Edinburgh Web Development

Two out of three ain't good

by Iain Wilson

13 May 2011

I attended the latest event from the excellent LongLunch in Glasgow last week and very interesting and entertaining it was.

The talk was by Hans Wolbers, one of the founders and creative director of the Amsterdam based design agency, Lava. Lava have been around since 1990 and were recently named 'European Design Agency of the Year 2010' so they've got some strong credentials.

Hans' presentation included many examples of their work and an insight into how they approach jobs to create solutions that are both innovative and useful at the same time. An example was the pixel art approach for THNK, the Amsterdam School of creative Leadership where the missing 'i' (from THINK) was used to build shapes and symbols that could then be used and re-used in graphics and type.

Hans also explained their philosophy on graphic design - 'graphic design is not art, it is storytelling' and how important they view the use of 'graphical cliches' in their work - because they are familiar, recognisable and understandable.

Their campaign against T-Mobile's attempt to trademark the colour 'magenta' was pretty funny if it wasn't so serious. Instead of CMYK colour systems, we might have been using C YK colour!

But perhaps the most entertaining part of the talk was when he explained how he dealt with the problem of clients complaining about price. He had a business card produced that had his name, occupation, then three words:


He then explained to the client that they could have any two of the three but not all three. So your could have work done that was:

Cheap and Fast, but it wouldn't be Good. Cheap and Good, but it wouldn't be Fast. Good and Fast, but it wouldn't be Cheap.

If you think about it, you can apply the technique to most businesses.

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