Garin Online

Simplicity and Beauty in Package Design

April 22, 2010
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New work from Landor for Old Spice.

With customers complaining that Old Spice’s old musk smell has always remained the same, Old Spice decided to release a series of new scents not given names like “New Wave”, “Fresh Start”, or “Invigorate”. Instead, they released a series of smells that are exotic location based, and Landor designed some sweet new packaging to go along with it. Above you can see the Denali, Fiji, and Matterhorn scents. Now, I could not even begin to guess what these scents would smell like, I’m a huge fan of the new look and the bold step away from the crappy selection that is men’s deodorant.

I like the switch from dark bottles to the white ones. Clean, concise, and very reflective of what the American public is feeling right now. At the far end of this recession, Americans are looking for clean and simple product design. You will see it all over the place, companies are using a lot of simple color and design patterns. Sometimes black and white with one accent color. Sometimes a very simple design scheme. It seems that we are tired of complexity. At home, in the news, and in our commercial design. And these new designs from Landor mirror that wonderfully. You have the red Old Spice emblem, and then you have an accent color for the location banner. And to integrate the central emblem into the scene, you have one piece of nature going in front of it in every scene. A tree in Fiji, a hillside in Matterhorn and reeds in Denali.

I will definitely be trying these out in the future. I think I’m going to start with Cyprus. The light blue of the location banner and the scene itself seem to reach out to me more than any of the others.


Nolan Do These Himself?

April 19, 2010
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Minor poster for the Christopher Nolan film “The Dark Knight”

Poster for the upcoming Christopher Nolan film “Inception”

If you may have noticed, these posters from two different Christopher Nolan films are sort of similar. And while Dark Knight was one of my favorite films, and I am very looking forward to seeing Inception. But with a high budget film like Inception, the poster designers could have gone with a poster different then the main character (DiCaprio) standing in a city center with water around his ankles. With subject matter as psychological as Inception, the designers could have done so many different posters. Here is my favorite poster designed for the Dark Knight, incorporating elements from both Batman and the Joker.

Who Wants to be a Superhero?

April 18, 2010
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New York City, home to quite possibly every sort of store you could ever imagine. And with this store, quite possibly the coolest store I have ever seen, 5th Ave in Brooklyn should be a preferred stop.

It’s great to know, that even after centuries of start-ups and companies coming into creation, that either one man or a group of people can come up with a great idea and get financing for such a breakout idea. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company is located in Brooklyn on 5th Ave, and it will supply a budding superhero with everything he or she would need to kick some serious evil ass. Some of the product categories that you can purchase items from are: Capes, Secret Identities, Gear, Robots/Cybernetics/Mutations, Lairs, Outfitting, Manuals, Lab Supplies and Invisibles.

And while I don’t actually know what is contained in all of the jars and tins that are supposedly carrying muscle enhancement of speed of light serum, I feel like I would most definitely purchase one and have in on some sort of mantle or tabletop.

But what really struck me as extremely well done was the branding and corporate identity of the BSS. They are not just a pure play business, they are a click and mortar company. They have a very well designed website, as well as a physical store front that is a great translation of all of their other branded material.

And here is the website.

After stumbling upon this website from a cursory glance on Google Maps (which revolutionized apartment hunting), I have been nothing but excited to actually see this store in person. But being as I’m in Ithaca currently, my next thought was to put together a mock ad campaign for my portfolio for the company. Maybe a website, maybe some packaging, I feel like designing for this sort of company would be extremely quirky and fun.

And just in case anyone was wondering, if I could have any sort of superpower it would be shape shifting.

Promoting the Mad Hatter

March 3, 2010
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Movie posters are simple in their purpose, to create interest in the movie and to ultimately get as many people as possible to see it. Since the dawn of the digital age the ways to promote a movie have increased to far more than just a creating a poster. But sticking to just the poster, there have been several design phases that movie poster designers have gone through; from illustration to copy heavy to simple photographs. Today however, movie poster designers are going with the theme of individual character posters.

More and more movies are going with specific character posters to advertise their movies. This approach diversifies the designs that film studios can take when promoting a new movie. If a man tends to identify more with Johnny Depp than Orlando Bloom, then that person can see the Captain Jack Sparrow poster. This also leads to far more sales opportunities, I know I’ve personally purchased a few character driven posters in the past.

Bold TV Posters

February 28, 2010
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Movie posters were one of the leading influencers that made me want to get into advertising and design. And while all production houses design their own posters, there are many designers who take it upon themselves for creating posters for not just movies, but tv and theatre. Albert Exergian has taken it upon himself to design posters for several iconic tv shows that takes a different angle. With one common theme among all of the shows, it takes one very noticeable object from the show and runs with it.

While this set of posters is very interesting, I’m not sure I really like it. With very abstract object being portrayed on the posters, you cannot always tell the relation to the show without the labeling at the top. I admire his attempt at this, but this is not something that I would be putting on my wall.

BAFTA Program Cover Art

February 27, 2010
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The word art is thrown around a lot in todays culture, everyone wants to be an artist. But on the rare occasion when someone really does create art, I think it is something that should be recognized and shared. I saw this on Kiersten Tiempe’s Blog and just had to post it here for more people to see. Travis Coburn was given the job of designing this years BAFTA Programs, and wow did he take it to a new level.

