Distress, Death and Graphic Design

The Urban Outfitter Kent State shirt design. It's almost embarrassing to talk about it. On the one hand, what power could a shirt design have? Shirt designs come and go in seasons, like everything fashionable. New ones pour out of department stores daily. What could have caused one shirt design to get so much flak? Last week, Urban Outfitters released a shirt that became almost immediately controversial, not in a good way. The shirt has the Kent State University logo on it, under what seems to … [Read more...]

What Not To Change About Graphic Design

Graphic Design and its extended family are rotating at a constant tilt these days.  Adobe upgrades about once a year now ; design programs you’ve invested thousands of dollars in are obsolete before you take a deep breath. Lots of technologies are going downstream - stuff that some of us even grew up with (like books !). Graphic Design has become a household word and a very popular Major in lots of universities. There are more "graphic designers" than ever…  the kid down the block with some time … [Read more...]

The Joy of Working for Non-Profits

The pitfalls of working as a communication designer in the non-profit world have been well documented (I think). I even wrote an article for a trade magazine years ago in an effort to help younger designers avoid the holes on that street. (See link at the end). But things have actually improved since I wrote that list of warnings to the wise; and while I can't say that the value of graphic design is better understood by your everyday straphanger, it is certainly more visible. And non-profits, … [Read more...]

Advice to Designers and Young Lovers Part 1: Getting The Silent Treatment

I thought "silent treatment" only happened to love relationships gone bad but it seems to have infected everyone. I'm not talking about friends/family, people you know and hang out with, who just forgot to answer your voice mail or email. No, I'm talking about when this happens in business; in the middle of a business deal, or worse yet, at the beginning of one. People tell me that young business relationships are like young love relationships. You seem to like each other at the start, agree on … [Read more...]

The Making and (Un)Making of Logos: Secrets of a Logo Designer 2

The 7 Worst Things To Tell a Logo Designer: 1. "I know exactly what I want so it should be easy for you. I want it to look JUST LIKE...the (blank) logo only with a (blank) on it." 2. "I'll know it when I see it." 3. "I want it to be red." 4. "This is a real estate company and my cousin drew this cute house so whatever you do, you gotta use the house." 5. "I'm the final approval except that after I approve it, we'll have to run it by my Board of Directors for approval too." 6.  "Can you … [Read more...]

The Making and (Un)Making of Logos:Secrets of a Logo Designer I

Part 1 Why your logo is important: Don't let me try to convince you that the creation of your logo is important, but here are some simple reasons why you might want to create something well made and distinctive to represent your company: 1. The logo is your visual shorthand: You need one fast way to tell your audience/customers that your company is for real. Logos are a great way, actually, to do this...if they look professional, unique, handsome, trustworthy...your company sends out those … [Read more...]