Designing uniform structures for subsidiaries

So I just read this interesting article from Stephane Thomas, who analyzed, critiqued and attempted to create structural wireframe websites for subsidiary companies of Automattic.

Automattic is a company founded by the creator of WordPress and is a host to multiple websites, that are similar in service. His critique is that all subsidiaries have a different structure to their information, aesthetic and usability. What he proposes is that similarities of each website must be recognized before any designing is to be had. Once the information has been gathered, then one can go about creating layouts that all follow a standardized look, function, tone and feel. Then he took a few of the websites and tried to put them in some sort of united form. At the end of his test, he conceded that to reduce all information into simplest terms was extremely difficult. He did not, however, say that it’s impossible, but keeping information accessibility seamless through multiple websites is a complex task.

Overall, I never really considered the way information is compiled so that it is fitting across the board from parent company to its daughter companies. To reduce and organize only the key information so that all companies have a consistent and seamless flow, is beyond my scope. I do, however, see the usefulness is designing a uniform structure because it’ll allow accessibility and mobility in and amongst these websites a lot easier and friendlier.

Big brands reduced in minimalist package redesign exercise

I found a website that has set out to minimize, or deconstruct, popular logos to a more basic and simplistic form. It was a design exercise in reducing the visual noise found in some modern logo aesthetics. By visual noise, I mean the amount of design elements compounded together. I think it is an interesting exercise to practice because it forces critical analysis and selection of necessary elements to be added or subtracted from the current design. Of course, it would be a sterile and stagnate world if everything was designed to the lowest common denominator, but it’s a cool pair of shades when everything is glaring to the point of blindness. These simplified logos, in my opinion, even though this was just an exercise, proved that logos don’t need all the bells and whistles to be successful. One real life example of this can be found with the Starbucks and Apple logo. Please visit this site for all minimalist design exploration images.