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Brand New IDEO

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Brand New IDEO

"Brand New IDEO" centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Posted by IDEO  |  27 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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IDEO just completed 24 hours of prototyping in public from Tokyo to San Francisco. We've effectively pulled a global all-nighter. It's left me with the hollow feeling one has after last call, followed by the rush of adrenaline to press on and watch the sunrise. Paul's initial comments were right. It is terrifying to be vulnerable in such a way. Would we have interesting ideas or fall flat under pressure? Would we come across as curious or as self-important? Would the technology work?

Handwringing be damned. The Global Make-a-Thon turned out to be a delightful exploration of personality and meaning. It affirmed our roots in a graphic identity that celebrates personal, community, and collective expression. It taught us about ourselves, what we value, and what we should do next.

Immediately after the Make-a-Thon, a group of 20 designers* from around the globe convened in San Francisco to discuss the concepts on the "UnThemes." The designs are rendered at every degree of fidelity and run the gamut from advanced to bizarre, from systems to illustrations. As we waded through the ideas together, patterns emerged.

First, we LOVE the squares. Nearly every idea submitted used them and with varied expression. The squares became windows to the world, small frames highlighting details, building blocks, sculptural cubes, stamps, video game sprites, and even architecture. These expressions feel like an inevitable build. Rand designed our first logo as a combinatorial geometric frieze of squares. Bierut refined this into a flexible graphic system of marks, typography, and color. Now through this experiment we are seeing hints of our next major evolution: a living platform that is adaptable, reconfigurable, locally nuanced, and contextually aware.

This is most clear when looking at the designs from each studio. The character of the designers and the context of each culture shine brightly. Look at the paper screens from Tokyo, the personal portraits from Mumbai, the experimentation in Boston, or the symbolism from New York. Each of us feels this identity is ours and that's the beauty of it. It's a simple design that becomes a vessel to fill. Even more interesting, it is expression that invites questions and builds rapport. This was a shift we were seeking from the outset. We want to move from an emphasis on declarative expression to a more inclusive identity, to create a bridge between us and our collaborators.

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continued...

Posted by IDEO  |  26 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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On Monday, IDEO Bay storytellers (San Francisco and Palo Alto) gathered in the San Francisco studio, bracketed by palm trees and sunshine.

We began by exploring the Global Make-a-Thon inspiration from our colleagues around the globe. We also looked to the science and math underpinning our logo for inspiration. IDEO Chicago designer Sara Frisk, whose first job was at Pentagram under Michael Bierut, flagged the geometry underneath the IDEO logo and showed us the IDEO logo laid out via X's and Y's. Kismet, anyone?

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We broke up into teams for three short design charrettes. At the end of each charrette, we shared concepts with the larger group and then shuffled teams for the next session, building on the previous session's ideas.

Three early concepts here in the Bay Area:

1.) The Logonator/Configurator: How might we platform the logo to create a human-centered identity configuration tool that showcases the full spectrum of we are and what we do, from micro to macro, from playful to serious? We were inspired by Issey Miyake's playful video, and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's curation by color.

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2.) The Dialogue Between Context/Content: We are inspired by local context, from Japanese cherry blossoms to Australian aboriginal installations of local materials. How might we adapt for context? How do we make something feel inevitable, yet also customizable/personal?

3.) The Listening Logo: Are we there to absorb and learn? Are we there to present a point of view? The logo is a symbol of our modes of interaction. How might it shift accordingly? A business card is a souvenir of a personal interaction. How might we invite people to interact with us in a compelling way?

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Check out IDEO San Francisco + Palo Alto's concepts (under #sfbay) on our Six Themes Tumblr site, and stay tuned for a comprehensive synthesis of the ideas generated during IDEO's 24-Hour 'Brand New IDEO' Make-a-Thon!

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid
» What We Learned and What's Next

Posted by IDEO  |  26 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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On Monday, IDEO Chicago's team filled the room with goodness. We kicked off the Make-a-Thon exercise by posting inspiration from the Six Themes Tumblr site and discussing some of the most prominent themes. The next thing we knew, Elaine Fong had filled the room with sounds from the nineties-—R&B style. Designers began sketching, cutting, filming and testing out ideas. Together we explored, we inspired, we got creative and we forgot about lunch (well, almost). All in all, it wasn't unlike an average day at IDEO.

