LogoLounge creator Bill Gardner teaches logo class through Lynda.com

billgardnerWICHITA — Bill Gardner of Gardner Design is also known as the logo guy thanks to LogoLounge, a website and series of books in which he’s collected more than 170,000 logos.

Now, Gardner is taking that expertise to a new level by teaching a course on symbolism within logos through Lynda.com, which offers online education videos to teach business, software and creative skills.

“It’s kind of a new role for me, this teaching thing,” says Gardner, who previously only shared what he knows with employees.

Gardner says it’s a good feeling to have others want to hear what he has to say.

“It’s nice to have that degree of relevance.”

His video came about through a contact he made while doing one of his LogoLounge books. Gardner says that person wanted him to do a Lynda video but had to have him do test videos first “to make sure that everybody else there thinks you’re as charming.”

“You really have to play this in such a way as you’re affable, informative … approachable … authoritative,” Gardner says. “You can’t come across as condescending.”

Another challenge, he says, is that he is “talking to people at all experience levels.”

Gardner says that in his video, he discusses how logos have to quickly convey information to users.

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You don’t say

“I’ll feel much more comfortable during my presentation if only half the room applauds. I’m not used to everyone in the room approving of what I do.”

Bill Gardner of Gardner Design, speaking about lessons in redesign and rebranding at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday

Duct Tape & Glitter design studio opens

WICHITA — All that glitters is not gold. Sometimes it’s duct tape.

Broadcast designer Justin McClure, who owns JustinMcClure.tv, has created Duct Tape & Glitter, a new graphic design and illustration studio.

The name is a “fun play on us being able to be reliable and multipurpose but pretty also,” says Dominic Flask, one of three people who will be running the studio.

McClure owns the studio, which is located at his Delano office at 575 W. Douglas, but Flask says he, Luke Bott and Roger Strunk will operate Duct Tape & Glitter.

“We’re our own thing, but because Justin has clients that want more than motion and graphic work, we’re also able to offer that for him,” Flask says.

Duct Tape & Glitter will have its own clients as well.

Flask says the studio will offer branding, illustration, print, interactive, packaging and mobile design.

“We can handle about anything,” he says. “We like to bring a collaborative approach.”

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Chapada Chophouse & Churrascaria to open in former west-side Ted’s Montana Grill space in mid-October

WICHITA — Tad Fugate has come a long way since July when he first told Have You Heard? of plans for a combo of American chop house and Brazilian churrascaria in the former Ted’s Montana Grill space at 21st and Tyler.

He now has a name, Chapada Chophouse & Churrascaria, a projected opening of mid-October and a revamped space.

“Nothing against Ted, but we don’t want to be Ted’s II,” Fugate says.

“The building itself is a great structure,” he says. “It was a nice canvas to start with.”

Fugate is already thinking of future Chapadas.

“We’re building it as though it can be replicated,” he says. “We’re building it from scratch. It’s our own concept.”

Fugate has worked in the steak business before when he opened Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloons in Canada.

He says he’s always wanted to be in the churrascaria business.

“It’s just a fun place to be,” he says.

General manager Chris Wilber calls it “a celebration” atmosphere.

That’s particularly the feel they’re going for in an opened and remodeled entrance area.

“It’ll feel more festive over here,” Wilber says.

Block booths have been replaced with more open U-shaped booths.

There’s a window onto the roasting area where gauchos will pick up skewers of meat to hand deliver and carve tableside.

“It’s definitely not something that’s out there,” Wilber says of other Wichita restaurants.

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Tad Fugate plans new restaurant for former west-side Ted’s Montana Grill space

WICHITA — Some alert passers-by have noticed activity at the former west-side Ted’s Montana Grill space.

Tad Fugate, in collaboration with Fugate Enterprises, is opening a new restaurant at building, which is at 21st and Tyler Road.

“It’s a brand-new restaurant concept,” he says. “It’s going to be a combo of American chop house and Brazilian churrascaria.”

Fugate has picked out a name but doesn’t want to announce it until he’s finalized a logo. Bill Gardner of Gardner Design is creating the logo.

The building will undergo extensive remodeling.

“We haven’t crystallized everything,” Fugate says.

He says to expect more details closer to the restaurant’s mid-to-late September opening.

