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branding + identity

The Business Card of Dorian Gray

www.robwilsonphotography.co.uk

www.robwilsonphotography.co.ukOur papergoods-obsessed friends at Moo.com are taking a walk on the Wilde side, conjuring the business card of Dorian Gray—actually, it’s a pair: one for his Victorian gentlemanly side (at right) and another for his libertine persona (above). The debauched Englishman is joined by other duplicitous characters, including Dr. Jekyll (a.k.a. Mr. Hyde), Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman), and Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman) in a cheeky set that launches Moo’s line of square business cards, “created to help people to standout and showcase their creative passions, which are often separate from their daytime jobs.” The cards’ distinct shapes ensure that Superman, who is either too cool for eyeglasses or able to put on contacts incredibly fast while confined in a phone booth, won’t mistakenly hand out a Clark Kent card and blow his capeless cover.

www.robwilsonphotography.co.uk

Mediabistro Course

HTML Basics

HTML BasicsStarting November 24, work with an experienced web developer to code and design your own webpage! In this course, Laura Galbraith will teach you how to understand the basic structure of HTML, identify the most commonly used tags, create webpages with images and hyperlinks, and create a basic CSS. Register now!

Rich Brilliant Willing Gets in the Summer Spirit with ‘Seasonal Logo’

RBWAside from prime time for Le Corbusier-inspired couture confections, the days bounded by July 4th and Labor Day are high summer, a time of sunshine and swimming pools, ice cream and reruns, flip-flops and the illusion that you will read—or at least lovingly stroke—that teetering stack of books that have been accumulating on and around your nightstand since Christmas. But while the December holidays are celebrated with a great decking of halls (as well as homes, trees, yards, websites, and social media platforms), summer is typically welcomed with little more than picnic-themed grocery store displays before it is ushered offstage in a blaze of back-to-school-themed commercials. Not so fast! The sunny design types at Rich Brilliant Willing are savoring the season with “an unofficial seasonal logo” (pictured), which transforms their minimalist monogrammed hexagon for something a little more playful. Need more help lightening up? We suggest RBW’s “space- and earth-friendly” Delta table lamp.

Cooper Hewitt Unveils New Name, Identity, Typeface in Advance of December Reopening

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The countdown to the revamped and revitalized version of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum begins now. At a press conference held this morning, director Caroline Baumann detailed plans for the reopening, set for December 12th, along with a wave of changes that debut today on the museum’s new website, a WordPress-powered affair created in collaboration with Pentagram and Matcha Labs.

The first thing to notice is the 117-year-old institution’s new name—Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum—which dispenses with the hyphen and the “national” of old. There’s a bold new Eddie Opara-designed identity to match, with an eminently scalable wordmark that forms a perfect rectangle. “Cooper Hewitt’s new identity is straightforward with no play on visual or theoretical complexity, no puzzling contradiction or ambiguity, no distracting authorship,” says Opara [cut to the Whitney's neurasthenic W, cowering in the corner of a billboard]. “Function is its primary goal.” As for that non-nonsense sans serif, it’s the work of Chester Jenkins of Brooklyn-based Village. It’s available as a free download here.
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Watch: This Is a Generic Brand Video

Rushing water, DNA helices, stop-motion footage of a city at night. Put ‘em together and what have you got? A generic brand video. Royalty-free stock footage purveyor Dissolve.com seized upon the formula outlined by Kendra Eash in a recent piece for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and brought it to life in this amusing short, made entirely with stock footage and narrated with an avuncular twang by Dallas McClain.

Collins Creates New Identity for Internet Week

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internet week nyHere at UnBeige HQ, every week is Internet week (if the wi-fi goes down for even a few minutes, we become testy and commence the hoarding of foodstuffs), but capitalize that “W” and you’re talking about a “festival of technology, business, and culture” that has been taking place in New York since 2008 and in London since 2010. Each Internet Week consists of hundreds of events that draw thousands of people, and yet the festival’s logos have long been, well, less than cutting-edge—sufficed to say that at one point there was a pixellated apple involved. Then they got Collins on the case.

