The ENGINE Blog

See the Before & After -- New Drupal Site for Westlake Laboratories

Drupal proved to be a good fit for Ohio’s Westlake Laboratories — mainly so they could take advantage of its extensibility and tremendous Ubercart E-commerce module.

This also meant de-GeoCitying their cluttered and broken look in favor of a minimal custom Drupal theme. The new design flexes to fit the user’s setup, unlike the old design in which page elements rearrange themselves at will and just get crunk all over:

Michael Jordan Would Defuse Those Bombs Like They Were Ehlo in '89 [Three Best Things 3/1/10 - 3/7/10]

  • Thing: My Best Worst Friend from Free Darko. A regular Joey, so regular he runs a Blogspot blog, somehow stumbled into a years-long friendship with THE Michael Jordan (THE THE Michael Jordan). Post reconfirms Mike-iavelli’s endearing insanity and kind of makes me hope I never accidentally cross MJ’s path.
  • Thing: How Not to Depict a War from the New York Times Lens blog. The Hurt Locker: a deserving Best Picture nom that’s well-directed, -written, and -performed. But true to life? Its reception has been a case of mistaking grittiness for authenticity; seriously, a bomb squad wanders onto some rifles and then downloads sniping mastery from the Matrix, or so it seems? It’s pretty much a literate Call of Duty, or Rambo in Apocalypse Now skins. And the idea that it’s an anti-war movie is MOOTED by the movie’s final scene. In the Times essay, American soliders in Iraq remotely detonate the movie’s bona fides. So to speak.
  • Thing: The making of the new OK Go video from Make Magazine. In case you’ve been living under a rock made of no internet, here’s OK Go’s new music video:

    In case you’ve been living INSIDE a rock that’s under a rock, here’s OK Go’s old music vide OH WAIT their label made it unembeddable.

Please Rob Johnny Cash's Letterhead [Five Best Things 2/22/10 - 2/28/10]

In our weekly link rundowns, I usually try to present three great links you may have missed.

But this week was strong internet.

Five.

  • For your next love letter or grocery list or PUT DOWN MY SANDWICH note, wouldn’t you like to use the actual letterhead of Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Johnny Cash, or whatever Robot Salesmen Ltd is? Thing: Letterheads of famous people
  • Most articles about How Google Works are actually about How Much The Author Likes Google. Leave it to Wired to dig into how Google’s system of algorithms, basically a machine made of robots made of math, learned that when a human types hot dog, the goal is almost certainly to see something like this, not something like this. Thing: Exclusive: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web
  • You’ve already made your mind up on how you feel about this link from Reason. Thing: Everyone Who Knows What They’re Talking About Agrees with Me
  • The way people freaked out about Napster, claiming it would end the music industry, is similar to the way people freaked out about VCRs killing the movie industry. Similarly, the way people freak out about sharing personal location information on Foursquare/Twitter is similar to the way people used to freak out about answering machines and listing wedding notices in the local newspaper. Thing: Regarding Foursquare and PleaseRobMe (SIDE NOTE that proves how NEVER SCARED we are: In all the PleaseRobMe hysteria, I up and joined Foursquare myself, and so did Ben. You ain’t a crook, son.)
  • Recently the Guardian ran a series of writing advice lists by successful writers. NY Mag distills them all into a single top ten. Thing: The Best Writing Advice of the Best Writing Advice

Also, regarding this post’s stupid, stupid title: here’s proof Johnny Cash would’ve loved Foursquare…

Three Best Things: Ivory Tower Edition [2/15/10 - 2/21/10]

It was a knockout week for articles about people who are smarter than normal people.

  • There are over 300 million people in the US — only 32 of them are annually selected to be Rhodes scholars. There are almost seven billion people on earth — only 32 of them are annually selected in the NFL Draft’s first round. What are the odds that one person could score both? Hey, I only graduated from relatively lowly Kennesaw State University, and even I can calculate that it’s SLIGHTLY RARE. Future NFL star/current Rhodes scholar Myron Rolle makes you and me and everyone we know all feel like big, big losers. Can you imagine the pressures of being Myron Rolle? Article’s most underrated moment: when we learn that Rolle, quite possibly the most smartest American pro athlete ever, enjoys the music of Plies, who looks like this.
  • Rolle’s fellow people-who-are-smarter-than-you, Ivy Leaguers Jessica Lin, Jessica Matthews, Julia Silverman, and Hemali Thakkar, have created a soccer ball that generates energy by being kicked. Fifteen minutes of play generates enough power to run a light for three hours, meaning a whole day of running/kicking can help patch the electricity gaps third-world villages have to deal with.*
  • The Atlantic’s food columnist compares Walmart’s produce with Whole Foods’, hosting a blind taste-test for 16 professional food critics. THIRD-BULLET TWIST: several critics end up “not entirely happy” to discover the produce they preferred was actually THE POPULIST PRODUCE. This changes everything! Update the class war scoreboard: Little Guy 1, Rhodes Cornerback & The Soccer Teslas… still somewhat more than 1. Ok, fine.

Ebert: common ground.

Speaking of famous intellectuals with fun jobs and a lot of money and important friends: Roger Ebert, relentless tweeter and the only movie critic known of by regular humble folk, profiled after cancer surgeries have left him unable to speak, eat, or convincingly show anger. Also, check the second-disc commentary… it’s Ebert on the article on Ebert.

*: Source site turns out to be a nonprofit’s Drupal site. For more nonprofits that use Drupal, see our list here.

A List of Branding Style Guides: Corporate, Academic and Government Brand Manual/Logo Guideline Examples

We’re about to pitch the creation of a branding style guide to one of our clients. I was putting together an example list of style guides used by well-known companies, planning to include the list in our proposal. But it seemed smarter to expand it into a gigantic list and post it here, so we can reuse it — and you can benefit from it too.

First: What’s a branding style guide? It’s a document meant to ensure an organization’s members are all on the same page as far as official logos, logo usage, colors, fonts, stationery, images, and so on go. It’s good for any organization of any size to think about what messages its print and web materials convey, and then to make sure the whole team stays on message.

Second: Why look at a brand guide made for somebody else’s company? Besides our own reasons for making this list (SEE PARAGRAPH 1), you can learn a ton about branding, design, and identity by studying the materials that guide successful brands.

ONWARD.

A Short List

Just want to see five or so decent style guides, mostly made by organizations you’ve heard of?

The Long List

ABANDON ALL HOPE OF NOT SEEING BRANDING GUIDES, YE WHO KEEP READING. I went for variety and tried to limit the rest of this list just to organizations that most people have heard of. But it’s still the longest curated list of branding style guides on the entire internet… that I know of at least.

Corporate Branding Style Guides (US-based)

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Corporate Branding Style Guides (Non-US-based)

Academic Branding Style Guides

Note: To keep the list from getting absurd, I left out all sorts of perfectly good style guides. But for this category alone, I had to exclude many dozens and dozens. Institutions of higher learning: you people really brand your faces off.

Government Branding Style Guides

Group/Nonprofit/Open-source/ASSORTED Branding Style Guides

Sports Branding Style Guides

Content Management System Branding Style Guides

BONUS BRANDING!!! BRANDING BONUS!!!

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