April 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

PhD Worthy, Technically Speaking

Michael Hodgson
When Michael Hodgson, Principal of the Santa Monica design firm, Ph.D, decided to redesign his website he wanted something different. A point of difference that he says is now catching on.

“Everyone wants the same thing — a site that makes them stand out from the crowd … people get bored going to a site and seeing the same thing over and over,” says Hodgson of businesses small and large.

The company looks after an enlightened roster of clients with visual acuity, crisp thinking and, some would say, penetrating wit. Their work spans environmental graphic design, books, web, print, motion graphics, and Visual Personalities, Ph.D’s patent-pending blend of branding, logo and identity.

Companies to have enlisted their design talent include Fortune 500 companies, innovation leaders and cultural institutions such as 20th Century Fox, Border Grill, Chronicle Books, Frederick Fisher & Partners, The Getty Foundation, Herman Miller, liveBooks, Nike, and The Rand Corporation.

The entrepreneur wanted his own company’s site to function well with easy navigation, yet remain interesting to visitors each time they returned.

“We wanted a clean look, not overly designed — an almost-not-designed design,” says Hodgson, who says his work can be described as “classic with a twist†.

He and his team focused on the content, injecting it with images and witty snip-its of what it’s like to be part of the Ph.D team working on projects like the Eames Elephant short film, the 20th Century Fox deluxe box sets of John Ford films, the Inner City Arts program, or the Princeton University Lewis Library project with world-famous architect Frank Gehry.

Hodgson is President Emeritus of AIGA Los Angeles, the professional association for design, and serves on the advisory board of the AIGA Center for Sustainable Design. He was named an AIGA Fellow in 2007. See phdla.com.

See http://www.phdla.com.

Michael’s best of the best

http://www.guardian.co.uk, http://www.independent.co.uk

Two English newspapers I read most days, which I think are really well designed especially when you consider how much information/copy they contain

http://www.gregclarke.com/swf/greg_clarke_all.html
Brilliant animated navigation

http://www.lillarogers.com
Nice use of illustration for navigation

http://www.crankbrothers.com/
Clean, simple, sexy

http://www.rapha.cc
Successful combination of great writing about cycling and e-commerce

http://www.rouleur.cc
The magazine from Rapha

http://www.jamieoliver.com
Blog as a website, I see this as very much where people are now

http://www.paulsmith.co.uk
Paul Smith: incredibly romantic and reinforces brand

http://www.apple.com
always a leader in clean

http://www.balthazarny.com
Successful continuation of their brilliant identity

http://www.stgermain.fr
Just beautiful, great drink too

BLOGS
http://www.feltandwire.com
Cool for a corporate blog

http://www.acejet170.typepad.com
Amazing content about design

Designed by Ph.D

http://www.taboohaircare.com
Fun, fresh and very up to the minute info

http://www.develop.com
Our design, successful for a site with very dry copy

http://www.williamsandhouse.com/index.html
Simple, simple, simple

http://www.forsmanphoto.com/default.htm
simple, navigation, nice to not be flash driven

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