About a year ago, I found this interesting design case : Design Collective branding. The creative team of Pentagram designed the “DC” logo, and Graham Smith shared his thoughts on his blog here. An e-mail conversation followed because this is a good redesign example. Here’s the logo:
Question is: what is DC? “The Design Collective showcases the best design talent from the UK and beyond and highlights John Lewis’s commitment to sourcing the highest quality of design for its customers.”
I respect Pentagram’s choices, I admire the simplicity of the execution. We know that design is a serious business, and so many times clients forget how hard it is –and all the hard work involved- to find just the right identity that will sum all their core values.
First glance and I felt something “righteous”, something strong (way too strong), a logo you can’t messed up with. It’s ok if “high quality” is conveyed by “seriousness”, here it looks like a bow tie logo ready to go to a wedding.
Luxury is also a way to look at it, I can’t help to think about the C of Chanel, what about this C changing into the G of Givenchy? The D of Dior? After all, the luxury field is all about the delicacy and grace, so why not?
Well, it’s still too strong and harsh for my taste. The D is sharp, D is cutting C with surgical precision at its intersections. May be we can find a way around, make it more accessible. Graham tried an alternative –as you can see on his blog- by removing the inner D shape.
Now, it’s getting very interesting. But I still feel the cuts, an unbalanced sensation: on one hand the subtle curves and on the other hand the right angles – righteousness pursuing us!
Let me tell you something: I’m a huge comics fan! I looked at and it reminded me of the DC comics redesigned logo. Same process of superposing two letters to craft an identity.
I like the smooth sensation the folds are bringing. This is a more playable logo. Based on this –and on Graham’s idea- , I applied the same concept on Design Collective and I explored two options, just using Sketchbook Mobile on my iPhone and my stylus:
And one more without the shades:
Which one you like? I really dig the second one. So let’s import it to Adobe Illustrator and refine it a bit.
It doesn’t matter if we don’t have the right typography for the characters, letters are just forms & shapes right? Just using the pen tool, circles and squares and this is it.
We can push further and present it differently.
Finally, this is what’s so great –and may be the reason I fell in love with design- : how subtle changes can shake a concept so deeply, it attracts you even more. Simple and profound.
Join the conversation! Do you think DC needed a redesign like this? What logo you see everyday, you are not happy with, and you think deserves a good redesign?
“I never listen to today’s pop music, because there’s no challenge, I easily see the patterns … I draw all my inspiration from classical music, where I often find genius, ” – Sting.
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Berlioz and others might have been on the verge of going out of their graves when he said that.
Usually, I’m drama free. But there’s one thing on my mind when I sit down, thoughtful: why all the fuss in music industry today?! Blame it on Miley Cyrus…?
Don’t worry this post is not a rant about the girl. I try to understand why and how we got there.
Music is powerful! It’s everywhere! It captivates us, our mum put us some music while we were still in their bellies (for the lucky ones like me), we delve into the drawers of our parents (there’s always an old vinyl records to blow the dust off).
In the office, we are always “wired “. Anything goes: Jazz, Soul, Neo Soul, R&B, Hip- Hop – American music only, please, thank you!- I realize that in terms of melodies, I am a pure American product. The only time I regret all the noise, is when someone cracks a joke and I see the smiles on every faces. I look really stupid, removing the headphones and saying “Huh?” Hoping that a kind soul will play it back for me … it rarely happens. “Too late! The story is too long, you should be less connected next time. “
That’s all I got!
Let’s push this rewind button! (Since colleagues don’t want to!)
Here they are, all the Jazz masters looking at us, those were the good times!! Armstrong, Gillespie, Simone, Holiday, Charlie Parker, Ellington, Mingus, Davis… (You can complete the list)
However, the « Cyrusgate » reminds me of an icon: Josephine Baker.
Many were not born at the time. Make no mistakes, it was shocking to dance topless, almost naked and with bananas around the hips. How the white people saw it? And the black community? I think they also lost their bottom jaw like we did watching the VMAs. Come on folks! This is the VMAs! We used to it, we saw others perform the same way, remember? Madonna, Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson, Britney…
Why Oh why, we are starting violent revolutions and it hurts our feelings when the music takes wrong directions like this?
The spirit is gone: “A change is gonna come,” sang Sam Cooke. I don’t see the change coming! Music used to make us feel good, really good, everything made sense then! It made sense when Marvin sang “Sexual Healing” or how to express a strong desire in a classy manner. Women are complaining about how we men are talking to them: seduction game. They are right, but it’s not our fault! The words of music we listen today are hollowed, it don’t help us!
Musicians are sh * t: Crazy scenario: they call an excellent guitarist out in the studio, and after that they say “thank you for everything, this is your money goodbye!” There are so many musicians who deserve more credit! After all they MAKE the music we listening to. But who will search in the booklet for the talented guitarist who played with Janet Jackson, Prince, and Jill Scott? Musicians are at the system’s mercy.
