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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Creative Process Study 16

01.10.2011 / Project: Big Design Challenge Cornwall

Dion Star


I am an independent Designer, Art Director & p/t University Lecturer at University College Falmouth.

Dott Cornwall is part of a program of events developed by the Design Council, driving design-led solutions to economic and social challenges throughout the UK. The Design Council, Cornwall Council, University College Falmouth and Technology Strategy Board have partnered to deliver the Dott programme throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly during 2010 & 2011.

SEA Communications, an emerging social design agency where charged with delivering DOTT’s final showcase project, a community design challenge. I was invited to come on board to provide some creative direction and to develop the identity.

My first task was to present an overview of the Design Challenge objectives & strategy. What were the areas of debate, themes and insights? This initial overview became the working brief for the identity.

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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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Creative Process Study 15

12.01.2010 / Project: Nossi College of Art

Bruce Stanley

One of the first tasks that I was asked to accomplish when I came on board at Nossi College of Art was to look at their brand identity change and its process, which was already underway. Nossi was in the middle of a rebranding campaign and was struggling with some decisions that would help them establish a new perspective in the market. In the past the brand had suffered from some negative growth experiences and—after 37 years it had one more chance to be new again.

Nossi is actually the name of the woman who founded the school, teaching right out of her home after immigrating from Iran. She believes everyone should have the chance to express their creativity and she became devoted to educating those wanting to explore their opportunities in art.

Today, the school has just built a 55,00 sq. ft. creative oasis in Nashville. Complete with state-of-the-art technology and environmental upgrades the facility is truly a place conducive for creativity. Offering Associate and Bachelor degrees from Graphic Design and Illustration to Photography and Videography, it is an art college to be reckoned with.

The existing mark was dated and didn’t portray the college as a serious institution.

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Do You REALLY Want to be a Design “Rock Star?”

11.24.2010 / Author: Speider Schneider

Speaking on a panel discussion at the recent and fantastic Phoenix Design Week, the subject was on how Phoenix could grow to become the “Design Capital.” When the organizers wrote me to ask if I would be on the panel, I gladly agreed, but I had to shake my head and laugh. I have heard every design organization, in every city, ask the same question. From experience, I knew the answer was that it would never happen.

It’s not that there isn’t great talent spread through every city, because there is. When FedEx started overnight deliveries, many creatives I knew in New York City realized they could work from a home elsewhere, enjoying a simpler life than being crammed into an expensive apartment in Manhattan or the other boroughs, just a quick subway ride away from a client. FedEx proved to be faster than most subway lines.

With that and the eventual explosion of digital choices, talent spread out across the globe, to every small town and thatched roof hut that had electricity and wifi. The world became a “design capital.”

As I started to point out that no city was known as the “graphic design capital,” several people pointed out that New York City was known as the “design capital.”

“Not for graphic design,” I quickly pointed out. “The cities that have been anointed with such a title are known for architecture, fashion, interior design, but not for graphic design.”

The audience fell into a silent zombie state. People are exposed to graphic design all around them; web sites, signs, brochures, CD covers, coffee cups with huge logos, soda bottles and packaging. So much so, that it has no special impact in their minds, so it is invisible, hiding in plan sight. The best demonstration of the importance of design, is to let people live without design for a day. Everything blank, doorways that lead nowhere and toilets that are ten feet off the floor. Design is everything.

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