Joe: Snail Mail, Cats, Banana & Emotions

December 20, 2019

At Aquí, we take our cuppa Joe very seriously. Rest assured, because the same applies when it comes to design. As avid coffee drinkers, we often ask, “How do you like your coffee?” And as a creative boutique, we like to ask, “How do you like your design?” Joe is a blog segment where we - #TeamAquí - share our design inspirations.


Bring back the snail mail!

Do you remember the last time you opened the mailbox and got excited about receiving mail (more like bills)? Neither do we. María recently chanced upon the brand identity for Addressable - designed by The Branding People - and she loved it.

Photos from The Branding People

Addressable is a web app service that offers direct mail marketing services. So instead of Electronic Direct Mails (EDMs), they create the good ol’ traditional (and personalized) marketing mail. The brand’s vision is to deliver the right message to the right person and design a business-to-client experience that is unique and personal.

The brand identity has a vintage and playful aesthetic that makes you reminisce about the past when people used to write to each other. It reminds us of the old cartoons we used to watch; namely The Mr. Men Show and Looney Tunes. Imagine how you would feel when you see these colours in your mailbox. Bring back the snail mail please!


Cats on skateboards

There are times where we cannot find the right words to describe why we like something (or someone) no matter how hard we try. For Yu Ting, that was the time she shared about her favourite artist, Leon Karssen. “I just get it, you know?” Yu Ting said to us with conviction, as if she was expecting us to share the same sentiment.

Leon Karssen is a Dutch skateboarder and artist. One of the many things he is known for drawing are cats on skateboards. You might have seen his works with Rip N Dip clothing, Oatly or Habitat Skateboards; it is pretty hard to miss.

The artist’s sense of humour plus his bold style of illustrating makes his art, in a way, very real and liberating for some of us. His drawings are outrageous and cute at the same time, the kind that makes you laugh at first glance even if you do not actually get it.


The success of a taped banana

“Do you guys know about the duct-tape banana that was sold for $120,000?” Evelyn asked. You would think that all of us would nod our heads but two of us did not. The trending taped banana was part of an installation at the Miami art exhibition Art Basel titled “Comedian”, and it was created by artist Maurizio Cattlelan.

The sharing could have easily derailed into a session where we laugh at taped banana parodies but instead, Evelyn went on to talk about how the success of the taped banana reminded her of a design article titled “Yeah, but I could have done that too”. The article could not be more apt. Written by Tobias van Schneider, it is a breakdown of why he thinks the phrase (in the title) is often being said about modern art in the design community. Producing a piece of art is only one part of a creative process, and saying that we could have easily “done it” indicates a total disregard for the thought process of an artist.  

“But you didn’t! You could have - but you didn’t!” Evelyn exclaimed.


Emotional attachment is something you can’t argue with

Last week, we shared a video where Michael Bierut explains what makes a truly great logo. This week, Akram showed us a snippet of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv’s talk during the DesignThinkers conference in 2011. In the video, Sagi Haviv spoke about how he convinced Conservation International of the new logo they created for them.

Conservation International needed a new mark was because their current one (back then) was not going to be aligned with the new mission. Haviv started the talk by introducing the old logo they had and specially mentioning how everyone in the company had an emotional attachment to it. He also said that the monkey in the old mark was hand-drawn by the president of the organisation. With that being said, he then elaborated on the tedious process of trying to convince clients of a simple yet meaningful logo.

After showing multiple applications of the logo, their hearts were still not won over. The logo system was great, but it was not enough. Haviv eventually showed a heartwarming animation that demonstrated the deep meaning of the abstract mark. The monkey in the animation may seem like it played a small role in this whole process but it tugged on the heartstrings of the people.

“Emotional attachment is something you can’t argue with,” said Haviv.

He’s right.


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