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:



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.

7) Dr. Pepper’s “Not for Women”

Dr. Pepper recently came out with this commercial for Dr. Pepper TEN:

Not only do I think this is an example of bad advertising for the obvious reason of offending women, but I think it was a very poor decision on their part. Apart from being so stereotypical, shallow, and offensive, this advertisement goes out of their way to exclude half of their audience, and potential consumers. All over the internet (Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, etc) are people voicing their negative opinions about this ad. I personally feel that after seeing this commercial, many will go out of their way to not only bad mouth Dr. Pepper’s reputation, but to stop buying their product in protest.

Even Ellen talks about her opinion of it on her show and does a little parody of the commercial:

Dr.Pepper really missed the mark on this one. However, I don’t want to end this post on a completely negative note, so here is another commercial they did that I thought was clever.

There was a sense of storytelling in this and I believe that it did evoke some emotion. It worked for me (at least way more than the “Not For Women” ad did).

6) WELCOME TO GHANA 2012!!!!

The title of this post was actually the subject title for an e-mail from the wonderful Prof. Leslie Steeves from SOJC, which was quite possibly the greatest e-mail I’ve received all year.

I have recently been accepted to the study abroad program through SOJC at UO called Media In Ghana!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SOOOOOO stoked. I will be attending lectures at the University of Ghana in Accra and interning somewhere there as well.

Upon this stoked-ness, I started Googling various media and art related Ghanaian tag lines. Here is what I found:

Example of a barber's sign in Ghana

This is a classic example of the style of print media that Ghana is famous for. This style of hand-painted, hand-written signs can be seen all over Ghana. My favorite thing about these types of print is their simplicity. It only takes a few images and a few words to get their point across. It is easy on the eyes and easy to understand.

Ghana vs. Uruguay Soccer Match sponsored by Divine Chocolate

This is a beautiful banner for a soccer match between Ghana and Uruguay. This event is sponsored (like almost every sporting event is in the US) by a chocolate company called Divine Chocolate. I love so many things about this print. I love the color palette that is used. The various shades of brown on the all-black background are so soothing, and really give off that chocolate vibe. I also love the fonts used in this piece. There are three different fonts used that are so different from each other, but happen to work together seamlessly.  The swirls and little bouncing soccer ball adds the perfect touch. This is just a tiny little ad for a soccer match, but for me personally, it is very inspiring and I hope to create print media as beautiful as this in Ghana this summer.

Arrival ceremony for President Kufuor displays gorgeous traditional Ghanaian clothing

I posted this photo to show the vibrance of the clothing of Ghana because I believe that these bright and lively colors will be a big part of my inspiration while creating and designing in Ghana, and for the rest of my life.

Modern and beautiful Ghanaian fashion photo shoot

I love this photo. Ghana is becoming a more and more powerful force of fashion, art, and design. I love how the clothing in this photo took the origins of the traditional textiles and transformed it into something so modern and visually pleasing.

It is amazing what random images from Google can do. For different reasons, these photos get me so excited about going to Ghana and immersing myself in the richness of their culture. I know my experiences in Ghana will shape my perspective on many things, as well as give me unique inspirations for creativity for the rest of my life.