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Communication Design

Make It Take It Campaign Addresses Packaging Waste

Posted by Rebecca Blake on June 04, 2014

Make It Take It campaign logoAs reported by Jennifer Elks of Sustainable Brands and covered on The Living Principles, a coalition of organizations devoted to addressing waste and recycling issues launched the Make It, Take It Campaign on April 30. The campaign attempts to pressure consumer goods companies into taking responsibility for the packaging waste generated by their goods. The campaign’s goal is three-fold: to pressure companies to change their package design to safe, sustainable materials; to make brands responsible for ensuring packaging is reused, recycled, or composted; and to educate the public on packaging issues and engage them in action.

The campaign’s first target for action is the Capri Sun juice pouch. The pouch is a huge source of litter since it can’t be recycled — its created from a laminate of aluminum and plastic. The public is asked to refuse single-use disposable packaging, and petition KRAFT, the manufacturer of Capri Sun juice pouches, to stop producing such unrecyclable packaging waste. Make It Take It also lists solutions to the packaging waste problem, from utilizing sustainable materials, to redesigning packaging to minimize the amount of material used.

Make It Take It is coordinated by UPSTREAM, a national environmental organization, partnered by eight other organizations: Green America, Texas Campaign for the Environment, 5 Gyres, Natural Resources Defense Council, Waterkeeper Alliance, Clean Water Action, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Eureka Recycling.  Make It Take It is publicing advances in their campaign via their Twitter feed and Facebook Page.

For more information on design and sustainability, we recommend the following resources:

The Living Principles

Sustainable Packaging Coalition

Re-nourish

Below: Make It Take It’s campaign against the Capri Sun juice pouches. Used with permission.

Capri Sun pouch campaign © Make It Take It

Remembering Massimo: SEGD Pays Tribute

Posted by Rebecca Blake on May 29, 2014

Massimo VignelliIconic designer Massimo Vignelli passed away May 27, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of work, from the original branding for American Airlines, to brochures for the National Park Service, to stacking dishware. A hallmark of his aesthetic was an adherence to simplicity and clarity, most notably expressed in his groundbreaking work in redesigning the map and signage for the New York City transit system.

SEGD, the multi-disciplinary organization of environmental designers, has long recognized Vignelli’s impact on the discipline. In 2001, he was named an SEGD Fellow. Upon hearing of his passing, the organization posted an eloquent tribute titled “You Can Design Everything.” In it, they state that Vignelli’s “modernist sensibility lent new clarity to signage and information in public spaces... he stamped all of his work – from his controversial New York City subway map to books and corporate identities and even church pews – with signature clarity, simplicity, and rigor.”

The organization included tributes to Vignelli from SEGD Fellows and his peers in the environmental graphic design community. The memories paint a picture of a visionary who had an impact on the way ordinary people manage their commute, a passionate speaker who balanced eloquence with a delicous sense of humor, and a generous, enthusiastic colleague and mentor.

Top right: Massimo Vignelli at an SEGD conference. Used with permission.

Art Licensing: Free Teleclass and Member Discount on Webinars

Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 30, 2014

J'net Smith headshotJ'net Smith of All Art Licensing has announced her Summer/Fall schedule of licensing webinars and teleclasses, and is offering a mix of free and discounted events. Her “Ask J'net” free teleclasses are open to anyone, and are a live phone event in which participants can submit their questions on any aspect of art licensing. Upcoming “Ask J’net” teleclasses are scheduled for May 14 and July 16. Smith has also extended to Guild members a deep discount on her licensing webinars. Her next scheduled webinar is “Character Licensing,” taking place on May 21 from noon to 2 p.m. PDT. The discount code for this webinar can be accessed by logging into Member Central on the top right of our website, and visiting the Professional Discounts page.

The summer schedule of All Art Licensing events is:

Ask J’net Q&A free teleclass
Wednesday, May 14th, 12 noon – 1 p.m. PDT

Character Licensing
Wednesday, May 21st, 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT

Sales & Trade Show Follow Through Techniques that Close the Deal
Wednesday, June 25th, 12 noon – 2  p.m. PDT

Ask J’net Q&A free teleclass
Wednesday, July 16th, 12 noon – 1 p.m. PDT

Designing Product Lines that Manufacturers Want
Wednesday, July 30th, 12 noon – 2 p.m.PDT

Getting the Million Dollar Deal
Wednesday, August 13th, 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT
 

Happy World Communication Design Day, and Happy Birthday Icograda!

Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 28, 2014

Break out the cake. April 27 marked both World Communication Design Day, and Icograda’s 51st birthday. The organization marked the anniversary by soliciting graphics on “What a Designer Does,” and posting them on the event’s Facebook page. The submissions – from around the globe – speak to designers’ ability to create, connect, problem solve, amuse, and envision. For long-time members, perhaps the most moving submission was by former president Robert L. Peters. He incorporated text on a black-and-white photo of Guy Schockaert, the visionary former president and long-time supporter of Icograda who passed away last year. The French text translates to “Competition stimulates, cooperation reinforces, and solidarity unites” – a fitting tribute to the organization’s goals.

Skip the Rage: Jessica Hische on Dealing with Ripoffs

Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 17, 2014

Jessica Hische logoLettering and illustration rockstar Jessica Hische is also the author of warm, witty treatises on working and thriving as a creator. Her most recent article deals with the thorny issue of ripoffs. A designer wrote about discovering imitators – some working for large campaigns for major companies – and asked Hische “…how you personally deal. Frankly, I'm flattered and simultaneously depressed at any given moment and try not to think about it.”

Hische’s counsel is her typical blend of humor and practical advice. In describing the typical sequence of outraged reaction followed by regret and a more formal communication with the infringer, she recommends skipping the rage. She also distinguishes between an individual who is copying an artists’ style versus a designer or agency actually reusing work without permission. In the former case, Hische points out that the imitator may be inexperienced, and she advises educating them about the inadvisability of copying someone else’s style.

In the case of a work being outright infringed, Hische recommends sending a stern letter to the artist or agency that produced the infringing work. However, she cautions that taking on a large company can be expensive and time consuming, citing Modern Dog’s recent successful case against Target, Disney and Jaya Apparel Group. She sums up by stating that her best advice is to register the copyright on your creations: “While you of course ‘own the copyright’ to the images you create unless you're transferring them to the client in a contract, it’s difficult to pursue copyright infringement cases without having filed for copyright of the images officially.”

Note: While original images are automatically copyrighted to their creators, registering the copyrights confers a extra degree of legal clout: it creates a public record of authorship, it’s required before an infringer can be taken to court, and it enables the creator to sue for damages and be awarded legal fees. For more information on copyrights, visit our article in our Resources page.

The issue of fan-copying is a topic Hische addressed in a much earlier article, “Inspiration vs. Imitation.” The article was directed towards aspiring artists  and fans who openly plagiarized Hiche’s work. In this article she makes a clear distinction between copying as a learning tool, versus passing off work which closely replicates another’s as original work. She advises new artists on how to move past simply imitating their role models: draw from many inspirations rather than a chosen few; dig into historical references; train your eye to spot differences and originality; and be aware that passing derivative work as original will  ruin your reputation amongst your peers and potential employers.

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