@Issue Publisher Peter Lawrence on Good Design

A tireless advocate of good design in business, Corporate Design Foundation Chairman Peter Lawrence recently talked to Fast Company magazine about why design matters. CDF has been the publisher of @Issue: Journal of Business and Design since its inception 16 years ago.

Editor’s Confession: Branding Conundrum

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Let’s admit this upfront: atissuejournal would not have been our first choice for a domain name. Unfortunately, we couldn’t register “@Issue” and “at-issue” and “atissue” were taken.

Fourteen years ago when we were tossing around names for a journal focusing on issues that concerned both business and design, we wanted one that did not appear biased toward one point of view or the other. (I would share the rejects with you, but they are stuck on a 3 ½” disk.) Admittedly, we were short-sighted, but in our defense, the World Wide Web was just catching on at the time; most companies did not even have websites. Making the “@” sign part of our name struck us as clever and progressive. Plus it looked good as a masthead. Little did we realize that @ couldn’t be part of a domain name. You can’t even do a Google-search because everything with the word “issue” in it pops up instead.

So, in picking a Web address for our blog, we confronted the dilemma: Do we call ourselves something else and tell readers it is from the same people who brought you @Issue? In fact, it is @Issue under a different name. Or do we try to salvage the equity built up in the brand and call it atissuejournal? Obviously, you can see what we decided. Whether we made the right choice is open for debate. You all can weigh in. You can disagree and you might be right, but we are not going to change it. The print edition will forever remain @Issue. The blog domain name will be atissuejournal, and when you get to the site, the masthead will read @Issue. That’s our decision and we’re sticking with it. (sigh!)

@Issue Joins the Blogosphere

Welcome to atissuejournal.com, the online version of @Issue: Journal of Business and Design. Like the print edition of @Issue, which debuted in 1994, this blog is intended to show how design has been used effectively to raise brand identities and contribute to business success. Our hope is to spur a dialog, provide food for thought, and encourage business and design to appreciate what each brings to the creative process. We plan to keep the blog content brief and topical, leaving the printed @Issue to offer more indepth, analytical coverage.

Our intention with the blog is to post frequent updates, but bear with us while we get up to speed. Story categories may change if we find they aren’t working. This is a work-in-progress that we hope will get better with each new posting. Also, indulge us for a brief while if we pick the “low-hanging fruit” and feature case studies of projects we worked on and know first-hand.

For us, @Issue has always been a labor of love, but we can’t survive without your support. To keep the blog alive, click on us regularly, tell your friends and colleagues to visit too, share your thoughts in the Comments box, and if you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please click on “Become a Sponsor” above and email us for more information.

Come back soon. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Best,
Delphine Hirasuna
@Issue Editor