A List Apart


Topic: Brand Identity

Your logo is not your brand. Brand is a nexus of consumer perceptions and emotions about your company and its products. Logo design, identity design, branding, content strategy, copywriting, customer relations, and the actual quality of your product work together to create your brand. Where does the web design team fit in? Brand identity development as it relates to the web. Identity systems and brand development.

  • Crafting a Design Persona

    by Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek · Issue 421 ·

    Every product has a personality—but is yours deliberately designed? Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek shows you how Weather Underground solved its personality problems by creating a design persona, and teaches you collaborative methods for starting a personality adjustment in your company.

  • Living up to Your (Business) Ideals

    by Geoff DiMasi · Issue 396 ·

    We all want to do work that matches our values—that lets us live up to our ideals for the world. But we also want to keep the lights on, make payroll, and maybe even grow. How can we design our agencies, studios, or freelance businesses to do both? Geoff DiMasi says the answer is in establishing a vision for your work, and directly tying that vision to the way you evaluate prospective clients and projects—and he’s here to help you get started.

  • Open for Business

    by Laura Kalbag ·

    The web is a record of all you share (and over-share). So why would you risk looking less than perfect right where potential clients will be getting to know you? Because it’s also the best way to show them how honest, hardworking, and reliable you are—and helps you connect with people who can fill in gaps in your knowledge and sympathize with your ups and downs. So how do you find the right level of openness that can actually help your business?

  • Defining a Vision: Making Sure Your Work Matters

    by Russ Starke · Issue 380 ·

    When an architect designs a structure, he or she can be fairly sure the work will endure for decades, maybe even centuries. Here on the web, we’re not so lucky. Knowing how temporary digital creations can be, how can we ensure our work matters? By defining the organization's vision. This isn’t just about solidifying a mission statement, though. Russ Starke shows you how to help organizations create a detailed story of their future success—and how that story can serve as a compass for both the company and its customers.

  • Material Honesty on the Web

    by Kevin Goldman · Issue 372 ·

    Material honesty—the idea that a substance should be itself, rather than mimic something else—has guided everyone from Ruskin to Charles and Ray Eames. How might material honesty apply to our immaterial (digital) projects? What light might its principles shed on such aesthetic debates as flat versus skeumorphic web design? And how might a materially honest approach change how we conceive and sell our projects? Kevin Goldman forecasts increased longevity for our work and even our careers if we apply the principles of material honesty to our digital world.

  • W3C is Getting Some Work Done

    by The W3C ·

    In 2014, W3C turns 20. In web years that's something like 200. We last redesigned the W3C homepage and other top pages in 2008 to provide more content, clearer navigation, and other conventions of site design. But a lot has changed in five years, and we want to revamp the site in time for our twentieth birthday.

  • Personality in Design

    by Aarron Walter · Issue 337 ·

    Personality is the mysterious force that attracts us to certain people and repels us from others. Because personality greatly influences our decision-making process, it can be a powerful tool in design. In an exclusive excerpt from his spanking new book Designing For Emotion, Aarron Walter shows us how to create a strong human connection in human-computer interaction by turning our design interactions into conversations, imbuing mechanical "interactions" with distinctively human elements, and using design and language techniques to craft a living personality for your website.

  • Human-to-Human Design

    by Sharon Lee · Issue 240 ·

    Help your audience fall in love with you by moving beyond human-to-computer interfaces and embracing human-to-human design.

  • A List Apart 4.0

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 201 ·

    From the crown of its cranium to the tips of its Ruby-slippered toes, A List Apart 4.0 is both old and new.

  • Your About Page Is a Robot

    by Erin Kissane · Issue 222 ·

    Everyone has one. No one likes to talk about it. No, not that. It's your About page, and it needs a little love. ALA's Erin Kissane guides you through a beautiful journey of self-discovery.

  • Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign

    by Cameron Moll · Issue 206 ·

    The difference between redesigns that make you look busy and give your stakeholders something else to argue about, and strategic overhauls that reposition your brand and help you set and reach business goals.

  • A Case for Web Storytelling

    by Curt Cloninger · Issue 92 ·

    In our attention to style and technology, we often overlook a vital element in the web design mix: narrative voice.

  • The Bathing Ape Has No Clothes (and other notes on the distinction between style and design)

    by Adam Greenfield · Issue 129 ·

    Why has the level of discussion in “design forums” degenerated so quickly? Maybe because they’re not populated by “designers.” Greenfield explains the difference between Stylists and Designers—and why that difference matters so much.

  • Evolving Client Content

    by Steven Garrity · Issue 120 ·

    Content management systems are only as good as the content they manage. Garrity explores the care and feeding of low-budget clients who need high-quality content.

  • Beyond Usability and Design: The Narrative Web

    by Mark Bernstein · Issue 106 ·

    Crafting a narrative web: To succeed profoundly, Bernstein says, websites must go beyond usability and design, deeply engaging readers by turning their journeys through the site into rich, memorable, narrative experiences.

  • Why Are You Here?

    by Scott Jason Cohen · Issue 72 ·

    Whether we’re designing experimental sites or keeping an online diary, we go to the web in search of meaning. Will we find it? Or will we build it ourselves?

  • Fame Fatale

    by Rich Robinson · Issue 72 ·

    When did weblogs stop filtering the web and begin cluttering it instead? Rich Robinson on digital glut and creative solutions.

  • Language: The Ultimate User Interface

    by Julia Hayden · Issue 59 ·

    Words. Language. Meaning. They’re a nutritious part of your complete website. So why do so many webmakers treat language like an afterthought? Julia Hayden explores ways to make words work.

  • Art Direction and the Web

    by Stephen Hay · Issue 180 ·

    If design lives in the details, art direction’s turf is the Big Idea. Stephen Hay introduces the principles and techniques of the art director, and shows how art directional concepts can shape memorable user experiences.