If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

From Classic to Bland
For years, Gap has been one of those iconic brands that we’re all too familiar with. The old Gap logo was exactly like what they sold best – jeans. Like their closet staples, it was classic, simple, and understated. Their brand reflects that in all their advertising and marketing – simple and clean. And because of that, the one thing that held it all together was the logo. Take away the logo, and it could be anything else. It’s not my favorite logo, but it’s one that I admit, just works.

A Step Backward
When I first saw the new Gap logo on their site, I was shocked. And angry. And as a consumer, I felt cheated. The logo cheapens the brand.

The new logo is underwhelming. It looks like it was done in powerpoint. People are saying it looks done in a few seconds, but a lot of logos were done that way. The problem is that it doesn’t look finished. Also wondering how it looks in B&W.

Yeah, they were thinking outside the box, alright. But the wordmark isn’t interacting with the box. It’s just sitting there, in fact, it looks like a mistake. And why a gradient? Why something so indecisive in contrast to the word, which lokos so decisive? It’s saying one thing with the word, and another with the box.

Playing it Safe
Helvetica Bold has no plaice in a logo nowadays. They felt the need to conform. It’s a total cop out. Unless they’re going into a partnership with AA, there’s no reason to use Helvetica. Helvetica is already used for so many companies, but more than that, it was used by a competitive clothing company. Not that I have any problem with Helvetica bold other than it’s associated with too many things. It’s a generic font to be used internationally. It doesn’t have much character. Where are the gaps?

This may have been successful for the parent company. but t

At a time where the economy is down and people are turning to ets and small stores, and starbucks in trying to undo their corporate culture, there is no need to go this corporate. This doesn’t appeal to the target audience.

What it tells me is that it’s not confident. That there are insecurities. That it wants to play it safe.

Lack of Clear Vision
It doesn’t go forth confidently. The real problem when it comes down to the logo is the lack of clear vision. What on earth is this trying to accomplish? Is this a logo for the sake of a new logo? They threw themselves into a serious branding crisis by approving of a logo that said too many things. It looks like a desperate move. Brand panic.

Evolve vs. Reinvent
Gap took a risk with redesigning a new logo in this tough economy. What they didn’t realize was that they took a bigger risk by not going all the way. When it comes to logo redesigns, it’s an all-or-nothing move. Either it’s a design refresh (Coke) or a complete redesign (Pepsi). Either way, why would you take away something so iconic, and not put something else equally iconic in it’s place? Even if they decide to reinvent, they need to respect the heritage.

The parent company
This non-brand woudl have worked for the parent company. It looks like the issue is that Gap is the parent company AND a store. Look at Williams Sonoma and Urban Outfitters. They tried to do something new by combining both, but it just didn’t work. This could have been a successful logo for their parent company, but it felt short for their retail brand.

Who’s to Blame?
When the new logo went up on Monday, designers everywhere went up in a flaming logo rage. Fingers were pointed at the ad agency who designed it, and designers hated it so much that they’re throwing up their own 5- minute interpretations for free.

And while we can all point fingers at the designer/comapny/team who worked on it, the real problem is Gap. I truly don’t think that any respectable design firm would design this. This was clearly designed by Gap executives. “Creating good design is easy. Getting good design approved is hard.”

Where has Gap been in all of this? They sneakily launched the

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logo on their new site, and that’s all we’ve seen. Maybe it works better other materials. We didnt’ see the rest of the branding effort. They did this without a press release, without any say? Unless this is a PR stunt, it leaves a lot of questions open. People were wondering if this was for real.

And because they have been getting so much response over their logo, the

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announced on Facebook that they’re going to crowdsource their logo. Perhaps they’ll pull a Tropicana. But this is just unprofessional.

