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Patagonia's new company mission is to save the planet
"In an exclusive interview, founder Yvon Chouinard talks about how the new mission will reshape how the company does business."



"For the past 45 years, Patagonia has been a business at the cutting edge of environmental activism, sustainable supply chains, and advocacy for public lands and the outdoors. Its mission has long been “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

In just the last few years alone, the company has expanded its used clothing program, amped up its investment in sustainable startups, launched an activist hub to connect its customer base directly with grassroots environmental organizations, and taken the Trump administration to court over its public lands policy. And just last month, CEO Rose Marcario announced it was giving back $10 million in tax cuts to grassroots environmental organizations.

But for Yvon Chouinard, that’s not enough. So this week, the 80-year-old company founder and Marcario informed employees that the company’s mission statement has changed to something more direct, urgent, and crystal clear: “Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.”

In an exclusive interview with Fast Company, Chouinard says the shift in mission may sound trivial–obviously those ubiquitous fleeces aren’t going anywhere–but it’s actually fundamental to almost every aspect of the company. The key is in its expression of urgency, to signal to everyone inside the company and out, that this isn’t just about climate change, it’s a climate crisis.

“We’re losing the planet because of climate change, that’s the elephant in the room. Society is basically working on symptoms. Save the polar bear? If you want to save the polar bear, you got to save the planet,” Chouinard says. “Forget about the polar bear, they’re toast anyway. So I decided to make a very simple statement, because in reality, if we want to save the planet, every single company in the world has to do the same thing. And I thought, well, let’s be the first.”
While months in the works, Patagonia’s announcement comes as major scientific reports have detailed the consequences of unchecked climate change. The Fourth National Climate Assessment by the White House released just a few weeks ago outlined the potential societal and economic impact, which includes annual losses in some economic sectors projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century.

Chouinard is blunt in his own assessment of the level of urgency. “This is Pearl Harbor. The whole country, and whole world, has to mobilize to do this,” he says. “It’s triage. I remember when I was a kid during World War II, we didn’t have any meat to eat. There was no beef, there was no sugar, people had to grow their own gardens. The whole country mobilized. That’s what has to happen now. So I didn’t think we were taking climate change seriously enough. We were supporting too many causes that were working on symptoms and not actual causes and solutions.”

The new mission statement impacts every single job in the company. About six months ago, Chouinard gave the HR department some new marching orders. “Whenever we have a job opening, all things being equal, hire the person who’s committed to saving the planet no matter what the job is,” he says. “And that’s made a huge difference in the people coming into the company.”

It’s also influencing who Patagonia works with as brand ambassadors–being a great surfer is cool, for example, but they also have to be committed to being strong and vocal environmental advocates–and the grassroots activist organizations it funds. “We give out about 900 grants a year to different activist organizations,” says Chouinard. “We’ve given money to an organization that repairs people’s bicycles. Well, they’re not going to get any money any more.”

To figure out the best way the company could have the most effective impact, Chouinard and Marcario had to ask themselves questions like, what are Patagonia’s resources? Where does the company have influence? And what should it be putting money into? They came up with three key answers: agriculture, politics, and protected lands.

Regenerative agriculture has long been a company priority, both in its R&D for clothing and apparel materials and its line of food products, Patagonia Provisions. Before it was a nice-to-have, now it’s a need-to-have. “We’re not going to get rid of our cars; we can’t even get carbon taxes going,” says Chouinard. “But with regenerative agriculture, there’s been studies that have shown that if we did our agriculture the right way, we could capture more carbon than we’re emitting. Period.”
Right now the company is working with about 100 small farmers who grow cotton regeneratively in India, which is being expanded to 450 next year. They control the pests with traps, they weed and gather the cotton by hand. “That’s what you have to do, replace all the chemicals with knowledge and labor,” says Chouinard.

And they can also sell the cover crops planted to help protect the cotton, “So they get another 10% from us for growing regeneratively, they can sell their cover crops, and they’re happy,” Chouinard says. “We’re going to be making regeneratively grown cotton stand-up shorts, not only employing people, but from a crop that actually captures carbon. That’s a win-win for everybody.”

In politics, ahead of the 2018 midterm election, Patagonia became one of the first consumer brands ever to make the endorsement of specific candidates part of its brand marketing. It posted endorsements of Nevada Democratic candidate Jacky Rosen in Nevada and incumbent Montana Senator Jon Tester on its website, across its social channels, and in customer emails. Chouinard says to expect the company to speak up more loudly and often.

“Jon Tester barely won in Montana. I’ve had people in Montana tell me he probably wouldn’t have done it if we hadn’t helped,” he says. “That makes me feel pretty good! We have this political power, a few million customers who are really behind what we’re doing. So why not use it to do some good?”

For protected lands, it goes beyond advocating and fighting for public lands, as the company has been doing for Bears Ears in Utah. Smaller, more strategic investments of money and time have the potential for significant impact. Last May, Chouinard talked to Kristine Tompkins, president of Tompkins Conservation, about an idea for creating a new park at the very tip of South America. “I’ve been there and it’s a wild, wild place,” Chouinard says. “There’s no roads, no trails, just a lot of swampland that captures a tremendous amount of carbon. So I thought it’d be a perfect place for a protected parkland.”

Patagonia gave Tompkins Conservation $185,000 to get on it. And they are, working with the governments of Chile and Argentina on the establishment of new protected lands. “It’s not like we had to buy up a ton of land and force our way in. It’s strategic investment that has really paid off,” says Chouinard. “This whole thing could be done by Christmas. Can you believe it?”"
patagonia  branding  business  climatechange  sustainability  yvonchouinard  2018  earth  anthropocene  globalwarming  extinction 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Tricia Wang en Instagram: “I felt like was in the yoga version of @getoutmovie after a week @kripalucenter surrounded by lumpy potatoes in search of nirvana. The…”
"I felt like was in the yoga version of @getoutmovie after a week @kripalucenter surrounded by lumpy potatoes in search of nirvana. The themes & branding were all about equality, kindness, & peace but it didn’t feel like that to me when i looked around. There was a clear labor divide. The cleaner on my floor said I was the first person in her 5 years of working there who had a conversation with her. I had to fight hard to keep my resting bitch face game at 💯 to protect myself from invasive lumpy potatoes asking me where I was from. It’s my hope that as the community for POC healers grow, we will see more inclusive & representative spaces that move beyond just placing a token POC in their catalog or token instructor. Aim at least for 50/50 representation in all aspects."
triciawang  2018  organizations  branding  inclusivity  inclusion  hypocrisy  kindness  peace  equality  labor  attention  posturing  representation  inclusivitywashing 
september 2018 by robertogreco
After Authenticity
"Meanwhile, years of semantic slippage had happened without me noticing. Suddenly the surging interest in fashion, the dad hats, the stupid pin companies, the lack of sellouts, it all made sense. Authenticity has expanded to the point that people don’t even believe in it anymore. And why should we? Our friends work at SSENSE, they work at Need Supply. They are starting dystopian lifestyle brands. Should we judge them for just getting by? A Generation-Z-focused trend report I read last year clumsily posed that “the concept of authenticity is increasingly deemed inauthentic.” It goes further than that. What we are witnessing is the disappearance of authenticity as a cultural need altogether.

Under authenticity, the value of a thing decreases as the number of people to whom it is meaningful increases. This is clearly no longer the case. Take memes for example. “Meme” circa 2005 meant lolcats, the Y U NO guy and grimy neckbeards on 4chan. Within 10 years “meme” transitioned from this one specific subculture to a generic medium in which collective participation is seen as amplifying rather than detracting from value.

In a strange turn of events, the mass media technologies built out during the heady authenticity days have had a huge part in facilitating this new mass media culture. The hashtag, like, upvote, and retweet are UX patterns that systematize endorsement and quantify shared value. The meme stock market jokers are more right than they know; memes are information commodities. But unlike indie music 10 years ago the value of a meme is based on its publicly shared recognition. From mix CDs to nationwide Spotify playlists. With information effortlessly transferable at zero marginal cost and social platforms that blast content to the top of everyone’s feed, it’s difficult to for an ethics based on scarcity to sustain itself.

K-HOLE and Box1824 captured the new landscape in their breakthrough 2014 report “Youth Mode.” They described an era of “mass indie” where the search for meaning is premised on differentiation and uniqueness, and proposed a solution in “Normcore.” Humorously, nearly everyone mistook Normcore for being about bland fashion choices rather than the greater cultural shift toward accepting shared meanings. It turns out that the aesthetics of authenticity-less culture are less about acting basic and more about playing up the genericness of the commodity as an aesthetic category. LOT2046’s delightfully industrial-supply-chain-default aesthetics are the most beautiful and powerful rendering of this. But almost everyone is capitalizing on the same basic trend, from Vetements and Virgil Abloh (enormous logos placed for visibility in Instagram photos are now the norm in fashion) to the horribly corporate Brandless. Even the names of boring basics companies like “Common Threads” and “Universal Standard” reflect the the popularity of genericness, writes Alanna Okunn at Racked. Put it this way: Supreme bricks can only sell in an era where it’s totally fine to like commodities.

Crucially, this doesn’t mean that people don’t continue to seek individuation. As I’ve argued elsewhere exclusivity is fundamental to any meaning-amplifying strategy. Nor is this to delegitimize some of the recognizable advancements popularized alongside the first wave of mass authenticity aesthetics. Farmer’s markets, the permaculture movement, and the trend of supporting local businesses are valuable cultural innovations and are here to stay.

Nevertheless, now that authenticity is obsolete it’s become difficult to remember why we were suspicious of brands and commodities to begin with. Maintaining criticality is a fundamental challenge in this new era of trust. Unfortunately, much of what we know about being critical is based on authenticity ethics. Carles blamed the Contemporary Conformist phenomenon on a culture industry hard-set on mining “youth culture dollars.” This very common yet extraordinarily reductive argument, which makes out commodity capitalism to be an all-powerful, intrinsically evil force, is typical of authenticity believers. It assumes a one-way influence of a brand’s actions on consumers, as do the field of semiotics and the hopeless, authenticity-craving philosophies of Baudrillard and Debord.

Yet now, as Dena Yago says, “you can like both Dimes and Doritos, sincerely and without irony.” If we no longer see brands and commodity capitalism as something to be resisted, we need more nuanced forms of critique that address how brands participate in society as creators and collaborators with real agency. Interest in working with brands, creating brands, and being brands is at an all-time high. Brands and commodities therefore need to be considered and critiqued on the basis of the specific cultural and economic contributions they make to society. People co-create their identities with brands just as they do with religions, communities, and other other systems of meaning. This constructivist view is incompatible with popular forms of postmodern critique but it also opens up new critical opportunities. We live in a time where brands are expected to not just reflect our values but act on them. Trust in business can no longer be based on visual signals of authenticity, only on proof of work."
tobyshorin  2018  authenticity  culture  anthropology  hispters  sellouts  sellingout  commercialism  kanyewest  yeezy  yeezysupply  consumerism  commercialization  commodification  personalbranding  branding  capitalism  shepardfairey  obeygiant  tourism  sarahperry  identity  critique  ethics  mainstream  rjaymagill  popculture  aesthetics  commentary  conformism  scale  scalability  venkateshrao  premiummediocre  brooklyn  airbnb  wework  local  handmade  artisinal  economics  toms  redwings  davidmuggleton  josephpine  jamesgilmore  exclusivity  denayago  systems  sytemsofmeaning  meaning  commodities  k-hole 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Where’s Your School On This Spectrum? Where Do You Want It To Be? | Josie Holford: Rattlebag and Rhubarb
If you’re thinking about branding and how to market your school (and who isn’t these days?) then it’s good to have a strong agreed upon sense of who you are, how you show who you are and what people actually think.

Easy of course to make fun of both ends. One is hopelessly outdated, fuddy-duddy and not meeting the needs of children. And the other end is forever chasing the latest new and shiny thing and not meeting the needs of children.

[image: ""Where is your school?" [spectrum]

1 = traditional, the best of what has been and is now, classical, teacher-centered, standards driven.

10 = experiential, discovery model, learning focussed, innovative, ever-changing, high tech /high touch."]

And in terms of program, the 1 schools probably devote time to cursive writing, teach Latin, emphasize grammar and talk a great deal about grade inflation and enforcing the dress code. And 10 schools spend their time fighting off accusations of permissiveness and failure to teach basic skills while putting in the state-of-the-art design thinking studio. And both are implementing mindfulness because students in 1 schools need a break from the testing, grading and exam stress and in 10 schools because it’s trendy and goes with the gluten-free organic options at lunch. And so on. So complete the descriptors your way.

Where are you?

So try this quick test with your board, your admin team and the faculty. You can also try it with your parents and students when you’re ready to start engaging in the conversation around change.

So try it with your group. Is there a general agreement on where your school is on the continuum?

Where do you want to be?

Now ask this: Where do you want to be? And get everyone to jot down the number before the sharing. Now where are you?

If the two numbers are close then the work is to uncover what that actually means at your school and work on doing it even better. Then getting the word out on the why, the how and the what for.

If there’s a big gap – or if your numbers are all over the place – then you need to do work around your identity. And there’s a clear need educate folks as to who you are what you do, and why.

And what if the numbers from the board are way out of sync with the faculty and admin, let alone the families and the neighborhood reputation?

What if in the course of this exercise it becomes clear that your school is nowhere really? And that in trying to please everyone you have become the all-things-to-all-people-school? Most marketing and communication experts would probably tell you that’s a recipe for disaster.

