THE EM SPACE

Design features and news from all over the design spectrum.

- March 7 -

Starbucks has opened a concept store in Amsterdam that will determine how other shops around Europe will look. The large, open space is multi-level and multi-functional with the hopes that cultural events will take place there. The walls are adorned with wood and recycled materials such as inner tubes and gingerbread molds. The ceiling—which is my favorite part—features over 1,800 pieces of wood. All of this work was completed by 35 different artists and craftsmen. There’s a lot to look at, but it sure is beautiful.

Some people are wondering (and hoping) that this look will finally make its way into the coffee behemoth’s American stores. I can’t help but wonder how well that would work here in the States, where there are several shops in one community and the majority of those existing shops tend to be about the same size as the area that contains the community table (picture 3). Will this have the same charm and whimsy in a significantly smaller size? And can they afford to outfit ALL of the American Starbucks’ with handmade goods? Sure, they could make all new stores larger and give those stores the same look and feel, but I think this might just be exclusive to Europe.

(Source: fastcodesign.com)


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- November 18 -

When the new Ben Sherman logo and branding was released, a lot of people expressed their displeasure over how “boring and lifeless” the new logo was. Sure, by itself it’s rather plain. But how often would it ever be by itself? Almost never! And as you can see, the rest of the Ben Sherman branding looks pretty damn good and is the perfect accompaniment to the tall, clean sans serif type. This is one of the best store designs I’ve seen in awhile, and I can put away everyone’s thoughts about the logo because of it.

Logo designed in-house, store design by Brinkworth

(Source: underconsideration.com)


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- November 11 -

Designer of the Week, Veteran’s Day/Remembrance Day Edition: Hat Trick, for their identity for IWM

One of my favorite rebrands this year belongs to IWM, which stands for Imperial War Museums. Previously, there was one solid identity that had an aesthetic specific to WW2. Not many people realized there were actually five museums and they didn’t just cover the second World War…it didn’t help that the name was actually Imperial War Museum (no S!) either.

The new branding is much more graphical than the previous branding, and the mark can be seen in basically everything: the website features the three blocks, as do bags and other takeaways. It is very unified, and I always enjoy a good unified brand. I also appreciate the mark in itself; it’s said that it’s supposed to represent how war can push and pull, shaping people’s lives. It’s also said to show the I, the W, and the M. While it’s not that easy to see, I bet many people will get that.

And to all the veterans out there: thank you.

(Source: creativereview.co.uk)


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- October 7 -

Concept to entirely change the look of United States currency. Out of the concepts I’ve seen this by far my favorite. Elegant with user friendly features like differing colors and bill lengths.

Vertical US Currency by Dowling Duncan. Via Frog Design


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- July 22 -

If you didn’t know what Lendingtree was, I bet you wouldn’t guess financial planning company.

I have to agree with Brand New on this one: “…it feels like too much of a technology-focused logo that would look best on the latest gadget, not on a web site that puts your financial future in their hands.”

via Brand New

If you didn’t know what Lendingtree was, I bet you wouldn’t guess financial planning company.

I have to agree with Brand New on this one: “…it feels like too much of a technology-focused logo that would look best on the latest gadget, not on a web site that puts your financial future in their hands.”

via Brand New

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- August 15 -

ReBrand just named their top “100 Winning Brands,” a competition which focuses on the achievements of (what else?) the rebranding of a company at any size. All of the viewable case studies show incredible improvement in the identities of various different types of companies. The most notable to me? Brown’s Brewing, a small brewery that needed a DRASTIC uplift. In the above picture, the left side shows former logos for the company and the right shows the labels used for each of their beers. A huge change, no?
To see the Brown’s Brewery case study shown above, click here. To see the entire winners list, click this link.

ReBrand just named their top “100 Winning Brands,” a competition which focuses on the achievements of (what else?) the rebranding of a company at any size. All of the viewable case studies show incredible improvement in the identities of various different types of companies. The most notable to me? Brown’s Brewing, a small brewery that needed a DRASTIC uplift. In the above picture, the left side shows former logos for the company and the right shows the labels used for each of their beers. A huge change, no?

To see the Brown’s Brewery case study shown above, click here. To see the entire winners list, click this link.

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