// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Design Thinking: Herman Miller. Ralph Caplan.

I'll be posting about this in greater detail soon, but for now, I'm realizing that based on the reality of life as I currently know it, the word "soon" could more reasonably end up meaning "never," so take a sneak peek at these incredible in-house, very limited edition publications. They are from Herman Miller Incorporated, and were produced in conjunction with the great design thinker Ralph Caplan, and designed by the legendary John Massey of Container Corporation of America fame. I so admire John's legacy of work and thinking. I inherited these from a former Creative Director I served with while still in Michigan. As I stated in the comments section of an AIGA post recently...I received these in 1988 and still treasure all four of these publications. They were in-house produced articles on four subject matters. ATTENTION. CONNECTION. TENSION. And OMISSION. All four read "some incomplete thoughts with room for improvement, by Ralph Caplan." They played an important role in the fabric of my overall design thinking at a critical time in my design career, one which now spans some 20 years. I will be photographing the interiors, which of course is the important part, when I can. For now, enjoy the eye candy.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool! Love stuff like this!

10:24 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for posting this amazing design.

2:07 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...


Thanks for taking time to stop by and for dropping me a note. Glad you enjoyed the pubs. I'll take photos of the inside this weekend and share those too.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Timothy [CPCUS] said...

Hi Barry

Weird question; I've interviewed Ralph for a book I'm writing on sketching, and he referred to these books; I've only been able to get images of the front covers from him, though. If you have photographed the insides, would you consider sharing them with me? I'd happily give you a photo credit plus a copy of the book when it comes out next spring.

Let me know what you think; you can email me at sketchbook.book [at] gmail [dot] com


4:32 PM  
Blogger woodley park-zoo said...

Hello again (following almost crazy flickr stalkerage, right? Eeps!) I am looking forward to your photos of the contents because these truly intrigue me. How lucky that these rare pieces are in posession by someone who wants to share!

1:07 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

woodley park-zoo - Well, one of the caveats of the investment in time I have poured into Flickr is the cool people I have met along the way, yourself included. So I appreciate how you add to the conversation that is Blogging and that is Flickr.

I do wish to dispel the notion that I might any time soon photograph the interiors of these publications. They are some 80 pages each, consist of four, and represent more time than I will be able to invest. I already have my hands full with getting my store up and running as well as our long drawn out adoption process, which as you can imagine takes priority over everything.

All that said, I have two on loan to Tim (see comment above). Under the right circumstances I might be able to loan them, but am leery considering their value.

A quandary for sure, as I am inspired by your passion for reading them, but inundated with responsibilities. I maybe shouldn't have made the indication I would be able to, but in reality I thought some may benefit just by the knowledge they exist, and might enjoy seeing them at all. That was a risk I took, and I hope you aren't too disappointed to appreciate that aspect of my posting on them.

Thanks for commenting and stay passionate about design. I'm in Chicagoland so I could always show them to you in person if that ever presented itself as possible.

See ya back on Flickr.

6:04 PM  

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