We are working on a new website. It is high time. We will be running it completely on the WordPress platform. Catherine Jordan is in charge of key words, tags, and SEO. The new website will also showcase our website design and our book design capabilities, which are missing from this website. However, we can explain: this website was meant to focus at first mostly on our specialty in employee communications. But that focus proved too narrow, so we expanded the website to showcase our external and internal corporate communications capabilities. Now it’s time to show that we can do websites as well. Sigrid has been doing websites since 1995, we’ve just never showcased them. And believe us, you won’t want to see the websites we did back in 1995. They belong into the museum of the very early web.
Most of us have now heard the song “United Breaks Guitars”. I don’t want to rehash what’s being written about this song everywhere on the web and in the papers, but it deserves a quick mention here because the story is relevant to corporate communications. Corporate culture is useless if employees are made to follow policy at the cost of being human and compassionate, and using their own judgment. Dave Carroll of the Sons of Maxwell has humbled a large corporation by being honest and funny rather than angry and vindictive when United Airlines broke his guitar. And the world responds to someone who is real, and who is communicating something meaningful in an entertaining way.
Here’s the full story.
Here’s the song.
And let’s hope Dave Carroll’s music will sell like hotcakes from all this unexpected exposure.
And, we must add with a small tinge of irrational patriotic pride, Dave and his brother Don are Canadian.
The prevailing notion about design seems to be that it is always subservient to marketing, but that is absolutely not the case. Communication is the overarching discipline. Both graphic design and marketing fall under communications. Graphic design often works in conjunction with marketing, or serves marketing purposes. However, sometimes design itself IS the product, and marketing then serves design.
As designers, we have done a good job of selling our skills as valuable business assets. Companies understand the value of a strong logo, a well-organized, attractive website, and professional-looking brochures.
But it is time to remember that design has many functions. Here are some of them:
As Paul Rand, the designer of many famous logos (for IBM, UPS and ABC) said: “To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse.”
Just as an exercise, I’d like to figure out what it is we designers really really want in a client, and what clients really really want in a designer. Parts of this list are going to come easily, others not. Here’s my attempt: more »
I’ve long disliked the word “branding” altogether. I hope it goes out of date soon, in fact I believe it already has. At best, it just has too much of a ring of singed flesh and lowing cattle to it. At worst, it smacks of brainwashing an unsuspecting consumer. more »older entries
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