ayana baltrip | design : speak

Addendum: Gap Bows to Outcry – Nixes New Logo and Crowdsourcing. Design Still May Have Lost Out.

Posted in Branding, Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanabaltrip on 2010/10/12

It was wonderful to see the outpouring of concern over the Gap’s brand redesign and the impact it had in ultimately getting the company to back away from the poorly designed new mark, and ultimately, it seems the practice of crowd-sourcing. (Please see link at the bottom of this post for the article concerning this.)

I do feel a bit sad though, that while the Gap has  publicly stated that they would not out source the design work again, and that this event has given many companies pause to think before engaging in this practice, the value that designers and design bring has been greatly compromised. Much of the dialogue missed a lot of the salient points that apply to design and the process. Is this because of the “instant information” culture in which we are living? Is it because we are in an economic depression? I don’t know. I see a lack of trying to understand the design process, or maybe even a resistance to doing the work entailed in developing the process, in more and more students.

How do designers sell the value of design in these times? Love to know your thoughts.

Gap Bows to Outcry – Nixes New Logo and #Crowdsourcinghttp://bit.ly/cdb5xg

Is The Design Process (Strategic Design) Going The Way Of The Dinosaur?

Posted in Branding, Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Process by ayanabaltrip on 2010/10/11

Tom’s of Maine new logo:

In my last post, I added the newly designed Tom’s of Maine logo and packaging to the discussion of poorly designed branding speared by the newly designed GAP logo.

In both cases, I sincerely feel the design process, and strategic design have completely been left out of the equation in the development of these brands. What is going on? As a design educator I find what I see as becoming a trend exemplified by these two examples quite disconcerting.

During project critiques, the design process that looks at the targeted audience and what it has already bought into in respect to a company’s brand and product or service, is always at the forefront of the design choices of color, typography, imagery, layout, etc. I just don’t see this consideration given in the case of the Tom’s of Maine and GAP redesigns.

What am I missing? Love to know your thoughts.

Graham Smith of ImJustCreative offers a nice perspective on the outcry about the GAP logo redesign. In his post, The Gap Logo – Is the outcry and criticism justified. In his followup post, The GAP Logo Design Revisited, he, in good fun, offers his reworking of the logo.

New GAP Logo

Previous GAP Logo

Tom’s Of Maine Changes Their Brand Also | Filed Under #disappointing.

Posted in Branding, Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanabaltrip on 2010/10/10

So about a month or so before all this hoopla about GAP changing is classic, modern brand to, what I consider a mundane, nondescript one, I needed to buy toothpaste. Off I went to Trader Joe’s to purchase my Tom’s of Maine Natural Antiplaque & Whitening Gel. To my surprise and chagrin, I noticed that they had changed THEIR BRAND!

I buy the spearmint flavored paste and felt the leaves illustration at the head of the container visually conveyed what flavor I was purchasing. The new package has no illustration and is using a color palette purple, dull green, aquamarine blue, and blue (I think) used as the logo, which doesn’t visually relate at all the the product.The only element that may visually relate is the flavor name that is written in this horrible font. What were they thinking?

In addition, the logo has been redesigned in a way that has no connection what-so-ever to Tom’s of Maine’s long-standing brand. The typography is weak, and as a consumer, I have no idea what they are attempting to convey as their brand with this new design. I wonder if they crowdsourced this redesign.

Love to know your thoughts.