Good design and cattle | How About Orange

January 28, 2008

Good design and cattle

Two things dear to my heart. My family runs a dairy operation in Minnesota. I grew up ignoring piles of unattractive ag business magazines, so I'm completely dumbfounded by the new look of Dairy Today. My mom just emailed me pictures she took of the first issue, knowing I'd get a kick out of it. The redesign is by Pentagram (AKA, super famous design firm). DT certainly called in the big guns! You can see the before and after and read more about the design decisions here.

These must be cow supermodels because they're squeaky clean, don't have ear tags, and one is sporting a bridle. Work it, girls.

Update: Excuse me, that's a halter, not a bridle. Thanks, Pa. I've been in the city too long.

(Images from Pentagram)

30 comments:

Joanna Goddard said...

these covers are incredible. what adorable cows!

you might like the photography of jill greenberg -- she takes photos of monkeys, bears, babies...all very expressive.

xo

studiosmith said...

and they have that certain Super Model attitude. That's what confirmed they are pros to me.

D'Rae said...

they probably photo-shopped the ear tags out. LOL!!! Just being funny. Those cows are super cute and I like the way they did the magazine over. Very good looking!

Deana said...

The tongue in the nose - priceless!

Danyeela said...

What a great resign - I totally love with what they have developed. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

jcaroline said...

Those supermodels are something! I looked at the old version of the mag and I'm concerned about the impotent cows.

Grandma G said...

My, aren't those p-r-e-t-t-y cows with their "individual personalities"? They certainly did capture dairy cows as they really are (she said with tongue in cheek). Well, at least the tongue-up-nose is realistic! ;-)

The old cover with the dirty, mean bull... now THAT's realistic. But I guess maybe not so modern and artistic, huh? ;-)

Surely the new covers will impress dairymen everywhere, however. In what way remains to be seen. ;-)

Hey, Jess... this month's model did have an ear tag. "Tongue-Up-Nose" probably did, too, but she turned her head so you couldn't see it... she thought her tongue was a better feature.

Sorry.... I'd better quit.... but I COULD go on and on.......

Still chuckling,
DairyMum

P.S. I loved their video. :-)

P.P.S. Ummm....Caroline, those are not COWS that are impotent. ;-)

sarah said...

Well, I never thought I would comment on a cow! What a fabulous redesign - I'd almost be tempted to frame them and hang them on my wall. I have followed your blog for a few months now and love your designers eye. Thanks for showing these.

Grandma G said...

Actually, I must add that the new cover IS very nice. Definitely an eye-catcher amongst all the other farm magazines.

Mum

Mahan said...

"Work it, girls"?

I'm starting to worry about you, Jess...

Pierina said...

Hi!!! I'm so glad! I wrote to Caroline today like you said, she sent an email and I just made my order!!!! This time I choosed Green Sprig and Blue/Green Peapod. I guess I'll use them for my handmade books. Thank you so much!!

Lucky said...

this was such an interesting post - i followed your links to the pentagram site - very interesting stuff. love your site - congrats on the fabric!

paperseed.wordpress.com said...

Nice! Leave it to Pentagram to make even cows look sexy.

kathy said...

Wow! That issue was in my mail this evening (my husband is a dairy farmer, I produce websites for engineers). I noticed the different look but did not think about it. I was very surprised to see it on your blog. I will have to go downstairs and take a better look.

Jess said...

Mahan, it looks like the 3 seasons of Project Runway that I watched on DVD in the last year have affected me. Don't worry. I don't think I've ever actually said those words out loud. :)

jcaroline said...

DairyMum,
My apologies, us "town" people use the term "cow" generically for either sex. I will reform my ways to avoid being ostracized by the bovine community.

Jess said...

Yeah, you wouldn't want that! :)

Liz Ness said...

These are GREAT! I've never seen such fun in the ag business, either! Very cool.

Mahan said...

I don't really want to know what "Project: Runway" is, do I?

Unless it involves aircraft carriers. Then lay it on me. However, I somehow doubt having girls "work it" fits with that theme...

Jess said...

It's a reality show on Bravo about fashion design. The contestants have to sew things out of corn husks or design new uniforms for the USPS and such. It's fascinating. And of course, the better their model shows off the corn husk dress or what have you, the better the contestant's chance of winning the challenge.

Sorry, no aircraft carriers. :) Hee hee. Made me laugh.

LeeAnn said...

I grew up on a cattle farm and I have to stand with you on that bad farm publication designs. I noticed the impeccable looks of the heifers myself. Fancy smamchy!

Grandma G said...

Aww, Caroline... we would never ostracize you! We don't even have any ostriches here. But apologies accepted, and I appreciate your "reform". :-)

You might want to consult our son-in-law about some of the lessons he's had to learn about life 'down on the farm'. Fortunately, he's a good sport about all the grief we give him. ;-)

majasinski said...

Thanks for posting this! I LOVE your blog! I grew up on a dairy farm in MN & am also a graphic designer so I appreciate this article more than you know. I am only too familiar w/those boring covers w/the terrible type that all look the same. I'm picturing this landing on the kitchen table of dairy farmers everywhere - look how mod they've become! Keep up the great blog!

Katie said...

What a difference between the old and the new. I love the movie of the photoshoot, and the future covergirls look fantastic (I grew up on a beef cattle farm, so I'm completely amazed by how good the cows look).

TB said...

It's a great idea, in theory; the cows' heads make a cute, clean design. But the truth is, dairy farmers, obviously, see cows all the time, and even a general readership will quickly grow weary of looking at perfectly non-descript cows on every cover. Seeing a cow's head is not going to make a farmer put off work for a few moments and pick up the magazine. On the other hand, a photo that promises he or she will learn something about becoming a more efficient, productive, and profitable dairy producer will. I wonder how much research Pentagram performed on Dairy Today's readership. Did they really say, "We want to see lots of cow portraits!"?

technicolorsarah said...

That is one good looking dairy magazine!

Creature of Habit said...

Great redesign.

Maybe it's just me, but I would totally pick it up at Whole Foods and shove it in my cart thinking I was going to read about artisanal cheese or something! Lol.....

Jess said...

tb: Nice analysis. I wonder all of that, too. This might be a case of cool design that doesn't work in the real world. Like movies that are critically acclaimed but flop at the box office. Interesting.

Rachel Wood said...

Hey Jessica! Im a new reader to your blog (found ya about a week ago and Im lovin it! Anyway, it was funny i stumbled across this post because I'm a photographer in Austin, Texas and i worked with Randal Ford on one of these photoshoots! Check out RandalFord.com for those cows and some other funny animals :) Oh! and look for the rattlesnake portrait - that shoot was crazy! We had over 100 live rattlesnakes on set! Keep up the blogging, i love it!
-Rachel Wood

Jess said...

Rachel, no way! That's so interesting! Thanks for saying hello!

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