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Great iPhone customisation from Eden

Check out this awesome customisation and packaging for your iPhone. Read more.

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Great iPhone customisation from Eden

Check out this awesome customisation and packaging for your iPhone.

If, like me, you're not so keen on having an iPhone that looks like everyone else's, and if, like me, you're a sucker for attractive packaging, meticulously designed and with a nod to being friendly to the environment, you'll like (and perhaps love) this new brand from Germany, Eden.

Sourced from sustainable sources, the new wood panelling you can order for your iPhone4 (currently no iPhone 5 option). First spotted over at Fast.Co Design.

Posted by Bronwyn Penhaligon in Packaging and Fashion.
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THERE Founder walks the talk at SEGD

CEO Simon Hancock talks at SEGD's international Asia Pacifc Webinar.   Read more.

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THERE Founder walks the talk at SEGD

Simon Hancock, co-founder THERE, talks at SEGD's 'EGD Down Under' Asia Pacifc Webinar. During this session he will reveal insights, thoughts and process, stemming from over 10yrs of signage experience. 

For years now, Australian design firms have been prominent winners in the SEGD Global Design Awards program.

Their bold use of color and typography, elegant integration of cultural influences, and innovative applications of scaled graphics have created some amazing public spaces and attracted worldwide attention. 



What are the secrets to their success Down Under? Is it all about big budgets? More design freedom? Less regulation? You may be surprised at some of the answers next Thursday, February 21, when award-winning design firms THERE and Heine Jones share their work.

You'll see pretty pictures, for sure. But you'll also gain insights about the ideas, budgets, client relationships, and processes behind their award-winning work.

This international webinar is being held at a special time —  
Feb. 21 in North America, 5:00pm EST/2:00pm PST 
Feb. 22 in Australia, 9:00am EDT/Sydney 

For more information and to register, click here.

What is SEGD? 
Society for Environmental Graphic Design
The global community of people working
at the intersection of communication design
and the built environment.

 

Posted by Paul Tabouré in Environmental, News, Architecture, People and .
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How you speak, not just how you look

In branding, it's not just how you look that counts — increasingly brands are using tone of voice as an effective way to differentiate, connect with an audience and gain competitive advantage. Read more.

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How you speak, not just how you look

Whilst we're designers, or visual people, at heart, more and more copy is king. We're helping our clients figure out what's being said, and how to say it, rather than simply 'flowing it in' at the last minute. 

Tone of voice, verbal identity, brand personality — there's lot's of buzz words and jargon to describe it. Increasingly of late, it's become a key offering of any self respecting brand consultancy. It's a badge of honour in some agencies to have writers on staff, turning out columns, pages and slides of crafted, honed and perfected copy that evokes a brand's values, creates a personality around a brand and connects in it's audience in an authentic way.

For me, the words on the page, and the design that visualises and arranges them, have always been inseparable. One of my earliest 'big briefs', working solo on an annual report, went a little bit pear–shaped as I couldn't stop changing the copy - everything from the headlines, pull quotes down to the tiniest details in body copy. My own creative process actually revolves around key words and semiotics, rather than colours, texture or symbolism. Once I have the words right, the message, then I can design.

That's not to say one is more important than the other – they're both two halves of the whole, equally important and necessary for the success of any brand in our increasingly complicated, diverse and fast moving world. For many years, agencies neglected the other half - dominated by visual designers, visual thinkers and marketers or client teams who considered the words to be their domain, supplied to their design team to 'flow in'.

Thankfully, creating an ownable and distinct tone of voice has become considered part of the branding agency's remit, and we at THERE are seeing the effects of this industry shift in our own work. Increasingly we're being called upon to not only design a visual identity, but also to name a brand, to create it's key messages and narrative, and then to articulate, define and document a tone of voice, or verbal identity. It's both a pleasure and an enormous challenge to take so much responsibility on behalf of a client in shaping the fundamental building blocks of their brand.