Joe Graceffa (top image) experiments with replacing the four letters that make up the word IDEO with words that represent our culture, as well as the types of emotion that we hope to inspire in others. Here, Joe experiments with how to capture and share his concept.

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Here, Josh Sin sketches sine waves to represent the discipline, background, and energies of the individuals in the room and the articulation toward various streams of work. The sine waves and their permutations informed Josh's design concept "IDEO Signatures."

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Murphy MacDonald and Nick Inzucchi help Mary Foyder animate her concept "Alive & In Shadow," which plays with light, shadow and movement to bring the IDEO logo to life.

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Mary Foyder, Murphy MacDonald, Josh Sin, Dave Vondle, Ryan Sievert, Burton Rast and Joe Graceffa review early concepts and devise the best way to divide and conquer in time to meet the deadline.

Check out Chicago's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid
» What We Learned and What's Next

Posted by IDEO  |  26 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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On Monday, the Global Make-a-Thon baton passed to IDEO New York. We explored our identity in three ways: as a language, as handwritten and as 'four things.'

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Working in generative teams we ideated around our brand as a verb, "to IDEO," as a 3-dimensional cube, as four musical notes, and as Post-it note art. We were inspired by everything from nature to Instagram to slot machines.

Check out New York's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid
» What We Learned and What's Next

Posted by IDEO  |  26 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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On Monday at 7 a.m., the Global Make-a-Thon baton passed to IDEO Boston. The making commenced with materials ranging from sharpies to cornstarch, dye to wood, and pencils to laptops.

Using only natural materials to create physical pixels, Ryan Habbyshaw, Brad Crane and Greg Wolos used the contrast of various side grain and end grain wood blocks to recreate the IDEO logo.

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Rolling with the idea of creating intent over presence, we decided to create an experiment that we've been running simultaneously with two current clients. One client operates in the music industry; the other is focused on quantified self and is responsible for a mind monitoring device which is worn as a headband.

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We mixed up a batch of non-Newtonian fluid (cornstarch and water) and laid it on a plastic sheet over a speaker. We then used the mind monitoring software to create sound based on our level of focus. The video explains it best.

The thinking behind the idea was to take the inherent structural nature of the existing IDEO logo, and dematerialize it into something more organic. The experiment became a physical metaphor of intent over presence and an illustration of how, when we combine learning resources from two completely different projects, we can create new and interesting solutions.

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Fran Barros deconstructed the letters that make up the IDEO logo into the unique symbols that represent each one. Meanwhile, José explored how light would interact with those symbols in a three dimensional space.

Check out Boston's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes< /> » Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid

Posted by IDEO  |  26 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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On Monday, IDEO London picked up the Global Make-a-Thon baton at about 10:20am after our MMM (Monday-morning-meeting). About 15 people gathered around the kitchen table and then split into 4 smaller teams. The first concept hit the #BrandNewIDEO hashtag shortly after that.

Four of the bigger themes/ideas that emerged from London:

1.) Growth: At IDEO, corporate identity is sometimes just a mask—it's the interactions we have with our people and organizations over time that really define us. Our concept reflects this simple fact: that IDEO grows on you. The existing identity is merely a frame—like a fence for ivy, or scaffolding for a building—and the identity/relationship grows from that. There are so many metaphors to mine for this, but in the GIFs we have plants growing up inside the frame of the logo, and iron filings collecting around magnets."

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2.) Context: Another theme we explored is the idea of context and the relationship to things around you. Designers at IDEO are all about context and using the world around them as inspiration. Yuni Lee and Lawrence Abrahamson created different iterations of our identity, including options where you can see through the identity and where the content of the identity is created from the context around it.

3.) Focus: Jeremy Innes-Hopkins, Chris Grantham and Jack Haslehurst explored "focus" as an area. The first prototype they created was poetic:

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Lots of our clients come to us looking for focus and direction. IDEO is the lens through which solutions become clear. These logo treatments could be used on our website and appear as you hover over them.