(An Education, Avatar, Hurt Locker, Precious, Up in the Air)

Like Kiersten, I hope this are released as prints, because these deserve nothing less than a frame and good spot on my wall. They are beautiful, vibrant, colorful, and leave you wanting more. I look forward to trying to find other work by this talented artist.

Goodbye Mighty Ducks

February 9, 2010
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I’ve discussed this topic on my blog before, the fact that branding and re-branding efforts are not limited to consumer product brands. Countries can be branded, athletes can be branded, and what I’ll be discussing here is the ability to brand and re-brand sport teams. The main example I will be discussing is the original branding of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 1993, and then their re-branding after the 2005-06 season.

What you see on the right is the original logo for the team that was developed before their founding. What is extremely unique about the Mighty Ducks is that they were founded by the Walt Disney Corporation after the success of the Mighty Ducks franchise. They actually alluded to this in the third Mighty Ducks movie, D3, with a guest appearance by former Duck superstar Paul Kariya.

I don’t really attribute a lot of intelligence to the marketing teams at Disney post 2000, but before that they were brilliant at creating Disney fans for life. And when Disney created the Mighty Ducks franchise, I don’t quite know what they were creating. However, with people like me, Disney created not only fans of a franchise of movies and TV shows, but also hockey fans. And while all of my friends can tell you than I am not a big hockey fan, I have always rooted for the Mighty Ducks and even own a Kariya jersey. Whenever I tuned into a hockey team, which I can tell you is not often, I tuned in to Ducks games.

In 2005 the Disney Company sold the Mighty Ducks franchise to Henry and Susan Samueli for $75m, and subsequently alienated a group of fans that have been with the team since its inception in ’93. And while I’m not a part of any devoted fan group, I am definitely not someone to idly toss to the side.

The Original Jerseys for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks

The New Jerseys for the Anaheim Ducks

Not only did the new owners change the jerseys of the team, but the colors, the logo and the name were also changed. Typically such complete re-branding aren’t done unless a brand is in danger of going bankrupt, but the Mighty Ducks had almost won the Stanley Cup a few years before, loosing to the Devils in game 7 of the series.

With the new logo, the Ducks (Notice: they are no longer the ‘Mighty Ducks’) followed the path of more dangerous and aggressive looking logos. The purple and the the green were anything but aggressive looking. But damn if those changes didn’t alienate this hockey team from a franchise full of devout fans. Say goodbye to Charley Conway, Goldberg, Adam Banks and Coach Bombay. The Bash Brothers, the Junior Goodwill Games and Eden Hall hockey are no longer part of the same franchise as the Ducks.

New Resume Design

February 8, 2010

Any Opinions?

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Consumer Generated Merchandise

February 2, 2010
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A set of twelve statuettes of cute androids have been released by artist Andrew Bell in collaboration with Goggle. These statuettes come in a very attractive box that bears the clean style of design that comes with most Apple products. These 3″ androids are extremely attractive not just to android and google product users, but to consumers loyal to other brand users. I personally am a loyal Apple product user, but I sort of want a few android statues for my desk at home.

Consumer generated merchandise is a great indication of a brands health. No one creates figurines for a brand that no one can identify with. The fact that an artist creates statues for a brand shows a completely different level of brand loyalty. Unprompted and unpaid by Goggle, an independent artist took it upon himself to create a set statues depicting the brand. I fool around with creating posters for brands that I have a strong connection with. If I ever like one enough, I’ll post it here. There are a lot of examples, but a few that pop right to my mind.

With Barack Obama in the 2008 election, dozens of artists and designers created posters, stickers, and tons of other types of media for Brand Obama. The most noticed were the posters by famous graphic designer Shepard Fairy, a personal favorite of mine. He created the “Yes We Can” posters to promote Obama, and than once the election was finished, the “Yes We Did” posters. But posters were not the only thing generated by Fairy, but over a dozen artists used their skills to create works for the future President. One of the productions that stood out above all others was the music video featuring the Black Eyed Peas and got over 20m views.

Why Brand A Nation?

January 30, 2010
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Landor Associates, one of the largest branding agencies in the world, does not just stick with consumer product companies  for their clients. Two specialty industries that Landor works with in a large capacity are governments and tourism boards. They have worked on the re-branding of countries, states and cities. Most recently, they worked on the branding for the Australian city of Melbourne.

There is a lot of debate on whether places can actually be branded, some scoff at the idea that counties and places should be treated the same way as a chocolate brand or athletic shoe company. But there are many people who believe that brands can be branded, although not the same way as consumer products. On the design side of branding

Simon Anholt is the world leading authority of place branding, and has put out the Nation Brand Index every year for the past decade or so. He has consulted on several countries rebranding projects and has taught master classes on place branding all around the world. Check out the case study that Landor put together for Melbourne.

Melbourne Case Study

You can see in the photo on the left how all of the different designs were considered depending on the tone they were trying to give the city. And that’s one of the big things about place branding v. consumer branding. You can’t force a place to The process of place branding is one that really interests me, having written my final paper on “Brand America” last year for one of my classes titled “International Marketing”.

With my interest in brand design, and especially place branding, I have applied for several companies for post-graduation that specialize in place branding.  Just the ability to create a brand for any place sort of amazes me. It’s different than consumer branding, its a physical place that people call home. And people have the opportunity to create designs that people will forever associate with that place. And that’s why place branding again is so unique, it really strikes close to a lot of people’s hearts.

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