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Design notes: the 2014 Fellowship poster

Thursday, 13 February 2014

In 1997, Shepley Bulfinch established a ten-week Summer Design Fellowship, which is open to all students who are, at date of submission, enrolled in an accredited professional degree program in the field of architecture. As part of our promotion of the annual fellowship, posters are mailed to accredited architecture schools across North America.

For the past five years we have worked to elevate the quality and exposure of the Summer Design Fellowship, and the poster has been an instrumental part of that. Since 2010, we have posed compelling questions for applicants to answer and have commissioned posters by noted graphic designers including Michael Bierut of Pentagram; Experimental Jetset; Non-Format; ...[more]

Design notes: the 2013 Fellowship poster

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

In a provocative blog post on beauty in architecture, 2012 Summer Design Fellow Amrita Raja commented upon the reluctance of many contemporary architects to discuss the role of beauty, relying instead on more purely rational justifications such as performance. It reminded me of the 2009 NY Times article about Douglas Bowman who very publicly left his position as Google’s top visual designer because, in his words, “at Google design lived or died by data.”

Amrita’s post also reminded me of the scene in the documentary film Helvetica, where Michael Place from UK-based design firm Build talks candidly about how, for him, design is primarily ...[more]

Graphic design award for Harvard Innovation Lab

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Print magazine has selected the graphic design of the Harvard Innovation Lab as a winner in the 2012 Regional Design Annual, which has just been published. The design was the work of Shepley graphic designers Dan Vlahos and Erin Deeley.

The ‘Hi’ design establishes a distinctive identity and conveys a sense of welcome for the i-lab on Harvard’s Allston, Massachusetts, campus. In telling the story of the impact of the design, Shepley Bulfinch senior creative Dan Vlahos said, “Months after the building opened I got an email ...[more]

Design notes: the 2012 Fellowship Poster

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

I want to share some notes on the 2012 Summer Design Fellowship poster and some thoughts on design communication. But before I do here’s just a brief introduction for those who are new to the program. Years ago the firm established a ten-week paid Design Fellowship for an exceptional architecture student to work with us over the summer. The application is open to all students who are, at date of submission, enrolled in an accredited professional degree program in the field of architecture.

At some point, to keep things fresh we ...[more]

Just wanted to say ‘Hi’ – a look behind the i-lab logo

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

 

Harvard Innovation Lab logo

I recently picked up on something while reading Steven Levy’s interview with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Wired magazine. In response to a question about how to make Blue Origin (his space travel venture) succeed, Bezos said simply: “Maintain a firm grasp of the obvious at all times.”

Capturing the essence of a brand, a story, or an organization is the ultimate communications design challenge. It’s the proverbial truffle of successful identities: uncovering it usually takes some digging, but the rewards are worth it.

Giving the Harvard i-lab a graphic identity had to ...[more]

Design notes: the 2011 Fellowship Poster

Friday, 28 January 2011

How do you match the resounding success of our 2010 Fellowship Poster, designed by Experimental Jetset? By inviting Michael Bierut of Pentagram to design the 2011 poster.

I’d like to share some insights about the design process, strategy, and design thinking behind the poster itself. Our design brief to Michael was essentially to match the quality of the candidates we’re seeking as this year’s Fellow: someone who combines a high-level and perhaps rare combination of extraordinary design talent, creativity, passion, intuition, appetite and ...[more]

Shepley Bulfinch 2010 Quote Cards

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Picking up where our annual posters left off, we designed and developed a series of bookmark-like cards for our 2010 annual mailing. They feature inspirational quotes on one side and architectural photo details on the other. The cards are die-cut with slots that allow them to interlock for assembly into a basic structure. These cards can also be used individually as bookmarks or pinned up for a daily dose of inspiration. A PDF of the cards can be downloaded here.

The format was inspired by the Eames House of Cards designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1952. The original 32 interlocking cards featured ...[more]

Design notes: the 2010 Fellowship Poster

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Building on the award-winning tradition set by our 2009 poster, which received an AIGA Best of New England Design award, the poster for this year’s Summer Design Fellowship was designed by world-renowned graphic design firm Experimental Jetset out of Amsterdam. The poster, which is mailed out to accredited architecture schools across North America, is often posted in common areas within the architecture or design department. I’d like to share some insights about the design process, strategy, and design thinking behind the poster itself.

- Dan Vlahos

An ...[more]