Last week rolled out it’s latest site redesign. For the record, I think it’s an improvement, much easier to navigate than the old site (which I hated), and I find the video integration into the articles rather slick. My biggest quibble is that header, it’s a little overwhelming. And it got me wondering…is bright red really the only thing we’re using for news sites nowadays? Take a look…

The Daily Beast

(A few noticeable exceptions to this rash of red…,, and – which is, surprisingly, predominantly blue.)


Anthropologie, again

August 29, 2009

Anthropologie adorableness

Well, I have been neglecting this little area of the internet lately. Since starting a tumblr, I’ve been trying to relegate my, “This is cool!” posts to over there, and more Substantial Thoughts On Design™ to over here. And I guess I haven’t had the time lately to have many of those. (I’m working on it!)

But I’m going to bring these over here, as I’m amazed at the level of customer engagement and attention to detail in the brand, in these Anthropologie birthday coupons. When I found this in my mail, a pretty standard “Save 15% the month of your birthday” offer, it really did almost feel like getting a birthday card in the mail. Clearly, I’m already susceptible to everything Anthropologie (except the prices), but this is just an innovative twist on the traditional coupon. And I’m having a hard time saying anything more substantial than “Look how cute!”


look, buttons!

The Ministry of Type

March 17, 2009

There are several design blogs that I try to keep up with to keep inspirational juices flowing, and keep up with the latest design trends. One of my favorites is The Ministry of Type, by English designer Aegir Hallmundur. Not only because the site itself gorgeously designed, he has this compulsion with tracing everything, which I love. It’s the design/illustration equivalent of taking something apart to see how it works, and it’s something I feel like I should do more of every once in a while. You can look at all the inspirational images in the world, but in taking them apart you’re going figure them out so much better.

Some of his retracing inspiration (but visit the site, they look better in context):

the fox


Tropicana UnReBrand

March 12, 2009

Tropicana Packaging

I know, I’m late to this discussion. The rollback of the Tropicana re-branding sent minor design shock-waves last month, with Pentagram’s Paula Scher even calling it “..the worst thing that happened to graphic design since focus testing.” [via]

Now this just might be naivete, as I’ve never worked on a major corporate re-branding project, but I have to respectfully disagree. I’m absolutely sure that it must be a pain to try and get these big corporate companies to do something new, and a little bit daring. And pulling things back when the initial reaction might be just reactionary does set a bad precedent. I agree.

However, in this case, the quality of the design absolutely is part of the discussion. The rebrand just rather missed the mark. I think the old packaging could use an upgrade, but the redesign missed all emotional connection to the brand. Several people in the Brand New comment thread recounted memories of trying to stick a straw in an orange as a child, just like on their Tropicana carton. That’s a powerful image, and I wonder what the rationale was to scrap it.

The re-brand just seems like a case of designers designing for designers, rather than their audience. It’s an easy out to disparage the audience as the ignorant masses. Including your audience in the design process doesn’t mean you have to dumb down your designs. It means you have to make them smarter.

[photo via design:related]

New favicon for Google

January 9, 2009

google favicon

Just noticed google’s rocking a new favicon. What do you think? I like it better than the blue “g” they had in the most recent redesign (it always seemed off balance somehow) and throwing the “g” off center adds more interest…I like the way it’s interacting with the corners.

I think I like it. For what it is. If you want to read about their process, head over to the google blog.