1/8/10

Songbird Takes Flight


New Work From Wordstrong

Songbird, an open source, cross platform media player for PCs, smart phones, and MP3 players launches with a new version, just in time for the big Consumer Electronic Show in Vegas. With over a million downloads so far, and a deal to roll out Songbird on a new generation of Phillips Media Players, Songbird sounds sweet.

The new website, designed by Zaudhaus, puts the player front and center. There's information about features, adds-ons, and partners, and but really, who needs to read when there's a big fat Download button staring right at you. And that's what makes Songbird so cool. Keep it simple, keep the copy to a minimum, don't sound like a teenager, and get out of the way of the Download button.

1/6/10

It Was The Best of Designs; It Was The Worst of Designs


Best and Worst of 2009
Aristotle used the term logos to mean rational discourse. Of course when it comes to logos and their design there’s nothing rational about it.

With that, let’s get to the Brand New list of the best and worst logos of 2009. It’s a shocking list, mainly because some of the “best” old logos, say for example Paul Rand’s goofy, interconnected, puzzle of a logo for YALE that first must be deciphered before it can be read, are actually (to my mind) awful examples of logo design. Meanwhile, some of the “best” new examples actually bear close resemblance to the logos included in the “worst” examples. Confused?

Good. Let the mudslinging, invective, and personal beefing begin!

1/1/10

Branding Is Dead. Long Live Branding!


Branding is so over

You know a trend has come and gone when there's a "Dummies" book devoted to it. Well, now there's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Branding Yourself, by Sherri and Ray Paprocki, which turns the techniques of product branding into a self-help guide for the aspirational.

If branding is designed to uncover and then communicate what is most authentic and emotionally compelling about a product or service, why not a person? And if the advice is the book is simplistic and obvious, well, the title did explain it was for complete idiots. But before scoffing at the breathless descriptions of personal brands like Rachel Ray, Donald Trump and Oprah, remember the most important advice in the entire book: if you don't brand yourself, rest assured, someone else will.