Show ’em money: Here we enter the rapper’s realm, it’s pretty basic: one must take a photo of himself counting the money! All the goods under the sun that money can buy, audience should know: we own it!
Show ’em what money can buy: Stars might think we are so into their pockets. Showcasing themselves do some shopping, frankly… who cares? Well, 85392 people!
Show them who is sleeping with who. Again, no comments here. The world is excited, waiting for the next sex tape to pop out. Nobody royally cares! Even Kanye West!
Give them pin-up, yeah we want prenup! Mirror, mirror, on the wall … what’s the best way to show my body? Will it help me sell more albums? I don’t know where that logic comes from, surely from this legendary attraction women have for mirrors. And their legendary narcissism too. Selfie syndrome. For example, this a singer that I like: Tinashe. Great voice, pure talent, but too much “playmate” photos of her on social media, this really saddened me.
I said to myself “Ok, maybe it’s an isolated case, relax… there’s still hope” I raised my hands to heaven when another of my favorite singers, Jhene Aiko, started doing the same thing!
Let’s not be hypocrite, the man inside me like that! But hey, we talking about music!
Girls gone bad & wild! I never saw Whitney Houston or Alicia Keys or Aaliyah in sexy lingerie (well it was for the sake of a movie). Girls, we guys have all the porn in the world that reminds us all the naked women we will never have. Don’t you think it’s enough?
Give them a real rant on twitter … or elsewhere! Rihanna “Queen of disorder” loves her fans – she shows up late to almost all of her concerts- but when she decides to start dissing another artist, everybody is ready to give attention; and we will talk about that for weeks.
Laziness is key: You remember Fred Astaire? He makes you move your head, clap your hands (don’t get me wrong but my mum is a big fan of Astaire) a true god of dance. I’ll add others like James Brown and Michael Jackson.
All had one thing in common: they were hard workers. Perfectionists … Youngers inspired by elders. Michael made holes/marks on the floor of his dance room because he kept repeating the same movement again, and again. Nowadays what could possibly inspire us? Must be the signs of decline.
Shock them, they will buy: Deliver scandals at all costs! We want the buzz, the number of likes, and number of views, who has the greatest power to fill stadiums. Maybe because we don’t have much content, we lack original ideas, following the flow of ambient shallow and emptiness is more appropriate.
Oh, I forgot… Finally, the Medias & marketing have ruined the music industry, and at the same time, they keep it alive. It is an endless circle. All the communication tools available, we invite the world in our bathrooms, no problem! It’s cool! Meanwhile, we at war: R&B singers VS rappers who are now singing more than they actually rap, and they sing “we do what we want, we make more money than you anyway so shut up!”
Some artists try to resurrect the music, and they are really trying hard, the problem is: we are so lost in all this mud I mentioned before, that their albums will go unnoticed both in the opinion’s mind and in the charts. Only a few purists go buy.
I recently listened to the album “Mood Swings “from a very natural and awe inspiring artist Maxine Ashley. Maxine shares with us her world, her enthusiasm for Nina Simone’s music and we can feel that influence in her voice.
What I said and will keep saying: nothing is created from nothing, we are inspired by our heroes and add our share on top of it. It’s just about choosing the right heroes. We need more bold moves like this.
I love the character that some artists play, protecting/exposing themselves from Medias, we love actors. But once the success and money are gone what’s left?
All the greatest are gone! Don’t you feel there was a time in music where once a real star rose to success, God told him/her: “Enough! You! Come here! You making too much good noise.”
A band of music orphans, that’s all we are.
When the album will be dead, we’ll be sadder, more nostalgic, and way more old-fashioned than our parents!
Oh and when they told us that they didn’t understand our music, we said “Oh, whatever, I’ll never be like them…” Yeah, yeah, yeah…
“Somethingis wrongIholdmy Head, values gone, society’s dead” it might have been Kanye West’s lyrics in “All of the Lights”Here’s the funky thing.WheneverI run into someone and we talking aboutwork, (everytime)I’m asking“do you like your job? Are you happy?” I geta big “yes, yes!” or “yeah!” I reply “Oh yeah? What make you so happy doing it?” and then I hear an echo asking myself “How can we be so hypocriticaltoourselves sometimes?”Idon’t knowwhat happensin the corporate world today.Butthe truth is: peopleare not happywith their jobs.
I listen to musicin myoffice, I’m on facebook; always online, and people telling me on the chat “You lazy a**! Get back to work!” they don’t realize something: I’m actually working. I take breaks,sometimesI get lostin -crazy– conversations withmy colleagues, it doesn’t affectmyproductivityand I‘m very lucky. In mostcreativebusinesses, workatmosphereislike that:grown children, always joking and laughing, butthere’sa heavywork rotation beneath.
