31 grudnia, 2020

Why Facebook went black?

16 years after its launch, Facebook is still popular. However, it is facing big challenges. Earlier this year Facebook introduced a redesigned desktop site in some markets. Facebook offers streamlined navigation through tabs for Groups, Marketplace and Watch. Of course it’s also faster to create ads. 

Most noticeably, this year we started seeing our Facebook feed pages in black. Is this Facebook's commentary on all the crazy events of 2020? Certainly not. Just like other applications (including Youtube, Soundcloud) Facebook turns on a dark mode.

15 września, 2020

Brewdog – a rebel with a cause

One of the least disturbing events which happened in 2020 was rebranding of BrewDog.

This UK-based company produces and sales a wide range of craft beers and owns a chain of bars and hostels. In addition to brewing excellent beer they are also famous for their brilliantly provocative communication. BrewDog included social matters into marketing (gender equality, homophobia) and often caused upsets with their campaigns, one of which included a fake porn site - a project that later backfired. Many of the campaign’s ideas were delivered by the award-winning PR agency Manifest, which was BrewDog’s business partner for 9 years. BrewDog is now one of the fastest growing drink brands in the world, ranked among the world’s 25 most valuable beer brands*.

Growing business requires a new approach to brand communication.

In 2020, the company unveiled a new brand strategy focused on environment and climate change crisis. The company announced that it is carbon positive now and started planting a forest to reduce its CO2 emissions.

The strategy was paired with a rebranding, created by London-based design studio Made Thought and BrewDog’s in-house team. They dropped their punk look as well as anti-establishment tone for clean and flat design, which is definitely more appealing to eco-friendly audience. Fussy backgrounds and grungy styling were replaced by a bold use of type and bright colouring. The beer cans feature a shield design and a small dog-shaped logo. The name of the brand is written horizontally, which makes it easier to spot it in supermarkets. 

The brand’s radical approach to doing business is reflected in minimalistic, straightforward packaging design. The rebel spirit is also present in BrewDog’s defiant headlines’. 

In my opinion it is a good example of an user-to-niche brand going mainstream. The rebel has a cause now and I wish more brands focus on the Earth’s future. This seems to be all the more urgent given how extremely slow are politicians to tackle this subject, which is one of the hottest ones nowadays.

12 lipca, 2020

How will the global pandemic affect the design of public spaces?

We have been living with Covid-19 for almost a year now. Experts say that global forced quarantine didn’t happen at this scale before. As it is difficult to predict all the further changes, transformation of public spaces cannot go unnoticed.

First 6 months of 2020 put a spotlight on a few words. ‘Toilet paper’ and ‘bat soup’ had a few minutes of fame. However, ‘social distancing’ is staying with us for longer.

1,5 meter become a distance between safety and peril. 

Social distancing affects the way we use public spaces, experience mass events, enjoy our company out of home. It is a challenge to designers, who started sharing their ideas on the subject. It is a task for multidisciplinary teams of architects, urbanists, environmental designers and wayfinding specialists, who should be supported by psychologists and sociologists because - social distancing is an unnatural behaviour for humans. All of them together you could be called a Designers of Behaviour Change. I would divide the design work on recreating public spaces into a few parts.

The first one seems barely visible, but effectively improves user’s experience.

A good example here is designing a marketplace. Architects / urbanists (which often are the same people) try to find the most effective way of using a space while keeping social distance. The project below was created by Shift Studio based in Barcelona. Their idea is to split up existing food markets and disperse them throughout the neighbourhood. 

As you can see on the image above, the yellow board with information looks like a construction signage.

This is where environmental designers enter. Their work is to show the information in a functional and good looking way. The first phase of the pandemic certainly required a ‘viligant’ look, which communicates danger. The combination of yellow and black is dedicated to alert messages. However, it won’t be effective for a long period time. The emotional charge of the design is too intense, which means in perspective: easy to ignore. Here, esthetics play the main role. While also allowing to keep citizens’ attention to pandemic issues. 

Last but not least, the art can be a great tool to make social distancing more common.

Take a look at the Italian installation below, created by Caret Studio. It is a visual representation of social distancing, which increases the awareness of the safe distance.

photo credits: designboom

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Magdalena Paszewska Longstory 
Wilenska 61/2
03-416 Warsaw, Poland

VAT ID: PL9482359192

Magdalena Paszewska Longstory 
Wilenska 61/2
03-416 Warsaw, Poland

VAT ID: PL9482359192