Saturday, January 31, 2009

Type IV-Triggs 20-25 & 54-57 response

Both articles highlight different approaches to where meaning in type is constructed, whether it is in the medium it's contained or created in (20-25), or the characteristics associated with the typeface/typography it is put forth in (54-57). I feel that one is born of the other. With the tool you're using to create a typeface, there are characteristics specific to that tool that will be transferred into a typeface. These 'trademarks' of the tool are specific to the medium you are working in. In type design, an element of dating occurs in the technology available.

I think that there is a specific mood or idea associated with different typefaces as well as how the type is arranged. For example, a sans serif typeface in a restrained grid arrangement would connote for many, if not all designers, Swiss design or industrialism, while a poster with cut and paste type or hand scrawled characters with little or no structure would connote an amount of punk aesthetic.

Info Arch-Point of View response

I really appreciated this reading and feel like it validates my reasons for choosing the topic of branding. I really appreciate this reading and the issues it brings up surrounding individual/unique perception. Like I said before, I chose the branding pair because based on my personal experiences, it was something I felt would benefit me based on interest in the long run. And perhaps on my own level of 'selective' decision making, I have selected to pay attention to something I'm more interested in living with for a while, as well as more comfortable with. Yet I also feel, and have felt, that there is a lot of information I don't yet know about the topic. Also, knowing this 'unknown' information will most likely make me enjoy it even more, just like Wurman covers in the portion about Franz Kline's calligraphic paintings.

I also agree that culture and competition have a lot of bearing on one's expressed opinions. For me, I have a lot of trouble articulating what I really want to say sometimes in front of peers because I'm so afraid of being wrong or knowing less than someone else. Perhaps that is another reason for going with something I'm already somewhat comfortable with.

I feel like this reading really articulated very well a lot of things I have been thinking/feeling/noticing over the last 6 months. It's nice to know concretely that I'm not the only one thinking this, as silly as that sounds.

Info Arch: Choice and Outlines

I chose branding because it is the subject that really grabbed me the first time I read all 6 essays. I think that the closer I get to obtaining my degree, the more I start to focus on what I really like to do in design, and branding and trend motivation seems to be somethings I think about a lot. I feel that both essays bring up some very valid points, but I think I agree most with the economist article because it seems to be less based on reaction/passionate writing and more on being rational. As for comparing and contrasting, I can for see a really good relationship between the two articles, because it seems like the economist article was written in response to Naomi Klein's essay.


(My outline formats did not transfer well... I promise, they look better in word)

Truth in Advertising-Naomi Klein

Introduction: “”
Gut reaction was it was another “anti” ad
Reality was it’s an ad for encryption software to protect from data mining
“…In a market place filled with cognitive dissonance, double talk and outright lies, it was telling the truth.”
Brand identities
A brand driven company’s attempt to forge a deeper connection with their customers or audience.
“A process which… is about identifying the inner truth of a corporation.”
The author compares this process to religious quests for the truth or enlightenment by “sequestering themselves in retreats as they probe the deepest meanings of _______”
Human aspirations and ideals
Ex. Nike as an organization whose remission is to communicate notions of transcendence.
IBM sells solutions, not computers.
Polaroid’s inner brand is joy, the Gap sells unrestrained exuberance.
From the inner truth comes the outer appearance
Brand image campaigns express new identities.
We lose track of the real intellectuals/activists/religious leaders as our truth-tellers
“They are the ones speaking loudest about meaning, helping us to look with awe and wonder at the world, even if what we are looking at, ultimately, are branded sneakers, lattes, and laptop computers.”
Those responsible for the ad campaigns begin to think of themselves less as designers and more as “cultural philosophers, spiritual guides, artists, and political leaders.”
Benetton not advertising their clothes, but advertising virtues
Com. Policy > “Benetton believes that it is important for companies to take a stance in the real world instead of using their advertising budget to perpetuate the myth that they can make consumers happy through the mere purchase of their product.”
Auth. Rebuttal “It seems like a noble goal, yet Benetton’s political branding campaigns implicitly promise customers a happiness of another sort not just beaus status or style, the traditional claims fashion companies make, but virtue and engagement.”
Benetton’s Political Campaigns = truth instead of advertising
Truth instead of advertising ≠ Truth in advertising
Fundamental dichotomy of branding
Promise embedded in brand meaning campaigns and the banal experience
of consumption
Author claims considerable dissonance between the products/services they are selling and their “quest for truth” in advertisement.
“The brand has evolved, as TiborKalman put it, from a mark of quality on the product to a ‘stylistic badge of courage’ on the consumer.”
Author makes a connection between the search for a more meaning filled brand identity and anti brand backlash from activists.
From claims of sweatshop abuses to predatory business practices
Internet acts as “truth serum”
Activists measuring ad claims to actual business practices.
Ad world feeds off truth in our culture and then uses them as props for self promotion as opposed to self knowledge or social change.

The Case for Brands-the editors of the Economist

Brands do not oppress; they make companies accountable to consumers
Brands bring people something better they did not have before
There are still places brands do not exist
People flee from them if they have the chance
Pawn theory is argued by Naomi Klein
Brands have come to represent “a fascist state where we all salute the logo…”
Branded goods are cheaply produced in third world sweatshops and displace local alternatives. Gray homogeneity
No wonder brands seem bad
Brands symbolize capitalism
Symbols of American corporate power
Most of the best-known brands are American
Environmental damage, human rights abuses, and sweatshops
Those are misleading accounts of the nature of brands.
Brands began as a form of consumer protection.
Ex. Meat pies—pre-industry, people knew what was in their meat pies and which butchers were trustworthy. Once they moved in to cities, this changed. A brand provided a guarantee of reliability. The maker had an image to live up to so customers would return
The internet age reinforces the important of brands
Ex. Credit card number with
American trusting French water via Evian
Consumer trust is the basis of all brand values
The dependence of trust and consistency by successful brands suggests consumers need more of them.
Poor countries
Arrival of brands = increase in competition = consumers gain
Ex. McDonald’s in England = better burger than the “hideous” Wimpy = gratitude
Public Service
No logo world because there is very little choice
Attempts at government branding arouse derision
Advertising and marketing cost $
A strong brand = high level of customer loyalty and sometimes a higher price
Price cannot be too high, though
Tastes will change and brands will fade
Trends repeat themselves
Quality of service still counts
New role of a brand
Customers will pay more for a brand because it seems to represent a way of life or a set of ideas.
Ex. Nike’s “just-do-it” or Coke’s carefree fun
Companies tend to concoct stories around their service or product
Run of the mill becomes “thrilling
Some are outraged at the vapid notion of superiority brands bring
People in every age have chased this goal
Ex. Sumptuary laws in medieval England or second hand designer labels commanding a premium over pre-worn no logos in present day Africa.
Brands are increasingly vulnerable due to how valuable they are to a company
It must be sustained and protected
A bad ad campaign, a drop in quality, or hint in scandal can mar it
The power of a brand can be used against itself.
A globalized world means a globalized watch on a company, thus validating the principle that brands mean quality control and protection to the consumer.

Type IV: 50 examples