A second Silver from Graphis!

graphis-silver-award-2016Wow! We did it again! We received another Silver Award from Graphis, the international design journal. This one was for the same project — the rebranding of Legistics, international providers of practice support services and equipment to law firms. This time, the award is part of Graphis’ Logo Design 9 annual — a different competition, and still pretty damn cool.

We’re delighted that the work we did for Legistics continues to be recognized by our peers and our industry. And continues to make an impact on our client’s business as well.

Huge thanks to Anat Rodan and Amy Crossan for their stunning design concepts and execution. It’s gratifying to be leading such a great team.

The robots are coming

Absolutely fascinating to see how far Boston Dynamics has taken the independent, untethered robot. The agility, speed and accuracy are incredible. Watch how the ‘bot balances when it picks up a package — its “head” is used to counterbalance the weight of the box. Looks alive, and smart. Yikes!

Checking out Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper

Dropbox has sent us all a Valentine. If you have the app installed, you probably got an email or two from them about their new collaboration product, Dropbox Paper.

So, either Paper is a “low-end disruptor” that will transform the way people collaborate online, or maybe it’ll be a hammer searching for a nail, and nobody will really use it. If it can make things easier or better for non-traditional, distributed teams like our own, or for those of us with clients in many cities, that would be a welcome addition to our arsenal of tools.

Scott Rosenberg says, “At its launch state it looks like a simplified browser-based document editor with comments — as if Microsoft Office or Google Docs got reincarnated as the love-child of Medium and Slack. “

But it looks like there’s great potential here. In his article about it on Backchannel, Rosenberg concludes:

“[One] thing…stood out for me: Although the half-dozen managers and execs I spoke to there were all straining a bit to bring the elusive vision of the new Dropbox into sharper relief, they presented a remarkably united front and consistent picture…The secret? Kavitha Radhakrishnan, Paper’s product manager, told me that Dropbox used eight Paper documents, total, to plan the whole product launch. In the middle of the last-lap scramble before the event, everyone was noticeably — as promised! — in sync.”

Can’t wait to test it out on a real-world project. What do you think about Paper and online collaboration?

UK Holocaust Museum competition

There’s been a recent competition for the architectural design of a UK Holocaust Memorial. It’s down to the short list.

On seeing the proposals, my first reaction was that nobody could top the concept by Anish Kapoor and Zaha Hadid Architects in the big photo at the top of the article on Design Boom. Its impact is immediate, visceral and brilliant.

But as you watch the short videos from each firm, you see the depth of thinking that went into these designs. And the blandest presentation is actually one of the coolest ideas. It’s absolutely worth checking them all out.

uk-holocaust-memorial-london-competition-shortlist-zaha-hadid-david-adjaye-daniel-libeskind-designboom-1800

 

Giant Sealy stretches —and wakes up the industry

For the past year, we’ve been working on a complicated, many-faceted brand refresh for Sealy — part of the world’s largest mattress manufacturer, Tempur Sealy International.

It involved a major rethinking and overhaul of the entire structure of their product line, brand architecture and marketing presentation.

On January 20, at the enormous Las Vegas Market trade show, the company announced the update and revealed the new line to stellar industry reaction. The brand was re-energized — and so were Sealy’s own sales staff and their national retail customers. The excited response was universally positive. We’re relieved (whew!) and delighted!

FreeAssociates was involved from the earliest stages, meeting with the brand experience team and brand managers, sales execs, product designers, ad agency and strategists to help define the brand, clarify its position, and craft its messaging.

Dozens of concepts were floated and vetted, tested and refined, through a grueling but thorough process that left no stone unturned. Over many months the design vocabulary was established and tweaked, until a powerful, unified evolution of the brand emerged.

Under the watchful eyes and thoughtful leadership of Director of Brand Experience Karl Myers and his Senior Manager Jonah Nelson, we crafted a comprehensive new branding system.

FreeAssociates has developed a refined version of the logo, color palette, the master brand style guide, point of sale displays and materials, product labeling, a feature icon system, sales guide, product guide, trade show campaign graphics and all the displays and information graphics for Sealy’s 14,000 s.f. permanent showroom at Las Vegas Market (interior designed by Jhipo Hong).

We’re truly grateful to be working with this talented Sealy team and to have an opportunity to help affect the course of their venerable 130-year-old brand.

For the full story, take a look at this article in Furniture World.

Can we survive on candy?

Candy dispensers

If only Seth Godin would stop having important things to say, I’d stop referring to him in my blog, Facebook posts and general conversation.

Today he sums up the disastrous dumbing down we are all experiencing all the time. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to change, if we just pay attention to it.

The decline of thoughtful media has been discussed for a century. This is not new. What is new: A fundamental shift not just in the profit-seeking gatekeepers, but in the culture as a whole.

Clickbait works for a reason. Because people click on it.

The thing about clickbait, though, is that it exists to catch prey, not to inform them. It’s bait, after all.

So? Click this instead.

 

Season champs rock it, and rocket in Atlanta

We’re excited to report that the Legistics Porsche team won their final race this month — and with it the national championship! It was a hard-fought season, with a serious rain of bad luck in the last couple of outings. Water created hazards. Snapping clutch cables made things worse. Hopes and dreams crashed and burned (metaphorically, not literally) as our drivers struggled to hold their own.

Then, finally, luck and skill combined at the Road Atlanta track in Braselton, GA —and the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge championship was theirs.

porsche-wheel-off-ground-atlanta

You can read about the intensely dramatic final race —as well as the painful disappointments at Virginia International Raceway and Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, that preceded it — on the Legistics blog.

Congratulations to drivers Nick Galante and Spencer Pumpelly, to Justin Bellinzoni and the entire RS1 team, and to Phil Frengs, CEO of Legistics (our client). It’s been an amazing season. Let’s do it again next year!

 

FreeAssociates wins Silver from Graphis Design Annual

designannual2017s

Graphis magazine is one of the most prestigious publications in our industry. And being accepted into their 2017 Design Annual is truly an honor.

Our re-branding of the COPi Companies as Legistics recently won a Silver award in the very competitive Branding category. We’re proud of the award, but prouder still of the work we did. We’ve helped Legistics move into a new mode, leaving behind their 1980’s copy-centric identity and creating a brand that speaks to the broader, deeper collaborative relationships these Professionals at Practice Support bring to their large law firm customers.

rainy-porsche Our work included renaming the company, developing the logo, and redesigning everything from a new website (which has won awards itself) to forms, signage, document boxes (their most visible form of “advertising”), uniforms, delivery trucks and even the race car that won the IMSA Continental Tire Championship this season.

Take a look at some of the program elements on the Graphis website. Many, many thanks to CEO Phil Frengs and Legistics for giving us the opportunity to create such a bold, exciting design solution.

The elegant design of human towers

castells-human-towers-catalonia-spain

In Catalonia, Spain (where my wife’s family is from, coincidentally), they have a tradition of creating massive towers of human beings. They stand on each other’s shoulders and rise into the sky, like living sandcastles, only to collapse again from gravity and — I assume — exhaustion.

But photography has captured those elusive moments in some breathtaking images, showing off the careful symmetrical design and engineering of these temporary bio structures. Check it out.

 

Faces full of fur: designing beards

Blogging doesn’t really work well unless you keep it up. I haven’t been, it’s true. But this is pretty hilarious, and sort of cool. So I thought I’d post for your enjoyment.

You can see more of this madness here.