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Designer's Fiesta Sixth Edition

Designer's Fiesta - Learn Meet Party

In its 6th year, the Designer’s Fiesta was yet another success with creatives and developers heading into London to learn about the latest technology, tips and tricks in the Adobe Creative Suite.

They had 30 talks set up throughout the day with over 20 industry professionals all ready to impart their wisdom and knowledge to budding designers. With multiple talks going on at one time, you carefully pick your schedule to ensure you get to all the classes that benefit and interest you the most.

From Illustrator to Indesign, branding to best practice, here’s a couple of talks by Simon King that I found really interesting.

Reinventing your brand and how best to imagine your future.

Explaining to clients that ‘a brand is more than just a logo’ is always going to be a sticking point when convincing them why and how important it is to do the research behind the scenes when designing or updating their brand. Simon King, who gave the talk, is an Academy Class trainer and professional graphic designer, but his real passion lies with branding and the evolution of logos and brands.

Examples of things that were discussed include: does a logo always need to be simple? Does it still need to have a black and white version? What message does your logo convey through its style, shape and colour?

As always the answers are never that simple and they depend on many different variables, but when you break it down you can clearly see how certain logos have failed or succeeded.

There are many branding methods but one that Simon champions in particular is the ARMM theory by William Lidwell. He believes a good logo should trigger 4 cognitive events:

  • Attention - is it different?
  • Response - does it trigger an emotional response, friendly, aggressive or otherwise?
  • Meaning - does it symbolise what you want it to through its shapes and colour?
  • Memory - what have you done for it to be memorable? For example, Apple’s logo is simply an apple. Easy to remember.

Hewlett Packard - their logo rebrand and why it failed

Hewlett Packard decided to undergo a rebrand a few years ago and pumped huge amounts of money into a new logo design without backing it up by doing the necessary research. As a result, the giant decided on a new angular, more aggressive design which never even made it to market. It made the Company extremely unapproachable and difficult for people to relate to, therefore very unsuitable for the consumer market.

Hewlett Packard Logo circa 1941


Hewlett Packard Logo circa 2011


Hewlett Packard Logo circa 1921


A good example of a logo is the car manufacturer, Mitsubishi. ‘Mitsi’ means three and ‘bishi’ means diamond, and that’s exactly what the logo consists off. The shape conveys strength, authority and boldness - perfect for a large adventure type car brand.

Mitsubishi Logo

Mitsubishi diamonds step 1

Mitsubishi diamonds step 2

Mitsubishi diamonds step 3

Friendly, honest more submissive logos include Disney, Starbucks and Toyota. Again, this is conveyed by their shape, colours and font used.

Disney Logo

Starbucks Logo

Toyota Logo

Obama’s election logo

A great example of a logo that ticks every box was the logo designed for the Obama presidential campaign. Designed by Semper LLP, the logo cleverly covers all the patriotic feelings and emotions needed to instill trust in Obama and his campaign. Here’s why it works so well:

  • The ‘O’ for Obama which also symbolises unity
  • The patriotic colours
  • Elements of the American flag
  • Sunrise symbolising new day, positivity and hope
  • Rolling hills conveying the feeling of freedom.

Obama Campaign Logo


The American flag

So when you’re next considering updating your logo and branding, it’s worth bearing in mind that what is produced should carefully represent your business in every way. Make sure your brand tells a story and the shapes and colours used to represent it, results in ‘more than just a logo’.

Look out for part two of the Designer’s Fiesta...



Nicola Purdie, Designer



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