What Makes Good Design?
Designing a brand that works is difficult. When designing a brand you have to take alot of things into consideration like…
– Keeping The Design Simple
– Representing The Company You Are Designing For Correctly
– Choosing The Correct Colours
– Versatilillity Of Your Design
– Making Sure Your Design Is Memorable
– Target Audience
Here I will showcase and talk about some of my favourite brands which I consider good design.
Brands that I think really work and include all of the areas listed above.
1. Pitch Fork Media – (img taken from – http://4chanmusic.wikia.com/wiki/Pitchfork_Media)
Pitch Fork Media’s branding to me is a perfect example of good design. The reason I would class this as good desing, would be down too the simplicity, the moods in colouring, iconography, and the actual memorability of the brand.
The Simplicity of the typography really stands out to me, I love the simple Slab Serif font that is used for the titeling. I also think the typography works really well with the Pitch Fork icon. The colour scheme over all really works as well. The designer has used the colour black, for both the typography and the circular element of the icon. The colour black represents power, and gives the company quite a profound look as though they are the alpha music reviewing company.
The simplicity and the memorability of the Pitchfork icon is one of the most important elements of their branding. The icon is a black circle and inside of the icon there are arrows aiming upwards, and these are the only elements of the branding that has different colour, the colour is orange. Semiotically this works really well for the company, they are a company that review and rate music and these arrows represent good ratings, accompanied by the colour orange which represents success.
2. Warp Records – (img taken from – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warp_(record_label)
Warp Records branding to me is another perfect example of good design. The reason I would class this as good design, would be down to the iconography, memorability, colouring, and representation of the company.
The typography is very simplistic using a basic sans serif font. Central to the company’s icon, it stands out straight away. The title is skewed down to the right, giving it a warped look which fits in with the company’s title.
The Warp Records Icon its self is what really stands out to me, and makes me think this is a good example of good design. Warp records produce experimental music, that is always different from anything you have ever heard before. And I think the colour skeem along with the iconography project this really well. First the overall colour of the icon is purple, the colour purple represents the imagination, creativity, and also can mean immaturity. The colour purple, really does represent this record label, because the music they produce is very imaginative, creative, and also can be quite immature to taste, its different so some people could class the music as immature, but its provocative and thats the sort of reaction warp records go for. The icon to me represents an electronic sound wave, spanning across a globe. The sound wave represents the music that Warp produce, and the way it spans across the globe to me gives out that message that there trying to change the music industry.
3. Crew Republic Brewing – (img taken from – http://unabirralgiorno.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/crew-republic-745-escalation.html)
Crew Republic is a German brewery. This is another example of good design, I think the branding for crew really works mainly down to there, iconography, memorability, colouring, and representation of the company.
Crew Republics’ typography works. The font used is a Slab Serif typeface, with an overall black colour. The reason the Slab Serif font works for me, is because it is a traditional font that has been used in the branding of breweries for centuries. It gives Crew Republic a professional and profound look, as though they have been doing this sort of thing for centuries and know how to make beer. The colour black, is the colour of the hidden, the secretive, and the unknown. This colour choice is perfect for a brewery, simply because beer enthusiasts love discovering new beers, a beer that tastes completely different from anything they have tried before, an unknown taste. So in that sense the colour choice is perfect for Crew Republic.
Crew Republic icon in my opinion is perfect. It is a picture of a hop, that has been transformed into a grenade. It represents the beer they make perfectly, explosive. If you are a brewery, and you have the most important aspect of the beer you create in your branding, to me it says a lot. It instantly connects with Crew’s target audience, the beer enthusiasts, the people who love hoppy beer and the fact the hop as been transformed into a hop grenade, makes it seem as though the beers are going to be one big explosive hoppy experience. It is also very memorable, it works without the typography, in the brewing world this icon is very unique.
Here I will showcase and talk about some of the worst brands which I consider bad design.
Brands that I think do not work and do not include any of the areas listed above. First of all…
1. Olympics 2012 -(img – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Summer_Olympics)
The Olympics 2012 branding is really bad. My first example of bad design. Down to over complicating the iconography, to the simple type face choice, this is a perfect example of bad design.
The type used for the London 2012 games, is just a simple sans serif font, with added styling to the lower case “n & d”. Its just a really boring type choice, for something that is supposed to be a big event, you would have thought they may have chosen a type face that is more exciting. The type face in comparison to the actual iconography is very underwhelming, because the icon itself is a lot more over top. A simple black is applied to the type for reasons unknown, because black represents the hidden, the secretive and mystery, where as the Olympics is a world wide public event so it doesn’t work.
The worst part about this branding, is the iconography. Very hard to make out, but its actually supposed to represent the year “2012” if you do not recognise this, it just comes across as a mess, and also makes it a bit confusing. It just seems as though the designer has not put much thought into the actual design of the 2012 emblem. The only thing I could say I like about this design, is the actual Olympics logo in the zero, it looks as though it has landed on top of the two and crushed it, as if to say the olympics has landed, which is the only exciting element of the branding.
There are other versions of this design, which make it even worse. The designer changed the colour of the logo leaving results like this, which over complicate the design even more.
(imgs taken from – (www.webdesignerdepot.com)
The pink and yellow colour pallet on the first design is the worst in my opinion, really hard on the eyes.
2. Gap 2010 – (img – http://fortune.com/2014/07/21/branding-gone-wrong-when-bad-logos-strike-back/)
This is the rebrand of Gap from 2010. A perfect example of why good branding is important, and another really good example of bad design. I will just talk about this brand in a whole, about why its so bad, and why its a good example of the importance of branding.
In 2010 Gap attempted to modernise their already simplistic memorable brand design, this design lasted a week before Gap returned back to their original design. The reason this is a really good example of bad design, goes down to the pointless blue square that is located in the top right hand corner behind the “p”, and for the lower case lettering on the “a & p”, The changes are just unnecessary they make the brand look basic and cheap. The reason for this change was because, they wanted to re-invent themselves as a company, this design is supposed to appeal to the younger generation, the new design is supposed to be modern, sexy and cool, but it just doesn’t work.
Because Gap is internationally known for there basic upper case lettering and the blue square behind the text, this change creates a lot of confusion. This branding transformation cost gap 100 million dollars, within a week they had gone back to there original design.
3. Royal Male 2001 Consignia Rebrand (img – http://www.canny-creative.com/2013/10/10-rebranding-failures-how-much-they-cost/)
This is another rebrand for the Royal Male, that I consider bad design mainly down to the poor representation of the company.
The colour choice is probably the only thing that works with this design, when considering a mailing company. The colour of the typography is a dark blue, blue represents trust, it also resembles loyalty and integrity, which is what you want from a mail company, although the name Consignia really does not work at all. The name Consignia to me does not represent a company that delivers mail, to me it seems more like the branding for some kind of software including the logo. The type face that is selected is just a simple sans serif font, nothing special, nothing very royal about it at all, and nothing that insinuates that this firm delivers mail, so in that sense it is a very poor brand with little affect.
The icon used I like, but it could have been used for something a lot more fitting like some kind of computer software. Again nothing that insinuates that this is a mail firm, it just doesn’t represent the company. This design doesn’t even compare to the original brand, the crown with a red background with big bold capital yellow letters that says “THE ROYAL MAIL” , first of all the crown represents the royalty, and the brand in itself looks like a big red mail stamp, simple and it just instantly recognisable as a company that delivers mail.