Is it time to quit design? Has technology gone too far?
Logojoy is a new website that uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to ‘design’ your logo.
There seems to be no more need for checkout chicks in supermarkets any more. Now they have a machine that can simply scan your item by the barcode and then you insert your bankcard in it and off you go. The need for one on one service is slowly diminishing. It’s happening everywhere, and slowly creeping into any industry. One industry I thought it would never affect is my industry – logo design. Well it’s proven me wrong.
There is a new site named Logojoy. The website proudly says, “By using artificial intelligence, genetic algorithms, and a few other fancy technologies, we’re empowering everyone to design their own logo.” What is a ‘genetic algorithm? and does it make good logos?
I wanted to test this, so I signed up and got designing.
As the owner of a design agency I thought we should run this against our own visual brand and its simple ingredients of a face, some typography and a strap line. You start by choosing five logos you like from a set of over 20 (can you see where I am going with this). Some straight-down-the-line algorithms later and you’re staring at your logo, well not really, because you’re then choosing what typeface, what colour, and how big everything is and how it relates, and it’s a online version of a very basic PC paint package. Basically you’re just starting with some templates based on things you liked.
My icon is chosen, a yellow colour palette checked and a sans serif font selected and [above] is my result. Credit card details entered and $20 later I have gone for the cheaper alternative, money talks after all and cost (and there was even a 50% sale) and the files are emailed to you in a flash.
After reviewing the new logo I think I will stick with the one we created. News of the graphic designer’s extinction and replacement at the hands of AI is still premature. At DesignLab we work with our clients to achieve them the best results for the business. Logojoy can’t help you unlock the potential in your brand, connect it with your potential customers and fans or deliver this level of service. It can’t help you understand your market, it can’t build confidence or engage audiences. What it does is give you a very average non-descriptive logo, and it will probably make some money for some clever people who created the site.
Graphic design does not have to cost the earth, or be complex, but it does have to have heart and thought, and the AI robots are missing that vital ingredient, it’s that years of experience that a robot can never provide. There will always be a market for this kind of thing and more fool the people that use it. Buy cheap, buy twice.
Graphic Design Trends are influenced by culture and media, past and present, technology and fashion.
Madeleine Morley from The American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA) says this:
“A trend never simply emerges for a single year and then disappears in a puff of smoke. Instead, an aesthetic becomes popular gradually, even mysteriously, over time before fizzling out slowly without much notice at all.”
The design trends we will be covering didn’t magically materialise at the end of 2015; trends take time, and you’ve likely seen many of them in one form or another during the last couple years.
But even if you’re not one to follow trends, as a designer it’s sensible to be aware of the shifts going on in the industry—if only to perhaps avoid them before they become overused, or just to have the opportunity to tweak them into something new.
While forecasting trends with any certainty is a tricky business, many members of the graphic design industry seem to have developed a consensus as to what styles and approaches are most likely to take off for 2016.
“Modern Retro Style
As opposed to vintage or “old” retro—styles that draw from the early 1900s through the 60s—“modern” retro takes its influences from more recent decades, the late 1970s through the 90s. Think early PCs and video games, pixel art, and space themes: nerdy is now the new cool.
This illustration and t-shirt design by Ralph Cifra has all kinds of nostalgia happening. The technology theme also ties in nicely with modern-retro influences.
This has a retro yet contemporary feel, complete with vinyl records and a solar system, we just love it.
80s style for a stationery brand
Some limited “pixel edition” packaging designed for Coke. It features space invaders from the arcade video game of the same name released in 1978. Pretty cool.
Google made quite a noise in the design world when it introduced its material design guidelines. This visual language is characterised by “deliberate color choices, edge-to-edge imagery, large-scale typography, and intentional white space” for a bold and graphic look.
Some designers are referring to material design as “Flat 2.0” because it’s an update to the flat design trend, adding light/shadow, depth, and movement for a more tactile sense of realism.
Though Google created it for web and mobile, you’ll see material design principles popping up in all kinds of design now.
