Friday, March 17, 2006

Design a bag VS design a brand

I just had my ID2 class yesterday (which was about 4 hours ago) and we had this interesting conversation about Timbuk2 and how their products are not supporting what their brand was all about. For the next two hours we talked about the brand, how it did not stick to the original bike-messenger image (Timbuk2 started out making messenger bags for bike messengers and I think this is a really strong and interesting brand history that they should stick to) and goes off to making every other bags possible to make more profit.

Defining what a brand was, was tough, especially when the client (Timbuk2 guys) themselves do not really know what they really are. But knowing what a brand is all about is a really crucial first step, I would say. This reminds me of Yves Behar's philosophy about products being the true agents of a brand experience. Before I had this conversation, all I wanted to design was a bag I like and somehow have it 'Timkt2'-ed. Now I think more of designing a bag that would help streghten Timbuk2's brand image. This class was definitely an eye-opening experience for me.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Design Philosophy

I've always been interested in design philosophies. How it influences the design of objects. So I recently read a book called the Design For the 21st Century. I like the way it describes designers as people who are aware of the real needs of people and provide the right solutions for them. This reminded me of the talk we had in our ID2 class of how our students in our schools sometimes have very conceptual designs that are not realistic to be produced at all.

I find that design philosophies are like characters. Difefrent designers have philosphies that are difefrent from one another, although they can be put into broad categories, I think. For example, there are designers who care very much about form - there was this pair of designers who think think that their design is about 'giving poetry to form'. And there was another also who thinks that when an object makes a person smile, it is easier to use. I think this is what can be called emotional design? What I feel they are dong is infusing certain emotions to objects by means of form and color.

Then there were also another group of designers who think that a design is about ideas. Like James Dyson whose quote was something about a design is more about the function of an object than its form. Or maybe like green designers who think that a designing an object should begin by designing its life-cycle.

I'm still trying to find what's my design philosophy.. I think it's tough but definitely necessary, though. It's like finding out who you want to be as a designer and how you want to be known as in the design field.