Filtering by Category: Bum Out
In this series I'm going to try my best not to compare apples to oranges. I understand there are vast differences in technology, ideology, legality, etc between designs of the past and designs of the present. However, I believe there was, is, and will always be a way to almost objectively design something properly. To me, this means a design that is well executed, aesthetically pleasing and properly communicative... in relation to whatever is being "sold."
TWIW, V.2 is in regard to travel advertising. In this case, specifically cruises. Here are my thoughts on the ads in question:
1. I don't even know where to start. How about the copy? Clearly one is simply advertising a specific cruise ship, while the other goes into much more detail about the price, locations, discounts, dates, etc., but that in itself says something about modern advertising's problem with forcing too much information into a single ad. Add to that the tragedy of 5+ arbitrarily used fonts and typesetting that seems to make no sense at all. Except of course for the legal line, which is strategically set in black type over a dark portion of the image. Crafty.
2. We used to marvel at things like the massive Cunard cruise ship, shown above. But as technology and engineering progress, we're less interested in how we'll be getting to our destination and more interested in where it's taking us (and how much it will cost). But aren't these ads for the cruise itself? If you just want to go to The Bahamas, you can fly there in a fraction of the time. This is about the experience of the cruise. And as you can see in the more recent ad, the actual cruise ship has become an afterthought; a footnote.
3. As for the imagery, we're faced with the obvious difference between professional designer and someone with a personal computer. Before the computer we relied on professionals to do the job of advertising. They were skilled in their craft. They knew type and composition and cohesion and color. They designed because they were good at it. I know I'm stating the obvious here, (and there's a heaping helping of irony as I sit here and type this) but it's a bit of a bummer that the computer has turned every civilized human into a jack-of-all-trades.
4. In the end, one is clearly worth framing and displaying in your home, and the other is sure to end up in a trash bin. I refuse to believe that we collect things that are "vintage" purely based on nostalgia. The bottom line is that, in most cases, that old stuff is flat out better than the garbage that we see today.
I had the idea a while back to post about the perils of modern design, specifically in regard to rebranding, the evolution of a particular design and things of that nature. I've decided to finally pull the trigger and go for it. As my brother has begun posting a series dedicated to our grandfather, I thought this might be the right time. After all... the time period in which our grandfather was designing will often be the era in which my postings will refer to.
"The Way It Was" will be a study (and occasional pseudo-rant) about a particular design of the past, and a directly (or at least somewhat) related piece from recent years.
TWIW #001 is based on an email conversation I had with a few like-minded friends a couple of years ago. The subject in this case is a box of Trix cereal. Target had announced that it was re-issuing old General Mills cereal box designs for a limited time, (God bless design-savvy corporations) and in being reminded of that classic old box design, I couldn't help but dissect the modern design and suppose what it's trying to tell today's consumer. Here are my thoughts:
1. The logo, once simple and bold, is now 3-dimensional, has a white stroke, yellow bevel, and emboss. ALL of which have gradients. Somehow this "pops" more.
2. Since brand loyalty is dead, the nice big General Mills logo at the top of the box (which I'm sure used to assure people of the reliability and integrity of the product) is replaced by a very small GM logo, overpowered by a "whole grain guarantee" and a list of other nutritional values. Not that nutrition is anything to shrug at, but let's be real- this is Trix.
3. The cereal itself isn't enough anymore, so there has to be added incentive to buy. In this case, there's an ad for "fruitalicious" games on the back of the box.
4. The fun-loving bunny on cute roller skates is replaced by (honestly) what seems to be an INSANE rabbit, literally throwing Trix at you.
5. Lastly, and probably most importantly, the modern box has a disclaimer sentence that reads something like "cereal shown not actual size," because people are so stupid (or assumed to be so stupid) that they can't comprehend that the 1" macro-lens-photographed meteor puffs on the front of the box are bigger than they actually are.
Four guys in outdoor clothing- check. Rocks and various debris- check. 2 staggered pine trees- check. Campfire- check. One guy warming his hands, one guy roasting a marshmallow- check. White seamless backdrop- check. Congrats- you've successfully ripped off our Fair artwork! Your Dave Hill photo treatment needs some work though.
Build has an excellent rant, I mean blog about the current "nostalgic faux-crapsman" town homes popping up everywhere around Seattle. This was just a topic of conversation amongst friends last week, it's good to see we're not alone.
They also posted a link to a Seattle Times article regarding the same issue.