Leo Burnett already said it better than us…

August 7th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

It’s all too easy to get carried away with design. We’ve all been guilty at some point of adding a slightly unnecessary effect or one too many ‘finishing touches’. Knowing when a piece of design work is complete isn’t as easy as it seems, and there is a definite art in knowing when to stop. We recently came across a quote giving four simple instructions which act as a set of convenient guidelines. The fact that they are painfully obvious doesn’t by any means make them easy to put into practice. Focusing on the reasons a piece of design will work, they are clear and concise reminders of the importance of putting yourself in the position of the audience.

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Saul Bass already said it better than us…

May 8th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

“Sometimes it simply doesn’t matter how good the brief is, how good your idea is or how well the project seems to be going. Design is a creative pursuit and definitively ‘right’ answers simply don’t exist. To design – or do anything creative – is a practice in asking questions, trying things out and exploring uncharted territory. Attempting new approaches and new ways of thinking are a part of being a creative person. This experimentation can lead to brilliant, maybe even groundbreaking results. But not always. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to concede that what you’re trying to do, simply doesn’t work. By no means an easy thing to accept, the fact is that attempting new things won’t always result in success. Saul Bass knew this… Keep reading…


Storm Thorgerson already said it better than us…

April 19th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

Computers these days are amazing. With the right software and a little bit of know-how it’s never been easier to whip up any ridiculous image you have in your head, and make it a reality for all the world to see. If it doesn’t look quite as good as you’d hoped, maybe add a load of drop shadows, lighting effects and any other number of gimmicky Photoshop filters until it does? Although, after a while you begin to realise that perhaps the reason it ain’t that great, is because of the idea in the first place. If the foundations aren’t strong enough, the house will fall down. A truly great idea can stand on it’s own without the need to be supported by effects and decoration.

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Paul Arden already said it better than us…

March 13th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

Creative briefs are, by their very nature, problematic. They are a challenge set out to designers – ‘Here is a problem, solve it’. Sometimes the solution is blindingly obvious, sometimes it’s a little more elusive. Every now and then, the answer simply seems to be impossible to pin down. At these times, the best approach is often to forget what you know, ignore the supposed parameters and do something that doesn’t obey convention. Something you haven’t been asked to do and perhaps even something which strays into forbidden territory. Taking these creative risks is easy to talk about, incredibly difficult to actually do and the majority of the time will create the most interesting results.

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Wim Crouwel already said it better than us…

January 29th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

On this blog (and elsewhere to anyone else who will listen) we constantly bang on about the importance of solving a brief. We highly value the need to communicate the message of client to their target audience. We feel it’s a vital part of the design process and a key part of being a designer. However, as with all creative pursuits, there is always room for adding a small part of ourselves into our work. Authorship is a huge part of what we do and making the work ours is part of what makes it a passion, rather than a bog standard job. Solving the problem in an appropriate, thoughtful and creative way is obviously essential and should be the primary focus, but a designer injecting some of their own personality into the work can go a long way. The esteemed Mr Wim Crouwel knows the deal…

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Michael Bierut already said it better than us…

December 17th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Designers work with clients. Clients work with designers. It’s a symbiotic relationship which can be productive, surprising, infuriating, satisfying, testing… but always interesting. If we’re honest, life without clients would be a lot easier – there would be no need for compromise, no need to adhere to deadlines and the clichéd request to ‘make the logo bigger’ wouldn’t exist. These constraints and parameters are, however, the things that differentiate what we do from other creative disciplines and should be embraced. Michael Bierut knows this only too well and sums it up neatly with an all too easily forgotten point.

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Jonathan Ive already said it better than us…

November 22nd, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Approaching each and every design brief as a new challenge which therefore deserves a new solution should be standard practice for a designer. Each problem we’re asked to solve presents its own unique obstacles, questions and stumbling blocks. Using a tried and tested method you’ve used before (or, even worse, seen someone else use before), is hardly going to result in the most original final product. Being different is a necessary and important part of allowing your work to stand out from the rest. But it’s not enough to merely do something others aren’t.

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Adrian Shaughnessy already said it better than us…

October 4th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

We’ve spoken in the past about the importance of the message. The purpose of graphic design, in our minds, should be to communicate a distinct message to the right audience in the most appropriate way possible. We recently came across the following quote by Adrian Shaughnessy who, in his usual succinct and intelligent way, uses a simple and easy to understand analogy to completely hit the nail on the head. The substance taking precedent over the style is something we feel is hugely important and easily forgotten in today’s fast moving and trend-driven design world.

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