Signature designs

30 Oct 2004 - 12:03pm
9 years ago
8 replies
1556 reads
Listera
2004

For an average office worker or a businessman, what would be a top website
or a product that's so associated with its brand that if we were to blank
out the identifying logos and other marks, our sample audience would readily
recognize them?

Example: iMac/iPod.

Any others?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

Comments

30 Oct 2004 - 1:05pm
Abhishek Thakkar
2004

Google .. ??
Strip of the logo and you have just the searchengine .. the emptyness
is google characteristic

-Thakkar

On Sat, 30 Oct 2004 13:03:04 -0400, Listera <listera at rcn.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> For an average office worker or a businessman, what would be a top website
> or a product that's so associated with its brand that if we were to blank
> out the identifying logos and other marks, our sample audience would readily
> recognize them?
>
> Example: iMac/iPod.
>
> Any others?
>
> Ziya
> Nullius in Verba
>
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--
Abhishek Thakkar
The Last of the Giants

30 Oct 2004 - 1:20pm
Dave Malouf
2005

> Google .. ??
> Strip of the logo and you have just the searchengine .. the emptyness
> is google characteristic

I was thinking the emptiness of google and the tabs layout of Amazon, but
quite honestly I think they have been copied so much that they don't stand
on their own any longer. Meaning, I bet people would question it, unlike the
iPod or iMac where the actual brand is the design.

I think looking in the web-space we will come up short on Ziya's question.
The Web-space is the epitome of copy-cat. I mean the first 5 years of my
web-design career was spent viewing sources and copying code. ;) There is
rare innovation in that space, or more accurately rare that when there is
innovation that that innovation remains tied to the brand of its creator.

The Bug comes to mind, both old and new for a design that stands on its own.
The 747 airplane & the Concord for that matter (I would say the Concorde the
standout part is more on purpose in the design).

Almost any building by Frank Gearhy in the last 10 years. You look at it and
ya just know who designed it.

I'll stop there.

-- dave

30 Oct 2004 - 6:01pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Oct 30, 2004, at 10:03 AM, Listera wrote:

> For an average office worker or a businessman, what would be a top
> website
> or a product that's so associated with its brand that if we were to
> blank
> out the identifying logos and other marks, our sample audience would
> readily
> recognize them?

I'm loathe to say it, but the Hummer.

Others:

New York Times (paper edition)
Wall Street Journal (paper edition)
Walkman (with that damn yellow)
VW Bug
Gibson Les Paul
Yankees pinstripe uniform

Andrei

30 Oct 2004 - 6:11pm
Listera
2004

Andrei Herasimchuk:
> I'm loathe to say it, but the Hummer.
>
> Others:
>
> New York Times (paper edition)
> Wall Street Journal (paper edition)
> Walkman (with that damn yellow)
> VW Bug
> Gibson Les Paul
> Yankees pinstripe uniform

How about web sites/apps?
Is it as difficult as David suggested?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

30 Oct 2004 - 6:17pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Oct 30, 2004, at 4:11 PM, Listera wrote:

> How about web sites/apps?

Well, your criteria was for general office-worker types. In that
regard, I would have to say eBay, Amazon, MSN and Google. The conflict
I have there is that I don't consider those "signature" designs by
personal definition.

I have the same problem with many desktop applications, especially the
ones I worked on. Definitely not signature design.

Andrei

30 Oct 2004 - 6:30pm
Listera
2004

Andrei Herasimchuk:

> Well, your criteria was for general office-worker types. In that
> regard, I would have to say eBay, Amazon, MSN and Google.

If I erase company identifiers out of <http://www.msn.com/> do you think the
average office-worker would still recognize it as such?

How about <http://www.amazon.com/> or <http://www.ebay.com/>?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

31 Oct 2004 - 12:09pm
Abhishek Thakkar
2004

if you remove the logo but keep the colours ...
I have one more to add, www.microsoft.com

-Thakkar

On Sat, 30 Oct 2004 19:30:04 -0400, Listera <listera at rcn.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Andrei Herasimchuk:
>
> > Well, your criteria was for general office-worker types. In that
> > regard, I would have to say eBay, Amazon, MSN and Google.
>
> If I erase company identifiers out of <http://www.msn.com/> do you think the
> average office-worker would still recognize it as such?
>
> How about <http://www.amazon.com/> or <http://www.ebay.com/>?
>
> Ziya
> Nullius in Verba
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> --
> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> --
> http://ixdg.org/
>

--
Abhishek Thakkar
The Last of the Giants

31 Oct 2004 - 12:46pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I'm sorry

> if you remove the logo but keep the colours ...
> I have one more to add, www.microsoft.com

If I removed the logo off of MS's site it could be just about anything on
the web. Same for eBay, Amazon, and Google. Why? B/c they copied others and
others copy them. I know I said this already, but I am having trouble
thinking of any piece of software or website that qualifies as signature if
we are going to compare it to a VW Bug and an iPod.

What makes them signature?
1. originality
2. permanance of uniqueness - I realize that the few years of the iPod
doesn't make this one stand yet, but no one can copy a physical form w/o
HUGE cost ramifcations due to the whole patent thing that Synaptic and Apple
share in the core design elements.
3. quality - this one is subjective, but I think there has been pretty good
agreement that both an iPod and Bug have definite design quality even if we
don't appreciate their design aesthetics personally.
4. recognition - how many people can recognize it

Can there be a signature design in the virtual space?
There is in other intangible spaces such as music. It ain't copyrighted or
anything like that, but that Jimmy Hendrix chord in Purple Haze, no matter
who plays it, it is instantly known as Jimmy's.

I find that David Small's work (just on my brain due to the other thread)
has 1 & 2 but it has even been copied in work like the move AI (I don't know
if had anything to do w/ it).

All the digital worls has in terms of recognition is its brand. ;)

-- dave

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