ayana airakan-mance | design : speak

Is A Revamped Brand Enough: The U.S. Postal Service Is Dying. Why Not Radically Rebrand It? | Co.Design

Posted in Branding, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2010/12/31


In this era of digital communication, one has to question whether revamping the U.S. Postal Service’s brand is enough. I think the designs Chase proposes are quite good, but are addressing the problems the postal services is dealing with that not only concern the prolific use of digital forms of communication that many of us are using, but also the many internal issues the service is dealing with, the most important being the laying off of employees due to a diminishing budget. What do you think? The full article with all design explorations can be read here: The U.S. Postal Service Is Dying. Why Not Radically Rebrand It? | Co.Design.

Stefan Sagmeister streams his office live 24/7 on his site

Posted in Business, Design, Design Matters by ayanaairakan on 2010/12/13

I wouldn’t expect anything less creative from such a eclectic designer.

Read full article here: Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers | Live From New York, It’s. . ..

Addendum: Gap Bows to Outcry – Nixes New Logo and Crowdsourcing. Design Still May Have Lost Out.

Posted in Branding, Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2010/10/12

It was wonderful to see the outpouring of concern over the Gap’s brand redesign and the impact it had in ultimately getting the company to back away from the poorly designed new mark, and ultimately, it seems the practice of crowd-sourcing. (Please see link at the bottom of this post for the article concerning this.)

I do feel a bit sad though, that while the Gap has  publicly stated that they would not out source the design work again, and that this event has given many companies pause to think before engaging in this practice, the value that designers and design bring has been greatly compromised. Much of the dialogue missed a lot of the salient points that apply to design and the process. Is this because of the “instant information” culture in which we are living? Is it because we are in an economic depression? I don’t know. I see a lack of trying to understand the design process, or maybe even a resistance to doing the work entailed in developing the process, in more and more students.

How do designers sell the value of design in these times? Love to know your thoughts.

Gap Bows to Outcry – Nixes New Logo and #Crowdsourcinghttp://bit.ly/cdb5xg

Is The Design Process (Strategic Design) Going The Way Of The Dinosaur?

Posted in Branding, Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Process by ayanaairakan on 2010/10/11

Tom’s of Maine new logo:

In my last post, I added the newly designed Tom’s of Maine logo and packaging to the discussion of poorly designed branding speared by the newly designed GAP logo.

In both cases, I sincerely feel the design process, and strategic design have completely been left out of the equation in the development of these brands. What is going on? As a design educator I find what I see as becoming a trend exemplified by these two examples quite disconcerting.

During project critiques, the design process that looks at the targeted audience and what it has already bought into in respect to a company’s brand and product or service, is always at the forefront of the design choices of color, typography, imagery, layout, etc. I just don’t see this consideration given in the case of the Tom’s of Maine and GAP redesigns.

What am I missing? Love to know your thoughts.

Graham Smith of ImJustCreative offers a nice perspective on the outcry about the GAP logo redesign. In his post, The Gap Logo – Is the outcry and criticism justified. In his followup post, The GAP Logo Design Revisited, he, in good fun, offers his reworking of the logo.

New GAP Logo

Previous GAP Logo

Tom’s Of Maine Changes Their Brand Also | Filed Under #disappointing.

Posted in Branding, Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2010/10/10

So about a month or so before all this hoopla about GAP changing is classic, modern brand to, what I consider a mundane, nondescript one, I needed to buy toothpaste. Off I went to Trader Joe’s to purchase my Tom’s of Maine Natural Antiplaque & Whitening Gel. To my surprise and chagrin, I noticed that they had changed THEIR BRAND!

I buy the spearmint flavored paste and felt the leaves illustration at the head of the container visually conveyed what flavor I was purchasing. The new package has no illustration and is using a color palette purple, dull green, aquamarine blue, and blue (I think) used as the logo, which doesn’t visually relate at all the the product.The only element that may visually relate is the flavor name that is written in this horrible font. What were they thinking?

In addition, the logo has been redesigned in a way that has no connection what-so-ever to Tom’s of Maine’s long-standing brand. The typography is weak, and as a consumer, I have no idea what they are attempting to convey as their brand with this new design. I wonder if they crowdsourced this redesign.

Love to know your thoughts.

An Incredible Designer, Artist, and Spirit: Chakaras Johnson (via @BDNN_News)

Posted in Art, Black Designers, Design, Design Matters, News, Social Good by ayanaairakan on 2010/08/11

As I was catching up on my reading yesterday I ran across Atim Annette Oton’s tribute to Chakaras Johnson on her Black Design News Network blog. Chakaras Johnson passed away untimely around 18 July 2010.

After reading her tribute, I researched him and found that he was an incredible graphic designer, artist, and spirit. I’m sorry I didn’t know him, but am grateful to Atim for “introducing” him to me. I too, am compelled to pay tribute to him. You may see his stunning art at chakaras.com, and incredible design work at helen-marie.com, the graphic design company he founded with his brother Chacon Johnson. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Dream Variations

Images courtesy of chakaras.com

Noted: swissmiss | CreativeMornings Video: Michael Bierut on Clients

Posted in Business, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Noted by ayanaairakan on 2010/03/20

via swiss-miss.com

I became aware of this talk by Michael Bierut of Pentagram’s NYC office per a blog post by Max Kiesler via a reference to him by Emily Chang (his wife). Michael Bierut is truly a design icon of whom I have been a huge fan for over twenty years. His insights shared here are well noted.


The Importance of Creating A Compelling Context Using Visuals

Posted in Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Process by ayanaairakan on 2010/02/16

When I start a new graphic design project, I’m always looking for how to effectively create a compelling context using images and typography to convey my client’s message to their audience to illicit the desired response: buy the service or product, or attend the event. This is, in my opinion our charge as graphic designers. As design educators, I and colleagues are charged with helping our students develop skills in an environment that promotes the understanding of creating that context for a project using visuals that will be successful in its intent.

Given this, I am sharing VizThink’s (vizthink.com) following repost of [Rewind] An Interview with Jessica Hagy of ‘This is Indexed’
(Thanks to Irene Nelson of irenenelson.com for her tweet that led me to this post that I am sharing.)

Below is the audio podcast, but please also visit VisThink’s site for the complete podcast with visuals.

Noted: The Value Of Intuition In Design Thinking

Posted in Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Noted, Process by ayanaairakan on 2009/12/08

Very nice perspective from Nathan Sinsabaugh at Kristian Andersen + Associates.

For full article, click the link just below:

The Role of Intuition in Design

Thanks to Diana Howard for making me aware of this article.

Noted: A Compelling Ad Campaign

Posted in Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Noted, Social Good by ayanaairakan on 2009/12/03

Let’s hope this doesn’t come to fruition. Very nice and compelling campaign.

Climate Rescue Weblog: World leaders apologise for climate failure in Copenhagen airport ads

From Greenpeace’s weblog. Click the link below to see the full campaign.

Climate Rescue Weblog: World leaders apologise for climate failure in Copenhagen airport ads

Posted using ShareThis