Branding is a choice.

08.14.2012 / Author: Ryan Anderson

The easiest way to explain what a design is to a non-designer is that it is a series of decisions. From the broad (“what is this thing?”) to the minute (“should this be one pixel closer?”), every decision shapes the final product. The difference between good and great design often lies in the strength of and commitment to those decisions.

Branding follows the same principle. When a logo doesn’t have a strong rationale, if the corporate colours are chosen because it’s the colour of someone’s bedroom, that’s when branding fails.
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How does your design process differ when you work on your personal projects?

02.10.2011 / Question submitted by: Dion Star

Gary Wiese:

My process differs slightly on personal projects—but not too much. I think it boils down to a matter of mindset. On personal projects, the objective isn’t to solve a particular problem, sell a product, or make someone take action. It’s more about executing a personal thought or emotion, and the results don’t necessarily matter.

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Creative Process Study 17

02.10.2011 / Project: Boulder Soup Works

Gary Wiese

Boulder Soup Works (BSW) is a small-batch soup producer from Colorado. They were founded on the idea that great soup, just the way our moms and grandmothers made it, should be accessible. Most other soups are sold in aluminum cans and are high in preservatives, fat, sodium, and other unhealthy ingredients. Additionally, the production process of these soups robs the ingredients of nearly all of their nutritional value. BSW soups are handcrafted and start with the freshest, organic ingredients and cooked so carefully that they’re naturally gluten-free.
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Finding Craft in the Process

02.10.2011 / Author: Laura Shore

In her brilliant and wide-ranging article about systems thinking in the 2010 CA design annual, DK Holland writes: “In reality, effective graphic design is both a craft and a discipline requiring concentrated strategic thinking.” She describes it as both an artistic commodity and intellectual pursuit. Professional discourse over the years has oscillated between these two poles. From my perch in the marketing department at Mohawk I’ve seen this play out in designers’ approach to materials—alternately celebrating and dismissing physical substrates like paper.

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Thoughts From the Future of Design: Chicago Portfolio School

01.10.2011 / Author: Steve Zelle

The established designers of today will eventually give way to fresh talent. What are the thoughts these young designers have about graphic design and the challenges and changes we face? Will they reshape the way design is approached and valued? In what I hope will be a series of interviews, the students of Advanced Logo Design at the Chicago Portfolio School answer a series of questions provided by followers of the Processed Identity Twitter stream.
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What steps do you take to ensure objectivity within your process?

01.10.2011 / Question submitted by: Bruce Stanley

Dion Star:

I’m not entirely sure that I do.

I’d challenge the reliance of objectivity within the design process. Design must serve a purpose but I believe it must also mean something to the designer.

As designers we use process models to simplify and to refine what we do, but if we accurately map how we work, our actions rarely match the model. The design process is not an absolute; as it has to remain flexible to the user. My own design process informs my work, and in turn my work informs my design process. Without that two-way relationship we become just facilitators of the model. I think we are more than just facilitators.
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