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4.) Living Grid: Matt Cooper-Wright, Suzy Stone and Bobbie Brightman embraced the ever-changing nature of IDEO and the work we do: "To impose an identity on IDEO is a risky thing. We embrace diversity and difference; we speak different language and find interest in different things. We also feel incredibly lucky to work here, of our heritage and the logo on the door. Rather than changing the Paul Rand logo, or the Pentagram system (so many companies would kill to have that kind of pedigree) we started to explore extra tools we could add to the identity, more ways to express ourselves. What we want is a richer visual vocabulary to express our unique skills, our diversity, and ourselves." We mocked up a digital prototype that pulls images from different sources to create a constantly changing and evolving identity for IDEO.

Check out London's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid

Posted by IDEO  |  25 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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On Monday, IDEO Munich took the Global Make-a-Thon baton and made a video to convey several early concepts.

Three early concept themes in Munich:

1.) Simplification: How might we reduce the IDEO brand to its essence? What would our logo look like in one of these iPhone logo quizzes? This concept concentrates not on the squares but on the spaces between them, the "glue" between the elements, the "in-between" or the "plus" of IDEO. Because this is what IDEO is about: the multitude of disciplines united under one roof, the T-shapedness of our people, and the positive "plus" our work delivers to clients.

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2.) Moving Cube: This idea is based on the logo being a solid block of cubes, moving up and down or rotating like a Rubik's cube. It constantly changes and adapts. The moving boxes that only slide in one direction cast shadows of different lengths... these very characteristic 45 degree blocks can be used as key visual throughout the brand design.

3.) Personalize Before Giving: The grid system and the interplay of parts build a strong commonality with the use of Type and its spacing. Using natural unfinished papers with a subtle texture, the IDEO logo can be either stamped with a black foil or left blank to remove the texture of the paper and leave a perfectly smooth finish.

Check out Munich's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid

Posted by IDEO  |  25 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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And... boom. From Mumbai, we virtually transport to IDEO Shanghai where the Global Make-A-Thon experience is best documented visually below.

The result is a beautiful three dimensional sculptural concept that draws from a broad range of inspirations, from Tai Chi and philosophy to T-shaped people, calligraphy and Chinese seals and more.

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Check out Shanghai's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid

Posted by IDEO  |  25 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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On Monday, IDEO Mumbai started the day with a video Global Make-a-Thon baton handoff from Singapore (pictured above), in which the latter team shared the work that happened in both the Singapore and Tokyo studios while we were asleep. Their sessions resonated with our own initial thinking and we were able to continue working on themes around physicalizing the logo and understanding what local means.

We were very interested in the idea of a "minimal viable IDEO logo"—is it the four boxes or the typographical treatment or the placement that gives the IDEO logo strength? We considered how we might use the logo as a framework for showcasing Mumbai. We also thought about ways to showcase the connections we have to colleagues in other locations around the world and how we learn from each other. Our early concepts included:

1.) Alternate History: We wanted to celebrate all the local languages in India—and our studio—by replacing the "I" with individuals speaking their mother tongue and welcoming everyone to IDEO. We took a page from the Smothers Brothers and the IDEO Toy Lab by prototyping a life-size IDEO logo with the "I" cut out, showing people and local examples of design. Our video features Divya Viswanathan (Hindi), Riddhima Gupta (Punjabi), Lacquer toys from Chennapatna, Tarun Rawat (Hindi), George Joseph (English), Goutam Pal (Bengali) and Presswallah's coal iron.

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2.) Windows on the World: Building on the Singapore studio's notion of "Windows on the World," George Joseph and Priti Rao used the "O" in IDEO as a window to photos from Mumbai and other IDEO locations. George prototyped with a print out of the logo, taped it to his screen, and used Keynote to animate photos from Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai.

3.) IDEO CUBE: Gaurav Raut has been working on a three-dimensional IDEO cube driven by Servos and Arduino. He used the analogy of the shifting faces of a Rubik's cube to communicate how diversity can coexist within the same space. He did this by distorting the IDEO logo and helping it interact with other elements of the cube before returning back to its original position.

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4.) Geographic Inspiration Boxes - Divya Viswanathan and Randy Plemel explored how to show all of the IDEO locations at the same time through local photos, portraits, and our logo. Using the horizontal version of the logo, we created multiple boxes that cycle through different permutations of the logo, map locations and local photos at each office.

