On the surface, this sounds obvious, but it's something I had never really heard articulated regarding the practice of graphic design: 

"Clients are not the ones who will guide the design process; they aren't familiar with the methods you practice. Instead, it's your responsibility to lead them through this process and facilitate a dialogue that moves them in the right direction." from The Design Method by Eric Karjaluoto.

Next time a client questions the direction of a project, I'll ask myself if I've done everything necessary to lead them through the process.

Happy trails,
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...

For Adobe InDesign
For QuarkXPress
Infographics and the use of shapes to depict abstract data

Alberto Lucas López, the Graphics Director at South China Morning Post, has a real gift for finding interesting ways of interpreting abstract data.

Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...
An illustration and some detail of how it was produced...
López's Website...
The legal side of graphic design: ethics, copyright, trademarks, intellectual property, information accuracy, advertising claims, confidentiality, to name a few...

Occasionally I'll run into someone doesn't quite understand the do's and don'ts of advertising and marketing. It got me thinking about all of the rules and regulations a graphic designer needs to be be aware of--ethics, copyright, the various types of trademarks, other types of intellectual property, the accuracy of information, advertising claims, confidentiality, and so on.

For me, becoming aware of such things has been a cumulative process--but the scope of it is wide and deep. Something design and marketing programs should be including in their curricula.

Here are some examples of what happens when someone doesn't understand the legal side of graphic design...

From AdAge.com: Nine things you can't do in advertising if you want to stay on right side of the law...
An example of a recent National Advertising Division finding...
Some examples of how not to use an organization's identity...
Have you tried a standing desk?

I have used this IKEA BEKANT Sit/Stand Desk (the version without the side piece) for a few weeks now and I definitely recommend it. One or two hours a day is having a (surprisingly) significant, positive effect in my mood and energy.

Chair slouch like me? Do yourself a favor.
When it looks this easy...

I'm always complaining about the fact that so few people outside our field understand the many steps it takes to write, design, and produce a website or a print piece. After reading this article on the production of two recent Super Bowl ads, I tend to think we have it easy...

The Snickers-Brady Bunch spot...
The article about its production...
The production shop was O Positive in cooperation with The Mill-and the agency was BBDO New York...
RSA produced the Mercedes spot for the Merkley & Partners agency...
Reid Miles was the Norman Rockwell of photographers

And I mean that literally. Back in the 1970s and 80s Reid Miles made a name for himself creating photographs that conjured up the very distinct, iconic style of illustrator Norman Rockwell.

I wish I could find more of his work to share with you. The detail of the images was extraordinary.

A representative example of the style...
A 1986 article from Step-By-Step Graphics...
Another mention of Reid Miles...
In his heyday...
All that said, believe it or not, Miles is for his earlier work...
He fashioned his photographs after the very distinct, iconic style of illustrator Norman Rockwell...
Telling stories in different voices

Gentleman Scholar is a production shop in Los Angeles that has managed the rare feat of creating high-quality work in many different styles.

Example 1: HP Manifesto...
Example 2: Community for PNC Bank...
Example 3: Technical Breakdown for the WDC...
The Gentleman Scholar Website...
The co-founders of Gentleman Scholar, Will Johnson and William Campbell are interviewed by Communication Arts magazine here...
12 Questions on the future of design

This is an interesting exercise. The folks at Medium.com asked, "A list of clever thinkers and interesting friends in the design world," 12 questions on the future of the general practice of design.

Ask yourself the same questions-the answers may well give you some insights into where to head in your own life as a designer.

1. What do you do, make, or design?

2. What three key works or ideas set the stage for what you're doing now?

3. What's the most under-appreciated idea in design right now?

4. What idea is most overhyped?

5. What recent tool do you think has had the biggest impact on how your field works and what you create?

6. Who's the most important person in your field right now?

7. What's the most important design to come out of your field in the past 10 years?

8. What's the biggest challenge, problem, or question your field needs to tackle right now?

9. What piece of pop culture has the most interesting notion of what the future might look and feel like, design-wise?

10. Ten years from now, will design in your field look and feel more like the natural world, or more artificial? More complex and ornate, or more spare and minimal?

11. What new thing do you wish technology could do in order to open up the potential of your work?

12. What one word would sum up your predictions for where design in your field is headed next?

Thanks to Chris Miller for pointing us to it.

The answers from Medium's survey...
In honor of the passing of the inventor of the pink plastic flamingo

In honor of the passing of Donald Featherstone, the inventor of the pink plastic flamingo, I am posting this image from the front yard of our house on the occasion was my wedding to the beautiful Miss Leslie Carlisle in 1980.

About Mr. Featherstone...
Sometimes it's as much or more about consistency as it is about quality...

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