Irepeat: Iam blessed and very luckyto do ajobthat I love: creative designer (running my own company) And when the deadlines are coming, i’m like this:
Here’s a video of Marina Shifrinwhichis all the rageright nowon YouTubeand generatedup to 8million views(it’s amazing, that’s the score Rihannadoes whenshe heats up.)Anyway, instead of sending a resignation letter to her employee Next Media Animation, she decides togo on the internetto express herfrustration.And now comes Kanye West, who’s song is playing in the background,why we had to involve Kanye in all this? The man still hasthe ghosts ofTaylorSwift on his back, paternity to manage, and he steams all this stress off onthepaparazzis…
Usually, in job interviews, the candidate’s motivation ishigh: great career development andsalary, great colleagues and shiny premises.IntheITcompanies we lucky enough to stumble upon table tennis, table football or pools.
InArt & Copy(awe inspiring documentary about the world ofadvertising), you’re visiting the offices of Chiat/Day, it’s like paradise: a basketball court, a music room, and a sort ofgiant frog raises inthe lobby….right in middle of the lobby! OMG! I want to go there! News Media mentioned a pool at the top of its building (the weather is always shitty there!) and a sauna…seriously they should do a little better,right?
Quantity over Quality:
At News Media, I sawa row ofboxes,thisis the modern versionof theguillotine…butupright.This kind of setup is quite popular incall centersorin all companies that have “push thefigures” management. Any windows?No! Are you crazy! We wantto keep you fromjumping!Andthe turnover rateisstratospheric. (I’m not surprised they are still hiring after this massive taunt.)
The challengefor a company nowadays is to createa good work environment,while maintaining acertain level of productivity. They shouldsay “Heyhow to transformthisplaceto make sure that ouremployees wouldfallso in lovethat they’dspend their nightshere”
Passion is gone:Passion is burning and contagious.People gives round of applause for this video, standing ovation everywhere, watch the comments out:
It’s a shame, as I’ve said we complain being up in an office at 4:30 am, but we easily forget that all the tools that we use today, Windows, Facebook, iPhone, etc. were built by passionate men and women who didn’t count their hours. Some have resigned but the story doesn’t remember the quitters.
Don’t get me wrong, but if you reread the biography of Steve Jobs, wow! The man wasn’t all sugar & candies with his employees. Tyrant in every sense of the word, he even demanded the same level of tyranny to his lieutenants in their own teams. Who was crazy enough to go and tell him upfront ”Hey Steve, I quit! “But it is not this dark side that the public will remember of him.
Success requires a good dose of life balance: Too much work is killing us, mentally and physically. We must find the right balance. Especially when we have a family life, a girl/boyfriend or husband/wife waiting for you at home. There must be other activities and we have to juggle with them. Disconnect from work. It’s hard to remember this rule, when we love our job more than anything, and we just got this career started; Talking about me, my dogs remind me everytime how much they missed me when I finally come home late at night. I know that I should spend more of time playing with them.
Soon after that, Next Media has responded and I think their answer is very classy, although I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes right now. They claim they gave Marina all the work comfort she needed: professional travels etc. Both sides, I think, are saying “We don’t see what we could have done more”. Where do we go from here? We should open that famous book by Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People. Get back to basics.
Something is wrong in this ” youtube and social networks ” society that raised so much “artificial” dust around us, we can hardly see happiness/opportunities when the dust clears. No doubt, this video is rude and against all companies rules. If one day you decide to unravel your problems with your employer on Youtube, make sure you can handle the supina coming.This was disrespectful. On one hand, it reminds me of scandals like Domino Pizza or Taco Bell (same spirit: how to screw a company you working for). On the other hand, there are people in the US and around the world going through their ‘crappy’ job (they often have 3) everyday, simply because they have no choice, have children to feed, they sleep in a car, waiting for better days.We are in a economic crisis, the jobs these days are hard to find, and we cannot afford the ‘luxury’ of slamming doors that quick and brag about it like children.The only positive thing that this video has taught us is that, the view numbers don’t matter. The key is to put all the focus in creativity and good storytelling. Marina’s dance skills are terrible lol (and it’s worse at News Media). Hey! Nobody cares! It’s fun and simple, the secret of good content: she’s just herself.
Oh, before I forget…
Here’s Marina’s conclusion:
No my dear… Itis not youagainstthebusinessworld(Itdidn’t wait for you and it workedlike thisfor decades.) It’s all about you and million workers out there trying to find happiness. The wayI see yourprofile,you’remore the type toopen yourown businesswho don’t go by orders. That’s fine, the world need peoplelike that.
Howyou managethemediaimpact ofyour video? Have youfind anotherjob?What about yourreputation? Stillintact?Winning thetrust of your future clients after that, will it be easy? Many questions thatare now…your problem.
Dear reader, whatare yours? Is your boss a jerk? Your Employees don’t listen to you? Colleagues/Customersare unpleasant? Awful work conditions? It will always be like that! Work atit!And ifthere’sreallynothing to doabout it, leave! Butquietly, with class andloyalty! ” They” will reward you for that. Thank you for your time!