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Design, to me, is more of a lifestyle than a craft. A designer is a designer because they see design in all aspects of life. "Good" ones are (in my experience) multifaceted, interesting people who follow all types of pursuits--they are craftsmen, cooks, illustrators, writers, artists, do-it-yourselfers, and so on--knowledgable enough about life and the world that they have a vision people gravitate to.
Be well, Chuck


Have you seen my 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...  Here 



What is the value of an idea?

Though Steve Jobs and Apple are credited with the introduction of the iPad, it was not a new idea. Roger Fidler, the Director of Knight-Ridder Information Design Lab, and his team had mocked up a very similar-looking and working tablet fifteen years earlier. And, before that, Arthur C. Clarke spoke about a "Newspad" device early as the 1960s.

Which brings to mind the fact that an idea or design is just a small part of a complex equation. To succeed in launching a new product or service, you, more often than not, will draw on the insights, inventions, and skills of many others. I dare say it should humble us.

Though tablets were clearly not a new idea when they first showed up in the early 2000s, making the iPad a reality required much new and innovative technology, the development of a groundbreaking interface design, ramping up of a massive manufacturing chain, a worldwide of sales and distribution network, and much, much more.

Is there value to intellectual property? Of course. But this is a great reminder of the fact that just thinking of an idea doesn't make it a success.

Thanks to Jim Green for pointing us to it.

From 1994: The Tablet Newspaper: A Vision for the Future...  Here


Of course Arthur C. Clarke spoke about the "Newspad" in the sixties...  Here
The controversy as reported by The Washington Post...  Here


Article from the New York Times, August 1995 announcing the shutting down of Knight-Ridder's research lab...  Here 


Roger Fidler today...  Here



Meet illustrator and cartoonist KAL

The Economist is a British weekly that covers international news and politics. Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher recently celebrated his 35th anniversary as its primary cartoonist. Below is an indepth discussion with Kallaugher regarding his process and a business in transition.

Thanks for Grahame Berney for pointing us to it.

Example 1...  Here 


Example 2...  Here


Example 3...  Here 


An indepth discussion with Kallaugher...  Here


KAL's website...  Here


For all the advertising nerds (me)...


A synopsis of the season finale of Mad Men, including another look at the final scene...  Here



Learn virtually any software program... I recommend A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial.  Here
But wait! There's more!  


Michael Senoff is a pitchman-and I mean that in a nice way. I say, pitchman because Senoff not only promotes the art of marketing (his site offers a large cache of in-depth interviews with well know marketing experts and copywriters), he presents it with unabashed passion, spoken in a causal, quick voice perking with superlatives. His is the old school of "Act now," "FREE," and the "money-back guarantees" where everything sounds almost too good to be true.

But often it is not. It may all sound a little over the top, but much of what Senoff and the people he interviews discuss is fact. Jay Conrad Levinson, for example, hasn't sold over 15 million Guerilla Marketing books because Guerilla Marketing doesn't work, he's sold them because they include lots of smart, useful tactics.

I point you to it because I find his interviews to be worth hearing. Though the recording leaves something to be desired, Senoff asks the type of questions I'd ask myself.

An in-depth interview with copywriter Bob Bly...  Here


From 2004, an in-depth interview with the father of Guerrilla Marketing, Jay Conrad Levinson...  Here


Here's the library...  Here 


And Michael Senoff's bio...  Here


If you use this link to buy your type from, you won't pay any more but I'll get a kickback and will be one step closer to getting that English manor house.  Here 



A new design from your friendly megacorporation, whether you like it or not

Apple announced a major redesign of it's mobile operating system a few days ago which is, in some ways, analogous to the changes in Windows 8 that Microsoft thrust upon the market last year.

They call it simplicity. And as we discussed with the Microsoft redesign, the goal it to find an alternative to what some see as the heavy-handed nature of a skeuomorphic interface.

Whether you like the changes of not (I'm good with it), it occurs to me that, in cases such as this, design has become a dictate. With many of us getting antsy about how much control the digital world is wielding these days, I wonder how long we'll accept having a major shift like this thrust upon us at the whim of the provider?

In any case, here is the new design and some discussion about it.

From Apple: The redesign of iOS 7...  Here 


The typefaces appear to from the Helvetica Neue family, perhaps UltraLight and Thin?  Here


An analysis from Gizmodo...  Here


We discussed the decline of the skeuomorphic interface last year...  Here 


Why does EVERYTHING seem smarter when I didn't think of it?


A particularly successful packaging makeover

I'm not big on beer-anything that dulls your senses makes it more difficult to make sense of things. But that's just me. That said, it's fun to watch how the owners of an iconic brand like Budweiser periodically re-invent their flagship products. To that end, the latest incarnation of the Budweiser can takes on the shape of its bowtie logo. I like it.

(It helps that I'm a sucker for complex, medicine bottle-like package labels).

A video overview...  Here


The Dieline did a nice piece on it...  Here


The current bowtie design was introduced in 2011...  Here 



I heard this spot earlier...  


Here's the tag line for a campaign being run by Quicken Loans: "...because, at Quicken Loans, client service isn't everything, it's the ONLY thing."

Honestly, what does that accomplish for the client? Does anyone really believe such platitudes?

Quicken is spending, I suspect, hundreds of thousands to propagate a message that goes nowhere.

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