THE DESIGN OF HISTORY
My go-to source for design lore is Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. It has now been released in its updated Fifth Edition by Wiley, with a colorful panoply of people, ideas, trends, technologies and images across generations. It is my favorite, in part, because each update incorporates Philip B. Meggs’ first edition preface – in which he asserts that Graphic Design is so closely linked to the social, political and economic life of its time and culture, that it captures the spirit of an era better than other forms of human expression. To seal the point, he quotes Ivan Chermayeff: “The design of history is the history of design.” I never get tired of that turn of phrase. It so elegantly captures your legacy, your heritage, and helps place into context what you do (and we merely write about) as another new year begins.
— Gordon Kaye firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic Design News
COSMO EVEN MORE IRREVERENT
Cosmopolitan, the popular women’s magazine, has been redesigned. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and his team, working closely with editor-in-chief Kate White and Cosmo design director Ann Kwong, create a bold version of the iconic magazine. The new look is now on newsstands. With a circulation of over 3 million in the U.S. alone, the magazine is one of Hearst’s most valuable properties; it was first introduced in 1886 as a family magazine before transitioning in the 1970s under legendary editrix Helen Gurley Brown to become the sexy women’s “Cosmo” of today. The new direction makes the tone “more irreverent, light and accessible.” Stories are shorter and are told with more visuals and, says editor Kate White, the goal was to “not look like a magazine” in this new tablet and twitter era.
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TFI ENVISION GEARS UP FOR FRAM
The FRAM Group, formerly Honeywell CPG, selected TFI Envision to design their product catalogs for 2012. Despite changes in marketing strategies today, both the client and design firm assert that print catalogs still prove an effective tool. Unveiled at the recent AAPEX show in Las Vegas, FRAM, Prestone and Autolite each has its own colorful, bi-lingual catalogs for the U.S. market as well as a combined catalog for the international marketplace. Each multi-page catalog contains imagery, descriptions and scannable UPCs to expedite the ordering process. The catalogs are available digitally to the salesforce.
GEHRY IS GRAMMY ARCHITECT
Architect Frank Gehry is responsible for the official artwork for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, coming up in February. This includes design of the promotional poster, program book, telecast tickets and scenery. The poster shows the gold gramophone trophy surrounded by undulating Gehry-designed model buildings. The world's most famous living concert hall designer says it is his chance to thank classical musicians and composers for the pleasure they have brough to his life.
GRAPHIC DESIGN PEOPLE
Lynda Decker announces that Michael Aron has joined New York's Decker Design as Design Director. Having collaborated together over the past year on select projects, the two decided to join their talent and experience.
Boxing Clever, a St. Louis advertising agency, has promoted Brian Yap to Creative Director. Yap, who has been with the agency for over four years, focuses on the agency's ad and promotional marketing strategies for several clients.
Tom Moudry, CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Martin/Williams in Minneapolis MN, now regains the title and responsibilities of President. Moudry reclaims the presidential role from Mike Gray who is transitioning out of agency life.
Dunn and Rice Design, a multidisciplinary design, communications and branding firm out of Rochester NY, hires Anthony DiPrima as VP of Business Development and Marketing. He spent the last thirteen years at Xerox.
Barrie Bamberg is head of production at Red Square Agency, a creative advertising and PR agency located in Mobile AL. An industry veteran, Bamberg comes to Red Square from Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Little Big Brands of White Plains NY, which specializes in strategic brand design, adds industry veteran Crystal Bennett. Bennett, who comes over from CBX, is a partner and director of business development. She has been in packaging and branding for more than 15 years, including stints at Frankfurt Balkind and Sterling Brands.
Allied Printing Services in Manchester CT names John Sommers, Jr., President. He is the third generation of the family to head the commercial printer. The Stonehill College graduate is responsible for sales, customer relations, marketing, estimating, IT and strategic planning. John Sommers, Sr. becomes Chairman.
More on these people and other significant hires, promotions and milestones in GDUSA magazine.
In the December GDUSA ENewsletter, we reported on the “shock” advertising campaign by Benetton – Unhate – which featured antagonistic world leaders kissing each other and showing love: the Pope and an Imam, Netanyahu and Abbas, Obama and Chavez, an on and on. I noted in my publisher’s letter that I have rarely had such mixed emotions about a communications program by Amsterdam’s 72andsunny. Here are two of the many responses, almost universally negative, to the purposely provocative campaign.
– Gordon Kaye
To The Editor:
This is my personal opinion about the video and the campaign: Taking images of world leaders and using Photoshop to juxtapose them as they have, then plastering them everywhere is taking liberties. I wouldn't want someone manipulating a photo of me in this way to serve their own ends. Could these leaders have agree to it? Doubtful.
In light of their goal, the video also takes liberties with people's sensibilities. It's too provocative, too sexual. I know that being over-sexualized and provocative is popular in advertising these days, in Europe, and Amsterdam, especially. For the purposes of this campaign, I think it degrades the ability to connect with a broader spectrum of people in pursuit of their stated goal and confuses the viewer.
What is the message? World peace? Accepting homosexuality? That we should kiss more or engage in sexual relations more? That if world leaders could just see fit to kiss and get along all our troubles would melt away? Anyone not a “hater” will conform to this ideal? Breaking down cultural barriers so that all cultures mirror loose, and growing looser, Western culture? Aren't we in decline?
It's so presumptive, and in a way, an unworkably one-dimensional argument. In using the imagery as they have, it's as if those producing the videos and the campaign can only see out of that “modern” Western lens, potentially creating a disconnect with the broader audience. I sincerely expect the video will not be well received by many people, but they'll be hesitant to say so, because tolerance isn't always tolerant. I predict the campaign will win the agency some awards, but will die a natural death.
Debbie Nessamar, Americus GA
To The Editor:
The campaign is a juvenile attempt at best. Ooooohh same sex people kissing how scary!! Let's see, find a controversial topic, shove it in your face, and if you don't praise it, your a obviously a hater. If you have "REAL BALLS" figuratively speaking of course, (don't want to offend the female gender or the sans-testicle crowd of course ;p) Show a picture of Allah and Jesus kissing. Then you will get some real controversy along with a few death threats. Yep, politics, religion and sexual persuasion. Pick your poison. All are sure to set people off.
So what is the ad promoting? Homosexuality? Politics? Who cares? As with most advertising you have about three seconds to get your message across. This campaign says nothing to me. I couldn't care less if two people (of any sex) are kissing. it's juvenile. Give me something clever to engage my mind. Let's start with proper english
... It's all a slippery slope. Until people can just accept the simple fact that not everyone thinks/lives the same, there will always be disagreements. Everyone thinks they have all the answers. And until they accept the fact they don't, problems will occur. All in all I couldn't care less what anyone does as long as their actions don't involuntarily involve others. You can do your thing, I'll do mine. If we disagree, let's talk about it like civil adults and find a way to move forward.
Damn! I guess the Unhate campaign did get a reaction out of me! I hate the Unhate Campaign/Foundation. Ironic ain't it?
JG from MN
Take Five! Career Tips
CREATIVE HIRING REMAINS STRONG
Hiring in the creative and marketing fields is expected to remain strong in the first quarter of 2012, according to The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals. Eighteen percent of executives interviewed said they plan to add full-time staff in the next three months, and 4 percent forecast reductions in personnel. Most respondents, 76 percent, expect to make no changes to their current staffing levels. Following are the top five specialty areas in demand among executives who intend to hire:
1. Account services – 24%
2. Brand/product management – 21%
3. Public relations – 17%
4. Web design/production – 16%
5. Social media – 14%
For additional ideas, visit The Creative Group press room at…