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Piece of the Switchback poster featuring its logo and the words Propelling Community

Supporting community

“Community” is a powerful source that helps to both shape and support brands. I’m a big believer in the benefits of forging community bonds, and there are some strong ones at the heart of Switchback Cyclery.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The true value of partners

Without partners, many of a designer’s ideas would remain just that – unfulfilled ideas.

Over the past 6 months, Projektor has been working with Switchback Cyclery to help bring their brand to life. Located in the Riverside neighbourhood, just east of downtown Toronto, Switchback is a bike store a founded on a strong social purpose – providing “street” people a hand up by offering them meaningful employment through the store and getting Torontonians out of their cars and onto a bike.

It was apparent though, that this venture would only succeed if people heard and more importantly, talked about it. As a start up with limited funds for marketing, Switchback needed to find ways of getting their name out in an efficient yet visually engaging and dynamic way. So we made a decision to produce a limited run of high quality cycling fashions – not really for sale but in order to create living, mobile billboards for the brand.
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Applied Arts magazine cover featuring a bottle with octopus tentacles wrapped around it

Looking back on a year of uninvited rebrands

An opinion column I wrote has just been published in the May/June issue of Applied Arts Magazine. I felt compelled to write after reading Fast Company’s ridiculous year-end article on the best branding of 2012 that claimed that 2012 “was the year of the unofficial, uninvited, branding campaign.”

In the column I make the case that branding projects undertaken without permission or client involvement may end up looking pretty but that they serve no real strategic or business value.  As a design profession, we talk all the time about “strategic process” and work very hard to taken seriously by businesses. But then at the same time, as creative professionals, we get all excited and lavish attention on these made-up projects. We need to make up our minds what is really important to us.
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Storefront

Send me a sign

Unique storefronts and their signs have always fascinated me. I have always thought that signs did far more than just convey information. They provide you with an idea of what you would find inside – from the store’s aesthetic to its shopping experience. These storefronts often reflect a moment in time, capturing the cultural and visual trends of their day. In a society where we are constantly and continually changing and updating how things look these signs are one of the great ways to capture where we’ve been and how we perceived things at the time.

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Framed-VisualStorytelling

Social Media is a visual medium

If a picture is truly worth a thousand words then why try to say it in 140 characters or less when you can show it in an image. People now carry around smartphones that capture higher quality images than digital cameras did a decade ago with the result that all those devices are busy taking pictures like never before. Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Klip and even Facebook are providing a place for people to post, share and look at images in unprecedented numbers.
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