My blog postings have been spotty as of late due to several late work days here at the office combined with my preparation for thesis midterm reviews last Friday at CCA. We should be back to a somewhat normal state this week as I’m happy to report that my presentation was well-received by the thesis committee, and we’re [more]
The big news today is that House of Air has opened it’s doors to the public. Check out this video and then head over to building 926 if you can. There will be a weekend-long opening celebration getting started on Friday with the official ribbon-cutting event. It has been nice seeing the progress month-to-month since I came on board in May, and I am glad to have contributed in a small way to this project. Now I’m ready to play some trampoline dodgeball! [more]
Today we had a very exciting mini-lesson in logos—specifically those that take the form of a single letter mark—from Pat Berman, Professor of Art at Wellesley College, which recently went through a redesign of their own logo courtesy of Base. (Mini-lesson via Brand New.) On several occasions in her talk, if you can make it through it all, Berman described certain characteristics of the new mark—design decisions made to a W letterform based on Garamond—and used particular adjectives and emotional values to express what the characteristics communicate. [more]
A young woman with a product and a pending patent came into the studio this morning to meet about a logo for her creation. What followed was not just a discussion about the form a logo might take to best represent her and her product, but instead a larger look at her business plan, her goals, and where she was as far as funding and resources. What became apparent during the meeting, both to her and to me, was exactly how much stuff has to get done to successfully bring a product to market. Or really, to even think about getting it there. It is about much more than simply having a good/great/necessary/essential idea for a product—or in this young woman’s case, an actual product currently in use by a small, loyal customer base. While a great logo and identity can go a long way in giving credibility to an up-and-coming business, there are so many more hurdles to face along the path; so much more red tape to maneuver through. One particular moment in the conversation that I liked was when Christopher explained that while he has been designing for fifteen or so years, it’s been just five or six since he decided to be his own boss—not so far back as to forget what it’s like to take those first few steps on your own.
Being a former basketball player and current college basketball fan (I have less affinity for the NBA, although every now and then during the playoffs I can stand to watch it), I am often interested when a team decides to undergo a total rebrand and take on new colors, uniforms and logos—or revert to those from the past. Just recently, the local professional basketball team here in the Bay Area, the Golden State Warriors, went through one of those rebrands. The details (mostly failings) of this effort are well-documented elsewhere, and while there are a lot of problems in the execution (even non-designers know the type is horrible), the idea of returning to the vintage look is great, in my opinion. “The City” throwback logo and uniforms have a cool-factor that the now-former “lightning bolt man” logo did not. And it showed at the cash register; the Warriors have sold much more throwback apparel over the past several years than any other design. (This is an image of the previous throwback jersey:)
The day went by pretty quickly. I had my regular intern duties to attend. One of them included finding paper samples for a comp due Wednesday for Standford’s d.School. It was kind of stressing me out. I called multiple paper stores and the company itself, and no one was calling me back. It finally worked out today, and we’ll hopefully be getting that paper in on Wednesday, just in time to make the comp. We’re using different color papers, so I’m really excited to see how it’s going to turn out.
Hello! We are back! Sorry about the blog hiatus, but it was out of our hands. Our server in Utah was having MAJOR hiccups. We couldn’t even receive email this week.
I promised you pictures of the party we went to last Friday. I took a bunch, but they are pictures of a lot of people you don’t know. So I will post pictures of our work and one photo found on the internet where you can see the MINE™ gang represent! You can see Tim, Emily and the back half of my head. I’m the one to whom they are speaking.
Did you know that the bowl of the Big Dipper is constantly opening up and the handle is bending? Two of the stars are moving in the opposite direction of the other 5 and in 50,000 years the dipper will have completely flipped around. In illustrator terms that is “flipped horizontally.” Well, I guess that even depends on the season you’re looking at it.
