Verizon’s First iPhone Commercial

January 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Apple, Tech 

And so, it begins…

If only it would begin on T-Mobile.

My Take On Starbucks Logo Evolution

Logical Evolution of Starbucks Logo

In light of Starbucks choosing to update their logo on their cups for their 40th anniversary by streamlining and isolating the mark and ditching the name to join the ranks of iconic brands Nike and Apple. Rather than get angry, I thought I would give it my (tongue firmly in cheek) take on what I think would be the next logical evolution of the iconic brandmark.

New Starbucks Logo

Original image from Starbucks

My take on the change as a designer, I think I would have explored a containing ring around the mark, and maybe even tried experimenting with size and orientation (which I would assume was part of their internal process), but I take my hat off to them for making a gutsy decision to take the next step and elevate the brand above being just about “coffee”. I think that removing the concentric ring, takes it out of the crest-style and negates the need to let it stand in isolation. I think they could have had a little more fun with it. But I also understand their desire to not mess too much more with the equity in the existing imagery. Would love to see the stages of exploration that they went through to arrive at their final design.

Alternate Starbucks Logo

My take on adding concentric ring outside logo. Just had to see what it would look like

Fellow designers, don’t be too critical of my execution, this was just meant to be a quick, five-minute diversion that like all jobs that take three times longer than planned, turned out to take 15 minutes. So, there are nuances of curves that I would normally take more pains to smooth, etc. Also, the fact that by focusing on just the face, I realize that several other key elements to establishing the iconography are missing, notably the star-crown, hair and mermaidish apparitions of the siren. In hindsight, and if I had the time to indulge, I would have added at least two other steps in the evolutionary chain showing a more gradual reduction. The goal here was getting it to it’s minimal essence—actually, more like past it.

I think I’ll go put another pot of coffee on. And, get back to werk.

Good Article on Fair Use for Copyrighted Work

December 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: "Whitestone Design Werks", Design 

Fair Use Copyright Code

Just came across this article by Steven Heller on AIGA’s site: Rights, Wrongs and the Law: An Interview with Frank Martinez, Esq. for those coming to this site searching for more information of copyright law. While this doesn’t pertain per se to the issue of smaller schools “borrowing” larger school’s better designed and more familiar mascot artwork, it does help to understand the whole concept of what is appropriate to appropriate when the material in question is copyrighted.

The article addresses the increasing challenges that design scholars and historians are having trying to put together books on the history of design when they have to obtain usage rights but are facing increased fees for those rights. If the budget is not there, how will design history be sufficiently documented when they can’t even show what they are writing about.

In a nutshell:

The doctrine of fair use is alive and well. Generally speaking, a use of a copyrighted work will be deemed a fair use when the benefit to the public outweighs the private right of the author or copyright owner. However, it is important to remember that fair use is an exception or defense to the protections embodied in copyright law; fair use is not a right or an absolute shield that creates a general immunization against copyright suitupon invocation by a scholar. The fair use guidelines are arbitrary, they have gained what definition they possess by reason of litigation and they are not embodied in the copyright statute

I encourage you to check out the whole article.

NY Times Article on Colleges vs. High School Logo Trademark Infringement Battles

Penn State Nittany Lion vs. Buna H.S. Cougar

Just thought I’d post a quick link to a New York Times article that ran today that outlines the plight of high schools across the country that are facing the legal issues of trademark infringement with the colleges and universities that they have “borrowed” for their own mascot logos. Buna High School and Penn State are mentioned very briefly in passing, but it’s resulted in an increase of searches reaching the original Buna Trademark Infringement article I posted back in June.

Colleges Tell High Schools Logos Are Off Limits

I think the bottom-line is that it’s easy to think of the big schools as the “bullies” picking on these poor little ol’ high schools who just want to have a decent mascot to showcase their school pride, but it highlights the issue of how valuable an identity can be to an organization that has invested resources, both financial and the physical effort of building a winning sports program that elevates the status of that mascot identity and how important it is to protect that investment from being trivialized by overuse by other organizations that haven’t made that same investment.

Read more

Design As a Franchise-able Commodity? or, Is a Logo Worth More Than an Inkjet Printer?

The E-Myth Revisited

I recently had a book recommended to me by a friend that has evidently been must-reading for entrepreneurs for years called, The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber. I was aware of the book, but it had never been on my reading list. After my friend flat-out told me that, “You have to read this book” while simultaneously thrusting his well-worn copy into my hands I decided to take him up on his exhortation. While it has more of a Zen influence then I would like, I still found myself quite captivated with all of the business possibilities it stirred up in my mind (and heart). While there were many insightful sections that have stirred me to re-evaluate my own business model, I found myself in a bit of a frustrating quandary. For those who haven’t read the book, I won’t spoil too much (other than they all die in the end) by revealing that much of the business model is based upon developing a franchise-able vision for your company. My quandary was that I could not reconcile my appreciation for the franchise model which relies on developing systems that deliver quantifiable and repeatable, consistent results, with the reality of my business which at its very essence relies on uniqueness, abstract thought, subjective opinion and thinking “outside the box” as it were. How could a design business be modeled as a business that could be franchised?

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