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The Classic California Designer
It's the worst of times for some businesses but it may be the best of times for Barry Malone, a quiet giant in the advertising/branding business where notoriety tends to speak louder than proven quality. An industry where awards too often are given to brands that fail to connect with the public.
Brand designer Barry Malone never had to don a gorilla suit or drop F bombs to get a write-up in Adweek or Communication Arts Magazine.
At a time when every marketing dollar counts and businesses need solid reliable results, yet still expect excellence, this Irvine/Newport Beach-based designer is a shiny needle in a haystack.
He is that designer rarity who embodies the Golden age of California graphic design heritage and the transition from paste-up to Photoshop and art board to Apple's Mac.
Malone was there when doodling and thumbnail sketches allowed the brain to fully play out design concepts and before "computer jockeys" started flashing out quickie work confined to the latest program upgrade machinations.
As the tools have changed, design cognoscenti debate the notion computer programming will ever surpass the most brilliant and original human brain and hands-on design experience.
Malone, a talented Art Center College of Design honors graduate, has the advantage of brain-to-hand conceptual experience integrated with a mastery of every technical tool available for superb multi-dimensional work, including print, web design and identity development.
He started out with his brain, rather than a computer, being his most valuable tool. It still is. Malone's savvy clients understand there are no software upgrades or new hardware capable of producing what sparks Malone's imagination and inspires realistic business solutions.
His mind, Exacto-blade sharp, is the reason Malone's ads, identities and complete branding projects have always spoken for themselves with word-of-mouth referrals chatting up the next potential client.
A right and left-brain creature, Malone has the rare capacity to interpret psychographics, strategize, under-stand industry cycles along with an eclectic absorption of news and cultural observations. Those abilities don't always go hand-in-hand with creative talent.
This marketing sophistication has made Malone a natural sounding board for high-tech CEO's, developers and non-profit leaders. It is an invaluable dimension that always results in more effective branding, positioning strategies and design products.
Malone was fortunate to bring his talent to the leading edge of California design at all the right time.
General Motors' opened the door when Chrysler division identified his talents early on and provided a scholarship to the world-acclaimed Art Center College of Design where Malone graduated with honors.
There, Malone learned the classic basics of design in every dimensional sense along with the importance of using good judgment.
At Art Center, the young designer was saturated with California lifestyle thinking that has since attracted most of the world's automobile manufacturers to the Art Center geographic region.
He worked for a number of ad agencies in California at a time when California influence dominated new design, master-planned communities, interior design and furnishings throughout the world... It was during this time, Malone conceived and designed the revolutionary UMBO plastic line of shelving and furniture.
Later he was a major design player as California influenced the national hospitality and healthcare industries with designs to enhance the guest experience and help the patient heal. The California hotel ambiance continues to influence healthcare. Malone continues to put his branding stamp on these industries through his branding of Diamond, FabriLux and Spec-Tex hospital and healthcare fabric lines.
Rather than being trendy or gimmicky, Malone's design maturation came at a time when there was substance to innovation and real products with longevity. Short term, “hyped” trends must be avoided the minute you sense one, Malone says. "Clean and classic is where the client wants to put his dollars for the long haul."
A talented photographer in his own right and a brilliant colorist, Malone has run his own "candy store" on both coasts, finally settling in a contemporary aerie at Irvine's Newport Gateway Towers Center. The business is called Pacific Design Works, Inc.
His approach to every client solution is comprehensive. Even if the client isn't ready to adopt the entire program, every piece is designed to extend and position the brand when the time comes.
For example, the logo and colors must work on letterhead, ads, brochures, the web, TV spots, corporate video, outdoor, signage and vehicles. From the monument sign at corporate headquarters to the company bowling team uniforms, the brand must work.
Graphic designer Barry Malone is a talented brander forged with an iconic California design education. He made the transition from the art board to the most sophisticated computer programs. He was in the right place at the right time to catch wave after wave of California innovation.
Malone's knowledge of multiple industries, what works and what doesn't, is invaluable, according to clients. Some even say working with Malone is like having institutional knowledge at their fingertips.
This purpose-driven designer has lived through intense market trends from master-planned neighborhoods to mixed-use" cities" and packaged goods to retail.
In typical California style, Malone's one true love has always remained constant. Cars. Cars with seductive lines and curves and layers of paint that sparkle in the Southland sun. His personal ride is a 2004 NSX.