Watch this space for what you can do about that."
sfsh  schools  identity  education  josieholford  2017  progressive  experientialeducation  purpose  clarity  branding  reputation  mindfulness  permissiveness  teaching  learning  experientiallearning 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Atlas Of Potential Nations - Emblemmmmatic
"Atlas of Potential Nations Mission Statement

With “Atlas of potential nations”, we aim to understand the mechanics behind the branding of nations. The group of nations’ symbols — name, heraldry, flag, map etc. — is quintessential to a nation’s branding and its sparked nationalism. Ironically though, each nation uses similar elements within their symbols to stand apart from others. All flags use — among other things — primary colors, abstract forms and iconic shapes. These are specific visual elements to make a flag ‘look like a flag.’ Similar to letters being a system to construct words, these visual elements build a system to construct flags. Emblemmatic uses statistical methods (markov chains) to understand and use these systems. We aim to computationally construct new not-yet-existent symbols to represent an endless stream of new potential nations. What defines a “Nation” as a branded and nationalistic entity when a new nation-brand is so easily made?

What defines a nation state?
Its symbols of power?
Its flags?

Flags use abstract colors and shapes
Shapes and colors are seemingly interchangable
Shapes can be deconstructed…
… and reconstructed into new flags.

Emblemmatic creates software to computationally design new national flags"
flags  fiction  bots  random  nations  branding  markovchains 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Joe Cool – The New Inquiry
"Unlike with other American big-box grocery stores (and Trader Joe’s parent company, the German supermarket chain Aldi), where store brands tend to connote “no frills” cheapness and inferiority, Trader Joe’s generic goods have succeeded in conveying quality, familiarity, and originality all through the brand itself. Rather than ask the consumer to choose among different brands, the Trader Joe’s consumer just has to pick which products they like most. This strategy appears to work. In a recent survey, TJ’s customers were the most satisfied of any grocery stores, despite the crowds of harried customers, crowded parking lots, and long checkout lines one often encounters there.

But the lines and packed lots themselves can be reassuring, that you have come to the right place, that you are adapting to what “everyone else” is doing. It seems like the only option, just like its limited product choices. Trader Joe’s overall in-store aesthetic tries to consolidate these genteel inconveniences into a nostalgic evocation of old-time neighborhood mom ‘n pop stores: the mini-coffee bar with its free samples, the pseudo-cultured feel provided by the “ethnic” and very not-PC types of not-white Joe’s on store-brand packaging, like Trader Giotto (Italian foods) and Trader Ming (Chinese food) and Trader Jose’s (Mexican-ish) — note there is no African-American Joe. Everything at TJ’s is suggestive of a time when life was supposedly simpler, more traditional (e.g. homogeneous) — long before the big-box superstore, parking lots the size of football fields, and the proliferation of brands in the aisles and on social media.

As part of this strategy, the company is reticent about advertising: It restricts its marketing mainly to its almanac-like “Fearless Flyer” circular that conjures quaint images of old letterpresses and coupon-clipping grandmas. No social media, no email marketing, few radio ads, no television or newspaper ads. Part of Trader Joe’s appeal is that customers always already seem to know they are supposed to shop there, that they belong.

This runs counter to current brand-management strategy. Whereas other brands are joining platforms like WhatsApp or sliding into consumers’ DMs to try to maximize engagement, Trader Joe’s privileges the IRL, restricting its brand to in-store experiences and refusing to participate in social media.



Though Trader Joe’s lack of social-media presence can be disconcerting to some of the store’s most fervent fans, it retains its particular appeal by playing hard to get. Social-media messaging would only muddle the company’s effort to sell its massively popular corporate brand as a neighborhood secret.

From the start, in 1967, “Trader Joe” Coulombe devised his “low-priced gourmet-cum-health-food store” with an “unemployed PhD student” in mind as the ideal customer. As he explained in 1985 to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, he foresaw that this would be a “growing category.” Coulombe anticipated that these savvy, well-educated types would be alienated by mainstream advertising techniques, particularly ones that targeted an ignorance or lack in the consumer with products that were supposed to somehow fix it. Trader Joe’s customers would be presumed to already fully know who they are and what they want — imported cheeses, organic foods, relatively healthy prepared meals, international delicacies, microbrews, California wines — they only lacked means. Selling two-buck chuck to the broke graduate student became emblematic of Trader Joe’s philosophy: good-enough wine at a bargain price for those wise enough to be in the know. If Trader Joe’s started advertising, seeming to put everyone in the know, the wine might not seem so drinkable all of a sudden.

Trader Joe’s rejection of social media extends this approach. If Trader Joe’s were to join social media and chat with consumers, would that not just create the feeling of a fake, forced relationship? The right sort of customer craving the right sort of authenticity doesn’t need to vicariously latch on to brands on social media to feel complete. They aren’t slaves to Facebook or Twitter either. They have a “real” relationship with Trader Joe’s, grounded in going to the store, being there, being present. Trader Joe’s will not tweet at you. The only way to be recognized by Trader Joe’s is to have the cheery cashiers remember your name, to riff on Seinfeld-isms with some bearded guy serving samples of kung pao chicken with a side of brown rice. At Trader Joe’s, it’s IRL or nothing.

This standoffishness from social media purports to be a matter of Trader Joe’s refusing to make clumsy efforts at branding itself, but it is really a masterstroke of brand consistency. We buy the brand, we eat the brand, we return for more — but we never truly know the brand as a personality. But this absence is the brand’s essence. It is the aloof, invulnerable person that doesn’t want to “connect,” a celebrity who doesn’t need Twitter. Its Instagram is private, for friends-only.

It would seem like this strategy could backfire with millennials, who are less likely to privilege IRL over online, if they even bother to distinguish them. But Joe doesn’t need to be your “friend” online. He doesn’t want a Tinderized relationship. Trader Joe’s is counting on capturing successive generations of its target consumers by being the choice for no-choices, the place where generic brands can feel exclusive. You’ll know without having to be told. You’ll buy without ever wondering if you’ve made the wrong choice."
aliciaeler  branding  business  marketing  traderjoes  supermarkets  socialmedia  aldi  aesthetics  1967  2016 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Popular versus Brilliant | Designers + Geeks
"Jim Bull is worried about the future of design and thinks you should be too. Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Moving Brands, Jim dissects an industry where design is judged by the number of its likes and shares, where the focus is on efficiency rather than brilliance, and where one or two companies set the design standard for the globe."

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/155640569 ]

[Tagged “web rococo” because this is the opposite.]

[Not sure why there is no mention of Tibor Kalman and Oliviero Toscani in the Benetton discussion. And there seems to be some tunnel vision here. Sure, the big SV VC backed companies are all looking the same, but they're not the only ones making things on the web. You know, there are many other countries and languages to look to for something other than California Design. Uh, maybe that's more the issue: SV only sees itself and it's not diverse.]

[via: https://twitter.com/soopa/status/700559147247357952 ]
jimbbull  californiadesign  siliconvalley  2016  branding  reverence  generic  popularity  brilliance  apple  uber  medium  california  graphicdesign  webdesign  movingbrands  productdesign  sameness  webrococo  benetton  olivierotoscani  tiborkalman  design  business  california-zation  homogenization  designeducation  art  differentiation  ui  ux  screens  magicleap  ar  augmentedreality  virtualreality  packaging  vr  webdev 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Things You Can’t Talk About in a Coca-Cola Ad - The Atlantic
"User-generated content has always been terrorist media. Given a little freedom even the simplest of tools becomes weaponized subversion. In 2006, an interview with a virtual real-estate magnate inside Second Life was interrupted by dozens of flying penises enterprising users had fashioned in-world. In 2012, a McDonald’s hashtag campaign inviting customers to tell their “#McDStories” got repurposed for critiques of the company’s food quality and healthfulness. A similar thing happened to the New York Police Department in 2014, when their #myNYPD hashtag was quickly overtaken by images of apparent police violence."



"But the Internet is no place for talk of “intended purpose,” either. The Internet is a giant cat that chews up intended purpose and makes videos of itself hacking them up again. The output of GIF the Feeling not only risks correlating the Coke brand and messaging with undesirable associations, it almost demands such an outcome. Attempting to subvert the gizmo (sorry, Coke!) is among its most appealing uses. And even if the Profanity API successfully clobbers some irreverent efforts, savvy users will always find workarounds. They can take a screenshot of the supposed failure and use that as their social-media content. Or use typographical work-arounds like Joseph’s."



"The coolest brands are the ones who accept and embrace the inability to control messages online—even as they make every effort to exert that control—in order to hunt the Internet wilderness for secret converts."
advertising  branding  marketing  campaign  coca-cola  ianbogost  web  internet  online  user-generated  content  media  2016  language  control 
january 2016 by robertogreco
EdCamp Monsanto
"Earlier today, I found out Monsanto - yes, that Monsanto - is sponsoring EdCamp St. Louis. This makes perfect sense for Monsanto, and is part of Monsanto's corporate strategy, but it raises some questions about whether it makes sense for EdCamp.

What does it mean for an organization like EdCamp - that explicitly references a distributed model with respect for local control - when local camps agree to take money from an organization that has made billions destroying local agricuture?

What does it mean for an organization like EdCamp - which is the most visible face of the locally run events - to have local chapters preparing co-branded materials with companies that are, at best, ethically challenged? While this specific instance is about Monsanto, I imagine an EdCamp sponsored by Altria, with the EdCamp logo smoking a cigarette. Or maybe EdCamp Boulder can get sponsorship from a dispensary?

Can an organization like EdCamp claim to be about global connections when local EdCamps can create co-branded sponsor relationships that completely ignore the global connections and misdeeds of sponsors?

Given that EdCamps grew to prominence via small, non-corporate, locally run events, can they retain their authenticity if they are increasingly sponsored and co-branded by large multinational companies? What does it mean for the future of EdCamps if the rhetoric of their events drifts from the sponsorship of their events?

The EdCamp foundation can help by providing publicly accessible sponsorship guidelines. The following two changes would help dispel some of the confusion.

• Clarify that sponsorships should favor local small businesses (potentially defined by numbers of employees, for example, 50 or under) first. If EdCamps are about elevating local voices, that should extend to sponsorships as well. The camps can have a process for handling exceptions that documents if and why an exception to these sponsorships get made.

• Define what sponsors get. Do they get access to attendee contact info? Do they get to display a logo at the event? If they are buying lunch, do they get the chance to pitch and hand out swag during lunch? Right now, these guidelines appear to be nonexistent, which leaves local sponsors exposed to, at the least, cranks on twitter sounding off.

Now that EdCamp has a foundation and some funding, they should fill in this infrastructure. They will be facing some obvious tensions as they attempt to grow EdCamp in a way that doesn't sell out or destroy the locally developed feel that made EdCamps work in the first place."

[via: http://hackeducation.com/2015/12/23/trends-business/ ]
billfitzgerald  edcamp  sponsorship  ethics  2014  money  influence  partnerships  funding  bedfellows  branding 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Brand relevance and revenue in the age of Snapchat » Nieman Journalism Lab
“Surviving and thriving in a distributed platform world in 2016 will be important, but simply view it as an opportunity to extend and grow your brand and your revenue. By viewing it this way, your website won’t necessarily die — it will simply have more platforms leading back to it with readers who really, truly want to be there.”



"In 2015, we saw the rise of publishers’ content being consumed on platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, Apple News, Apple TV…and the list goes on. We also saw many publishers reach a confident stride on these platforms, building teams charged with churning out original content in new, native formats, such as vertical video for Snapchat Discover or tiltable images for Facebook Instant Articles.

In 2016, this trend of content creation for distributed platforms will continue, even on platforms that haven’t even launched yet (including ugh, yeah, virtual reality platforms 😓), as well as extending into platforms that have existed for years (TV, podcasts, email).

But while publishers will continue to gain confidence in content-generation in this new distributed platform world, in 2016 they’ll have to face the big gaping hole of revenue generation on these platforms — which until now has been an afterthought.

While advertising on-platform remains a steady chunk of publishers’ revenue, the increase of readers consuming content not on publishers’ websites will necessitate some serious brainstorming on how to make money on those other platforms. When advertising revenue is based on pageviews, clicks, and engagement metrics, as it currently is, how will advertising formats and metrics evolve on these platforms?

These are real challenges we’ll have to face, but there does exist a silver lining: These platforms are wonderful opportunities to invent exciting, new advertising formats and revenue streams in partnership with platforms, as well as extend and grow our brands and audiences.

New advertising formats won’t come from platforms but from publishers

Advertising and revenue has largely been an afterthought on these platforms. Platforms like Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP are focused on delivering better page performance, molding content into their respective native formats, and of course, generating more revenue for themselves by getting eyeballs onto their platform and keeping them there.

With this in mind, pushing the platforms to innovate their revenue products is important. Some platforms like Facebook Instant Articles are indeed bowing to publishers’ feedback and slowly making their formats more flexible. But is this enough, and should we really rely on these platforms, which have differing incentives, to push boundaries in advertising?

I predict that many publishers will begin to recognize the need to innovate and push new advertising formats from within, rather than relying on other platforms to do it for them. They will begin to push advertising both on their websites as well as other platforms. If the adblocking hullabaloo earlier this year signaled anything, it was that the ad tech industry is slow to change and has some serious problems on the brink of a tidal wave of change. Readers are tired of poorly performing ads, and publishers are too. Do you have an internal revenue products team thinking about these problems? Are they working closely with your editorial, product, and sales teams? I think in 2016 we will begin to see publishers playing catchup in the ad-tech space by taking matters into their own hands. (Disclaimer: I work on the revenue team at Vox Media.)

Brands will have trouble staying identifiable and relevant in the world of distributed platforms

There’s another side of this coin, though. It’s not all doom and gloom — although platforms tend to treat advertising as an afterthought, they do offer an incredibly exciting opportunity to build your brand and grow your audience. But that means your brand must remain relevant and identifiable across all platforms and formats. If you build a strong brand, readers and users on other platforms will want to engage with you and your content, no matter what the context, platform, or format.

