Lately, I’ve been investigating adjustable desk options that would allow me to stand and continue working. I’m not a sit for 8 hours a day type of designer. My cousin is a talented wood worker so I tasked him with researching adjustable height desks for me, so that we might build one.
In his research, he came across these awesome vintage/retro looking tables from Vintage Industrial in Phoenix, AZ. I love the heaviness of the table shown, with the crank wheel to adjust the height. There’s something so organic about the design that appeals to me, and just having something like this would inspire much creativity I think.
While the “space-age-techno” adjustable desks are nice and certainly functional, this steam-punk looking desk just seems invite you to come over and touch the surface. I also think the contrast between a computer/modern device sitting on this would look great.
So now it’s our turn. Armed with some inspiration, my cousin and I are in the planning stages of creating an adjustable desk for my office. I’ll keep you posted, most likely have something finished around the first of next year.
We were recently asked to review a logo and update it to a more modern and functional design. You can see the original design below:
This logo suffered from a lack of cohesion, poor type choice, and the unwarranted and often overused “swoosh” effects that have become common on too many logos. (I really think it’s a case of a designer trying to disguise a bad logo, or as they say “put lipstick on a pig”.)
Further, this logo would not lend itself to branding for company shirts and other promotional materials because by the time you reduced the size, the type would be rather small.
We took a look at the elements, agreed with the client that the color choices were fine, and began to process of creating a new logo for them. After a few prototypes we reached the final logo design, which is displayed below:
The result is a tight, well-defined logo that can be used on a variety of media, and most importantly, made the client very happy.
We were contacted by GameTime International founder, Derrick Boles, in January of 2012 to discuss potential web and logo design projects. It was in a later meeting that Derrick presented his then-current logo, and asked if we could update it. Derrick was hesitant about doing a logo redesign, because he designed the original logo and as he phrased it, “It’s my baby!”
That’s understandable when clients are very close to the projects and design many of the beginning materials for their company.
We took Derrick’s vision for the future of his brand, and updated the logo with new colors and lettering, keeping in mind the variety of materials this would be used on: web, print materials, promotional materials, etc.
The result is a modern logo that will help brand GameTime International as it continues their mission of mentoring to children and young athletes.
I think it’s amazing sometimes that people in the same line of work find themselves on a similar path. Kim Doyal, aka “The WordPress Chick” recently posted her manifesto after experiencing some “creative frustration” (my interpretation). She inspired me to create my own manifesto, which I’ve added here. It doesn’t matter if you’re the creative type or not, if something resonates with you like it did with me when I read Kim’s, then I encourage you to create your own. .
by Rudy Vaughn
I AM a Strong, Confident, Creative and Compassionate man. That’s who I was CREATED to be.
NO FUN, NO WAY.
I will CHOOSE the projects and clients that I want to work with.
I will CULTIVATE and DEFINE my purpose…and that’s how I will receive my income.
Being compensated for my talents is not asking too much. I am WORTH it.
I will always try to GIVE more.
It surprises people and makes them HAPPY. LAUGHTER is much better when shared.
I ACCEPT responsibility for my circumstances.
If I don’t like it, I can CHANGE it.
My CREATIVITY increases when I share it with others.
I will SHARE more often.
I will SEEK THE GOOD in all situations, even if I have to look really, really HARD to find it.
Ambition, passion and creative fire need GASOLINE from time to time.
Alarm clocks have NO place in my life.
Exercise = energy.
I KNOW there will be days when I don’t feel like it.
There are 24 HOURS in a day.
I will NOT take that time for granted.
Nor the PEOPLE in my life.
LIFE is not a competition, I allow myself to be the BEST I can be.
I will never stop LEARNING and setting GOALS for PERSONAL GROWTH.
My COMPASSION and GENEROSITY is not a sign of weakness.
I will find the ZEN in projects I am involved in.
I will express my APPRECIATION to family and friends for who they are in my life.
It’s OKAY to cheat on the diet once in awhile. That’s why chocolate tastes good…and pizza…and ice cream.
I will keep an OPEN MIND so that new OPPORTUNITIES I have not yet DREAMED about can find me.
I will FORGIVE those that have wronged me, because SOMEDAY I may need to be forgiven.
SOMETIMES it will hurt. I will get stronger.
FAITH and TRUST will guide me on this journey.
Being “STRANGE” can be normal. It depends on your point of view. I’m OKAY with that.
In myself, in my wife, in being INSPIRED by others (thanks WordPress Chick), it’s okay to CRY, there’s no such thing as TOO MUCH Monty Python, people are generally good, MASKS are only for Halloween, without CREATIVITY I am nothing, that a COLD BEER with friends in the summer creates memories, that I WILL get better at golf, I MAY have to edit this from time to time, I will RUN a four hour marathon, letting go of fear EMPOWERS me to succeed, that I really CRACK myself up at times, I am a “10”, in reading BOOKS with PAGES that are PAPER and not on a screen, that I will watch an F1 RACE in person, FAITH carries me when nothing else will, “Big Trouble In Little China” is a CLASSIC MOVIE, in TEACHING others, leadership is defined by two words, “FOLLOW ME” and YOU should create a manifesto of your own.
Was asked by a friend the other day over coffee how we get ideas for clients, or what is the process that leads us to create a design for the client. This quote below from Paul Rand is a great summary and description of what I sometimes call ‘creating order out of chaos.’
“The designer does not, as a rule, begin with a preconceived idea. His idea is the result of subjective and objective thought, and the design a product of the idea. In order, therefore, to achieve an honest and effective solution he necessarily passes thought some sort of mental process … Consciously or not, he analyzes, interprets, translates … He improvises, invents new techniques and combinations. He coordinates and integrates his material so that he may restate his problem in terms of ideas, pictures, forms, and shapes. He unifies, simplifies, eliminates superfluities. He symbolizes … abstract from his material by association and analogy. He intensifies and reinforces his symbol with appropriate accessories to achieve clarity and interest. He draws upon instinct and intuition. He considers the spectator, his feelings and predilections.” ~ Paul Rand
Or we could sum it up in one sentence from Michelangelo, “I am still learning.”
Finally got the video edited and up for those interested in seeing the Victory Viper logo we designed and painted on the Victory Charter School wall. Pretty cool to be able to “go big” with one of our designs. The project took two days to paint, for those keeping score at home. For those interested in the music, the song is “Tu Meri” by Asian Dub Foundation. Dig it.
Image is such a vital element in the business brand, which is why your main objective should be creating professional designs that are going to last.
When dealing with the technical and creative aspect of graphic design/marketing strategy, often the challenge is to produce creative ideas. The key here is to stimulate your brain so that creative thoughts can be crafted that will make your brand stand out and still maintain that professional image.
Here are some tips you can try to squeeze out those creative juices:
1. Spend time reading to be able to get inspiration from various reading materials.
2. Search the web and observe various sites you visit. Look at how the design was produced and what kind of reaction it elicited on you.
3. Ask your employees or other staffs for ideas. You can turn a small idea and develop it into a valid design concept.
4. Don’t reject any ideas at this point, even if they don’t seem right. Get your ideas down on paper and you can eliminate or refine them later. At this point you are just trying to get your brain in motion.
5. Make it fun! Sure, you can take it seriously, but if your “creative meeting” is conducted like a college final exam, I doubt it’s going to produce many creative ideas.