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Monday
Dec112006

65. The Art of Presenting 5 - Sally Hogshead.

Christmas, for me at least, will be celebrated on December 11th every year from now on � because today is the day I posted Sally Hogshead's responses to our questions on presenting. Sally is an advertising legend, the author of Radical Careering (one of the mandatory reads to your lower right,) and perhaps one of the most inspiring people you can ever meet. She has a great site. A great blog. And the aforementioned great book. We're very lucky that she took time out to share her thoughts on the subject. Enjoy.

Friday
Dec082006

64. Good Magazine.


While I am still getting ready to post a new Art of Presentation entry (Sally Hogshead's, yay!) and finish up a few chapters of the Bottom Rung series, I wanted to post about GOOD magazine. It's a publication that is donating all of its proceeds to charity and in their words represents the merger of idealism and capitalism. Their content is well designed sure, but more importantly it looks like they will cover some issues important to all graphic designers, let alone most citizens. Be sure to check out what WK12 did for what will be an invitation every issue for a designer or group to represent the theme for that issue. Watch it here. Jelly Helm (featured in the video) was my professor at the AdCenter and is running the ad school (or is it an ad school?) at Wieden & Kennedy's headquarters in Portland. Now, a reread of Jelly's 2000 article about saving advertising is in order. As usual, it's not just design that we designers must consider.
Tuesday
Dec052006

63. Ad of the Week.


Our ad of the week comes from our friends up north at ReThink in Vancouver. (Yes, when referring to Canadians, it's required to say 'our friends' even if you don't really have any Canadian friends.) It's an ingenious idea for Orkin Pest Control that got a lot of attention on city streets. I do think the trend towards ambient advertising has become a little predictable lately - but this one makes sense since the little cards clearly show just how many bugs are crawling around the perimeter of our buildings. Eeek.

And just to keep your souls in balance during the holidays, check out this brochure from The New American Dream organization about parenting in a commercial culture. (I believe that you have to sign up. It's free and painless.)
Wednesday
Nov292006

62. The Laws of Simplicity.

I may have to add a new book to the required reading list, John Maeda's , The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life). He has a nice mini site that summarizes the book's laws, that I suggest going to. You can easily translate these tenants into your graphic design craft. Be sure to check out his three keys too. This is great stuff.

I hope this tides you over until I post a new presentation entry, a few chapters in The Bottom Rung guide, as well as a new series on what constitutes bad design.

Tuesday
Nov282006

61. New York Magazine's High Priority.

New York Magazine recently held a contest to design their High Priority feature for the year end double issue. Speak Up has posted the submissions with the winner being announced December 4th. (Yeah, I know it sorta sounds like spec work, but we'll leave that for another day.) For now, check out how other designers handled the constraints - if nothing else, it's fun to critique the work of others without having to put your own neck out there. (My personal favorites are done by Julia Townsend and Yann Legendre - even though this idea was in at least two other submissions, though executed with less craft.)

UPDATE: You can view the winner here which wasn't even in my top ten. I guess I have tired of using a major corporate logo and then changing it's meaning - must be all those stupid tshirts I saw at frat parties and emo concerts. But the runners up were great.

Monday
Nov272006

60. The Art of the Book Event in NYC.

If you can, GO - it should be great. The Art of the Book: Behind the Covers with Dave Eggers, Chip Kidd and Milton Glaser. Michael Beirut will be moderating this event held at the 92nd St. Y in NYC next Monday, December 4th. The base price is super-affordable ($18.00 All Sections), but the next price is even better ($10.00 35 and Under). Summary and link via Core77. The image below is taken from a copyrighted material page in Egger's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius just because it reminds me of how his book was packed with interesting little tidbits everywhere you looked. (Yes, you'll have to squint. Sorry.)

Tuesday
Nov212006

59. Gifts Well Designed.

One of the good things about being a designer is being able to appreciate well designed gifts. There are so many floating around that I thought I would post links to some of the best I've come across in lieu of our normal links post. Who knows? Maybe they'll make your holiday wish list in time to actually get them. (I'll probably be adding to this list shortly.)


