Author Archive

Comic Sans apocalypse

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Well that’s it then. The End of Days. Armageddon. Civilization? all over. I have seen a sign: Someone with sufficient cash for a brand new Bentley has seen fit to customize it not only with a personalised license plate (tacky, but unsurprising) – but one set in design’s least favourite typeface: Comic Sans.

Momentarily traumatised whilst driving I failed to whip out the phone camera to record this portent of doom or to note particulars for the design police, but trust me – its out there somewhere… (more…)

brief encounter

Friday, February 12th, 2010

The brief is the key to a good design outcome. Einstein said if he had an hour to solve a problem he would use the first 55 minutes to formulate the right question and the last five to solve the problem. A good design brief is the definition of that right question. In design practice a good brief is extremely rare (I recall only one genuinely complete brief – thank you Nancy Bobrowitz/Reuters!) and its importance is easily overlooked in the rush to results.

Most design briefs are only a production specification, possibly including some vague musings on the brand, but with short-term specifics favoured over direction. The missing element is usually strategy – giving direction, focus and clarity of intent to what is otherwise just a shopping list.  A common reluctance to examine fundamentals makes clarifying design strategy about as easy as nailing jelly to a wall…