Tag: "design"

A peek at Stokefire’s latest brand identity work:

One of DARPA’s [Ed: a client] strategic thinkers started up her own firm called Foxfire. We’ll post detailed information and back-story about the project another time – but we figured that given our recent silence we owed you a quick peek at the recently approved ID Kit! Til then… Enjoy!

(And if you’re a senior business executive or retired general or admiral looking for one of the best advisors and speech writers in the world? Get in touch with Courtney at Foxfire Strategies ASAP.)

The Difference Between Good Designers and Great Designers

Posted by Tate Linden


Are you a good designer or a great designer?

No… Wait. Don’t answer that until you get to the end.

There seems to be a common belief that any designer can become great if they just work hard enough on their technique. Most of our design schools are built on this very premise. And of course there’s Tippy the Turtle who remains infamous (long after most have forgotten what art program he represented) because many bought into it.

I don’t believe it.

I find that in most of the interviews I’ve had with design school grads and even journeyman art directors, their big moment seems to be when they show me their mad skillz when it comes to using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Or maybe it’s their charcoal technique. They’re usually truly excellent at one of these, mind you, so they’re justified in bragging a bit.

But none that went this route got a job offer, because in our world that’s not what commercial design is about.

Of course a designer must ensure that their design is strong technically before it goes into production. That’s a given. But isn’t it more important that the design is strong conceptually before advancing beyond sketch stage? A designer who doesn’t understand how to read a creative brief and develop a concept that not only fits within it, but can expand or enhance the effectiveness of the entire campaign or brand identity? Well.. that’s a designer that doesn’t work here.

And a designer that can’t stand up for what matters (at least once) with a client, creative director, or professor? You’re probably not seen as a designer, you’re seen as a tool. Most likely a paintbrush, but if you have other definitions that fit, maybe try ’em on for size.

Pay attention to how your peers, bosses, and clients discuss your work… I’m betting that what’s true here at Stokefire may be true elsewhere:

Good designers are praised for their technique, great designers for their impact.

So, which are you? And how do you know?

DARPA Wins Logo Award, Stealthily

2011 MarCom Award Winner

We just learned that our DARPA logo work received an Honorable Mention from the MarCom Awards. We’re surprised and honored by the recognition. We figured that without seeing the logo in action (e.g., transitioning from on-white to on-black as is shown in the video below) it’d get lost in the herd.

It didn’t, and for that we’re giving thanks. Though we can’t seem to find any mention of the award online…

Congratulations to DARPA, and to the members of Stokefire’s very own design team:

Graphic Designer: Jonelly Sharp
Art Director: Randy Rodriguez
Art Director: Kaitlyn Wells
Creative Director: Tate Linden

Want to see the story behind the brand identity and the challenge we faced? Check out this live markup narrated by the boss:


Other live markups have been done for The Stokefire Logo and Think Harder. Concrete.


This month’s happenings at Stokefire Headquarters

September – October 2011

You’re probably wondering – what happened to the weekly happenings? Well here’s the simple answer – we’re busy, VERY busy. We know – the economy sucks, so what could we possibly be so busy with? Well I can’t exactly tell you (it’s a secret), but I can tell you that we’ve been having a blast making messes, taking photos (we may have even seen a ghost or two), and smashing things with a hammer – all for a client project. Oh and our boss Tate Linden has been writing blogs like crazy, he’s a fan of Gandhi if you haven’t noticed *wink*.

We’ve also been photographing more of our work – if you didn’t see our last website update we launched all of our client work, but that doesn’t mean we’re done. We are continuing to update our pictures and results from all of our projects. There has been a lot of media going around too – we won an award for our work on the Think Harder. Concrete brand for PCA. (If you look close, you can see Tate sporting the brand above!)

Video mark-ups #3, 4, and 5 are all in the works, so you’ll be able to see them coming out very soon. We already completed our mark-up video on the Stokefire logo (#1) and the Think Harder. Concrete brand (#2), so we’re pretty darn excited to have more on the way.

We of course can’t forget about our client work either. We’re working on advertisements, logos and a whole lot of strategy. Tate has also been off on a few speaking gigs, getting people all psyched-up about brand alignment. With all this stuff going on, we’ll be putting out the Stokefire Bellows (our newsletter) very shortly, so keep your eyes peeled.

