The wrong turn of a packaging redesign

Tropicana redesign first rendering
Some time ago UnderConsideration introduced the new design of the Tropicana packaging, a brand of the Pepsi Company.
The new bottle showed a cold, anonymous big picture of a glass of orange juice with plain sans serif typography.
Article ended the commentary with “I really want to believe that the screw-cap will not be an orange-colored boobie as in the rendering above”.
I couldn’t agree more.
That half-orange shaped cap was not only ugly but probably difficult to use too. (The one above is the initial rendering, at the end of the post the two real bottle compared)

I’ve said “was”.

The upside down faces of Rex Whistler

One of the upside down faces of Tex Whistler

I’ve found, by chance, in a website that collects the strangest things, pictures and facts you can find on web, a wide selection of the famous upside down faces of Rex Whistler (you can see them at WackyArchives ).

Rex Whistler was an eclectic British artist and illustrator that lived in the inter-war era, from 1905 to 1944.

Too much underrated nowadays where he is mainly known for those curious and funny upside down faces (they were commissioned by the Shell Petroleum company), he was a lot more than that and, in his period, he was very famous.

At that time, while Modernism tide ruled in all Europe (Bauhaus reminds you nothing?) his art was something completely on his own, nostalgic, country, sometimes rather kitsch.

He was only a 22 years old student at the Slade School of Art when he painted the HUGE mural called “The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats” of the Tate Gallery Restaurant, which was immediately defined ‘The Most Amusing Room in Europe.’ Within a year the Tate mural was under two feet of water after the notorious Thames flood of 1928, however Whistler had used a special combination of colors, with wax and turpentine, that ensured the survival of the mural.


Who delivered the trojan horse?

DHL's Advertising Trojan horse

Well, it seems the Dubai department of Ogilvy & Mather has no no doubt about it: everything was DHL’s fault.

According to Omero version of the story, Greeks sent in front of the city of Troy a huge horse, which had to appear as a peace offer. The jubilant Trojans dragged the wheeled, wooden horse into their city to celebrate the end of the 10 years of fighting.
Unfortunately it was only an Odisseus plan to ultimately doom the Trojans: the horse was filled with soldiers that during the night, while the Trojans were more than a little comatose from too much drinking, slipped out of it. Killing Trojans and setting fire to the city, they quickly won the war.

So…here we are in presence of a revision of the history and DHL takes full credit for that old delivery. :-)

I think this campaign is simply brilliant, clever and fascinating, not to mention beautifully illustrated.

I just love it.

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Executive Creative Director: Till Hohmann
Art Director: Rafael Rizuto
Creative Director: Dalba Singh
Illustration: Keith Thompsom
Editor: Sascha Kuntze

Air France new brand Identity

Before and after of Air France Logo redesign

Last time Air France updated its logo was about 25 years ago, back in 1975, but a lot happened since that logo revision and the company has managed to become one of the largest and most recognized airlines in the world.

The previously French government-owned company was transformed into a private corporation called Groupe Air France. On May 5, 2004, Air France merged with KLM and officially became Air France-KLM. This merger created the largest airline in the world in terms of operating revenues, and third-largest in passenger kilometers.

After so much growth it was a time to renew the brand identity to reflect Air France global direction.

Best Rejected Graphic Design Project

Project Never logo and deadline

I really wonder if out there there are some of us that never had the frustration of a rejected work.
Lucky few guys!

For the rest of us Matt Gustavsen and Justin Hastings created Project Never competition.

It may be true that a lot of design concept gets rejected for (probably) a good reason, but many times worthy ideas are condemned to oblivion just because: “Ehh…this is good, but this is not what we had in mind” or : “we’re not going in that direction”.

Very frustrating.
Although this could be the obvious end of a poorly defined Design Brief (always be aware and take care of this point!) it is also true that sometimes it happens that customers don’t have any idea at all of what they want and we end up that we have to throw away our work and restart again.

Mick Jagger’s Tongue Goes to Museum

Cover of the album Sticky Fingers with the Logo
When in 1970 John Pasche designed the famous Rolling Stones logo he was paid only £50.
He got 200 more two years after from the band as a bonus, so much they were pleased with it.

That logo, created for the album Sticky Fingers released in 1971, made music history and now Victoria and Albert Museum in London has bought for £50,000 (which means 92,500 USD) the signed original artwork sold by author with an auction.

Pasche says that he took inspiration for the logo from the rebellious spirit of the band and sexual connotations of Mick’s mouth. He designed it in a bold graphic style so that it could stand the test of time and he wanted it in an easy to reproduce shape.

Mik’s Pick of The Week

An image from the Michael Hughes book Souvenirs (Florence)

This Sunday, I’ll list my 10 favourite websites of the week.
They may include articles, video and portfolios.
Let’s start.

Every Trendy and Cool Designer Hates FF Comic Sans

Merchandising of the Ban the Comic Sans Website
It must be some kind of “universal law”, I guess.
As you say his dreadful name you can see around you horrified, astounded, disgusted faces, wondering if you’re serious or if you’re only joking, when you’re talking about including it in your project (none of two: just testing the law :-D).

