May 17th, 2011
Magazine Design

Pretty great resource for any editorial designers out there, or anyone just into great magazine graphics. Coverjunkie, a website dedicated to showcasing the best of creativity in the world of cover design. It does not show every cover in the world just the ones with well thought out design or amazing graphics.

Check out more magazine covers on the website: http://www.coverjunkie.com/

 

December 28th, 2010
Comedy Central. Branding

Comedy Central have recently undergone a re-brand. And unlike the recent re-brand of Gap this one is not a disaster. What are the main differences between this new Comedy Central logo and the one for Gap? This logo and the new brand are a well considered outcome for a tough client – Comedy Central already has its strong consumer base who are going to be hard to please, so not only does the re-brand have to please the clients who run the channel but it also has to appeal to the audience.

There are some similarities between the Gap re-branding and the new Comedy Central design. They both used San-Serif fonts, with a simple geometric shape. Both are re-brands of much loved companies. But the Comedy Central branding does not look sloppy, it is well considered. The old logo had a lot going on in it, huge buildings, on a small planet, with huge type screaming “COMEDY CENTRAL IS HERE, WE ARE FUNNY, WE ARE OUTRAGEOUS”. The new logo whispers, it is quietly confident. It chooses not to scream, instead it gives us a witty comment. The old logo is more South Park, while the new logo is more Frasier.

There are complaints that the new logo is boring. Far from it in my opinion – the new branding fits in with our lives a lot better. From the video above it gives us an idea how the new brand will fit into our digital and social media lives. Something the old logo would have never been able to do to such an extent as this new brand. It is a fact that the new logo is so simple and well executed that the general public will use it more. People are also saying it looks like the Copyright, and Copyleft icons. Yes it does look like these logos, I am sure a big graphic and branding design agency such as The Lab (the graphic agency who created this logo) also recognised the similarities between the logos. And Comedy Central will be using their new icon in much the same way as the copyright symbol. This in itself is fun and a lot more subtle than using giant buildings and small planets.

The new branding and logo graphics have sparked much debate on several blogs such as Brand New. The following statement from Alicia Johnson, co creative director at the Lab was taken from Fastcodesign — ‘Thelab stands by its design, so don’t expect any sheepish surrenders.’ Johnson says, “It’s really more about making the content king than trying to be the content. The network has genius programming. The mark’s job is not to be the loudest, the wackiest.” Hal Wolverton, co-creative director at thelab, elaborates: “It’s an empty container that can take any form the comedy requires. …Brands are becoming more about how they behave than how they look static. Because static, well, that’s just boring.”

If the Gap re-branding is the much deserved winner of Worst Identity of 2010 then I feel the Comedy Central re-brand should be the winner of the Best Identity 2010.

For more information and people’s comments on the ne re-brandings check out the BrandNew website at: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/comedy_central_still_funny.php

To read more from Alicia Johnson interview and more views on the re-brand check out the Fastcodesign website here: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662866/comedy-central-unveils-ironic-new-logo-and-nobody-gets-the-joke

 

October 8th, 2010
how to get people talking about your brand

Gap should conduct a master class in how to get people talking about your brand.

Two days ago Gap launched what they claim is their new logo. A really badly designed logo that had no personality and just looked bland. Since then Blogs from around the world have lit up with mentions of the company, their brand ethos, images of their newly designed logo and theories as to whether it is a PR stunt or if it’s for real. There are even blogs out there where people have sent in their own versions of the logo (check out the web site: http://blog.iso50.com/2010/10/06/gap-redesign-contest/).

It’s worth bearing in mind that this new logo design has relatively crept into existence. There was no real mention of it in the press until its launch. There were no big re-branding parties, no real mention of what they wanted to achieve with the new logo. According to other blogs out there Gaps store fronts still have the old branding and logos on their shop fronts. Why would a company as big as they are do this? I can’t imagine Coke going through such a big change to their logo without the big parties and press release, and the new advertising to back it up.

So what did Gap do? They got people talking. They got the public to pay attention to their brand and logo once again. They created a social media storm of people claiming to be able to produce a better logo (many of them have). They recently came out saying their new logo will be part of an open source project and will be looking for public submissions. In order to get public submissions you must get the public’s attention. They created an awful logo that will fuel public debate, that got their name and logo in Blogs and on graphic design and logo design websites. In essence, that got a load of free advertising!

I feel it must be a publicity stunt for many of the above reasons. But I am left asking the question, does this kind of stunt do more harm to graphic design and logo design than it does good? What does the general public and potential design clients think of this logo? Can the general public and people not involved in graphic design see that this is a badly designed logo – or will they simply see the free publicity Gap have got from this re-brand?