Posts Tagged ‘new’

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Happy 10 Years, Design Matters!

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

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A decade before the so-called golden age of podcasting… Debbie Millman launched the world’s first podcast about design, armed with nothing more than an idea, a telephone line, and ample doggedness.”

This week we celebrate the 10th Birthday for Design Matters with Debbie Millman: a series of sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, always inspiring podcasts on design and the world affected by design.

Above: a portion of the poster Debbie designed, celebrating 10 YEARS of Design Matters

>>click here to keep celebrating

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Attention: The New Brand Currency

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

“The only factor in becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention.”

- Kevin Kelly, Wired

Ken Sacharin wrote an entire book on this topic and its importance today certainly merits a longer exposition than my own limited attention here makes possible. To me, his most important observation is this: Yesterday’s marketing model assumed attention and focused on persuasion. Today’s marketing model cannot assume attention and thus must find a much more subtle and interactive form of persuasion.

We are attention challenged- now more than ever. Our view of the marketplace is more cluttered than ever before. Over the past fifteen to twenty years, the number of brands on US supermarket shelves has quadrupled and the number of advertising messages we’re exposed to has more than doubled. We’ve gone from a few television channels to more than a thousand program options. Thanks to the Internet and telecommunications in general, information is now ubiquitous. It is in the air we breathe. It is as available in Kuala Lumpur as it is in Kansas City.

Entertainment as a result has gone personal. When surrounded by screens and endless content choice, you build your own world. As a result, advertising messages struggle to find their place.

Many marketers already get this, but some don’t. For example, some marketers will still test their TV spots by bringing a bunch of people into a room to watch a clutter reel containing their ad. No one should expect this technique can in any way replicate today’s reality. It does not in any way consider the cluttered personal media environment in the equally cluttered life of a real person.

So consider another way.

Attention is the currency of marketing, and this currency is both hard to get and hard to keep once you get it. Worse, others are fighting you for it. This mean that today’s marketers need to be a whole lot more creative than their predecessors. It’s a challenge, but it’s a lot more fun than road blocking the Big Three networks with a simple broadcast.

We’ll explore some of this new creativity in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Austin McGhie is Sterling Brand’s head of Strategy

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Keep It Real

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Welcome to 2015! We are going to usher in the new year with a few of Austin’s thought on effectively communication your Position. Let’s dive in with a lesson on keeping it real.

People don’t deal well with concepts. They prefer reality. Brand positioning is a good thing so long as it isn’t entirely conceptual. Instead, a brand position must be real, and it must be brought to life through the product or service itself. If there are multiple products under a brand umbrella, find the catalyst- the one that best exemplifies the position and makes it real to the audience.

All this is especially true if you want to change the way people see you. Yeah, maybe you can convince them you’ve changed just by telling them so, but wouldn’t you be more certain of their response if you could present some evidence?

When Oldsmobile told you it was “Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile,” the unspoken response was “Um…yeah, it actually is.” Oldsmobile had a catchy line, a good communication strategy, but didn’t have a product to back up its claims. Cadillac, on the other hand, didn’t need to say a whole lot about its new and younger outlook. It simply showed you the Escalade and- perhaps just as important- who was driving it.

Consider these additional examples:

-Target doesn’t claim to be hip. It just is. No amount of claiming to be chic can substitute for real-life presence of top designers and brands in its stores.

-Sun Microsystems may have been “the dot in dot com,” but it was the Java programming language that brought the company’s Internet-centricity to life, getting Sun into thousands of offices where it was subsequently able to sell a lot of profitable servers.

-You can say you’re in the entertainment business and that intuitive design is important to you. Or you can be Apple and simply introduce the iPod. And then follow it up with the iPhone.

-Motorola called itself Moto and tried to act very, very hip, but it didn’t work until the company launched the Razr. (Unfortunately, although the phone looked great, it didn’t work well, so success was fleeting.)

Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a real product or service that brings strategy to life is worth millions of marketing communications dollars.

And lately:

The recent increase in ‘environmental branding’ is a testimony to the benefits of keeping it real. Niketown, Levi’s, Disney and Apple stores are all great examples of a brand being brought to life in a controlled retail experience. ‘Pop-up stores’ can also showcase a brand for the same purpose. That purpose, that focus, is almost entirely on creating a great brand experience.

So keep it real. Never forget that a real product and a real brand experience are generally worth more than all the words you write and all the marketing communication money you spend.

Austin McGhie is head of Sterling Strategy

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Sterling Buzz…

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

We’re happy to announce Sterling’s win for several of our latest designs in the American Graphic Design Awards!

Click here to see all of our winning designs. For questions and more information on any of Sterling’s designs please reach out to us here.

