Paula Scher wrote an interesting piece over at Identity Forum recently. "Identity design, for any organization containing more than three people, is the act of diplomatically negotiating personal egos, tastes, and aspirations of various invested individuals against their business needs, their pre-formed expectations, and the constraints of the market place. Making something formalistically beautiful, while desirable, is a more private part of the process, something that the designer needs to achieve incidentally, not something that can appear to be an overt motivating cause."
You're looking at two week process; 12 revisions for four icons" volunteer, vote, donate and share. The client, American Express (via Ogilvy, NY) has created a social action network (from site); "Actions happen when people like you feel inspired to do something. If you feel passionate about the environment, or if you want to help raise awareness about a violation of human rights, we can point you in the right direction. We feature actions addressing issues such as homelessness, dolphin capture, food safety, world health and more. Our aim is to provide resources needed to motivate change.
But we can’t do it alone. If there is an action that’s not on our site, and you feel others should know about, we encourage you to add it.
Whether you have five minutes or a few hours, there is something you can do. This is your planet, so please, TakePart."
(above) in context. icons were also used in TV spots during the Oscars®.
I realize this work for Take Part is the least sexy, most boring work I have ever done. But, screw it. I like (and trust) the creative director (Sung Chang), its a worthwhile initiative from Amex, and it functions as simple, clear communication.
But somehow, somewhere I'm reminded of Paula. If I'm going to do something expressive and original, well, thats a "private part of the process". Yet somehow I can never get used to the idea.