Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Simple Brand Mark

A simple brand mark created for Hippo Studios. The old reel-to-reel tapes aren't much used anymore, but the image is still very recognizable. This mark is meant for small applications, such as graphical touches on business cards.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Brochure Project

This is a sampling of images that I created for a brochure for an online gaming company.

I had inititally created something much more subtle and monochrome than this image, which is what was more-or-less the implemented design. It's nice to have a client that fully communicates their desire, though, which means that you essentially become a tool to bring someone else's vision to fruition. This might not be as exciting as stretching your artistic muscle, but it's less stressful.

These are some of the initial page designs. The text was not implemented. The general philosophy behind it was to act as a counterpoint to all of the dark, masculine, and frankly rather scummy aesthetics of the rest of the online casino industry.

If you're ever stuck with trying to make a brochure more exciting, simply tilt the elements of the design. It throws stuff off-kilter and instantly adds energy.

This is just the back cover.

As is the case with many projects, many of the images I made, of which only a few are represented here, were not used in the end. That is one of my biggest points of advice for those either working or wanting to work in the industry: be prepared to have almost nothing you make actually implemented. It's not personal, even though it sometimes hurts.

Friday, October 5, 2012

HP's Long, Slow Descent Accelerates

Way back in the day, and by day, I mean about ten months ago, Moving Brands posted their re-branding effort with HP. It was taken down about a day later after HP protested the release of the information.

Basically, HP was upset because the brand was much better than their current brand, and the fact that they had chosen to not implement the brand made them look stupid. This was the companies official line:
"HP is one of the world’s most valuable brands and has no plans to adopt the new logo proposed by Moving Brands. HP did implement some of the other design elements shown in the case study."

My response to it is the same response I would have now, so I shall quote myself.
I laugh in their face. HP has one of the least valuable major brands. People attach little to the name aside from recognition and omnipresence. It is like ABC or CBS. Those brands have almost no value aside from their ubiquitousness. HP needs to stop kidding itself.
The slow-motion train wreck continued in the coming months, and I of course followed it. In May, HP announced awful financial results, and Meg Whitman said that HP was "rebuilding" credibility. This made no sense, because HP has one of the world's most valuable brands. More articles popped up analyzing what I described as the coming catastrophe.

As with many situations involving large companies, it can take awhile before the effects of bad organization and management become apparent. The Internet is accelerating things, but even then, it can take many years. As is the case with HP. Sadly for HP, since it takes so long, when the problems do become apparent, it is frequently too late. Look at GM and Chrysler. People had been saying they were doomed since at least the late 1990's. If it hadn't been for the world exploding in 2008, both GM and Chrysler would be gone.

So what does that do to HP's "valuable" brand? It's essentially dead, as I said back in December. It's just that, unlike then, they now know it.

Lenovo X1 Carbon Ad Hits a Triple

Lenovo is not exactly a company from which one expects to get earth-shattering advertising. But here they are, producing a fantastic little spot for their Macbook Air competitor, the Thinkpad X1 Carbon.

It reminds me a great deal of the legendary Motorola RAZR ad that launched the thin revolution in cell phones. It's unfortunate that no one has uploaded a higher-res version of this ad, because it's just that good.

The Motorola ad was perfect. There was literally nothing wrong with it. The Lenovo ad is almost perfect. Its only failing, and it is slight, is the presence of the Thinkpad logo in the middle of the ad.

Why is the branding there? No reason. It shouldn't be, because it's at the end in much grander and more effective fashion. Ham-fisted commercials have no style, no aesthetic, no class, and are quickly forgotten. Luckily, the damage from this is minimized because the logo transitions into the next shot wonderfully.

And do not even get me STARTED on the presence of that fucking Intel logo at the beginning. Do not double-brand! You are not selling Intel! You are selling Lenovo! People know that there's an Intel processor inside. There are only Intel processors in everything!