The Vogue September issue is the most anticipated, influential fashion edition of the year. We perused all 856 pages and picked up on seven notable trends. We are proud to share them with you. We will be posting them all this week, so be sure to check back to see them all.
Heather Ingram
Designer,
based in Landor Cincinnati

55006D1_Fashion In Action _Blog Post _hi 01D-02-02

Activewear is a knockout. Designers are questioning stereotypes and conventions, stepping into the ring with a fresh perspective gained through hybrid thinking. Activewear has muscled its way into high fashion.

55006D1_Fashion In Action _Blog Post _hi 01D-02-03

Inspiration images:

DKNY: 2014 Fall Campaign
Chanel: 2014 Fall Campaign
Nordstrom: 2014 Fall Campaign for Chanel

Merchandise:

1. Phillip Lim: Embellished Sweatshirt Skirt
2. Marc by Marc Jacobs: Small Moto Barrel Quilted Leather Satchel
3. H&M: Leather Jogging Pants
4. Chanel: Tweed & Lambskin Sneaker
5. Chanel: Perforated Zipped Lambskin Gloves 


55006D1_Fashion In Action _Blog Post _hi 01D-02-04 


All images copyright of their respective authors. Permission being requested.

Category: Customer experience
Insight tells us not what people do, or when, but why they do something.
Mary Zalla
Global President, Consumer Brands and Managing Director,
based in Landor Cincinnati

Effective packaging is a crucial part of the marketing mix for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, and it is becoming only more so. Your package is one of the most fundamental aspects of your brand, second only to the product and product experience. So if package design is so important, then it must be important to secure the best design for your brand. But where do you start? As with all things, you start with the basics. This is the first of a series of five blog posts that will identify the five fundamentals of great package design.

Empathy and understanding; the importance of insight

Undertaking a package design or redesign program can be a daunting and complex task. There are so many things to consider: the brand’s strategic and visual equities, brand architecture and positioning, various consumer segments, retail distribution channels, product integrity, materiality, and more. Where does the design process begin?

The answer: All design begins with insight—the first fundamental.

Design is an inherently empathetic undertaking in that it is almost always done for someone else. Designers want to understand what others are thinking and feeling and design for them, rather than being overly self-absorbed or self-interested. 

Insights are foundational. Insight is a focused understanding of a human emotion, behavior, or belief. Insight is really just a very astute understanding of people, or a group of people. Insights about people are key to understanding, and powerful insights accelerate good ideas that have the potential to drive brand and business value. 

Statistics and facts are similar to, but not the same as, insight 

In today’s risk-averse climate, marketers are under pressure to financially validate any program before it is launched. Because of this, many marketers elevate the importance of statistically viable facts (such as 67 percent of adults indulge in snacks at night) over true insights about their consumers. 

It is easy to see the appeal from a marketer’s point of view. It feels good to know that 67 percent of adults indulge in snacks in the evening. That one sentence contains information on a segment (adults), a behavior or habit (snacking), and a time of day (night). Even though these few words are chock-full of information, the same words are devoid of insight. Insights are more than observations or statistics. Insight tells us not what people do, or when, but why they do something.

Insight reveals the hidden truth 

Insights often reveal a hidden truth, which is one of the reasons they can be so valuable. This is an insight: “Adults snack at night to reward themselves after a challenging day—and then they feel guilty about it.” 

With this insight, I know not just what they do and when they do it, but also why. And I know how they feel about it. That’s powerful. Now I’ve got true insight into not only the behavior of my consumer, but also the motivations for the behavior and the feelings that go along with the behavior.

It’s not that the aforementioned fact is unimportant to marketers. It could definitely help inform a media buy. Buyers will know to weigh the buy toward evening hours when a large percentage of the audience is susceptible to a snacking message. This fact, however, is less informative from a design point of view, although the insight and the tension inherent in it will definitely inform the design process.

