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the_gap In the September GDUSA magazine, I quoted an Interbrand study to the effect that transparency, instant communications and social media are constantly “stress-testing” brands. As if to underscore the point, a few days later The Gap debuted an updated logo. Designed by New York-based creative firm Laird & Partners, it prompted customers to unleash outsized anger about the change, and even to threaten boycott, over the social networks. The company tried to tamp down the firestorm by asking for customer ideas on their Facebook page, and then announced restoration of the original symbol. About the discarded logo, I really do not care. Smarter people than I disagree but most found that it failed to connected to the company’s essence. About the larger question of the ecosystem in which brand designers now operate, I do care — alot — because that is how many GDUSA readers make a living. The Gap presents a cautionary tale of why branding is, increasingly, a high risk and stressful business. At the same time, we can only hope that this singular event does not lead companies to crowdsource logos at the expense of tapping the experience and intelligence of graphic design professionals.

— Gordon Kaye


You can now download an entry form for GDUSA’s fastest-growing national competition. It is presented by GDUSA and sponsored by Neenah Paper. The deadline is December 10, and our Package Design Annual comes out in March.


demsDemocrats Change Logo
The Democratic National Committee’s new logo features a dark-blue-encircled, lighter-blue capital D. The logo comes with a new slogan, “Change That Matters,” as well as a new website. The logo that had existed was block-letter DNC, red-white-blue color scheme. SS+K, which has done considerable work for the Obama campaign, developed the new look, the first since Bill Clinton’s presidency. The idea of the logo is that it has a more grass-roots and less institutional feel, and evokes a social media feel.

New MFA At Pratt
Pratt Institute’s Department of Communications and Package Design, which has granted master of science degrees for decades, creates it first master of fine arts degree program in communications design. The school is now accepting applications for fall 2011. The program will emphasize full-time studio practice and prepare its graduates to teach at the college level. Pratt is opening a 10,000-square-foot facility to house 125 student studios, a computer lab, printing facilities, a resource center, and a lecture and seminar room. The two-year program will emphasize full-time studio practice; research and scholarship; design teaching methodologies; and academic studies of visual media such as history, theory, critical analysis, aesthetics, and related humanities and social sciences.

Accountable Identity
pwc Differentiation is a challenge for professional services businesses. The world’s top accountancy firms are often anonymously labeled the Big 4. How to standout? Wolf Olins believes it has the answer, developing a new identity for PricewaterhouseCoopers that includes a logo of the initials “pwc” in lower case type, a new color palette and fonts for online and offline company literature, which was driven by the increasing importance of a brand’s online presence. PwC’s global brand director Ian Duncan worked closely with Wolff Olins to create the strategy, which he says will provide the 160,000 people in PwC globally with a common goal, as well as creating clear differentiation in the market.


“Never have designers been expected to cultivate such a diverse set of skills and knowledge as today. Over the next 10 years the graphic design profession will experience a paradigm shift in what we do, how we do it, and why.

— Jeff Bellantoni, chair of Pratt’s Graduate Communications and Package Design Department,
on why the school is staring a new MFA degree program in Communications Design.


The Bridgeman Buzz for October is full of seasonal treats such as:

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Photo Comic Format
comics Building on Stanley Steemer’s latest national TV campaign, Indianapolis ad agency Young & Laramore is rolling out a complementary print and online campaign featuring technicians and their experiences in the field, as inspired by real-life situations. The new ads — designed for newspaper, direct mail, retail and digital — showcase the Stanley Steemer TV spot story lines using the photo comic format. The ads play up the humor while characterizing the technicians as the experts who can save us from home cleaning disasters. Credits go to agency executive creative director Carolyn Hadlock, creative director and writer Bryan Judkins, and creative director/art director Trevor Williams.

Accidental Fortune
Well-known pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging supplier, Keller Crescent, will celebrate its125 year anniversary this year. The company supplier got its start in the year 1885 when Captain William H. Keller’s ship ran aground on a sandbar of the Ohio River near Evansville, IN. The ship was loaded down with printing presses. Forced by the accident to a decision, Keller set up shop in right there in Evansville. Later he would merge his operations with those of his competitor, Crescent Printing and Engraving Company, to form the new company. The firm has grown to become is a leading supplier of secondary packaging products in North America.

