thoughts on colour

congratulations to all of the winners at the recently held ‘european design awards’ in rotterdam last week, the dutch winners were once again numerous and generally well deserved…

however when i saw this bronze winning design (shown above & at the top), a corporate identity for a higher education school ‘NHL’ by design agency ‘koeweiden postma’ it rang a few bells somehow… now this may not sound very kind, but am i the only one who feels that there is a very, very strong similarity between this identity (conceptualy & physically) and the renowned identity for porto’s ‘casa da musica’ by sagmeister inc.? (shown here above & below)

both use the characteristic architecture as a basis for a series of crystal-like forms which are then implemented by colouring the facets using a variety of colourways for the various sub-divisions, typographically they are very different and the execution is admittedly not the same… but the majority of the thinking behind both schemes appears to me to be identical, but as a i say i may be wrong, perhaps somebody would care to comment? you can see the first one here and sagmeister’s one here (it isn’t apparently even on his own website currently)

as i said your views are welcome, please click (on the title of this post) to leave your thoughts on this subject…

m / 02-06-2010 22:22 - tags: , ,  


  1. De shirts and the example of the grid are a bit the same, but the rest doesn’t look too similar to me.
    The overall feel is also very different, much more pleasing, less pleasing than the sagmeister work.

    Alles is al gedaan ; )

    comment by rolf — 03-06-2010

  2. There are so many people in the world; every idea/basis I can have is likely to be thought by another person. An idea is seldom unique.

    comment by Taco Jan Osinga — 04-06-2010

  3. Strange similarities indeed. Perhaps designs-accident-like this occur more and more because designers are fishing in the same (and therefore more and more homogenic) inspiration pond. And while one can always be inspired by The Gods (eg ‘The Sag’ or whoever you think has most authenticity for you) i do think that when there’s the slightest chance of rumors and accusations flying around, the only option is to choose a (completely) different concept/direction. Right now, an award has been given and great minds erh… still seem to think very much alike ;)

    comment by vos — 05-06-2010

  4. thanks for the comments guys… rolf that last line (everything has already been done) bit of a conversation killer that one… you mean it doesn’t matter that it’s the same? or just that originality doesn’t exsist? i agree to a point but when it comes to awarding prizes for innovation…

    taco jan, not very clear where you’re heading, you agree or you think it doesn’t matter? again i feel that it does matter when it comes to awarding prizes for innovation in design personally

    vos, thanks for the reaction also, i believe we have similar views on this one, who knows maybe it is just great minds thinking alike, still it boils down to the same, that isn’t prize winning innovation…

    to be clear i am not trying to attack the designers involved because i am jealous or do not like them, in fact it’s quite the opposite… i admire their work a lot and always have, but… that’s precisely the reason that in this case i felt i should comment, uncomfortably similar work and a european design prize as a conclusion… anyone else have a view on this?

    comment by m — 05-06-2010

  5. Of course it matters to be original, but as looking is stealing it’s hard to make stuff that never has been done. In webdesign a lot of stuff gets re-used (like the Apple style interfaces) to make stuff more coherent and recognizable: “this is a button, click it”. Next to that it is seen as decent design.

    Maybe the same is happening in graphic design? Standardization because all the designers and clients are reading the same books and blogs?

    comment by Rolf — 10-06-2010

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