Selfportrait

As human beings, we share insights

For brands, we very often look for insights that typify one target consumer group, but there are a few fundamental insights that almost all human beings share. An example is the notion that “I can pick on my little brother (or sister) all day long. But as soon as someone else starts picking on my little brother (or sister) we’ve got real problems.”

A few years ago, the successful temporary package redesign and promotional campaign for ROM, a Romanian chocolate bar, tapped into and leveraged this insight perfectly. Before the program’s launch, most Romanians, especially younger Romanians, were not feeling particularly patriotic. This was especially problematic for ROM, whose package design is the Romanian flag. Watch this video and see how ROM used insight to not only sell more chocolate bars, but also reignite feelings of patriotism among Romanians.

Insight is a transferable skill

Insight is not only helpful in a branding and design context, but also in life in general. Insight really is just understanding people, what makes them tick, their motivations, the whys behind their behavior, and how they differ. For instance, as the mother of two sons and one daughter, I know that boys and girls are different, they think differently and they behave differently.

This was never more evident than on a family vacation earlier this summer when my 11-year-old son began to interact and then play with another boy his age while my daughter and I lounged by the side of the pool.

After about two hours of splashing in the water and going down the slide, Elliot ran over to us and with a wide smile said “Mom, I made a friend in the pool!”

I replied, “I know Elliot, I’ve been watching the two of you play together for a while now.” Elliot smiled at me and then looked fondly toward his new friend, who was waiting for him in the pool. I then said, “By the way, what’s his name?”

Elliot turned back to me and absentmindedly asked, “What?”

I repeated, “What is your new friend’s name?”  

Elliot shrugged his shoulders and matter-of-factly stated, “I don’t know.” His little sister and I exchanged a glance, did a bad job of suppressing a perfectly synchronized chuckle, and simultaneously, though good-naturedly, rolled our eyes.  

Elliot immediately picked up on all of this, became defensive, squared his shoulders and squeezed his fists, and loudly proclaimed, “Mom! Who cares what his name is? We don’t talk. We just do stuff!” And he then stormed back into the pool to swim with Friend.

Elliot and Colin (I had to ask his mother his name) continued to have a great time “doing stuff” for the rest of our trip. And this eye-opening encounter reminded me how to better connect with all of my children. My sons Elliot and Lucas and I talk, but it is usually while kicking a soccer ball or tossing a baseball. My daughter Aziza and I certainly talk while we do activities together, but we also just talk. 

ZallaKids

Insights are the first step of the design process

So in life as in design, insights are fundamental. Do not start any design process without at least one good insight, and challenge yourself to better connect with the people around you by being more insightful about them.

My next post will detail the second fundamental of great design, perception. After insight, perception is the second most crucial aspect to the business of design because all imagination and creativity begin with perception. Perception and creativity are linked by specific brain physiology. Perception is important not only in the creation of great design, but also in responses to it.

Keep an eye out for my next post!

 

 

Category: Packaging design

Try on the September issue

September 11, 2014
For one night, all our brands were fashion brands.
Jessie Zettler
Design Director,
based in Landor Cincinnati

Sept Issue Event Post 01jz -02

The Vogue September issue is the most anticipated, influential fashion edition of the year. While most peruse its 856 pages to inspire their wardrobes, we at Landor Cincinnati used it to inspire and activate select P&G brands.

Fashion is fast, so we took only eight days to interpret 856 pages into seven notable trends for our very special clients. We challenged ourselves to be agile, to think big, and to look at everything differently. We transformed our receiving dock into a rocking warehouse-style party with lights, a live DJ, bar with customized cocktails, massive digital projections, handcrafted t-shirts, and swag bags. Through original films, illustrations, 3D printed prototypes, and even a couple of live snakes, we exhibited our best, most nimble thinking for some of our favorite brands.

For one night only, our brands were fashion brands, and we all let ourselves imagine what could be as we tried on the September issue.