This fluid website concept incorporates material design principles, including bold colors, large typography, and light and shadow effects. Card- or tile-based layouts (see the menu elements to the left of this image) are also part of material design.
Flat 2.0 illustrations for a weather app from Disky Chairiandy that integrates light and shadow for a sense of depth. Simple, but effective.
Another website, designed by Al Rayhan, that features contrasting, bright colors but with a more traditional design—a good compromise between conservative and trendy.
If you want to try out one material design’s vivid colour scheme, look out Material Palette. It’s a colour scheme generator that can help you quickly and easily choose a versatile selection of hues. Go on, give it a go!
Bright & Bold Colors
Fitting in with both 80’s/90’s styles and material design, vibrant hues should continue to prove popular into 2016.
This trend would be a move away from the more muted, 1960s-inspired palettes to favour bright, neons, pastels and richer, more saturated colors.Pantone’s Spring 2016 Color Report falls in line with this prediction for 2016.
Neon shade of green combined with a golden yellow really makes this poster pop out. It was designed by In the Pool. Very cool and trendy.
Here, some bright pastel gradients over the imagery in his landing web page design, it really makes the text stand out.
A clearly 80’s-inspired design from Tron Burgundy with electric colours and geometric shapes.
Geometric shapes and patterns are align with some of the 80’s trends we’ve already looked at. This one can be applied in all sorts of ways—as individual graphic elements, as backgrounds, as an illustrative technique.
Keep an eye out for a style known as “low poly,” which got its start as a 3D modelling technique for video games.
There are lots of helpful tutorials for creating a low-poly effect, either from scratch or taking a shortcut with a tool like this. Or just pick up a selection of free low-poly textures to try out the trend the easy way.
Another take on geometric shapes with shapes layered forming a colourful backdrop for some business cards.
Coloured triangles on this chocolate packaging create an eye-catching background:
Simple circular and rectangular shapes combine to form a versatile visual theme:
Negative space is an essential part of any logo design. We love it. Negative space can be a clever way to add deeper or double meaning to your designs. It can simply help give your composition a more minimal look.
In this design for a restaurant called “The Swan & Mallard,” has creatively managed to fit a swan, a mallard duck, and an ampersand all into one logo though positive and negative space.
In a different way, the negative space in this logo has movement and context to the word being spelled out:
Have a look closely at the shapes created by the violin. They form a series of numbers 1, 2, and 3—which are part of the event name. How clever!
Modular layouts have been adopted by some of the largest brands for their websites.
It’s the self-contained modules or cards used as the primary organisational principle that has created the twist of a new trend.
From Balraj Chana
Layouts don’t have to follow a grid where everything is aligned. They can be a little more freeform and still serve as an organisational tool. For example, this design below.
Typography isn’t just for reading—it’s for making a statement. Look out for big, bold type that’s the center of attention. You can create drama, fear, love through size, but also through colour and texture.
Look at this handcrafted a series of letters to create the cover art for a magazine.
This much more minimalistic freeform approach depends largely on colour and shape.
This poster features a more freeform arrangement of some of the letters plus textures.
It’s been said that stock images are dead. Stock photography and graphics are more frequently being replaced by custom illustrations.
No graphic designer wants their work to look the same, and no business wants elements of their branding to show up on another competitor’s website. So that is why designers have been putting in the extra work to create one-of-a-kind solutions.
As bigger brands continue to embrace designs, this tactic of making imagery more personalised should continue to grow in 2016.
From Vlad Shagov
Dropbox takes a personalised approach to its imagery with casual illustrations—more like doodles:
Beautiful watercolor illustrations:
Minimalistic & Abstract Style
In contrast to the more 80’s-inspired design styles we’ve seen, this design trend relies on minimalism and deconstructing or distorting recognisable shapes and forms.
For instance this identity for a music school picks apart some of the shapes associated with musical notes and puts them back together in a different way:
These designs from StudioBrave and Kajsa Klaesén integrate geometric shapes and bright colours in a simplistic way, with plenty of white space.
