Tag Archives: Design

Google have been doodling…

googleYes, yes I know it’s the design story de jour, but it’d be awful remiss of me to let the rebrand of one of the most influential companies in my generation’s lives go without commenting.

It’s not that I don’t like the new logo – I mean granted it’s not entirely dripping in inspiration, but I just don’t think it’s Google.

It’s a clunky typeface which I can’t help but feel isn’t kerned very well, and the heavier weight of the new typeface probably contributes more to that impression optically. It’s just too dense. Google of yesterday had an airy lightness to it, an openness which represented a key facet of Google’s corporate identity as a new moon-reach company of the future.

The new logo’s heaviness just lacks that transparent optimistic feather-light transparency. Instead replaced by something; I feel –has all the optimism of  a sullen teenager brooding in the corner frowning so deeply as to give the whole room the impression that the world could quite possibly end if you were to try and engage – and yet that isn’t the worst part!

That e – christ alive, it’s such an utterly clunking catastrophe – it totally misses the mark of being a nod to the previous incarnation; instead it just gives me the  impression that Google might have stalked Dell up a back alley only to rough it up and run away having stolen it’s corporate typeface for shits and giggles.

It’s not just that it’s a bad technically though, nor just that it no longer seems capable of symbolising the corporate culture, No. The hub of the matter, what has really upset the designer in me about this change, is Google’s total blindness to how influential it’s brand is.

Overnight in branding terms Google went from zero to ubiquitous, a brand on par with Coca-Cola, or Ford. A brand recognised by almost every human on the planet… With that level of ubiquity has to come the intelligence to understand the responsibility of being a good steward. You of course can argue that Coca-Cola and Ford have updated their logos – quite a lot in fact as younger companies – but the point was that they weren’t icons when they did that; and since then they’ve recognised the importance of key strands and features of their identities; of course they meddle, but fundamentally what you expect them to be is just what they are.

It’s easy to be glib, but as a man who grew up in the middle of the dot com boom from my perspective – in the context of my life – Google changed the fucking world – it’s brand is an icon of our age, and it just feels like this redesign has entirely failed to grasp the weight of it’s own identity and in doing so they’ve fundamentally failed to act as a steward of a global icon.

A classic look

This is a superb design schema, carried through strong typography and absolutely essential use of simple design elements. You very rarely see design of this standard in my opinion; we should promote this attention to detail in all design courses in the UK – because the tiny details are what makes a superb piece of design stand out from the every-day.

Paul Tebbott Design

Via: Fubiz

This is beautiful

A year, in 90 seconds

One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

A new colour scheme for auntie?

BBC New Colours?In light of last night’s thorough mauling in the Polls maybe it’s time the BBC have a redesign, after all, they seemed extremely keen to do so in 1997!

It looks rather nice, even if I do say so myself.

the next bbc colour change perhaps? (large version)

It certainly has been a hell of a night for the Conservatives so far, they’re clearly communicating a message of positive change to the electorate as the feedback people seem to be giving is they’re not punishing labour, they’ve simply (and finally) had enough of them and see the other parties, and especially Cameron’s team as being where Britain needs to be going

Gadgets

There are loads of video’s about showing the latest cool gadgets, most of which pass me by, but this is really clever… doesn’t look comfortable, but it’s rather cool I think.

Vindicated

Ha Ha! I bet some smug editor at the BBC is crying into their coffee this afternoon as Centre Pointcame bottom of the 5 “ugliest” buildings in London, despite BBC LDN appearing to try and rig the vote by using only Centre Point’s image in the web article and making a point of describing it as pre-cast concrete (something they failed to do for all the others despite at least 3 of them being of the same construction). But it appears that the public have voted with their feet ignoring the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment’s assertions that it’s a bad building because the pavement around it is small and the BBC’s apparent bias against the building.

Centre Point is obviously well loved as it only got 6% of the vote, with the generally loved 30 St.Mary’s Axe getting a higher proportion of the vote, which in my opinion is a good thing: yes some 60’s architecture was rubbish, some was poorly thought out and even more poorly constructed, but Centre Point, and several others (including Goldfinger’s masterpiece Trellick Tower) are having a renascence, and rightly so, as they’re fantastic buildings that are iconic and of their time, testament to the designers who conceived them and the materials they’re made out of.

Irrationally angry

I simply can’t hold it in any more – I’m about to explode… I just don’t know what it is but this tower ad from the Evening Standard makes me irrationally angry, I’m not sure whether it’s the poor quality of production, the crap message or the totally piss poor obviously American stock photography but it irks me greatly, to the point where I want to vomit copiously. Please someone remove it. Now.

I really can’t stand poor stock photography, especially of people – it’s not difficult to take good candid shots of people in the work place, but whenever as a designer you go out and look for it you’re hard pressed to find normal looking people that don’t look like they’re doped out of their heads on something, or have been warned if they don’t put the most ridiculous smile to work with their catalogue pose they’ll have an angry cat shoved up their chuff. Please for the love of god if you’re involved in stock photography, *don’t* make people point stupidly at the screen, *don’t* make them wear a suit that looks like they’re about to go and sing “loadsa money” and for the love of god just pick a normal array of people from the office.

One book we got recently from a London stock photography firm under the title ‘people at work’ gave the impression that the ratio of Chinese to English people in a British office is about 7 to 3… now we all know it’s not like that, so why does the photography try to make that out, and why would any company choose that photography unless they’re aiming specifically at the Chinese market? I mean has it really come to the point where society is so sensitive about representing ethnic minorities that we’re actually prepared to manipulate our advertising to over-represent?

… and just don’t get me started on the copy; you’re only pages away from a new job?! Are you bollocks, what it should say is you’re only a few pages, a pointless covering letter, a dull cv, a load of recruitment “specialists” pouring over every detail of your soul in hope of a commission, and then a series of interviews before either getting a new job or getting that awfully boring letter where they promise to keep your details “on file” – normally in the big file with a lid on that gets emptied every evening by the council… see what I mean, the irrational anger at this ad just keeps coming, believe me I could go on… but right now all I really want to do on this topic is hurl chunks