♪ Oh yeah! It was like lightningSweet Melody
Everybody was fighting
And the design was soothing
And they all started grooving
Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah ♪
Melody, you already parodied ‘Ballroom Blitz.’ Oh, yeah? Well this is part 2: Design Blitz, and this song rocks! It Rock Band rocks! …Anyway, the task for DesignBlitz is as follows:
“Carry your camera with you this week and take photos of objects, ads, signs, etc. that illustrate at least four of the ten concepts [of design].”
I found a ton of design examples this week, but I only chose a handful to analyze that I think best represent our design concepts:
I love the typography for this sign I spotted for Pivot Physical Therapy! The designer made clever use of type and I took notice. The letters are in a simple sans serif font of uniform weight, which makes them easy to play with in design. The designer took the “V” in “Pivot” and angled it into the “O.” Then they contrasted out the “V” by making it red and the rest of the letters grey (The color combo of black, white, red, and grey will always look good. If you are struggling with design and color, that’s a good place to start). Next, the designer added a little dot under the “V,” giving extra meaning to the word Pivot. The letter is literally pivoting! The hidden meaning makes the typography super effective.
This logo for Essentia immediately caught my eye because of how well balanced it is (and how well the color works- see what I mean about black, white, and red)? We have 3 bars in red on the left side that are essentially a simplified “E,” which is also like an equals sign with an extra line. E’s and equal signs always look balanced. On the right side is a sign in white that looks like a plus and it balances out the “E” shape. The word ‘essentia’ is set vertically in white on the left side, balancing out the plus shape. But wait, there’s more! The corner of the bottom red bar is rounded (mirroring the shape of the type), but the top bar isn’t rounded. It doesn’t have to be, because the top right corner of the plus sign is rounded! The whole logo is cleverly balanced. Further, the type at the bottom of the logo is set in a grid of 3 columns and gives the whole thing extra balance. This branding is beautiful.
I find these umbrella bins incredibly appealing! Whomever designed these containers thought about their function and incorporated symbols to designate use of the bins. First, the designer had to think about what shape to give the bin. They have to be tall to hold an umbrella, but they can’t look like trash cans or else people will be throwing their garbage into them. How to achieve a can that’s not a trash can? The designer came up with the eloquent solution of creating a unique triangular shape to the round can. This also serves the purpose of having a natural resting place for the umbrella. But in case that wasn’t enough, the designer also added a clean cutout of an umbrella on the can to symbolically represent the object and to convey the can’s intended use. The symbol adds meaning to the bin, and the design is that much more functional because of it!
As soon as I spotted this Nino’s truck, I immediately thought, Italian food! That’s because the colors red, green, and white are of course the colors of the Italian flag, but they’re also the colors that make you hungry. Red is especially a “food” color, and most every restaurant uses it in their branding (McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut). And green usually means “healthy,” or “eco-friendly,” but if it’s dark green contrasted with red, it usually means pizza, calzones, pasta, meatballs, oh man, now I’m hungry. Now, the color is what’s working with this logo. The image of two dough balls, however, is laughable and unfortunate. Those are dough balls? They look like…things that aren’t food related.
Minimalism & Use of Space:
My last example is of a sign I spotted that conveyed the message that a certain building will be the future home of Adventure Brewing Co (yay)! I’ve always admired Adventure Brewing Co’s logo because of the clever way that it uses positive and negative space. It reminds me of that picture of the candle stick where if you look at the negative space it’s two faces facing each other. Only here, it’s a silhouette of a rock-climber hanging from a cliff (and he’s somehow managing to hold on to his beer). The contrasting elements are then set in a square and put at an angle to give the illusion that the man is about to fall. The use of space here adds meaning to the logo. It says: “Drinking beer with us is an adventure akin to rock climbing! Come have a pint.” I think I will Adventure Brewing Co, I think I will.