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Quipsologies
~ Vol. 1 ~

Many times we can’t devote a whole post to a certain topic, news item, event or whathaveyou or maybe we don’t have the time, impetus or interest to develop a long diatribe. Other times we might find something that is not 100% design-related but still think is interesting and linkworthy.

With that said, we would like to introduce Quipsologies, where we (the Speak Up authors) present brief, random notes appearing at brief, random times — but at least twice a month — in the interest of a larger scope of material on Speak Up.

~ KEVIN LO ~

A nice break from designers praising design; Karen Templer and her cohorts at Readerville “sing the praises of some stand-out covers and the designers who designed them”.

~ ARMIN ~


Erik S. Lesser for The New York Times

In Florida, still recovering from last year’s hurricanes, billboards have found new life as roof shingles, given the shortage of regular blue tarps. Donated by Lamar Outdoor Advertising.

~

For its centennial celebration during the month of May, Las Vegas will be using its landmark Welcome to Las Vegas sign as the basis for the event’s logo. Perhaps little known is the sign’s designer, 81 year-old Betty Willis, who’s uncopyrighted work was provided to the county for $4,000. She will not be benefiting from the city’s glitzy merchandising prowess.

~

Nice binding, Mr. President. [Via Veer]

~

Congratulations to Sagmeister Inc. for their shiny new addition to their trophy case. Grammy Category 86, Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package.

~ M. KINGSLEY ~

During my early years in New York, I had the great pleasure to meet artist Gretchen Bender and at one point, acted in a karaoke video she directed — an early step towards her transition from the art world to mainstream broadcast television. Gretchen was an artist’s artist; and I drew from her example as I finally focused my energies toward graphic design — postponing my dreams of success in the fine arts for perhaps a later time. She died of cancer in December, leaving the world a diminished place.

~

Yet another informative lesson in aesthetics: New Yorker music critic Alex Ross quotes from Debussy. Scroll down to the last paragraph. Then, if you need, replace the word “music” with “design”.

~

Notes on the gradual dilution of the Guggenheim brand.

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ENTRY DETAILS
ARCHIVE ID 2215 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Feb.15.2005 BY The Speak Up Authors
WITH 19 COMMENTS
Comments
pedro’s comment is:

Wow!! Quipsologies!!!!

That's a new word for my vocabulary!!!

Did you guys make it up?? Or did it already exist (therefore showing my ignorance)?

So I guess we will just have one more thing to QUIP UP with (do we need to SPEAK UP to a QUIP?)

Good luck

On Feb.15.2005 at 02:45 PM
Rick’s comment is:

Pedro:

You can find out a lot more regarding Quipsology here.

Tasty.

On Feb.16.2005 at 03:15 PM
Steven’s comment is:

Kevin, always nice hear non-designers talk about design.

--

Love the KISS roof.

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I can sooo visualize my dearly-departed previous 58 Caddy

in front of that Vegas sign. (Sigh!)

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Mark, my exact feeling about a lot of the neo-modern design work being done now.

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I'm not sure how I feel about the word "brand" being connected to the word "museum". Yes, maybe as cultural vehicle, but I really don't like the implied (or inferred) commercialism. Does everything have to be branded? I guess that's the whole point of the article.

On Feb.16.2005 at 03:45 PM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

I'm not sure how I feel about the word "brand" being connected to the word "museum". Yes, maybe as cultural vehicle, but I really don't like the implied (or inferred) commercialism. Does everything have to be branded? I guess that's the whole point of the article.

Steven, I see the Guggenheim article as a cautionary tale; applicable to many of our endeavors, esp. the branded ones.

On Feb.16.2005 at 04:03 PM
Steven’s comment is:

Agreed.

On Feb.16.2005 at 04:53 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Steven, on that subject you should check out Nick Bell's essay in issue 53 of Eye, here is an excerpt which unfornutaley doesn't cover the main topic of the essay, branding applied to cultural institutions.

And, quipsologies… yeah, who knows where that came from.

On Feb.16.2005 at 05:20 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

I'm not sure how I feel about the word "brand" being connected to the word "museum". Yes, maybe as cultural vehicle, but I really don't like the implied (or inferred) commercialism. Does everything have to be branded? I guess that's the whole point of the article.

I see the Guggenheim article as a cautionary tale;

In some way, every venture has a brand, whether or not it is being used as a marketing vehicle. The errors in the Guggenheim's strategy are the result of either misunderstanding their brand or failing to properly sell their changing vision of it.

On Feb.16.2005 at 05:58 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

And "Quipsologies" ? Oy, what a mouthful.

On Feb.16.2005 at 06:01 PM
Jason T’s comment is:

Kevin, thanks for the link. I like reading books; I like reading about books. Okay...I simply like books.

