-economic conditions. In such cases design thinking can suggest creative alternatives to the assumptions made in developed societies. India’s Aravind Eye Care System is the world’s largest provider of eye care. Aravind’s execution of its mission and model is in some respects reminiscent of Edison’s holistic concept of electric power delivery. This was a very interesting article about the importance of thinking. Design firms today are using strategic design that consists of deep understanding of consumers’ lives and use the principles of design to innovate and build value. Designers no longer fix a visual problem. More time and energy goes into the idea rather than the product.



100 products that empower people.


All products deal a lot with a little, challenging the status quo. There is an increasing interest in making things with the hands, such as crafting and hobbies. Good design manifests an economy of materials, a clarity of purpose, and a delight in use. Is there a distiniction between “good design” and “design for good?” What if we start designing something with the intention aimed toward some social good? When you create a design that focuses on a social aspect, the design conversation moves from form, function and beauty to accessibility, affordability, sustainability, and social worth. Designers are not in the artifact business, but in the consequence business. Some of the best “design solutions” rise from people who are not designers at all, but volunteers, handypersons and poets, for example. Design is here to solve problems and to celebrate life. Paul Hawken says that we are in the midst of a worldwide movement that is made up of individuals and collectives who together are creating meaningful change at every level. Emily Pilloton created a nonprofit organization called Project H. Supporting product design initiatives for humanity, habitats, health and happiness. This leads to the fact that we should design with communities and not for clients.


Another part of design that is dangerous, is mass production. Designers ideas are multiplied by one thousand. For example, Fisher-Price recalled one million toys that were coated in lead-based paint. One mistake in a product can lead to a lot of unneccessary waste. Corporations have started developing green product lines using more efficient methods and choosing healthier materials. For example, John Todd’s Eco-Machines treat wastewater using the natural cleansing properties of wetland ecosystems. The words “green” and “sustainable” are becoming synonymous and it is problematic for designers. The word “green” means environmentally responsible for the things we do, and the word sustainable encompasses all aspects of responsibility and foresight: environmental, social, economic, cultural, and humanitarian. Corn-based plastic has been hailed as a greener alternative, but requires commercial composting, and they cannot be recycled by any municipal recycling program. They are found to be detrimental to the recyclability of other recyclable materials. Proper disposal needs to be understood by designers and users.

This was an interesting article about designing for the community. I liked the idea of designing for good and not just designing for the sake of making things look good. In this article the author says that design is for everyone, and that anyone who is trying to create meaningful change is a designer at some level. That idea is a different way of thinking about design than I have been used to. Sometimes I feel that design is only for the elite.


Can a graphic designer be a catalyst for positive change?


Harvesting resources more than the productivity of any of the Earth’s systems is unsustainable. Altering and degrading natural areas, making them less productive in the future is unsustainable. Production of materials that accumulate over time is unsustainable. Since the mid 1980s, the collective resource consumption of humans has exceeded the annual productivity of the Earth. “Ecological overshoot” We are constantly weighing the cost of an option against its value. Sometimes, added value makes more expensive options the best choice for a situation. The value outweighs the cost. Innovation may cost more than the status quo. It requires fresh thinking, experimentation, and research. Adding value is a creative process. Efficiency is essentially amoral, and it is deceptive to confuse efficiency with goodness.One person’s waste could be another person’s product. This is called industrial ecology. Design backwards: There are six potential destinies for the materials graphic designers specify: 1. Perpetual Litter (worst destination) 2. Landfill (ecological dead end) 3. Incineration (some materials release hazardous gases if they are burned) 4. Compost (If a biodegradable bag is coated with a plastic laminate, it is essentially contaminated) 5. Recycling 6. Reuse (highest order of “design for destiny” 24

At the design firm Celery, they use a simple “green, yellow, red” system for quickly assessing materials– sustainability scorecard. Good design is greener than bad design. Increasing our response rates is one of the greenest things we can do as designers. IDEO created packaging for Pangea Organics that was made out of molded paper pulp that was infused with wildflower seeds. Users were invited to soak the box in water then plant it in their garden. There are 2 sides to audience targeting: the research side and the design side. There are skimmers, analysts, and subject area enthusiasts. Designers can design multiple paths of navigation through a single communications piece. Sustainable packaging falls into 2 systems: Ephemeral and durable. Ephemeral is lightweight and biodegradable. Change from a “print-then-distribute” model, to a “distribute-then-print” model. Send a digital file to printers in the desired area and then have them print according to how many are needed in that location. Designing backwards for print manufacturing. Think about the quantity of the print run, which determines the type of printing press. That then determines paper options available and press sheet size, which drives the structure of a designed layout.

