Thanks for subscribing.
(If you already read last weeks newsletter, read no further, this is a repeat. I'm testing to see if folks respond differently when the same letter is sent at a different time of day. Thanks for your patience.)
This time around, a little heart-to-heart...
I was watching a so-called discussion on the television the other day in which a panel of experts offered their views on a subject. The problem was, each commentator simply recited what was obviously their formula, practiced opinion. They were all smart folks but clearly not interested in "discussing" anything.
I mention it because it made me cringe. I thought, "I sure hope the folks who read my stuff don't think of me like that". I dread the though that anyone would ever think that I believe that mine is the only worthwhile opinion. To the contrary, like anyone else, my perspective on the subjects I discuss is actually quite limited. Limited by the scope of my education, the extent of my experience, and the influences of those whose ideas and opinions I follow and adopt.
I speculate about why you subscribe but I don't pretend to know. I just want to remind you that I appreciate your willingness to listen and, as always, that I am anxious to hear your perspective whenever you are willing to share it.
Be well. Chuck
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.
Don't miss this cool new framework for brainstorming ideas
Nate Williams is a well-know, prolific illustrator and letterer - but he is also an idea guy - his bread and butter is generating ideas and he appears willing, even anxious to share his secrets to doing it (and he'd like to hear your ideas too).
First, a wonderful article he wrote about generating ideas, then the blog that grew out of that idea, followed by examples of his work.
Ideas for generating ideas... Here
Idea categories is a brainstorming framework for creatives that grew out of the article... Here
Nate Williams' illustrations
Example 2... Here
Example 3... Here
Nate Williams' main website... Here
Williams' "alter ego" is Alexander Blue (huh?)... Here
How to start your illustration career... Here
What is school for?
An intriguing new insight on education from Seth Godin
I don't think Seth Godin gets enough credit - and he gets LOTS of credit. He is among the most recognized marketers on the planet (Ad Age ranks his blog as fifth on it's Power150). The more I read of what he writes the more I want to know - and that's the best a writer can hope for.
The reason I think he doesn't get enough credit is that he's pegged as a "marketing expert" and, while that label was once true, these days it's a pejorative. After years of reading his thoughts, I get a much broader impression. He's more about seeking the big picture - about trying to figure the best ways of directing the technological renaissance we find ourselves a part of to better ends.
Today I'll go a little off course and ask you to take a look at his latest e-book, Stop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?), a manifesto about the state of education and what we can do about it. You may or may not agree with his conclusions, but the fact that he's devoting his resources to point us to it (it's all free), to my way of thinking, makes it deserving of my attention.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book and Godin.
Seth's Squidoo page about the book... Here
Stop Stealing Dreams in print form (983KB PDF)... Here
While we're on the subject - another just-launched educational effort: "The Raspberry Pi is an ultra-low-cost credit-card sized Linux computer for teaching computer programming to children. It was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which is a UK registered charity (Registration Number 1129409). The foundation exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing. We expect this computer to have many other applications both in the developed and the developing world." Versions will sell for $25 and $35.
Check out these fonts from MyFonts.com
A morgue for graphic designers and photographers
If you're a connoisseur of photography, you'll want to check out The Lively Morgue - a collection of images from the vast photography morgue of The New York Times.
To put that in context, they tell us, "If we posted 10 new archival pictures every weekday on Tumblr, just from our print collection, we wouldn't have the whole thing online until the year 3935."
The Lively Morgue (located on Tumblr)... Here
The curators also go to the trouble of scanning the back of each print to share the actual production notes and captions... Here
An explanation of the back story notations can be found at the bottom of the About section of The Lively Morgue website... Here
Another excellent morgue: The New York Journal American Photographic Morgue at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin... Here
The LENS has previously presented small collections of images from its morgue. Here's one on the transport of animals titled, "Landing in New York, on All Fours"... Here
If you're a particular nerd, you might enjoy reading about the derivation of newspaper morgues in this somewhat obscure publication from 1925 titled, "Special Libraries" provided by the Special Libraries Association. Here
It explains, in part, "Miss Florence Woodworth of the New York State Library is authority for the statement that the first newspaper morgue was begun in Chicago in 1869. In the chapter on 'Pamphlets and Minor Material' in the A.L.A. Handbook of Library Economy published in 1917, she writes: 'From the days of the first scrapbook, appreciation of the value of clippings seems steadily to have grown. Newspaper men early saw the worth of an up-to-date file of information not to be had from books, and the first 'morgue' was begun in Chicago in 1869.'" Special Libraries, Vol. 16, No. 10, December 1925 (1.8MB PDF)... Here
See and learn from this unusual collection of letterheads and logo designs for the famous and infamous
Shaun Usher has done us the great favor of finding and curating a collection of interesting letterhead designs used by the famous, the infamous, and the organizations they represent. It's a fascinating look at how people and organizations perceive their brand.
(Ironic, Paul Rand's letterhead has no logo.)
Bride of Frankenstein promotional letterhead (1935)... Here
The Bauhaus letterhead (1927)... Here
Abraham Lincoln's letterhead (1860)... Here
Shaun Usher's Letterheady website... Here
His other website, Letters of Note, Correspondence deserving of a wider audience... 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...
For Adobe InDesign... Here
Brief posts from Chuck's Twitter and Facebook pages...
Author Lee Silber left a comment on my website today suggesting you create a tag line for yourself... pretty good idea. What's your tagline for 2012? If you don't already know Lee, you'll find him... Here
The ad world is buzzing about this fascinating new spot for Dow by Draftfcb, Chicago... Here
An Important (and encouraging) Time for Design... Here
When your portfolio is this good, you want the website design to keep out of the way
Photographer Tony Dorio's wonderfully theatrical images don't need lots of explanation. I'm guessing that's why Hello Monday decided to create a website design that allows them to stand on their own. The site design is refreshingly different and the work is solid as a rock.
The website design... Here
A few of my favorites by photographer Tony Dorio: Example 1... Here
Dorio: Example 2... Here
Dorio: Example 3... Here
The design firm is Hello Monday - kudos... Here
Meet illustrator Ty Wilkins
Sometimes I think a simple illustration style like this is more difficult than one that portrays its subjects more literally. As if you not only have to understand the reality of the shapes, colors, and context, but you also have to define all the abstract pieces necessary to reproduce it in symbolic form. Nice stuff.
Example 2... Here
Example 3... Here
Ty Wilkins website... Here
See how Chris Sickels designs and constructs a compelling sculptural illustration
If you're a designer you've probably seen Chris Sickels' work at Red Nose. His unusual, quirky sculptures have been used to illustrate articles in many leading publications. Though I pointed you to his portfolio a few years ago, I found this look inside the design and construction of a specific illustration fascinating.
First, the illustration in use at delivermagazine.com - a publication of the USPS featuring marketing research, news, and commentary... Here
Here's how the illustration was constructed... Here
Chris Sickels' portfolio... Here
The Artalog is showcase for illustrators represented by Magnet Reps and Frank Sturges Reps... Here