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Design question 1: How can we (and our clients) make the hours we have most productive?

One of my clients (even though they have a small crew), keeps its support team online until 8pm to accommodate the needs of its customers. Not a big deal.

Or maybe it is.

The point is, they aren't closing their eyes and assuming that customers who want products like their's all want to do business between 9am to 5pm.

The days of being competitive by being the same are over. Assuming that 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, and June/July/August are universally accepted norms is lazy thinking. We need to figure out ways to meet prospects and customers when and where THEY are available.

Looking for a competitive edge? For one thing, it might be something as simple as rethinking how you spend your time.

Be well, Chuck

A behind the scenes look UX problems and solutions

The UXies is an award program that showcases the best in UX design: the designers, the clients, and the outcomes. I particularly appreciate the case studies which give you a behind the scenes look at the problem and solution.

The 2014 User Experience Awards...
Example of a submission case study...
The User Experience Awards website...
Font names...

A clever list of font names from the New Yorker's Emma Rathbone...
An introduction to the design and application of vehicle wraps

I didn't know anything about vehicle wrapping but was interested in adding it to my design repertoire (clearly, I will rely on professionals to install it). If you'd like a basic introduction, here are some helpful links I compiled through my research.

Here's an introduction to the steps of the process...
About designing the artwork: 10 Tips for Designing Vehicle Wraps with Adobe Illustrator (from ImageSmith)...
About designing the artwork: Let's Talk Shop--Vehicle Wrap Templates (From Sign & Digital Graphics Magazine)...
Some ballpark ideas of pricing from a random signmaker...
Last year I introduced you to Dan Antonelli and his book, Building a Big Small Business Brand. Dan and his crew are experienced vehicle wrap designers. Here's how he sells his vehicle wrap services...
My earlier post about Dan Antonelli and his book, Building a Big Small Business Brand...
An amazing collection of art forms in nature

Kunst-Formen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature) is a book that features lithographic prints created by biologist Ernst Haeckel around the turn of the twentieth century. It is an amazing collection of vibrant, graphic illustrations.

Thanks to Eric Gjerde for posting it.

Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...
The full book: Kunst-Formen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature), by Ernst Haeckel, 1898...
Eric Gjerde has also posted The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones, 1853...
I had not heard this smart, so true expression until today: "You're never an expert in your own home town."

Meet illustrator, artist Rudy Gutierrez

What little I know about Rudy Gutierrez hints that he is the best of both worlds-artist and illustrator. By that I mean he has the sensibility of an artist and a talent for channeling his work to practical ends.

Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...

Rudy Gutierrez's website ...

The Jimi Hendrix piece was commissioned by the United States Postal Service for a stamp. The artist's story and demonstration of his technique...
There's also a section of Rudy Gutierrez's website that shows more of his technique...
Gutierrez has been teaching at the Pratt Institute since 1990...
New from Lynda.com

You can view the introductions, and sample clips...

Logo Design Techniques with Nigel French...
Print Production Essentials: Direct Mail with Trish Witkowski
Illustrator CC Essential Training with Justin Seeley
"Every project starts with a brief. But very few projects end up with exceptional results. Why?"

Tom Bassett, Director of Bassett & Partners interviewed an impressive list of well known creatives to discuss creative briefs and how they do (and don't) contribute to the design process.

The video: Briefly from Bassett & Partners...
About the video...
The websites of those who contributed to the program.

Frank Gehry, Gehry Partner...
Yves Béhar, fuseproject...
John C Jay, Wieden + Kennedy...
Illustrator Maira Kalman...
David Rockwell, Rockwell Group...
John Boiler, 72andSunny...
Meet illustrator and designer Marty Blake

Marty Blakes work is an interesting mix of collage and illustration. Her website describes the process like this, "Marty's illustration is grounded in collage, most often executed digitally. Her pictures are composed of scraps from her extensive library of old books, magazines, ephemera, and a prized set of 1939 wallpaper swatchbooks. She uses her own photographs and stock photography when needed."

Interesting stuff.

Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...
Marty Blake's website...
Work in progress...

Blake's Facebook page...
Vintage design from World War I, World War II, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA)

Vintagraph produces posters and prints from scans of artwork and illustrations found in the vast collections of the Library of Congress. Not a surprise, it is run by the same folks who brought us Shorpy.com-one of my all-time favorite websites, an ever-growing collection of restored photographs from the same sources.

Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...

The Vintagraph website...
A Time Magazine article profiling Shorpy.com...

My first post about Shorpy.com...
For the person who has everything (I have no idea)...

If you use InDesign (or QuarkXPress), you might find this useful

The idea is simple. Modifying a well-designed template is far easier than starting from scratch. My InDesign Ideabook includes 315 researched, designed, and meticulously formatted documents in a clean, simple style that it easy to build on.

The Ideabook lets you breeze through time-consuming document setup and get right to the important stuff. Instead of spending 15 minutes to create a simple layout, you'll spend 15 seconds. For complex projects-books, newsletters, catalogs, reports-you'll save HOURS.

"If you need to create winning design and your time is important to you, there is no better investment than Chuck Green's Idea Book. I write copy and create marketing materials for small business, and Chuck's world class layouts have me up and running in minutes instead of hours. I can't recommend this book enough!" Kory Basaraba, Copywriter and Consultant, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

For Adobe InDesign
For QuarkXPress

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