Context Context Context

June 25, 2008

Requiem for a Day Off is a great (albeit a little long) example for anyone arguing that context isn’t everything — or virtually everything anyways.


Burn After Reading poster

June 19, 2008

I couldn’t help put this up; I love anything that resembles the work of the great Saul Bass, not to mention the Coen Brothers kick serious ass.

Want to be famous? It may not be so hard…

June 19, 2008

A great article, The Microfame Game, on the science of Fame 2.0. If you’ve never been or seen—you’d have to be under a pretty big rock to not have seen a bit—I recommend the show with zefrank, which was almost always brilliant and hilarious.

Logos of the World

June 19, 2008

A nice collection of logos from countries around the world, including the awesome one for the Islands of the Bahamas. Note to self: originality won’t be found in the hand-drawn/scribbled look.

2,002 Honest Fonts

June 17, 2008

The source for all your professional font requirements.

Managing Word of Mouth?

June 17, 2008

I don’t know about you guys, but I love free stuff, even in PDF format. A new book, The Word of Mouth Manual, Vol. II by Dave Balter, is available for download from the 37 Signals blog. So far it’s been an interesting read, and especially cool since the book is marketing itself employing its own subject matter, word of mouth.

A Bang and a Fizzle

June 17, 2008

Here I am, nearly two months after starting this blog, and I’m just now adding a second post. Shameful, I know, especially considering well accepted rules for effective blogging make a point of being sure to update a couple times a week—I know I expect that from the blogs I frequent. So what’s my excuse? Have I been incredibly busy breeding Dalmatian Mice? Perhaps creating the latest art movement? Or maybe discovering the secrets of advanced astrophysics? Nope. I’ve been waiting.

Waiting for that brilliant idea that’s going to shatter current trends and make everyone think, “If only I had thought of that.” Well, it apparently isn’t coming soon enough. So, I’m going to pledge to myself, as well as anyone (anyone?) reading this, to relax a little and not be so concerned with appearing to be the smartest man alive. Beyond expressing my own opinions, I’ve decided I see and read too much good material to not pass at least some selective bits on. With that in mind, I’ve added two sections, “Original Content” and “Of Interest”, which I figure are self-explanitory.

Hopefully someone finds my thoughts as interesting as I do.

I’m Designer, You’re Client

April 23, 2008

The other day, a new client came in with what at first appeared to be a relatively simple project that offered the chance to produce something nice — certainly a chance to improve upon the existing piece. Given the simple instructions to “update” and maintain the existing character, my coworker proceeded to do the layout in a clean and functional manner, cleaning some things up but still retaining much of the previous style. Nearly half a dozen proofs later and my coworker was now angrily clicking buttons, cursing under every second breath trying to rid herself of the job. “This certainly won’t have our name on it” was a position we all firmly held. The client was quite happy — jovial one could say. I’m sure my bosses and colleague managed polite smiles.

I thankfully had the advantage of being outside and completely uninvolved with the project. Like a crowd around a car wreck, I couldn’t help but watch in shock and amazement. It was a perfect example of the dreaded client-driven design a college professor had warned of: “You don’t ever want to be just a pair of hands.” It all seemed so easy in the idealistic environment of the classroom, but how does one really create the designer/client balance — or boundaries — in the real-life situation of dealing with clients’ requirements and ideas?

Working in a small firm of four designers, a copywriter, and a part-time receptionist, as well as freelancing when I can, I’ve often pondered how one might, where required, gently remind the client of the $30,000+ that was invested in the knowledge that we’re hired for but often gets completely ignored. Of course not every battle can be won, but does this field simply require a temperament for holding the reigns on a ghastly monster with no control? Certainly there are designers out there that are hired for what they can do, and not what software they can operate. How do you make both quality work and quality relationships with clients? How do you have the client involved, but not too involved? Are there particular methods you use? Or perhaps you have a staff person dedicated to client relations? Or a book I haven’t heard of? Personally, I’ve been considering getting t-shirts that say “I’m Designer” and “You’re Client” and handing them out respectively.