// 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).

Saturday, September 30, 2006

This is not your father’s Audimobile

So you bought the Audi Q7, and you're looking to disguise it as a mid level GM vehicle? Today's your lucky day!
...reminds me of...


Audi R8 Goodness

The amazing R8. Mid-engine Audi/Lamborghini Gallardo platform. 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. About $100,000.

( via leftlane )


Friday, September 29, 2006

Marketing to the Hispanic audience

So a Puertorican, Cuban, Colombian, Argentine walk into a bar. Nope, this isn’t some cheap, tasteless joke about our newfound multiculturalism. It’s everyday at one of the top Hispanic agencies in the US.
Unless you’ve been living in Kuala Lampur, you know the Hispanic market has enjoyed a boom over the past few years. Clients are familiar with the research and charts all showing the growth in purchase power over the next few years coming from the Hispanic market, so most are interested in buying into this “new trend” which has been happening for the past 20+ years.

José Reyes is partner and creative director at Turbulence, an award-winning creative shop in Miami focused on revitalizing brands by building culture not just advertising.

( via ihaveanidea.org )

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

10,000 reasons to show off

The Pilsner Urquell International Photography Awards Competition is the world’s most prestigious photography contest for both professional and amateur photographers. Enter Advertising, Architecture, Book, Editorial, Fine Art, Nature, People and Special categories for your chance to win the coveted title of International Photographer of the Year and the $10,000 cash prize today.


Why do some things never go out of style?

The great practitioners of modern design in America instinctively knew the answer. Herman Miller would like to explore this idea with you. Meet the designers, learn about their world and their work. Like
anything from Herman Miller, this site is valuable.

herman miller discovering design


This is why I don’t go to the movies

People are dumbfounded when it comes up in conversation (about every five minutes it seems) that I rarely see a movie. I've never seen ET, Star Wars, etc. I have many reasons why this is the case, but a real good reason is the fear of turning into this guy.

( via res72 )

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Passion and High Performers

Ten Ways to Build Passion
10. See greatness in those around you and share your vision
9. Express constructive feedback in terms of "the vision"
8. Believe that things can be different and approach the improbable with optimism
7. Set high standards for performance and hold EVERYONE accountable
6. Demonstrate courage, judgement, risk-taking and continuous improvement in your own performance
5. Recognize and celebrate success
4. Design growth experiences that stretch but don't break people
3. Invest in trust and even love
2. Respond maturely to failures and setbacks
1. Push power and decision making down

“High performers drive you nuts sometimes. You need to enjoy that. Steer them, frame their objectives, but don’t repress them.”
--Terry Leclair, Senior PD Director at Intuit

“High performers are like ‘thoroughbreds’. They require lots of care and feeding - but boy can they run.”
-- Tobey Corey, Founder US Web

“As a leader you have the obligation to define the ‘what’ to the Nth level - to get to goals for the right level - to make sure the ‘what’ is right. But you don't want to dictate the ‘how’. You want to give the team and the individual the determination of ‘how’.”
-- Pankaj Shukla, VP, Quickbooks PD at Intuit

Eight Ways to Wipe Out High Performers
1. Work overload
2. Lack autonomy (micromanagement)
3. Skimpy rewards
4. Loss of connection
5. Unfairness
6. Value conflicts
7. Let low-performers ride
8. Create an environment of fear, uncertainty and doubt
- -
A video on the subject of top performers and leadership
If you’re one of my immediate colleagues, this may not play nice with our proxy.

( via creativegeneralist )


The Hilton Experience

Hilarious, really. A post about “get-aways” from a person who barely ever takes a break. But...This website blows my mind. If it loads slow, know it’s worth the wait. If not for just the music.

Ben Folds, Persephone's Bees, James Blount, Vassey, etc.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Dear God..."

These letters speak for themselves.

( via BagOfNothing.com )

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Instilling Innovative Culture

Trends, the future, innovation, creativity -- that's the focus of internationally recognized futurist Jim Carroll. Jim believes it’s a great time to adopt ideas to get your company out of a complacency- funk and into an innovation- mindset. One that will help you turn change into opportunity.
A 10-Step program.

