Now this is what I call Nano technology !
Now this is what I call Nano technology !
Recently I have found myself lacking creative inspiration. Overall I think it is from too much work and the same routine. The day to day asects of normal life can drain you of the artistic motivation. This week we went to Ogunquit, Maine for a couple of days. Ogunquit is a beautiful seaside community. The pace was slower and the sights were great and the people were very friendly.
One of the days we were there President Bush Sr. was also in town there having lunch. They live very close in Kenebunk Port so they frequently are in the area. The President, his guests and secrest service arrived by boat and had lunch at Barnacle Billys resturant. The Presidents special guests for lunch that day were The Oakridge Boys. ( I was very bummed we were not around at the time I was hoping to ge an autograph....kidding !)
Anyway it was just enough of a change to get the creative process back in motion. Click on the picture for a larger image. More photos soon.
Palm changed their logo the other day (again). Mike Rohde and Russell Beattie have written great posts about the new logo, so I will try not to cover to much of the same material. As I look at the before and after I keep asking myself is it better ? What is it tring to convey ? Or do I even care ? There are two things that jump to my attention. The first is just the fact that it has changed or morphed again. I think if you could the Handspring logos that were incorporated over the years there have been 4 or 5 since the companies inception. And we are not talking abount minor enhancements to the color or feel - I am talking wholesale forklift upgrades!
The other thing that jumps to my attention is how flat it looks and feels. The lack of dimensionality or convexness to me is a huge issues. The flatness of the logo reads to me like the status of the company. If nothing else, Palm should have attempted to smooth out the striations in color. In my opinion it looks like a student submission for homework in logo 101.
Austin and I have a magazine addiction. I just finished going through all my magazines and realized I have a problem. The first group are magazines that a get a subscription to. The second are the ones that I buy almost every month but have not gone that extra distance to save myself some money and commit to a subscription.
Do your reading habits say anything about your personality ? Do I read so many because I have short attention span?
I just finished posting my thoughts on packaging and started scrolling through my news-feeds. One of the feeds was from BrandPlay a new blog I started following (and now one of my top favorite 3).
Aaron Dignan recently created a theme week to discuss various customer and brand touch points. One of the examples he gave comments on packaging, but his point was that packaging serves as a touch point element to communicate part of the brand value. He showed the packaging of two MP3 players, an Apple and a Sony. Click here to read his post and see if you agree. If this a key touch point shouldn't all products try and do the same?
That's Entertainment from the album "The Sound of The Jam" by The Jam
Where does design end and packaging begin ? Is packaging part of the design or merely a way to protect the product during shipping? Why do some companies spend so much time on packing and others give it little or no thought?
Over the last the couple of months there were a several blogs who posted pictures about unpackaging a new computer or iPod or phone. Were these photos just of obsessed customers unwrapping their new toys? I actually think it is more than that. I think it was an expression of how consumer packaging has reached an all time low and it can have a huge impact if companies spend a little extra time to round out the experience.
So which is it ?
Trouble (Acoustic) from the album "Trouble (Sessions@AOL) - Single" by Pink
Does design have to be high tech to be cool ? One of my favorite items is the least high tech and probably the most simple. They are my Moleskine pads.
I used to use these in college all the time. I found them again about a year ago in my local Barnes & Noble. I love these pads!
They are classic and simple with high quality paper a great elastic band enclosure and the cool hidden pocket in the back. They hold up extremely well to travel and abuse. I generally have two of the larger models working. One has sketches and ideas for designs the other is lists of web sites or thoughts. Just recently I noticed a "rediscovery" of these great notebooks in several blogs. Moleskinerie is an excellent example of that. It showcases the art and creative uses people have for their notebooks. It also describes the inanimate love people have for these pads.
For "moleskine hacks" you need to check out the following sites for great ideas
There is even a Moleskine Flickr Group!
If you have not tried one of these I recommend them highly. You can buy them online as well at Moleskineus.com
Lately I find that I am obsessed with design. All forms, web, architectural, industrial, packaging and furniture. I am not sure why this has suddenly taken place. I also find myself looking at design relative to price and function and user experience. Is one of these more important that others ? Maybe, maybe not.
But I am stunned at the number of companies/products that lack design. Not every company is going to have a Jonathan Ives or a Philippe Starck or a Michael Graves working on their product but shouldn't they aspire to delivering that rich experience to the customer.
Steve Jobs keynote address is over and there were several new announcements from Apple today. Sadly though there were no real surprises. The leaks or predictions were correct though not to the degree everyone thought.
iPod Shuffle makes its entrance today. A flash based iPod that holds wither 240 or 500 songs in a device that looks like a fat stick of gum and weighs less than an ounce. More importantly Apple was able to break the $100 barrier for an iPod. I think some people will be disappointed that is does not have an LCD screen like other flash based players, that remains to be seen. My guess is this will be a huge success. [design sidenote: one of the cool things about this design is that it incorporates a USB connector in the bottom of the iPod, allowing you to directly connect to your Mac or PC to transfer songs. Extremely nice inclusion in the design]
In my opinion the other really important announcement was the introduction of the "headless mac" or the Mac mini . The iPod has created want some analysts are calling the "halo" effect, meaning people are more excited about Apple and buying the computers aslo.
When was the last time you bought something because of the packaging?
Have you ever ? Do everyday objects deserve good design ?
Would you buy more toothpaste
if it came in a more attractive container?
Well the folks at Method have done just that. The took a good product and put it in a "fashion" bottle
and people love it. By the way did I mention that is it soap. Should soap have such a nice container
I would argue yes ! Why can't more products take this approach. Was the the mundane have to be mundane. Business 2.0 points out that Method has created an interactive marketing campaign similar to the Burger King subservient chicken. I like this one a lot and it ties in the product unlike the Burger King ad.