What does having a strong and relevant brand even mean? In my mind, a “strong brand” is one that is immediately recognizable and identifiable. This comes through in design elements such as colors, typography, motion, and more. This can also come through in the nature of your content — are you known for explainers? Investigative content? Stunning photography? One trend I’ve noticed, particularly on Snapchat, is that many publishers are afraid to embrace their brand and are instead, allowing the platform to dictate it. Just because everyone else is posting gifs of cats shooting lasers out of their eyes, doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand.

“Brand relevance” on the other hand, is a term coined by marketer David Aaker and is defined by a brand that has “carved out a new category for itself for which other competitors are irrelevant.” For instance, if you’re the only publisher focused on a niche audience, like millennial moms, you have strong brand relevance.

[Snapchat screenshots]

This is a winning combination; a distinguishable brand across multiple platforms that speaks directly to a desirable, niche audience will create meaningful exposure to new audiences as well as a pathway for more engaged and loyal readers. And this engagement and loyalty ultimately translates into dollars should you choose to explore other revenue streams such as, say, an events business, a television show, or yes, even a paywall for exclusive insider content.

Surviving and thriving in a distributed platform world in 2016 will be important, but simply view it as an opportunity to extend and grow your brand and your revenue. By viewing it this way, your website won’t necessarily die — it will simply have more platforms leading back to it with readers who really, truly want to be there. And that kind of loyalty is worth a whole lot of money."
2015  journalism  alisharamos  snapchat  pltforms  socialmedia  facebook  snapchatdiscover  applenews  periscope  faceookinstantarticles  brands  branding  advertising  distributed  fragmentation  publishing  googleamp 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Amelia Greenhall: Start your own b(r)and: Everything I know about starting collaborative, feminist publications
[via: "Is there something like a website framework for starting an organization? Like boilerplate/best practices on decision-making, structure,"
https://twitter.com/CaseyG/status/598262858661699584

"This guide by @ameliagreenhall feels like the closest thing to what I'm imagining…but not as generic as a "framework" http://ameliagreenhall.com/posts/start-your-own-b-r-and-everything-i-know-about-starting-collaborative-feminist-publications "
https://twitter.com/CaseyG/status/598263698147377152

"I have a hard time believing there isn't already a whole universe out there of "forkable" sets of principles, how-tos, bylaws, workflows?"
https://twitter.com/CaseyG/status/598264178994974720 ]
via:caseygollan  advice  branding  publishing  startups  publications  howto  organization  bestpractices  frameworks  principles  workflows  organizations  2015  tutorials 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Insights: K-HOLE, New York — Insights: K-HOLE, New York — Channel — Walker Art Center
"K-HOLE exists in multiple states at once: it is both a publication and a collective; it is both an artistic practice and a consulting firm; it is both critical and unapologetically earnest. Its five members come from backgrounds as varied as brand strategy, fine art, web development, and fashion, and together they have released a series of fascinating PDF publications modeled upon corporate trend forecasting reports. These documents appropriate the visuals of PowerPoint, stock photography, and advertising and exploit the inherent poetry in the purposefully vague aphorisms of corporate brand-speak. Ultimately, K-HOLE aspires to utilize the language of trend forecasting to discuss sociopolitical topics in depth, exploring the capitalist landscape of advertising and marketing in a critical but un-ironic way.

In the process, the group frequently coins new terms to articulate their ideas, such as “Youth Mode”: a term used to describe the prevalent attitude of youth culture that has been emancipated from any particular generation; the “Brand Anxiety Matrix”: a tool designed to help readers understand their conflicted relationships with the numerous brands that clutter their mental space on a daily basis; and “Normcore”: a term originally used to describe the desire not to differentiate oneself, which has since been mispopularized (by New York magazine) to describe the more specific act of dressing neutrally to avoid standing out. (In 2014, “Normcore” was named a runner-up by Oxford University Press for “Neologism of the Year.”)

Since publishing K-HOLE, the collective has taken on a number of unique projects that reflect the manifold nature of their practice, from a consulting gig with a private equity firm to a collaboration with a fashion label resulting in their own line of deodorant. K-HOLE has been covered by a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, Fast Company, Wired UK, and Mousse.

Part of Insights 2015 Design Lecture Series."

[direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GkMPN5f5cQ ]
k-hole  consumption  online  internet  communication  burnout  normcore  legibility  illegibility  simplicity  technology  mobile  phones  smartphones  trends  fashion  art  design  branding  brands  socialmedia  groupchat  texting  oversharing  absence  checkingout  aesthetics  lifestyle  airplanemode  privilege  specialness  generations  marketing  trendspotting  coping  messaging  control  socialcapital  gregfong  denayago  personalbranding  visibility  invisibility  identity  punk  prolasticity  patagonia  patience  anxietymatrix  chaos  order  anxiety  normality  abnormality  youth  millennials  individuality  box1824  hansulrichobrist  alternative  indie  culture  opposition  massindie  williamsburg  simoncastets  digitalnatives  capitalism  mainstream  semiotics  subcultures  isolation  2015  walkerartcenter  maxingout  establishment  difference  89plus  basicness  evasion  blandness  actingbasic  empathy  indifference  eccentricity  blankness  tolerance  rebellion  signalling  status  coolness  aspiration  connections  relationships  presentationofself  understanding  territorialism  sociology  ne 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Aaron Draplin Takes On a Logo Design Challenge on Vimeo
"Most logos aren't designed in fifteen minutes, but most designers aren't Aaron Draplin. Aaron's a Portland fixture by way of the Midwest, the owner of Draplin Design Co., and an advocate of "blue collar" design: design that works. Here he takes our logo design challenge, creating a dozen iterations of a logo for a fictional construction company. Not inspired? Just wait. Watch as he sketches, brings his ideas into Illustrator, and tests and tunes the different iterations. The logos Aaron creates prove design can elevate any company or brand. Along the way, he provides tips for freelancing, finding inspiration, and providing clients context for logos that won't just live in PDFs."
aarondraplin  logos  design  branding  process  graphicdesign  graphics  2014 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Branding the World’s Newest Country by Anne Quito (Works That Work magazine)
"South Sudan’s Independence Day was set for only six months after the referendum that established the new country’s independence from Sudan. In that short time state symbols had to be proposed, refined, adopted and promulgated to a country still torn by internal conflict."
africa  branding  nationalism  southsudan  sudan  annequito  2014  worksthatwork 
december 2014 by robertogreco
something is rotten in the state of...Twitter | the theoryblog
"Some of this is overt hostile takeover – a trifecta of monetization and algorithmic thinking and status quo interests like big brands and big institutions and big privilege pecking away at participatory practices since at least 2008.

<i>…Oh, you formed a little unicorn world where you can communicate at scale outside the broadcast media model? Let us sponsor that for you, sisters and brothers. Let us draw you from your domains of your own to mass platforms where networking will, for awhile, come fully into flower while all the while Venture Capital logics tweak and incentivize and boil you slowly in the bosom of your networked connections until you wake up and realize that the way you talk to half the people you talk to doesn’t encourage talking so much as broadcasting anymore.</i> Yeh. Oh hey, *that* went well.

And in academia, with Twitter finally on the radar of major institutions, and universities issuing social media policies and playing damage control over faculty tweets with the Salaita firing and even more recent, deeply disturbing rumours of institutional interventions in employee’s lives, this takeover threatens to choke a messy but powerful set of scholarly practices and approaches it never really got around to understanding. The threat of being summarily acted upon by the academy as a consequence of tweets – always present, frankly, particularly for untenured and more vulnerable members of the academic community – now hangs visibly over all heads…even while the medium is still scorned as scholarship by many.

[image of @bonstewart tweet: “academia, this whole “Twitter counts enough to get you fired but not hired” mindset is why we can’t have nice things.”]

You’re Doing It Wrong

But there’s more. The sense of participatory collective – always fraught – has waned as more and more subcultures are crammed and collapsed into a common, traceable, searchable medium. We hang over each other’s heads, more and more heavily, self-appointed swords of Damocles waiting with baited breath to strike. Participation is built on a set of practices that network consumption AND production of media together…so that audiences and producers shift roles and come to share contexts, to an extent. Sure, the whole thing can be gamed by the public and participatory sharing of sensationalism and scandal and sympathy and all the other things that drive eyeballs.

But where there are shared contexts, the big nodes and the smaller nodes are – ideally – still people to each other, with longterm, sustained exposure and impressions formed. In this sense, drawing on Walter Ong’s work on the distinctions between oral and literate cultures, Liliana Bounegru has claimed that Twitter is a hybrid: orality is performative and participatory and often repetitive, premised on memory and agonistic struggle and the acceptance of many things happening at once, which sounds like Twitter As We Knew It (TM), while textuality enables subjective and objective stances, transcending of time and space, and collaborative, archivable, analytical knowledge, among other things.

Thomas Pettitt even calls the era of pre-digital print literacy “The Gutenberg Parenthesis;” an anomaly of history that will be superceded by secondary orality via digital media.

Um…we may want to rethink signing up for that rodeo. Because lately secondary orality via digital media seems like a pretty nasty, reactive state of being, a collective hiss of “you’re doing it wrong.” Tweets are taken up as magnum opi to be leapt upon and eviscerated, not only by ideological opponents or threatened employers but by in-network peers…because the Attention Economy rewards those behaviours. Oh hai, print literacies and related vested interests back in ascendency, creating a competitive, zero-sum arena for interaction. Such fun!

[image of @bonstewart tweet: “the problem with 2014 Twitter, short version: being constantly on guard against saying the wrong thing leaves no much left to say.”]

Which is not to say there’s no place for “you’re doing it wrong.” Twitter, dead or no, is still a powerful and as yet unsurpassed platform for raising issues and calling out uncomfortable truths, as shown in its amplification of the #Ferguson protests to media visibility (in a way Facebook absolutely failed to do thanks to the aforementioned algorithmic filters). Twitter is, as my research continues to show, a path to voice. At the same time, Twitter is also a free soapbox for all kinds of shitty and hateful statements that minimize or reinforce marginalization, as any woman or person of colour who’s dared to speak openly about the raw deal of power relations in society will likely attest. And calls for civility will do nothing except reinforce a respectability politics of victim-blaming within networks. This intractable contradiction is where we are, as a global neoliberal society: Twitter just makes it particularly painfully visible, at times."

[See also: http://edcontexts.org/twitter/behind-something-is-rotten-in-the-state-of-twitter/ ]
academia  competition  fear  twitter  bonniestewart  2014  participatory  branding  institutions  corporatization  socialmedia  corporatism  gutenbergparenthesis  thomaspettitt  lilianabounegru  performance  orality  oraltradition  communication  digital  digitalmedia  media  attention  attentioneconomy  print  literacies  literacy  subcultures  legibility  participation  participatorymedia  networkedculture  culture  walterong  donnaharaway  emilygordon  ferguson  participatorculture  networkedpublics  stevensalaita  secondaryorality 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Preview: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum | New at Pentagram
"Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announces a new name and graphic identity, custom typeface and website to accompany the expansion of the museum, which will open to the public on November 14. Designed by Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team, the bold identity establishes a flexible branding system for the museum built around a new custom typeface, Cooper Hewitt, created by Chester Jenkins of Village.

Opara and his team worked closely with Cooper Hewitt and Jenkins to develop the identity. Located in the historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion in New York, Cooper Hewitt is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the group of 19 museums and galleries administered by the U.S. government and popularly known as the “nation’s attic.” In a first, the new Cooper Hewitt identity has been conceived as a design that truly belongs to the people: The identity also exists as a new typeface that will be made available free to the public, who are encouraged to utilize it in their own designs. The font has also been acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.

“We are spreading good design by making our elegant new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, available as a free download on cooperhewitt.org, as well as collecting it as an important example of the design process,” says Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann. “We look forward to seeing how the public uses this new design tool in their lives.”

Opara also helped develop the museum’s new name. Formerly the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the new name replaces “National” with “Smithsonian” and eliminates the hyphen, simplifying the brand while emphasizing its heritage.

Iconic, engaging and highly functional, the new Cooper Hewitt wordmark forms a perfect rectangle that can easily be scaled, positioned and colorized without losing its strong visual presence. There is an intriguing relationship between the words “COOPER” and “HEWITT” in the new identity: Set normally, the words are different widths. Here, each character has been tailored to help define the overall typographic frame. The wordmark has been expressly designed to serve as the basis for a wide variety of uses.

“Cooper Hewitt’s new identity plays it straight, with no play on visual or theoretical complexity, no puzzling contradiction or ambiguity, no distracting authorship,” says Opara. “Function is its primary goal, and ultimately the logo is important, but not as important as what the museum does.”

In some applications the new Cooper Hewitt wordmark will be accompanied by the signature “Smithsonian Design Museum,” which uses the Smithsonian’s existing identity, designed by Chermayeff and Geismar in 1997 and set in the contrasting serif typeface Minion Pro.

The Cooper Hewitt typeface is a contemporary sans serif with characters comprised of modified geometric curves and arches. The font evolved from a customization of Galaxie Polaris Condensed that Opara originally commissioned for the identity. Jenkins designed a new, purely digital form built on the structure of Polaris. The new font is redrawn from scratch, using the existing forms of Polaris as a rough guide.

Cooper Hewitt will be available as a free download as installable fonts, web font files, and open source code on cooperhewitt.org. Widely used across all Cooper Hewitt media and collateral—from object labels to the museum website—the unique font will become closely associated with its namesake.