Every graphic and web designers in the world agree in hating poor dear Comic Sans.
Even those that use Microsoft Word to layout books, booklet and brochure.
Even those that use Photoshop to project a logo.
Even those that use Dreamveaver to write a post because they’re not able to hand-write a tag directly in WordPress.(*)

All of them, however, have one certainty: Comic Sans is ugly and despicable and everyone that use it and/ or denies it is as crappy as it is.

I wonder how does it feel about it that poor guy, Vincent Connare that created it in 1994.
Who knows… it could be he uses Oscar Wilde philosophy “I don’t care of your ill talking… as long as you keep on talking”.
But since he is a big professional and he probably makes big laughs of all this fuss…

Let’s say it.
Where does all of this hatred for Comic Sans comes from?
My opinion is that Comic Sans is a good font (I don’t fear to be considered crappy if I deny the universal truth!).
Good leading, good kerning. And it is nice and suitable for its destination: comics.

My opinion is that truth lies somewhere else.
For years this font has been used and abused A LOT in web and editorial projects from “wannabe” designers (which it means that it was appreciated!) in an improper way, and I think that this is the real reason that lead to such saturation.

It has even been created a website, BanComicSans.Com that has started a petition to ban Comic Sans because, it states, “it threaten to erode the very foundations upon which centuries of typographic history are built”. There also is a section where you can download all kind of comics fonts to use in your project to make you stop using Comic Sans (what’s the sense of this?).
I don’t understand if the intention of this website is serious (oh my God!), controversial, or just a joke (I hope so).

Banning a font?
Bad designer would use something else.
Why this makes some people upset?
After all bad allows to good to stand out, isn’t it? :-)

YES! I’ve seen and read about people doing those things. Really.

ORBIT Dirty Mouth Advertising Tradition

One of Orbit's Street Dirty Mouth
After last year successful guerrilla street campaign, Orbit is coming back.
New advertising poster has a beautiful vintage style (of those I love) and features a group of cannibals while preparing a couple of (human) pyres for their forthcoming snack.
In the foreground, a packet of Orbit whit the headline “After any meal”.

New ORBIT campaign
How daring! Humorous, engaging, and most of all so beautifully illustrated.
Ad was made by Agency Mark BBDO under the direction of creatives Leon Sverdlin and Martin Charvát. Brilliant copywriting was and idea of Pavel Sobek, art direction of: Daniel Kurz and (let me tell it again) wonderful illustrator was: Lucie Štamfestová.

Regarding last year campaign I just mentioned, if you don’t know it yet, faces were painted around street irregularities, with attached a simple note: “Dirty Mouth? ORBIT.COM”.
Very Impressive!
One of Orbit's Street Dirty Mouth
Campaign was planned by agency Energy BBDO Chicago, under the creative direction of Marty Orzio, art direction of Frank Dattalo, copywriting by Mike Roe. The artist that painted faces was Karen Tisel and the Christian Petersen-Clausen. Producer: Liz Miller-Gershfeld.

Font and color management for print

A set of typographic character
It is possible some readers will find this argument rather basic, however I’ve heard very often typographer I know complaining about a lack of fonts and colors management in files they receive for printing.

A good rule of thumb, especially if you’re starting to collaborate with a new typographer, is always to ask first how he prefers files to be prepared.
My favourite file format is PDF, however you can have some problems with it if typographer has an older version of Adobe Acrobat than yours (it is possible file won’t open at all or, worse, a black blob will print where you put transparencies), so most of times best solution is to go with EPS, a hybrid “container” format that incorporates both images and curves.

Problem with EPS is that if your composition has some text, and the font you used to create your paragraph is not installed on the computer that will open file, your text won’t display nor print as you intended, but system default font will be used.

To solve this issue you have to embed the font in the EPS when you save file.
However, even if EPS files can contains either images and type they are placed in a page layout as images. Font and style attributes are saved within the EPS file when it is created – such as by an illustration program, and simply embedding font cannot always be a solution.

Other than font embedding there are a few other ways you could deal this.
You can:

1. Provide the fonts along with the job (assure first if any licensing agreement applies)
2. Convert all the fonts to curves in the EPS file (but the text will no more be editable)
3. Deliver two versions of the EPS file:
a) A master version with editable text;
b) A copy with text converted to curves.

Next detail you have to take care of is the color model you are using.
Is the job going to be printed using spot color or process color?
Let’s assume you have to print a two-color job – for example, blue and red. If some objects were marked using process blue (a mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and the text in the page layout file was marked using a spot color depending on colors used, four or five plates may be output instead of two (three to four for the process colors and one for the spot color).

Furthermore, it is a good idea to ask for a laser proof to your typographer to check your output before sending your composition to final production.
The reason is that the service bureau’s equipment uses PostScript. By printing a proof using the equal page-description language, you will be able to obtain an accurate replica before the files are committed to high-end output. EPS and PDF files must be output to a PostScript device for them to print the right way because their instructions are written using PostScript.

As a final recommendation I would say to avoid to save using JPEG compression, neither for EPS nor for PDF, because it is a quality loss format (probably you won’t notice much difference on display but once on paper you’d really regret your choice) and you lose quality each time you re-save your document.

© Copyright 2008 . Thanks for visiting!