Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Super Bowl Logo's Evolution

In the past weeks' flood of Super Bowl news and ginned-up controversy, one thing that might have escaped notice is the Big Game's logo itself, which has evolved from a simple printed sentence in 1965 to the mock-monumental trophy shape we have seen since 1998.  Here are some of the many incarnations of the official logo to promote the annual mega-championship.

Hunter Communications original news source:
WIRED

Link to article:
The Evolution of the Super Bowl's Zany Logos

Excerpt: "From the very beginning, the Super Bowl’s visual language had a certain…flair to it. You can see this all the way back in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers played the Kansas City Chiefs in the inaugural game. The first attempt wasn’t so much a logo as a sentence --
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And in the following years, we saw plenty of questionably designed gems.
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The Super Bowl’s branding lacked consistency, which was likely the result of the NFL commissioning different firms to design it every year. The logos were often ugly, occasionally charmingly so. Over the years, as the Super Bowl logo evolved, it ultimately settled into an aesthetic that could be described as back of the letterman’s jacket chic. It was all blocky roman numerals and heavy-handed illustrations.

Then all of a sudden in 2010, everything changed. Gone were the colorful illustrations, and shaded typography. In their place was a shiny, skeuomorphic Vince Lombardi trophy of a logo.

Designed in tandem by the NFL and design studio Landor, the silvery logo was meant to be a reflection of the sporting event’s booming success. 'Given the Super Bowl’s global size and scale we really wanted a design that was permanent and that really could emphasize the prestige and stature of the game,' said Mark Waller, chief marketing officer of the NFL back in 2010.

On a day where the average American eats 10 times the recommended serving of fake cheese while watching grown men pummel each other, prestige and stature are questionable adjectives to invoke. But we get what they were trying to say. The branding was pretty bad, if it existed at all. It was chaotic and oftentimes poorly executed. The new logo was an attempt to streamline all that."


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Designers are Not Sold on Pantone Color of the Year 2015

And the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is........ Marsala!  The midtone wine red with a hint of brown looks intriguing on paper, but compared to the lively, welcoming reception most of the Pantone winners receive from the design community, this muted tone is getting a less-than-muted response. Home furnishing designers and decorators are comparing the shade to 1970s furniture, and worse.

Hunter Communications original news source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:

Excerpt: "'There's not really a color that I hate, but now I have an exception,' says Los Angeles interior designer Kerry Joyce. 'It's a repellent version of cranberry, deeply unattractive, like cranberries with mildew, wine turned to vinegar. What were they thinking?'

According to the official statement from Pantone, which provides professional color standards for the design industries, Marsala 'incorporates the satisfying richness of a tastefully fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots point to a sophisticated, natural earthiness.' Apparently, not everyone got the memo.

'Sorry, Marsala, you couldn't be more off track,' Los Angeles designer Christian May says. 'No muddy tones, thank you.'

The brown undertone of Marsala also left some East Coast designers unimpressed. 'This is certainly not a color that translates well into d├ęcor,' says David Scott, who is based in New York. 'It brings me back to the days of the Pottery Barn slipcovered exaggerated roll arm sectional sofa covered in wine-colored cotton velvet.'

'I can see that people think it has a retro feel,' says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, the think tank that tracks color trends throughout the world. 'It's a color that has been around before, in the 1970s with avocado and harvest gold.' Nevertheless, manufacturers including Pottery Barn and coffee maker Keurig have shown little resistance to the color, and it does look rich in silk and velvet from Kravet fabrics."

Monday, February 2, 2015

New Technology Creates Printable LED "Lightpaper"

This could be the start of a whole new area of consumer goods, or it could be just a cute gimmick.  Either way, it's incredibly cool. Tech company Rohinni has invented a process to embed LEDs no thicker than human blood cells into a paper matrix than can be shaped and printed.  The only drawback so far is that the distribution of LEDs is a tiny bit random, so the light has a shimmering quality.  It could lead to self-illuminating signs and display materials, or how about a lampshade that provides a soft night light when the lamp is turned off?

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
FastCo Lab

Link to article:

Excerpt: "How would you use light if it was paper-thin and could be applied to any surface anywhere? When Rohinni CMO Nick Smoot asked me that question, I was pretty stumped at first.

But he's already figuring it out. That's because Rohinni has developed a form of what it calls Lightpaper. It's a way to print lighting and apply it to nearly any surface, in any shape, and for any situation. It's a kind of stunning proposition that reminds me of the first time I heard about 3-D printing.

'With Lightpaper it's more of a platform of light that we don't even know how it's going to be used,' explains Smoot. 'All we know is that we're trying to unlock the ability to create light.'

In its current state, Lightpaper is manufactured by mixing ink and tiny LEDs together and printing them out on a conductive layer. That object is then sandwiched between two other layers and sealed. The tiny diodes are about the size of a red blood cell, and randomly dispersed on the material. When current runs through the diodes, they light up.

The promise of thin lighting has been simmering for a while, thanks largely to breakthroughs in OLED technology. But nothing viable has come to market, and Lightpaper is much thinner than OLED—which has been able to get TVs down to a fraction of an inch thick—and is lower cost and has a life-span of around 20 years, like LEDs.

Rohinni isn't interested in the entrenched TV market. The company would rather put the technology to use where it can make a big difference soon; everything from illuminating a logo on a mobile phone to providing headlights for a car. A few companies are already working on Lightpaper implementations, but Smoot wouldn't name any."