PUBLISHERS NOTE: ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION
It has been awhile sine I thought about Unimark
International, the Chicago-based design firm that
was once the largest and most influential in the
world, and its legendary founder Ralph Eckerstrom. But
a flood of childhood memories washed over me when
I learned about a wonderful new book about the rise
and fall of Unimark written by Jan Conradi. You
see, my father was a close friend of the late
Mr. Eckerstrom. Too many times over too many
drinks — seriously, it was the Mad Men
era — he filled my dad's head with visions
of the power, influence and importance of graphic
and corporate design in an emerging mass media
age. Then, in turn, my father filled my head with
these visions. I grew up steeped in the stories
and even got to meet Massimo Vignelli, a Unimark
co-founder who has written the forward for the
Conradi book. (I can remember the feet pajamas
I was wearing for the occasion.) Even though the
firm was gone by 1977 — and I studied and
practice law in the 1980s — I never lost my
fascination with the idea that graphic design was
not mere decoration but could shape commerce and
culture — inspired by the feats of Unimark
and the words of its founder. Eventually, I surrendered
to the siren song and my career at GDUSA began. If
you are so inclined, you now have someone to blame.
— Gordon Kaye
for the American Package Design Awards must be postmarked
by December 10. Entry forms are available for download at...
PROJECT OF THE MONTH
The New York Public Library has introduced a new identity
designed by the inhouse graphics team under the leadership
of Marc Blaustein. The logo for the venerable institution
is based on its famous lion statues, and is intended to
emphasize openness, with flowing lines speaking to
momentum and forward motion. At a special event in
the Trustees room, attended by GDUSA, President Paul
LeClerc said that "the new visual identity reflects
the accessibility and dynamism of today's
library. Blaustein (shown here) and his staff began the first stage
of the redesign in 2008 with the designers sketching
and photographing the statues. Dozens of iterations,
realistic and conceptual, pencil and digital, drew
inspiration from periods and themes including 16th
century printers' marks, Art Nouveau, stained glass,
and Japanese woodcuts. The result: a balance between
organic lines and geometric shapes that represent
movement and fluidity. The new logo is versatile and
can be used in various forms and colors, reproduces
well at small sizes, and reads in online and print. In
addition to Blaustein, who did most of the drawings
and design concepts and art directed the project
overall, credits go to Manager Tina Hoerenz, who
handled logistics, and Designers Daniel Um, Katharina
Seifert and Matthew Poor.
For a video on the development of the logo...
GRAPHIC DESIGN NEWS
Chicago, Where Else
Given Unimark's close identification with Chicago (see
Publishers Note, above) it is no wonder that the Society
of Typographic Arts and the AIGA/Chicago are celebrating
the long-anticipated book — Unimark International: The
Design of Business and the Business of Design. It is based
on interviews and research by author Jan Conradi and is
designed by Kevin Rau. Conradi and Rau will join Unimark
co-founder Massimo Vignelli at the Columbia College
Chicago on Friday December 11 to speak and sign copies.
Designing With A Purpose
The Coca-Cola Company unveils a new visual identity for
key brands in its extensive family of juice beverages. The
uniform package design, to be implemented across multiple
brands and products worldwide, is part of a strategic effort
to expand the company's global leadership position in the
category. Creation of the system was led by the inhouse design
group at Coca-Cola. "We started this process working closely
with the global juice team to understand the objectives and
the strategy of growing our juice business," says David
Butler, VP of Design. "This scalable, common identity
was created to address a business challenge, not to simply
update a package. This is truly designing on purpose."
Additional design credits go to Duffy Partners and CMA Brand Presence.
Komives Headlines News Group
The Society of News Design has named veteran board member and
industry leader Stephen Komives as its executive director. Komives,
Design Editor at the Orlando Sentinel in Florida for the past five
years, has also directed the Society's quick course design workshops
since 2007. At the Sentinel, Komives oversaw the organization's
visual reporting, developing a team of information designers in
print and digital media. He has also help editing and design
positions at the Savannah Morning News in Georgia, the Santa Fe
New Mexican and The Advocate in Stamford CT.
Premier Print Awards
The Premier Print Awards has been recognizing excellence in print
communications for over 60 years and 2009 was no exception. From
an impressive body of more than 3,600 entries the judges made their
selections in the following categories: Best of Division, Award of
Recognition, Certificate of Merit and the Top award Best of Category,
The Benny. (The upcoming GDUSA Design Awards Annual carries an
insert highlighting some of these winners.) To view the complete
list of those who received a 2009 Premier Print Award, visit...
The 2010 entry deadline is May 14. To be part of the 2010
competition, please contact Sara Welsh at...
412-259-1705 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTEST: GDUSA PACKAGE
Entries can be postmarked through tomorrow,
December 10, for our package design awards. Fresh entry forms can be
downloaded here. The program is presented by GDUSA and sponsored by Neenah Paper.
Business Committee for the Arts has selected Green Bay WI
advertising and design firm, Arketype, to receive a BCA TEN
Award for its "outstanding support of the arts." Arketype
president Jim Rivett accepted at a black-tie gala at the American
Museum of Natural History in NYC. The award is given annually to
ten firms that excel at supporting the arts. The BCA was founded
in 1967 by David Rockefeller to bring business and the arts together.
The Vancouver Police Department's Emergency Response Team is an
elite force. When faced with a dated logo based on a firearms image,
the ERT called upon Subplot Design. "This was a unique project
for us," says Creative Director Matthew Clark. "The primary
audience for this identity are the ERT officers themselves, both
past and present, as well as other members of the Department. Its
purpose is to stand as a 'badge of honor' that directly connects
them to their responsibilities, their values and their
beliefs." The mark features two silhouetted officers revealing
themselves to form the letters, suggesting the dual covert versus
visible nature of ERT officers.