Opara and his team have also redesigned the Cooper Hewitt website with a modular format that complements the physical transformation of museum and serves the expanding digital needs of the institution. Optimized for mobile devices, the design makes Cooper Hewitt’s activities, collections, programs and content easily accessible to visitors. The site, currently in beta, is being implemented in WordPress by Matcha Labs, in conjunction with the museum’s in-house digital team. Opara and his team have also created an extensive collateral systems for the various museum departments, including membership, education and the shop.

Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team are currently developing signage and wayfinding based on the new identity, to be introduced with the museum’s reopening in November. The revitalization of the museum includes a major expansion and renovation developed in collaboration by Gluckman Mayner Architects and executive architect Beyer Blinder Belle, with reconfigured galleries designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Opara and his team are collaborating with DS+R on the exhibition design and labeling system for the galleries, which utilize a digital collecting device for a unique user experience."

[See also:
http://www.cooperhewitt.org/colophon/cooper-hewitt-the-typeface-by-chester-jenkins/
https://github.com/cooperhewitt/cooperhewitt-typeface ]
cooper-hewitt  design  typography  fonts  free  eddieopara  pentagram  chesterjenkins  2014  branding  identity  graphidesign  graphics 
june 2014 by robertogreco
DE$IGN | Soulellis
"I’ve been thinking a lot about value and values.

Design Humility and Counterpractice were first attempts to build a conversation around the value of design and our values as designers. They’re highly personal accounts where I try to articulate my own struggle with the dominant paradigm in design culture today, which I characterize as —

speed
the relentlessness of branding
the spirit of the sell
the focus on product
the focus on perfection

and they include some techniques of resistance that I’ve explored in my recent work, like —

thingness
longevity
slowness (patience)
chance (nature, humility, serendipity)
giving away (generosity echo)

I’ve been calling them techniques, but they’re really more like values, available to any designer or artist. Work produced with these criteria runs cross-grain to the belief that we must produce instantly, broadcast widely and perform perfectly.

Hence, counterpractice. Cross-grain to common assumptions. Questioning.

And as I consider my options (what to do next), I’m seriously contemplating going back to this counterpractice talk as a place to reboot. Could these be seen as principles — as a platform for a new kind of design studio?

I’m not sure. Counterpractice probably need further translation. An idea like ”slowness” certainly won’t resonate for many, outside of an art context. And how does a love for print-on-demand and the web fit in here? Perhaps it’s more about “variable speed” and the “balanced interface” rather than slow vs fast. Slow and fast. Modulated experience. The beauty of a printed book is that it can be scanned quickly or savored forever. These aren’t accidental qualities; they’re built into the design.

[image by John Maeda: "DE$IGN"]

I’m thinking about all of this right now as I re-launch Soulellis Studio as Counterpractice. But if there’s anything that most characterizes my reluctance to get back to client-based work, it’s DE$IGN.

John Maeda, who departed RISD in December, where I am currently teaching, recently delivered a 4-minute TED talk, where he made this statement:

“From Design to DE$IGN.”

He expands that statement with a visual wordmark that is itself designed. What does it mean? I haven’t seen the talk yet so I can only presume, out of context. These articles and Maeda’s blog post at Design and Venture begin to get at it.

Maeda’s three principles for using design in business as stated in the WSJ article are fine. But they don’t need a logo. Designing DE$IGN is a misleading gesture; it’s token branding to sell an idea (in four minutes—the fast read). So what’s the idea behind this visual equation? As a logo, it says so many things:

All caps: DE$IGN is BIG.
It’s not £ or ¥ or 元: DE$IGN is American.
Dollar sign: DE$IGN is money.

DE$IGN is Big American Money.

and in the context of a four-minute TED talk…

DE$IGN is speed (four minutes!)
DE$IGN is the spirit of selling (selling an idea on a stage to a TED audience)
DE$IGN is Helvetica Neue Ultra Light and a soft gradient (Apple)
DE$IGN is a neatly resolved and sellable word-idea. It’s a branded product (and it’s perfect).

In other words, DE$IGN is Silicon Valley. DE$IGN is the perfect embodiment of start-up culture and the ultimate tech dream. Of course it is — this is Maeda’s audience, and it’s his new position. It works within the closed-off reality of $2 billion acquisitions, IPOs, 600-person design teams and Next Big Thing thinking. It’s a crass, aggressive statement that resonates perfectly for its audience.

[Image of stenciled "CAPITALISM IS THE CRI$IS"]

DE$IGN makes me uneasy. The post-OWS dollar sign is loaded with negative associations. It’s a quick trick that borrows from the speed-read language of texting (lol) to turn design into something unsustainable, inward-looking and out-of-touch. But what bothers me most is that it comes from one of our design leaders, someone I follow and respect. Am I missing something?

I can’t help but think of Milton Glaser’s 1977 I<3NY logo here.

[Milton Glaser I<3NY]

Glaser uses a similar trick, but to different effect. By inserting a heart symbol into a plain typographic treatment, he too transformed something ordinary (referencing the typewriter) into a strong visual message. Glaser’s logo says that “heart is at the center of NYC” (and it suggests that love and soul and passion are there too). Or “my love for NYC is authentic” (it comes from the heart). It gives us permission to play with all kinds of associations and visual translations: my heart is in NYC, I am NYC, NYC is the heart of America, the heart of the world, etc. .

Glaser’s mark is old-school, east coast and expansive; it symbolizes ideas and feelings that can be characterized as full and overflowing. And human (the heart). It’s personal (“I”), but all about business: his client was a bankrupt city in crisis, eager to attract tourists against all odds.

Maeda’s mark is new money, west coast and exclusive. It was created for and presented to a small club of privileged innovators who are focused on creating new ways to generate wealth ($) by selling more product.

Clever design tricks aside, here’s my question, which I seem to have been asking for a few years now. Is design humility possible today? Can we build a relevant design practice that produces meaningful, rich work — in a business context — without playing to visions of excess?

I honestly don’t know. I’m grappling with this. I’m not naive and I don’t want to paint myself into a corner. I’d like to think that there’s room to resist DE$IGN. I do this as an artist making books and as an experimental publisher (even Library of the Printed Web is a kind of resistance). But what kind of design practice comes out of this? Certainly one that’s different from the kind of business I built with Soulellis Studio."
paulsoulellis  2014  conterpractice  design  humility  capitalism  resistance  branding  speed  slow  consumerism  sales  salesmanship  perfection  wabi-sabi  thingness  longevity  slowness  patience  nature  chance  serendipity  generosity  potlatch  johnmaeda  questioning  process  approach  philosophy  art  print  balance  thisandthat  modulation  selling  ted  tedtalks  apple  siliconvalley  startups  culture  technology  technosolutionsism  crisis  miltonglaser  1977  love 
june 2014 by robertogreco
HVASS&HANNIBAL
"CHILDREN'S LIBRARY – VISUAL IDENDITY

Date: October 2013
Client: Københavns Kommunes Biblioteker / Hovedbiblioteket
www.bibliotek.kk.dk

CREDITS:
Thank you to Skolen på Islands Brygge for letting us do focus group testing with their pupils

Visual identity for the children’s department at Copenhagen's central library, Hovedbiblioteket.

The identity is based on a modular system of shapes that can form different characters and patterns. The idea is that the kids can have fun with this system – creating stories and characters of their own – and that the identity can continue to grow in many directions."
identity  branding  libraries  books  children  via:senongo  graphicdesign  graphic  design  2013 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Kokoro & Moi – Your ninjas on the ceiling
"Well hello. We are a full-service creative agency transforming brands with bold ideas and progressive concepts. Our focus is on strategy, identity and design."



"Kokoro & Moi, established in 2001, is a full-service creative agency transforming brands with bold ideas and progressive concepts. Our focus is on strategy, identity and design.

The mindset? We are always asking questions, challenging norms and piecing together new worlds to solve tasks in unique ways. It's a playground out there, so let's play with what we can with no preconceptions. In a world overloaded with messages, we use the power of design to help our clients stand out.

We create authentic and innovative strategies, craft imaginative solutions and make an impact in the required media – from print and digital to products and environments. There's always a way. However we define it here, each case is unique and a collaboration. We've worked alongside a broad and international range of commercial players, from multinationals to start-ups as well as a variety of cultural and public institutions.

This is how we intend to continue – setting the standard, then continuing to evolve it.


Our Services

1) Strategy
Positioning, Brand Architecture, Brand & Communication Strategy, Brand & Concept Development

2) Identity
Naming, Visual Identity, Art Direction, Tone of Voice & Storytelling

3) Design
Print, Digital & Interactive, Spaces & Environments, Events & Exhibitions, Editorial & Publishing, Products & Packaging, Signage & Wayfinding, Consultancy & Curation"
kokoro&moi  finland  graphic  design  graphicdesign  strategy  identity  branding 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Federal Identity Program - Wikipedia
"The Federal Identity Program (FIP) is the Canadian government's corporate identity program. The purpose of the FIP is to clearly identify each program and service of the government or the government of Canada in general. Managed by the Treasury Board Secretariat, this program, and the government's communication policy, help to shape the public image of the government. In general, logos – or, in the parlance of the policy, visual identifiers – used by government departments other than those specified in the FIP must be approved by the Treasury Board.

In 1969, the Official Languages Act was established to ensure the equality of English and French in all federal jurisdictions. That same year, a task force found that the Canadian government was conveying a confused image to the populace through a hodge-podge of symbology and typefaces (fonts). In 1970, the FIP was created to standardize a corporate identity for the Canadian government."
canada  identity  nations  countries  branding  via:debcha  promotion  communication  government 
may 2014 by robertogreco
How three marketers would sell Canada’s brand - The Globe and Mail
"The federal government will soon be asking for input on the best way to market Canadian goods. Included in this week’s budget was a new project designed to enhance “consumer awareness of Canadian-made products.” Canada will be following the lead of other countries, such as Australia, which have used their national brand to compete in export markets. The idea: “Branding products ‘Made in Canada’ is a potentially powerful tool to encourage consumers – both in Canada and internationally – to choose such products.”

So, how do you sell consumers both here and abroad with “made in Canada” marketing? We asked some Canadian experts to weigh in on how to design our national brand.

No maple, moose, or mounties
“[It] needs to avoid the stereotypical Canadian 3Ms – Maple, moose and mounties. The deeper story can be found within what Canada represents in the global community. Canada is increasingly well-regarded around the world. This is about adding a premium component to the product. We should drop the apologetic, unassuming Canadian voice and tell a story of progress through fresh and modern visual language.” – Vito Piazza, president and partner at Sid Lee Toronto

Forget the logo, send a message
“It’s interesting to see everything that comes up [in a quick Google search, for example] that you can do visually with the Made in Canada concept. … I think it would be wiser to tend towards a state of mind, more than a simple logo. More of a way of thinking and buying. A logo doesn’t change anything if the brand’s promise is not understood. I would tend more towards something in the lines of Think Canada – more than a logo, it should be a motto that would accompany the products. Something to inspire people to get to know the products, to understand the history and then to buy Canadian.” – Claude Auchu, partner, vice-president and creative director of design at Montreal agency lg2.

Don’t get stuck with one image
“One of the things I would argue for, if I had the ear of the government, would be to make the Canadian brand, as expressed through this platform, really dynamic. The brand should feel forward-looking. One of the things you see on these types of projects – the Australia one and the U.S. counterpart – they’re fairly uninspired. They tend to fall back on historic or nationalistic themes or colour palettes, as opposed to 21st-century themes. I would use this brand initiative as a platform to showcase all the really innovative things that are happening here, as opposed to having a really static design. So there’s not a single logo of the Made in Canada brand, but a kind of system of logos. It should have unified messaging of course, but one way to express dynamic institutions is to use variability or difference within how the visual identity is expressed, as opposed to a stamp “Made in Canada.” If we’re talking about it being the same thing on a rail car and learning software being used in leading universities, that forces the question: Does the same branding apply to both things? You may be talking to different audiences. You want flexibility.” – Hunter Tura, president and chief executive officer of Bruce Mau Design in Toronto."
canada  marketing  logos  bmd  huntertura  claudeauchu  vitopiazza  identity  branding  names  naming  design  madeincanada  2014 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Design in Times of Crisis
"What is it?

Design in Times of Crisis is a work-in-progress reflection for a scenario of the everyday present and near future. It is also a series of short-term block seminars (TBA).

It is part of the PhD investigation of two Brazilian design researchers located in Berlin, Germany: Pedro Oliveira - www.partidoalto.net - and Luiza Prado - www.doisedois.net.

It is through an observation of the current state of affairs mostly outside the so-called “developed world” that we aim to construct our scenario. Of course many of our concerns also do apply to other places in the world, but our focus is more looking home.

This is, of course, nothing new. Its idea stemmed from the very nice "Design for the New Normal" developed by Superflux (if you ended up here, you should definitely check out their work). We think that their outline is indeed fruitful and very necessary, but coming from a different political and social background there are some elements we’d like to disagree, and others we’d like to suggest.

Differently from them, however, we decided to call it the "Times of Crisis" because it does concern the immediate present and the probable future. We think that, as design researchers, it is of paramount importance that we investigate this projection and prepare ourselves for it.

In a nutshell, the links posted here will fall in a few categories, which are the characteristics we are framing as constituents of this scenario. They are:

All Technology is Proprietary

Brands and the State will control your technology. What they do is only to lure you into using their services in order to collect data about everything, everywhere. Crowdsourcing at its best. The obsession with the “quantified self” only leads to the loss of privacy and the more proprietary the technology is, the less control you have over your data. In these times of crisis, people comply with giving their data over to brands and the state under an alleged “full disclosure” of their use. In poorer and emergent countries, particularly, the use of proprietary technology, that is, branded tech, is still a form of social and economical affirmation and status, particularly in lower classes. Open-source tech can and will come to the empowerment of small groups and initiatives, but consumerist ideals and patterns are likely to boost, particularly when formerly poorer classes/countries start to gain more economical power.