Following design trends just for the sake of being trendy usually isn’t a good solution. If you do decide to try a trend, make sure it fits your project and audience.
OK, let’s just say my car is not working, and it has some serious issues.
I’m not a mechanic and I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know what the problem is and I don’t want to go to a mechanic because I want to save the money.
Instead I buy a book and I take the time to learn about cars, then I look at a bunch of tutorials about how others repair cars, I talk to a specialist about my problem and then I go under the hood and try to fix it. My hands get dirty and I lose so much of my valuable time on understanding what happens with all those cables and other pieces. I think I see the problem and I attempt to fix it.
I get into my car and start the engine. It’s working! What a relief. I think that I’ve solved the problem. I’m happy that I didn’t have to go to the mechanic and spend my money. Even if I lost a lot of time on educating myself, looking at tutorials and talking to specialists.
I drive my car and guess what, clank bong bang boom… my car just stops and I don’t know what’s wrong. I get really nervous and have go to a mechanic. The mechanic looks at the car and says “You have an old problem here and a new problem here. Why didn’t you come when you experienced the first one problem?”
Now if I had gone to the mechanic in the first place, he would have solved my original problem faster with some money invested, and with more time gained.
So why is when something is wrong with our cars, we go to the professionals, to a car mechanic?
Now let’s get back to our topic at hand, if you have a design problem, why don’t you go to a specialist, as in a graphicdesigner?
Let’s say you want to design an logo, you find an online clipart site which creates logos you can easily use add some basic text to. You design the logo, print on business cards or signage on your car are you wait for the phone calls. Guess what? Nothing. Why? Because your logo is ugly. It’s not so visually appealing and nobody likes it. Because your logo was a template where you edit some text.
What if you invest some money and start working with a professional graphic designer?
Why? Because graphic designers understand the power of visuals, the power of good looking visuals and most of them have the experience of creating values through their work.
Creating templates with free design sites or apps which everybody can use does nothing but underestimate the designers’ importance.
If you love design but you are just an amateur starting out, you can design for yourself. But when we talk about brands and companies that need to create valuable identities here is the place where the professionals should look for design.
Another example: how would it be if a plumber could do your logo design work with a free app where he could just press some buttons?
Now think about graphic designers in this situation and just start to work together.
Let us professionals do our jobs with the tools we have learned.
Christmas is upon us yet again. We are all likely rushing around like a crazy people this week trying to get all your work done, finish up your Christmas shopping, preparing to travel, etc. Every year, we are asked by our loving clients to design them something for Christmas i.e. cards, e-cards, newsletters, Facebook banners and more, and every year we strive to design something different from your normal tinsel, red & green backgrounds with snow flakes and cursive typography. It’s just boring as bat shit! So we took some time out from our hectic graphic design schedule and took a look at some inspirational Christmas design that actually looks and feel different.
Let’s take a minute to slow down and absorb some solid Christmas design inspirations.
Some of these ads will make you laugh, others might earn an approving nod or even a roll of the eyes. All are definitely worth a look and are sure to get your brain in a creative mode.
Have a Great Holiday!
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Festivus, we here at DesignLab would like to wish you a very happy holiday season.
Last Thursday on November 27 saw our end of year Christmas party that we hold for all our clients to thank them for their support for the past year. It was a real success and a testament to how far we have come over the past couple of years.
We had such fantastic feedback from all our clients on the night, and most of them were quite amazed that little old us have such a vast range of clients, not to speak the quantity. On the night around 40 clients attended to an open bar and some of the tastiest nibbles (i.e. chicken popcorn, pork belly, prawn burgers and so much more) put on by The Grace Establishment on The Parade in Norwood (our neighbour).
A comment that kept being brought up on the night is that it’s rare for companies to take out their clients, usually a company takes out their staff, but we feel it’s more important and critical to the success of our business that we look after our clients. It’s our mission statement, our vision, it’s the reason we get up in the morning, we love what we do!