The fact that there are logos on top of the other logos feels cheapened. People don’t care about the parent company, they care about their stores. You’re dilutin gthe brand of the store that you’re in. And for god’s sake, if you’re going to introduce your new logo to the world, at least give it some breathing room.



http://blog.iso50.com/2010/10/06/gap-redesign-contest/ 11:22
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662446/gaps-retro-redesign-incites-flaming-logo-rage http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/dont_mind_the_gap_or_the_square.php


James Elliott (@jhames)
10/5/10 3:52 PM
If you’ve ever wondered when Helvetica doesn’t work as a brand identity, then you, my friend, need look no further: http://gap.com/

Designing Artifacts

The Train Schedule

I was taking the train back home from work the other day, and I happened to have my camera on me from taking photos at an event. What I found in the back pocket of the camera bag was an old, folded train schedule from my unforgettable trip to Japan last year.

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Working at Omada Health


After leaving my job at Mule Design, I finally had some time to myself to think about what I wanted to do next. It was a bold move to leave a job that I enjoyed so

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much, especially without a plan for what’s next. I still get crazy looks from other designers.

Anyway, I gave myself about a month to ponder over this, while I worked with Mike to get Tinkering Monkey up to speed for the holiday season. (Side note: We launched our holiday luminaria today) It was bliss. I loved working for myself, and at my own pace. Mike is working on Tinkering Monkey full time now, so it was

wonderful to work on our business together, in our pretty new loft.

Then I got a job. To leave that lifestyle and go for a full time job meant that the work had to be amazing. It needed to be challenging, influential, and something I’m really passionate about. Life is too short to do anything else.

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Leaving Mule Design


Today is my last day at order cialis canada Mule Design. Crazy, right? Most designers would kill for this job. It comes with dream projects, great clients, and some of the smartest people in the industry. I wasn’t here for long—only a year, but I’ve learned more in that time than I have doing anything else.

Working at Mule was the best place I’ve ever worked (really). Everyone is amazing. Everyday we work together to solve problems, get things done

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the right way, and don’t give up until we do. My design director Mike is a great mentor that I wish I knew a long time ago. You should hear what he says about running a design business,

because he’s damn good at it.

Why am I leaving Mule? To be honest, I don’t have a good answer. It’s more of a gut feeling. Unlike most people, I start to feel uneasy when I get start to feel comfortable somewhere, which to me, is a good indication that I should try something new that terrifies me. Don’t ask me why. It’s just how I tick.

People ask me all the time what my plan is. I’m proud to say that for the first time in my life, I don’t have one, but I

know things are going to turn out great. I’ve learned that the big successes in my life were from listening to no one else but myself. These were the decisions that were rebellious, difficult, and risky. These were the moments where I’d quietly listen to what people want me to do, and choose to go the other way. It’s makes me trust my gut more often, because somehow

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I know what I’m doing is right.

So here it goes.

I sold my car, quit my job, and moved to the other side of the bay. I’m closing one chapter of my life, and opening up another full of uncertainty. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, but I know that my deep desire to solve problems and help people will lead me the right way. I’ll always stay curious, find meaning in what I do, and hopefully, leave my

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I’m a little terrified, but it feels right. This time, my life is up to me.

10 Reasons Why Designers Should Learn How To Code


The question that’s been going around lately is, “Should designers know how to code?” My answer is yes. If you’re serious about your craft, it’s essential that you know how it’s produced.

Coding is to web design as typography is to visual design. It’s not the final

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product, but it’s essential to understand before anything good happens. Brian Haslanger

At one point, anyone who made anything was required to know about the materials and processes that they had to work with before their jobs became so specialized that they didn’t have to anymore. But why so? If you’re a chef, shouldn’t you know where your food comes from? As an industrial designer, shouldn’t you know how things are manufactured? If you design websites, shouldn’t you know

how they’re made? How else are you going to know about your abilities and limitations, and how to fix something when it breaks?

Here are ten reasons amoxicillin price overnight why I think designers should learn how to code.