Below, we've collected a few great examples of verbal identity, the organisations represented are varied and diverse, from large mega corporations, small boutique juice company, to a 'dry bar', providing a place to socialise for people battling addiction. The tones of voice are equally rich and diverse, but tellingly feature wit or humour. This was by no means intentional, but it was interesting to notice how brands that have a little fun, embrace humour and share a smile with their audience rise to the top and create impact, are memorable and in many cases, more successful.

Nudie Juice, Australia
Nudie have mastered a naive, almost childlike tone of voice that masks a sophisticated intent, to change our way of thinking about our fruit juice, the manner it which it is made, and the contents within. Their verbal identity is thus defined by the tone of their voice, as well as the substance of what they talk about. Nudie have a purpose or mission, they're direct about it, but they have a disarmingly authentic cuteness in the way they express themselves.
Credit: Jack Watts Currie, Sydney

Air Asia X / Virgin Blue, Australia
Virgin have built a global business based on their 'Robin Hood Rebellion' business strategy and brand positioning. They find markets with entrenched, monopolistic leaders, and enter as an irreverent, value option that champions the customers needs — leading the rebellion against the status quo. This gives them incredible license to be cheeky, funny and sometimes just plain naughty.

Macmillan Cancer, UK
A common strategy for building a recognizable verbal identity, is a repeatable, adaptable messaging structure — or to put it simply, let's call it a catch phrase. Macmillan appended 'We are' to the beginning of their brand mark, transforming it from a logo to a bold declaration, a proud statement of belonging. The rest of the identity utilises these 'We are' statements almost too repetitively, but the bold visual approach balances the phrases and gives the whole identity a strong, punchy feel not often seen in the not for profit health sector.
Credit: Wolff Olins

Apple, USA
The world dominating tech company from Cupertino has never been afriad of creating memorable, distinctive communications - from the iconic 1984 super bowl commercial, to the long running and beloved 'I'm a Mac' campaign. Increasingly Apple has lost it's edge with regards to it's tone of voice, becoming a monotonous parade of superlatives – and the satirists have taken advantage of this hubris. But every now and then Apple's copywriters get a gem out the door, and this headline from the iPod Touch site is a great example.
Credit: Apple Inc.

 

The Brink, UK
The last example is probably my favourite of the round up. The Brink in Liverpool is a 'dry bar' — a safe, welcoming and lively place for people battling adiction. Somewhere to hang out, socialise and enjoy yourself, where the strongest drink on hand is a coffee. The use of these catchy little sayings borders on the poetic, creating an optimistic, fun verbal identity that also rolled out to aspects of the branded environment.
Credit: SB Studio & Reed Words.

 

Posted by Clinton Duncan in Advertising, Branding and Identity.
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Desktop Mag - Identity Insights

THERE's Clinton Duncan delves deep into the psyche and understanding of 'identity' Read more.

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Desktop Mag - Identity Insights

In the world of academia, it is known as 'Publish or Perish'! Thankfully in the design world it's not about survival, but explaining your design ethos, rationale and where you place your flag in the earth.

Our team at THERE have a myriad of talents and outside of work interests that keep the juices flowing. Thankfully we also happen to have a Creative Director - Clinton Duncan, who thrives on writing and commenting on identity, branding and design.

In the latest issue of Desktop Magazine, Clinton has delivered a deep and thought provoking piece on identity, both of self and in the context of our field of operation in graphic design. Drawing references on the writings of Plutarch and Heraclitis, Freud and that iconic identity of the 20th century Andy Warhol, we're taken on more of journey than a commentary. Clinton muses on our descent into the superficiality of 'everyone' having their own 'identity and brand' to promote for their 'God given' right of 15 minutes, and where this leaves us as an industry- purveyors of expertise on corporate identity and branding. Best get yourself a copy...

 

 

 

Posted by Gordon Eckel in Branding, Corporate, Insights and Views.
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Justus & THERE

THERE have just been interviewed and featured in the latest Justus Magazine showcasing the very best of Australian design Read more.