You Are what You Consume

Brands and consumption are the biggest form of social insertion. Brands explore that ad infinitum and you belong to those groups where your favorite brand fits in. With the rise of a “new middle class” in developing countries, the patterns of consumption are likely to change and grow; the brand is the greatest form of social status. Musical movements in favelas and ghettos praise brands as something to be desired and proudly worn or used, while at the same time brands try to detach themselves from these movements to protect their capital.

Surveillance is Desired

Reality shows become the norm, they are a preparation for an acceptance of a Police State (cf. Laurel Halo in The Wire). Surveillance gives the false illusion of safety, of “watching out against the other”, but also of being watched against yourself. Drones and Bugs are everywhere for the sake of peace maintenance and the quantified self. Proprietary Tech collects your data with games and research projects. Your data is everyone’s data.

Cities are Corporations are Cities

The association (both legal and illegal) of Business and State leads to a City whose form of social and urban control relies on the interests of brands. Big industries support “eco-initiatives” in order to promote a false state of sustainability while securing their own profit through exploring real estate, mobility and other issues that should be of concern from the State. (cf. Carlos Vainer) - also, prices go crazy because regulation is left to a “minimal State” (Estado Mínimo). Giant sporting events and conferences sell an image of a city devoid of its poorer and “unwanted” social components in favor of its market value as commodity.

——

Here in this blog we aim to collect evidence, reflections and projections for this scenario.

A good starting point for the scope of this discussion you can find here. In this text, we pointed out some things we think that are problematic when approaching Speculative and Critical Design from a narrow perspective of the world.
Naturally, this is an open, stream-of-consciousness idea. Comments, critique and additions to it are more than welcome.

Shout it loud at pedroliveira [at] udk-berlin or luiza.prado [at] udk-berlin.de "
luizaprado  pedrooliveira  design  everyday  present  future  nearfuture  superflux  tomesofcrisis  crisis  technology  crowdsourcing  data  control  consumption  brands  branding  surveillance  policestate  laurelhalo  safety  privacy  security  cities  corporations  corporatism  urban  urbanism  socialcontrol  systainability  carlosvainer  estadomínimo  minimalstate  commodities  business  law  legal  specialinterests 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Ben Pieratt, Blog - A 3-step process for naming a project/product. (And some resources)
"Naming a project is always an awful experience.

An earworm that won’t stop tapping your skull from the inside. A tenacious pop jingle with teeth and a paycheck.

As a freelance designer, I do a fair amount of this for clients. Generally, my process has been a garble of notes and trips to thesaurus.com, but lately I’ve noticed a fairly simple pattern emerging, a 3-step framework for cutting through the fog.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3-Step Process
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Step 1.
Identify the feeling you want the brand to convey. A great brand communicates on an emotional wavelength, so make that feeling your bedrock.

One way to identify what feeling you’re pursuing is by figuring out what you’re not. A great brand is defined as much by what it is as by what it is not. So if you’re entering a certain market that is a certain way, identify that point of frustration and invert it. For instance, if your market is confusing, you could pursue ‘Relaxed’, or ‘Lucid’.

Step 2.
Embody that feeling in a list of persons, places, things or phrases (etc) that communicate viscerally. For instance:
Relaxed = a picnic
Exclusive = Studio 54
Cool = Paul Newman

Step 3. Final
Identify a detail that represents the [embodiment] of [your feeling] in a non obvious but compelling way.
Relaxed = a picnic = Sunny Nap™
Exclusive = Studio 54 = Velvet™
Cool = Paul Newman = Ben Quick™ (a character he played)

Repeat.
New insights gained from the process should help you get a better handle on the unique feeling or value your brand has to offer.

Ideally,
the name should have a ‘special wrongness’* to it. An unforgettable newness. A new shape. 1+1=3. If your name lacks this, the product itself may have a hard time differentiating itself in whatever market you’re entering. Why are you different than your competitors? That difference should be reflected in the brain jam your name causes in its audience.

*”Special Wrongness” is a term I’ve stolen and adopted from Peter Mendelsund from this amazing interview: http://portersquarebooksblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/interview-with-peter-mendelsund.html "
branding  names  naming  benpieratt  glvo  projectideas  howto  design  creativity 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Anagrama | Brand Intelligence Group
"We are an international branding firm with offices in Monterrey and Mexico City. Our clients include companies from varied industries in countries all around the world.

Besides our history and experience with brand development, we are also experts in the design and development of objects, spaces, software and multimedia projects.

We create the perfect balance between a design boutique, focusing on the development of creative pieces paying attention to the smallest of details, and a business consultancy providing solutions based on the analysis of tangible data to generate best fit applications.

Our services reach all of the branding spectrum from strategic consulting to fine tune brand
objectives for the company to logotype, peripherals and captivating illustration design.

Since our creation, we decided to break the traditional creative agency scheme, integrating multidisciplinary teams of creative and business experts.

A well managed and positioned brand represents a powerful asset for the company´s total
value. It is a sales tool and a client loyalty promoter.

We love new challenges and we address them accordingly with an experienced team of collaborators focused on adding value to all of our projects. To know more about our points
of view, work process, and new ways we can help you, please visit our contact section."
design  garphicdesign  branding  identity  mexico  monterrey  studios  portfolios 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Digital Literacy is a crock. | Playable
"So why do some people use the term and others don’t. The answer lies in cultural conventions and status. Digital literacy is a popular culture term which has emerged from ‘the crowd of educators’ whom avidly use social media towards largely technologically deterministic view of what schools should be, if they modernists got out of the way. In media studies, the term multi-literacies has been around for a while, long before a few savant journalists started blogging about education to a growing citizen audience online. Even a casual look into books and papers by media scholars will reveal much of the ‘shift’ and ‘growing up digital’ opinions, are actually based in established fields. The key difference is the need for education to keep pace with technology or culture, but that social-media was a new audience that needed a ‘new term’ in order differentiate and promote it’s most vocal celebrities. It soon became apparent to citizen journalists (and journalists) that this new market could be expanded faster if they could convince teachers to align with their agenda, setting about building clusters of people whom they saw as mutually beneficial to engage with, mostly on economic terms. This to me was the beginning of the ‘digital-literacy-cartels’, rather than any emancipation of communication for children in classrooms.

Digital literacy submissively defers the importance of media education to authority. In order to expand the potential for books, seminars and so forth, social commentators needed the patronage of high-status journalists, publications, institutions and the most entertaining ‘new media’ outlets such as TED (or the pauper TEDx), Huffington Post and so on. At the same time, media scholars have continued to expand the research base around media studies, so it’s hard to see any reason to suggest ‘digital literacy’ is an omission to be rectified, especially by people who offer no evidence. Many media analysts reject the idea that literacy is primarily one of written communication, but is based on our understanding and mastery of cultural conventions which we use to interpret the everyday world.

Everyday, those pushing ‘digital literacy’ seek the approval of: more followers in order to prove they are more correct and more high-status administrators, leaders, producers and publishers to further their economic and social ambitions. Where media education would focus on analysis, evaluation and critical reflection on cultural communication (therefore IS authentic), it would also use modes of communication the ‘digital-cartel’ avoid as they don’t understand it and see no economic benefit. In actual fact, their assertions of around ‘digital literacy’ seek to give things such as learning management systems, games, virtual worlds, augmented reality and so on – low low status.

Evidence of this can bee seen easily. A teacher who has brand aligned (following the right people on Twitter and endorsing Google or Apple products) will talk about ‘digital literacy’ as surely as my cat will demand milk when I walk in the door. This also creates a perception that a teacher, who is Googled-up, is a better exponent of technology, and that teaching kids how to use Google products should be an function of education at all.

Seriously? Keep Googliness and app-tricks well away from me and my kids. I don’t want to be digitally literate! Don’t waste their time teaching them ‘tricks’. Teach them what the forms and structures of modes of communication – can be or should be."
multiliteracies  literacy  mediastudies  deangroom  tcsnmy  cv  2013  edtech  branding  careerists  popularculture  brandalignment  education  culture  teaching 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Eye Magazine | Opinion | Are you sure you need that new logo?
"Item: Last year, in the remote town of Sylhet, in the north-east corner of Bangladesh, I hailed a cycle-ricksha and asked to be taken to the house of my friend Abdul Khaled Kayed in the district of Ambar Khana. I didn’t even know the street he lived in, let alone the number of the house. ‘No problem,’ said the ricksha driver, though he had never heard of my friend and was not familiar with the district. We proceeded by means of a series of encounters with shopkeepers, cafe waiters and fellow ricksha drivers, each one taking us a little closer to our destination. It was a leisurely, somewhat erratic journey. Each conversation was interesting and enjoyable, including invitations to take tea, to describe my house in Camden Town and to discuss the meaning of life; I was almost sorry when we finally arrived at my friend’s house. If there were any street signs to be seen during the journey I didn’t notice them, nor did my driver consult them.

Item: In her book New Lives, New Landscapes (1970), the late Nan Fairbrother showed two photographs of the main street of Suffolk village of Lavenham. The first is of the street festooned with telephone wires and power cables. The second shows exactly the same viewpoint, taken after a successful campaign to remove the overhead wires. The improvement is startling. The Civic Trust Award, so often given to commemorate the application of lettering to shopfronts and offices, or the addition of suitably designed concrete tubs with suitable plants to enhance the village square, was here given to a scheme whose sole purpose was subtraction."



"Item: When I set up my Graphic Design business 30 years ago, one of our first clients was a prestigious furniture maker who wanted a complete graphic styling job: stationery range, information sheets, showroom graphics, vehicle livery and promotional pieces. When we presented our proposals, the managing director was duly impressed and gave us an immediate go-ahead. Then he said, ‘I particularly like the name style for the company, but perhaps we’ll hold on to that until you come up with your proposal for the symbol to go with it.’ When I told him we considered the name style to be quite adequate as an identity device and had no plans for including a symbol, he was much taken aback. ‘But we’ve always had a symbol,’ he said, ‘and anyway, I thought you would insist on us having one.’ After some to-ing and fro-ing we agreed he would think about it. At the end of a nail-biting week, he phoned back to say he was entirely reconciled to not having a symbol. ‘A much more elegant solution,’ he said. ‘And it kills two birds with one stone. We won’t have to bother about all the problems of symbols – when to use them and when not, how small can they be without becoming mere blobs, how big without looking bloated. And we save the sizeable fee you’d be charging us if you did design it.’

There’s the rub. How do we charge for convincing our clients not to have some graphic indulgence they have set their hearts on? And even more difficult, how do we get them to remove something that is unhelpful, or intrusive, or superfluous, or downright misleading? Who is going to pay for something they are not going to get? And who is going to pay for having something they do not need taken from them?"
legibility  design  wayfinding  kengarland  unproduct  notbuilding  bigidea  1993  branding  logos  simplicity  navigation  cities  graphicdesign 
august 2013 by robertogreco
russell davies: a unit of delivery
"When I start telling advertising/marketing people about this stuff the same themes seem to come up. So let's address those:

This is not about a bunch of private sector digital experts parachuting in to save the day. (Although we might sometimes behave like that, which is bad.) I'm not sure of the metaphor but we're somewhere between a catalyst, the tip of the iceberg and in the right place at the right time. We've certainly been very lucky. We are civil servants, most of us long-time civil servants. We are building on years of work from fellow civil servants who haven't had the benefit of our mandate. And we're working with huge numbers of colleagues across government who are as talented, driven and imaginative as we are, they've just been stuck in systems that don't let that flourish. Part of our job is to help shift those systems.

This is not about comms. We're not the new COI. We don't spend money on marketing, even digital marketing. Personally I think GOV.UK will soon be a great example of a new way of thinking about that stuff ('the product is the service is the marketing') but that's a post for another day. When we do use traditional 'agency-type' comms and design skills (which we do ourselves) it's to help the service/product communicate about itself. (That probably doesn't make sense yet, I've still not found a way to explain that properly.)

There is no 'client'. This really messes with agency people's heads. Obviously we're accountable if we screw up, the website falls over, the facts are wrong or the site's unusable. But it's not an agency-type relationship where someone distant and important has to 'approve' everything. This is mostly because our chief responsibility is to our users - they approve our decisions by using or not using the services we offer them. Or by complaining about them, which they sometimes do. Also, because you just can't do Agile with a traditional client-approval methodology. That's going to be a thing agencies are going to have to deal with."



"But, what does this mean for BRANDS!!?

Nothing. Obviously.

Well, maybe a bit. Iain was kind enough, the other day, to point back at a post I wrote about working at W+K [http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2006/07/7_things_i_lear_1.html ]. I think there's a similar post brewing after a year and a bit of GDS. I have learnt an incredible amount here and I think there are some obvious lessons for agencies and their clients in what we've been up to.

As a tantalising teaser I'd say they are:

1. The Unit of Delivery is The Team

2. The Product Is The Service Is The Marketing

3. Digital is Not Comms, And It's Not IT, It's Your Business

And a bunch of others to be named later.

Anyway. I'll try and come up with something useful."

[See also: https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/2bfa73373a9a ]

[Update 5 Feb 2014: see Dan Hon's remarks on the same: http://tinyletter.com/danhon/letters/episode-nine-everything-in-silos-forever-and-ever-amen ]
gov.uk  wieden+kennedy  russelldavies  2013  marketing  branding  government  agile  digital  business  services  teams  teamwork 
july 2013 by robertogreco
russell davies: 7 things I learned at wieden and kennedy (portland edition)
"As I venture further out into the world, away from the 10-year comfort zone (discomfort zone?) of w+k and Nike I realise that so many of my assumptions about the way that brands and communications and people work were formed there. And that many of these assumptions are horrifying and original to many of the people I bump into. So I thought I'd list some here. These are not anything that anyone tried to persuade me of, they're not 'the wieden way', they're conclusions I've drawn, assumptions I've made. So don't blame them if I'm an idiot. (If you want to explore some of what Dan actually thinks you could try this little speech w+k london found on a hard drive.)