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Mule Design Studio

If there’s one thing that I live by, it’s this: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Working at SolutionSet (my old employer) was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The company was still an infant, and I grew as a designer as the company grew six times it’s size. After three and a half years, I started to get comfortable. A little too comfortable.

magnet.jpg And so, after some truly heartbreaking goodbyes, I left a 300+ person, full-service marketing agency to a small, 8-person design studio. Hard as it was, it was the right thing to do.

That’s how I got started working at Mule Design Studio. I am honored to be part of such a tight-knit, talented group of people, and I couldn’t have had a warmer welcome as a newcomer on the team. Being at a small company obviously means doing more, which I am embracing to the fullest! I’ve been hired on as both a designer and a front-end developer, which will finally give me a nice healthy dose of both creative and technical thinking.

So far, so good. I’ve enjoyed going into work everyday, mostly because it doesn’t feel like work. Heck, the office feels like a giant living room. Allow me to share…

See all photos »
Mule Design Studio »

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Tokyo Electric Taxi Project

Working at a digital media agency usually means doing work for the screen, but once in a while, my agency will throw something completely random in the mix – like a project to develop car graphics for the first electric taxi in Japan. The effort to make

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electric cars more appealing to the Japanese public is a huge step for BetterPlace, a company that doesn’t actually make electric cars, but instead, partners with other car companies to convert selected models to work with Better Place batteries and charging stations. Any Better Place electric car can make a quick pit stop at a charging station – the idea being that these stations will eventually will circle the globe – and have their battery swapped out for a fully charged one in just a few minutes. See all Flickr photos » | See video » New York Times article » Continue Reading →

Layoffs: How it feels on the other side

It was Monday morning, around 10am. I was listening to the Beatles on my headphones, and completely immersed in some Flash work – when I looked up and saw that the room was empty and my creative director urgently telling me there’s a company meeting in one of our other buildings. I thought, “That’s weird. Our staff meeting isn’t scheduled until Thursday, and we never have meetings in the other building.” Whatever. It was probably some project I just got put on, or an update on our insurance policy.

I was the first to arrive in the conference room, and waited for a few minutes for the others to file in. Not everyone arrived. The founder of the company came in, and he got right to the point. He gravely announced,

I’m afraid this isn’t a good meeting. The people you see in this room are the ones that will continue working here. Everyone else will be packing up their things and leaving in a few hours.

I looked

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frantically around the room, choking back tears. The more I thought about who wasn’t there, the lower my heart sank. And once I realized that almost no one from my design team was there, I almost couldn’t take

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it anymore.

There was a short session of questions that followed, and then a solemn walk back to the building I worked in. While I was in that awful meeting, there was an even worse meeting that went on at the same time, in my building. You can guess which one that is.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in. I saw my team

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members there, quietly packing up, some crying. Hugs, emails, and wishes were exchanged. It was incredibly difficult. And after a few hours, they were gone.

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Customizing a Flip Camera

flip-camera-photo.jpg I designed this Flip camera for my company as a Christmas gift to our clients. It turned out great! This is my second time doing it, and it turned

out much better than the first time. I took this photo with my iPhone (sorry it’s out of focus).

Some submitted examples from the Flip website »
Here’s where you start creating one »
I found these FAQs helpful »

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Coming to a PowerPoint Near You

innovation_poster.jpg Apparently, a poster design I did in school is being used as a supporting graphic in articles – which is cool because:
1) Even though the actual poster is sitting in my closet collecting dust (sorry Professor Byrne), it’s being somewhat useful to others
1) It means that my poster is successful in correctly communicating the idea of Innovation. Which is much better than the actual grade I received on it (heh heh)

Here are the articles I’m talking about:
Nurturing an Innovation Driven Culture by

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Michael Plishka
Gelecein is yapsn tasarlamak by Yusuf Ozan (and no, I can’t read it either).

Now I’m just waiting for a phone call from a publisher that wants to use it in a book. I

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Or even better, it may be coming to a PowerPoint near you. Let me know. Every company has a PowerPoint on innovation, right?