On Feb.16.2005 at 06:13 PM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

Notes on the gradual dilution of the Guggenheim brand.

I don't want to be mixing semantics here, but shouldn't the decline be attributed to strategy?

On Feb.16.2005 at 06:32 PM
pedro’s comment is:

You can find out a lot more regarding Quipsology "here".

Hey Rick there's some dislexy "here" as the website you point to is quisp.com whereas this is quips.

OOOPPSSS

So there is nothing more I found about Quipsology although now I'll try to buy some Quisp'S !!!

On Feb.16.2005 at 10:33 PM
Rick’s comment is:

Hiya, Pedro-

I know. That was a feeble attempt at being funny. I was quipping.

But I would totally vote for you.

On Feb.17.2005 at 12:04 AM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

> I don't want to be mixing semantics here, but shouldn't the decline be attributed to strategy?

If branding is (a quick definition for the sake of expediency) the establishment of a 'relationship' between entity and consumer; then to achieve that relationship, you would need to execute a strategy.

The Guggenheim's collection was based on 20th century Modern art, with quite a few stellar Kandinskys as its centerpiece. That focus on Modernism is a pretty good reason the museum in New York looks the way it does. Why then, would they put on historical overviews of, for example, Chinese, Brazilian and Aztec art?

On Feb.17.2005 at 02:45 AM
Steven’s comment is:

Armin, thanks for the article reference. Wish I could read the whole thing.

I understand the need for a cultural institution to promote itself. But I start to feel uncomfortable with certain institutions putting more emphasis into spin versus concentrating on core competencies. For a museum, isn't the most important thing having meanful, insightful exhibits, and then promoting the value of these endeavors? Is the value of a museum found in the gift shop and cafe, or in the galleries, publications, and online media? A similar question could be asked about national parks.

In contrast to what JonSel states, does every freaking thing on the planet need to be branded to death? Can't some things just be what they are?... without the nauseating miasma of spin.

(Sorry... Feeling a bit grumpy cuz a potential client is balking at my proposal. Get this: it's an engineering services firm with 13 million dollars in revenue and 150 employees. And they're balking at spending between $60K to $90K [like .3% or less of revenue] for a complete rebranding campaign, including corporate logo exploration with divisional segmentation and realignment, ground-up redesign and expansion of Web site, intranet site template, stationery/business system, capabilities brochure, direct mail brochures, a number of other brochures, template for their project proposals, template for Powerpoint presos, Flash sales demo, and tradeshow booth graphics and materials. Isn't this the deal of the century? I don't get it. Hrmph!)

On Feb.17.2005 at 07:59 PM
Steven’s comment is:

(Oh, that didn't include printing costs, but still!)

On Feb.17.2005 at 08:00 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

does every freaking thing on the planet need to be branded to death? Can't some things just be what they are?

I feel much like you do, Steven. My point was not that things are being marketed to death (which they are), but that everything is a brand, regardless of marketing use. I think it's much like energy. It's neither created nor destroyed, it's just active or passive. Some organizations can benefit greatly from marketing their brand, while it's a waste of time for others. And many times a brand is marketed poorly, which often results in us feeling like we're being overrun by said efforts.

On Feb.17.2005 at 08:25 PM
Steven’s comment is:

I guess I take the view about brand that was stated in Steven Heller's Citizen Designer, by someone who's name escapes me now (the book is buried in a stack of boxes), that brand is "a business idea that has cultural significance." This definition sort of raises the bar of what actually is a brand versus marketing blather. We all hope that the projects we work on have cultural value, but I think it's too easy to say that everything we do as designers has cutural significance. Sometimes branding efforts fail. If the marketing resonates with potential customers and the public at large, then it becomes a brand. If the marketing fails to have impact, then it's nothing more than annoying background noise. This understanding of brand gives more power of acceptance/acknowledgement to customers and the public, and less to designers and CEOs. And it also means that not everything is a true brand, although many things can be.

On Feb.17.2005 at 09:38 PM
Pesky’s comment is:

re: Quipsology.

Sometimes ideas bang around in the ether for a while and find new applications. I do remember, as a teenager, hearing the word Jazzology kicking around New Jersey radio stations.(land of Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie and Wayne Shorter.)

My guess is that it had the kind of hook that morphed in someone's mind and out popped Quipsology.

On Jan.17.2007 at 09:15 PM
Shahla’s comment is:

The branding going on at the new spin-off is too cute for me so I am linking here instead.

-Posted Jan 15th, 2007- MRI machines as "market research imaging" devices... (notice the top-left illustration)

Seeing "Quipped by" before each contributor's name made me wince. It may grow on me, it may not.

On Jan.18.2007 at 08:47 AM