Tarun Rawat summed up IDEO Mumbai's role in the Global Make-a-Thon: "Much of what we explored illustrated the connections between different IDEO locations through places, images, and people." Randy Plemel concurred, noting, "While there is a shared concept of IDEO which spans geographies, we are always on the lookout for what is unique to IDEO Mumbai. We are always looking for what India can teach us, and then what India can teach IDEO."

Check out Mumbai's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site and their video summary above.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid

Posted by IDEO  |  25 Mar 2013

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On Monday, IDEO Singapore started the day with Skype cameras on and speakers turned up loud, ready for the Global Make-a-Thon baton passed from the Tokyo studio.

Our friends in Tokyo had spent the morning integrating different aspects of the cultural context of Japan and expressing what it means for IDEO.

In their work, we saw a window into their world. One of many examples included the "I" in IDEO turning into a paper Shoji door that revealed an image from Hanami, the cherry-blossom flower viewing.

Other themes that emerged from our talk with Tokyo included gamification and the local transposition of their daily lives, contexts and environments.

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This notion of windows out into the world resonated with us here in Singapore, too—every day, we see things in Singapore that shape the way we design, change the way we feel about the world, and influence our process and outcomes. How could we represent the experience of being a part of IDEO and being a part of Singapore at the same time? Or for that matter, being a part of Asia as a whole?

Three of our early concepts here in Singapore:

1.) IDEO Everywhere: Ben Forman and his team used photos of "I" "D" "E" and "O" snapped around Singapore to create a recontextualized logo. Bamboo fences, bowls of noodles, cups of tea, and bicycle wheels, in shapes that represented the letters of IDEO, were just a few of the many images that serve as the building blocks of IDEO. Inspired by Japan's Shoji door concept, Amy Bonsall and her team hacked away at what a window to the world would mean for Singapore—in these cases, a heritage shophouse shutter, or a plate of Singapore's national dish, chicken rice.

2.) Alternate History: One of our designers, Yishan Lam, said she's always seen Chinese name chops (a seal that's often used in lieu of a signature in Asia) in the elements of the four red "IDEO" logo squares. She experimented with changing the "I" to the Chinese character for love, which is pronounced "eye." Another variation on the same theme included a representation of the food diversity in Singapore, with each character formed by a different cuisine, all found within the bounds of the island: Hong Kong toast, basmati rice, ramen and roti prata served as visual ingredients for the letters.

3.) Experimenting with the Physical: Three 3-D concepts emerged. Why physical? As Jens Wiemann put it, "In IDEO it's always about doing with your hands, fast prototyping, doing a lot of stuff instead of just talking about it and trying it out." Referencing Tokyo's "windows" he thought about the materials that might shape the logo, including rope, steel and tubing. Philip Man and Keith Oh's team tried out a series of 3D cubes that went from larger to smaller. These could represent stories, ideas or the journey of a project. They represented the divergent/convergent nature of design. Finally, Nancy Xu and her team hacked away at a childhood origami game that spans across cultures. The Germans, Dutch, Chinese, Singaporeans, British and Americans around the table had all played a version of it. The paper object opened up to reveal IDEO's values underneath the flaps.

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Pete Overy summed up the Global Make-A-Thon big picture for IDEO Singapore: "It's interesting to see how something that could look so classic could start to come to life through different kinds of media—across the digital space and in physical media. Just as Google can iterate on its logo for Van Gogh's birthday or for holidays, we're now able to make what represents us be more than four squares. We are able to bring the classic shape to life through these new expressions of who we are, what we do, and why we do it."

Check out Singapore's concepts on our Six Themes Tumblr site.

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid
» What We Learned and What's Next

Posted by IDEO  |  25 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

IDEOTokyo2_468px.jpgTimes are local to location.

7:35 a.m. - The IDEO Tokyo Team (Sungene Ryang, Davide Agnelli, Mike Peng, Kenichi Nonomura, Seisho Sumida, Evin Dempsey, Mai Yamada, Yoo Kyoung Noh) begins to slowly trickle into the office. Physically present, but mentally still waking up, the team is greeted with a selection of breads and a jug of coffee to stimulate the brain.

