Chuck Green's Design Likes

Thanks for subscribing! This is Design Likes Issue 77: An overview of stuff of interest to the design mind. 

Chuck Green

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Another brilliantly simple web solution

As the inventor defines it, Readability is a browser utility that "removes the junk around what you're reading and displays a clean, readable view." It is quite simple, what amounts to a series of generic style sheets that remove extraneous information and reformat text for optimum readability. Hats off to the folks at arc90 for seeing the trees and the forest.

Thanks to my friend Lee Garvey for pointing us to this.

Here > arc90's Readability experiment...

Here > More projects from the arc90 lab...

A pep talk on the design business

I happened on a post by Grant McCracken, the author of Chief Culture Officer. He says, "At year's end, I have an unhappy thought, that some of the creative professionals who rose to prominence in the first decade of the 21st century will be eclipsed by the end of the decade coming, that the first decade of the 21st century will be, for some creative professionals, a brief moment in the sun."

Some perhaps, but overall I pose that consumers are becoming more sophisticated about the quality of design, not less--and that, contrary to riding into the sunset, designers are just now seeing the dawn of a new day.

My propositions:

1. Markets are multiplying.

The Web provides for conventional worldwide, regional, and local markets as well as an entirely new class of specialized markets that were not previously feasible. The proliferation of products, services, organizations, and ideas that make up those markets point to a virtually endless stream of work differentiating one from the next.

2. More markets mean more stories and more frequent story cycles.

For most organizations, the design of all types of communications is not an end, it's a cycle. As markets become more competitive and design becomes more of a distinction, it stands to reason that more designers will be needed to cast and recast the messages.

3. Core design skills cannot be automated.

There is no such thing as an organization that is exactly the same as its competitor--location, timing, finances, and personnel are just a few of the many factors that make each organization one-of-a-kind. A smart designer is able to see an organization and its products and services in ways that the organization itself cannot. You can't replace the need for, or automate the creation of, intelligent analysis and vision-casting.

4. The definitions of design, communications, and marketing are ever-changing.

Certain approaches to design run their course, but no one believes that design can be confined to any one course. Those who are able to effectively identify, define, and communicate organizational, product, and service distinctions are more in demand than ever before.

The future of design, I believe, has never been brighter.

Here > Grant McCracken's post, Creativitys brief moment in the sun...

Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design...

Crafts for men. (And women.)

Paul Overton explains like this: "I think it's great that there is so much DIY going on these days and that access to techniques and advice is fairly universal, but I'm bummed that there aren't more guys out there making things. Enter DudeCraft." includes many idea starters that could be applied to graphic design as a well. Great for men AND women.

Here > Paul Overton's

The high art of craft

While we're on the subject of crafts. I've been wanting to point you to designer Cathe Holden's wonderful Just Something I Made...

Here >

Here > And, if by chance you are not familiar with Etsy, it is a hugely popular place for people who make stuff and people who like to buy it...

Color Harmony Guide...

The stunning, unusual world of Wonderwall

Wonderwall is an interior design firm that specializes in commercial space. First of all, its amorphous project page is, itself, pretty unusual. Second, its collective eye is very different and very interesting. Don't miss The Ice Cream Store--a high-end apparel retailer in Hong Kong--it's just plain weird (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Here > Wonderwall Inc....

The art of distilling ideas

Copywriter Jessica Hagy explains as "...A little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math."

Her big collection of little diagrams is well worth a look.

Here >

Here > Explanation of a Venn diagram (relations between groups)...

Here > An interview with the author and copywriter Jessica Hagy...

Recent tweets from

Great story quality on this web page from Herman Miller Original

Some nice thinking on product development

MUST READ: Welcome to the decade of change from Seth Godin

Very interesting wristwatch design

The ad slogans hall of fame (Think different.)

Nice idea. A typeface AND filigree combination (small pdf file)

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]

> Chuck