Pen and Ink Online
Most businesses do not have a mobile management policy or
infrastructure. A campaign by ad agency Young & Laramore,
Indianapolis IN, for Mobi, a mobile management startup, offers
to solve this management headache. The campaign includes a website,
featuring pen and ink drawings, that communicates the business
problem and provides survey data to the CFO; lots of stats and
facts for the blogosphere; direct mail to IT directors; not to
mention logo and identity, print ads, t-shirts and
brochures. Credits to Creative Director Carolyn Hadlock, Associate
CD Bryan Judkins and Art Director Jonathan McGlothin. Here There
Be Monsters developed the design.
Seattle-based Cole & Weber United creates a digital
campaign for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called
"The Best of Us Challenge." Aimed at young people,
the effort is intended as a digital social experience that invites
people around the world to challenge top Olympic athletes using
sport and non-sport talents via an online competition. Through
consumer-generated videos, people compete to test skills doing
real or made up contests of skill. Some popular recent Olympians
are participating, including Rafael Nadal (Spain/tennis), Natalie
Cook (Australia/beach volleyball) and Shawn Johnson (USA/gymnastics).
CAREER TIPS FROM THE CREATIVE GROUP
BUSINESS GIFT GIVING
The holidays are here, and that means it's gift-giving
season. While you probably know what you want to bestow your
best friend or big brother, you may be at a loss when it comes
to your coworkers, boss or other business contacts. Following are
five tips for gift giving in a professional setting:
1. Err On The
Conservative Side If you question whether or not a gift
is appropriate, it probably isn't.
2. Don't overdo it. A
pricey present is typically unnecessary and may make the recipient
feel as if he or she must reciprocate.
3. Make A Charitable
Contribution. If you're at a loss for gift ideas, consider
a donation to a charitable organization in the recipient's name.
4. Don't Rush. If you're
running out of time for holiday shopping, consider presenting a
small New Year's gift, such as a calendar or journal, or better,
something you made yourself.
5. Acknowledge The
Gift. When you're the recipient, always send a
thank-you note or other form of acknowledgement that shows
you appreciate the sender's thoughtfulness.
The Creative Group is a specialized
staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web
professionals on a project basis. For more information, please visit
RIT Assembles Archive
Graphic Design Archive is a new website featuring 30 individual
designer archives that have been steadily assembled at Rochester
Institute of Technology for the past 25 years. The online portal
documents important primary resource materials. RIT-ers involved
include Roger Remington, Bruce Meader, Chandra McKenzie and Kari
Horowicz. David Pankow, curator of the school's Cary Graphic Arts
Collection — recognized for its holdings in graphic communications
and printing — describes the new website as "a collection
of important archives of designers not all of whom were born in the
United States but who have spent major portions of their careers
working here in the field of graphic design."
Bi-Lingual Exhibition Design
C&G Partners designed the exhibits at the newly-renovated El Museo
del Barrio, New York's leading cultural institution. Reopened this
fall, the galleries feature a flexible, portable exhibit display
system. Graphic design plays a strong role in the galleries and the
programmatic use of space by families and children. The graphic system
has a dual-language mode, so that both the inaugural exhibits,
"Voces y Visiones" and "Nexus New York," and all
future ones can be presented in both Spanish and English.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and the NPTA
Alliance (NPTA) are joining forces to host a combined conference this
spring in NYC. PAPER2010 will merge what was formerly known as AF&PA's
Paper Week and NPTA's Annual Convention into a single event. The date is
March 21-23 and the place is the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The AF&PA
represents many of the great specifier paper mills and NPTA Alliance the
paper distributors who serve the design and printing community.
Wings of Hope
Siegel+Gale has completed a brand revitalization project for Phoenix House,
the nonprofit drug and alcohol addiction, treatment and prevention
organization. The new logo, done on a pro bono basis, is intended to
depict the mission of "Rising Above Addiction." Says Alan Siegel:
"This new Phoenix House visual identity sends a message that is both
aspirational and real."
COMPANY OF THE MONTH: DOMODOMO
domodomo International Marketing Group, Inc. is
the new name for a very successful creative marketing agency that is
expanding and relaunching under a new name, brand signature and mission. We
asked domodomo to explain the thinking behind their expansion. Here are
their main points; it's an interesting take on the state of design.
- It's tough out there. Consumers have an unprecedented variety and
quality of choices and their buying decisions are highly impacted by an
economy which makes them think twice before spending.
- And it's tough in here. We now operate in a business climate where
marketing managers are challenged to justify every dollar spent as well
as every headcount sustained.
- Under these conditions, there is a natural tendency to become more
cautious, just when "diving in" — striving, reaching, and
innovating — and doing more — inspiring growth with limited
budgets — is needed more than ever from the marketing side of the business.
- Managers who respond to dramatically changed market conditions with
a business-as-usual approach of hiring an overhead-laden agency of record
that offers standardized, turnkey marketing tactics will find they lack
the edge to stay ahead of the competition.
- What they need is a forward-thinking partner on-call to answer big
business challenges with big ideas that reveal a brand's untapped
potential. What they need is an agency of the future, not the past.
- We at domodomo International Marketing Group specialize in "diving
in" — taking calculated risks that keep our clients ahead of the
curve, with a 10-year history of re-imaging brands to add new life and
value. We do so via a holistic, conceptual approach to business that
interweaves our high-level strategic and creative talent at each and every
step of a project, start to finish.
- It is a process proven to drive results — instilling share growth
and driving sales, even in declining categories. We call this KOI —
Kapitalizing ON Investment — because these days if your dollars are
not working harder, you're just spending money.
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