Brand Says Better Soda
dry Seattle-based Turnstyle designed the brand identity, packaging and website for DRY Soda Co. The message is intended to reflect that it is better tasting and better for you soda. Graphic silhouette illustrations on clear bottles capture each flavor, while allowing product show through. The new bottle design also features DRY’s low calorie count on the neck of the bottle, and the name of the flavor in a graphic of the corresponding fruit, flower or herb on the center of the bottle. Design and packaging are rolling out this month.


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carson Welcome Back Poster
Rocco Piscatello designs his 19th poster for the Visiting Artist Program at FIT. His latest poster welcomes back David Carson to the program. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at FIT's Haft Auditorium on Thursday November 12. Rocco Piscatello continues raising his own bar with his latest entry into the Visiting Artist Program at FIT poster series,” comment Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio. Piscatello has won awards from the likes of AIGA, Print, CA, and GDUSA.

Rocky Mountain Low
Denver-based Amélie Company Advertising and PR has been selected by the Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) coalition to develop public awareness, and education and outreach tools surrounding auto theft in Colorado. The CAAT coalition combines stakeholders from insurance companies, non-profit organizations, law enforcement and the Colorado Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA). Colorado ranks in the top 20% nationwide for stolen vehicles. Public relations, research, web development and creative design are on the agenda.


photolibrary Photolibrary, a leading global independent producer and distributor of stock images, footage and music, has gone live with their new website. A cleaner design is optimized to use the horizontal real estate of professional monitors, and background color can now chosen by the user. Basic searches are streamlined with similar images suggested, advanced search options are easier to access and use, new image preview page showcases alternative images (matched by color and keyword/s) make it even easier to find the right image, and light boxes and shopping cars can be accessed with a simple drag and drop system. Glenn Parker, Photolibrary Group CEO comments: “As always Photolibrary seeks to provide its clients with an improving experience when searching our image, film and music content. We hope that our users like the changes we have made.”


Transparent Communication
nakedjuice The Arnell Group’s campaign for Naked Juice promises honesty in ingredients and invites consumers to submit their own “naked truth.” Digital banner ads show live conversations consumers are having about the brand. Print ads target health-conscious consumers ages 25 to 35. “[Naked Juice] is all about the transparency in our communication,” says marketing director Brad Armistead. “If you turn to the label on the back of the bottle, you can see all the fruit that’s inside. We list out what you get in that bottle and our consumers have come to trust what we put inside.” Pepsico is the owner; Naked Juice had previously relied on grassroots marketing.

The City That Never Sleeps
Interactive agency IdeaWork Studios has expanded into the New York market, opening its third office in Manhattan. The office is headed by David Rayner, vice president of strategy and development. Headquartered in Santa Barbara CA since 1999, the agency has an office in Las Vegas and works for clients like Hard Rock Hotels, MGM Resorts International, Harrah’s Entertainment, Morgans Hotel Group, and Cirque du Soleil. Says ceo Jay Schwartz: “New York has been and always will be the hub for nightlife, entertainment, hospitality, finance and fashion, all areas of expertise for this agency.”


GDUSA has teamed with Veer to offer creative professionals the most fun and interesting merchandise available. Current offerings include the following items and much more.

1. Sketchbook Set. The Very Secret Order of Creatives Understanding exists to encourage and celebrate creativity. Nothing encourages creativity like a blank page. Or, better yet, 144 blank pages of 80-lb stock. Suitable for all creative jottings: Doodles. Designs. Diabolical improv theater group manifestos. sketchbooks
2. White Space T-Shirt. Veer’s fairest tee places whitespace front and center, making negative space the compositional element. The Whitespace T-Shirt adds aesthetic balance to any designer’s wardrobe. It’s American Apparel 100% cotton. whitespace
3. Kern Zip-Up. Next time you have to explain kerning to a layman, you’ll have a live demo just a zip away. The soft navy blue fleece on this fitted lightweight jogging jacket won’t pill. zipup

Veer provides visual elements for use in professional creative work, such as graphic design, motion design, advertising and filmmaking. Products include stock photography, illustration, typefaces, and unique merchandise.