Decoding Design

Design, logo design, and how universal shapes and the meaning of numbers relate to logo design. More . . .

The other night I attended a talk at a local bookstore by Maggie Macnab, an artist, designer, and teacher from the Albuquerque area. Her topic was decoding design and was advertised to be about universal design principles. Sounded good to me, and it was definitely something I could stand to learn more about. Her book is called Decoding Design.

get this book at

I bought her book before the talk and was ready to be enlightened. She talked about logo design for 30 minutes or so. Macnab uses universal shapes and numbers to explain the power of logos. She explained why the Obama logo is so powerful, which I found very interesting.

Here’s a video I found on her web site that explains some of the principles she talked about at the bookstore.

Being design-disabled myself, I knew this information would help me. Even before I’d read the book, I was glad I bought it.

Fast forward to the next morning. I wake up and check on another event I want to attend, the kick off meeting of the Webuquerque group, a subset of the Albuquerque Adobe User Group. I take one look at the Webuquerque logo and realized how perfect it is. (It was created by Jason Nakai.)

Webuquerque Logo It should be known that I’ve never had a design insight into a logo before, so this was a big ah-ha for me.

The Webuquerque logo uses what Macnab called “branching” design, based on the number 5. The branching design implies movement of information, knowledge, communication, people, events, or other types of energetic transference. Which is exactly what the Webuquerque group is all about: moving information from one person to another.

Now I’m off to read the book and see what other design insights I can find. Would it be too much to expect for me to develop a sense of design from reading the book? We can hope.

Leave a Reply