Designs Both Real and Imagined

28. January 2016 10:26 by Steve Leigh in Business News  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Never underestimate the importance of having a recognizable brand. Here at The Spill, we appreciate the power of having a recognizable logo. The right logo is like a royal coat of arms: an instantly-recognizable image that makes your intentions known to all who look upon it. This is as true for fictional products as it is for real ones. Any Quentin Tarantino fan, for example, knows the fictional brands Red Apple Tobacco and Big Kahuna Burger. The following two stories are about experimenting with the well-known designs of beloved franchises.

Suds Style

Sports fans' loyalty to their favorite beverages is matched only by their loyalty to their favorite team. In the battle of beers, the distinctive Bud Light logo has been a staple for decades. After more than 30 years of success, the Anheuser-Busch company decided to change it up.

Bud Light against blue background
Image via Wired.

Although the can keeps its classic blue shade, the name of the beer now sits alone in a new font. The new logo actually bears a striking resemblance to a design the beer had in the early eighties. The design change is seen as a way to appeal to the growing craft-beer demographic. Rivals Miller and Coors have likewise recently adopted minimalist designs. Although the taste of the beers hasn't changed, it remains to be seen how long-time fans will react to the changes in appearance.

May the Flags Be with You

In record time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the highest-grossing American film in history. The film has introduced millions of fans to the battle of the Jedi vs. Sith and created a host of new worlds. As our heroes zip from one side of the galaxy to the next, have you ever wondered what it would look like if each of the inhabited worlds had a flag of its own? One Star Warsaficionado decided to answer that very question.

Star Wars flags
Image via Wired.

New Zealander Scott Kelly has been a fan of Star Wars since childhood. Like many fans of the franchise, Kelly liked to fill in the blanks regarding details of the films that weren't specified on screen. In particular, he tried to imagine the individual societies of the galaxy far, far away. Kelly has created more than 100 flags representing the worlds featured in the Star Wars franchise. Each minimalist flag features bold colors and a simplified crest suggesting the economy and agricultural history of each world. "I tried to walk the line between traditional flag design and these far-off alien planets," Kelly says. He hasn't specified an end to his project. It's quite possible the franchise's upcoming films and TV series will inspire Kelly to make even more flags.

Little Details

Just as our world is full of products and details we take for granted, so too an imaginary world would be full of details beyond the lives of the central characters. Without uttering a single word, the brands we use every day speak volumes about us.

The Science Behind Logo Design

19. November 2015 10:26 by Steve Leigh in Business News  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

It's easy to say that design has a lasting effect, but most people don't take time to think about what that means. Logos with a lasting effect are the result of careful research into human reactions to colors, shapes, and patterns.

With the some of the world's biggest companies making changes to their interfaces in order to become more visually appealing, the complexity behind such changes is worth appreciating.

The Eyes Have It

The letter-based vision test has become a staple of waiting rooms the world over. Whether you're visiting the optometrist, getting your annual physical, or renewing your driver's license, you've probably had to stare long and hard at the shrinking cascade of letters on the white board. Unpleasant though it can be, the test is known for having prevented countless maladies. What isn't well known is the long and complex history behind the test.

letter-based vision test board
Image via Gizmodo.

In a recent article for Gizmodo, graphic designer Lorrie Frear traces the history of the contemporary eye chart. Beginning with the first chart, designed in 1836 by Heinrich Küchler, Frear describes how the test has been refined over the last 179 years. The refinements have taken into account physical factors like font design and viewer distance, along with psychological factors, such as the viewer's ability to describe the letters or words on the chart.

Color Me Sold

As you walk down the grocery aisle to pick up your favorite cereal, you probably put more thought into the taste of the cereal than the color of the box or the lettering of the logo. Still, why is it that you are drawn to one box more than all the others?

poster on the psychology of logo design
Image via Inc.

The design of the brands you see every day is the result of countless hours of research. The above infographic is a quick primer on the most common factors used in the design of some of the world's most recognizable brands. You may believe your choice is based solely on taste, but that nice-looking box has an influence on your wallet that you might not even be conscious of.

Added Benefits

Perhaps the most intriguing factor in the psychology of consumer brands is the fact that the average person is taking part in an experiment that never ends. Just as the right to vote gives people an active role in the mechanics of their government, so the purchases consumers make give them an active role in their economy. That's why those who want consumers' hard-earned money invest so much time and energy into influencing their decisions.

You Won't Believe It's LEGOs!

2. April 2015 13:06 by Steve Leigh in Arts, Crafts & DIY Projects  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)

They’ve been one of the world’s most popular toy lines for over 60 years. They’re found in the toy boxes of children all over the world. They’ve inspired video games, TV specials, and even an award-winning film. There are few brands as beloved or as easily recognizable as LEGO. It’s a shame that they’re just for kids.

Or are they? In the past two decades, LEGO appreciation has almost become as renowned for uses by adults as by children. Popular uses include sculptures, recreations of movie scenes, and even functioning science projects. What was once merely a staple of nurseries is now the basis of one of the world’s most popular hobbies. And a few enthusiasts have taken that hobby and applied it to items we use every day.

In the Bag

Taking their enthusiasm for the brand past mere playtime, a company called Agabag has created a line of jewelry, purses, and bags from actual LEGO bricks. Though not officially endorsed by the toy company, all of the items sold are made from genuine repurposed LEGO bricks around satin interiors. The line also includes cufflinks, brooches, and flash drives.

LEGO-purse.jpg
(via mental_floss)

Lego Laptop

Not only do LEGO exteriors make great for handbags, they also work great for that most customizable of devices: the laptop computer. A new Kickstarter recently went online for a laptop attachment known as The Brik Case. The attachment fits on the back of your laptop and is compatible with a variety of childhood block toys. These include K’Nex, Tyco, Mega Blox, and of course, LEGO blocks. An early pledge even comes with a “bag o’ bricks” to help you customize the plate the way you want it. And if you don’t think there are many ways to decorate the plate, take a look at the promotional video.

LEGO-case.jpg
(via Wired)

Lego-puter

Sure, bags and laptops are one thing, but both of those are just for decorative purposes. The mastermind behind the website Total Geekdom has used LEGOs to create a fully functioning desktop computer. The exterior LEGO design is just as customizable as the hardware inside. With a base price of $999, you can upgrade the design and the functionality as you see fit.

LEGO-PC.png
(via Gizmodo)

With its appeal nowhere close to slowing down, let these projects serve as inspiration for your own LEGO projects.

Business Card Makeover

21. June 2013 04:31 by Calvin Yu in   //  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Maybe you're getting into a summer lull at work or gearing up for a once-a-year business conference. No matter the occasion, when was the last time you thought to update your business cards? These little cards matter more than people think, especially in terms of design. Serving as a first impression, they could help you be remembered for upcoming business deals or future job opportunities. The following tips will help you spruce up your business cards and really make an impression, whatever the event might be. More...

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