Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The new ideasonideas

The new ideasonideas
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Ta-da! Welcome to the redesigned ideasonideas! The new “look” represents both a change in direction and a bit of a revised mandate. I’d like to talk about the future of this blog, our reasons for change, and the compelling new content we’re working to deliver.

Two years, 52 long posts, and some good dialogue

When we started this blog a couple of years ago now, we wrestled with where we wanted to take the effort. As you may remember, at that point “blog” had entered common language to the point at which the word made an appearance in every conversation approximately 36 trillion times. (Ah, yes… the good old days.) In our minds, we wanted to stay narrow and generate some truly useful content.

As a result, we posted long articles centered on design. We had no interest in aggregating content and re-serving  it; instead, we concentrated on new content. Sometimes readers were upset by the opinions presented, and at other times we found our thoughts well received. It really didn’t matter to us, so long as the posts introduced something new and spurred some kind of dialogue.

But of course, we’re all in flux, and smashLAB is hardly any different. As much as we’ve loved writing our most recent posts, we’ve felt as though we could push things a little further. With that said, I’ll take a few moments to introduce the new ideasonideas!

A new visual direction

In telling friends that the “application” theme of ideasonideas was on the chopping block, a number of people asked if that was really wise. Some have noted that it was like an inside nod that made them smile. My feeling, however, is that while that approach illustrated where the blog started, it wasn’t particularly representative of where we want to take it.

Our new treatments are more “news-like” in presentation as we wanted to focus more on the content than novel visual treatments. Additionally, we’ve made some modifications to type size and contrast, to enhance readability. (We have been listening to your feedback!)

Given the number of posts, we’ve made an Index of Articles available. We’ve also added a section for Fresh, so if you have something helpful to share with readers, you can email it to me at If it’s relevant and good, I’ll post it here. We’ve also allocated a small amount of space for advertisements. Who knows? Perhaps all of this writing will result in a smashLAB “beer fund”.

Oh yes, that head popping out of the top of the screen is mine. Apologies for the glow off the top of that noggin; as many remind me, it can be quite hard on the eyes.

The important part

Of course, with my talk of hardcore design, the above would all be rhetoric, if it weren’t led by some reason for change. So, let’s talk about that…

With the new direction, ideasonideas broadens its scope to look at ideas and design in a larger context. Where our past look reflected a focus on designers’ practice, we’re now pushing this blog to have greater relevance. We’re hoping that an increasing number of marketers, advertisers, and anyone interested in communicating will become readers.

I suppose we’re moving ideasonideas out of the studio and into the world at large. In doing so, we’ll be able to address a wider range of topics. While I believe designers will still find the blog useful, this change will make it more useful to those who contract designers, brand strategists and the like. In fact, if you like this blog, please invite your colleagues to read it. It’s a real treat to learn that people find the posts helpful, and we’d love to extend the blog’s reach.

In the months to come we’ll introduce topics around integrated campaigns, opportunities in the interactive space, the evolution of the designer, and a multitude of other discussions. I’m personally really excited by the interviews that we’ll have online shortly, including talks with Debbie Millman from Sterling Brands, Stanley Hainsworth from Starbucks, and some other ones we’ll just keep secret for the time being.

“The” blog on ideas

Our goal for this blog is to be a great resource for those who create communications and continually work to do so more effectively. With the volumes of content out there, I hope that you’ll find your time at ideasonideas helpful and worthwhile.

Our posts will remain long (as they always have been) and we’ll work to keep them relevant and on topic. Please feel free to drop a note if you have any feedback or suggestions. The first two years of this blog were rewarding for all of us at smashLAB, and we feel as though we’ve made some good friends along the way. I hope our new phase is equally fruitful!

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