So we have arrived at the 4th and last part of this series. It all started with what seemed to be a trademark battle between T-Mobile and the tech blog EngadgetMobile, and in the past three episodes of the Magenta Lessons, we’ve covered some very interesting topics. Part one was about the role of colors in design and branding, which was followed by the role of brands in marketing. Last week, I wrote about trademarks and copyright in the graphic design field, be it industrial design, web design or advertising. And today, we’re going to take a look at the subject of Public Relations - and see what we can find out about why knowing a bit about it can be the best thing that ever happened to us. Read on…
In this part of the Magenta Lessons, we will take a look at trademarks in the business world, and why it is important for graphic designers to know about this subject. You will also find a 1-page Trademark & Copyright Factsheet for Designers (free download) at the bottom of the page.
In the last two parts of this series, we talked about the role of color in design and the importance of brands. So after the ‘little’ break I allowed myself to take - a lot of work, and even more work fell upon us last month, plus the upcoming complete redesign of this blog (stay tuned for that!) - thanks for sticking with me, and let’s jump right to it!
Why is it important for designers to know about trademarks?
For the simple reason of offering your clients as much service and advice as possible. Think added value. Now quite a few of the readers of this blog are Art Directors in an advertising agency and not freelancing; and those of you might ask how this knowledge will help you. After all, you’ve got your CD and then the Account Managers who advise your clients in this direction. Also, you can assume that your large clients have their own capable people in the field of trademarks and intellectual property rights, or employ a law firm for just that.
My question for you would be this: You’re an Art Director right now, but don’t you want to climb up the ladder one day? Maybe you’d like to be considered for an open position as a Creative Director. And this doesn’t necessarily has to be within your own company. One nice day, you might even decide to go into freelance design and quit your day job. Or you will start a venture of your own, be it a graphic design firm, an advertising agency, a website, or something completely different! The point is to keep your options open and to look beyond the greater picture - by learning everything relevant to the field you are in. If you want to be successful at what you do, you need to strive for knowledge that expands and goes beyond what you currently do. Most of the time, the new stuff will be only peripheally tangent to your actual work, but it will increase your competency, thus your potential, in ways you might never have considered before. So do read on. Read on…
The Magenta Lessons consist of four installments: Design and Colors, Marketing, Trademarks and Public Relations. This is the 2nd part, in which we are discussing brands and how important they are in today’s world.
When was the last time you had a Coke? Maybe you prefer Pepsi? I’m sure you’ve tasted them both, and then you decided to stick with one of them. You may even go for Virgin Cola, Afri Cola, RC Cola, or another one (the list goes on). The point is, from the variety of given choices, on what do you base your decision which one to purchase?
You could say it’s the taste. Granted, Coca-Cola tastes slightly different than Pepsi Cola. But what if I tell you that it’s not only the taste that makes your choice, but the brand and their marketing?
Now you say, “no, you’re wrong. It is the taste I’m going for, not the brand. I’m in marketing or advertising myself and I don’t fall for brands” - ok, I’ll give you that. You already know that the values consumers connect with a product are the results of marketing efforts. And because you’re in the field yourself, you’re not falling for it.
I say, let’s move away from Cola for a second and look at table waters. Do you like Evian? Read on…
The Magenta Lessons were born from the current trademark battle between the tech blog Engadget Mobile and the telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom on behalf of their brand T-Mobile. Click here to read up on this truly exciting clash that may or may not have been an elaborate April fools joke - or a cooperative PR gag by the involved parties.
The Magenta Lessons consist of four installments: Design and Colors, Marketing, Trademarks and Public Relations. Today, we will use these real-life happenings to discuss the role of design - more precisely: color - in branding:
Welcome to the first part of the Magenta Lessons.
Imagine life without color. What would it be like to live in such a world? What if the sky wasn’t blue, but white? Imagine the grass not being green - picture it grey! And now, imagine T-Mobile being black. Read on…
An interesting battle is going on between a popular technology blog and a major telecommunications company as I am writing this post. In the spotlight: a questionable letter, a vast outcry in the blogosphere and the overall question if a company has the right to protect a color. This color: Magenta
Before we take a look at the relevance of these happenings for us designers, let me sum up the events so far.
Deutsche Telekom AG (with the subsidiaries T-Mobile and T-Online, among others) asks Weblogs, Inc. (an AOL Time Warner company, runs around 90 blogs, including engadget.com and engadgetmobile.com) to kindly
…replace the color magenta in the Engadget Mobile logo and discontinue using the color in a trademark-specific way…
That was earlier last week.
Engadget’s reaction to the letter is to publish it in its beautiful completeness on their blog. Here it is: Read on…