When it comes to printing, a designer needs to understand the printing process. During set-up, large amounts of paper waste and ink waste are produced during the “make-ready� process. During the run-time, fountain solutions based on alcohol or alcohol substitutes are required for conventional offset lithography. These are a major source of air pollution. Printing presses consume lots of energy. For the clean-up, toxic solvents are often used to clean the rollers and ink wells of conventional offset printing presses.

Inks are made of two parts, medium and pigment. Medium keeps pigment particles suspended while the ink is on press. When ink transfers to paper, the liquid medium must quickly set by evaporating once exposed to air. Ask for low-VOC inks or vegetablebased inks when going to print.

There are preferred technologies for certain kinds of print runs. For short run print jobs (1-1000), digital printing is the way to go. Low paper waste and low ink waste and no clean-up solvents. Paper options can be limited. For medium run print jobs (1000-50000), sheetfed offset lithography offers the best combo of price, quality, flexibility, and environmental impact. For large print runs (50000 or more), typically run on web offset or rotogravure presses. These presses use huge rolls of paper rather than sheets and run at high speeds.

In 1997, 76 countries have already lost all of their original forest cover and further eleven countries have less than five percent left. The paper industry is the fourth largest industrial producer of carbon dioxide, accounting for 9 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions.

Waterless printing eliminates most of the VOC emissions related to offset lithography. Uses silicone-coated blankets on the press rollers, which repel ink from area that are not intended to print. UV printing eliminates most of the VOCs from the offset printing process. UV inks are made of pigments suspended in a liquid medium that hardens when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Green designers really need relationships with printers who share their values and are willing to identify and avoid unnecessary manufacturing waste before ink reaches paper.

What designers can do to minimize the negative water impacts from the paper they use. Designers can use Process Chlorine Free and Totally Chlorine Free fiber. They can support closed-loop pulp and paper mills, as well as use post-consumer recycled fiber (uses less water).





The Giving Tree Outreach Program

For the individual project, each student in the class had to find a nonprofit organization to volunteer their time and create a design that would boost the identity of the organization or come up with a “green� solution for an already existing product of the organization. After searching the web for nonprofit organizations that I was interested in helping, I came across The Giving Tree Outreach Program. This organization is based in Tucson and they focus on helping local homeless men, women and children food and shelter. Their primary focus is helping the children and giving them and their mothers a place to live. My research of The Giving Tree Outreach Program consisted of looking at their website to get a feel of what the organization does and what their primary focus is on. Their website was very poorly organized, had no logo of the organization anywhere, and there were many broken links. The website also included pages of other secondary programs that I could not tell if they were separate from The Giving Tree Outreach Program or part of the organization. The organization also had .pdf files of their previous newsletters where I finally found a logo for the organization. The newsletters were also cluttered and not well organized. The Giving Tree Outreach Program seemed like the perfect candidate to get an identity face lift. So I soon contacted the Director who told me to talk with the Assistant Director, Rodney Williams. Little did I know, that the next couple weeks staying in touch with Rodney would be rough.

Rodney seemed enthusiastic about me helping The Giving Tree Outreach Program by volunteering my time to design something for the organization. I discussed with Rodney my concerns for the newsletter and the logo. I mentioned that the newsletter was difficult to read and hard to focus on certain sections because of how cluttered it was. I also mentioned that the logo is not visible on their website and that I could design a simpler, and better logo for them. Rodney mentioned that the organization has had the same person making the newsletter for many years and he did not want to give that project to me. He mentioned to me that The Giving Tree has two other logos that are not displayed on the website either I thought this was a perfect opportunity to eliminate all three logos and come up with a better logo that would be used in every aspect of the organization, but Rodney told me he really liked one of the three logos. He then said that he had another idea for me to put my design talent to work so I agreed to see what he had in mind. We met the following week at his office and drove to one of the homes that shelter a handful of homeless children and mothers for a tutoring session. Rodney seemed to not understand that I wanted to help solidify the identity of The Giving Tree, and instead wanted me to help tutor homeless children, which had nothing to do with design. I attempted to turn the situation around and discuss the organization’s identity, and Rodney said that he was willing to see my logo ideas at a later date. 27

