Celebrities are not traditionally the type of people who know when to leave well-enough alone, which is fine, because they’re celebrities, and for the most part it’s interesting to see them take on new endeavors and succeed (Newman’s Own) or more often than not, fail (Dogstar). Sheer, morbid curiosity when we weren’t doing anything more interesting was pretty much the extent of our involvement with the Hollywood rumor mill until we learned Jay-Z was designing the new Brooklyn Nets logo.
Restaurant ownership? Sure. Rock band? Why not. Clothing line? Obviously. Something involving the intricacies of art direction and design? … Huh?
We should have seen it coming. Jay-Z is not a businessman, [he's] a business … man, and he’s nothing if not intimately involved in the projects that have his name attached to them. But this was one endeavor that left us scratching our heads. Did you see how that logo turned out, by the way? Here it is. And here’s a great rundown of what’s emphatically wrong with it. If you thought that was the end of the celebrities-try-their-hand-at-design trend, you would be wrong.
In an interview for Spin, M.I.A. announced she was in the process of designing labels for Beck’s. According to Pitchfork, “The German beer company reached out to her during her time in India, and she sent them back some of the art she’d been working on there, to be used on a series of limited-edition labels.” Granted, a limited-edition label is different than the mark for a professional sports organization. And to be fair, we do enjoy a good artistic collaboration. For celebrities taking on design-related side-projects, though, we’re giving Drew Barrymore our vote for Most Likely to Succeed.
The Barrymore 2011 Pinot Grigio rolled out May 3 to pretty decent acclaim, thanks in part to its gold medal at Le Challenge International du Vin, France’s largest international wine competition, but also because Drew handed the reigns of her label’s design to street artist Shepard Fairey, who offered a “modern take on a vintage theme,” embodied in a Barrymore family crest (pictured above). Not bad, right? And we know a thing or two about designing for spirits (shameless plug).
So, what are your thoughts on celebrity involvement outside whatever it is that made them a celebrity? Do you applaud someone famous giving design the old college try, or do you think it should be kept to the … ahem … professionals? We’d love to hear your thoughts.