Recently, we undertook a re-branding of our graphic identity at Feldman Architecture, a process led by graphic designer Anjel Van Slyke. Sitting in the seat of client and being guided through the design process by Anjel gave us a chance to reflect on our own process. Like a short architectural project, the trajectory of the graphic design followed a familiar path, including outlining a scope, budget and schedule; gathering research, precedents, and materials; brainstorming; refining the details; and production/construction.
Recently while watching the documentary, Objectified, which chronicles several Industrial Designers and major corporations known for design, I was struck by a section of the film in which Dieter Rams, Former Design Director of Braun, brings to light his philosophy on good design. Herr Rams eschews the idea that a designer is an artist, noting that industrial designers spend much of their time working with business people, engineers and clients. Herr Rams goes on to elaborate on the values of good design:
Good design should be innovative.
Good design should make a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic design.
Good design will make a product understandable.
Good design is honest.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is long-lived.
Good design is consistent in every detail.
Good design is environmentally friendly.
Last but not least, good design is as little design as possible.
Undergoing the re-brand process had our team elucidating the principles we stand for and thinking inspirationally about the image we wish to publicly project. Dieter Rams ‘manifesto’ is a great reminder of some of the goals we tend towards for our architectural projects. But one could argue, contrary to his statement that designers are not artists, that there is actually an art to the decisions which are made and lead to what appears to be as little design as possible. Simply put – this is hard to do simply.
We were immediately drawn to the logo you see now on our website, but we were even more fascinated as Angel described where she had chosen to tip the edges of the letters and why certain sketches were not eliminated. She led us through her sketchbook of cast-aways and final cuts. In the end, we feel we have an amazing fit to our firm’s work with a simple elegance that does not appear fussy or labored over, but expresses lots of ideas and complexity with minimal moves. – Hannah