Friday, July 29, 2011

Lighting It on Fire

I just write what I want. There’s so many rules right outside the door. What good’s a blog if you can’t light things on fire?
-13 on The Black Hockey Jesus via Frank Chimero
So. In a month or two, this tiny blog will be 1 year old.  And I was thinking the other day about what drives me to do it.  Lord knows, it's not my reader base (ha).  What is it?

It all started out with thoughts about branding; thoughts I wanted to write down somewhere.  Then, it kind of became about wanting to have an online visible presence; to have relevance when I went to events with other designy people.  That was probably sort of superficial, but I think human beings are all driven to belong, somehow.  And this became my calling card in that way, too.

But neither of those things are really enough, now that my life has been consumed with roller derby.  It means that I have to be pretty specific about what I want to do, and driven my something more than a pretty logo.  At first, I thought that wasn't going to be good.  I'd committed to writing about branding and logos—ONLY THAT or I would be disingenuous.

But what about design?  The thing that drives me about all of this is that nothing we do matters in a commercial market unless it functions well.  If it doesn't give the consumer or customer satisfying results on a reliable basis, that product is screwed.  Design matters.

You might see more from me, now that my focus has expanded.  July was a tough month, with derby injury, family stuff, and a general feeling of lack of direction, but I'm feeling freer now.  I hate to be all meta about What One Can Expect from me, but I did want to talk about the process of creation and how sometimes we get roped to a vision, and then that vision changes.

In that case, the best thing we can do is stay flexible and roll with it.  There's a difference between reliable and rut. I aim to find the middle ground.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Miguel Molina hit it out of the park with this one.  In student work for Bitter Chocolatier, he created sophisticated packaging cut through with sardonic humor.

He says of his design:
The brand has an edge. The elegant look contrasts sharply with its ironic humour. Poking fun at himself, The Bitter Chocolatier tells his tales of misfortune throughout his life through the different flavours. The product differentiates itself from other brands while entertaining the consumer. 
(via Lovely Package)

I like how this is clever, but not overly precious or convinced of its own importance.  The stories also give a personal touch, and something as decadent as chocolate is personal.  This kind of branding wouldn't work so well if used for buying gasoline or printer paper.  Both of those products are consumables, and you probably have a preference as to which brand you buy. However, we connect deeply to what we eat, especially if it's something we very much enjoy eating. 

One wants their experience of chocolate to feel luxurious, because we consume it for pleasure.  Having sophisticated, elegant packaging with a piquant message adds to our delight.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quick Hit: I.C.O.N. India Oil

I don't have much to say about this, other than I love it.  Elegant, rich, and clean—even though there's a lot going on in the design.

Design by Version X Design, via Lovely Package.