I’m a basketball fan. Having grown up in Denver, I’m more specifically a Nuggets fan. I played basketball at the YMCA as a kid, and our Junior Nuggets team got to play during halftime at a few NBA games. We got to meet the players before the games and got autographs and photos. I still have an autographed ball from one of those trips to the Pepsi Center, shortly after it had opened. The team, at the time, was coached by Nuggets legend Dan Issel. His is the most notable signature on my ball. The top players on our team back then were Nick van Exel and the perpetually-injured Antonio McDyess (they also had a young, pre-Pistons-Finals-MVP and fellow Denver native Chauncey Billups, one of my favorite players of all time, but I didn’t manage to snag his autograph).
Point is, the Nuggets weren’t great. Hell, they weren’t even good. They finished that season 35-47 and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year. They continued their ineptitude for another few years until finally, in the 2003-2004 season, they made the playoffs thanks in part to a rookie named Carmelo Anthony. In my opinion, however, something else changed that year that helped set everything in motion — they rebranded.
You know the old saying – “With great exposure comes great responsibility.” No, that’s not it… “Mo’ followers mo’ problems?” No, that’s not it either… Let’s just say “tweet responsibly.” That seems to be the theme this week after scandals broke out in both entertainment and sports due to ill-advised Twitter use. Roseanne Barr finally crossed ABC’s line in the sand with a racist tweet that she’s blaming on Ambien (ok, Roseanne… The makers of Ambien have since fired back). Despite its success, her show was abruptly cancelled. Meanwhile, The Ringer released an article alleging that Bryan Colangelo, general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, has been operating multiple burner accounts to tweet negative information about players, coaches and rival GMs. The 76ers are conducting an investigation into the allegations. Twitter is a powerful communication tool, but take situations like these as reminders that social media can lead to failure if used inappropriately.
Animation has always fascinated me. I drew endless comic strips and superheroes as a kid, and making those drawings move like what I saw on TV every Saturday morning was a dream. Taking a drawing from paper to screen gave it life, and all I wanted was to make the characters from my imagination real. When I finally started experimenting with animation in high school, I found a medium that was tedious, but every bit as rewarding as I had hoped. I eventually graduated with my BFA in animation, and although it’s not something I do every day at CenterTable, I relish the opportunity to bring drawings to life for clients who understand the value animation can have in telling a unique story. Read more after the jump…
As a graphic designer, I often find myself in meetings with clients who have trouble articulating exactly what they want or need. Though it’s a designer’s job to translate his client’s vision, it’s sometimes impossible to decode what they’re trying to express. I usually run into this issue with clients who are unfamiliar with basic, design-related terms that could help them better articulate their goals. Even if you think you’re fairly well-versed in design lingo, it’s best to offer up visual examples to avoid confusion. I love it when a client shows me specific examples of what they like and dislike.
The Eagles weren’t the only winners this week. Tide, MoonPies and Fanatics, among others, struck gold by creating thoughtful ad campaigns that took advantage of the big game. The #TidePodChallenge is a thing of the past thanks to Tide’s wonderful series of ads that stole the spotlight throughout the game. MoonPies crafted a funny, on-brand series of tweets that capitalized on the Super Bowl without having to invest big money. Fanatics rode the excitement of Philly’s first Super Bowl win to its second-best sales day ever. Though not everyone was successful on Sunday (looking at you, Patriots and Dodge), this week’s Weekly Reads highlight some of the brands who captured lightning in a bottle.
The 2018 Oscar nominees are out and awards season is in full gear. I’ve been going to the theater and hitting Netflix and Amazon hard to make sure I catch all the nominated movies before the Oscars air on March 4th. Yes, Gary Oldman is fantastic in The Darkest Hour. Coco made me cry more than any Pixar movie since Up. The Shape of Water was beautiful and weird and wonderful.
During awards season, we discuss our favorite performances, soundtracks and stories, but we rarely bring up our favorite movie posters from the past year’s films. Below, I’ve broken down my picks for the best movie posters of 2017: Read more after the jump…
Every year I look back at what was popular in graphic design and make my predictions for the trends that will stick around for another year. In 2018, graphic design will continue to incorporate cropped and chaotic typography, bright colors, gradients and custom illustrations. These trends will be pushed even further in the upcoming year, though. Colors will be brighter, and designers will utilize patterns and hues that are reminiscent of the 1990s. Squiggles, triangles and dots in neon colors will be transposed over bold, disjointed typography. The soft pastel shades that were popular a few years ago will be replaced by rich, full-bodied colors, like purple, turquoise and ultramarine. Serif fonts will make a resurgence, especially for headlines on the web. Custom illustrations will still be a useful tool for businesses looking for a handcrafted touch that separates them from competitors. When done right, illustration is a powerful storytelling tool that fosters connections between brands and customers.
Below are some examples of the graphic design trends you will likely see more of in 2018. Happy New Year!
Simply look up at the night sky to see Pantone’s 2018 “Color of the Year.” Ultra Violet is a bold, blue-based purple that evokes the vastness of the cosmos. Pantone calls it, “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade [that] communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”
According to Pantone, purples have been historically symbolic of unconventionality and artistic expression, calling to mind icons like Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix. Emotionally, Ultra Violet inspires individuals to explore their unique position in the world and evolve creatively. Ultra Violet is also symbolic of mindfulness and spiritual growth.
Perhaps Pantone’s decision for 2018 “Color of the Year” forecasts that we can expect technological advancements and a collective spiritual awakening in the coming year. At the very least, it can serve as a reminder to look up at the stars and recognize that all of us are so very small in relation to this vast universe we call home.
Social networks are constantly trying to attract new users and retain existing ones, but this week revealed the lengths that they’re willing to go to grow. Facebook is trying to hook users before they can legally create an account. Meanwhile, marketers are finding huge success on Instagram, and new features are about to help audiences share more content within the app. Finally, Twitter is looking to expand into developing countries by making itself available in 24 new countries.
You might not know his name, but you undoubtedly know his work. Ivan Chermayeff and his New York-based design firm are behind some of the most iconic logos in America. Chermayeff’s impact on the design community is evidenced by his portfolio, which includes illustrations, posters and sculptural installations, as well as the logos for Harper Collins, The Smithsonian Institution and Showtime.
His modern designs were among the first to use abstraction to express corporate identity. In Chermayeff’s opinion, a logo should be clean, crisp and easily comprehensible. In a 2015 interview at the University of Texas, Chermayeff explained, “It is usually a two-month process to get to that point, but it should look like it took five minutes.”
Chermayeff passed away earlier this week at the age of 85, but his timeless designs have cemented his legacy as one of the most important graphic artists of the 20th century.