I have a friend who has spent most of his life speaking Arabic. When I saw him the other day he asked me to explain the differences between "convention" and "convection".

After defining a couple of the meanings of "convention" and trying to explain the base scientific nature of "convention", he showed me the newspaper headline in he was trying to decipher, it read, "Wrongful Conviction".

It reminded me of how often what we say and show is possibly misread and misunderstood. I bet this happens with lots of designs. Our intention is one thing and others see it as something different.

(BTW: Be sure to read about Startup Weekend... last story)
Thanks for subscribing,




Have you collected your free week of

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.


Do you know who Fred Terman is?

If not, you might be surprised to know that many folks believe he, his colleagues, and the institution of Stanford University in Santa Clara Valley, California created the very seedbed of the Technological Renaissance known as Silicon Valley.

Is renaissance too big a word to describe it? Not when you consider the fact that this one small part of the planet produced (in large part) the transistor, microprocessors, personal computers, genetic engineering, and the protocols which would become the standard for Internet communication between computers.

And much, much more.

I point you to this because, until I spent some time reading about it, I did not fully appreciate the magnitude of what happened there in the last 50 years.

A capsule history of Stanford and The Rise of Silicon Valley...  Here

From the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association, a list of achievements...  Here

An interview with Frederick Emmons Terman...  Here

Another Silicon Valley father, William Bradford Shockley Jr....  Here

A goldmine of interesting insights...  Here

Interviews with and about the inventors...  Here

If you're interested in ephemera and the history of design 
and publishing

Gene Gable is curating a virtual museum of design, typography, and related ephemera over at under the title of Scanning Around With Gene.

He certainly has the credentials. At various times he has been the head of Publish magazine, the publisher of The Seybold Report, and a member of the Ziff-Davis executive team which was responsible for major business events such as Comdex.

If you don't yet know him and his eye for interesting, you're in for a treat.

Three examples of his column: The Dead Letterhead Department...  Here

When Halftones Were an Art Form...  Here

When Letraset Was King...  Here

An introduction to the author by way of his website...  Here

Gene Gable on twitter...  Here

For designers: The how, what, why, and maybe of Facebook

Would it be useful to you, as a designer, to be a fly on the wall of Facebook headquarters and to hear what the leadership believes are its strengths and vulnerabilities? Wouldn't it be educational to know all about the current platform and hear about the products and services Mark Zuckerberg and his team are planning for the future?

This is a close as we may get - absolutely fascinating stuff: The Facebook Form S-1 Registration Statement as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Thanks to my friend Bruce Schneider for pointing us to it.

The Facebook Form S-1 Registration Statement...  Here

"Risk Factors" talks about the potential risks and uncertainties of the business model...  Here

 The "Business" section tells, in detail, how the Facebook platform works, what products and technologies it includes, how it currently fits into the social networking landscape, and reveals where its leadership wants to take it...  Here

Check out Chuck's 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...


More from the Design Store

Getting it Printed: How to wrestle control of your printed work...  Here

Before & After: How to Design Cool Stuff...  Here

Before & After Page Design  Here

Before & After Graphics For Business  Here

I don't think website design gets much better than this

I was drawn in because this website looks interesting. I dug deep because it is interesting.

What more could you ask? The folks at Specimen Products make great products. They and ALSO (their design studio) tell their story with thoughtful copy. They've taken the time to craft a mountain of information-rich illustrations. And they have wrapped it all in quirky, deceptively humble design.

This website that is firing on all cylinders, you could do it different, but you'd be hard-pressed to do it better. Hats off to Matt Lamothe, Julia Rothman, and Jenny Volvovski of ALSO.

I really like the way the header places the store details front and center. The roughened, steel engraving lines give the layout a "craft" feel...   Here 

Making this many elements work in concert is difficult to do. I really like packaging of the article headline, in this case, "EPIPHONE ELECTAR AMPLIFIER REPAIR, the drop cap, the distinct difference in the sizes to of the text lead-in and the body copy, the color palette, and layout of the comment boxes - said another way: I like everything...  Here

To make it all work, the photography had to be excellent too - it is. Though it is workman-like, it is also sharp, saturated, and wonderfully descriptive...  Here

The studio is ALSO and the principals are Matt Lamothe, Julia Rothman, and Jenny Volvovski (be sure to click the menu items of the ALSO site - each offers its own surprise)...  Here 

Love this thought from Jonah Lehrer about the importance of both science AND art: " map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness."

Brief posts from Chuck's Twitter and Facebook pages...
Alex Gross has a new show coming up. Titled "Product Placement." Here are two of the pieces to be featured...  Here  and  Here

Love this thought from Jonah Lehrer about the importance of both science AND art: " map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness."

Who's Lance and why should be free him?

This applies to marketing and design as much as it does all of the other big questions: How much truth are we willing to deny to have our way?

Fresh Impressions on Brandmarks (from my 5-year-old)  Here

The morning after the Superbowl: Forget your favorite spot -- which company do you have a better impression of? Which product will you now consider buying? Which company name is imprinted in your memory? What are you curious about checking into further?

Graphic designers: Are you too old to get hired? And interesting conversation over at B&A...  Here 

Got an email newsletter which includes the headline, "Sharpening Your Gut Instinct". Ouch.

This is a tough concept for some to accept: Effective copywriting is not about seeing how many thoughts you can jam into one sentence. While you can include all of the benefits of using a product in one paragraph, it either slows reading to a crawl or pushes the reader to abandon the text altogether. 

Click to try this new typefaces on 
myfonts_marintas  myfonts_antartica 

Meet illustrator Jeffrey Smith

Enough said.

Example 1...  Here

Example 2...  Here

Example 3...  Here

Nice looking home page and interface idea...  Here

Smith's Drawger blog...  Here

Smith names the late Philip Harrison Hays as a mentor...  Here

Designer, developer, entrepreneur: Do you have a startup idea? Would you like to be a member of a startup team?

Startup Weekend is a weekend-long, 54-hour, hands-on experience for designers, developers, and aspiring entrepreneurs - a forum for sharing ideas, forming teams, developing products, and launching startups.

The organization's web FAQ says that all business ideas are eligible but that approximately 95% of all ideas are mobile- or web-focused, and given the short time-frame, it is recommended that even non-tech ideas focus on tech-related deliverables such as mobile apps and websites.
The program, started in 2007, now operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit and is funded, in large part, by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world's largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship.

Thanks to my friend Owen Zanzal for pointing us to this very interesting resource. If you're in or around Virginia, there will be a Startup Weekend event held in Charlottesville March 23-25 and I am told they are in need of more designers.

It could be your chance to come out and get something started.

First, a brief introduction...  Here

The Startup Weekend website...  Here

An article about the program from TechCrunch...  Here

Startup Weekend's page of Resources for transforming an idea into a reality...  Here

The Startup Weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia takes place March 23-25...  Here

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's website...  Here is a website launched by the Kauffman Foundation to promote entrepreneurship...  Here 

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. I am an affiliate of and -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] -- Chuck Green