Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

The real Steve Jobs and why design wins

September 14, 2007, 3:17 AM

Great portrayal of Steve Jobs’ by Robert X. Cringely.
(via Subtraction)

I was suprised by the iPhone’s price drop, but even more surprised by the open letter to all iPhone customers. The tone was polite, honest and direct, but I had the feeling it left no doubt about who’s in charge. It was obvious long time ago that Apple designs with arrogance (Clay Shirky beautifully writes on this topic in this “A Brief Message” post). But Mr Cringely manages to strip down Mr Jobs entirely, exposing his marketing genius, leaving no doubt about the recent price drop and it’s purpose. You almost get the feeling, as you read in awe, that Steve Jobs is the new Palpatine, soon to take over the entire universe in his white&minimalistic iDeath Star :))

Joke aside, this useful insight which proves Apple can and does do anything it wants with it’s customers only underlines the true power of design (no, not the dark side :P). The whole Apple strategy is dead simple, make the best looking and coolest designed stuff people need (or we think they’d need, since we, designers, know better, right ?) and the cash starts flooding in. Why ?
Because we still have little real, good, efficient design around us. We think we do, but we don’t actually. This is why a well thought product manages to sweep the market so easily: because it has (almost) no real competition.

The only problem is when the unchallenged leader begins to slow down, overconfident with its size and power. Or when it becomes so engulfed by it’s arrogance that it begins to lose contact with the end of the chain, the buyer. All great empires have fallen, as history unkindly has proven (well, capitalism seems to be the most succesful so far, but I don’t want to imagine what would replace it, should it fall). But for now, Steve Jobs still wants to show everybody he’s won. So the show will still go on, with, maybe, the best to come. And in the end, it’s all good for us, users.

(via Subtraction)



New visual id for romanian public administration

, 12:57 AM

Please vote here against this shameful identity and please give the reasons, maybe they’ll understand that design is also a profession, not a hobby.

Grab your torches and pitchforks, romanian public administration has a new identity. Actually, I really hope it is still a proposal (they’re not very specific on the site), or even better, an April’s fool. First, “enjoy” the logo (isn’t it about time we left the so-called revolution behind?):


I won’t start complaining about fonts, symbols, colours, readability and so on. Even if professionals will spot the problems right away, sometimes it’s also a question of taste (even if there are unbreakable rules in design, after all). But seeing this will surely give you a clear idea of how knowledgeable the designer is (if he/she is a designer at all):


Since when is 50% black the same with C62 M53 Y53 K24? But wait, there’s more: why, oh why, do you have to put gradients over the symbol (on this biz card, some other stationery and the wep page layout)?



Here’s what different counties’ logos supposedly should look like (spot the “i”‘s, if you can):


Visit the site (romanian) if you want to see(endure) more.

I am optimistic by nature, even though many friends keep saying that we should just leave this damned – as it many times seems to be – country. This is actually quite a trend among romanian advertisers, wanting to leave the country for good, in search of the graphic-design-el-dorado or something alike. Wonder why they seldom do :P

But, seeing this kind of work so often, especially for big companies and institutions (if only they could just copy from other great designs, like the spanish government did), and, on the other side, hearing about great countries that worship design, like UK, Nederlands, Denmark, Norway and so on… Man, do I feel my feet burning.

(got the word via Kit)



Design principle

August 31, 2007, 3:16 PM

Have you ever thought, not only about the airplane but whatever man builds, that all of man’s industrial efforts, all his computations and calculations, all the nights spent working over draughts and blueprints, invariably culminate in the production of a thing whose sole and guiding principle is the ultimate principle of simplicity?

It is as if there were a natural law which ordained that to achieve this end, to refine the curve of a piece of furniture, or a ship’s keel, or the fuselage of an airplane, until gradually it partakes of the elementary purity of the curve of the human breast or shoulder, there must be experimentation of several generations of craftsmen. In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.

by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Taken from Patagonia website, be sure to check their fascinating brand history, pretty long, but worth it.

(via Sacul cu ganduri)



The difference between…

June 14, 2007, 7:19 PM

Knew this in text for a while now, but now I’ve found an image that pictures it as well:The difference between...

(via The Serif)