Explosions, End the Trend!

28 Sep

Enough is enough. Yes, explosions can be exciting, and maybe it is clever or witty to pair an explosion with something we do not normally expect to explode, but the wit and surprise is fully lost when everyone is doing it!

Earlier in the summer Design Fetish and I praised Magnum Ice Cream for their artful ice cream explosions. They had excellent color combination’s going for them, the explosion concept was still relatively fresh at the time, and images made the product seem appetizing and attractive.


While flipping through only 2  issues of Cosmopolitan (August & September) I came across these 3 explosion ads!? None of them are executed as well as the Magnum ads, but regardless, the effect of the concept is lost.  It is no longer unexpected, and we are bored with things “exploding” in our mouth. End the Trend!



Ad-Ventures: Womens Health Edition

26 Sep

I found the following Zappos ad in the October issue of Womens Health. It sports a pretty clever way to announce that Zappos is expanding there product lines to more that just shoes. If nothing else, it is certainly memorable.

The best part is that the ad includes a QR code for those with smart phones, or a web address (www.zappos.com/whatsnext/running) for anyone else which takes the viewer to numerous commercial videos associated with the campaign. They are hilarious with some major viral potential.


Weekly Ad-Ventures: Martha Stewart Living Edition

19 Sep

This week I picked up Martha Stewart Living for the first time, and while there is plenty of awesome editorial photography with amazing color combos and alignment, I did not find any of the ads particularly breathtaking.

I have chosen to share the following Campbell’s soup ad because I thought the approach was somewhat interesting. The ad introduces a new variety of Campbell’s soup, Harvest Orange Tomato. Being that the Campbell’s brand is so iconic (particularly when it comes to tomato soup), and that they are perceived as traditional, an overly innovative or flashy ad may not have been well received or may have missed their target consumer base. Instead they expressed the “newness” of the product via a subtle juxtaposition with Campbell’s traditional, iconic tomato soup can visual.

Notice how the layout of the ad mimics a Campbell’s tomato soup can. Though this is not a literal replication, the bottom have is white with red text and displays an image of the soup, and the upper half of the page is red(ish), though the red portion is actually an image of tomatoes and Campbell’s soup cans. At first glance, the audience makes an immediate and very strong correlation to the traditional Campbell’s soup image. A split second later, the audience begins to realize, that the image is just slightly off because orange tomatoes are mixed in with the red, slightly altering the image of the iconic soup can.

This change, however subtle, communicates that something is new and different about this soup, but that it shares the quality, taste, and tradition that is so strongly admired in the original Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

Weekly Ad-Ventures: Cosmopolitan Edition

12 Sep

Jackpot! A co-worker brought me a whole stack of her daughters back issues of Cosmopolitan. I haven’t gotten through all of them yet, but I did find an ad campaign for ESPNW present in both the August and September 2011 issues of Cosmopolitan that was inspiring.

The ESPNW “One letter says a lot” campaign stands out because the ads exhibit bold imagery and colors and utilize a unique typographic solution, contrary to the vast number of bland and repetitive makeup and clothing ads scattered throughout Cosmo. I think the ads show a clever and successful combination of copywriting and design, indicating strong art direction.

What Intrigued YOU Today?

1 Sep

Creativity is derived from seeing things differently. I am currently in the process of undertaking a week long assignment/challenge to do things differently, in hope that this will allow me to see some things differently. What those things are or will be, I won’t know for another week, that is the fun of this experiment.

So, for the next week, I will wake up a different times, take different routes to work, eat different foods for breakfast, talk to people I have never talked to before, shop at stores I have never shopped at before, change my recreational activities, try different workouts, essentially, I will imagine I am someone else entirely.

So rather than checking my email and surfing the internet this morning before work as I usually do, I began to read a book. A Smile in the Mind by Beryl McAlhone & David Stuart, foreword by Edward de Bono.

Here are just a few excerpts from the foreword that I found intriguing, and that provided me with inspiration to put forth a full effort in my creativity challenge. Perhaps they will inspire you to see something differently, or maybe just to pick up the book?

“The definition of provocation is simple: there may not be a reason for saying something until after it has been said.” – Edward de Bono

“The opposite of traditional logic is not irrational chaos but the more powerful non-linear logic of perception. Only perception gives value to life.” – Edward de Bono

“Most major problems in the world will not be solved by further analysis. They need design.” – Edward de Bono


Redesigning Well Known Logos

31 Aug

When redesigning a logo it is vital to first ask what the business objective of the change is and/or whether there even are any significant business objectives. If there are no good business reasons to change the logo, it is probably unnecessary.

If the business need is to create a new identity for the brand or to change existing opinions of the brand than a full redesign resulting in a totally new and different logo is most likely appropriate. On the other hand, if the brand is well known and the existing logo is already strongly associated with the organizations brand identity, than a full redesign often carries a low potential of being well received. In fact, a full redesign may even alienate some of the brands long-term, loyal customers. In cases where logos begin feeling outdated or an organization is simply trying to freshen up their image, but a strong brand identity already exists, it is best to make only small tweaks to the logo leaving it fully recognizable by the existing consumer base. Below are two examples of companies who have executed this well. Notice that they have kept their color schemes consistent, and the original sentiment and premise of the logo has been maintained.

Toys R Us Logo Redesign (Image via Logo Design Love)

MSNBC Logo Redesign (Image via Logo Design Love)

An example of a well known logo redesign disaster is the GAP. Customers were not made aware that a change was coming, the logo was not adequately tested among the target audience, and the redesign was a flailing disaster. Loyal fans of the Gap were outraged that the classic logo they loved was taken from them, and the Gap experienced a large financial loss in association with the logo change. They quickly reverted to the traditional logo design. Lesson learned.

Gap Logo Redesign (Image via Designer Daily)

Halloween Eye Candy

30 Aug

I LOVED the Some Enchanted Evening article in the October Issue of Family Circle. The article provides fun and ambient do-it-yourself decorating ideas for a trendy Halloween bash. Rather than using a traditional, cliche “how to” layout, complete with numbered steps and boxy, closeup images, the designer uses striking full page images to dominate the spreads and layers how-to text into the otherwise inactive spaces in the imagery.

The type choices share the same playfulness as the decor, allowing the text to peaceful co-exist with the imagery rather than clash with it or become hidden or too overshadowed. This is an excellent approach as it allows readers to see entire room shots, and therefore, see the full potential of the crafty decor suggestions rather than individual closeups of a single craft, leaving them to mentally piece together the rest.

By not cluttering the page with numbers, sidebars, and other unnecessary design elements, the reader focuses completely on the image, getting the feeling that they are at the party, or rather that they wish they were at the party. I am even considering hosting this party. Definite success!

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