Last Thursday 16th October saw the launch of the program for the 2015 Adelaide Festival. The 30th Adelaide Festival program was unveiled with the full line-up presented by Artistic Director David Sefton, and we had front row seats.
This being our fourth year working with the Adelaide Festival we feel very privileged to be invited to the launch party, especially when we get a mention from CEO Karen Bryant in front off all government officials and the media at the VIP party before hand about our graphic design work.
As a nod to the very first Adelaide Festival poster, the artwork for the 2015 Adelaide Festival of Arts is an interpretation of the iconic ‘double A’ from 1960. This was designed and developed by Voice.
The 2015 Adelaide Festival features over 22 Australian premieres and exclusive events including the ambitious digital arts event Blinc, which will open the Festival on Friday 27th February 2015, and will continue every night of the festival for free. Artistic Director David Sefton says Blinc is the “most ambitious public art event the festival has ever presented”.
Danny Elfman, will be in Adelaide for his production Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton, which is a showcase of some of the memorable scores he has composed for famour director Tim Burton which includes Batman, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands. The concert will be held at the Entertainment Centre and will be performed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
Other highlights of the program include Unsound, Tommy: which is a radical jazz reimagining of The Who’s double album, Fela! The Concert: A concert version of the Broadway musical about Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti, Blow the Bloody Doors Off!!: instrumentalist Terry Edwards celebrates the music of the iconic Michael Caine film such as Alfie, The Italian Job and Get Carter. Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet: The US company makes their exclusive Australian debut and Bill Viola: The work of the American video artist will be presented across three venues, The Art Galley of SA, Queen’s Theatre and St Peter’s Cathedral.
The Caravan & Camping Industries Association of South Australia Inc., (CCIA. of SA) is a broad based Trade organisation which was incorporated in 1976. It’s membership is made up of retailers, manufacturers, hirers, service providers, repairers and suppliers and as such is predominately aligned with businesses in or closely related to the outdoor leisure Industry.
Every year the Association holds their Annual General Meeting Gala Dinner all around Adelaide’s most prestigious hotels and function centres, incorporating a different theme for each event that we design. The previous years have been Survivor, Circus, Oscar Award themed, so this year’s task was to do something different – Casino Royale! We are a huge fan of the Bond movies so we were super excited to be asked to design a Monte Carlo Casino Royale theme.
The design used elements of sophistication illustrating dice and cards with a elegant and classical looking font. This was then applied to invites, menus, table numbers and presentational slides on the night.
Another reason why we are so fortunate to work with the Association and the guys from is because we get to go to each Gala Dinner every year, who doesn’t like getting dressed up in a suit or a expensive frock and have a night out with flowing champagne, wine and beer accompanied by a three course meal. We always feel very proud and privileged to be invited to the dinner.
The dinner was held at the InterContinental Adelaide on Saturday 20th September, and the guests couldn’t get enough as they played the roulette, poker and blackjack tables, winning and losing thousands of fun dollars which was presented by Ace Nights.
Graphic Design is an interdisciplinary, problem-solving activity which combines visual sensitivity with skill and knowledge in areas of communications, technology and business.
Graphic design practitioners specialise in the structuring and organising of visual information to aid communication and orientation. The graphic design process is a problem solving process, one that requires substantial creativity, innovation and technical expertise.
An understanding of a client’s product or service and goals, their competitors and the target audience is translated into a visual solution created from the manipulation, combination and utilisation of shape, colour, imagery, typography and space.
DesignLab delivers a graphic design Adelaide service to clients mainly located in Adelaide South Australia. We aim to add value to our client products and services by creating interesting, engaging and effective visual communication outcomes.
Our work is more than just producing marketing and communications material. We work very closely with our clients.
Have a look at our work and read the feedback from our clients in their testimonials below. They’re ultimately the best judges of whether our design work is effective.
Please feel free to email me with your opinion, comments or questions related to this article.
Here is a neat little infographic about a day a Graphic Designer lives.