Design ethics, luxury retail, and illustrating Slack

Weekly sett: 1-5The winter winds are rattling at our office windows, so, here’s some interesting bits to read as you ignore the cold weather and snuggle closer to the fire (or heater).

Number one - Who do designers work for?

When working for clients, often the reason you are there can be blurred and it comes down to one question: who are you really designing for - their customers or the client itself? Mike Monteiro on the Adobe Blog suggests that designers should look to doctors for guidance on ways of working and take an oath to behave (and design) ethically, superseding whoever signs the paycheck.

Number two - A luxurious year in retail

While the death of the high street hits the headlines most days, some less gloomy news is in store for luxury department stores. Essential Retail takes a look at some of our favourite department stores and why they’re remaining relevant. The article also includes Fortnum & Mason, one of our clients, with a nod to our work on the website. So, of course, we love the article.

Number three - Reading in the digital age

In this digital epoch, we don’t have time for a long read. We only have time for a quick scroll, and a skim over the key points of an article before getting back to work (or back to browsing Instagram). The Guardian has highlighted that this new way of reading is having a bigger impact than we may originally have thought; changing the neuronal circuit that underlines the brain’s ability to read. With the loss of ‘deep reading’ we are at risk of losing important processes developed decades ago: internalised knowledge, analogical reasoning, perspective-taking and empathy, critical analysis, and the generation of insight. However, it also notes, it is not a case of print versus digital, but rather a case of innovation - and what is ignored and lost when it occurs.

Number four - Illustrating Slack’s identity

Slack approached Alice Lee, an independent illustrator, in 2017 about creating an illustration voice and library that would promote the brand’s warm and friendly personality. Alice has outlined how she created the illustrations that help the brand’s identity shift away from just the world of tech and incorporating warmth and character design, while also making sure to consider the practical applicable of those illustration within the Slack UI.

(You can check out the Red Badger illustrations, created by the wonderful Somang on our blog posts)

Number five - Data for days

At Red Badger, we love a good bit of data. Numbers, graphs, and diagrams are all a great way to learn more and find the useful insights that can make or break a project. Pudding is a new site which explains cultural ideas with visual essays- which means a lot of data. Our favourites include the basics of waveforms, an interactive visualisation of every line in Hamilton, and an analysis of the gender representation of 34,476 comic book characters.