Sept Issue Event Post 01jz -01

Category: Innovation & new concepts
Looking back at Saul Bass’s work with kinetic type
Alexandre Vacante
Marketing and Communications Coordinator,
based in Landor Paris

Vertigomovie _restoration

Saul Bass occupies a big room in my artistic pantheon. Saul Bass was an amazing American graphic designer who produced some of the world’s most celebrated corporate logos. Working in the mid-twentieth century when the importance of graphic design was on the upswing, Bass branded a staggering array of major corporations with his iconic, minimal designs: Continental Airlines' 1968 jet stream logo, Bell System in 1969, Warner Communications in 1972, Kleenex in the 1980s, and AT&T's globe logo in 1983. 

An analysis of a sample of Bass’ logos conducted in 2011 found them to have an unusual longevity. Indeed, the average life span of a Bass logo is 34 years. No wonder some people question if a Bass logo should ever be replaced.

But logo design is not all Bass is known for. In fact, logos form the lesser part of Bass’ artistic legacy. Saul Bass gained international fame for his design of motion-picture title sequences and film posters. He completely revolutionized the role of title credits in films. Traditionally, credits were static. They were considered so dull they would actually be projected onto the closed curtains, which then opened once the first scene of the movie began.

“For the average audience, the credits tell them there’s only three minutes left to eat popcorn. I take this ‘dead’ period and try to do more than simply get rid of names that filmgoers aren’t interested in. I aim to set up the audience for what’s coming; make them expectant.”

–  Saul Bass

Bass, however, was committed to injecting life into these graphics, making them as much a part of the cinematic experience as anything else. Introducing his signature “kinetic type”—the technical name for "moving text"—Bass’ letters dashed across the screen, and the titles became a spectacle. Amusingly enough, film reels with Bass credits were delivered to movie theaters along with the following note: “Projectionist: pull curtain before titles.”

During his 40-year career, Bass worked for some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese. Among his most famous title sequences are the credits racing up and down what eventually becomes a high-angle shot of a skyscraper in Hitchcock's North by Northwest, and the disjointed text that races together and apart in Psycho. Today, many title sequences pay homage to Bass’ animations: Catch Me If You Can in 2002 and the AMC series Mad Men were directly inspired from his pioneer work.

I’m sharing this with you because I think my sources of inspiration could be yours. Bass does inspire some people who continue to infuse contemporary pieces of work with his touch of genius. For example: What if Saul Bass had designed Game of Thrones’ title sequence, one of the most loved and admired title sequences by fan communities in the world? Here is the beginning of an answer, by Milan Vuckovic. 

“Symbolize and summarize.” 

–  Saul Bass

  

Some of Bass’ work in credits, for illustration:

 

Category: Identity & design

Design as a game-changer

August 27, 2014
Design can make a difference.
Lulu Raghavan
Managing Director,
based in Landor Mumbai

Design

Like many harried parents who have to deal with restless kids in a restaurant, I succumb to the only available magical solution: the iPad.  While its amazing kid-quieting capabilities continue to amaze me, my selfish motive continues to disturb me. Shouldn’t they be playing real games with real toys like I used to? Obviously, the founders of Tangible Play felt the same. They created Osmo, an amazing combination of iPad delight and real toys, giving you a reality game rather than a virtual reality one. Osmo uses a simple plastic stand, a mirror, and some building objects, but the engaging gaming experience it creates will make any parent want to kiss the creators’ feet.

Yes! The amazing world of design does it again.

“Design” used to be a sexy, shiny buzzword for all things bright and beautiful. It focused on aesthetics. It indicated an evolved lifestyle. Designers were iconic, as were their creations. Today design is all embracing. It wows us with possibilities. Design rules, predicts. While the West has always worn the crown for innovation and design, I am happy and proud to see that India too is not far behind.

Design is here to fulfil a need, or create one and then fulfill it. But can it make a big difference to the big issues of our time? Absolutely!  

Read Lulu‘s full post at Business-Standard.com.

Category: Identity & design
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