8:02 a.m. - The Global Make-a-Thon officially begins! The design teams are split into two groups of four, each balanced with members from different design disciplines and backgrounds. Mike begins the session with a short introduction of our collective challenge and reviews the six themes that the rest of IDEO has been thinking about.

8:10 a.m. - The brainstorming begins! Lots of chatter from all corners of the office. A big emerging theme seems to be about making the IDEO identity culturally relevant to the geographical location of the office. Lots of ideas around bringing in Japanese inspiration: Robots. Cherry blossoms. Seasons. Bento boxes. Zen. More ideas are drafted on Post-It notes. Sharpie sketches begin flying off desks and onto foam core boards.

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8:26 a.m. - Crossing over to digital: Computers begin to open. People are bringing up inspirational videos to share with the larger group. One around Windows of NYC. Another one around beautiful clock and weather apps. Others look back to the Tumblr site to see what else has been submitted. Big ideas begin to form and passion is heating up.

8:45 a.m. - With brainstorming time winding down, the team begins to gravitate across a few ideas. Should we keep these ideas apart? Or should we combine them? Which ideas feel scalable across different offices? Which ones are we just excited and passionate about? The infamous IDEO "voting dots" are passed around the table. Each person gets a couple of stickers and places them on the ideas they want to take forward.

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continued...

Posted by IDEO  |  24 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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A couple of years ago, Core77's Dave Seliger dug up History of the IDEO logo, in a post by Scott Underwood, former IDEO jack-of-all-trades. Scott's post shows a clear evolution from version one to version two—and makes it clear that we were ahead of the curve with our identity in both 1991 and 1997. Look at our current logo. It was on the edge of complex expression via combinatorial geometry. This wasn't a popular corporate idea until the mid Aughts, when the redesigned AOL logo was released. Since then, there have been lots of great combinatorial logos, many of which are on our Tumblr. (Just a note on this, we weren't the first. The most famous expressive logo I can think of is MTV's first and that was several years before IDEO.)

Now we're exploring version three. Why? In part, because our current logo is a location-based system. It's not designed to adapt to new situations. For example, look at IDEO U and "design by IDEO" in Scott's post. Today, look at IDEO.org and OpenIDEO. Put those four logos next to our corporate logo, and you'll see some of the same DNA, but the differences are bigger than the similarities. They're primarily static signs or flags, like most logos. They indicate presence, but not intent.

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This is the big idea we're interested in: an evolution of our identity system that responds to new organizational needs and new experiences. How might we move from a system of rules to a system of behaviors? How might our identity system transform to communicate presence (like all logos and flags) as well as intent (e.g., are we in learning mode or authority mode? are we a service or a product? are we serious or fun?). I can't think of any identity system that does this yet, though maybe the new USA Today identity is trying.

I think this is going to be the direction most identity systems go in the future. Why? In part because new technologies make it possible. Monolithic solutions are a necessity of yesterday, because of the permanence and cost of communication. Now we're in an ephemeral and affordable age, and mass distribution at low cost is possible thanks to the digital revolution.

Now if all this is too academic, check out the Six Themes Tumblr for a visual expression of these ideas and more details about the process we've gone through so far.

There are interesting implications here for global identities and sub brands. This idea of designing behaviors makes sub brands feel like an old idea now. We are exploring what's next, not just for us, but for strategic identity design broadly.

Stay tuned to Core77.com/IDEO as we prepare to launch the Make-a-Thon from our Tokyo office later today!

* * *

Brand New IDEO centers on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon taking place on Monday, March 25th in IDEO's eleven offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending in San Francisco.

Brand New IDEO:
» Preview with Michael Hendrix and Paul Bennett in Conversation
» Opening Remarks by Michael Hendrix
» Tokyo: Robots, Cherry Blossoms & Bento Boxes
» Singapore: Origami & Experiments with 3D
» Mumbai: Minimum Viable Logo & Windows on the World
» Shanghai: Morning Exercise, Jump Rope and Calligraphy
» Munich: Personalize, Simply and Move
» London: The Grid Grows
» Boston: Crafting and Prototyping with Wood, Dye & Cornstarch
» New York: Exploring Music, Verbs and Cubes
» Chicago: Sketching Sine Waves to R&B
» San Francisco Bay: Build to Think, Dive Into Abstraction, and Embrace the Infinite Grid
» What We Learned and What's Next

Posted by IDEO  |  21 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

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Core77 is very pleased to present an exclusive look at an IDEO creative ideation exercise, "Brand New IDEO," centered on a 24-hour global Make-a-Thon that will take place next Monday in their 11 offices around the world, starting in Tokyo and ending at their San Francisco headquarters. In anticipation of this unique event, IDEO offers a bit of background on the history of their brand identity and how the project came about. Be sure to tune in on Monday, March 25, when Core77 will host an (almost) live blog of the process as it unfolds.

