News & Ideas.

Our most recent projects and thoughts on business, branding, and the state of design.

Vision in Motion

Kenneth Hine, a professor at Syracuse University, kept a bibliography of the most important books on design, cleverly titled, “Hine Sight.” He sold perfect-bound versions of it at the copy center, and I believe even offered course credit to anybody…

Private Label Revolution

Introducing 4 ways brands can shift their marketing approach to keep up with Private Label success Branded packaged goods have dominated retail for almost a century, while private-label products have been seen as the lower-quality value option for thrifty shoppers…

Invest in Design

Historically, one area private label fell short was design. Shoppers didn’t believe the store brand packaging reflect high-quality products. But the Revolution is being led with strong design. Shoprite just debuted “bowl & basket,” its new food and beverage private…

Create Annual “Rapport”

The traditional 64-page, full color printed Annual Report stands at an interesting junction. On one hand, the Annual Report is an excellent device to inform company shareholders of their intelligent investment. On the other, it often takes more than 64 glossy pages to convince investors, institutional or individual, that their hard-earned dollars were put to good use — especially when corporate earnings don’t exactly beat analysts’ expectations. Certainly, company profits could be spent more wisely than printing these 64 pages, thousands of times.

The Devaluation of Stock

On Monday, March 2nd, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell under 7,000 for the first time since 1997. NPR had assured me of this as I was packing up for the day. Since I rarely concern myself with the stock market, the numerically sound fact struck me as something that surely related to design, but I couldn’t remember what that was. I wrapped a scarf around my neck and headed out, one foot in front of the other trying to reconnect-the-dots in the frigid winter air. As soon as I entered my apartment, I began fervently shuffling through papers in the recycling bin. Whatever complacent connection I was trying to make was in there somewhere.

Dress Code Conundrum

What to wear, what to wear… Most professionals habitually ask themselves this deceivingly simple question each and every weekday morning. It’s a valid question, with a solution usually made infinitely easier by looking for helpful cues around the workplace; construction workers throw on jeans and work boots, accountants select between a black or blue suit, and nurses slip into their scrubs. Graphic designers, on the other hand, have had a difficult time throughout history defining an appropriately unique look, and have, for the most part, resorted to inheriting the fashion trends of other professions. In an industry whose practitioners solve complex visual problems on a daily basis, it might come as a surprise that the most perplexing visual problem is what to put on before heading to work. Even so, designers remain undoubtedly confused when it comes to personal attire, and this isn’t simply a problem of individual identity; evidence suggests the dress code conundrum has been an underlying crisis for an entire occupational demographic since graphic design’s inception.

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