Thursday, April 30, 2009

How the big guys and dolls do it

Too bad you weren't able to attend AIGA event, "My Dog and Pony." Each of the five presenters gave the same pitch they presented to real clients—and then showed the outcome. All were brilliant. Karin Fong's pitch for "The Pink Panther" was funny and charming and oh! those titles!

Even though the images to the left were taken from afar—WAY afar—they show the basic point of we once discussed: Take an image or artifact and do something to it. Then, do something ELSE to it. The brilliant presenters of last night's event showed that the approach sure does work.

Okay, so my image on the left—of Michael Gericke's presentation of Pentagram's pitch to the Arizona Cardinals is impossible to read, but not to worry. Pentagram has fabulous shots of the campaign on its site. In what may be a trademark Pentagram approach (cf Michael Bierut's Saks Fifth Avenue logo ), the team took bits of the cardinal—beaks, wings, whatever, and used them throughout the stadium. Clever. Witty. Brilliant. Not surprisingly, there are huge numbers as wayfinders (cf Paula Scher's team at Bloomberg). It makes sense that such a company with such a deep bench as Pentagram would cross-pollinate and incorporate elements of other projects into new work. It's the approach, discipline, and style. I loved brilliant puns playing off the letters "AZ" in Arizona.

Radical Media's info-heavy and impressive work on 19 20 21 made up in data for what it lacked in entertainment. In fact, the very idea of the initiative is info not ento. The deep immersion in statistics was as sobering as it was enlightening. Given all those numbers, it made sense to use abstracted numbers as the logo. The sliced numbers were still legible. As you can (sort of) see from my photo, the bits are still (almost) readable even in my lame-o, standing room snaps taken with my tinycam. I'd include the link, but their site's a pain to use (writes she, whose site lacks an update let alone a search engine.)

One of my faves of the eve also featured the strategy of using bits, obscuring to make clear, acting steadfast knowing that the viewer would get it without an overstated and obvious approach. Drew Hodges of SpotCo showed a lot of initial SpotCo assaults (alas, my shots were too bad to post) on changing the earlier, iconic logo before they made the clear suggestion (and approved decision) to go with what already recognizably worked and zoom in, take apart, obscure, and repeat from there. In a strategic coup, Drew and his crew got the producers et al to eliminate billing. Look ma, no stars. Just the logo and a bit of key info. Standing ovation.

BTW, the new Galapagos Art Space on Main Street in Dumbo is gorgeous, giving one more reason the eve was a hall of famer (I promise in the future I'll delete corny sports metaphors).

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