February, you’re starting to look good from here. I took some time yesterday to do a little project planning for the month and I’m so ready to get started. February is one of my favorite months, I love Valentine’s Day (always have, even when I was without a date, and always will). I also love that this month starts to hint a little at spring.
I’m putting myself through a six-week business boot camp, that starts today and ends right on my 29th birthday. If all goes well, I will write about the process.
This month I want to bring more original content to this blog. I see tutorials, home stuff, recipes, DIY, daily life and daily creative inspiration. I also want to share more about my design process with what I’m learning and how I apply what I know.
Bring it, February!
Isn’t it fun making a purchase from a business who put thought and care into packaging their products or services? Small details such as hand written notes or creative business cards are what make small businesses special and give them, what I believe, a huge leg up over products purchased in big-box stores.
Here are few of my favorite packaging solutions:
I could only find the Computer Arts January Issue. It looks like I’m going to have to subscribe to the special issues that I mentioned yesterday. All is not lost though. This is by far the best and most useful design magazine I’ve ever purchased. Usually I go for HOW or CMYK which are great for inspiration and staying current, but Computer Arts provide real life information that is useful and applicable. There are so many Adobe program tutorials to put to use and lots of design advice and discussion topics. I’m overwhelmed with the greatness of this one and a little sad it took me so long to find it.
There’s a column about logo design that I thought was particularly interesting. It was a list of suggestions and rules to keep in mind when designing a logo. I felt good knowing that for the most part I am following them. One of the rules that stood out to me was to avoid trends when designing logos. I couldn’t agree more, though, I feel like my personal Beautiful Layers Design logo leans on the trendy side, but more on that later. For me, I’m trying to avoid the whole web 2.0, retro and mini-illustration look of logos. Sometimes the client really wants this kind of work and I’ve been known to turn it down.
This whole thing got me thinking about trends in logos because I’m getting ready to branch out my design business with ready-to-use logos and I’m debating whether or not I will follow some trends. There’s no doubt that trendier work is good for business, but good for the design conscious? Not so much. I truly believe that most logos should be timeless (think Nike) and simple. But, is there ever a time and place for a trendier logo? Should that decision be left up to the client? Are these simple logos following good design rules or trends before the digital age? By following design rules are we tipping our hat to the design gods of our past all the while ignoring how much easier and cheaper it is these days to print full-color?
For my business, I don’t feel tied down to brand identity. I like the idea of changing my logo every couple of years to keep things fresh. I feel like I can break that rule because it’s my business and I’ll do what I want (damnit!). My blog is (knowingly) following trends that to be frank, only designers may notice. Even the domain of this blog was following a trend (loveyoudeer), remember the deer fad from seven or eight years ago? It’s haunting me and the domain I refuse to change, but now redirects from the happier beauifullayers.com. I was 21, what can I say? This is why I will never get a tattoo.
With that said, I’m thinking about all of the businesses that are getting logos designed that look like they were plucked straight from the 60′s. This sort of mid-century modern thing that is happening, or the chalkboard typography stuff or web 2.0 (lots of colors and gradient.) Are logo redesigns in their future? I’m sure when we all look back on this design in 10 or 20 years we’ll know it was from this year or round about, and in some ways I think that’s okay. But, when a company is trying to create long-term brand identity, I believe simple, one to four color, abstract representations are important.
I remember when I was applying to be in one of those horrible design spec logo factories (the kind where hundreds of designers spend money-less hours designing logos, only to have one picked and paid for by the client) I had to have my portfolio reviewed by fellow designers. A couple of them said that my work wasn’t current. A comment that in the moment stung, but I’ve since gotten oven. I took at peak into their portfolios to see what they were talking about and noticed web 2.0 logo after web 2.0 logo. My logos were simple and flat in comparison. Perhaps dated? But, which logos would look dated in 10 years? Were my logos the result of trends that were happening when I first fell into design? Am I forever stuck in 2003?
Before my great aunt moved, I loved going to her house. I loved it because I felt like I was in a time capsule. The triangles, wood paneling, and low, slightly futuristic furniture filled her living space. Even the photos of my family that reveal which decade they were taken in, the 40′s, 50′s, 60′s and 70′s are easy to identify just from their clothes.
The strange thing about 2012 is that so many looks happening right now, so many trends and styles from times past that are being mashed together to create something new. I suppose it’s always been like that. But, how is the information age effecting design?
I’m getting off track here, just to say that I like the idea of using trendier design elements for temporary work like, postcards or posters, and more timeless (if that can be achieved) look for logos. But believe that there can be exceptions to this rule. I like the idea of creating a mix of logos and just letting the client make that decision for their business. What do you think?
I can’t leave this post without sharing some of my favorite, possibly trendier, designs:
I’d love to hear your thoughts! What do you think, design trends, yay or nay?
And now I leave you with some weekend eye candy and inspiration:
I’m loving the modern meets 80′s feel of bright neon colors with neutrals. It’s kind of reminding me of the days long ago when I’d where several pairs of neon colored socks with a scrunchie in my hair, and Bubble Yum (strawberry flavor) in my mouth.
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