Harold MacIsaac

Just an illustrative designer trying to unite the world through art and design

About

Hailing from a small town in Eastern Canada, I am a multidisciplinary designer with a strong focus in print, typeface and motion design. In addition, my initial background stems from the fine arts. Due to this, my creative voice is greatly rooted in integrating an energetic and illustrative feel into everything I create.

How would you describe your design style?

A twisted mix of comic art, modernism and illustration,

What was the most intense deadline you’ve had to make?

Definitely my workshop project. So many sleepless nights accompanied the months leading up to that submission.

Other than design, what creative fields interest you most?

I’ve always been impressed by the work of conceptual artists working in film. It always amazes me to see the process of bringing things to life with pencil and paper and translating it to a fully functioning form on screen.

If you could learn any new skill or talent, what would it be?

I would love to learn martial arts, having grown up watching the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen.

Design Interests

Editorial and Book Design
Branding and Identity Design
Typography
Motion Design

Unboxing Branding Designs

Introduction

We live in a world where users buy products not always because they are the best, healthiest or most cost effective, it’s because of the brand itself. Marketing is everywhere; it constantly plants into our minds what it wants us to interpret as good and bad. We buy Doritos over No Name because we are convinced it is the better option. Essentially, we take it at face value.

Back in 2010, designer Mehmet Gözetlik did a study in called Minimalist effect in the maximalist market in which he studied the complexity of branding and packaging designs. The intent was to see if brands still worked when stripped down to their most basic of core elements, or if the extra content was even necessary at all. It appears to be very popular on the internet even today.

This is an intriguing thought but seems like an incomplete view. Brand designs, for the most part, are the way they are for a reason. They can be comparable to that of a children’s storybook. In both cases, simple and direct visuals are used in conjunction with few words to build a visual association between the two.

Question

The big why of this project is Why are products designed the way they are? This leads into several other why’s about design choices, such as:

  • Why the logo?
  • Why those colours or typeface?
  • Does the hierarchy work?
  • What feeling does that overall brand’s design speak to the consumer (you)?


These are just some of the things that are asked here.

Solution

Through the gathering of research data on the respective histories of some select brands and comparing them to their current identities, my hope was to help shed some light on why brands look like they do. To accomplish this, I began collecting data on various brands (including Pepsi, Kleenex and Tim Hortons, to name a few), looking in particular at the reasons surrounding their origins and their targeted market. This collectively helped to paint a picture as to the corporate identity each brand was going for at the time of their inception.

From here, I recreated visuals of each brand’s current identities, dissecting design aspects of each before presenting the collective final visual. Together with the historical research, the brands study was collected into a reference book to be used in classrooms and libraries for future designers interested in branding. The point is to bridge the gap between the designers/company that creates the products and the consumer’s market in regards to the reason they made the brand look the way it does.

Intent

One of the creative decisions I made when designing this book was that the area on the dissection of the current brands would NOT directly explain to the reader the decision behind the various aspects of the branding. Rather, I opted to present each part with design-related questions that would get the reader thinking and help them to deduce the answer on their own. I felt this approach would offer the reader more opportunity to grow and learn in their understanding branding designs.

See more of my work at the graduate showcase