design

Real leaders collaborate

It’s the businesses that can assess their culture’s health that have a tendency to produce the best work. It’s the teams, lead by values driven leaders where ego has no part to play, that are the happiest and most productive. Collaborative management, consumer focused products and services, marketing communications which target dialogue and engagement as central to achieving objectives, satisfied and inspired employees – today these form the blue print for business success. Interesting that whichever way you look at it, it all starts internally.

“My definition of a dickhead is a person whose ambition for themselves or their own career is greater than their ambition for the project or team.” Rhys Newman and Luke Johnson, No Dickheads! A Guide to Building Happy, Healthy and Creative Teams.

Creative businesses, perhaps unsurprisingly, are great at sharing their thoughts and guidelines on the subject. The common idea celebrates the empathic, accountable and thinking individual which itself acknowledges how we thrive personally and professionally, and the connection between the two.

In their sharing of how they’ve made their workplaces happy, healthy and creative, Rhys Newman, (ex Director of Advanced Design, Nokia and VP/Head of Design, HERE – a Nokia Company) and design researcher and internal communications specialist Luke Johnson (ex Internal Communications Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Principal Design Researcher, HERE) – talk through every facet of a studio laying bare the power of simple gestures – “good morning”, “goodbye” – the importance of food to bring people together, the lives we lead outside of work with family, hobbies and pets, the wonder of language and story telling .

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Follow this link for a relieving and validating exhale – A guide to building happy, healthy and creative teams.

Brooklyn based digital agency Big Spaceship is equally as culturally aware. They’ve shared their philosophy on Slideshare – read Our Manual. Big Spaceship also makes for a great case study in a recent interview by Lindsay Rothfeld on Mashable which looks at people, physical space and human interactions.

Let’s hope this thinking becomes the mainstream with “No Dickheads!” 2015’s professional development mantra.

Logorama – 2,500 logos in 2009 award winning French animation

Logorama is a 16-minute animated film written and directed by H5/Francois Alaux Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain, and produced by Autour de Minuit. It won the Prix Kodak at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 82nd Academy Awards. It uses no less than 2,500 logos to show the extent to which brands are embedded in our existence. Logorama is of course a visual hyperbole of our daily branded lives yet frighteningly realistic. On viewing this film you realise our relationship with any of these brands rests almost exclusively on consumer action and direct experience.

More than a logo

LogoHereIn the land of brand (in Australia), some practitioners would agree it is enormously restrictive to align the discipline of branding so closely with the “logo”. The weight we assign this particular brand asset may contribute to a brand’s profitability over time by cleverly shifting perceptions, appealing to the visceral and ultimately affecting consumer purchase decisions, but a brand’s actual success is derived from a more complex application of the term. (more…)

Australian brand and design companies suffer from media invisibility.

Australia has some bright sparks in the brand and design industry, but who’d know it outside of its network?  As a marketing discipline that is responsible for the creation, development, evolution and management of brands, it is curious why design and branding in this country still exists as a mystery to those who are not directly involved.

My prompt for this article comes from online searches (including key industry media) that consistently fail to show much content with a brand and design focus to attract readers in the business, brand management or marketing sectors. The point here is that design and business are intrinsically linked yet there is a clear disconnect between the two. Why? (more…)

Sex and smokes used to work

Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere

This copy line for Tipalet cigarettes marketed to men, will give you a laugh! How bold we once were.

As a follow up to the last post, I came across some interesting work showcased on Lovely Package, a comprehensive and good looking packaging blog worth visiting. Check out the student designs for Nomad Self Lighting cigarettes by Matthew Smiraldo, Norway’s Andreas Fossheim’s packaging for cannabis cigarettes (if they were legal), and Derek Hunt’s packaging for X Tobacco. Cool stuff.

http://lovelypackage.com/category/tobacco/

Armani Hotel brand debuts in Dubai

Armani’s first hotel launches tomorrow, April 27, in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower. The project was scheduled to launch on March 18 last month but was moved with no explanation by hotel management.

The Armani Hotel Dubai occupies ten floors of the tower (floors 1-8, 38 and 39) and offers 160 guest rooms and suites. Room prices start at $US462.90.

According to a hotel management site, www.hotelmanagement-network.com/projects/Armani/specs.html, the joint venture between Giorgio Armani and EMAAR Properties, EMAAR Hotels and Resorts Inc cost $US8billion! An extraordinary amount of money to be invested in anyone’s name and, in this case, Armani’s empire. However, the opulence will no doubt be jaw dropping to experience. The good news is that Pentagram New York created the naming, identity, visual brand positioning and marketing collateral which guarantees an aesthetic of grace and a degree of visual subtlety –  www.pentagram.com/en/.

Milan is the next city in line for an Armani hotel followed by London then New York.

Armani Hotel, Dubai