Week #13: Research Articles

The first research article that I read is titled “The Bottom Line Value of Design” and published on the well known blogging platform Medium by Jamie Skella. The article discusses the importance of good design in making a company successful. Skella cites many examples of prominent companies that would not have been successful without good design and user experience such as Uber. How many times have you become frustrated with or left a web page because you could not immediately find what you were looking for or did not understand how the website was structured? How many times have you picked out a product at the grocery store from among many other similar products (such as shampoo) just because you were attracted to the package design? Today’s world is very competitive and good or bad design can be the deciding factor in whether a business succeeds or fails. No matter how good the business idea, the company will not succeed unless it effectively engages its customers. A website, app or package that users can intuitively navigate through and easily and immediately understand is essential to including customers in a business plan. This is why companies come to Veneer and other design agencies. Veneer works with its clients to create the platform for communicating and engaging the companies clients through design.

The article also discusses the importance of design decisions backed by research and created with the consideration of the user. Skella explains that “common pitfalls continue to be solutions designed by the people who build them without consideration of real users, solutions designed based on the anecdotal ideas of management, solutions designed to match competitors, or solutions designed for new technology with no other reason than ‘it’s now possible’” (“The Bottom Line Value of Design.”). Steve Jobs is also cited with his famous quote, “you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology — not the other way around”. It is important to first understand what the user needs and then create the design to reflect the user’s needs instead of just designing something that is trendy or interesting to the designer.

If you want to read “The Bottom Line Value of Design” click here: https://medium.com/@jamieskella/the-bottom-line-value-of-design-fb3b938a5255

The second I read article includes statements from well known design agencies on their opinions of how design will change in the future. It is titled “25 Ideas Shaping the Future of Design” and published by Co.Design. The design agencies ideas range from advancements in sustainable design and reaching a zero impact on the environment to the merge between engineering, programing and designing to gaining “a deeper empathetic understanding of how people experience a space or product” (“25 Ideas Shaping The Future Of Design.”). We are living through a revolution in modern technology. Design is strongly linked to the creation and implementation of technology and, because technology is changing so rapidly, “the knowledge required to design in the medium of technology continues to expand and evolve, real-time learning will be more important than what a college course can teach” (“25 Ideas Shaping The Future Of Design.”). In today’s world and in the world of the future, designers will have to constantly adapt to new concepts and technologies. This had big implications for me and other inspiring designers. I know that a college education is an important credential, but the techniques and programs that I will learn in my classes will be no where near as important as the other skills that I will pick up along the way such as picking up computer programs quickly, organization, how to research, communication, leadership and how to be creative. Increasingly, a good education will be one that teaches students how to think for themselves and execute their ideas instead of just memorization of facts. Like the first article, this article includes many references to the importance of design to a successfully advancing society.

If you want to read “25 Ideas Shaping the Future of Design” click here: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3043624/25-ideas-shaping-the-future-of-design

The third article that I read can be summarized in one graphic:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 10.58.08 PM

The article is titled “What Makes a Good Logo” and is published by JUSTCreative. It touches on and gives examples of each of these 5 important principles. One example that really stuck out to me was the comparison between the timeless Coca-Cola logo and not so timeless pepsi logo.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 11.09.41 PM

Because of Coca-Cola’s consistency, its branding is much more recognizable than Pepsi’s. Where as the first two articles focus on the future of design and it’s implications in society, this article reflects on the past and gives guidelines for successful design.

To read “What Makes a Good Logo” click here: http://justcreative.com/2009/07/27/what-makes-a-good-logo/

Today I met with a Miramonte student names Sutter who is starting a sunflower seed company called Simple Seeds and asked me for help with branding. We talked a lot about the concept that was discussed in the article “The Bottom Line Value of Design” about engaging and attracting his customers through design. He wants package design and poster advertisements that make the viewers hungry for sunflower seeds. Design is an important part of a successful business and I am glad that he recognizes that. I am definitely creating a logo for his company, stickers, posters and business cards. We also talked about a website and package design, but he may be getting the package design from somewhere else and wants to hold off on creating the website until the rest of the branding material is created. I am really excited about this project, especially if I get to do the package design! I really like package design. Here is a link to a package design project I did this summer for a class: http://sophiaspitulnik.com/2014/08/07/product-campaign/. His sunflower seeds come in different flavors so we talked about creating different posters and different packaging for each flavor that have images of the raw ingredients (cinnamon, limes, etc.) used for each recipe. I am working on creating a spreadsheet (similar to the one I created for Elijah, the rapper) with all the prices and sketches for a logo.

I also finished the logo and letterhead for Mr. Poling. Here are pictures:

Writing Lab Logo Final


On Monday, Paige emailed me telling me that the Veneer team was going to be in the city for a meeting and gave me some work to do at home. I did some research on one of their new clients, Urbansitter, and their competitors so Paige and the rest of the Veneer team would be informed about what the company does and how it runs when they meet to talk about branding. Here is part of the table that I set up with all the information:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 11.39.49 PM

On Thursday, I did more research for another client that is looking to set up lodges and other facilities in national parks. I found information on the parks that the company is focusing on, already existing privately owned facilities with in these parks, sites with beautiful pictures of the scenery and social media sites with pictures of people vacationing at these locations. Paige and Andrew are going to use these photos and information to create a branding campaign for the client.

Veneer is shooting a promotional video for another client (The Food Business School) on Monday. The video is about how the school got started and its beginning steps. Part of the video shows the Veneer team having a meeting and brainstorming branding ideas so Paige asked me to help create one of the props by formating all the names that they considered using for the school so that they can print them out and put them on the wall. I’m excited to see the movie being filmed on Monday!


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