What’s In a Name? / June 2, 2014

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How do we go about naming a new coffee shop in San Francisco, a city rife with artisan third-wave yadda yadda?

It isn’t just about assigning a sobriquet or nickname; rather, it’s a process of looking for an appropriate moniker that stands up to a crowded marketplace. Our initial effort was an all-out barrage of good and bad ideas, which allowed us to generate possibilities without a limiting critical filter.
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Talking Points / April 24, 2014

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I spoke at eBay Inc’s Product and Design Summit yesterday about design process. Interestingly enough, I heard many other speakers touching on the same points, about how important it is to consider design a cornerstone of your organization. Here are some of the highlights:

1. You have to be Good with Gray
—Collaboration is key
—Conversation over Presentation
—Let ideas evolve

2. You have a stake
—Be responsible for the whole vision
—Function comes first
—Designers make good editors

3. Simplicity Survives
—Smaller Teams
—Fewer rules
—Small moves are powerful

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The “D” of TED / March 31, 2014

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I’m often asked, “What is it like to work with TED?” This is a question that I love to answer, because not only is TED a wildly successful media phenomenon, it’s also one of those rare organizations that truly has a culture of creativity. Everyone at the organization has an enthusiasm for design, from the staff to the management to the curator himself, Chris Anderson. This makes working with them an incredible privilege—and at the same time, an incredible design challenge. Everything we present is carefully scrutinized, dissected, and debated with a studied articulation. We are always asked for the story behind our ideas, and we’re pushed to do better than our best work. And, with that effort, we learn and grow.

Here are a few of our biggest takeaways from this year’s design process:
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TED2014: 30 Years of Ideas Worth Spreading / March 12, 2014

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Our logo for TED’s 30th anniversary. Above you can see some of the refinement we are doing on the final execution. We like to say that TED’s mission of Ideas Worth Spreading begins with clear communication. Each year, TED creates a conference theme and identity to unify and inspire the speakers and attendees. The theme of TED2014 is “The Next Chapter,” which heralds the 30th anniversary of TED, as well as the move to a new venue in Vancouver, Canada.

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Trou Normand / January 29, 2014

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We are excited to work with the Bar Agricole gang again on their latest venture, Trou Normand. To create this unique logo, we drew inspiration from the 1939 French classic, The Rules of the Game. Using the film’s opening titles as a guide, we hand-crafted each letterform. The final mark harkens back to the French calvados tradition and apple orchards that so inspired the restauranteurs.
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TED comes to Vancouver / October 17, 2013

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After five years in Long Beach, the TED Conference announced last spring that it was moving a thousand miles north, to the beautiful city of Vancouver. And, we’re thrilled they’ve asked Albertson Design again to set the tone of the event with a visual identity. (hint: it’s not what’s depicted above)

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ZestFinance Wows at Wired Money / September 27, 2013

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In July 2013, ZestFinance CEO Douglas Merrill was a featured speaker at Wired Money 2013, a one-day banking and finance summit in London. ZestFinance asked Albertson Design to assist in the shaping the Merrill’s address. We not only crafted the talk’s entire content strategy, including discovery and its script, styling and pacing, but also created create a vibrant presentation with a strong point of view.

You can learn more here and watch the entire presentation here .

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How to “Tighten Up” a logo

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Pierce Washington is a systems integration consulting firm with a proven track record of success, yet they once struggled to stand out amongst the competition. Albertson Design aided the company’s efforts to improve their marketing presence by helping them articulate their unique advantage.Part of that effort was developing an updated identity for the company.
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A Bit of Lettering / August 21, 2013

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Inside TED: The Book / March 4, 2013


On Wednesday last week, TED’s Director of Media June Cohen announced the release of TED’s very first “Annual Report.”
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