Design Thinking

LSDK, Berg, and Design Thinking.

When I tell people what I do for a living, most of the time the response is something to the effect of, “I thought you drew pictures”. That is an abridged version of all the responses, but the meaning is the same. People tend to see design and those involved with the design industry as people that make things pretty. We create one off items that look nice, and that’s about it. Anyone in any section of the visual design field will tell you there is a hell of a lot more going on than that.

We think about the work at hand, but we also think and execute to the global design environment that the piece will live in. How does this work play into the global brand? How does this work interact with the current print, outdoor, and broadcast campaign? Does this work reflect the overall voice of the clients current interactive campaign? Does it translate to mobile? And on and on.

The work below is from LSDK for the restaurant “Berg”. This is a fantastic example of how the design team thought about more than just color, font, and paper, when designing this mailer for Berg’s anniversary announcement. All of the pieces are well designed and visually impactful on their own, and as a unit work together to complete the look. The quote below the image is from LSDK on the design thinking that went into the mailer. It goes well beyond simply making a pretty balanced layout, or color harmony, or using a trendy font.


“In order to show the restaurants many services we developed Flyers that can easily stand alone or, combined with the others, add up in form, colour and content referring to the Corporate Design and Interior. Single majuscule letters introduce to the content, every single flyer is made of a paper that matches the service/content. So we have an uncoated creamy paper (W & 1), white recycled paper (À) and matte image printing paper (V). For the 1-year celebration the package is extended with an invitation, whose cover is a full hot foil stamping, just leaving the space for the number. Wrapped in linen structure paper and sealed with the restaurants emblem its being sent to all guests.

Materials 1 | Uncoated creamy paper, 1 | Gold hot foil stamping, À | White recycled paper, V | Matte image printing paper, E | Linen structure paper extra white, W | Uncoated creamy paper”

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2013 World Swimming Championship Medal Design from Lagranja.

For the 2013 World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, design studio  Lagranja was tasked with creating the design of the medals and the laniard for each category.  Lagranja wanted to create something unique, yet deeply grounded in the world of swimming. Drawing inspiration from the silicon strap used in swimming goggles, Gerard Sanmartí and his team created a design that allows the medal to be held in a completely different way, embracing it instead of hanging it. The video below shows the design thinking and process that went into creating the medals as well as a commemorative medal for judges, coaches, and other participants in the games. What a great example of pushing the design outside of the conventional norm to and into a fresh place.

“Design & Thinking” The Official Movie Trailer.

Debuting at the Newport Beach Film Festival this year is a feature length film on the concept of design thinking. The film interviews such design greats as Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO and Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA, Gadi Amit, Founder of New Deal Design, Molly Fuller, Co-Founder of Hands On Gourmet, and a number of other luminaries in the design world. Design & Thinking is a documentary exploring the idea of design thinking and the impact design thinking has on the world. It looks pretty brilliant, and I hope it makes it to theaters soon.

Dropping an F-Bomb on Design.

When I got to work this morning this image was in my email inbox. While the language might offend some of you, the basic sentiment shouldn’t. At the end of the day, I don’t know a single designer that hasn’t dropped the F-Bomb during some point in their career. This limited edition hand silk screened poster pretty much sums up everything a designer should know, think, and do.

This limited edition, three-color poster measures 18×24 inches. It’s hand silkscreened on 100lb cover French PopTone paper and available for $35.00 here.

The Bottom of poster reads:
Good Fucking Design Advice aims to serve the needs of the greater design community for the common good. Whether you’re a student unable to receive a timely response from a professor, a designer eagerly awaiting feedback from a vacationing art director, or a sheltered freelancer lonely toiling away in her studio apartment, Good Fucking Design Advice will provide you with immediate unbiased assistance 24/7.