Archive | design

Why shouldn’t your barcode be cool?

Why shouldn’t your barcode be cool?

Sheer, complete, unadulterated brilliance. Make the barcode an element of branding and design! I’ve designed dozens of packages from toys to food and, I must admit, it never occurred to me that the barcode could be a cool part of the packaging. You pay for the damn thing, you download the image, and you paste [...]

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Posted in design, seriously smart0 Comments

When a brilliant product idea marries a bad package design

When a brilliant product idea marries a bad package design

I did not make this picture up. Some designer and ad agency thought it was a good idea to make “raw water” look caca brown like this. In today’s “I wish I thought of that department,” we present for your amusement and bemusement . . . raw water. At a premium price, no less. What, [...]

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Posted in design, seriously dumb1 Comment

Can you really afford a cheap logo?

Can you really afford a cheap logo?

This designer is pretty lousy at kerning. Can you see the problem? You’d definitely notice it on a sign. Back in the 1990′s, the design world was roiled by the widespread use of digital design tools, which brought down significantly the barriers to entry in the field. Any designer, logo designer or otherwise, would have [...]

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A beginners guide to free stock photos: Part One

A beginners guide to free stock photos: Part One

Normally a stock photo like this will cost you $50 (Web) to $200 (print). At Dreamstime it’s selling for the everyday low price of . . . free. Perhaps one of the most significant bummers of running a shoestring venture is that “free” is often the highest price you can swing. And in those rare [...]

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When your logo goes terribly, terribly wrong

When your logo goes terribly, terribly wrong

I normally don’t go for humor at the expense of people who are trying their best but don’t really know what they’re doing, so I would normally pass on passing on a link like this. But the grim reality is this: if you’re launching a new business on a shoestring, then it’s not like you [...]

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More stuff on packaging — or, more properly, less stuff on packaging

More stuff on packaging — or, more properly, less stuff on packaging

Okay, so I’m on a packaging roll. My default mode as a designer — you might say it’s the hand I catch with as a designer — is minimalism. Because I have a pretty hefty background in cognitive science, I’m absolutely certain that “focus” is better than “lots of stuff.” Again, one of the challenges [...]

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Out-of-the-box thinking about boxes — Valentine’s Day edition

Out-of-the-box thinking about boxes — Valentine’s Day edition

Although I spend most of my days in marcom and marketing consulting, I used to be a professional designer (the real kind, with formal training, not someone who learned Adobe Photoshop one weekend). Of all the challenges in marketing design, nothing is more difficult to do right than product packaging. And there is nothing in [...]

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Speaking of logos, how the best logo of 2008 was created

Speaking of logos, how the best logo of 2008 was created

If you’re in the market for logos of any kind, you should hear Sol Sender’s two-part video interview on how his team created the Obama ’08 logo. Now, most of you can’t afford someone of Sol’s stature and ability, but if you listen carefully, you’ll learn much about what separates an effective design from an [...]

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Logo design trends of 2008

LogoLounge’s yearly roundup of logo design trends. Here’s the thing: for small businesses and entrepreneurs, the designers they can afford are a couple years behind the trends. Why are most of these logos and trends kind of sucky if not a whole lot sucky? First, nothing beats simplicity. Second, the best logos are the ones [...]

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