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The Value of Design

September 19th, 2011

Design is omni-present. It cannot be escaped. Everywhere you look, every object you see, every book you read, every billboard in your line of sight, advertisements in magazines, newspapers and on TV, every article of clothing in your wardrobe, the plates you eat from and even the bed you sleep in – all are the result of a design process.

The design process begins with a core idea – what are we making, what purpose does it serve, to whom is it directed or being sold?  From there, the idea is refined into a solid concept – what is the general look and feel of the object or piece? Will it be a high-end product or a dollar-store item? Next, artistic renderings give the idea visual form – sketches and/or digital images are developed, various visual representations are explored. Once a graphic direction has been chosen, the visual is further refined until a final design is produced. From there, the object or piece is taken through a production process, whether it be printing for business cards or brochures or manufacturing of a cell phone or pair of shoes.

Design encompasses a number of specific disciplines which produce our entire visual environment:

Graphic design – product packaging, advertising, brochures, signage, business cards, banners, etc.

Industrial design – products of all shapes and sizes – cell phones, appliances, furniture, automobiles

Fashion design – clothing, shoes, handbags, hats, accessories

Architecture – houses, structures and buildings

Interior design – selection of the objects that determine the look and feel of the interior of a room or building including: wall materials, paint colors, fixtures, furniture, artwork, draperies and decorative items


Less is More – DUH

August 23rd, 2011

Once in a while, we can all use a good reminder of how simple execution of a great idea can be more effective than all the bells and whistles you can shake a stick at….and, what’s with the stick shaking anyhow?

In this instance, a single word is emblazoned across the middle of an ad, coupled with the organization’s logo and a simple call to action that we immediately “get”, resulting in a head-nodding chuckle. That’s it. No fancy Photoshop tricks, no superhot, scantily-clad models, carefully-selected stock images or overdone design. Just the perfect marriage of relevant observation to effective implementation.

Oh, yeah, and it delivered a palpable result for the client organization, too…

See for yourself: San Francisco Zoo Print Campaign

You’re So Vain – (You Probably Think This Blog is About You)

August 18th, 2011

We’ve seen companies of all shapes and sizes across a wide spectrum of industries. In spite of their differences, all share a common goal – to market in a way that most effectively speaks to the target audience.

Right now, you may be thinking, “Wow, these guys are masters of the obvious!”, but not all is as it seems, Grasshopper, so please bear with us…

Like everyone on our fair planet, clients have their own thoughts, opinions and preferences about any and everything from politics and religion to car brands, vacation spots, and even their ever-so-personal, paragraph-long designer coffee order. We, too, are guilty of producing more than our fair share of strong opinions. Fortunately, like lawyers and professional critics, we chose a career that pays us for unleashing them on unsuspecting passersby…


Re-Design to Re-Define

August 11th, 2011

In a market where companies are always in search of ways to outsmart the competition, giving your collateral and identity an overhaul is a great way to reinvent yourself.  Not merely an aesthetic process, the decision to re-design anything from a single piece to an entire identity offers a laundry list of benefits, not the least of which is to help a company refocus both its internal and external vision and how it is represented in the market.

But, with a busier-than-ever pace in the business world, why would an enterprise choose to undertake such a process in the first place?   What real purpose does re-designing a company’s identity, web site or collateral serve?  While the answer to that question can be a very personal one for each company, there are some that are more obvious, one of the most common being the addition of a new product or service that prompts design of a new sales or promotional piece.


What a Brand IS – And IS NOT

August 4th, 2011

With terms like branding, brand identity, corporate identity and a host of other terms related to corporate brand building finding their way into the jargon of nearly every businessperson on the planet, there’s bound to be some confusion about what it all means.

Many people equate a “brand” with its logo, which is a common misconception. A logo is not the brand in and of itself, but a graphic representation of what the brand stands for – a sort of visual shorthand for a complex message.

In short, a brand is the emotional connection you have with a company or its products. It’s the expectation that you have of high quality, a good price or exceptional customer service when you see a company’s name or logo, watch their advertisements or read their promotional materials. A clear example of this connection with a brand is automaker Mercedes-Benz. When you see one of their vehicles, watch one of their ads or enter their showroom, you immediately connect their name and products with quality engineering and luxury. THAT is the definition of branding.


BOOST Designs New Logo for

April 30th, 2011

Logo design and corporate identity / branding projects have always been some of our favorite types of work to take on. There’s something about distilling a concept down to its bare essence and being able to represent that visually that is exciting and challenging.

We were approached by a new financial education blog,, to design a logo to represent their site. The site is intended to help the average person gain knowledge about money and financial matters so they can make better choices and build a solid financial future. financial education blog logo design - Vancouver, BC

Our approach to the logo was to use a visual concept that was familiar in a mainstream way, while at the same time being approachable and fun. In other words, we wanted to avoid stuffy at all costs.

The final logo depicts a piggy bank-style icon with the site name set in all lowercase type. The result is a fun, memorable logo that gets the concept across quickly and effectively.

BOOST Project Chosen by Design Edge Canada for Re-Logo

November 10th, 2008

Though we’re a little late in posting about it (busy busy!), we’re pretty excited to note that we were contacted a couple of months ago by Design Edge Canada’s editor, Ann Meredith Brown. She was looking for a project to feature in the Re-Logo section of the magazine and asked if we had a good before/after identity project we could share with the magazine’s readers. No problem there – we often work on projects where we’re charged to re-design the logo of an existing business as the company grows and evolves.

Westcoast Actuaries Logo Re-Design

After considering a number of relevant projects, we chose to submit our re-design of the Westcoast Actuaries logo because we felt it was a strong example of how dramatically a re-designed identity can impact the perception of a company.


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