The exploration process of creating a logo can be exhausting. Before sketching, I researched and made notes for hours. Then there came the few hours of sketching. Yesterday was pretty fruitful, but today was a little bit like squeezing water out of a stone. I think there has been progress, but not everything has been resolved. I think it will take some stepping back and thinking about the concept in a different way.
In the middle of writing this blog, I had a conversation with Christopher and we decided which logos are going into the presentation tomorrow. He even had me try to come up with one in the last twenty minutes of the day. It isn’t the best thing, but surprisingly it might be better than some that I spent hours on.
I found this photo on the Interweb here.
I only did one thing today; I worked on a logo. Or actually, I worked on 5 options for one logo. They’re not all working yet, but it’s fun to see how a mark evolves after each round of feedback from Christopher. When we give these to the client on Thursday it will be round one.
I like working with someone when designing. When I feel like I have exhausted all options, Christopher will point out something that I didn’t try and a whole new set of options and challenges manifests.
Many people who are not designers do not know how much time it takes to make something concise, simple, and meaningful. I’ve been working on this logo for almost 8 hours now, and I know it’s possible to work on it so much more.
For the most part, the Good Design Book is designed. At the moment Tim is waiting for text and other minor-ish things. Since that has slowed down, other projects are starting to come through again. Tim has been working on this crazy booklet. I say crazy because the format is interesting and is posing a design challenge. It’s all coming together though.
One of my favorite things about design is getting to learn about new things all the time. I did know who Buckminster Fuller was before today, but I had to delve a little bit deeper into the origins of the Geodesic dome. All of the research was for the logo that I started working on today with Christopher. I am totally stoked!
One of the outcomes of my intern blog is that my parents suddenly know way more about me than they have since I was 10. Or at least they’re proving to me that they have an idea of what I do now.
I asked my mom to send me some ski gear from home. When I opened the box, not only did I find an airless vacuumed plastic pack of clothes, I also found a newspaper clipping and a small note in a plastic bag sandwich bag.
AHH! I’m ready to check out for the day. Or at least ready to not stare at any glowing rectangles for the rest of the evening.
2 Children that greeted me
3 Plants watered
1 Water carafe Filled
1 Internet radio station that is the jam
8 Emails checked
1 File Photoshopped
1 Competition added to calendar
3 Business cards entered, filed and emailed
Yep. I looked through a bunch of PDFs today looking for this phrase. You just can’t krump at work everyday.
The office has been a mess because of our photo studio set up, so I spent part of the day tidying. Other than that, I did many semi-tedious, mundane, tasks. There was some cleaning, emailing, spell checking, packaging, researching, searching, and roster making.
There were a few exciting things that happened though. Christopher scored some new work in which the end result will have some huge visibility! And then he just told me that I get to work on a logo with him. I’m super excited! Especially so since the subject matter is something that I feel passionate about. Yes, I’m being vague. But it will all be revealed to you soon.
So, I seem to suck at answering the phone. Ha. I talk quietly, and I can’t keep some names straight unless I’m writing it down. I need to work on that.
After pages and pages¹ of sketches, we narrowed the logos down to 10 thumbnails or so. These sketches were then scanned and brought into Illustrator — their new vectorized home. Now in Illustrator, the process basically started over again: I would take one idea and modify it—hopefully generating dozens of itirations.² Christopher would periodically review my progress, give a Yae or Nae, some guidance, and I would keep clicking.
One of the very first projects I worked on at MINE™ was a logo for CPA Lead, a marketing company. Coming in as an intern I was anxious to get my hands dirty in a real project. This project in particular was exciting to work on, as I knew that MINE™ has quite a history in designing logos. I was really curious to see how they went about the process, and to pick up on any secret logo design techniques.
The process went something like this (actually exactly like this:) I sit down with Christopher, and he explains the client’s industry and what their goals are for the logo. He talks about more general ideas (“They don’t want this.”, “It should look more like this.”, “Don’t make it cute.”, etc), and gives me pretty broad directions to work toward.