1. Hire advertising people, you get advertising

As Dan will admit (claim?), when they started they found it very hard to hire conventional advertising talent. No-one would move to Portland. So they got people who'd failed elsewhere or kids straight out of school. These people didn't know how to make advertising. Or not in the way it was supposed to be made. They worked out for themselves how to communicate, seduce, persuade, engage, how to make a stunning piece of film or a compelling couple of pages but if often didn't look much like advertising. Even now, thousands of years later, when some of the habits have ossified and they really, clearly, do know how to make advertising there's an inclination to push it further, to not make advertising. I think this a lesson for everyone who wants to be the w+k of the future; hire just advertising people, you'll get just advertising.

2. The key to creative genius; work harder

I know it's boring but this became so incredibly clear to me. The most exciting, inspirational, talented thinkers and doers just work harder than everyone else. Often they also work more effectively, so it doesn't necessarily look like hard work, but basically they put in more hours, pay more attention and care more than the regular folk.

3. You can't divorce the medium from the message

W+K never gave up on its own media people. Media thinkers and media doers were always integral. And often the smartest people in the place. This led to innovative and informed thinking about not just what we'd say and how we'd say it, but also where we'd say it. So w+k didn't get stuck in that trap of shoveling creativity into a pre-bought schedule. We didn't fill 30 second boxes with stuff. You've got to have media people in the building, it makes life better.

4. Do good work, the money will follow

When I moved from Portland to London I was one of only two people in the London office who'd also worked in Portland. And I think the rest of London management couldn't quite believe Dan when he'd say this to them. They wanted to believe it, but they'd grown up in big London agencies where the bottom line is all. There's not a lot to say about this, it's just true.

5. Hold everyone to the same standard

I moved to Portland to work on Microsoft. It was clear in about 5 minutes that we were the pariah half of the agency. Everyone was either Nike or Microsoft. It was like high school. Jocks and geeks. They did fantastic work every 5 minutes, won all kinds of awards, got to meet celebrity athletes. We struggled to get any decent work through, won nothing, attended three day product briefings on Exchange Server.

And we all knew it would have been so easy to just roll over, give Microsoft exactly what they wanted (which was obvious and do-able) and rake in gobbets of cash. We could have funded a dozen pro-bono accounts which would have made us feel better and won us some awards and life would have been almost sweet. Except we weren't allowed. Peer and management pressure made it clear that everyone was held to the same standard, however hard our client and our task we were expected to do extraordinary and thrilling work. This seemed divisive and wrong at the time but looking back I realise it was genius. Because if you have multiple standards you have multiple agencies. If you treat some clients as creative opportunities and some as cash cows that's just what you'll get. And sooner or later the cash cows will leave the field. Everyone's seem what it's like to be the Account Director on the regional retail account that'll never do good work. It sucks. And it sucks even more when you have to sit and present your work to all the guys who work on the cool accounts. Kudos to Dan, he always expected us to make the work better. And, sometimes, before we got fired, we did some pretty decent work.

6. You can tell from the work if people enjoyed making it

This seems more true to me every time I walk in another agency. The places that are miserable make lack-lustre work (is it chicken or is it egg?). The places with energy make energetic, fulsome, toothsome work, bursting with ideas. If the process is depressing, the work will be flat, if the process has life, the work will connect.

7. Brands that influence culture sell more

This feeling was always in the air. People were trying to build popular culture not piggy-back on it, trying to create new culture, not just repeat old ones. About the worst thing you could say about an idea was that it had 'borrowed interest'. And it was palpably clear that this instinct led to more effective, more profitable brands. So I remember writing 'brands that influence culture sell more' in a creds deck and getting the highly prized Wieden nod of approval. That was a good moment. (Or at least I think I remember writing that, it seems to have turned up in other places too, so maybe I heard it somewhere first, perhaps through some sort of strange wormhole into the future.)"
advertising  business  culture  design  planning  russelldavies  2006  work  making  standards  creativity  brands  branding  influence 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Welcome | Voice and Tone
"Before you write content for MailChimp, it’s important to think about our readers. Though our voice doesn’t change, our tone adapts to our users’ feelings. This interactive guide will show you how that works."



"Voice and tone. Tone and voice. Tone of voice. What’s the difference, anyway?

You hear a lot about brand voices and personalities in content conversations. A brand’s voice doesn’t change much. A brand’s tone, on the other hand? It has to change, depending on both the situation and the person at the other end of the content. Our tone of voice not only affects the user’s emotional state, but it should also be informed by the user’s emotional state—that means our tone is constantly changing.

MailChimp’s voice is first and foremost human. It’s familiar, it’s friendly, and it’s straightforward. We crack jokes and tell stories, but we know when to keep a straight face too. We’re helpful. And when we’re helping people, we use language that educates and empowers them without patronizing or confusing them. We have more than a million users—and millions more potential users—who experience a whole spectrum of emotions when they’re interacting with MailChimp. So we consciously adjust our tone, based on our users’ feelings.

This interactive chart takes you through the different types of content MailChimp publishes. As you scroll through the content types, you’ll get a sense of how a user might feel in each scenario, and how we’d speak to that user. This isn’t meant to be used as a lookup tool or a set of rules. It’s meant to change our perspective, and help us put ourselves in our readers’ shoes. This is really an internal tool, so its content is MailChimp-specific. But any company can relate.

Our content has power. The right tone of voice can turn someone’s confusion into trust, skepticism into optimism, boredom into curiosity. The wrong tone of voice can turn someone’s interest into annoyance, anticipation into disappointment, frustration into full-on anger. That’s a big responsibility, and the best way we can handle that responsibility is to be empathetic writers. That’s why this guide exists."
mailchimp  branding  styleguides  copywriting  writing 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Age of the Anti-Logo: Why Museums Are Shedding Their Idenities
"This month, the Whitney Museum… unveiled a newly revamped identity courtesy of Experimental Jetset (and a website designed by Linked by Air), a trio of Dutch designers known for their theory-based work. Experimental Jetset describe their design as a “toolkit,” which is easily adaptable to contexts ranging from buttons to stationary to games. The sparse logomark itself is based on a heavy black Neue Haas Grotesk text, while a system of jagged lines forming a “W” change based on context.

According to the designers, the “responsive W” is meant to fit around news, artwork, and other pieces of content, like a simple black-and-white frame. “One of the main subjects we tried to explore was the notion of a graphic identity that wouldn't consists of a static, single logo,” they told me over email, “but one that would be able to change shape, reacting to ever-changing proportions and surfaces.”



But these days, developing a museum “brand” is a complicated chore. The visual identity of an arts institution has attract visitors and donors, and it also has to say something about the curatorial stance of a museum. That’s a difficult thing to convey in a single shape or form—and many museums, instead, are turning to “flexible” identities.

For example, the Brooklyn Museum of Art adopted a flexible logomark in 2004, designed by 2x4 to “better reflect the visitor-centered goals of the Museum.” Then there’s the Museum of Arts and Design, which adopted a Pentagram-designed customizable logotype in 2008. Perhaps the most famous—and successful—example of a flexible identity is MIT Media Lab’s algorithmic logo, designed by E Roon Kang and Richard The. Sure, Media Lab isn't an arts institution, but the logo set the tone for dozens of identities that came after it. The design is based on three spotlights, which change according to each permutation—there are over 40,000 unique logos available—and it was so successful because it spoke to what makes Media Lab so successful.

The notion of adaptivity and flexibility in graphic design seems to appeal particularly to the art world, which makes a modicum of sense: galleries and modern museums focus on visual culture as it evolves, and their graphic representation should reflect that. But as logos and identities get less specific and more scalable, is something lost in the exchange?

The original purpose of arts organizations like the Whitney was to guide the unwitting public through the currents of contemporary art with an unpretentious, decisive voice. As far as we can intuit anything about a museum from its identity, are we witnessing a curatorial crisis of confidence? Maybe, but maybe not. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see whether this elegant new identity outlasts its predecessor."
whitney  branding  design  museums  identity  art  medialab  mit  experimentaljetset  brooklynmuseumofart  museumofartsanddesign  pentagram  customization  2x4  adaptability  flexibility  graphicdesign  2013  logos  mitmedialab 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Approval Economy: In Practice | GeorgieBC's Blog
"I have talked a lot in this blog about money and society and the need for new solutions. My opinion from years of volunteering is that money ruins every volunteer effort. As soon as a need receives funding, it becomes a noun and a product instead of an action. As soon as a project is allowed to fundraise, there is a need to manufacture scarcity, to withhold work until payment is received and to continue the need for the project. And as soon as a project receives money, the motives of the person receiving money are suspect.

I do not want to go to a ‘crowd funding website’ and ask a centralized go-between to stand between me and anyone who chooses to support me. I do not want to waste my time creating glossy videos and applications to explain to strangers what you already know, my work. I do not want to ally myself with corporate media or NGO’s, I am trying to make both obsolete. I do not want to develop a persona, tell you all about my personal life, appear on panels and talks to become a character and a brand; I am an action not a noun and I value my right to privacy.

I do not want to be the designated official person for any action I initiate, I want to be free to let others take my place whenever I find people willing. I want to continue to promote others instead of seeking to enhance my own reputation for a livelihood. I want to give freely my ideas and work to anyone who can use them instead of hoarding them to myself for profit.

I do not want to ask you to support every action I take. I will not delay my work waiting for approval or funding. Most of what I work on are things that nobody knows of or supports, that is why I give them my priority. I do not want to jump on popular, widely supported causes to gain support. I want to continue to speak even when everyone disagrees with me as they very frequently do. I want to speak for Gaza when the world says it is anti-semitic to do so, I want to speak for the DRC when the west doesn’t know or care where that is, I want to speak for the Rohingya when no one believes me. I want to criticize democracy, consensus, peer to peer economies, libertarianism and Marxism when everyone I know supports them. I want to advocate for people who have no supporters or funding behind them and tell people about things they may not want to know about.

I do not want to sell you a book, a talk, art, advocacy, a button or a T-shirt, anything I do is available to you as always, for free. But I want it recognized that what I do is not ‘unemployment’, that I am a contributing and valuable member of society entitled to the benefits of society. I want to have the human dignity of societal approval and recognition. I want to be able to support myself and others in society without any of us becoming a product."
heathermarsh  economics  work  motivation  advocacy  consulting  crowdfunding  withholding  2013  labor  privacy  cv  freedom  livelihood  reputation  ideas  sharing  artleisure  artlabor  character  selfbranding  branding  democracy  consensus  hierarchy  horizontality  hierarchies  employment  unemployment  society  recognition  dignity  p2p  libertarianism  marxism  funding  via:caseygollan  leisurearts 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Brand Relaunch at JohnMcneilStudio
"On the occasion of their 50th anniversary, The Berkeley School wanted to refresh their brand positioning to capture the elementary school’s inventive approach to education. We created a marketing and branding effort that included a new identity, website, messaging, original photography, print collateral, signage, art installations and a new color palette for the buildings. All these efforts mapped to the theme: “What matters in education matters in life.” We also developed a digital communication strategy deeply rooted in social media engagement. Through the “Bulletin Board” blogs, we helped bridge the gap between the classroom and a student’s home life."
design  branding  theberkeleyschool  johnmcneil  berkeley  logos  evolvinglogos  2012  schools  schooldesign  identity  marketing  tbs 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Take a Look // Logo Removal Service :: Never Any Repeats / Transform + Renew
"Logo Removal Service offers customized Removals, Replacements and Transformations.

Please get in touch and let me know how we can help.

One day, we may get some kind of fancy form (see below) to assist with this process. For now, we ask that you to communicate with usin a somewhat old fashioned way.

What you can get:

Logos on any garment, of any material, removed and replaced. L.R.S. can happen for many items—your leftover shirts from this year’s conference—or single ones. Every item, however, will be a little or a lot different than the others. L.R.S. can also happen on other things, such as umbrellas, automobiles, strollers, and more. I’ll work with you to find a solution."

[via: https://twitter.com/feKaylius/status/329368805581127680 ]
nologo  sewing  consumerism  branding  antibranding  glvo 
april 2013 by robertogreco
AIGA | The UC logo controversy: How 54,000 people, the mainstream press and virtually every designer got it wrong
"“Designers too often judge logos separate from their system…without understanding that one can’t function without the other,” noted Paula Scher, when I asked her views on the controversy."

Previously:
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/12/news/la-ol-uc-logo-letters-20121212
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-UC-logo-It-s-all-about-the-branding-4113439.php
http://web.archive.org/web/20131210054621/http://www.thinkingwithshakespeare.org/index.php?id=1261
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/16/5055646/keeper-dont-let-viral-mob-dictate.html
http://www.thinkingwithshakespeare.org/index.php?id=697
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/17/how-could-university-california-have-avoided-logo-mess
http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/follow-up_university_of_california.php
http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/ic_uc_we_all_c_for_california.php
http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/let-us-eat-cake/
http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/a-different-baton/

And for reference:
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/visual-identity.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/identity-elements.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/color.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/official-university-fonts.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/the-uc-seal.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/photography.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/editorial.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/executing-the-brand.html

Onward California:
https://vimeo.com/50793162
https://vimeo.com/48040935

original video (with controversial logo)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARWWDEhGP8o ]

[Related sites:
http://universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://achieve.universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://lograr.universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://www.onwardcalifornia.com/ ]
julialupton  arminvit  brandnew  aaronbady  vanessacorrea  controversy  design  highered  education  criticism  christophersimmons  marketing  logos  2013  2012  identity  branding  logo  uc  paulascher  universityofcalifornia 
january 2013 by robertogreco
A Tiny Message Strategy Framework | Swell Content
"My favorite part of content work is getting the message right. I love hearing the stories behind people’s ideas and helping them move forward. And doing this work means I get to ask tons of questions like a certain caterpillar.