A week later I emailed Rodney asking if we could meet again to show him the logo ideas I had come up with. He then responded to me that he would let me work on new logo ideas, but he was not willing to utilize them for The Giving Tree. By this point I was frustrated, because at first Rodney seemed very enthusiastic about the idea of me contributing my design talent to the organization, but in reality he did not want to use any of my designs. Because of time constraints for this project, I continued to redesign the logo for The Giving Tree Outreach Program on my own terms. The following images show what the identity of The Giving Tree Outreach Program looks currently, with three different logos that weakens its identity. The bottom two logos include too much information as well. In order to create a new logo that is successful for The Giving Tree Outreach Program, I needed to simplify it to its simplest form to make it easily recognizable and memorable. I also wanted to reference a child-like quality in the logo, because Rodney said that starting January 2011, The Giving Tree Outreach Program will focus mainly on homeless children.


For this logo, I wanted to focus on the actual name of the organization by inlcuding a tree form or an image representing the act of giving to emphasize the name. Here are a number of processes that I went through to create the logo for the Giving Tree Outreach Program.




GIVING TREE O u t r e ach P r o gr am

Giving Tree The

Outreach Program

GIVING TREE Outreach Program

The Giving Tree

First, I sketched out different kinds of trees and scanned them into the computer. I have included four of my sketches in black and white to the left. I then started combining the illustrations with the typography of the name of the organization to create an appealing logo that is self-contained with the typography. I also experimented with type treatment and placement of the trees.

Outreach Program

Giving Tree The

Outreach Program



Giving Tree The

Outreach Program

final logo


After experimenting with typefaces, placement, and colors, this is the final logo that was created for The Giving Tree Outreach Program. It is simple and has substantial weight from the tall, thick stems of the Futura typeface, to the boldness of the tree. The tree is formed from the stem of the ‘T’ acting as the trunk to give a visual of the name of the organization. The logo contains three colors. I chose the lime green color to make the logo pop and to suggest that the organization is kid-friendly. I also chose the color brown for The Giving Tree to give the identity a more sophisticated look. I made an orange color change to Outreach Program to highlight what the The Giving Tree is.

I also created collateral material to further instill a cohesive identity for The Giving Tree Outreach Program. To the left is a letterhead, envelope, and a two-sided business card. All the collateral material are simple, with the primary focus on the logo. On the back of the business card I pulled the tree graphic from the logotype to create a stand alone design element and reversed the color of the top of the tree so it stands out nicely against the green background.

Giving Tree The

Outreach Program

ppp'Ma^@bobg`M^^Hnmk^Z\a'hk` -Db]l9Ma^@bobg`Mk^^Hnmk^Z\a'hk`

Giving Tree The

Outreach Program

Giving Tree The

Outreach Program

2,*GLpZgKhZ] Mn\lhg%:S1.0**

M'.+)',+)'.-,0 ?'.+)',).'-/*-

2,*GLpZgKhZ] Mn\lhg%:S1.0**

Kh]g^rPbeebZfl M'.+)',+)'.-,0 ?'.+)',).'-/*-


collateral 31

Conclusion In conclusion to taking this class, I have learned a lot about green design and how to go about making the most sustainable decisions when designing print material or a product. Critical Issues in Design has helped me become more aware of the materials that are used in every day products, good and bad. I will make sure that in my future career as a designer, I will take the necessary steps to make my designs more sustainable.


In regards to the individual project, it was a challege for me to initiate communication with a client about design, especially when the client was not interested in needing help and was not educated in the importance of design. I have learned that at this point in my life as a designer, I will not be going to clients to initiate design solutions for them. I will have clients come to me for design solutions. When I become more experienced working with clients, I believe that I will be ready to initiate client relationships.

A Book of Thoughts, Findings & Processes  

Critical Issues in Design Fall 2010