Chuck Green's Design Likes

Thank you for subscribing.

Designing a logo is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Remember, we're asking the client to build their organization on a framework that we provide. Don't miss: Are you committed enough to design a logo?
Forward, Chuck
P.S. Don't forget to checkout my design template collections--ideabooks and 300-plus templates on a dual format (Mac/PC) CD-ROM...

For Adobe InDesignFor Adobe PageMakerFor QuarkXPress

Join me on Facebook

I recently created this Facebook page in the hope you will have the opportunity to meet some of the many talented folks I communicate with through these newsletters. And, better yet, that they will have the opportunity to meet you. Calling it a "fan" page is a misnomer, if anyone is a "fan" here, it's me.
Here >

Discover the successful patterns of user interface

Pattern Tap is an invention of Matthew Smith at Squared Eye. It is (loosely) similar to other pattern libraries (Yahoo has a notable one) in that it presents the what, how, and why of user interface. The value is, instead of searching through a thousand sites for interesting and innovative UI ideas, you can discover designs someone else has found to be particularly notable.

I think you will find that Matthew Smith know of what he speaks. His company site, Squared Eye, is nice to look at AND easy to use-I have long admired it.

Here > Pattern Tap...

Here > The Pattern Tap Twitter page...

Here > Matthew Smith's Squared Eye...


Meet illustrator and designer Dado Queiroz

It is not often that I see something that seems distinctly different than anything I've seen before-this is one of those rare cases. Dado Queiroz's work (to me) is VERY different and I like it a lot.

My first reference to Dado Queiroz comes from on that next time...

Here > Example 1...

Here > Example 2...

Here > Example 3...

Here > A font design (available from

Here > His web site...

Asif Naqvi's wonderful web collage

Asif R. Naqvi's site design reminds me of the fine filigree work a seventeenth century jeweler might produce. I picked out a few parts and pieces of his site to highlight. I particularly like the giant, intricate nameplate collage on the home page.


Recent Tweets

Instant communication, complete media integration, effortless access to the knowledge of the ages. ...Now what?

The branding of Adobe Creative Suite 5

FREE version (regular) of an interesting new font--Brandon Grotesque (just add it to the cart)

I like these illustrations by Eleftheria Alexandri--rather unusual

Sneak peek: Using InDesign to create a digital magazine for the iPad

More excellent letterpress design and production from Studio On Fire

Time to revisit Beast Pieces, the site that features the letterpress work of Studio On Fire. They seem to produce a very high quality product-whether they do the design of allow others to take the lead. Wow, that is difficult-very impressive.

From the Design Store

PC versus Mac in graphic design

I heard this week that Apple has surpassed Microsoft's market value so I'm going to use the occasion to share my perspective on the long standing Mac versus PC debate.

First, if you are still reading this after that intro I consider you a pretty hardcore geek. You, of all people, will understand that other designers are often surprised to hear that I am, primarily, a user of the Windows operating system. I started using computers in the mid 1980s-I worked with both IBM PCs and Apple computers early on but switched primarily to PCs when the company I worked for began doing projects for IBM.

As the battle played out in the design profession, Windows was a lonely place to be. I think the primary reason the Mac system captured the graphic design market was because, in those first years, a Mac system running QuarkXPress had superior type handling capabilities. That seems like a minor detail today, but back then it was critically important.

Before the introduction of desktop publishing software and digital typesetting, the process of working with type involved a good deal of craft. It was not unusual for a designer to spend hours pasting down sheets of type on a board and then cutting and repositioning individual words, even letters, until it looked right to their eye. (The same process is accomplished today by building complex collections of kerning pairs into a typeface design.) In any case, Apple won the lion's share of the graphic design market early on-an advantage they maintain even today.

I guess it was my rebellious nature that kept me in the Windows camp-most of my peers were using MACs but it seemed rather heavy-handed of Apple not to allow others access to its operating system the way Microsoft did. (I've always found it funny that the public perception was exactly opposite.) In any case, in hindsight, my reasoning sounds as silly as that of those who thought they were rebels for using a MAC.

The question of what system to use, to me, became moot 10 or 15 years ago. In the early days Quark and Aldus PageMaker (later Adobe) developed version updates first for the MAC and second for Windows. I really thought the tide had turned when most developers began releasing new versions simultaneously. In any case, for the last decade-plus, the user interface of the primary publishing and design software has worked almost identically on both platforms.

All that said, my next primary system will be a Mac. Why? Three reasons:

First, I received an iPod Touch as a gift and I have since purchased a iPhone. It is the single most elegant computer device I have ever used-the user interface makes it a joy to use. Any company that can make that device, is headed in the direction I want to go.

Second, the MAC now runs both operating systems simultaneously-and from what I understand-pretty reliably. Running both systems is useful when you are designing web sites, templates, and such.

Third, and more importantly, I think Microsoft may be headed in the wrong direction. If you ever used Office 2007 you know what I'm talking about. Microsoft has chosen the "complexity" path-the cram-everything-you-can-possibly-cram-into-the-software path. The be-all-things-to-all-people road. Apple, on the other hand, seems to be trying to create more complex devices that are easier to use.

To my way of thinking, we have entered into an era when, instead of being its own vocation, computer use (for many of us) has simply become an integral part of everyday life. And in that type of world, if you don't make features intuitive and accessible, you may as well not make the features at all.

I'm guessing the organizations that make devices and processes accessible will win out-and at this time in history, that looks like Apple.

Here > A wiki article about the history of typesetting...

Are you committed enough to design a logo?
I got this question from another designer recently: "My client requested a logo design. She filled in my design brief questionnaire, I presented a few concepts, and we went through three rounds of concepts, variations, and tweaking. They were not sure of any of the designs and finally backed off. Though I did get an advance, it did not come close to covering the time I invested in the project. How do you handle this type of situation?"

Whether you charge a few hundred dollars or a few hundred-thousand dollars, the great conundrum of logo design is this: If you can't provide the client with a mark that they are excited about and invested in you haven't done your job. It is that simple.

Designing a logo is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Remember, we're asking the client to build their organization on a framework that we provide-to adopt our ideas, our style, our palette, and to identify themselves with that brand for years, even decades to come. If we ask for that type of commitment from them, it seems entirely reasonable (to me) for them to be excited and energized by what we design.

That type of commitment does not come cheap. You cannot learn what needs to be learned and do what needs to be done in a few hours. I have no idea how many hours my friend budgeted to create the logo, but my advice to him is this: Charge what is necessary to deliver a compelling solution or turn the job down-you owe that to your client and your client owes that to you.

Logo design requires a commitment from both sides to see it through to its end. That means you need to charge enough to do the research necessary to understand the client's industry, their competition, and to clearly understand where they fall within that landscape-enough to create a design that not only speaks to those issues but that aligns with the aesthetic and intellectual sensibilities of the people within the organization who will be living with it. That's a lot of people to satisfy, but that's why logo design is not for the faint of heart.

How do you avoid my friend's problem? By making everything crystal clear up front. Some designers prefer a formal contract, some a letter of agreement, others just a few paragraphs in an e-mail before the job begins-whatever you choose, choose something. If you wait until you are in the heat of the project to address difficulties, you're going to get bruised.

Here are a few examples of such agreements.

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 Green