Sydney Symphony rebrands
Curious new logo for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and an even more curious choice in selecting a Boston based firm to handle the rebrand, Sametz Blackstone. City of Melbourne style parochialism aside, I’m rather surprised a Sydney agency didn’t get the nod.
There’s some great studios in Sydney with experience in the arts and culture space - from Landor’s work last year on AYO, to Interbrand’s GOMA and Griffin work, Collider with Sydney Dance, Moon with Bell Shakespeare. From Sametz’ folio, there’s a lot of University work, as well as this work for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - which, as luck would have it, looks very reminiscent of the old Sydney Symphony Orchestra identity. Complaining about where work was done is a red herring - we live in a hyper connected, globalised world and there’s nothing inherently wrong with long distance collaborations. Cornwell in Melbourne come to mind as an agency getting particular benefits from this new normal, with a healthy mix of work delivered for clients in London and NYC.
As far as the work itself, it’s rather un-symphony like but I find that mildly appealing. The aesthetic reminds me of an old arcade game - a lo-tek bitmap approximation of an explosion. Maybe Donkey Kong has joined their percussion section?
Data is amazing.
"We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice."
Nice article on SMH - What Greatness Sounds Like - I find much greatness in Rukeyser’s opening to his Wall $treet Week show in 1987, as slight and small as the opening monologue to a finance news show may seem.
But for me, JFK’s ‘we choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Because that challenge, will serve to organise and measure the very best of our energy and skills’ to be the greatest I’ve ever heard. View it here.
Jack Handey Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer in America
I envy him too, nice workspace - looks very comfy.
I do hope they recorded this talk, and share it for us all to enjoy!
This ALMOST busted me out of my multi coloured fixation… Almost.
Optus says Yes
Optus have rebranded - and not like the silly version they did a while back which I made fun of here. They did it properly this time! No trips to the pantone buffet for them, they got a new logo and everything!
I’d love to think this through and offer a crafted opinion - but I probably won’t - writing at length about other people’s work is something I’m trying to avoid these days, it’s too hazardous, good intentions rarely triumph over my often clumsy articulation.
This I will say; It’s wrong to think about Optus without thinking about Telstra. The story I have heard for the thinking behind the ‘Yes’ tagline was ‘Telstra is no, we are yes’ - simple as that. Telstra has been handing Optus their arse lately; the brand makeover, 4G network, growth, customer satisfaction, etc.
Optus have upped the ante on Telstra’s colourful approach and gone for an all handwritten approach. Once again, Telstra looks (by comparison) like the established, older, conservative player - perhaps even a little techy and digital. Whatever some might say about this aesthetic, ‘high design’ ideals and comments around timelessness etc, I think RE: would be very justified in saying ‘job done’. It works.
Balls back in the “rainbow coloured” court.
“Work” icon from Neven Mrgan's tumblr.
Design; Apple’s brand idea?
Like many of you, the (admittedly few but not few enough) readers of my blog, I spent some time today looking over the suite of new and updated products from Apple. The new Mac Pro is cool, the new iOS look and feel was very, let’s call it, “new”, and the other stuff they shared was one, the other and often both at once.
I try not to bring up Apple too much in discussions with my clients, as most times I do, it’s dismissed. It seems many people in marketing and business don’t think the laws of the real world apply to the Cupertino based company and the enviable brand they’ve built - as if by magic Apple are able to play by a different set of rules.
I spend a fair bit of time thinking, reading, learning about and admiring Apple. I’m also using at least one and often a few of their products every waking hour of my day; from listening to music from my iPhone in my car driving to work, working on a Mac to reading on my iPad Mini before bed. I admire the company greatly. Most people roll their eyes when I say that, and I understand why; I sound like a fanboy, as if I’ve been seduced into the cult.
But what I admire about Apple is their culture - a way of thinking, working and making things that, as far as I can tell, has been indelibly marked by the force of will, personality and values of their charismatic founder, Steve Jobs. Steve was fond of saying in many of his keynotes that Apple sits at the intersection of the liberal arts and technology, and in a Forbes article he probably hit upon his most eloquent expression of the ideal;
“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough – it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
It wasn’t until today I realised Steve wasn’t just talking about Apple - the above metaphor, of an intersection of liberal arts and technology, is the perfect expression of what design is. The different disciplines of design are distinguished along technocratic lines - architects and interior designers understand a mullion from a spandrel, industrial designers learn the myriad tolerances of different materials, web designers know PHP from CSS, and graphic designers know all sorts of stuff like how to export a PDF.
Technological differences define and separates design disciplines, be they the productivity software we use, our technical jargon, the production or construction methods. But all design disciplines can speak the language of less is more, of balance and form, of composition. We can all admire and appreciate each other’s output, we all have a favourite painter, illustrator or photographer. From my experience, most people in the design industries are socially progressive, politically aware and have read a book or two.
Often in my work I try to distill a ‘brand idea’ - a snappy two or three word expression of the core idea that underpins a business, the products they put out to the world, what they value, their culture and heritage.
Probably seems obvious - Apple is, at it’s core, a design company, free from clients and budgets. A design company where perfection is the only goal and how much your work changes the world is the true measure of success. Today I realised, again, why I love Apple so much - they’re the perfect design company; they have colleagues not clients, incredibly high standards, and a huge impact in making people’s live better - which sounds to me like any designer’s dream job.
Note: The copy below might not be at the level of ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ - but it’s pretty damn close.