Archive for the ‘brand’ Category

Michael Graves + [yellowtail]

Thursday, August 6th, 2009


Check out the interview with Michael Graves from DesignVerb. Some good insight into the similarities (and differences) between architecture and product/industrial design! Quite interesting. When I was in highschool I wanted to become an architect… and now, I often find myself comparing the two disciplines of architecture and industrial design. According to Mr. Graves, it’s all problem solving and human or environmental interaction, just on different scales.

What elements and methods in your architectural profession bring value to the product/industrial design discipline?

I don’t really view them as separate, actually. I’ve always fashioned myself a general practitioner, not as a specialist in any one area. I feel that too often, people become too specialized. Just as a lawyer should be well practiced in case law, an architect should have the same fundamental knowledge of their craft. And if your business evolves into an area of specialty, then that’s great – but it shouldn’t define the extent of your expertise.

What differences do you find between an architect and a product designer? Strengths, weaknesses.

Certainly, there’s a difference between the scale and complexity of a building and an artifact. However, we take the design of both equally seriously, and take into consideration their functionality, how people relate to and use them, how they each influence the continuum from the scale of a city to the building to the interior room to the object on the table. When looked at broadly rather than in isolation, buildings and products reflect our core values. If people intuitively understand how to use them and gain joy from their visual appearance, we’ve made a difference.

More insight about the design intent and process of [yellow tail] wine glasses on YouTube.

Read another interview on Architechnophilia

my new Posterous blog

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


I’ve just started my posterous blog “Through Open Eyes: observations and inspiration” as a very quick way to share- can you guess? Observations and Inspiration! And to document all the other things that interest me but may not fit on Dine. Travel. Design.

Have a look and follow what others are posting on Posterous or start your own.

Business tips for Women

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Came across a new blog today: BizChicksRule which links to many more in her blogroll. Learn about networking, self-promotion, business planning, marketing+branding, career management, and much more. Wow, I think I’m only now discovering (or finally realizing) the vastness that exists on the internet…

Relates to my previous post and the Design*Sponge resources.

“medicinal” chocolate

Thursday, September 4th, 2008


This is such a clever (and marketable) way to bridge emotional connection to comfort foods, as well as addressing chocolate for health benefits!

The range, which includes The Chocolate First Aid Kit, Mini Emergency chocolate bars, and Seven Day Prescriptions, will be available across the UK from Waitrose, John Lewis and Fenwick.

via DesignWeek

Jia Wei and Chinese Design with LKK

Monday, September 1st, 2008

An interesting and insightful interview with Jia Wei, director of LKK Design. Read the complete interview at visionunion.

Q: How do you view the current state of Chinese design?
A: We’re not short of good designers in China, nor good design agencies and good clients. What we do lack is a systematic approach to design, a design process with a particular cultural basis. I’ve always believed that it’s the underlying economic foundation that determines what can be built. The current boom in the Chinese art market is a result of the expansion of the economy.
I am convinced we will soon be seeing a similar boom in Chinese design. The important thing for a designer is to be able to use economic, artistic, cultural and scientific methods to make design something three-dimensional. Design that only considers artistic or scientific aspects is not good design. So many designers now fail to use this three-dimensional approach when they design a product. They only consider aesthetic aspects and try to copy that clean European look. That is someone else’s creation and they’ve been developing the style for decades now. Even if we do design like that really well, that’s not being creative, it’s just continuing what’s gone before. We ought to be creating an age of three-dimensional design
that is our own thing.

Q: What kind of designer would you like to become?
A: I don’t think China is short of good designers, what it does lack is professional ones. There are no professional standards by which you can measure this industry. I think a professional designer needs to have passion for design, a sense of responsibility and sincerity in their job, and the will to learn. Design is like digging a well. If you haven’t found water it’s because you haven’t dug deep enough. All you have to do is keep on digging deeper and eventually you’ll find fresh water.

Q: Do you have any advice for young designers?
A: Study. Keep at it. Love life. A designer should be a person who really knows how to live.

via visionunion

Thanks Design*Sponge!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Last week I attended the Design*Sponge Biz Ladies event in Boston hosted at West Elm (D*S Boston Event). Great info from local women in the design business about marketing yourself and being an independent designer. Also, some tips about making an online presence (Secrets of self-promotion at Thanks Design*Sponge!

Unfortunately schedule is over for the summer. Can’t wait until next time!

But until then, check out online resources from Design*Sponge Biz Ladies

70 cleaver business cards

Friday, August 1st, 2008

These are my 3 favorites:




See all 70 here
via designverb

Speaking of Graphics and Logos…

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

WalMart got a new logo…

Remember the old one?

Wal-Mart’s new sunburst, in contrast, “is designed so simply that there’s no ownership to it,” Neumeier says. In other words, it could be used by almost any corporation.

But Robyn Waters, a design consultant and Target’s former vice-president for trend, design, and product development, sees Wal-Mart’s new logo as a sign that the retailer might actually be becoming more original. “I never thought the star said or meant anything. It was just generic,” she says, pointing out that Macy’s also has a star as its symbol.

Wal-Mart’s shift can be seen as an attempt to recast itself as a kinder, gentler company. How is the image friendlier? Lowercase letters tend to be interpreted as more casual and approachable, says Frere-Jones. But Wal-Mart hasn’t gone too far, keeping the brand name a proper noun and beginning with a capital letter—think Google’s all-text logo with a big “G,” vs. Facebook’s with a small “f.” “Otherwise, it might look like they’re trying too hard to play with the cool kids,” says Frere-Jones.

It’s quite interesting this new trend of big businesses trying to connect with the home-town consumer. Not really ‘big brother’ so much as ‘big friend’. I recently heard a gas company radio advertisement saying that all of it’s locations are run by local buisiness owners… which apparently makes that gas better because we support local people, or so they say.

For the detailed report on Walmart’s logo visit BusinessWeek.

Not to mention, icons are everywhere (due to the iPhone?)…

food critics and the ‘restaurant experience’

Monday, July 14th, 2008

I came across this article from Metropolis Magazine and although it’s mainly speaking of graphics, I do believe it applies to other aspects of design from furniture and tableware to uniform of the servers and staff, which food/restaurant critics often do not comment on, but in passing.

“Perhaps there would be more reason to stress graphic design if critics paid attention to it. But they never mention graphics and, truth be told, barely assess the architecture (even when designed by Pritzker Prize winners). And while I savor the tasty prose of gifted food writers, if I were a critic, my readers would be treated to a regular menu of cuisine and design in an attempt to right the imbalance.”

It’s not only decor and graphics that dictate the identity of a restaurant, but the rest of the experience that probes at the senses make an impression on identity. How comfortable was that chair? How well was the knife designed to easily cut into the delicious steak? These things could be added to the last paragraph of the article…

“To convey the total dining experience it’s essential to include details that add to a restaurant’s overall personality. Granted, graphic design can never be the paramount reason for a diner investing time, money, and calories, but when viewed as a whole it should be worthy enough to be noted and occasionally celebrated.”

Read it here.
(I’m not disagreeing with Metropolis, simply wishing to include more..)