Posting in Design
An uninvited redesign of American Airlines' identity casts the airline in a retro but tech-savvy light, but what does its origin say about modern job-seeking?
When I was in high school, I had an art teacher -- Sister Elaine, if memory serves -- who had a habit of embellishing my art projects during the weekends. I swear. When I came in on Monday, my sketches and pastel still-life efforts had somehow gotten just a little better.
I never brought this up to her, happy as I was to go ahead and take the better grade, regardless of how undeserved it was. Will American Airlines take a similar tack with the unrequested gift is a new logo and branding package, courtesy of Anna Kövecses, a 24-year-old graphic designer and illustrator who lives in Cyprus? No, it probably won't.
Maybe it should, however, because Kövecses' effort is damn fine. Think modern aviation meets Mad Men.
AA didn't ask for any of this, and as the website explains:
The “uninvited redesign” has become a fixture on the Internet over the past few years. It perpetuates the perfect symbiotic relationship between designer and audience: People love seeing what Wikipedia or Microsoft might look like in the hands of a genius, and designers love stretching their legs without the burden of a real client or brief.
But this wasn't a stab in the dark for Victor & Spoils -- the same tactic has earned the agency business in the past.
But in this case the spotlight has fallen mostly on Kövecses, who told FastCo: "I wanted to design something that makes people feel safe because it visually meets up to the extremely high technology of aviation, the security and flawless on and off board services provided, and reflects the great history and experience behind American Airlines"
The overt brown-nosing in her statement aside, her efforts went well beyond just a new logo. She went so far as to imagine a customer blog that would serve as a forum for marketing the airline but also making fliers feel part of the company.
Is this what it takes to get a good job these days? For designers, writers and other creative types, I'd wager a yes. No longer are a resume and samples of past work sufficient. Job-seeking is more like auditioning. The uninvited redesign is the branding equivalent of an eager entrepreneur jumping into an elevator with a venture capitalist and pitching his idea. Only, it's far more public. And, perhaps, effective.
Via: FastCo Design
Images: Anna Kövecses
Aug 29, 2012
gosgog: However, I never liked American Airlines, particularly after being shuttled around one time coming back home to the home airport DFW!
Victor & Spoils - a financially healthy Crowdsourcing organisation now owned by Havas global advertising network ran the uninvited logo competition for their own benefit - not for the benefit of the designer whose only reward for her hardwork was a bit of PR - not a job - there never was a job. If Victor & Spoils want to gain PR and gain branding projects from large corporates off of the back of graphic designers - they should have made a financial reward available to the so called winner - err... winner of what. The design industry is so easy to exploit and Victors & Spoils (the clue is in their brand name) is clearly very good at it. As the designer did all the work for free and for nothing in reality - she might also find that she has also blown her intellectual property. She applied no formal protection over her work such as using Creative Barcode or any other mechanism (www.creativebarcode.com) This is not the way designers gain work at all - it is pure exploitation by others for their own benefit not hers.
Yes, this young woman did a good job, but guts? No. She did what students worldwide have done as assignments for years; redesign a logo. ANY call for design work that is unpaid is unethical in the professional world of design. ANY hiring agency that asks for or requires unpaid work as part of the job application process is unethical. Read the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook, or consult AIGA articles and documents.
I don't quite understand where the negativity comes from. What this very young woman did took guts and time, just as it takes gust and time to do an elevator pitch. (Did anyone really think that you come up with a 20-second pitch in 20 seconds? Because it takes hours, maybe days). If she's trawling for a job in a world that has in the past decade opened more borders that ever before in history, erected more cultural and race barriers than since the Cold War, a world that is both complicated and simplified by technology, then bully for her. She was in her early teens when 9/11 happened, and before she figures out the complexities of a world, she has to eat. Her design is clearly based on her understanding of people. If I were head of AA, I'd hire her to work in the service innovation department, with job spec to revamp AA's flight experience to match the design.
Black and white are no good for an airline. A little more creativity and knowledge could be thrown: - Creativity: Invent a new logo instead of just painting the American Eagle logo black. - Knowledge: American doesn't own Jumbos!!!! http://www.aa.com/i18n/aboutUs/ourPlanes/ourPlanes.jsp?anchorEvent=false&from=Nav I doubt if this logo thing is for real.
First thing I thought was that it reminds me of the US Air Force logo. Second thing I thought was that black is not good for an airline. Black is a traditional color of mourning after a death. Maybe not the best color in an industry that - though safe - can kill a lot of people at once when an accident does occur.
Call it student work, call it speculative design -- Using real companies for projects is encouraged or required in portfolio courses. When I first hired designers in the 1980s I saw strong school projects in otherwise near-empty portfolios. You can bet American sees its ID redesigned by job candidates every week. As a hiring manager, it's far better to see this than a portfolio of big-name agency work in which the designer (as an intern) had little or no involvement. At least Anna doesn't have to worry about another designer presenting the same work as their own.
Asking creatives to spend many hours laboring over something brilliant for which they will never be paid--what a great idea! As if job-seeking weren't already painful and unrewarding.
So lame! I suppose they didn't have anyone more imaginative handy on the design team. Then, I prefer color to black & white any day.
I'll forward a copy of this to my son who's a senior at New Hampshire Institute of Art. As I understand it, the solution is to make sure that copyright protection is on all your work. This includes work done as a student on school assignments. All artists deserve reasonable compensation for their work; and an art school that uses a student's work for any purpose owes that student for it.