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Justus & THERE

THERE were invited to be featured in Justus Magazine – an invitation only industry magazine that showcases the best of Australian agencies and stand-out talent.

Taking the common unity that is design and forging a community of print designers, studios, suppliers and students of design, this quarterly journal goes out to a limited number who have been personally invited to subscribe to and showcase their work. 

The launch of Issue 3 was a huge success, with both industry peers and designers attending in hordes, indulging in the flowing bubbles and being the very first to delve into this beautifully produced publication.

Thanks to Larissa and her team at Justus for a job well done… Keep up the good work!

justusmagazine.com.au

Posted by Paul Taboure in Views, Print, Press and News.
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Is Apple a design company?

Like many others, I spent some time today looking over the suite of new and updated products from Apple at this years WWDC. Most interesting of all, however, was a new brand ad, communicating the pride they have in signing their products 'Designed by Apple in California'. Read more.

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Is Apple a design company?

Like many others, I spent some time today looking over the suite of new and updated products from Apple. The new Mac Pro is cool, the new iOS look and feel was very, let’s call it, “new”, and the other stuff they shared was one, the other and often both at once.

I try not to bring up Apple too much in discussions with my clients, as most times I do, it’s dismissed. It seems many people in marketing and business don’t think the laws of the real world apply to the Cupertino based company and the enviable brand they’ve built - as if by magic Apple are able to play by a different set of rules.

I spend a fair bit of time thinking, reading, learning about and admiring Apple. I’m also using at least one and often a few of their products every waking hour of my day; from listening to music from my iPhone in my car driving to work, working on a Mac to reading on my iPad Mini before bed. I admire the company greatly. Most people roll their eyes when I say that, and I understand why; I sound like a fanboy, as if I’ve been seduced into the cult.

But what I admire about Apple is their culture - a way of thinking, working and making things that, as far as I can tell, has been indelibly marked by the force of will, personality and values of their charismatic founder, Steve Jobs. Steve was fond of saying in many of his keynotes that Apple sits at the intersection of the liberal arts and technology, and in a Forbes article he probably hit upon his most eloquent expression of the ideal;

“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough – it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”

It wasn’t until today I realised Steve wasn’t just talking about Apple - the above metaphor, of an intersection of liberal arts and technology, is the perfect expression of what design is. The different disciplines of design are distinguished along technocratic lines - architects and interior designers understand a mullion from a spandrel, industrial designers learn the myriad tolerances of different materials, web designers know PHP from CSS, and graphic designers know all sorts of stuff like how to export a PDF.

Technological differences define and separates design disciplines, be they the productivity software we use, our technical jargon, the production or construction methods. But all design disciplines can speak the language of less is more, of balance and form, of composition. We can all admire and appreciate each other’s output, we all have a favourite painter, illustrator or photographer. From my experience, most people in the design industries are socially progressive, politically aware and have read a book or two.

Often in my work I try to distill a ‘brand idea’ - a snappy two or three word expression of the core idea that underpins a business, the products they put out to the world, what they value, their culture and heritage.

Probably seems obvious - Apple is, at it’s core, a design company, free from clients and budgets. A design company where perfection is the only goal and how much your work changes the world is the true measure of success. Today I realised, again, why I love Apple so much - they’re the perfect design company; they have colleagues not clients, incredibly high standards, and a huge impact in making people’s live better - which sounds to me like any designer’s dream job.

 

 

Posted by Clinton Duncan in Advertising, Branding, Design, Identity, and Digital.
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Ryoji Ikeda @ Carriageworks

Contemporary art in Sydney's larger public institutions can often be a hit and miss affair, but Carriageworks currently has on show a particularly good work with Ryoji Ikeda's Test Pattern #5. Read more.

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Ryoji Ikeda @ Carriageworks

Contemporary art in Sydney's larger public institutions can often be a hit and miss affair, but Carriageworks currently has on show a particularly good work with Ryoji Ikeda's Test Pattern #5.

