Thursday, September 24, 2009

New SmartBoard-Enhanced Products Get a Fresh Look

— Jen Mendoza, Senior Graphic Designer

There are many facets of a product that are considered when we approach a new design — in this case our brand-spanking new SmartBoard-Enhanced line of products including our SmartBoard-Enhanced Prestwick Power Presentations.

Some details have become standards in many of the Prestwick House products. Ideally, every cover, slide, page, and package we design will enthusiastically catapult both teacher and student into the wealth of knowledge that awaits in every product we produce.

Enhancing the look of a product that already has an established, recognizable brand is a challenge, and as designer, my purpose is to communicate those changes in a clean, easy-to-read design that will maintain the immediate brand connection while introducing something new.

In June 2009, Prestwick House added several new items to our PowerPoint for the Classroom series — except they’re not in PowerPoint format but instead SmartBoard-Enhanced (Yes, exciting! I know!).

And, since the PowerPoint for the Classroom brand already has proven success with its current look, we couldn’t jump ship and spin a whole new face for this new addition to the line and risk losing the integrity of its existing presence. My challenge was to enhance the brand so that it would still connect with the existing packaging, but also make a clear distinction between the two very different software platforms.

Design a logo to encompass a growing line of components.

This logo represents 3 products,
PowerPoint for the Classroom, Smartboard-Enhanced for the Classroom, and Lead-Ins to Literature, with many more products to be added in the future. I wanted my concepts to show interactivity and simplicity in a design that was easily transferable from product to product. Although I felt my first attempt carried those characteristics, I thought it might be too difficult to read on a busy background, so, I came up with concept no. 2. This one was pretty boring. While it was easier to read, there was too much of a disconnect from the existing brand. I went back to concept no. 1 and altered it to improve readability. And, voila—several renditions, 4 crinkled napkins and 2 coffees later!


Design a software-specific icon or logo to distinguish platforms.

Again, after looking at the potential ideas, I decided to go with combining these two concepts for maximum, aesthetic appeal. Can you feel it?

No comments: