Tag Archives: american

Rebirth/Rebranding: An Unwanted Sequel?

 

A lot has happened since my last entry but the motivation for the blog remains the same. Little responsibilities have gotten in the way but here is Urban Peanut: A Gallery’s redux. It’s still far from becoming a brick and mortar gallery but here it is with a vengeance.

The theme of rebirth has fascinated humanity for a long time and various faiths and schools of thoughts have found new beginnings, for better or for worse, to be inspiring; this might offer a small clue about why popular brands rebrand.

The Gap, Starbucks, and American Apparel have in the last couple of months decided that a new take on their respective logos for different reasons.

For the Gap, the general consensus about their new logo was so utterly horrible that within days. I am quite certain that Monster.com received new business in the aftermath.

Starbucks’ reason to rid its logo of its written word is valid; to reach new, non-English speaking markets is a goal that any company would like to have on its five year plan, to the dismay of some loyalists who might feel alienated.

Just walking on Queen Street over the weekend, I noticed that American Apparel on Toronto’s esteemed street, also went through a little facelift. (I tried looking for a press release regarding the new look and was unsuccessful.) I was thinking of using ‘touchup’ but changing the typeface is  closer to butchery and is not turning anyone on as much as their well-placed ads on the back of weekly magazines, right after the adult ads. Inspiration: ugly script is the new Helvetica.

The more image-saturated our daily lives become, the more we rely on visual cues to speed up the way we process information. Logos symbolize, in one image, what we want and expect. It is still a mystery to me why the Gap thought it would be a good idea to change their logo. A new beginning evokes hope and rebirth/rebranding is on the same plane. Ultimately, though, rebirth can sometimes just mean a second hack at life as a dung beetle.

 

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Filed under City Life, graphic design, History, ideas, lifestyle

A weekend taste of architecture: on Mies Van Der Rohe

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Just in time for the Toronto Open Doors event this weekend, Mies Van Der Rohe’s contribution to the city’s architecture and landscape should be pointed out. His design for the TD Centre in the financial district goes beyond the obvious external structure of majestic edifice.

Complimentary to the simplicity and clarity Van Der Rohe’s’ work on the exterior, and much to the delight of graphic designers and typography geeks all around, signage used in the TD Centre’s concourse has the font that the German-born American architect designed. The signage consists of white backlit letters encased in black aluminum panels and was mandatory for all the businesses until 2007.

The TD Centre is one architectural gem that Toronto has and I bet that there will not be three-hour lineups for it, like the Don Jail. It is a public space for everyone to enjoy all-year round. No reservations necessary.

For now, please enjoy the documentary above. Parts 2-7 are up on YouTube for your perusal.

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Filed under Architecture, art, City Life, Interior Design

Your next favourite thing: Aluminum & Acrylic Vertical Clock

When I first saw the Klaus Rosburg-designed clock, I thought of my days as an undergrad, using Post-Its plastering the pages of my textbooks for passages that were seemingly important. My hunch was periodically disproven by my professors. Don’t you hate that?

The slim clock comes in nine colours, one for each room in my dream house. Maybe, I can reward myself with a gift. My birthday is coming up. In 7 months. I better hurry up. The Canadian dollar is almost at parity with the American.

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Filed under Industrial Design, Interior Design