“We’re working hard on it.”

Wichita design community resoundingly rejects new Century II logo

centuryWICHITA — They’re calling it Wichita’s own version of the Gap debacle.

Along with unveiling almost $1 million in renovations at Century II late last week, the city debuted the center’s new logo.

The Wichita design community is not impressed.

“It made the rounds pretty immediately,” says Jarrett Green of Blink Interactive. “There was just a collective sort of, what is this?”

Among the comments is that it looks like: something a child drew, a part of the female anatomy, the top of a wok, the top of a grill and a briefcase in motion.

“I like it,” says John D’Angelo, the city’s arts and cultural services manager. “I think it’s nice. You know, it helps update the image.”

He says the logo will brand Century II as a performing arts center.

D’Angelo says he doesn’t mind the critical comments.

“We’ll take both criticism and compliments and review them. Absolutely. We’re always interested.”

The city paid $1,150 to Catherine Lewis of Exchange Design, who does a lot of work for the city’s division of arts and cultural services, to create the logo under its direction.

Not everyone with the city agreed with the direction, though.

“From a pragmatic point of view, I struggle a little bit — being in the business — with a logo design of that nature,” says City Council member Jeff Longwell, who has been in the graphics business for 30 years.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder here,” Longwell says. “Some people may just absolutely fall in love with the design. There’s elements of the design I kind of like.”

There are other parts he finds less appealing, and Longwell is concerned about reproduction issues.

He says the brush stroke that has a paint brush effect is hard to reproduce on, say, a shirt. He says there would be other screen printing reproduction issues as well.

Longwell plans to share his concerns with others at City Hall this week.

Several design experts have very specific concerns about the logo.

“For a premier center . . . the logo doesn’t work well in terms of clarity nor will it reproduce very well in other applications,” says Ann Willoughby of Willoughby Design in Kansas City.

“There are a lot of practical reasons it doesn’t work. For example, I don’t think it would work well as a sign, number one. I don’t think it’s going to reverse out.”

She means it won’t look good for times when it needs to be presented with a dark background.

Also, she says, the graphic isn’t in the right proportion to the letters.

“It will not function well as a logo for all the applications that you’ll need it for.”

There are broader issues as well, designers say.

“Century II is an iconic structure, and it really deserves something bold and elegant, and we just did not achieve that,” says Sonia Greteman of Greteman Group.

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You don’t say

“I am making so much money on that.”

Bill Gardner of Gardner Design joking about his LogoLounge (a resource for logo designers), which is incorrectly listed on Internet phone directories as a bar

Gardner Design’s Bill Gardner critiques logos for Fortune online gallery of makeovers

pepsiWICHITA — Fortune magazine has a new online gallery of logo makeovers from companies like Pepsi (left), UPS and Starbucks.

Wichita’s own Bill Gardner of Gardner Design was asked to be one of the experts who critiqued the new logos.

Gardner has Logo Lounge, which includes a series of books and a Web site devoted to logos from around the world.

Gardner liked some of the designs spotlighted by Fortune, such as IBM’s, which features lines that IBM says are supposed to represent “speed and dynamism.”

“They owned the lines going through it before everyone started using lines,” Gardner told the magazine. He added that due to the logo’s simplicity and originality, “you have a hard time desiring to mess with it.”

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WSU to play by the rules

wsuWhen someone approaches Wichita State University’s Barth Hague about using the school’s logo in conjunction with something they’re producing, like a T-shirt, the associate vice president for university relations has a hard time responding.

“Well, I don’t know,” he’s been known to say. “We don’t really have any rules.”

But the university recognizes the need to establish some guidelines and rules for using the school’s name and logo. Wichita’s Gardner Design was selected to create a comprehensive visual identity system after a request for proposals. The firm will be paid $50,000.

There were 27 responses to the RFP nationally, and Hague says a lot of the proposals were great. He says WSU wanted to hire a firm that best fit its needs, so it wasn’t necessarily intent on hiring a local firm.

“But that’s what we ended up doing,” Hague says. “The fact that they’re local is great.”

WSU’s branding won’t change, but how other organizations use it will.

“Most organizations have fairly comprehensive rules that corporate communications can follow,” Hague says. “These are the rules of the road.”

He expects the new guidelines to be in place by the end of the summer.