When Paul Rand designed the IDEO logo in 1991, he didn't anticipate the complex challenges IDEO designers would take on 20 years later. Who could have? It's crazy how many changes the world has undergone during the past two decades—34 new countries, tablet computing, Netflix, the Euro, and the Prius, just to name a few.

Like the world around us, IDEO has evolved too. Where we were once a handful of specialties, today we are dozens. Doctors, biologists, filmmakers, and storytellers rub elbows with industrial designers and engineers—all in the service of creating positive impact through design. And why not? If you listen to futurists, the next 20 years will be a combination of Mad Max and Xanadu. Ferns will become hard drives. Space tourism will be a thing. Thousands of new cities will emerge. We need all the bright, creative minds we can get!

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Given these heady challenges, how might we evolve our identity to become even more dynamic in a complex and diverse world? To answer this question for ourselves, we've designed a maker experiment that explores extremes and helps us create a brief for the future. We call it "Brand New IDEO."

Years ago, we needed Paul Rand to design our own brand identity. Today, with communications designers and brand experts in every IDEO studio, we're looking inward to evolve our identity—and we're doing it in public.

Brand New IDEO is a "maker experiment" for everyone inside IDEO's four walls. For many of our designers it means rolling up their sleeves and making something new. For other IDEOers, it means sharing inspiration that explores one of six themes.

Talisman - A memento of the future; a totem capturing our spirit; a talisman bringing fortune to those who encounter it... Let's create objects that represent who we are and who we will become.
Biological - Living, growing, reproducing, aging and dying; perpetuating through offspring; symbiotic with neighbors... Let's create a living identity system that matures and mutates through time.
Powers of 10 - Cellular to spectacular; micro to macro; neutrons, neurons and nebulas... Let's create an identity system that is too large to comprehend, too small to see and every step in between.
Code Junkies - Born in the digital world, forever a resident; viral, logical, & combinatorial; obedient to math- made laws... Let's create an identity that originates from binaries and algorithms.
Writer's Block - High brow and low brow; short stories, poems, lyrics; bumper stickers and billboards... Let's create an identity that lives in the written word- no graphics allowed.
Alternate History - China 1991,* the birthplace of IDEO... Let's create an identity that is unique to its origin, celebrating culture, materiality, craftsmanship and industry. *and/or Munich, Tokyo

IDEO-MichaelHendrix-PaulBennett.jpgL: Michael Hendrix; R: Paul Bennett

Recently, IDEO's Chief Creative Officer, Paul Bennett, sat down with IDEO Boston Creative Director Michael Hendrix for a chat about the experiment. Below is an excerpt of their conversation.

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Posted by Dave Seliger  |  26 Aug 2011  |  Comments (2)

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Scott Underwood, former IDEO jack-of-all-trades, has a wonderful history of the IDEO's ubiquitous logo in his portfolio of projects from his IDEO days. Read the full story here.

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Steve Jobs (who made news today) recommended the graphic designer who designed the first logo, Paul Rand. At the time, in 1991, IDEO couldn't afford Rand's rate for a complete corporate identity, and so Rand only designed the logo. Bill Moggridge had come up with "IDEO" after finding the root "ideo-" in the dictionary. However, people often asked what I-D-E-O stood for. Early acronyms, like "an innovation design and engineering organization," came only after the fact and never caught on.

first business cards.jpg

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In 1997, the logo was altered slightly by Pentagram's Michael Beirut. The I, D, E, and O were thickened and reshaped to fill the blocks more evenly. There was even a Google-esque primary-color version, two years prior to the introduction of Google's now-iconic logo.

second logos alt.jpg

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