I think communication is ridiculously powerful. If you can articulate who you are and what you want, you’re more than halfway there. So here are some of the tools I use for message strategy and branding. These are tools, not checkboxes. The hard part goes on inside the noggin.

I’d love to hear what you think. Enjoy."

[Tools are here: https://gist.github.com/2155621 ]

[Related: http://thingsthatarebrown.com/blog/2010/06/making-things-hard/ ]
frameworks  writing  webdev  onlinetoolkit  tools  branding  contentstrategy  content  tcsnmy  communication  nicolejones  2012  nicolefenton  webdesign 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Psychotherapy’s Image Problem Pushes Some Therapists to Become ‘Brands’ - NYTimes.com
"“Nobody wants to buy therapy anymore…They want to buy a solution to a problem.” This is something Truffo discovered in her own former private practice of 18 years, during which she saw a shift from people who were unhappy and wanted to understand themselves better to people who would come in “because they wanted someone else or something else to change,” she said. “I’d see fewer and fewer people coming in and saying, ‘I want to change.’”"

"I explained that I could help him with clarity but couldn’t guarantee his timeline. The day before our appointment, he called again and told me he found a relationship coach to help sort things out. She gave him a four-session-package guarantee.

There’s not a lot I can do when this happens, primarily because therapists, governed by a board, can’t make outcome claims the way coaches can."

"“For most people who seek therapy, they find a feeling of catharsis in sharing their story of suffering with an objective, caring therapist. On the other hand…"
mentalhealth  pharmaceuticals  consumerculture  quickfixes  lifecoaching  feelgood  therapy  niche  salesmanship  branding  confidence  guarantees  effort  tcsnmy  trends  2012  psychotherapy  via:lukeneff 
november 2012 by robertogreco
GRAPHIC AMBIENT » Blog Archive » 1968 Mexico Olympics, Mexico
"The starting point was the mandatory five-ring logo that identifies the modern Olympic Games. It was the realisation that the geometry of the five rings could be expanded to generate the number ’68′, the year of the games and with the addition of the word ‘Mexico’ the logotype was created.
 
Mexico 68 clearly identifies the country, the year and the event. The distinct geometric forms suggest early Mexican cultures and Mexican folk-art, and the final design references 1960′s Op Art."
mexico68  branding  graphicdesign  1968  olympics  mexico  design 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Partners & Spade
"Partners & Spade, established in 2008 by Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti, is a storefront and studio on Great Jones Street in the NoHo neighborhood of lower Manhattan. The studio produces films, books, apparel and conceptual products as well as marketing and branding projects for select corporate clients. The storefront, open on weekends to the public, presents a constantly re-imagined group show of artwork, objects, collections and ideas generated by an ever changing cast of collaborators.

Begun as a means for its founders to pursue varied creative interests, Partners & Spade draws on Spade and Sperduti’s collective experience in advertising, filmmaking and fashion to create compelling brand strategies, products and one-of-a-kind artifacts, as well as a unique space for art happenings and special gatherings."

[via: Sponsors of http://mmuseumm.com/information ]
partners&spade;  anthonysperduti  andyspade  conceptualart  branding  apparel  clothing  books  studios  film  glvo  art  design  nyc 
november 2012 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] signs of life [These quotes are only from the beginning. I recommend reading the whole thing.]
"I've been thinking a lot about motive & intent for the last few years. How we recognize motive &… how we measure its consequence.

This is hardly uncharted territory. You can argue easily enough that it remains the core issue that all religion, philosophy & politics struggle with. Motive or trust within a community of individuals.

…Bruce Schneier…writes:

"In today's complex society, we often trust systems more than people. It's not so much that I trusted the plumber at my door as that I trusted the systems that produced him & protect me."

I often find myself thinking about motive & consequence in the form of a very specific question: Who is allowed to speak on behalf of an organization?

To whom do we give not simply the latitude of interpretation, but the luxury of association, with the thing they are talking about …

Institutionalizing or formalizing consequence is often a way to guarantee an investment but that often plows head-first in to the subtlies of real-life."

[Video here: https://vimeo.com/51515289 ]
dunbartribes  schrodinger'sbox  scale  francisfukuyama  capitalism  industrialrevolution  technology  rules  control  algorithms  creepiness  siri  drones  robots  cameras  sensors  robotreadableworld  humans  patterns  patternrecognition  patternmatching  gerhardrichter  robotics  johnpowers  dia:beacon  jonathanwallace  portugal  lisbon  brandjacking  branding  culturalheritage  culture  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  future  politics  philosophy  religion  image  collections  interpretation  representation  complexity  consequences  cooper-hewitt  photography  filters  instagram  flickr  museums  systemsthinking  systems  newaesthetic  voice  risk  bruceschneier  2012  aaronstraupcope  aaron  intent  motive  storiesfromthenewaesthetic  canon 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Brand New: USA TODAY for Tomorrow
"Overall, this is a fantastic redesign for a very complex project and it’s quite amazing that, on the client’s end, everything was delivered and presented at the same time, and done so clearly and with excitement. The launch campaign images above show a kind of confidence rarely seen in major redesigns, as if everyone is waiting for the mob to attack…"

[See also: http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2012/september/usa-today-redesign and http://2x4.org/work/7/New+York+City+Opera/ both via @soulellis ]
graphicarts  graphicdesign  2012  evolvinglogos  logos  logo  identitysystem  webdesign  via:greg  usatoday  branding  typography  design  wolffolins  webdev 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Brand New: Why Microsoft Got its Logo Right
"There are two interesting threads that build into this logo. The first is Microsoft’s decision to push aside its corporate logo history and not try to revive or recycle any of the previous stylings… nstead they have chosen to build the new logo around the history of Windows, building on the four-color square arrangement first seen in the form of a flag and most recently as a single-color, tilted version in the Windows 8 logo. This is smart. …

The second thread is, obviously, the evolution into the Metro system and the reason why this new logo feels so underwhelming and like not such big news at all. For the past two, three, and perhaps four years, Microsoft has been slowly deploying different interfaces, advertisements, and products that feature this simplified approach helmed by the Segoe font that has become as distinctive of Microsoft as Myriad of Apple."

[Read on for "the interesting reversal of roles between Apple and Microsoft."]
windowsphonemetro  metro  2012  windows  design  branding  logo  logos  apple  microsoft 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Purpose: 21st Century Movements
"Purpose creates 21st century movements. We deploy the collective power of millions of citizens and consumers to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems. We develop and launch our own social and consumer movements using our model of movement entrepreneurship, and we work with organizations and progressive companies to help them mobilize large-scale, purposeful action.

Purpose was born out of some of the most successful experiments in mass digital participation. Our principals are co-founders of Avaaz, the world’s largest online political movement with more than 15 million members operating in 14 languages, and the creators of Australia’s GetUp!, an internationally recognized social movement phenomenon with more members than all the country’s political parties combined. Purpose has helped to create significant new efforts to fight cancer, eliminate nuclear weapons and change our food culture. We’ve recently launched All Out, a global movement to win historic rights and…"
action  consumermovements  socialmovements  peopepower  allout  getup!  purpose.com  purpose  grassroots  politics  policy  branding  marketing  nonprofit  activism  nonprofits 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Chris Heathcote: anti-mega: to be real
"…a bit more theoretical than many of my talks, but I wanted to make the point that things like trust and authenticity aren’t binary – these are built slowly, and gained in the minds of people by doing the right thing. Also that the best trust is from just doing your job, and letting your employees & customers tell their stories."
hownotto  howto  socialmedia  personalization  depersonalization  twitter  firstdirect  people  vimeo  37signals  iceland  nokia  ebay  newspaperclub  kickstarter  upcoming  del.icio.us  flickr  personality  providence  history  business  branding  storytelling  heritage  moleskine  sweden  curatorsofsweden  bookdepositorylive  tumblr  generalelectric  net-a-porterlive  enoughproject  theyesmen  facebook  spambots  brompton  bromptonbicycles  hiutdenim  historytag  @sweden  douglasrushkoff  google  dopplr  copywriting  webdesign  craft  social  spam  russelldavies  online  web  internet  administration  management  howwework  chrisheathcote  2012  authenticity  trust  nextberlin  nextberlin2012  webdev 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Empires: The Film by Marc Lafia — Kickstarter
"…feature length documentary film and new media project which explores the impact of networks on histories and philosophies of political thought. We have spent the last year interviewing an extraordinary array of leading international thinkers on the ideas, philosophies and technologies including social and capital movements that are shaping our sciences and social structures, in our networked world."

"No formal system of power has lasted forever." —Saskia Sassen

"It's way easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of the current order." — Michael Hardt

"It's not even that we've bought into the notion of our own enslavement by capitalism. We bought into winner-takes-all syndrome. … We don't rebel against the system. It's not even a question as to wealth anymore. It's a question of believing that you can be at the center of the network…winner …losers… We are not individuals any more — we are brands." —Greg Lindsay

[via: http://varnelis.net/blog/empires_a_film_on_networks ]
hacking  selfbranding  branding  communication  facebook  twitter  technology  global  web  internet  scaling  scale  scienceofthenetwork  individualism  corporatism  capitalism  media  film  power  documentary  documentaries  kickstarter  2012  geertlovink  nishantshah  michaelhardt  anthonypagden  manueldelanda  jamesdelbourgo  cathydavidson  alexgalloway  wendyhulkyongchung  floriancramer  nataliejeremijenko  kazysvarnelis  saskiasassen  marclafia  networkculture  networks  unfinished  incomplete  cities 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Technology, Art, And Why The Future Of Branding Is Nonfiction | Co.Create: Creativity \ Culture \ Commerce
"…relationship of artsy to techy people…reversed over the last 20 years. The artsiest people went into tech & it feels now like…that the arts people are the nerds. The tech people are the people coming up w/ wild ideas & going forward & building them & the arts people are the ones who say, “This is a sort of Schopenhauer-influenced post-modern blah, blah, blah.” They’re the ones creating the documentation & historical framework around projects that are pure imagination. So it looks to me like the nature of the partnerships between artists & tech people are the opposite of what they might have been back in the day, where the art boys were the crazy, wild people, pairing up with nerds to sort of envision this technological future. And now it’s wild-eyed technologists pairing up with educated, almost PhD-like artists, in order to contextualize what they’re doing more responsibly."

"An artist’s job is to sit outside what’s happening and reflect back to us where the human is in this."
change  howwework  context  socialmedia  2012  design  business  branding  douglasrushkoff  doug  technology  art 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Home | Method
"Method is an independent design & innovation consultancy. We solve business challenges through design thinking and create inspired products, services and brand experiences."
design  web  identity  interactive  branding  nyc  raphaelgrignani 
may 2011 by robertogreco
COMMON | Home
"What would you do if you could do anything?

Have you ever felt like the world is divided into two groups of people? The people who just talk about making something and the people who actually make something.

COMMON is about making something. To be more specific, COMMON is about connecting people together and harnessing the power of true, rule-breaking creativity to launch socially beneficial businesses. Businesses that are designed to spread love and prosperity to all stakeholders.

Our COMMON Community and COMMON Accelerator Events are dedicated to shifting from talking about problems to actually engaging in new solutions. And we believe the fastest way to do that is through collaboration. We believe the tired old concept of competitive advantage must give way to a more meaningful system of collaborative advantage.

Our mission is to give creative people a chance to design and prototype the new capitalism."
design  designactivism  humanitariandesign  environment  social  community  collaboration  glvo  creativity  tcsnmy  lcproject  business  socialentrepreneurship  incubator  branding  entrepreneurship  startups  rapidprototyping  prototyping 
may 2011 by robertogreco
If we're really moving to "Choice 1:1" Schools, where kids pick their tools, should schools or teachers ever be "technology branded"? - Quora
"I have no problem with any teacher or school ever utilizing any training program or opportunity, but I get nervous when I see teachers or schools publicly "branded" - "Apple Distinguished Educator" "Google Teacher Academy Grad" etc. I wonder if, in order to encourage students to choose personally and intelligently, and to prepare them for a future with unknown platforms, we ought to be truly "platform agnostic" - not just in purchasing, but in our personal and school environment presentation?"
branding  integrity  apple  google  platformagnostic  appledistignuishededucators  googleteacheracademygrads  corporatism  corporations  open 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Finland solves wicked problems - Core77
"Our approach, as far as I know, has been unique. We all know that even as countries evoke emotions and bring into mind things just like brands, they are not brands. Instead of a pure marketing operation this became a way of developing and safeguarding the country's most valuable strengths - education, nature and functionality. Instead of a slogan we came up with a mission: Finland Solves Wicked Problems.<br />
<br />
We decided to refrain from seeing this as a branding exercise, with campaigns, videos, posters, Finland-events and brand-guides. Instead we asked three questions what in is both strong in Finland and will sustain to be valuable in the future globally? What do we need to do in Finland to support those strengths? What do we need to do internationally to realize this value?<br />
<br />
It became a very Finnish brand. We came up with dozens of concrete and sustainable projects that can be deployed to make our strengths visible and increase the value Finland internationally."
finland  design  designthinking  criticalthinking  branding  policy  government  sustainability  future 
november 2010 by robertogreco
COOEE | Graphic Design | Art Direction
"Identity for a division of GNP+ (the Global Network of PeopleLiving with HIV) called NPT (New Prevention Technologies). The various layers (stroke styles) of prevention are the foundation for this identity. These layers can be combined in various ways. The cover and chapter pages of the booklet contain a summary image as consisting of these layers."
via:ethanbodnar  evolvinglogos  identity  patterns  branding  design  logos 
september 2010 by robertogreco
bruketa & zinic: kvarner visual identity
"the new visual identity for kvarner county tourism office has been developed by advertising agency bruketa & zinic. throughout history, kvarner located in croatia has been known as an intersection of four transport routes. according to bruketa & zinic, the very name kvarner evokes this quadrant, navigational spatial orientation. this is why the source of this visual identity proposal begins with the familiar symbol of the wind rose, which also includes references to navigation, four-sided spatial orientation and wind direction. this motif is then divided into simple geometrical visual elements, their simple forms and colors creating a kind of 'toolbox' for further development of the visual identity of the kvarner region and each one of its individual parts."
relationships  evolvinglogos  design  identity  graphics  logos  branding  croatia  spatial  navigation  geometry  visual 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Zara Gonzalez Hoang : Sketchbook : Saying goodbye to badly curated content.
"There are a few that are staying, ones that do a great job of selectively curating content and are not just me-tooing what everyone else is posting. But the rest, the ones that constantly post things that I see ricocheting across the blogosphere, those are out.
curation  curating  content  stockandflow  attention  branding  zaragonzalezhong  infooverload  me-tooing  originality  valueadded  meaning  purpose 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Civil Branding » The MUJI 'Enough' message
"MUJI is not a brand...does not make products of individuality or fashion, nor...reflect popularity of its name in prices. MUJI creates products w/ view toward global consumption of the future. This means that we do not create products that lure customers into believing that “this is best” or “I must have this.” We would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not w/ “This is best,” but w/ “this is enough”. “Best” becomes “enough”.

