Chuck Green's Design Likes

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We should call this the "think" issue. As (seemingly) everything changes at an increasingly rapid rate, it is important to take advantage of the opportunity. I've never seen a time when power and money meant less. Today, what you need is a good idea and an optimistic attitude. Anything is possible.

Be well, 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...

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In search of smart

I want to point you to an article that addresses the subject of problem-solving from an unexpected angle. (It is the first in a series on broader philosophical issues but I believe you'll see the connection.) I point you to it because, to me, it speaks to the core set of skills a designer must develop: an ability to delve into unfamiliar areas of interest and to understand them from multiple angles-from the perspective of the market, the client, the prospect, and the customer.

The thrust of this article is this: There are things we know we know. There are things we know we don't know. And there are things we don't know that we don't know. The author got me wondering just how much I don't know--unknowns to me certainly, but also unknowns to everyone. I like it because it gives me a sense that, if I apply myself, I can attain a much higher level of understanding about the subjects I apply myself to.

To that end, Cornell professor David Dunning, the gentleman who originated much of the research referred to said this, "I often urge my student advisees, to find out who the smart professors are, and to get themselves in front of those professors so they can see what smart looks like." That is advice I will take to heart.

Thanks to my friend Ashton Hardy for pointing us to it.

Here > The Anosognosic's Dilemma: Something's Wrong but You'll Never Know What It Is (Part 1)...


Meet illustrator and type designer Daniel Pelavin

I had the good fortune to meet Daniel Pelavin years ago when I was working on a book. As you will see by the video clip, he has a passion for his craft, a self-effacing attitude, and wonderful talent for cooking ideas down to shape and color.

Here > An example of his illustration skills...

Here > A typeface design...

Here > In this recent interview he reveals his passion for the design craft...

Here > And his web site...

Marketers: Do not center your marketing efforts on your competitor's marketing model

I was thinking the other day, how important it is that our client doesn't center their entire marketing strategy around their competitor's marketing model. Just because a competitor, for example, does some radio advertising doesn't mean radio advertising makes any sense for our client. The same applies to print materials, a web presence, social marketing, premiums, and everything else in the realm of marketing.

I say that because I think it is easy to lose sight of the fact that every organization is unique. That an organization's particular mix of products, services, expertise, experience, style, location, pricing, and so on, distinguishes if from any other organization on the planet.

Follow the leader marketing and mirror-the-competition tactics ignore that all-important fact. The best marketing approach (we all know) is one that is invented for one specific organization and its unique circumstances. Ideally, it even includes some elements that competitors are not using at all.

Our job as communication designer's is to discover and deliver unique solutions. Sure, there are smart, conventional approaches that work for most of the organizations you apply them to, but we shouldn't recommend and produce materials because that's the way we've always done it. I'm guessing "That's the way we've always done it," has killed as many businesses as any other single reason.

Do you want more clients and more work satisfaction? Use your talents and experience to devise a better approach. Dig into the market, find out what people are doing in other areas and see what might apply. Invent something new! I find clients are almost always open to dealing with the reality of the market and will experiment with you if you are able to make a compelling case for your idea.

A designer who has a wonderful sense of style and the technical expertise to create a compelling layout should maintain a pretty consistent work load. A designer who is an inventor and problem-solver will have to turn clients away.

Tell your client this: Every organization is unique-the sooner we identify your organization's unique advantages, the sooner we can begin telling the world about them.


Recent Tweets

More about creating digital magazines for the iPad using InDesign

Here come digital magazines for the iPad -- created with Adobe InDesign

Lots of interesting new stuff from The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies since my last visit...

Tim Girvin is expert at balancing the expression of a stylistic point of view with practical marketing strategy...

I remain in awe of the beauty, versatility, and staying power of the Apple site design... Anyone know who designed it?

Interesting look at iPad and Kindle reading speeds

Here comes UPPERCASE Magazine, issue 6

Quotes on design

The design universe is expanding beyond my wildest expectations. While you might think the expansion would top out--it seems, instead, to be gaining speed. The exploration of design ideas has captured the collective imagination.

Chris Coyier is capturing snippets of past and present design thinking through

A few, random examples:

"I think that the lack of drama in my life has produced a platform for me to be fundamentally adventurous in my thinking." Milton Glaser

"Good ideas turn into good designs fairly quickly. If you catch yourself fiddling too much with colors, borders, and treatments to bring a design together, chances are the problem lies somewhere deeper." Ryan Singer

"The difference between regulated architects and unregulated designer is, unlike buildings, letterheads don't fall down and kill people..." Brian Webb

Here > Quotes on Design...

Here > The curator of Quotes on Design is Chris Coyier, a banjo player (and the creator of...)

From the Design Store

How to design better ideas

Time to stretch your brain. Meet inventor and artist Steven M. Johnson. While many of his ideas sound silly, Johnson offers a serious message about innovation--primarily that there is too little of it.

What I hear him saying is this: In an age when the barriers are fewer than ever before, it is disconcerting to think how many of us are willing to accept the same old solutions. Everyone has a capacity to innovate but few of us use it.

Makes you wonder how much better a place the world would be if we devoted as much time to learning how to generate, parse, and pursue positive ideas as we do in figuring out how to accumulate money.

Here > Allison Arieff's original piece on Johnson for the New York Times...

Here > Another, more recent article including an interview with Johnson...

Here > Johnson's own web page...

Meet illustrator Polly Becker
Polly Becker creates illustrations using objects and images that she refers to as "assemblages". She has an impressive list of clients including Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and GQ.

Here > Example 1...

Here > Example 2...

Here > Example 3...

Here > Polly Becker's site...

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