Get More:
Posts involving Gandhi
Tate Linden: Speaker Extraordinaire
Stokefire’s Classic Rants

Happenings in Advertising, Branding, and Design

1. Oh Netflix – What are you doing to us! Netflix’s Attempt at ‘Transparency’ Angers Consumers, Hurts Brand. Take a look at their new name and logo. (via Ad Age) (via Brand New)

2. OXY had a design overhaul, is that all they did? (via The Dieline)

3. Ben and Jerry’s won’t back down: Schweddy Balls Leaves Sour Taste in Conservative Group’s Mouth AFA slams Ben & Jerry’s. )What do you think of their new flavor? (via Adweek)

4. Nextel rebrands – X Connects the Spot (via Brand New)

5. BBH Rebrands British Airways in Grand New Campaign Ads debut new tagline: ‘To fly. To serve’ (via Adweek)

6. The colors you choose for your brand show personality and emotion – IBM represents it all. IBM Billboard Changes Color Based on Your Clothing (via Adweek)

7. Barefoot Wine presents a poster made completely out of rubbish: “One Beach” (documentary) (via Creative Review)

8. Esurance Taps Leo Burnett (via Adweek)

9. Maggie Gyllenhaal Does First-Ever Latte ‘Got Milk?‘ Ad.

10. A little something for all the designers out there: Josef Müller-Brockmann: Principal Of The Swiss School (via Noupe)

11. The evolution of the advertising executive infographic – Where do you think you stand? (via Adverblog)

Get More:

Thoughts on Advertising 
Thoughts on Branding
Thoughts on Design
Thoughts on Creativity


Happenings in Advertising, Branding, and Design

1. It was a big thing on all of our minds this week and last week. Here’s a great way to remember the good times: Twin Tower Cameos (via The Inspiration Room)

2. It’s been a long time since the side braids! Real Wendy Takes Star Turn in Wendy’s Advertising  (via Ad Age)

3. Well Toyota is definitely being creepy. Excuse me while I stick my foot in your face. (via Adweek)

4. Everyone loves a rebrand, especially when just about EVERYTHING is included! Warburtons’ Complete Package (via Brand New)

5. Ever wonder who’s behind the scenes of some of those awesome movie websites, such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes or Mars needs Moms? It’s this guy: Andreas Shabelnikov – Check out an Interview with him (via Web Designer Depot)

6. Do you have stuff? We know you have stuff – Norton Talks About Stuff  (via The Inspiration Room)

7. How a little copywriting can go a long way: David Ogilvy Inspires Big Ad Gig Hopeful (via AgencySpy)

8. Hooray for celebrity advertising (maybe) – Jennifer Lopez Stries Alliance with Fiat (via Adweek)

Great Designs from a Great Week

1. Celadon rebrand
2. Pop-up Design Museum
3. Madison Sourdough | Lincoln | Liberty | Eagle

Get More:

Thoughts on Advertising 
Thoughts on Branding
Thoughts on Design
Thoughts on Creativity

Happenings in Advertising, Branding, and Design

1. WOW – It’s too bad the automatic laces don’t exist! Nike Auctions 1,500 Michael J. Fox ‘Back to the Future II’ Nike MAGs. (via Adweek)

2. Technology just keeps going and going and going! It’s amazing what we can do these days! An interactive table top and mirror. (via Adweek)

3. Play.com gets a new logo. Clean, simple and very friendly. (via Brand New)

4. Mercy Hospital once again gets a new brand – Double Crossed. Check out the more modern look.  (via Brand New)

5. Well I could use a little adventure and a new car! Ad of the Day: Dodge W+K hides three Dodge Journey’s across America. You find one, you keep it. (via Adweek)

In Other News:

Twins rock the Creative Industry – Pelle and Calle Sjoenell

Wieden + Kennedy named Digital Agency of the Year 2011

Celebrities Avoid .XXX Domain Naming and Branding, But What About the Rest of Us?

Get More:

Thoughts on Branding

Thoughts on Advertising 

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