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This is Briefing 68: Ideas, links, and articles of interest to the design mind.
Enjoy! Chuck Green
P.S. Please check out my template collections:
The most important design and marketing questions of a generation
360 Cities presents an interesting dilemma. It is a gateway for visiting places on a map and viewing them in 360 degrees--an example of the type of virtual experience that has become increasingly prevalent in recent years.
My first question is this: As a vacationer, if you can go to a place and experience it virtually, do you need to travel there to experience it physically? "Well of course," you say. "To really experience a place, you have to be there." True--but what if, having experienced it virtually, you don't deem it significant enough to merit a physical visit? How many destinations that currently trade on mystique and discovery can survive that type of virtual scrutiny?
Now let's explode the question: Can your client's product, service, or idea survive virtual scrutiny? When it is illustrated, diagrammed, and dissected--revealed for its true self--will it continue to command the audience it commands today?
Here's an example of what I mean: I recently visited a city and had no idea where to find a good meal. A few years ago I would have found something that looked appealing and given it a shot. But now I look up restaurants on a site such as and see what people who have eaten in places nearby have to say about them. It is a helpful development for the consumer but a potentially worrisome one for the seller (especially one that relies heavily on mystique and discovery).
How does this relate to graphic design and marketing? It seems to me that our key challenge going forward will be to help clients achieve or retain significance. Not conventional significance but uber-significance--a type of honesty, clarity, style, and consistency that can survive the conclusions of those who view it through the virtual microscope.
The days when clever copy and gauzy photographs sell inferior products are numbered. The days of building brands on story alone are numbered. The days of predictable public relations are numbered. Assuming an organization can find a way to reach a prospective audience, I'm guessing the quality of its product and the honestly with which it is presented will have to be (in many cases) light years ahead of where it is in 2009.
Our success as marketers, graphic designers, copywriters, illustrators, and photographers will be wholly dependent on our ability to help clients re-invent and re-brand themselves--to help them see the world from all 360 degrees.
Another amazing example of 360 technology...
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The 360 Cities home page...
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Meet illustrator and designer John Solimine
John Solimine is Spike Press. Spike Press is John Solimine. Seems as if everyone has recognized him in the last couple of years--Communication Arts, Coudal Partners, illustrationMUNDO, Lettercult, and so on.
I was particularly impressed by his poster designs...
Here >

indesign ideabook
Should you show pictures of people on your web site?

I think personalizing a web site (in most cases) is a good thing. It provides a sense of who's doing the talking, the scope of the business, and (most importantly) that there is someone confident enough about the product that they are willing to attach their name to it.

Most sites are black holes--two or two hundred people so concerned about privacy that they don't even list the organization's street address. Don't get me wrong, providing too much personal information is not smart. But contracts require signatures. If you want information about me as a customer and are unwilling to share anything about you as the seller, I get a little queasy.

Here is one example of how it can be done. Have any others?

An example by Blue Sky Factory...
Here >
Recently on Chuck's
Very unusual typeface but I love the look of it

Hahaha... InDesign in action. (why are they rewriting the headline while designing the article?)

Homogenizing book designs like this seems to detract from the uniqueness of the title and its author

When you need to talk to a real person at a big company use

Interesting brand design brief by The DuPuis Group (1MB pdf )

Designers: Winning entries of the Atlanta AIGA SEED Awards via DWH

Cool usability function--click the dot in the upper right of the screen to switch background colors

Love these fun typographic illustrations by Michael Doret

New inteview with typographer and designer Alejandro Paul

The older I get, the more often I choose a pencil over a pen.
Is a photograph a creative product?
A work of art? I certainly believe it is.
Here's a bit of a controversy I'd like to hear your opinion on.
I love the Shorpy photographic site but something shown there struck a (dull) chord with me. It is the coloroization of an iconic black and white photograph--Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother.
I don't think the contributor is a bad person for doing this, I just think they don't fully appreciate the fact that it is wrong to copy and or edit someone else's work without their permission.
Personally, I believe a photograph is a creative work that should be protected from this type of defacement (ethically, if not legally).
I can't image anyone having the temerity to colorize Ansel Adams' The Tetons--Snake River. Or Pablo Picasso's Guernica. I doubt most would look favorably on a budding writer who decided to add a chapter or two to Joyce's Ulysses and republish it.
Is this any different?

The image in question...
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The original image...
Here >

For Moleskine fans only
The My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition challenged Moleskine users to do things better, faster, more creative and innovatively with the popular Moleskine Pocket Notebook. The results are sometimes frivilous and fun, and sometimes serious and practical. In any case, if you are a Moleskine fan, you'll want to check it out.
color harmony guide
Expand your visual vocabulary

If you can continually expand your visual vocabulary, every day is new. What I like most about "lapsed Graphic Designer" Marian Bantjes is the seemingly endless ways she invents to say a thing. I'm guessing that making each project different is a challenge she relishes. Here are some wonderful examples.

And then something entirely different...
Here >
Have you forgotten about where you live?

I did.

I recently happened on this a guide to my town on Design Sponge and got to thinking about it. I live in a wonderful part of the United States, two hours south of Washington, D.C., an hour from the Atlantic Ocean, and an hour from the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Richmond, Virginia has a rich, interesting history, many nice neighborhoods in both the city and suburbs, great venues for entertainment, active design and technology communities, fine resturants, and so on. And I doubt that I have taken advantage of five percent of it.

This was a bit of a wakeup call. If you have a similar deficit, take a look at a web site that provides outsiders with a look at your part of the planet. You might be surprised about how blessed you are. (Thanks Design Sponge.)

A Richmond,Virginia guide from Design Sponge...
Here >

I live in a Richmond suburb: Glen Allen, Virginia...
Here >


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About the briefing

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless otherwise stated, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples.

Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected]