Chuck Green's Design Likes 
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I think there are a lot of people and organizations that are first and foremost interested in creating sites that generate money. Nothing wrong with making a buck -- I just think it's a better idea to focus on creating a great product first. Am I being naive?

 
Thanks for your interest, Chuck  


Check out my Adobe InDesign Ideabook: 315 template files in 19 different categories Everything from brochures, newsletters, and direct mail to packaging, calendars, and books (one CD works with both Mac and PC). Use two or three files and you'll pay for the entire book and disc...



Is it possible to successfully rebrand one of world's largest, most un-cool retail institutions?

What were you thinking Ron Johnson? Why would you go from Target to Apple just when the Target brand had caught fire and Apple was at $25 per share (January of 2000)? Then from Apple, the world's most successful brand, to JCPenny a conventional, old-school department store? The answer may surprise you -- it surprised me.

On February 1st JCPenny, America's 25th largest national advertiser ($1.32 billion ) and its new CEO Ron Johnson (November 2011), is going to attempt to redefine retailing.

I'm not going to even attempt to explain the strategy, just understand that, as designers and marketers, we need to track how this experiment unfolds (I call it an experiment, but as Johnson describes it, it's a sure thing).

It's ALL about remaking a brand, revolutionizing the retail marketing model, and infusing everything with a new look and feel. I encourage you to watch at least the first 20 minutes of the hour-long launch video, I guarantee you won't regret it.

The launch...
Here > http://www.jcpmediaroom.com/media/200/Launch-Event-Presentation-(.mov)

The press release with details...
Here > http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jcpenneys-transformation-plans-revealed-at-launch-event-in-new-york-city-138045223.html

The new JCP logo...
Here > http://photos.prnewswire.com/medias/switch.do?prefix=/appnb&page=/getStoryRemapDetails.do&prnid=20110222%252fDA51975LOGO&action=details

 

The new TV spot: it sure got my attention...
Here > http://www.youtube.com/user/jcpenney?blend=3&ob=video-mustangbase  

  


  

Meet illustrator/artist Ahn Min Jeong

  

Here, by way of Will Schofield's 50 Watts blog is the work of Ahn Min Jeong, an artist from Seoul, South Korea. These works are analogous to the kind of fine engraving you'd find in the design of currency. In some cases you see graphic design mimicking art, in this case (to me) it is art mimicking graphic design. (Her website presents her name as Ahn Min Jeong, but is looks as though others refer to her as Minjeong An - apologies for the discrepancy.)

 


Example 1...
Here > http://myartda.com/current/c_04_b.html

Example 2...
Here > http://myartda.com/current/c_03.html

Example 3...
Here > http://myartda.com/current/c_01.html

Website...
Here > http://myartda.com/current/current.html


  

How to "build" a story illustration one point at a time

  

Two reasons to watch this video. First and foremost, I really like the way it tells the story of its subject. The juxtaposition of a person with type and illustrations is effective and the scene us use to build the story drew me in and made me want to sick around for the outcome.

 


The second reason to watch the video is to learn about Hyper Island, a school of sorts for students and a continuing education source for working creatives.

It sounds as if, one important aspect of the experience is to get you up to speed on the digital world -- as one attendee, Kathy Hepinstall a former Creative Director at Martin Agency, put it: "It used to be charming for a creative in advertising to be a technophobe. Not so anymore so climb out of the tar pit, Dino".

I don't know enough about it to know just how relevant it all is, but the testimonials by attendees reads like a who's who of advertising agencies so there must be something cooking.

Hyper Island On a Wall...
Here > http://vimeo.com/22099160

About Hyper Island...
Here > http://programs.hyperisland.se/the-hyper-island-way/the-story/

Programs...
Here > http://programs.hyperisland.se/programs/

Master classes...
Here > http://masterclass.hyperisland.se/about-master-class/


  

Have you collected your free week of Lynda.com?

  

I signed up recently as an affiliate of Lynda Weinman's wonderful training website. To me, it is THE venue for learning how to use all of the top design-oriented software programs and for discovering more about the design business and its community. One of the perks is that I get to offer you 7-day free trial of the entire collection. What's in if for me? I get a small commission if you end up signing on after the trial. 

