For any company, getting together as a group to build camaraderie is important. It’s easy to get lost in your own world and forget to lift your head and see what everyone else is working on. We forget to share an article that moves us or inspires us. We forget that we have others around us that can add to our projects, by bringing in new insights, and make them even better. So, for Herring, we do our best to get together outside of work several times a year to socialize and share stories. It’s through these off-the-cuff conversations that you get to learn something new about the person that has been working next to you for years. It’s by connecting with each other that we build stronger relationships and a tighter team.
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I recently returned from a quick trip to New York City. The reason for the trip was to see the exhibit Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand. Paul Rand is considered a master in the field of graphic design and has influenced multiple generations of designers. Myself included. To try and encapsulate Rand’s career in this post would be a disservice so I’ll only make a couple of points of interest.
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“Where do your ideas come from?”
That’s a question that comes up frequently from both clients and friends. Concepts and ideas come from a variety of places and everyone has a different way of developing or processing them. This is just one example of a thought process behind an idea.
About a year and a half ago at Herring, we began to re-evaluate our identity and brand. One of the elements that kept coming to the surface was the idea of “Lead & Follow”. This is our philosophy of working in a collaborative way with our clients. In any relationship there will be times you need to lead and other times when it’s best to follow. Over the course of 40-plus years Herring has learned to identify when best to do either.
Once we embraced the idea we decided to have a little fun with it. We started mixing up type and image. As you can see here, we had just started using our new signature color (yellow) but hadn’t quite figured out if we wanted to use an “&”, “/”, or “and” with Lead & Follow.
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What is a designer? That was one of the many questions asked as I participated on a panel discussion at Westside High School yesterday. The panel was put together through the Houston AIGA and several board members jumped at the chance to participate (I’m one of the board members that jumped). I love that the Houston AIGA is going out into the community to talk to students, educating them on design and, in return, we get to see a glimpse of what the future of design could be.
It was strange to go back to high school. I felt out of place but also quickly connected to my high school self (sans the Richard Marx hairdo – look it up and I dare you not to laugh). Read more »
Something Lost, Something Gained
The other weekend Houston lost a little bit of its idiosyncratic culture. Cleveland “The Flower Man” Turner’s home was set for demolition. The Flower Man passed away in 2013 and his house, a shrine to his creative and inspiring spirit, fell into disrepair past the point of repair – with the only option left to tear it down.
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I was asked to lead a break-out session at this year’s Inside Job, put on by AIGA Houston. This was truly a case of not looking before I leapt when I agreed to take it on. My background is in design and branding. I couldn’t imagine doing a session on “how to make a better logo” or something like that for this audience. My hope was to do something beneficial, collaborative and maybe have a good conversation. Read more »
One of graphic design’s biggest stars (if there really is such a thing as a graphic design star) is Paul Rand (1914–1996). He is known for creating some of the best known corporate logos that are still in use. Logos such as IBM, ABC and Westinghouse. However, Rand knew that the logo was only a identifier of a company. From an essay originally published in 1991 (and later in his 1994 book, Design, Form and Chaos) Rand wrote, “A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.” He went on to say that, “A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important that what it looks like.” Read more »
I’m a firm believer that we are shaped by our experiences and companies are seeing that more and more. We shouldn’t be thinking in terms of “a brochure”, “a website”, “a video”, etc. Think about a more holistic approach. Think about the whole brand experience and what story you want to share.
As digital as the world seems to get we still feel the pull of the tactile experience. We read about how print is dead and digital is king but I’ve been noticing a trend that is reinforcing that multi-touch communication is still alive and well. Several “digital” designers are looking to create a printed or physical version to complement their online endeavors.
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