The ECOSOL Powerstick is a universal portable charging device that's sleek, small, quite handy and the grease monkey in me loves the little fuel gauge to indicate the power left to dispense.
The Teak Personal Light by those guys who make that chair you are sitting on. This light allows you to adjust the color and the intensity of the light . I am trying not to covet this little gem.
Designer Blocks by House Industries will make you want to buy two sets. One for your child and one for your office to display next to your pantone books. At $100 a set, they are on the expensive side of the building block spectrum for sure.
The Kern Sweatshirt from Veer isn't that new, but I still haven't got one yet. I do love consistent and artfully set typography, but who doesn't?
The Space Invaders Scarf is one of a series of vintage video game art clothing designed by bits 2 die 4. Though it pains me to type out their name using numbers, these scarves are still cool.
The Hulger Cell Phone Base posted on MoCo Loco's blog would look really nice on any designer's desk. You plug your cell phone into it, allowing you to enjoy a little analog/retro design time. And it has the benefit of being more comfortable on those long 'where is this relationship going?" conversations.
The Collapsible Strainer and all the pieces by Normann-Copenhagen are so well designed that it makes buying kitchen appliances feel somewhat like buying cool electronics. Pamper your inner Kitchen geek.
The BabyKeeper is something I think I'd use a lot if I had a kid. Most likely, I'd get in trouble somehow, but that's why I should not have children.
The Micro Car Kits by Mitsuoka Motors in Japan look like they'd be a blast to build.
The Taeguk Business Card Case is a little beauty of a card holder designed by artist Young Se Kim. Everyone should have a nice card holder.
Moleskin Journals are the best and every creative should have one in their back pocket just in case.
38 Wrenches in One via the Crescent� RapidRench (again with the alternative spelling garbage!) is an awesome gift, especially if you don't have a full-size garage in your loft.
Eva Solo Teamaker is one product that can drive demand just by being well designed. I want to drink more tea just loooking at it.

And just in case you nab one of these cool gifts for a friend, make sure to give it in style: Emigre Wrapping Paper and great letterpress Cards from right here in SF.

UPDATE: Core 77 just released it's 77 design gifts under $77. Check it out.
Tuesday
Nov142006

58. The Cool. The Creative. The Strange.

Sunday
Nov122006

57. Ad of the Week.


One of my favorite collateral pieces has been translated into some great outdoor and print executions for Jeep recently by BBDO Detroit. The new four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, seen from above with all its doors open, toting sports gear, bears an uncanny resemblance to a bug. Beginning as a handout at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, the new species concept works just as well or maybe even better in outdoor. I think the broadcast executions on the idea could be better, but they're really not bad either. It's nice to see a good idea being recognized and utilized across many mediums.

Credit Writer Ty Hutchinson and Art Directors John O'Hea and Paul Szary.
Thursday
Nov092006

56. The Bottom Rung.


Oftentimes I find myself giving advice to a creative who is just starting out in the business and only recently have I thought to put that stuff down in writing so that a wider audience may benefit. And it's with that inspiration that I'm starting another series on graphicology called, The Bottom Rung - How to Begin and Foster a Creative Career. I plan on supplementing my own experiences on many subjects with those of some of the best designers, writers and art directors around.

Topics will include such things as 'How to find a good mentor and how to be a good apprentice", "What should I look for in a first job?" and "Becoming Indispensable within the studio/agency environment." We'll also tackle issues important to every designer no matter what their experience level such as: selling your work to a creative director, how to develop good relationships with clients, and becoming more meeting friendly. I'm also open to suggestions for upcoming topics, so email me if you like.

Basically, I'll just keep updating the pdf with a new chapter as they come to me or as I can get contributions from other pros. If you read the introduction, you'll get an idea of how it's going to work. I'm excited about this new venture and hope that you will be too.
Wednesday
Nov082006

55. LaLoo's Goat Milk Ice Cream.


I first came across LaLoo's in the frozen food section at Mollie Stone's (a local, higher-end grocery here in the bay area.) I was curious about goat's milk ice cream and the company's part in the slow-food movement, but was instantly drawn to the packaging (which is quite pleasing, especially when you can see all the flavors in a row. The lighter ones are yogurt.) I think the design is a great example of what you can do on a small budget; using only simple shapes, an appropriate font, and intelligent color selection to create a strong visual identity that stands out on the shelves. When working on a project with a lot of restraints, it's always nice to remember that you can still arrive at an elegant solution and I'm always on the lookout for more and more such case studies. (The longer you do this, the more you realize that there is never an excuse for uninspired work.) This isn't redesigning a national brand or anything, but you can tell the project was given just as much love from the designer.

I know the owner has an advertising and entertainment background but I am still trying to find the person responsible for this understated yet classy solution. Maybe I'll get them to talk about it here, so stay tuned.

As an aside, LaLoo's runs about $8/pint - this stuff is expensive � but where else can you get flavors like Black Mission Fig, Molasses Tipsycake (you can't believe how good this is,) Chevre Chiffon, and Chocolate Cabernet? And you can sleep at night knowing those goats are running free on 350 acres of Sonoma County, CA and probably are fed better than you are.
Monday
Nov062006

54. Monday Links.

Boy, I'm excited for the coming week as it's going to be a good one for the ol' Graphicology blog. Just wait, come back every day and I'll make it worth your while. But to tide you over until tomorrow, here's our usual grab bag of interesting links. Our crack team of surfers scour the internet 24/7 so you can more efficiently waste your time.

1. The Internets 2. An Amazing Notebook 3. Building Letters 3 4. Crazy Bug Photos 5. Vote. Then Shoot. 6. I need one of these (Now, see it in Japanese.) 7. Miss Halloween Already? 8. South African Condom Ad 9. Charts and Graphs. 10. Apollo Visuals 11. Get The Scoop on Poop 12. HIFI Literature 13. Playing Card Art 14. Cigarette Pack Art 15. Vintage Wallpaper Gallery 16. Blog of the Week: What's in Your Bag?

