Jumpman

From Sports Illustrated:

A photographer is suing Nike in federal court, alleging that the sneaker company used his work to make its famous “Jumpman” logo of Michael Jordan’s silhouette.

Image taken from Brand New
It looks like the logo was derived from those photos to me.
Flashback: When I started this blog almost nine years ago, my third post compared the Air Jordan “Jumpman” logo with the Shaq “Dunkman” logo.

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Identity

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Flat Design Isn’t the Problem

Gabby Manotoc on the new Netflix logo and the rise of the flat design trend:

This flat design is in trend with many logo redesigns. Its approach is an attempt on minimalism. The Helvetica-esque typeface disregards the personality of Netflix. The company doesn’t need to be a wayfinding system; its users want it to be fun. Cinema is a form of entertainment that contains boundless levels of energy. The old logotype was reminiscent of the old Blockbuster signs–which was incredibly appropriate considering the service the company provides. The new approach is not only sterile, but it appears to have no rhyme or reason behind it.
I find it interested that at the same time as we’re seeing a surge in flat visual treatments on everything—logos, mobile user interfaces, web sites—we’re also seeing a surge in copying the old, naive type treatments from 100+ years ago. Talented designers like Jon Contino, who imprefectly draw their work out by hand, are more popular than ever (a Contino logo pairs well with a ring made from a coin from Etsy).
It’s also important to note that the fact that the new Netflix logo is flat isn’t the problem. The problem with the Netflix logo is that it isn’t better than the original. It’s not telling a story.
The same goes for the not-flat UPS logo:

The question we need to ask ourselves isn’t whether a logo is flat or not, but whether it’s good or it’s shit.

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Identity

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PayPal Logo

Armin Vit on the new PayPal logo by fuseproject:

The new logo is a really good evolution that unquestionably modernizes the previous logo. The double-P monogram has a nice rhythm to it and the two “P”s assemble together warmly — they are spooning. The typography, a modified Futura italic (or, actually, oblique), is a perfectly acceptable solution that reads more cleanly than the previous whateveritwas. The brighter blue hues help the logo compete better against the livelier identities of other payment gateways like Square.
I disagree with Vit. The new logo is shitty. My beef is specifically with the dark blue shape formed from the overlapping “P”s. It’s muddy and too close in value to the blues around it. I’m fine with the letterforms comprising the logo mark and the word mark (you know there’s a difference between a word mark and a logo mark, right?).
Call me old school, but I think a logo should activate the space in and around it. Let me dig into my Graphic Design 101 bag….. gestalt! Yeah, this thing has no gestalt, there’s no dance between negative and positive space. If you’re looking at a logo you should have an active role in deconstructing and understanding it.
Why am I wasting this critique on PayPal of all companies? As Vit notes in his post, this is the company that hasn’t updated its logged-in dashboard view in 12 years.
Update: Happy I’m not the only one who isn’t impressed with the new logo

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Identity

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The Opposite of Identity

comcast_dec2012.jpg

How stupid is Comcast for appending the NBC peacock to their logo?

As stupid as Volkswagen appending the Lamborghini emblem to their logo (VW owns Lamborghini, Ducati, Audi, Porsche, Bentley and others).

volkswagen_lambo_logo_mutant.jpg

Or as stupid as Pepsico slapping mister Quaker Oats dude on top of their logo:

pepsico_quaker_oats_logo_mutant.jpg

*Note: The Comcast logo is the only real logo in this post. If you didn’t figure it out, I made up the Volkswagen and Pepsico versions for demonstration purposes.

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Identity

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job titles

job_titles.gif
Job titles are important. Very important. But this doesn’t mean they should dictate everything. Job titles should be warranted. They should be earned.
This doesn’t mean, for instance, that an art director can’t let a junior design act as lead designer on a project. In fact, it means quite the opposite. The only way you can grow in your field is to take on more challenging projects than your title dictates.
In the career trajectory of an interactive designer there’s a substantial amount of time you can operate in a ‘silo’ and create designs that you and you alone are responsible for. I have known many visual designers, senior visual designers and art directors who have worked within a team of developers and Human Experience designer where they are the only visual designers on the project – no one junior assisting them and no one senior to them, guiding the direction of the final design.
The art director level in the career of a visual designer represents the point at which it’s no longer about your design chops alone that make you great at your level – how fast and precise you are in Photoshop, or how beautiful you can animate a scene. If we take a quick jump into the etymology of these positions, we notice that the change comes when ‘designer‘ is replaced with ‘director‘. As an art director, you’re no longer designing on the project, you’re directing the design efforts of others (ideally). As a creative director you’re directing the conceptual and strategic efforts of others.
Getting to a director level is also about how well you present your ideas and designs to your internal team and your client. It’s about how you work with and mentor junior designers. It’s also about how you delegate responsibilities. It’s about management.
Despite these characteristics, you’d be surprised how many people consider themselves art directors. This doesn’t mean the people I’ve known who have been art directors couldn’t perform the non-visual tasks I mentioned above or that they’re not worthy of the title. It just means they’ve never had the opportunity to (disclosure – I’m guilty of this ‘silo’ work lifestyle too).
We have to be very careful when we assign titles to people within the companies we work for. I don’t give a shit if you’ve worked for a company for 20 years. If you’re not qualified to be a manager or a director or a senior vice president, then you shouldn’t be one. End of story. What salary compensation you give someone is another story. That is something between your management and you, and doesn’t get added your email signature next to your email address and job title.
When people who are given titles they never live up to, it might give that person an ego boost, but it demoralizes others in the company who look to them for vision, direction and strength and never receive it.
Giving the wrong job titles to the wrong people effectively makes job titles meaningless, and inevitably confuses everyone, making them question their own worth in the company.

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Career, Education, Identity

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