today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the new unionbank signage and the secret meanings of design

i like it when graphic design agencies present their work, specially on logo designs. they can be real poetic during the presentation. logos are always full of meanings and symbolism and the best design agencies pride themselves in being able to give a meaning to each and every item in their design - from shapes, forms, font, symbols, lines to colors. you name it, they have a corresponding meaning for it.

that was most likely the case for the new unionbank signage.
the orange color gets you. you can't escape from looking at it. i don't bank with unionbank, so i just see their signage while inside a moving vehicle and i tended to look at it. there was something about that logo that catches me all the time.
on the first few times, i would always look at it twice or thrice. then finally, one day when i had the time and there was not too much traffic, i stopped the car, looked at the signage and even took pictures of it. finally figured out this thing that made me give the signage not once but looked at it at least three times.

before that, if you look closely, you will see there are actually 3 shades of orange on it. it can be subtle or invisible to most, but i was able to appreciate the differences. i wonder what the are meanings of having 3 shades of orange on the signage.

new unionbank signage - horizontal application

this is what prompted me to stop the car and stare at their signage - it's something i needed to confirm.

the first time i saw that signage, i thought the workers were not yet finished in installing the logo. i told myself there must be a missing part on the signage but since they needed to put it up, probably can't leave the long signage lying around, so the workers decided to put a large and strong duct tape on the signage, right on the edge of the letter "N" and right beside it, the leter "B" (UNIONBANK).

i thought those workers were very inefficient for going to the bank with incomplete parts of the signage. i also thought, did the workers have to put the duct tape on the outside? why didn't they put the tape at the back so it can't be seen?

but then i saw that duct tape on the letters N and B were still on the same signage in the same bank for a few days. what, the workers have not returned to finish the job? and to my surprise, the other branches of unionbank had the same duct tape on their signages!

and that is what i needed to confirm - was that a duct tape that i saw or was it part of the design? after a few minutes, i realized it is part of the design!

i bet that vertical line is meant to symbolize the act of "unity" or coming together. i like the meaning, but did it have to be executed that way? from a distance, the duct tape design element looked like a design error or an installation error.

those were stormy days and i honestly thought it was an incomplete installation of the signage and they just put a duct tape over it to make sure it does not get blown away by the raging storm!

it does not seem to be a design element, it looks like someone made a mistake in it's installation. i think very few people will get the intended meaning of it.

new unionbank signage - vertical application

above is the vertical application and that very eloquently shows the significant weakness of the duct-tape-over-letters- N- and-B graphic design element -- in a vertical signage, there was no way they could apply the same idea on this layout.

the question then is - why use a design element that cannot be applied in both horizontal and vertical layouts? i am sure the design agency knew the design concept will be applied to both horizontal and vertical layouts. this says the "meaning" that they wanted to be conveyed in the horizontal layout is totally absent in the vertical layout. why bother having it if it can't be applied to both? if having that meaning is important to them, then choose a design idea other than the duct tape over the letters execution that can be applied for both layouts.

new unionbank signage - vertical and horizontal applications

of course there will be banks that will have both layouts and the difference in the signages can be seen - one has a duct tape design element and the other does not.

i am very much tempted to enter a unionbank branch for two reasons - want to see if they have changed their logos on their stationary and if their bank employees have a duct tape on their foreheads to be consistent with the signage design.

the duct tape design element - it's a WAWAM!

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