With the London 2012 Olympics drawing ever closer, the much publicised visual identity is now rolling out and we’re seeing an increasing number of applications using the branding in different ways. The recent unveiling of the Olympic tickets designed by Futurebrand revealed an interesting turnaround. The prevailing consensus – most notably on the Creative Review comments board – is that the previously hated branding was now actually working quite well and a number of people, having lived with it for the last five years, have changed their minds. Anyone with a passing interest in design will surely be aware of the venom directed towards the Wolff Olins designed logo when it first emerged in 2007. This negativity came not only from designers but from the general public and, unsurprisingly, tabloids newspapers. Now, with designers leading the way, is it possible that the tide is turning and the logo, it turns out, isn’t actually that bad?
Dieter Rams is a legendary German industrial designer whose work has had an immeasurable impact on the design industry, and his relentless approach to pairing products down to their bare essentials has inspired designers from all fields and sectors. His work during the 60s and 70s on electronic products at Braun and his furniture designs for Vitsoe defined the purist look, with the aesthetics taking their cues solely from the functionality of the object. The list of designers and companies who have have wholeheartedly taken his philosophy on board are to numerous to mention (although it’s worth pointing out that Apple products would certainly not look the way they do we’re it not for the influence of Mr. Rams).
To mark the occasion of his recent 80th birthday, he invited his employer to publish the full transcript of his speech on ‘The Fundamentals of Design’. We love his work and the speech is as relevant now as it was when it was originally delivered in New York in December 1976, we present it here in full.
Happy birthday to one of the founding fathers of modern design, Dieter Rams.
Earlier this year, we wrote a blog post regarding some of our thoughts on inspiration. Sprungseven left a considered and well written response in the comments section, using a quote from the brilliant Bob Gill:
“Don’t look for inspiration in design books. Don’t sit at your computer, waiting for lightning to strike. If the job is for a dry cleaner, go to a dry cleaner. And stay there until you have something that you honestly think is interesting to say about dry cleaning.”
The sentiment is spot on and one we wholeheartedly agree with. If inspiration for designers comes from the same sources (a finite handful of popular websites and design books), its only a matter of time before things begin to look similar. Without wanting to cover old ground, we concur.
Paul Rand was an American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, as well as his NeXT work for Steve Jobs. He was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design and we’ve long read about his working methods and approach. He almost single-handedly convinced businesses that design was an effective tool, so when Paul Rand spoke, people listened.
We just came across this three part interview with the man, and thought we’d show you them in one place so that every one can watch the genius. Put your feet up and enjoy.
We’ve been designing for a while now. Nowhere near as long as some, but a while. Without wanting to sound too nostalgic about it, things have changed a lot since we first set foot in the big, scary world of paid employment. Trends have come and gone (and come back again), technology has made huge steps forward, something called the internet has started up, and we have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to make a few waves…