Inner beauty

You’ve no doubt heard a version of the phrase “You are your own worst critic.” Dove soaps capitalized on that concept with a beautifully executed campaign. Ogilvy & Mather Agency hired a forensic sketch artist to illustrate that fact and give some insight into how we view ourselves.

Typography

Believe it or not, it’s not as simple as just picking a font and hoping for the best. I’ve worked with some of the most meticulous and experienced type setters around, and there is a definite science to the art of typography. Treating type like an object of design (as opposed to treating it like words on a page) is essential when approaching the subject.

There are many things that go into the creation of a simple, yet beautiful design and one of the most important factors is text. Leading, kerning, font choice, font size, relative size to other objects, alignment, color pallet … all these things determine the ultimate result.

The IdeaLists

I recently came across this website that is a fabulous resource for freelancers and creatives looking for high quality, well-paid projects. I’ve done the rounds in the online community and have at one time or another had profiles on various websites to boost the numbers of incoming gigs. But my general experience was that the projects went something like this: “We need someone to design our website, oh, and our logo… and all of our branding … and print collateral. 6 Months work. Budget: $500”

In other words, the quality of work was less than desirable, and the budgets were mostly small or non-existent. Not so with theidealists.com.

A nice compliment

I was having a discussion with a vendor today that I work with quite often and use as a resource for programming on web projects. He said the following to me, “You are one of the best designers I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve been working in this industry for about 20 years. You’re in the top percent of guys out there in terms of your design skill and attention to detail.” Not to toot my own horn or anything, but that was a really nice compliment.

About Mike Falkow

I thought I’d post a little something about me so anyone who was interested could get an idea of my training and background. I was born and raised in South Africa. After graduating high school with a focus on fine arts as my choice of studies, I enrolled in a newly emerging multimedia program with MediaTek Training Institute. Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing were the major subjects covered and after completing the program I was hired by a major magazine as junior designer. After being there for a year, and climbing the ranks to senior designer of one of their publications, I left the company and travelled Europe, Asia and the United States for a couple years.

Linkedin top 1%

I recently received this little piece of good news. Apparently I’m rated in the top 1% most endorsed for Graphic Design in the United States on Linkedin.

New look for American Airlines

In 1968 American Airlines got themselves a new logo, courtesy of the designer Massimo Vignelli. Not since then have they updated their look, but American recently announced their new logo, and plane designs. FutureBrand handled the overhaul and personally I think it looks really cool. Clean, modern, fresh. It’s good design.

It’s funny what your corporate design says about you. The old logo was stagnant, old school, and unchanged in forty five years. What did that say to the public about the company. Stagnant, old school, not current. The subliminal messages that are conveyed to your customers are conveyed along the channels of your public image,

Customer support

Some web companies build you a website and send you on your way, telling you “Good luck with your new website!” or even worse, they trap you into an monthly retainer payment to update your site’s content. Not us. Our policy is a bit different. Once we launch a site, we’ll provide free training (if the site has a content management system, like WordPress) and we’ll give you 30 days of free support starting on the launch date. This includes updating the site for you, and providing help and maintenance on the existing approved site that we built (i.e. Not building additional unpaid features or functionality) and we’ll help you take control of your new online presence so that you can become your own webmaster.

The importance of logos

Logos and branding are super important to a company, large or small, because it’s the first thing a customer sees. It’s your brand. Your identity. It’s your name for Pete’s sake. Of course it’s important.

So why would you not devote the appropriate amount of energy into getting your brand presented the way it should be? It’s been said that you have 6 seconds to make a first impression. Hi. Meet my logo. (Start the 6 second clock now.) Get it? The same goes for your website or any design or promotional piece you send out. The impression created by that piece of marketing or promotion is one that leaves a lasting imprint on the end user’s mind.