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The Value of Design

September 19th, 2011

WHAT?
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.

HOW?
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.

WHERE?
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

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Who Are You Calling an Artist?

August 26th, 2011

We have a bone to pick with those well-meaning name-callers who like to refer to us as the “a-word” – artists. While their verbal path may be paved with good intentions, and there is a certain element of the artistic to design, it needs to be noted that there’s an ocean of difference that distinguishes the roles of artists vs. that of designers.

WHO: Whereas an artist generally produces art for him or herself and then offers the work up for sale in a gallery or to private collectors, a designer is engaged to create a piece that is aimed at a specific pre-determined audience. While it’s a common mistake to believe the designer is working to satisfy the personal preferences of the client themselves, our goal is to appeal to the client’s target demographic, not an individual or group of people in the client’s company.

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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…

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“Corporate” Design Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

August 2nd, 2011

You may hear many creative types express that they feel working on “corporate” projects is boring, limiting and stuffy. However, the more restrictive a project’s guidelines, the greater the challenge to turn out some great work. Let’s face it. Anyone can make sports, cars and video games look cool in print or on the web.

But, the real test of a firm’s creative capabilities is the ability to make more mundane subject matter engaging to the target audience. Presentation plays a crucial role in forming the impression your piece has on a viewer and color, placement, size and texture can all influence them to take a closer look.

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