DVX Identity Design for American Standard - Designers: Kim Berlin, Michael Dabbs, Isabel Babcock

DVX Identity Design for American Standard – Designer Team: Kim Berlin, Michael Dabbs, Isabel Babcock

Clutch-N-Clean design for Kimberly Clark - Design Team: Stephanie Krompier and Gabrielle Cuoccio

Clutch-N-Clean design for Kimberly Clark – Design Team: Stephanie Krompier and Gabrielle Cuoccio

Hershey's Miniatures for The Hershey Company - Design Team: Maliva Baker, Marisa Balmori, Michelle Lee, Michelle Hoffman

Hershey’s Miniatures for The Hershey Company – Design Team: Maliva Baker, Marisa Balmori, Michelle Lee, Michelle Hoffman

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Now UP! on Design Matters…

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Check out the latest episode of Design Matters where Debbie chats with Ji Lee, communication designer at Facebook and famous creator of the Bubble Project.

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Learn more about Ji Lee and listen to the podcast here<<

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Now UP! on Design Matters…

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Tune in as Debbie chats-up the founders of The Great Discontent! Now UP on Design Observer.
The Great Discontent is a magazine featuring interviews on beginnings, creativity, and risk. Co-founded by the Essmakers in 2011, editor-in-chief Tina and creative director Ryan have since expanded the magazine to include a print edition and a film series.
Click here to hear the podcast<<

essmakers

Tune-in as Debbie chats-up the founders of The Great Discontent.

Now UP! on Design Observer.

The Great Discontent is a magazine featuring interviews on beginnings, creativity, and risk. Co-founded by the Essmakers in 2011, editor-in-chief Tina and creative director Ryan have since expanded the magazine to include a print edition and a film series.

Click here to hear the podcast<<

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Now UP! on Design Matters…

Friday, November 7th, 2014

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Fritz Karch became an active collector at the age of eleven and has always been an ardent believer in the benefits and pleasures of hunting and gathering. He studied art at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and for the last three decades has worked in New York City in the design, publishing, retail, and commercial photography communities as a stylist, editor, and creative director.
Fritz helped create and launch the Collecting Department at Martha Stewart Living magazine—hunting, gathering, and collecting as the Editorial Director of Collecting, a post he held for fifteen years. Simultaneously, he has run an antiques business for the last twenty-five years in Hopewell, New Jersey, where he studies and practices the art and craft of editing, gathering, styling, trading, and selling antiques and an endless assortment of elderly and recycled objects of with functional uses.

Fritz Karch became an active collector at the age of eleven and has always been an ardent believer in the benefits and pleasures of hunting and gathering. He studied art at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and for the last three decades has worked in New York City in the design, publishing, retail, and commercial photography communities as a stylist, editor, and creative director.

Fritz helped create and launch the Collecting Department at Martha Stewart Living magazine—hunting, gathering, and collecting as the Editorial Director of Collecting, a post he held for fifteen years. Simultaneously, he has run an antiques business for the last twenty-five years in Hopewell, New Jersey, where he studies and practices the art and craft of editing, gathering, styling, trading, and selling antiques and an endless assortment of elderly and recycled objects of with functional uses.

>>Click here to listen to the podcast


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Now UP! On Design Matters…

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Petter Ringbom is a New York-based director of documentary and narrative films. His latest film, Shield and Spear, premiered at Hot Docs and has screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Durban International Film Festival, and as part of Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision. Petter was a Film Independent Fast Track Fellow for 2013, and is currently a creative advisor for the design and innovation firm, Openbox.
Check out his great conversation with Debbie by clicking here<<

Petter

Petter Ringbom is a New York-based director of documentary and narrative films. His latest film, Shield and Spear, premiered at Hot Docs and has screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Durban International Film Festival, and as part of Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision. Petter was a Film Independent Fast Track Fellow for 2013, and is currently a creative advisor for the design and innovation firm, Openbox.

Check out his great conversation with Debbie by clicking here<<

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Design Matters is BACK!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Design Matters with Debbie Millman’s new fall schedule has been announced!

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Tune in right now for the latest episode featuring a true pioneer in American graphic design– Tom Geismar.

>>Click here to listen now


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Kleenex brings sensitivity and style to the tissue aisle

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
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Heads up to our friends in the UK and Europe: Kleenex has just launched new packaging across its full range of products, designed by Sterling! The designs are being ushered in with the launch of a new product, Kleenex Sensitive, for those of us in need of something softer.
The clear and vibrant new packaging was chosen following trends research in order to offer consumers a stylish product. The result is an improved shopper experience, with an aisle that is much more engaging and simple to navigate, and a stylish product that consumers would be proud to display both in their homes and when they’re on the go.
The new packaging is slowly being introduced in the UK, and will soon be available in markets across Europe.
To see the full new line click here
Heads up to our friends in the UK and Europe: Kleenex has just launched new packaging across its full range of products, designed by Sterling! The designs are being ushered in with the launch of a new product, Kleenex Sensitive, for those of us in need of something softer.

The clear and vibrant new packaging was chosen following trends research in order to offer consumers a stylish product. The result is an improved shopper experience, with an aisle that is much more engaging and simple to navigate, and a stylish product that consumers would be proud to display both in their homes and when they’re on the go.

The new packaging is slowly being introduced in the UK, and will soon be available in markets across Europe.