The Heart of a New Yorker, the mind of a Tourist.

Posts tagged “Graphic Design

Back To Reality

Posted on April 11, 2013

I’ve been a bit M.I.A. from the blog/social-networking world in order to reconnect with myself. It’s funny how although you may seem to be connected to the world when you sign on to Twitter or Instagram, the truth is you truly become unaware. Unaware about whom you are, what your thoughts are and what it truly means to be a human. The Internet is meant to be an enhancement of humanity, but for most it has become a distraction. So during my slight hiatus I’ve been able to get in tune with who am I, where I am and where I should be.   Designing gives me life. Throughout a few years, I’ve been able to advance my skills as a designer helping out…

aa: american airlines

Posted on January 26, 2013

“It’s the only airlines in the last 40 years that has not changed their identity. All of the airlines come and go and they change it. American Airlines [is] still the same and how can they improve? They’ve got the best already.” They had the best, but yet and still were unsatisfied. After more than 40 years, American Airlines has stepped away from the identity that has become so synonymous with brand. The man who gave the above quote is the designer of the 40-year iconic logo and also the Italian graphic design legend, Massimo Vignelli.


Vignelli’s work has been celebrated across the design community, using key elements of the Swiss design handbook; one can still see his work while riding underground through New York’s transit system, shopping on the streets of your favorite department store and until a week ago one was able to see his work in the heavens. It’s a big deal not only because one is updating one of America’s most known airlines, but also because your updating someone’s work who is seen—not only by himself, but by the world—as one of the best.


There’s been a lot of talk amongst designers about the new identity and that’s rightly so. The flying eagle with two A’s surrounding it has been as much of an American icon as a slice of apple pie. The folks at Futurebrand, who have worked with brands like Intel, British Airways, Beck’s and UPS, had the task of updating the logo and bringing it to the modern age. So how does one improve on the best?


Futurebrand’s Take


 American Airlines is one of but a handful of brands considered true American icons. Strong and proud, its silverbirds are fixtures in the sky, and its namesake sense of possibility inspires deep loyalty. Today, the company’s also invested in that most American of ideals: progress.

American recognized it was time for a new look to better reflect the progress of its multi-year journey towards modernizing the airline and its customer experience.

The new look—the next step in American’s overarching transformation—is inspired by the company’s heritage and incorporates colors and symbols universally associated with American. A reimagined logo—called the Flight Symbol—evokes the star, “A”, and iconic eagle of American’s past, all brought to life in refreshed shades of red, white and blue. Together, they reflect a more modern, vibrant and welcoming spirit.

The logo also debuts alongside a boldly reimagined livery. With proud stripes and a timeless silver body, the livery expresses American’s origins but also the spirit of modern America: innovative, progressive and open to the world.

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The New Identity

The new identity is good. It isn’t bad. It’s close to being great, but it is really good. Futurebrand was able modernize American Airlines without ruining the brand’s history. The eagle can clearly be seen between the red and blue color of the airplane wing. It’s strong without being obnoxious and flashy. The misstep with the new identity comes with the overuse of gradients. It feels like a design decision that came from American Airlines and not the designers at Futurebrand. I can almost hear them in the conference room asking the designers for a logo that shines. “We want something that’s flashy and sparkles.” I personally believe that the logo would improve if you took out the gradients, but that is just a personal belief. Overall, as far as the identity is concerned I do feel like that their work is equal to that of Vignelli’s previous design work and in terms of the overall look it may surpass that of the great designer.


I’m not going to talk about the livery (a.k.a. the implementation of the identity on the airplanes) because it sucks.







International Typographic Style

Posted on December 1, 2012


I became interested in the craft of graphic design after meeting my girlfriend over two years ago at a Kehinde Wiley event at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. She would introduce me to an array of different graphic design styles and artists, but from day one I fell in love with the International Typographic Style, also referred to as Swiss Style. The style originated during the 1950’s in Switzerland and celebrates simple and clean design.


My love affair with Swiss Style starts with the grid system, which is predominately used for layout purposes. Every sans serif letter and image is perfectly placed around the framework of the grid with enough white space that the audience does not have a sensory overload of colors and useless tricks to get the message. The most notable typefaces that are often used in Swiss design are Helvetica, Futura and Gotham. All of these types are often seen as being near to perfect and if not already perfect.


There’s a commonality between the use of grids and the typefaces that are used in Swiss style: perfection. Swiss style to me is not about being minimalist or simple. I believe that the designers search goes deeper than that. There’s a degree of an obsession for perfection. Spending endless hours with a few tools under your tool belt, but working endlessly until you create a piece of work that is timeless.


I hope to be as talented.