 

Click here for a 7-day free trial to lynda.com 


 

Meet illustrator Mitch Blunt

  

Mitch Blunt offers an example of how an illustrator's style can evolve throughout their career. Between the last example and the first three, he found a whole new way of expressing his ideas. And with it, a list of clients such as Wired, Google, and The Atlantic.

  

Thanks to my son Rob Green for pointing us to it.

 


Example 1 from 2011...
Here > http://mitchblunt.tumblr.com/post/4084707929

Example 2 from 2011...
Here > http://mitchblunt.tumblr.com/post/12932108401

Example 3 from 2011 ...
Here > http://mitchblunt.tumblr.com/post/8718174340

Example 4 from 2009...
Here > http://www.flickr.com/photos/elive84/3272188982/in/photostream

Blunt's Tumblr page...
Here > http://mitchblunt.tumblr.com/

An interview with Mitch Blunt...
Here > http://www.theartfuls.com/interviews/mitch_blunt


  

Lyrical lettering for a serious subject

  

I love these stamp designs created for the Royal Mail by Hat-Trick Design and letterer Marion Deuchars. There's just something about black, white, and red that makes a subject a bit more profound.

 

This is the rare case when lettering that might normally be construed as having a light or lyrical tone is successfully paired with a serious subject. Why is that?

Hamlet...
Here > http://images.mirror.co.uk/upl/m4/apr2011/6/1/image-1-for-royal-mail-50th-anniversary-of-the-royal-shakespeare-company-stamps-gallery-4860742.jpg

Marion Deuchars...
Here > http://mariondeuchars.com/index2.html

Hat-Trick Design...
Here > http://www.hat-trickdesign.co.uk/


 

Two questions for creatives

  

Will you do me a favor? I'd like to use the occasion of the new year to ask you two questions about your walk as a creative. First...

  

How are you doing?

 

Are you busy, motivated, optimistic, learning new things? In other words, what is your state of mind about the state of your craft (graphic design, marketing, illustration, photography, writing - whichever part of the creative field you represent)?

What is the most challenging part of your job at this point in your career?

Maybe it's something that has always been a challenge or maybe it's a distinct change in the landscape. Tell us where the roadblock is, or if you've already found the path around it, what the solution was.

Why these questions? Because it will be interesting to know if there are any common threads that run among us. And it might be encouraging to others to hear about the issues colleagues are dealing with - positive and negative.

There are no rules - just share what moves you and we'll see what happens. If you would prefer not to share your answers publicly, address them to me at chuckgreen@ideabook.com and I will report on them in general. Thanks in advance.

 

Comment here > http://www.pageplane.com/learning/two_questions_for_creatives.html


  

From the Ideabook.com Design Store

  

Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector: A palette of 25,000 CMYK process colors in print...

 

Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_tintbook.html

Color Harmony Guide: From French designer Dominique Trapp...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_color_harmony.html

Communicating With Color: Based on Leatrice Eiseman's seminars on the psychology of color...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_pantone_guide.html

Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to Graphic Design: One of my favorite design books...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/graphic_design_referenced.html

Getting it Printed: How to wrestle control of your printed work...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_getting_it_printed.html

Before & After: How to Design Cool Stuff...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/before_after_how_to_design_coo.html

Before & After Page Design
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_page_design.html

Before & After Graphics For Business
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_business_graphics.html


  

For the graphic designer who wants to create their own products  

  

Let's make stuff! Take, for example, something as simple as this one gallon can of "Immortality" from Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company - if you wanted to make a similar product, where would you get the can to apply the label to? Easy: from a place like The Cary Company.

 

Below, just to get you thinking, is a list of companies/websites that provide supplies for making things - packaging, raw materials, fasteners, and so on. I can't vouch for these specific companies but the list will give you an inkling of the possibilities.

Inventables.com for raw materials, tools, fasteners, and electrical components...
Here > https://www.inventables.com/

TheCaryCompany.com for containers...
Here > http://www.thecarycompany.com/packaging1.html

DiskMakers.com for CD and DVD duplication and packaging...
Here > http://www.discmakers.com/

Gaylord.com for library and archival supplies...
Here > http://www.gaylord.com/

Sciplus.com for products with a science or educational tilt...
Here > http://www.sciplus.com/

SpecialtyBottle.com for bottles, jars and tin containers....
Here > http://www.specialtybottle.com/

WorldClassMedals.com for high-quality medals...
Here > http://www.worldclassmedals.com/

My post about Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company...
Here > http://www.pageplane.com/packaging/sam_potts_and_the_brooklyn_sup.html


  

Brief posts from Chuck's Twitter and Facebook pages...

