Mexico 68

I’m guilty of re-blogging these images from the 1968 Mexico Olympics, perhaps it’s all this Olympic hype at the moment, but I couldn’t resist it as it’s such an impressive example of integrating design into the Olympics – the graphics reflect the psychedelic culture of the times while referencing Aztecs stylings in areas and the inspiring integration with the environment of the games.

Ram’s principles

Excuse me if you have read Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design – I felt I had to add it here for nostalgia’s sake. It’s been no less than 50 years since Mr Rams created his ‘less and more’ 3D visual language and his list of design principles still hold fast today and will prove timeless no doubt.

1. Good design is innovative.
2. Good design makes a product useful.
3. Good design is aesthetic.
4. Good design makes a product understandable.
5. Good design is unobtrusive.
6. Good design is honest.
7. Good design is long-lasting.
8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
9. Good design is environmentally friendly.
10. Good design is as little design as possible.

Love Sport

Is dominos a sport? – it is according to Studio Aka. This animation is part of a series of 15 to be released each day throughout the olympic season. I couldn’t resist posting this as it is such a good example of simplifying graphics to their bare minimum yet it carries so much humour and expression leaving us to place meaning to the forms – reminds me of playing with lego as a kid where 2 blocks represented a horse and a cowboy.

More of these very entertaining animations here

The Art of Logo Design

Logos, or trademarks, are like faces that we see each day – that we project our feelings on to based on our relationship with it – they have personalities of their own and say so much about a business with nothing more than shapes and type! Here’s an insightful doco on the design of logos.

Logos surround us in digital and physical space, but we rarely examine the thought and artistic thinking that goes into the design of these symbols. Utilizing a silent vocabulary of colors, shapes, and typography, logo designers give a visual identity to companies and organizations of all types. From cave painters to modern designers, artists throughout history have been reducing the complex down to simple ideas that communicate with the world.


London Olympics

Well before London Olympics came to life with the eye gaping opening ceremony and strained faces of athletes there was plenty of talk about the graphics for the London Olympics beginning with the logo, then the sport symbols, and now the ‘Headline’ typeface that appears on every single free space of TV viewing – receiving social media comments like “Maybe it will grow on me, but I’m not a huge fan of the “London 2012″ look” and “I’ll admit the olympic font is truly terrible… But everything else had been great so far..”.

This has been the most remarkable Olympics for graphics, perhaps the first time in history that we’ve experienced such a strong dislike to it, while on the other hand we are all trying to find a space in our hearts to accept it – it demonstrates the importance of design in today’s culture and our relationship with it.

I’m in 2 minds about the design – on the positives: I do commend the attempt to break away from tradition (a huge leap forward from their 1948 logo!), it wears the expression ‘quirky’ well. The colours are vibrant and modern, the shapes are boxy yet dynamic. The typeface leans towards being awkward, tumbling, uncertain – italic or falling over? it teases us by suggesting it’s failed yet somehow it works! The logo is equally crazy and says so little about the olympics and more about a surreal rock formation, and I swear that 0 is in the shape of Australia! The negatives – how can we mention negatives? – I just love it when design, particularly graphic, challenges people’s expectations and has them talking and questioning the influence design can have – be that positive or negative.

Read what the designer was thinking when he designed the Headline typeface here.

Recent Olympic logos.

Bring on the organic forms of the Rio Olympics 2016 – those entangled rubber-men! – let the critics begin ;-)

The gap in branding

Here’s a slide show presentation by Marty Neumieir, based on his book – The Brand Gap, that helps to explain branding and to clarify some misconceptions about what branding is – not a logo, not an identity – it’s all in the gut of the individual …

Birth of a book

Bookbinding insight

Doco on the skill, art, craft of bookbinding – Don Taylor bookbinder


Wim Crouwel: the Dutch graphic designer


Find out more on Wim Crouwel here and here


For the joy of animation and line.

See more from the artist Michael Fragstein here