Tuesday
Oct312006

53. Ad of the Week.

I should have started this long ago - as I have hundreds upon hundreds of the best ads I've seen in a huge digital archive on my desktop � but here is my favorite ad campaign I've stumbled across over the last week. A fellow AdCenter alumn, Steve McElligott wrote the campaign at BBDO/NY for the BBC World News. As an aside: BBDO is benefiting from Eric Silver being the Executive Creative Director in my humble opinion and this is just one example � but what do I know?

Why it works: I love the solution because the typography isn't simply a decoration for the message - it's actually the message. They managed to convey complex ideas using no imagery, but also a strategic differentiation that the BBC is presenting only the facts and that they prefer the viewer interpret those facts how they choose. And this is all done with just a few elegantly placed, and carefully chosen words. Greatness, I tell you. (I'll be bringing this feature � focusing primarily on print � on a weekly basis just like the links of the week. Which I have neglected this week. !+#$%@!*)

Wednesday
Oct252006

52. The Art of Presenting 4 - Debbie Millman.

Let's keep this presentation series rolling; for volume 4 we have Debbie Millman sharing her perspective on the subject (click here to view.) Debbie is a Managing Partner and President of the Design Division at Sterling Brands, a board member of the National AIGA, a mentor at the High School of Art & Design and she teaches at the School of Visual Arts. She is also an author on the design blog Speak Up, a contributor to Print Magazine and she hosts a weekly internet talk show on the Voice America Business network titled Design Matters. So, yeah - she probably can help us out. Check out her Design Stories from NYC and this video when you're done. Thanks Debbie.

Tuesday
Oct242006

51. Monday's Links on Tuesday. Volume 4.

Friday
Oct202006

50. The Art of Presenting 3 � Cathy Monetti.

Continuing our series on presenting, Cathy Monetti graciously gave her thoughts on the topic. Currently she serves as President and Creative Director of RIGGS, an integrated marketing, advertising and public relations firm headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also co-founder of the national CreateAthon network, a small agency partnership that has donated more than $7 million in marketing and advertising services to nonprofits in North America in the past six years. I met Cathy awhile back and know we're lucky to have her expertise on the subject. Enjoy.

Wednesday
Oct182006

49. Sony Bravia's New Spot.

Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the new Sony Bravia TV spot is an example of how to be daring and engaging in a traditional medium. I don't know if I believe that their screens show 'colour like no other,' but I want to believe it. Some details from their site:

"Our latest TV ad - featuring massive paint explosions - took 10 days and 250 people to film. Huge quantities of paint were needed to accomplish this, which had to be delivered in 1 tonne trucks and mixed on-site by 20 people. The effect was stunning, but afterwards a major clean-up operation was required to clear away all that paint! The cleaning took 5 days and 60 people. Thankfully, the use of a special water-based paint made it easy to scrape-up once the water had evaporated."

If you haven't seen it already, check out the old Sony Bravia TV spot - which is every bit as dramatic. Both spots were done by Fallon, London. Great stuff, though I wish the soundtrack was different.

Monday
Oct162006

48. Monday Links Volume Three.

It's Monday � and what better way to start off the week than to do so slowly, coffee at your side and mouse in your hand? Some of the links are serious, some are fun, some are nonsensical, but all of them will help us be .0000000001% more interesting. (Don't worry - I won't post anything that is a YouTube video, just out of principle.)

1. Make Online 2. Design vs. Illustration 3. Kurt Halsey Frederiksen 4. Packaging Digest 5. Delocate Starbucks 6. San Francisco Center for the Book (I'm so lucky to be here.) 7. Baseball Uniform Database 8. Fail Harder Video by WK12 9. Paul Howalt Rocks 10. Mark Fenske Wisdom 11. Real Beauty / Dove Short 12. Doppelgangers 13. What the Fluff Festival

Friday
Oct132006

47. Duffy & Partners.

Have you ever realized that one agency or studio is reponsible for a lot of your favorite work? Well, Duffy & Partners is that design firm for me. They are big time - and their founder, Joe Duffy, has been around awhile now - but inevitably I'd see a package design that stood out on the shelf, or an identity system that was phenomonally executed - and be surprised that it's one of theirs. Suffice it to say, I'm no longer surprised, I just assume Duffy did it. If you are studying branding and design, you should look at the great work they do for mostly conservative clients, with real budgets and real constraints.

(Pay particular attention to Smart Start, a beautiful example of great design sense in an ugly category. Unfortunately, the newer versions have been junked up to look more like the rest of the cereal aisle...which used to be a lot nicer. Yeah, back when Trix only had four colors, um I mean flavors.)

Thursday
Oct122006

46. Shhhhhh Cards.

From the "I wish I had done that" department comes Shhhh Cards from Coudal Partners, a design and advertising agency/studio in Chicago. They don't go around telling everyone how creative they are - they keep themselves busy actually being creative. Kudos. (Have I mentioned that I really, really wish I would have done these?!?) And in case you are a cell-phone offender check out this link about cellular etiquette.