Consisting of a series of celing mounted projectors pointed directly down upon the viewer, Ikeda's Test Pattern #5 is a sensory overload of sound and light. Monochrome linear visuals morph in reaction to the stochatto rhythm of the electronic music. Drums pound against the high pitched squeal and crackle that only sound from a digital source seems to deliver.

Viewers are invited to walk amongst the field of light, engaging with their whole being with the artists' forceful, seemingly malicious intent. A cursory glance at this work would read dark and foreboding; a cavernous, ominously darkened room, violent music and no colour at all. And yet, watching other members of the audience, from the young to the old, the reaction is delight, joy. Many jump and skip in time to the racing lines of light, as if playing a game of rope,  while others lay flat, relaxied and calm amongst a cacophonous audio visual assault.

 Art is often hung on a wall, or mounted on a plinth - precious, unapproachable, "do not touch!" - the penalty of breaking these rules can be painful for all concerned, often most acutely the artist themselves. I'm reminded of a story of an unfortunate German tourist who sat on James Angus' delicately intricate wooden sculpture 'Seagram Building' at the MCA in Sydney a few years back.

It's interesting to note, and heartening for a designer like myself who likes to bend the rules and ignore obviousness, that such an uncomprimising, apparently brutal work like this could be such a crowd pleaser.

 

Posted by Clinton Duncan in Art, Design, Digital, Environmental and .
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Beyond the Signage Surface

A recent study following the implementation of a new signage strategy for pilot programs in London and South Hampton A&E departments reveals a huge decrease in the incidence of violence towards staff. A 50% reduction in fact. Read more.

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Beyond the Signage Surface

When discussing signage and communication strategies the focus has to be on creating a meaningful connection to the users of the space, delivering an experience which moves beyond just legibility and circulation objectives.  Gordon Eckel takes a closer look.

 

 

A London studio were commissioned by the Department of Health and the Design Council to assemble a multidisciplinary team including psychoanalysts, service designers, A&E consultants and social scientists to identify the main reasons why patients become agitated enough to physically or verbally abuse hospital staff.

"A lot of the frustration that leads to anger is just a lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding about how things work," explained Lloyd. "It's caused by patients not understanding the clinical language or the process or why someone who arrives after them is seen before them."

The design was trialled over the past year at a hospital in London and another in Southampton, and PearsonLloyd director Tom Lloyd told Dezeen the results have been overwhelmingly positive: "We were shocked by the fact that there was a 50 percent reduction in the aggressive incidents across the two hospitals after the implementation."

The proposed solution focuses on placing key information in relevant locations within the waiting room and consultation areas so patients are constantly aware of where they are and how long each part of the process might take.

A process map in the waiting room guides patients arriving at A&E through the process, from check-in to assessment, treatment and next steps, and is supplemented by a leaflet with more details.

Vertical panels throughout the department explain the activities that take place in each space and their consistent appearance makes them easily identifiable.

Live information about how busy the department is and predicted waiting times for different assessments are displayed on monitors and the designers have proposed a mobile app that could direct patients to the nearest A&E with the shortest waiting times.

"It's about providing information and it sounds so simple but we wanted to create something that was cheap because if we'd designed the perfect waiting room, with great chairs and great lighting, then the chances of that being able to be rolled out in any hospital was next to zero," explained Lloyd. "We wanted a system that could be retrofitted at very low cost and quite high speed in almost any department in the country."

Extracts from Dezeen where you can read the full article

Posted by Gordon Eckel in Design, Interiors, , Insights and Views.
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A low-fi quirky look at Happiness in Design

Check out this amazing TED Talk: by industry legend Stefan Sagmeister. A low-fi quirky look at Happiness in Design Read more.

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A low-fi quirky look at Happiness in Design

Here is a great little talk about one man's 'Happiness in Design'. A Low-fi, quirky and entertaining look at the relationship between design and happiness by graphic design heavy-weight Stefan Sagmeister

Posted by Paul Taboure in Design, Insights, Views, People and News.
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