Archive for the Branding Category

Iceland Wants to be your Friend

Posted by Alex

Go here right now This marketing campaign is absolutely hilarious, genius, and refreshing. I want to be Iceland’s friend, a lot, after reading through all this (go to the Twitter or Facebook page for more fun). I’ve always wanted to go there anyway, but this certainly supplements my desire. I had no idea Iceland was such a cool person, thanks Takk Takk.

I have heard that many people use the Inter-nets to make friends, and to talk about themselves. So that is what I want to do, too. I know you are probably very busy doing important things, but if you want to be my friend, you can.
– Iceland

Still from Heima, the beautiful Sigur Ros documentary.

Unevolved Brands

Posted by Scott

Graham Smith’s brilliant Unevolved Brands is “A progressive study on brand & logo simplification“. It’s also a lot of fun; we sat here for quite a while going through each logo and trying to guess the brand it represented. They run the gamut from completely obvious to frustratingly cryptic and all the while Smith strings you along with vague hints as to the logo’s true identity. The fact that I recognized any of them is sort of a sad testament to the pervasiveness of the modern global brand. They’ve drilled these things into our heads to the point where all we need are a couple colors and basic shapes.

Unless some sort of Mad Max / Waterworld situation goes down and people start just wearing leather suits and fish skin canteen holsters, brands aren’t going anywhere. But it would be nice to see more companies start shifting to simpler, text-free versions like these (Nike and Apple are good examples of brands who have already gone pretty far in this direction). A lot of Smith’s simplifications are really nice to look at actually.

Be honest, did you get most of them? I feel like UK people have an advantage, a few those I’ve never even heard of.

Unevolved Brands via Quipsologies

HBO Intro Behind The Scenes

Posted by Scott

Awesome behind the scenes segment on the making of the 1980’s HBO intro. Every time I get frustrated with work I’ll think of this and remember how lucky we as creatives are to have modern tools. Although compare this to the digitally generated DVNO video. +1 for analog, again. I don’t know what amazes me more, that they achieved these effects with such limited technology, or that HBO was willing to go to such expense for an intro sequence.

Video Link

Oh, and the HBO Video logo for good measure…

Brand Talk: J. Crew

Posted by Sam

In my new, and sure to be infrequent column, I’m discussing brands of note, some old, others new, and those long gone. As someone interested in the development of brands, these posts are less about business, and instead about where art and industry marry in historic form.

An unexpected brand making well-deserved headlines is J. Crew. Yes, that one. I had the same reaction when a few of my trusted friends made me aware of the brand and it’s current status. My memories of the brand were from the mid-90’s, of $98 Rollneck sweaters and greater misdeeds. Now I count myself amongst the fans for this most seemingly common of brands.

In it’s current moment, J. Crew has become less of a product line and more of a sensibility. The best example of J. Crew as a ‘perspective’ is their ‘In Good Company’ collection, which combines the 2000’s obsession with brand collaboration and good old fashioned curation, pairing the company up with well-worn heritage brands like Sebago and England’s 86 year-old outerwear brand, Belstaff. This is what is affectionately call an “ethos grab” or the adoption of the traits from greater brands via their inclusion in your own.

Riding on a wave of preppy fascination ushered in by a few East Coast indie bands, men’s clothing saw a sea change in recent years towards a more subtle look, taking over for a trend of logos and bright colors. J. Crew also wisely eschewed an overt prep direction, Instead opting for classic American and work-inspired clothing.

Like any brand resurgence (Apple, being one), it starts at the top and it infects the whole company. Mickey Drexler is the patriarch of this evolution, and his attitudes towards hiring and culture have informed the brand’s ascendency since he joined in 2003. Creative director Jenna Lyons has become a celebrity in her own right.

The inclusion of Andy Spade, co-founder (with his wife) of Kate Spade and his own confusingly named Jack Spade brand, was another brilliant hire, whose sly blend of Midwestern charm and a hint of old school smarm (David Spade is his brother) created the best asset perhaps of J. Crew-dom, the Liquor Store shop in Tribeca. A barely refurbished bar as men’s shop, and a signless work of retail genius.

Mr. Spade on the relative anonymity and modest scale of Liquor Store:

“It’s odd that people think they have to brand everything with their own name to be successful. Certain companies are experts at certain things. I love brands that show humility and don’t try to be all things to all people. How many brands that got bigger got better?”

J. Crew
Founded: 1983
Golden Age: 2008- ?
Typeface: Goudy Old Style

Welcome Aboard Info graphics

While this has been around the Behance block, I can’t help but admire this piece by Francisco Andriani. The use of typography in these pieces is gorgeous. The noisy photographs and large type along with a relaxed but secure color palette also really sets the mood of airports.

Seeing these info graphics makes me want to see this style implemented nicely in the terminal. Large monitors showing arrival and departure times with this style would be stunning. Especially if used on large installations like these. With a little collaboration I could see Tyler Thompson’s boarding passes and Francisco’s info graphics alongside one another in the near future in airports.

But part of me asks: how relevant would this style of design be to the traveler?