Tacos by design? tacobell.design!

The “about” page on the fabulously bright new tacobell.design site

The “about” page on the fabulously bright new tacobell.design site

Taco Tuesday? Why wait?! Finding tacobell.design today, Friday, is like divine intervention. Yes, yes, I will spend some time this afternoon looking at glossy Mexican food photos and dreaming of Miami.

The new site, tacobell.design, is unabashedly fun. It makes me think of Miami because the bright, tropical color scheme on the “about” page is beyond captivating. While there are now many brand names using .design sites to show off their design department, I can’t think of another example where I imagine the entire department working out of the corner booth surrounded by margaritas. They look fun, cool, and creative. Wait, do they serve margaritas at Taco Bell?

Taco Bell Design’s Instagram feed as integrated on the tacobell.design site

Taco Bell Design’s Instagram feed as integrated on the tacobell.design site

The strategy beyond the site is probably supposed to be fun too! Don’t forget that this is a trail-blazing brand that is famous for its social presence and its marketing campaigns. It is also the only .design brand site that I can think of that calls out its Instagram presence in a major way (most other .design brands link to Twitter, which now that I think of it, isn’t a good match since Instagram is a far more creative, graphic, and engaging medium especially for the target audience, designers).

The site looks simple at first glance, but clearly professional. Besides the amazing, personal photography of the design team members, the integrated Instagram feed shows off curated and casual shots alike, but even the latter are effortlessly stylized. Stop bad-mouthing millennials, they make this professional, creative branding look easy.

Still from the “2016 Rebrand” case study on tacobell.design

Still from the “2016 Rebrand” case study on tacobell.design

However, digging beyond the three main pages of the site (“Work”, “Play”, “About”), we see that the Work page is actually very in depth. Each tile image opens up an entire case-study of the initiative. We can click to open up a break-down of the 2016 rebrand effort, individual marketing campaigns, their Instagram strategy, and more. It’s the type of thorough branding and studied, creative dedication that many aspiring designers dream of. I have to assume that this new venue allows them to enter the field of brands looking to compete for and recruit top design talent by showing off their work. Still, in a typically impressive way, Taco Bell manages to make it all look so fun and free-wheeling. They’ll let facebook.design and uber.design compete for the same talent and instead focus on finding the “weirdos and rebels,” as they call themselves.

indeed.design - a hiring manifesto

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 2.38.15 PM.png

If there was any company that shouldn’t need help hiring, it would be Indeed, the operator of the popular job site indeed.com. They claim to be the #1 job site in the world, with 200M unique monthly visitors. We know from experience that they do a good job sending traffic and talent to open job postings.

Still, even Indeed is competing for top-talent. As we’ve documented frequently on our blog, many of the top tech companies are all competing for the same designers. So even though Facebook, Uber, Amazon and Indeed may all have very different businesses, they are interested in the same possible applicants. All of them have content marketing and recruiting sites aimed at designers on their .design name, including indeed.design.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 2.38.46 PM.png

While the site does not feature the same robust content as other .design sites, such as the video content on amazon.design, or the depth of content found on facebook.design, it is a clear design-first manifesto. A quote from  Indeed President, Chris Hyams, seems to underscore that, while the company did not start out at a design-led company, that their design-centric strategy has reoriented the business and “there is no going back.”


They go on to list out how the design team is changing and leading the company:

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 2.43.38 PM.png


So while the site may be sparse they have good reason. The site basically says, “we’re busy building. Come join us.” So they are effectively able to jump into the competition against sites like facebook.design, airbnb.design and others without dedicating the same amount of content resources. They know a hiring and recruiting trend when they see one and so Indeed jumped on at the right time and in their own way. We’re excited to see the public releases of what these new design teams are working on at Indeed.

adobe.design In Their Own Words

While we’ve been celebrating the launches of many amazing .design sites by household brands (NBD, just facebook.design, airbnb.design, amazon.design, and over a dozen others), this one is really special: adobe.design!

That’s because Adobe is the preeminent design company, perhaps they are not as well-known (yet) for their actual design work like Airbnb is, but they are the creators of the software that designers use and live with. In fact, the adobe.design site is clearly an attempt to make them more relevant for their internal design and their customer-facing design rather than just their software. The launch of adobe.design is a fantastic sign that .design is reaching all types of people and companies, and it will be a means to bring together the design community for a long time.

Rather than put my own spin on it, I’d rather highlight the words of Adobe’s VP of Design, Jamie Myrold, on her her inaugural post to adobe.design:

In all of [our] efforts, it’s designers who are illuminating the path forward. That’s because more than ever, all of us at Adobe know that we’re creating software for a world where design is valued at every level, in every detail. This conviction about the essential nature of design is what makes this the most exciting time to work at Adobe in my many years here.

This is why, for the first time ever, the design team has put forward a public presence in the form of this website, adobe.design. I hope you’ll take a moment to look and around to see for yourself some of what we’re doing and also what we’re thinking as we undertake the challenges facing the design profession in the coming years.

And if you’re excited by what you see, about the possibilities inherent in creating tools that amplify the world’s ability to create and communicate, then let’s talk! Adobe Design is growing and we have a wide range of open roles for designers like yourself who want to take part in a truly amazing, design-led transformation.

Mozilla.design, creating brand consistency with .design

Don’t allow me to tell you why Mozilla’s design team launched mozilla.design, complete with downloadable brand assets and full guidelines, just see what they say right there on mozilla.design:

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 11.49.52 AM.png

Their reasons are clearly practical: by ensuring that the world has access to their logos, colors, type and accepted brand treatment, they are creating a consistent brand message even when the referential work is being created outside of Mozilla. They know their partners, applicants, and even designers may be tempted to Google image search for the most recent logo. We’ve all done it. We’ve all searched for someone else’s corporate logo to include in a slide deck or internal presentation. Mozilla, and the dozens of other companies using .design to share their design and brand assets, know that there is no point trying to lock down brand usage by withholding content. The only way to create a consistent brand is to make your assets available and ubiquitious.

This, of course, builds on their overall mission statement and company culture. They introduce mozilla.design by stating:

Mozilla is the champion for a healthy internet, one that is open and accessible for all, both technologically and culturally.

Working with such a lofty and general mission statement is only realized via the people and departments within that company. Thus, for a design department to be a part of a company and mission that is “open and accessible for all,” means that they would naturally build out a repository of all the brand assets anyone inside or outside of the company would need.

The mozilla.design site addresses Logo, Brand Application, Visual Elements, Color and Typography, and ties these design elements all back to the company’s history, its mission, and its growth.  It’s the type of big picture lens that defines design-led companies and ensures that a corporate mission isn’t just a phrase, but a way of doing work.