16) More Ghana-Inspired Inspiration!

Back to my Ghana Googling Extravaganza…

I discovered a magazine called Canoe that does amazing cover designs that I had to share.

Love love love these! I can’t wait to bring my perspective from living in America to Ghana, and to come back to America with new perspectives from Ghana.

15) The Dieline

To sum it up, The Dieline is “The World’s #1 Package-Design Website.”

This website can entertainment me for large amounts of my time. I have always been interested in package design and at one point (still, even) wished to be a package-designer. The designs on here are so crisp, modern, and visually pleasing! On top of that, package design uses many of the same creative strategies that advertisements do. In some ways, the packaging IS the advertisement. Here are some recent posts that I like:

Kangaroot Beer (made by a student! SWEET!)

Mimushi Handcrafted Figurines (these lil’ guys are so cute!)

Tay Clean and Pure Products

14) Helvetica: Yay or Nay?

My simple answer to the question= Helvetica: Yay or Nay?

is= May!

Let me explain. In general, I don’t believe in using Helvetica as a cop out for a lack of creativity or using Helvetica just for the sole purpose of having used Helvetica. I don’t like the “trendy” aspect of Helvetica. On the other hand, when used at an appropriate time and in the right way, it can be very useful and aesthetically pleasing.

There may be certain situations and brands where there is an exception, but I personally feel that for the most part, Helvetica should no longer be used for Brand Logos. I don’t have any problem with using Helvetica for any text in design, because sometimes the simpleness of Helvetica allows the content to be more powerful than the typeface, but in terms of using it for the actual Brand’s Logo text, I think at this point in time it is way over done.

Here are some funny images and opinions about Helvetica I found on Google:

PRO HELVETICA:

AGAINST HELVETICA:

13) Look Toward Children’s Books for Inspiration

The title for this post may sound really silly.

However, when I’m at work at the UO Book Store and there’s no customers in sight and I am bored out of my mind, I can’t help but wander to the children’s section. I found myself so fascinated with all of these books because the design aesthetic for children’s books are so simple, yet so powerful. Not only are the fonts and images so cheerful and fun, the content of these books are a big part of the inspiration. It’s amazing how deep these kid’s stories can get. I will proudly admit that I have learned many life lessons from these books, like how to share (collaboration), never to give up (overcoming fear), and many more. I hope I don’t sound sarcastic, because I’m being completely serious!!

Here are some book cover designs that I love:

In my mind, these are truly wonderful pieces of art! Maybe one day I’ll put together a children’s book covers art gallery.

12) Rachel Hom was right! Cupcakes ARE everywhere!

I was browsing Design You Trust, a collection of innovative, interesting, and eye-pleasing art and design, when I came upon a post about the Anatomy of a Cupcake. I had to post this because today in class, Rachel Hom said that for some odd reasons, cupcakes are a huge trend; and she was right!

Anatomy of a Cupcake....... is making me hungry.

I really like this image though. I thought the idea was cute and clever. The execution of the graphic was really clean and sharp, as well. Very easy on the eyes.

Another clever post was Photo Manipulations by Christophe Huet, a French photographer. I think that the techniques he used in these images would be great to incorporate in some sort of advertisements!

11) Getting Ready for Tracy Wong

In anticipation for Tracy Wong’s visit, I wanted to check out some of WDCW’s work.

There are many great pieces in their featured pieces, but I chose a case study very near and dear to my heart: Portland’s very own Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. The challenge was that Widmer Brothers lacked costumer awareness. At first, I thought this to be very surprising. Coming from Portland, everyone I know is all about the Widmer Brothers. However, I realized that that was the point. They were only really popular around the Portland area, and Oregon in general. They wanted to bring this enthusiasm for their brand a little north to Seattle, WA.

Watch the case study here!

I love this campaign for so many reasons. I love that so many of the tactics used were so unconventional and that the people who participated were everyday people. Many of the choices made didn’t try to just flaunt how much money they put into the advertisement, but showed that they were human, like the MISSING fliers and the man holding a cardboard sign on the freeway.

There were over-the-top gimmicks, like the airplane banner, but they were clever and tasteful. Their strategy genuinely made people want to get involved in “finding” Russell, whether they believed he existed or not. Another aspect that really helped was how accessible their campaign was, using their interactive website. Without knowing it, the people of Seattle were building a stronger relationship and emotional connection with the Widmer Brothers.

What truly inspiring creative thinking! On top of all that, they really did end up solving the brewing company’s concerns with their brand. The Widmer Brothers and WDCW are a match-made in heaven.

On a last note, I’d like to reveal that “Russell” is actually me and that I’m the third brother.

10) No Stones Left Unturned? Yeah, RIGHT!

Today I read an interview, or rather, conversation, between Cory Arcangel (media artist and programmer) and Dara Birnbaum (pioneering video artist). In this interview, they compare notes about art in light of widespread appropriation, outmoded applications, and increasingly divergent audiences. Birnbaum mentions a quote that Sherrie Levine made decades ago about there being no stones left unturned.

This idea was very intriguing to me and was one that I have thought about many times before. Due to how quick and easy it is for people to share and circulate their work, it seems like we’ve seen everything. This makes it harder and harder for ideas to seem original because no matter what it is, it seems like we have already seen similar ideas, or if we haven’t, we will soon.

I think that this directly relates to the idea industry. It is true that so many genius and innovative ideas have been created and that many of them are replicated. However, this does not mean that every stone has been turned. As newcomers into this industry, it is our goal and duty to find those unturned stones. And when you find this unturned stone, don’t just turn it, dammit–chuck it! CREATE, CREATE, CREATE. It may take a long time to find an unturned stone, but they do exist. Let’s see who’ll be the first to find one!

9) Check out Infosthetics.com!

Info-graphics has been a hot topic in almost all of my classes this term. A great site that showcases a variety of awesome info-graphics is Infosthetics. Check it out!

Here is an example of one that I thought was pretty sweet!

A Year in Snapshots: Revealing where Photos are Taken in the World

Click here to see at the original post!

8) Van Gogh like you’ve never seen it before!

In Creative Strat, recent job titles that we have been discussing have to do with interactive media (interactive media strategist, interactive designer, etc). This reminded me of a video I saw in a post on Today and Tomorrow, a truly fascinating collection of various funny, intriguing, and beautiful pieces in art and advertising. Petros Vrellis created an interactive animation of Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh:

Click here to see the entire post.

This is so amazing to me. I can’t even begin to think about how he created this, but it is so inspiring to me because it really opens your eyes in realizing how modern technology offers seemingly endless opportunities for creativity. I think that this type of interactive art would be great to use for an advertisement.