STEP OFF: Round 6 (Final Round)
We have reached the end my friends. We have shared our designs and you have shared your varied opinions. The designs have leaped forward and fallen behind, but they have all progressed in their own way. While these final covers will most likely need “cover line” tweaks and other refinements, they are all very unique and visually rich solutions to this challenge. While Emily, Michael and Gus won’t be commenting this round, we still welcome and encourage your feedback. We might not be able to change the designs, but please throw your opinion into the mix to help sway the fabuolus team over at STEP. This has been a fascinating experience/experiment and we have all learned a great deal. We thank STEP for trusting us with this challenge and we thank the readers and commenters for making this so eventful. Don’t forget that the entire process is archived here.
We will be posting the winner and the identity of the teams this coming Monday.
Will this round bring a knockout? You decide.
Our sixth round is both a step back (to regain greater proximity to our concept) and a step forward (to develop greater simplicity and consistency). First we’ve gone back to our simple pig pattern. Creating a greater sense of being selected from “the crowd”. This iteration has increased the contrast between foreground and back through smaller and slightly more subtle background pigs. Secondly we’ve taken our champion pig forward by making the light source more consistent, without loosing his simplicity and levity. The shadow is the most obvious change, but lighting has been shifted to give our pig a more accurate dimensionality.
Overall, we’ve tried to (1) heed Michael’s admonition to be more “intentionally simple,” (2) settle some of Emily’s uncertainty through subtle changes in the illustration, and (3) retain the overall concept and tone that has repeatedly and consistently gained positive feedback from the viewers.
Our concept from the beginning has been collaboration. In our last effort to salvage our collaboration theme, we turn our attention to the 100 designers featured in this magazine. Our other rounds focused on gathering images from our readers, and although the contributions have been less than overwhelming we still think there is value in the “collaboration” angle. So, for this cover we will convince each of the 100 designers to take a photograph. Instead of the generic “100” photo, we are asking for a picture of something much more personal, and dare I say, “provocative.” The cover of STEP 100, will be covered with 100 nipples – one from each designer. Since all the designers are interviewed in this issue, it seems appropriate to show a very intimate part of each of them on the cover. The headline will be “100 Designers Bare It All.” For those of you who have followed this project, you probably recognize this phrase from the comments of earlier rounds. “Baring it All” accurately describes the process of this project.
In order to protect the designers from the possible embarrassment of having your nipple on the cover of a magazine, none of the nipples will be labeled. While not nearly as sexy, as a backup this concept could be modified to use photos of belly buttons, ears, eyes, or some other body part. As tempting as the idea was, I decided against gathering an assortment of random nipples for this mock-up. Use your imagination, and vote for this cover!
What ride this has been. I never thought showing process work to the entire world would be quite such an experience. It is literally like being pulled in all directions at once, and trying to sift through to the madness to find your design in its best form.
We had been fighting our concept from day one. We didn’t know we were fighting it, but we were. The right combination of elements to create great design can’t be summed up in list 0f 40 or 50 jokes. What it takes to reach that pinnacle is much larger and much broader than that. And after much thought and soul-searching we decided that in order to say more, we must say less. Break it down to its most basic ingredients only; and eliminate the ‘list.’ And let’s face it, we received all of about zero comments on the items in our list of award-winner clichés — it won’t be missed.
We certainly don’t think anyone will mistake this for a bicycle tire now. The hash marks and streamlined dial cut to the chase and present the lock as a lock, and the curved arm hinted to at the top solidifies its presence (and locks “Inside Design” firmly into place). We were still able to have some fun with some of the subtleties of the design, too (what’s the opposite of ‘creativity?’).
And finally, moving our headline from a passive “unlocking” to an active “unlock” (asking the reader to unlock the secrets, instead of telling them that we are) creates just the right tone for a bold and inviting cover.
My teammate and I are extremely thankful to STEP Inside Design magazine for allowing us to take on this opportunity, showing the underwear of our creative process as well as their own. It has been an adventure from start to finish.
After round 2 we had some hurdles we couldn’t figure out how to jump, and tried running on a different track. After reading the comments during that time, we came to the realization that maybe we weren’t as far away from where we wanted to be as we thought. Originally we tried to merge the Design 100 and the Trends article into the same cover line but never figured out how, and then we thought, why? Separating out the cover lines added the clarity that we couldn’t achieve before. In a way it seems like we spent a lot of time on what appears to be small changes, but we don’t think these changes would have happened without the experimentation in rounds 3, 4 and 5.
The revised, trimmed and refined timeline text:
- A Fibonacci spiral appears on the cover of STEP Inside Design’s Yearly Award Annual
- Fibonacci spirals are spotted in Japan, India, and eventually in New York
- A few forward-thinking designers find appropriate uses
- Nike co-opts the spiral for corporate materials and rubber soles
- Cranbrook fully adopts the spiral, and takes credit for the trend
- David Carson finds the trend and its proprietors unworthy of the trendy tradition he started
- Spiral spotted on a celebrity scalp on MTV, which no longer airs the three-month-old video sporting the same spiral
- Fibonacci spirals are accepted into all the major annuals
- Vignelli denounces the trend
- Fibonacci spiral reaches the end of its natural life
- Emigre magazine doesn’t say anything, since it is still dead
- Mike Wallace picks up on the trend
- A major branding firm uses the dead spiral to kill the last remaining Rand logo
- Trend is officially played out and completely DEAD – deader than a doornail, dead
- Forward thinking designers find appropriate uses for the Fibonacci spiral, resurrected in the holy light of irony