Thanks for subscribing.


This fascinates me: A couple of months ago a developer in my part of the world added a little panel to a larger sign (there's a photo of it on my Facebook page) that announced, "ONLY 8 HOMESITES LEFT". 


You should know that this development has been open since 2007 and there were only 30-some home sites to begin with. (It's a handsome development but it was just underway when real estate went south for many).  


What fascinates me is that, in the ensuing weeks, the count has gone steadily down until, last week when they changed the sign to read, "1 HOMESITE LEFT".  


I don't know the whole story, but could a simple sign sell so much property? Could it be that merely beginning a countdown could have helped move that many buyers? If that was the case, it would a remarkable example of how making a small change can result in big changes.   


Thanks for your interest, 


Check out my InDesign and Quark Ideabooks 


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...  



100 things every designer needs to know about people


That's the title of an insightful book by Dr. Susan Weinschenk - a Ph.D. in Psychology. In it she parses the intricacies of scientific research and restates it in the context of design and marketing. 

It's a book in which even the most experienced designer will find valuable, useful insights that can readily be applied to all types of design work. 

Example 1: You make most of your decisions unconsciously... Here  


Example 2: What you see is not what your brain gets... Here 


Example 3: Size matters when it comes to fonts... Here


An archive of Weinschenk's articles... Here


One of Susan Weinschenk's presentations: The Top Ten Things Every Interactive Marketer Needs To Know About People (for the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association)... Here


On Twitter, Dr. Weinschenk is The Brain Lady... Here


Three of her books: 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People... Here 


100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People... Here 


Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?... Here


What every lawyer (and graphic designer) needs to know about the proper use of typography 

Back in January, typeface designer Matthew Butterick sent a letter to film director Brad Bird chastising him about his use of the Verdana typeface for the subtitles of the film, Mission Impossible. Bird's response came in the form of a tweet and was dismissive: "...If you direct a big film on a tight budget & schedule, chances are fonts won't ever be your most pressing problem." 

I can't think of an example that better illustrates the chasm between those who specify and apply typefaces without giving it a thought and those who find significance in the many ways typefaces, properly used, are used to clarify the communication of information and make it easier to read and digest. 

Matthew Butterick, who is also a lawyer, is the author of Typography For Lawyers, Essential Tools For Polished & Persuasive Documents. Though it is clearly written for lawyers, most of the book is applicable to non-lawyers as well. As he states in its introduction, "If you ignore typography, you are ignoring an opportunity to improve both your writing and your advocacy." 

Though much of the book is presented online we are told that about two-thirds, including many visual examples, specific technical instructions for specific word processing programs, and other segments are only available in the for purchase versions. 

Though I do not adhere to every nuance, I certainly recommend you take a look. Matthew Butterick's book offers a valuable, compelling example of typographic mastery. 

Thanks to Jeff Fisher for pointing us to it. 

Typography For Lawyers, the Introduction... Here


Some excellent ideas on font substitution... Here


Before and after documents... Here


The front door to Butterick's website... Here


Sample pages (7) from the book (630KB PDF)... Here


Here's a designer all graphic designers can learn from 

Roberto de Vicq is clearly someone we can learn from. I can typically look at six or eight pieces from a particular designer's portfolio and get a pretty good feel for what they do. I relate their work to a particular genre or design and study it within that context. 

But I find de Vicq's work difficult to categorize. He has an unusual, interesting way of communicating ideas that, to me, is both bold and elegant. 

Example 1... Here


Example 2... Here


Example 3... Here


The DE VICQ DESIGN website... Here


And his blog... Here


De Vicq is the author of Men of Letters and People of Substance... Here


What can a graphic designer learn from a storefront design? 

Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York is a book by Karla and James Murray, two photographers who have made a hobby of capturing the design of the one-of-a-kind storefronts that make New York City and the surrounding boroughs so distinctive. 

When you think of it, a storefront is much like a page design: the store name is the headline, the store tag line is a subhead, the windows and doors are shaped like text boxes, and the myriad of logos and other imagery used as signage act as illustrations. 

I find these photographs are a good reminder of the importance of distinguishing your client's brand from everyone else's. By that I mean, when you drive by a 7-Eleven or a Target or a Panera, you have a fairly good idea of what you're going to find inside. 

As the world is homogenized there's a movement to homogenize design along with it. To create liquid layouts and non-specific designs that readapt themselves to the devices they are shown on. I want my client's website to work on a tablet, a smartphone, and a desktop, but to relegate the layout to a canned application surrenders a lot of what makes your branding unique. 

There's a place for elasticity, but don't make the mistake of allowing your client's information to be interpreted as nothing more than data. Their "storefront", their unique design, creates some mystery and says and shows what they're about in ways others do not. 

Example 1... Here


Example 2... Here


Example 3... Here


The author's website... Here 


A video about the process... Here


The book... Here



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.

Click here for a 7-day free trial to



The real Mad Men 

The series Mad Men, set in 1960s New York, is a fictional portrayal of, as the producers describe it, "the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell". 

I don't claim that advertising is now or has ever been a business for the faint of heart - but the true story is a lot more complicated than the AMC series portrays. To illustrate, I tracked down some video clips of three iconic copywriters: David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, and Bill Bernbach. Though I don't find that any of them had particularly warm and fuzzy personalities, I think it's instructive to see how they present themselves and explain their respective businesses. 

David Ogilvy... Here


Leo Burnett... Here


Bill Bernbach... Here


Their agencies today... 

Ogilvy & Mather... Here


Leo Burnett... Here


DDB Worldwide Communications Group... Here


How a great photographer creates an opportunity for something extraordinary to happen 

Some photographs look so effortless that you're tempted to think, "If I had the same equipment and opportunity, I'd have captured something equally as good." But then you remember that it is one's ability to control those details that dictates the quality of the result. It is access to the proper equipment, the knowledge of how to choose the right props, the wherewithal to assemble the players, and so on, that makes it possible for something extraordinary to happen. 

Art Streiber is one of the most esteemed, prolific photographers on the scene in 2012. Here, I want to point you to a few of his many fascinating "ensemble" photographs. 

Example 1... Here


Example 2... Here


Example 3... Here


Streiber's website... Here


An in depth interview with Steiber from Diego Guevara's THEE BLOG... Here


Stockland Martel, representative of Streiber's work... 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