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Bears, Boarding Passes, Boring Logos…

Amy Vainieri

Design Director, Forum One

"What We’re Talking About" is a blog series featuring the articles, websites, topics, and trends that the Forum One team has been chatting about.

Another long-form piece came to our attention this week from National Geographic, giving users “A Bear’s-Eye View of Yellowstone.” The single page feature follows the journeys of four bears that live in the park using maps, audio, and video clips from cameras on the bears’ collars. It’s a really beautiful experience, and there are so many details to call out here: the classic but bold typography, stylized scrolling maps, great illustrations, a mileage ticker along the left-hand side, and even a clever preloader. The team here did a great job considering the details and executing them perfectly. Having said all that, we do have a request of Nat Geo…please find another place for ads on these kinds of pages. The opening screen is so much less impactful when half of it is being taken up by a big white ad block, particularly on a dark page!

We had a brief discussion about the design of boarding passes after reading this case study about a redesign of Ryanair’s printed and mobile tickets. Though it seems more travelers are using mobile-only boarding passes, the printed versions are still most common for both convenience’s sake and as a backup to mobile, so we pondered over if we’ll ever see a true shift to mobile-only some day. Redesigning boarding passes is a popular side project for a lot of designers, possibly because these are objects that most people have experience using—and perhaps have had frustration with—in their lives. What would you change about your favorite airline’s boarding pass?

Following up on our discussion of the Olympics earlier this month—which will no doubt continue to be a theme as we’re now less than 100 days away from the games in Rio—the logo for Tokyo 2020 has been chosen! It’s left us and a lot of others with a feeling of “meh.” It’s fine, but a little boring and safe, particularly since there’s a history of some really stunning Olympic logos: almost all the ones in the ‘60s, Munich 1972, Moscow 1980, Rio 2016, and even London 2012—yes, I know it’s controversial, but at least it’s interesting. This excellent piece from John Brownlee and this one from Diana Budds outline how difficult it can be to release a logo in this age of comment sections, trolls, and design-bashing. We hope that “safe” isn’t the future of big brands and that there’s a company out there brave enough to take some risks…and perhaps even bring on Forum One to help!

And finally, please enjoy perusing this YouTube channel devoted entirely to objects being crushed by a hydraulic press. My personal favorite: this weird little monster seeming to gaze up towards its demise as the press lowers down.

Written By

Amy Vainieri

Design Director, Forum One