A team that included Brian Collins, Dave Frankel, and Ali Ring looked beyond familiar tech tropes—the slash, the dot, the leaning arrow—and onward to the bracket. A three-dimensional pair is at the core of their flexible new identity for Internet Week. Not only can the brackets open to accommodate copy, photography, and illustrations but their angles play nice with the letterforms involved, all of which can be layered at various weights to simulate a blinking cursor. Keep an eye out for banners real and virtual that herald the next installment of the festival, which gets underway on May 19 in New York.

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv Redesigns Saul Bass’s Avery Logo

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It’s been almost four decades since Saul Bass whipped up the jaunty Avery logo, its leaning red triangle of paperclips a beacon on many a binder, label, and even the collection of Hermès knockoff totes rolled out under the “Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery” brand. But change is afoot, and the new parent company of the office and consumer products division of Avery Dennison is looking to place a giant divider between the primarily business-to-business company Avery Dennison and the consumer products brand now known simply as Avery. Enter Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, who were challenged to create a new visual identity for Avery. It had to be distinctive and modern while retaining the brand’s recognition in the marketplace and (d’oh!) work within Avery’s existing package design, which was to remain unchanged—all as the ghost of Bass peered over their shoulders and whispered strong opinions about the capital “R”. Their solution? Keep the off-kilter red square, and move it behind a redrawn Avery wordmark.

Quote of Note | Naresh Ramchandani on the Name Game

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“A name cannot only be spoken, it needs to be visually expressed, and it’s useful if it can look good when it is. Flower names, beast names, object names, time length names and space and size names all have good visual potential. I’m thinking Pointerdog for a search engine, Five Mile for a minicab firm, Ringlets for a children’s jewellery range. Names that have something interesting or attractive about their letterform also have good visual potential. I’m thinking MOOD with its circles and curves for a perfume, or Dignify with its two nice dots for an over-60s face cream. Don’t give a graphic designer an abstract name with awful letter forms and expect them to do a good wordmark or logo, or to be happy.”

-Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani in “How To Get a Name Right,” an essay published in the winter issue of YCN Magazine

Logo Legacy: Book Charts Legacy of London’s Bullseye

There’s nothing like an imminent Olympics to get the world talking about logos (did you know that Sochi’s rather chilling mark is the first to lack drawn elements?). Anne Quito looks across the pond at a classic.

bullseyeThe city of London teems with icons—from Big Ben, to the red double-decker bus, even to polarizing 2012 Olympics logo, or lately, the much parodied “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters. There is no shortage of visual symbols for the city. But perhaps the most ubiquitous among them is their transport logo, or the roundel, as it’s officially called. Introduced in 1908, the original circle-and-bar design has remained mostly unchanged, surviving the tides of brand makeovers for over a century.

logoforlondonA Logo for London (Laurence King, 2013) explores the evolution of the symbol vis-à-vis the socio-political climate of the city it represents, written as a kind of biography for this enduring brand mark. Packed with a treasury of archival images and drawings, this well-researched volume by the design historian David Lawrence casts the roundel as trademark that evolves to become a cultural marker and a civic symbol.
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Quote of Note | Robin Derrick

porter logo

“The branding for the logo was designed to make the magazine look like it had been on the shelf for 50 years, and the challenge was to make it look both classical and also capture the digital newsness of the brand all at the same time. The capital-height lower case ‘e’ is given an italic emphasis to feminize the design, and is a subliminal wink towards the online functionality.”

-Robin Derrick, creative director of Porter, the print magazine from Net-a-porter that debuts next month on newsstands worldwide and via subscription.

Poulin + Morris Creates Identity for NPR Retail Store

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NPR moved into a new Washington, DC HQ earlier this year, and as if the dulcet tones of Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish weren’t enough to woo visitors into the 440,000-square-foot complex—LEED Gold, bien sûr—there’s a two-story digital mosaic and now a place to purchase assorted NPR merch (do they have the heavily discounted Carl Kasell pillow? Wait, wait, don’t tell me). Part retail store, part event space and tour group corral, NPR Commons makes it debut with a visual identity by Poulin + Morris. The New York-based firm anchored the branding program in the iconic NPR logo and brought in dynamic patterns and colors that nod to radio frequencies. And of course, every shopping bag, gift box, label, hangtag, and sign is made of recycled materials.

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