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I believe a franchise or a business with multiple locations simply cannot guarantee superior customer service--they can design and dictate it but they cannot systematize it's delivery. Customer service is a complex, dynamic, interpersonal process and perception that can change day-to-day. 
 
Which leads me to wonder why so many larger organizations use customer service as a selling point. I see an ad playing it up and I'm just as likely to replay negative experiences as positive.

That, to me, is a huge advantage for smaller, single-location businesses. When you have the people with ultimate responsibility working next to the people who deliver the products and services, it just stands to reason that there's a better chance a superior customer service ethic will take hold and play out.

It's one of the vast number of differences between extra-large, large, medium, small, and micro businesses.

Be well, Chuck
 
 
Have thoughts about Design Briefing 176 (this one)?  
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...

 
Let's make icons

Michael Flarup designs app icons and is kind enough let the rest of share in his workflow. His "templates" for presenting icons are more than a shape and shadow. His Photoshop resource files allows you to add your basic design and automatically generate all the various sizes required on iOS and Android. The PSD also includes a collection of built in textures and colors.

Thanks Michael.

Here's where you download one of the templates... 
And here's a brief video that describes how you use it... 
Michael Flarup's portfolio... 
Meet illustrators Zim And Zou

Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann of Zim&Zou create, among other things, three-dimensional paper sculptures. Their clients include Hermès, IBM, Le Monde, Washington Post, and others.

As physically crafted illustrations and installations become less common, I feel as if I value them more.

Example 1... 
Example 2... 
Example 3... 
The process... 
Zim And Zou's website... 
Apple, please say it ain't so--the Steve Jobs statue... 
The complexity of simplicity

I was struck by this post about famous landmarks under construction. It reminds me of how much of design is about simplifying the appearance and function of the subject--and how often good design masks its real complexity.

The sleek, gentle curves of the Eiffel Tower, for example, are deceptively elegant and simple. I did not fully appreciate the complexity of its structure until I began looking at the original plans.

I think graphic design works the same way. Our job is to take a complex mix of facts, opinions, and imagery and translate them into a seamless, easy-to-understand action.

Famous landmarks under construction... 
But the actual plans tell the real story... 
A rare, early film of the Eiffel Tower... 
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Did your design cause the success of the product?

I was thinking that a true design hell would feature marketing campaigns for wildly successful products and services. It is there that the designer would find out that, had it not been for their campaign, that the product would have been twice as successful.

The making of a brand is the sum of so many divergent parts--people, ideas, timing, location, and so on--that it is sometimes hard to know how the magic happened.


Is this a real ad or the first 30 seconds of a 60 second SNL skit? 
From The New Yorker: The End of Brand Loyalty by James Surowiecki... 
(Thanks to Deborah Green for pointing us to it).


Meet Disney storyboarder Mark Kennedy

We've discussed storyboarding before-a storyboard is a kind of visual script for a TV-spot or motion picture.

Today I want to point you to a wonderful source of insight on the subject from a talented and experienced animation storyboard artist, Mark Kennedy.

Through his blog, Temple of the Seven Golden Camels (named as an homage to Carl Barks, the author and illustrator of Donald and Scrooge McDuck comics), Kennedy discusses drawing and filmmaking from the perspective of a storyboard artist.

What Makes A Good Story Portfolio/Story Artist?... 
An interview with Mark Kennedy from AnimationInsider.com... 
Want to pursue a career in animation? Here's the Walt Disney Animation Studios... 
Wondering how many people it takes to create a full length animated feature?

At the upper end, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) lists well over 600 people as participating in the production of Pixar's Ratatouille!... 
 
For 30+ years, my favorite drawing hardware...
 
Bienfang Parchment Tracing Pad
Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil
Jerry Seinfeld's creative productivity secret... 
Mike Parker, American typographer, Director of Typographic Development at Mergenthaler Linotype, co-founder of Bitstream, dies at 85

Knowing who our decedents are, where they came from, what they contributed, and what their lives were like, to a degree, helps us put our own lives in perspective. The same holds true about understanding your craft-knowing some history about graphic design and some of the players has, to me, always seemed a worthwhile pursuit. When, for example, I look back at a particularly handsome nameplate for a magazine, knowing how it evolved potentially helps me identify the steps that might reveal ways of producing a similarly impressive outcome.

To that end, here is a piece of typographic news that is worth knowing, noting, and appreciating: Mike Parker died Sunday. If you have not heard the name, I hope the following parts and pieces will begin to help you appreciate the gravity of his life-and his influence on ours.

Thanks to my friends Jessica Mills Jones and David Frenkel for alerting me to the news. They have many good remembrances of their friend Mike's passion for the art and science of typography.

A remembrance from Cyrus Highsmith in the Font Bureau website... 
Mike Parker, the Font God: A brief biography composed by Sibyl Masquelier... 
An interview with Mike Parker from the Type Directors Club... 
Mike Parker prepared this Starling series for Font Bureau... 
How do you explain the Internet and Google to a diehard AOL user...

1. The Internet is a cabinet that holds billions of file folders. Google is one way of searching a big chunk of the folders and their individual files. AOL is a single file folder (filled, primarily with ads).

2. The Internet is the world, Google is a window, AOL is an aquarium.

3. The Internet is the sum total of all movies and documentaries ever created, Google is a 10,000 screen, 24/7 movie theatre, AOL is Spider-Man 3.

4. AOL is a free email service that people pay for.


"There's another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you're dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you're secretly worried it's a pair of tens." Carol Dweck


Have thoughts about Design Briefing 176 (this one)?  
 
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 Lynda.com and MyFonts.com -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] -- Chuck Green