Posts in category: Design

Bad signage – hide crucial info

Bad signage – hide crucial info

When you sign the front of a building, the key bit of information users would want is the number. This is especially true on a long main street such as Elizabeth Street in Sydney. Despite it being executed on a flat surface, designing effective signage requires an...

Another example of abundance and generosity

Tom Murphy gives away his cool and fun fonts freely on his website. Why? “…because I would be making fonts regardless of whether I was distributing them or not, and because I know that people benefit from the fact that I give them away. I take enough stuff for free...

Sony site – how to make it hard for customers

When I clicked on the Compare Products feature on the Sony site, this window popped up. It only took up a quarter of my screen. There is obviously quite a lot of content. OK, I will make the window larger so I can better scan through the table and make the comparison....

Animal “hybrids”

Here be a beautiful and strangely engaging set of animal “hybrids”: Allatok.

Which graphics file format for logos

Have you got a folder full of electronic files of your logo and other branding material? Are you about to engage a designer and want to know what file formats to get your logo delivered in? The table below aims to enable you to quickly learn when to use which file...

Which would you bank with?

Which of the above is a serious bank? Which would you leave your money with? Can you guess their respective website URLs? Note the definition of “nab” on...

A little slip of paper can say a lot

My friend Stil posted a rather succinct and amusing breakdown of a local politician’s flyer here. There’s a nice photo of the article in question too.

Weird sign: a lesson on context

Spotted at a supermarket: Context affords a huge amount of information – it enables understanding. Without context, the phrase “Glass Juice” is utterly meaningless. Contrast this with how databases, knowledge management systems (KMS), customer...

System builders affect culture

The people who build systems unconsciously or consciously affect the culture we live in. Their unique world view, cultural quirks, and beliefs will inevitably seep into the systems they build. These systems then become ways to export the creators culture to others....

It doesn’t have to be black or white

Tired of the generic colours of your favourite computer or MP3 player? Colorware will change it for you. An interesting niche business. This is the 21st century version of a car body customising business. What similar niche can you identify in your...

Expression, anonymity and (the illusion of) being heard

I have a lovely long Friday lunch with Justin McMurray last Friday. Our conversation revolved around these core needs of the human species. The Internet is an ideal medium to satisfy all of these needs. It has opened up more avenues for individual expression than ever...

On Thinkpads and bento boxes

When you think design + computers, you may be forgiven for thinking only of Apple. Design is about thinking things through, and working in a disciplined, methodical manner with a clear and unabiguous focus in mind. The final stylistic outcome can vary dramatically. A...

Paper catalogues online, and the lessons therein

While shopping for a new television, I discovered that some retailers are putting actual facsimiles of their paper catalogues online (as opposed to other retailers who have searchable, database driven web catalogues). While I can understand the cost-saving and ease of...

Is this shop closed?

This is the shopfront of a large electrical retailer in central Sydney. Every time I walk pass this shop my first impression is always “oh, they’re shut.” The blue strips are actually and intentional “design feature” – sticky vinyl...

First impressions … oh poo!

Walking off a packed train into this gushing forest of brown liquid is not good! Snapped at Sydney Central station. The same imagery is also available for your enjoyment at other quality locations city-wide. Is this the first time a Coke ad showed the actual product?...

The Origin of Brands

The Origin of Brands: Discover the natural laws of product innovation and business survival. By Al and Laura Ries. ISBN 0-06-057014-8. Categories, not product features, are what matters. Categories will always diverge. Create and own your category to win. Al and Laura...

The one-gimmick rule for logos

A good logo should only have one gimmick. A gimmick can be: different colours , changing colours with a simple motif , a single styled letter amongst “plain” letters , a unique typeface used for the whole name , a graphical treatment of the name , or a strong symbol ....

Put your money where your customers are

Does your business purport to care for customers? If so, are you spending more money producing glossy ads than you do the material that supports, enables and empowers your existing customers? This blog post raises some very good points about how businesses treat...
Straight-talking signage

Straight-talking signage

These signs can be seen all over London (UK), attached to the appropriate objects of course. I love them for their simplicity and directness. They sure beat the ones found here in Sydney which says “Danger: High Voltage”. I would venture that death is a more commonly...
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