[See also: http://doblog.tumblr.com/post/167472813/ AND http://doblog.tumblr.com/post/640466040/enough AND
full text: http://craightonberman.tumblr.com/post/444105012/the-future-of-muji ]
muji  enough  sustainability  harmony  disharmony  branding  marketing  purpose  tcsnmy  consumption  future  mission  message  unproduct  postconsumerism  postmaterialism 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Por Amor a la Bandera
"Mucho se ha debatido acerca del nuevo logo del Gobierno de Chile. Muy pocas opiniones están a favor del mismo. Si crees que el nuevo logo de Chile no te representa o si derechamente crees que es feo, te invitamos a hacer algo al respecto: cambiarlo. Porque para criticar, cualquiera critica. Pero muy pocos agarran el lápiz (o el Mouse) y se ponen a proponer alternativas. Si de verdad sientes amor por la bandera, exprésalo con lo que tienes dentro y sabes hacer. Pon manos a la obra, sácate las ganas de mostrar lo que sientes del nuevo logo de gobierno, pero de una forma proactiva y creativa.
chile  government  logos  branding  graphics  design 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Costco : The Frontal Cortex
"Consumers aren't always driven by careful considerations of price and expected utility. We don't look at the electric grill or box of chocolates and perform an explicit cost-benefit analysis. Instead, we outsource much of this calculation to our emotional brain, and rely on relative amounts of pleasure versus pain to tell us what to purchase. (During many of the decisions, the rational prefrontal cortex was largely a spectator, standing silently by while the NAcc and insula argued with each other.) Whichever feeling we feel most intensely tends to dictate our shopping decisions. It's like an emotional tug-of-war."
behavior  jonahlehrer  shopping  science  neuroscience  costco  culture  decisions  economics  psychology  pricing  business  branding  marketing 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Apple’s iPad, General Motors, and the shrinking middle of the consumer market : The New Yorker
"The products made by midrange companies are neither exceptional enough to justify premium prices nor cheap enough to win over value-conscious consumers. Furthermore, the squeeze is getting tighter every day. Thanks to economies of scale, products that start out mediocre often get better without getting much more expensive -- the newest Flip, for instance, shoots in high-def and has four times as much memory as the original -- so consumers can trade down without a significant drop in quality. Conversely, economies of scale also allow makers of high-end products to reduce prices without skimping on quality. A top-of-the-line iPod now features video and four times as much storage as it did six years ago, but costs a hundred and fifty dollars less. At the same time, the global market has become so huge that you can occupy a high-end niche and still sell a lot of units. Apple has just 2.2 per cent of the world cell-phone market, but that means it sold 25 million iPhones last year."
jamessurowiecky  economics  statistics  business  brands  ipad  ikea  apple  branding  globalization  marketing  markets  midrange  value  premium 
march 2010 by robertogreco
The Importance of Managing Your Online Reputation « emergent by design
"Last week during #journchat, I saw a reference to a post titled Does Your Twitter Handle Belong on Your Resume? The author is a PR college student, and the conversation around the post is mainly tactical, but the bigger picture surrounding our online identities is one I’ve been wanting to address for some time, so this gives me the opportunity. I’ll briefly cover some basic points about the nature of online space, but then I want to dig into the opportunities that are available in a networked culture."
digitalcitizenship  digitalfootprint  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  influence  internetsafety  socialmedia  identity  culture  reputation  2010  branding  community  footprint  facebook  social  twitter  networks  education  online  personalbranding  web  google  web2.0 
march 2010 by robertogreco
BBC - BBC Internet Blog: A new global visual language for the BBC's digital services
"About 2 years ago, after printing out the site onto what has now become jokingly known as the 'Wall of Shame' we decided to embark on an ambitious project, called Global Visual Language 2.0, with the aim of unifying the visual and interaction design of bbc.co.uk and the mobile website. ... We've lived with and loved the distinctly 'web 2.0' design for a while now and it's done us proud. However, time's moved on, and in autumn last year we decided it was time to resurrect the project. We set out to broaden our ambitions; to create a design philosophy and world-class design standards that all designers across the business could adhere to. We wanted to find the soul of the BBC. We wanted something distinctive and recognisable; we wanted drama. We knew whatever we created needed to be truly cross-platform and that we needed to simplify our user journeys."
bbc  typography  design  webdev  branding  research  language  redesign  grids  webdesign  web2.0  visual  ux  ui  layout  web  styleguides 
february 2010 by robertogreco
n o o n . c a s e s
"Analysis of the research garnered some key brand attributes that expressed the organization’s ambitions; the primary ones being ‘visceral’, and ‘engaged’. Our positioning strategy focused on differentiating the Center and one’s encounter with it as being ‘juicy’, or more colorfully, as ‘dripping with humanity’. The positioning statement, “Life Amplified”, formed the foundation of the branding program that would guide all marketing communications and was ultimately used as the organization’s tagline and monthly Newsletter title.
ybca  logos  identity  branding  tcsnmy  design 
january 2010 by robertogreco
“the purpose-idea”: ten questions for mark earls | Gapingvoid
"Third, “Brand” is what you get as a result of doing great , not a good guide to what to do — it’s the sco­re­board, not the game.
branding  herd  purpose  hughmacleod  markearls  tcsnmy  mission  focus  communication  advertising  marketing  administration  leadership  management 
january 2010 by robertogreco
ongoing · After Branding
So much great advice. I'm highlighting this one because I was just warning a friend about the same a few days ago. "8. Do not invest any time or money with anyone whose title, or company name, includes the words “Search Engine” or the abbreviations “SEO” or “SEM”. While one hears that there are a few honest souls out there, lots are just looking for sheep to fleece; don’t be one.
design  culture  homepage  socialnetworking  identity  networking  reputation  presence  business  web  webdev  blogging  marketing  spelling  personal-branding  timbray  internet  branding  seo  sem  flash  glvo  via:cburell  webdesign 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Kosmograd: Learning from Niketown
"The 2002 Scorpion KO campaign was centred around a cage-soccer tournament of 3-a-side, first-goal wins, an extension of a TV advert, directed by Terry Gilliam, and fronted by Eric Cantona. ... In connecting young people with an urban identity reinforced on the streets, and via online and mobile messaging, Nike created a powerful way of representing the city both with space and with signs, a 'Situationist' urban realm...The new brand city described by Borries ... is a dynamic city, a setting for organizing 'situations.' In order to reach even the smallest target groups, the media will be deployed in this city far more interactively than they are today. Streets, fallow zones, interstitial spaces and ruins will play essential roles in the brand name city. These spaces will not be overlaid with advertising in classical fashion, but will instead become the objects of discriminating marketing strategies...We have as much to learn from Nike as Venturi, from Niketown as Levittown."
via:blackbeltjones  architecture  economics  urbanism  marketing  uk  branding  nike  advertising  brands  london  situationist  parks  guydebord 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Building a brand « Re-educate
"When I talk to parents about school, they all agree that there are problems. That’s not the hard part. The hard part is convincing them to do something about it. Because really, most people just want to fit in.
lcproject  change  parenting  tcsnmy  schools  schooling  entrepreneurship  speaking  marketing  administration  leadership  gamechanging  comfort  fittingin  branding 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man | Video on TED.com
"Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value -- and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life."
advertising  marketing  perception  design  rorysutherland  branding  humor  history 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Worldchanging: Bright Green: Bright Green, Light Green, Dark Green, Gray: The New Environmental Spectrum
"What is bright green? In its simplest form, bright green environmentalism is a belief that sustainable innovation is the best path to lasting prosperity, and that any vision of sustainability which does not offer prosperity and well-being will not succeed. In short, it's the belief that for the future to be green, it must also be bright. Bright green environmentalism is a call to use innovation, design, urban revitalization and entrepreneurial zeal to transform the systems that support our lives." Goes on to define light green environmentalists, dark greens, and grays"
environment  worldchanging  sustainability  environmentalism  activism  green  alexsteffen  consumerism  ecology  branding  glossary 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The British Experimental Rocket Group « Matthew Sheret Online
"Last night I had the pleasure of attending Schulze & Webb’s ‘complimentary re-branding seminar’, as the design firm entered a new phase and blossomed into BERG: the British Experimental Rocket Group. Decked out in customised lab-coats, the team looked and sounded excited, terrified, enthusiastic, and nostalgic. To a man they also wound up being inspirational. ... To place a distance, a logo, an idea between the conception, execution and reception of a product means, for the first time in five years, that he [Matt webb] no longer lives or dies on his name alone. What an incredible thing. He and The British Experimental Rocket Group have become ideas – vague, powerful concepts that have all the potential to change the world or dissipate trying. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?"
berg  mattwebb  schulzeandwebb  berglondon  warrenellis  tomarmitage  mattjones  jackschulze  design  future  identity  indeas  gamechanging  worldchanging  tcsnmy  glvo  branding 
august 2009 by robertogreco
This is BERG – Blog – BERG
"Schulze & Webb Ltd isn’t the original name of the company. Schulze and I renamed an off-the-shelf company we bought in summer 2005...for a while the company was called Z.V.B. Ltd..."Zero Version Behaviour?” said Schulze’s dad...that particular company was formed 1 June 2005. I like that it pre-dates us, if only by a few weeks...summer of 2008 we began the Dayuejin. It’s important to name the eras of a company. It gives a sense of purpose, and of history. The Dayuejin is also known as the Great Leap Forward...To make the products we wanted, we needed more money petrol, which needed bigger projects, which needed more people & a bigger studio, which needed more money, which needed our own projects to build confidence. Everything had to move forward at once. It took a year, more or less, to find the right way to do it and lock it in. The current era started last week. It’s the Escalante, the Grand Staircase...This is an invention, strategy and new product development design company."
schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon  design  jackschulze  mattwebb  mattjones  tomearmitage  change  evolution  growth  tcsnmy  glvo  agency  uk  business  gamechanging  naming  time  perspective  branding  names 
august 2009 by robertogreco
WORDOID - Creative Naming Service
"Wordoid.com is a webapp that strives to help you invent a good name. It makes up new words. Automagically. It knows how to create words in English or Spanish. It even knows how to create words in an imaginary language, constructed by blending two or more real languages together."
names  naming  branding  brainstorming  domainnames  domains  words  generator  marketing  language  english  spanish  español  french 
august 2009 by robertogreco
You Can't Innovate Like Apple — Product Management Training, Product Marketing Training by Pragmatic Marketing
"The point is not to go ask your customers what they want. If you ask that question in the formative stages, then you’re doing it wrong. The point is to go immerse yourself in their environment and ask lots of “why” questions until you have thoroughly explored the ins and outs of their decision making, needs, wants, and problems. At that point, you should be able to break their needs and the opportunities down into a few simple statements of truth. As Alan Cooper says, how can you help an end user achieve the goal if you don’t know what it is? You have to build a persona or model that accurately describes the objectives of your consumers and the problems they face with the existing solutions. The real benefit … is that unless you put a face and expectations on that consumer, then disagreements about features or product positioning or design come down to who can pull the greatest political will—rather than who has the cleanest interpretation of the consumer’s need.”"
via:preoccupations  design  experiencedesign  branding  development  marketing  mac  apple  process  productmanagement  innovation  howto  business  management  administration  interaction  experience  tcsnmy  ux  user 
july 2009 by robertogreco
The World’s First Generative Logo? | The Daily Clique
"Although the post claims the Rhizome logo is generated anew with each page view, it doesn’t seem to work anymore. Other generative logos: Casa da Música, Max Planck Institute, Nada, Renderspace, Seed Media Group, Technics"
logos  design  evolvinglogos  generativelogos  branding  image 
march 2009 by robertogreco
SpearTalks: Seth Godin - Josh Spear, Trendspotting
"The best measure of a blog is not how many people it reaches, it’s how much it changes what you do. Changes your posture, your writing, your transparency, your humility. What blogging has done for me is made me think. I get to think about how the outside world will understand something I’m trying to do, for example.
socialmedia  sethgodin  blogging  business  blogs  strategy  marketing  branding  thinking  writing 
february 2009 by robertogreco
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