Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
- Which Social Media Platform Is Best For Your Business? (FB, Twitter, IG?) - February 8, 2016
- The Role of Social Media Manager in 2016 - February 1, 2016
- Why Placing Ads In Blogs Can Be A Negative - January 4, 2016
Whether you’re the customer drawn to a graphic or logo, or the designer behind it, it’s important to keep in mind: THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. That is what makes the progress and innovation of any industry possible. With that said, we find ourselves in what is now considered to be a Visual era, where everything is branded and labelled and quickly picked up or discarded. It has never been more important for graphic/web designers to dive into what works and what doesn’t. This article aims to cover both, with examples, tips and a personal opinion on what this year’s World Cup should’ve looked like (FIFA aside).
Ideally, any visual representation aims to achieve “appeal at first sight,” especially for company logos, which usually receive a quick glimpse. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, you can’t get everyone to agree because, well, personal opinion. Most of the time designers build from the old to get to the new, or sometimes logos undergo a complete redesign. Below are some quick examples of famous logos:
Ahh, the famous Apple. If you notice above, Apple’s first logo (designed by Jobs and Wayne) depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. It was immediately replaced by Rob Janoff’s “rainbow apple,” with a bite taken out of it. Then in 1998, with the roll-out of the new iMac, Apple discontinued the rainbow theme and began to use monochromatic themes based on the previous shape, which led to the current modern chrome-shaded logo. In this case, the transformation of design was successful, and I personally think it coincided with the evolving technology that fits so well with our modern information age.
This is an example of just pure improvement, using recent design tools and techniques to their full potential. The original FedEx logo was designed in 1973. Other than giving it a new and modern look, the FedEx wordmark is notable for containing a hidden right-pointing arrow in the negative space between the “E” and the “X,” (awesome subliminal marketing). This just makes it look like the company is moving forward.
And then there are those designs you’re not so sure about. Some people love it, some people don’t care for it. Such is the example above, the City of Melbourne’s logo which was introduced in the 1990’s. The new logo received many critiques at the cost of the big “M” but the dimensional colored M is also very original when compared to most city logos on earth. I say, there’s definitely room for improvement.
WHAT WORKS FOR YOU?
I highly advise this wonderful graphic collection of design portfolios (50 to be exact) that you MUST see before (re)designing your own. Whether it’s great use of color, strong calls to action, multiple images, minimalism, original layouts, typography headers, scrolling effects, fun movement, transitions, layering, funky grids, illustrations, or simply bringing back something from the past to look awesome today: IT’S ALL HERE.
I now present one of the best redesign project proposal stories I’ve recently come across, and even though it has to do with this year’s World Cup in Brasil, after seeing this I’m sure most eyes will agree (credit to Guus ter Beek, Tayfun Sarier, Jordon Cheung and George Grace):
First off, is the criticism for the WC’s unpleasant logo:
Quoting designer Felix Sockwell, “the fingers are frog-shaped, and the gradients are ham-fisted.” Agree or disagree?
It all started with these designers feeling dissatisfied with the visual way of games appearing on TV screens, meaning the interfaces of all the big soccer broadcasting channels. They noticed the “abundance of clumsy gradients” which actually makes the score harder to read, especially if you’re standing far from a TV in a crowded pub, plus the unmatching color combinations. So they decided there was room for improvement, took an initiative and presented a flat design solution. See below to compare.
It may be HD tv but that doesn’t make the common design any better:
This is what Guus ter Bek and his team presented with a flat design interface:
Isn’t it more appealing? A clear score and improvement on the clock time, which is crucial given that lots of squinty eyes will be focusing on it during the game.
Here are a few more improvements by Guus ter Beek and his team on the project:
A big thank you to Guus ter Beek and everyone who contributed to that project, for letting designers (and soccer fans) realise we’ve been watching the World Cup all wrong for so long. Let’s hope this inspires designers to improve in all industries that have reached design stagnation (and also of course that the WC 2018 will look something like above across all screens).
Need more inspiration? here are this year’s best design trends.