IDEAS | BLOG

Rebrands, Feedback, Data Visualization…

"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.

Two brands rolled out new logos recently: Guinness and Instagram. Did you notice either of the new ones out in the world? I’m sure much will be said about the Instagram icon over the next few days, but I’m more excited about the Guinness rebrand. The thought and detail that went into the redesign is impressive. It’s also quite interesting to see a company add more detail to their logo when the trend in recent years has been the opposite—refer to Starbucks. The team over at Design Bridge thought about every detail when they developed the new logo for Guinness, including consulting with actual harp makers and printing 3D models of their mark to make sure their shadowing was accurate. Kudos to their team for studying every detail and developing a stunning mark.

This article from HOW brought up another subject that we seem to discuss a lot: feedback. Not surprisingly, we talk often about how to get it, how to give it, why it’s important, and how to make it better. Good feedback is essential here at Forum One, and we’re always looking for ways to make our work more effective with constructive criticism from our internal teams. When soliciting client feedback, however, we often receive prescriptive feedback not unlike the examples in the article: ”make the logo bigger” or “change the button to orange.” While this type of feedback isn’t helpful, the reasoning behind it might be; maybe the smaller logo is getting lost on a busy page, or the green button isn’t drawing attention enough as the primary action. I could go on for ages about ways to improve the feedback loop—sounds like another blog post opportunity!—but the general gist of HOW’s article is a good start. It’s up to us to coach our clients on how to give the best feedback possible by asking the right questions and setting expectations. Otherwise, it's no one’s fault but our own when we’re asked to “Make the logo bigger!” To be fair, our amazing clients haven’t asked that of us in a while, but it is the most cited, cliche example of “bad” client feedback by a long shot.

We couldn’t stop exploring Matan Stauber's massive data visualization project histography.io, which compiles 14 billion years of history into an interactive timeline. Pulling from pages on Wikipedia, the site has so many ways to explore the data and events in addition to the tremendous amount of detail. The amount of time that must have gone into creating this site is incredible—each interaction is thought through, from scrolling through the features on the timeline, to the design of the Wiki description. We’re often tasked with creating timelines for clients' projects—if only we had the kind of data and time to create something like this! Spend some time exploring the site, but be warned you might find yourself going down the rabbit hole for a long time...but hey, you’ll probably learn something.

And finally, if you’re looking to be mesmerized for four minutes, check out this Rube Goldberg machine of magnets and marbles.

More good ideas we think you'll enjoy