  

A Japanese storybook...

 

Here > http://www.facebook.com/notes/ideabookfb/a-japanese-storybook/321915964509515

Rap, hip hop, scratching? Attention advertising agencies: When publicly traded corporations use it in their ads, it's no longer "edgy". Time for some new ideas.

Here it is photography geeks: The Nikon D4, the new flagship of the Nikon line. 16.2 Megapixels, 10 FPS Continuous Shooting, 100-12,800 ISO Expandable to 204,800, HD Video with Stereo Sound.
Here > http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nikonusa.com%2FNikon-Products%2FProduct%2FDigital-SLR-Cameras%2F25482%2FD4.html%23tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-Overview&h=IAQEs9z8bAQGvFhKcSxq3Y3BHoEQpHVfxQSNFkseazVq5AA

New from Google: Search, plus Your World...
Here > http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8Z9TTBxarbs

I've always liked Ron and Joes illustration style. Here are ten free images.
Here > http://www.ronandjoe.com/funfree/freestuf/freebie.html

Haha... Just read this from the always succinct Seth Godin: "Please understand that book publishing is an organized hobby, not a business." Thanks Seth, no truer words have ever been uttered.

Need a tradeshow display? This gentleman, Jim Deady (Daydee), is an old friend and I've designed lots of displays for him over the years. I don't think I've ever pointed you to him before, so, if you're in need of a display, consider yourself pointed. He can also tell you lots about what works and what doesn't at tradeshows -- he's a bona fide expert.
Here > http://www.showstopperexhibits.com/

Will interactive ad agencies supplant the "traditional" creative shops like JWT?
Here > http://www.forbes.com/sites/avidan/2012/01/12/by-going-digital-is-the-jwt-ad-agency-transforming-its-business-model/

If you haven't checked it in a while, be sure to revisit Mig Reyes Humble Pied where he asks well-know web creatives the one piece of advice they would share with someone pursuing a creative career. Most are thought-provoking -- some down right inspirational.
Here > http://www.humblepied.com/all/


  

Why cartography is a feat of graphic design

  

How do you make a better map? Ask cartographer David Imus. Mapmaking is not only about measurements and data, a great map is a feat of graphic design.

 

David Imus recently won the Cartography and Geographic Information Society's (CaGIS) annual Map Design Competition, Best of Show designation for his acclaimed new map: The Essential Geography of the United States of America.

Seth Stevenson takes a look the making of the map and explains what makes it significant in a piece he wrote for Slate.com.

Many thanks to Wendy Hersh for pointing us to it.

The Essential Geography of the United States of America...
Here >  http://imusgeographics.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/imus-usa-72-120206-dpi.jpg

The Imus Geographics website...
Here > https://imusgeographics.com/

The Cartography and Geographic Information Society's (CaGIS) website...
Here > http://www.cartogis.org/

About David Imus...
Here > https://imusgeographics.com/about


  

The emotional brand

  

Graphic designer and farmer's son Peter Buchanan-Smith understands branding and the storytelling that transforms a product into an experience people want to be a part of.

 

He started the Best Made Company to sell high-quality, sturdily-packaged, American felling axes. Yes, it does sound a bit strange, but once you hear the story and see the products you'll understand what he's about.

As they tell it, "A Best Made axe is a tool for survival and productivity and at its heart it's a symbol of many admirable virtues." Paola Antonelli, the senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art describes the axes as "the ultimate antidote to life on the high-broadband lane."

One of the axes...
Here > http://www.bestmadeco.com/collections/frontpage/products/flashman

Peter tells the story...
Here > http://vimeo.com/22654644

A story about the "Urban Ax" from the NYT...
Here > http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/garden/01peter.html?pagewanted=1

Best Made Company is in the process of expanding its list of products, among the additions are these badges...
Here > http://www.bestmadeco.com/collections/badges

The home page...
Here > http://www.bestmadeco.com/ 

  


 

About this newsletter 

 

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless I tell you otherwise, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at chuckgreen@ideabook.com
-- Chuck