( via jimcarroll.com )

Friday, September 22, 2006

30 Days. 30 Pieces of Art.

20 artists make a piece of art. Each day. For 30 days.

( via

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Be. Like. Mike. (aka: mikeartworks)

Mike’s got his own Coke commercial. Big skills.

( via LOUNGE72™ )


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Innovation isn't business as usual

Companies who’s boardroom understands the tangible value of design and brand also understand creativity and innovation requires a unique blend of work and play. And only a few companies in the world are as successful in these regards as Apple. Jonathan Ive, Apple’s creative thought leader and senior vice president of product design, leads a team with the utmost respect and concern for the design process. Here’s a rare glimpse into Apple’s design and innovation process under Ive’s stellar leadership.

Still Interested? Then check out...

More lessons on Design Innovation

BusinessWeek Innovation

( thanks Chris A )


Better Living Through Design

An e-magazine dedicated to people interested in great design. All products meet at least two of the three criteria:

1. Must be available to purchase online.
2. Is well designed and has a useful purpose.
3. Is made using recyclable/sustainable materials or otherwise environmentally sound

Honestly, a bunch of stuff you don't need.

Better Living Through Design


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Attention Ministries: This site will suck

Though the name might throw you, if you’re involved in ANY way (however remotely) in serving the design, marketing or general communication needs of a ministry, I guaranteed this site will suck - (hours of your time that is)! According to the website, it’s intention is to “frustrate, educate and motivate the church to communicate” - simply put, to help the church matter. I care about the latter part of that statement, which is why I thought you too might be interested in checking out this site.

If you go quickly through the site you won’t appreciate it. The concept is very intentional. Here’s insight into why they chose to use the “S” word. They’ve provided an alternative link with a different name in case the word troubles you.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Teddy - Draw 2D, Get 3D

An amazin
g Drawing Program that takes your 2D drawings and Java renders them in 3D. Very amazing. I could see this technology being developed further and better, but quite a step forward in concepting. Windows OS only.

By Takeo Igarashi.

( via slashdot )


InDesign CS2 Tip-of-the-Week Archive

All the InDesign CS2 Tip of the Week articles
in one convenient location here. Considering how much time I spend in this application, it never ceases to amaze me how much more there is to know.


K5 in time for Christmas?

The Apple iPod’s relaunched. And though I’m one of the last 10,000 holdouts in the United States without one, I do have the Motorola ROKR. Contrary to the millions of negative reviews, this is a very nice phone/MP3 combo device. I’ve enjoyed it.

But “music’s meant to be shared” says Samsung...
...with the introduction of their K5 mp3 player. Looks pretty nice (and would share quite nicely into my Christmas stocking!).

Now, speed ahead 5 years and who do we see running into the marketplace, cash money wildly spewing out of their back pockets? Well it's big ole’ Microsoft!
Ladies and gentlemen...introducing ZUNE. (Campaign suggestion...“Zune, Zune, Zune”). Again, I may be the only person who doesn’t get it, but apparently this disturbing and unhelpful website is Microsoft’s concept of what information might quench the thirst of their hungry and loyal customer base.

Hey, Race ya’ to iTunes to buy that catchy Ashtar Command song they use on the site called “The Second Coming of the Monkey God.” Last one there’s a...well...a rotten Monkey. And while I'm on the subject, ya’ suppose Apple would employ a song on their website from a band named after this organization?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blogging Anxiety (Check your ego at the door)

Perhaps you’re aware of this, but I’m new at this blogging thing. And each time I consider adding a new post, a few key questions come to mind.

Questions like, “Since I find this interesting and/or helpful, will others?” Or, “Is what I"m about to publish something only I have never seen before?” Or, “Where in the world-wide-web did I mine this nugget of goodness?” Further...“If I can't remember who I got it from, or if I miss associate it, will I bum someone out?”
To blog is to best check your ego at the door. Blogging is pretty much an open book in these regards. So should I post something crappy, old, or from your blog without giving you credit, I ask for grace. After all, you get what you pay for, right? As of today, no big checks have graced my mailbox!

Design Impacts Bottom Line

“share prices of companies which invest in design performed up to three times better”

Great companies place high value on design, giving them a competitive “leg up” in their markets. Design allows companies to improve innovation, productivity, create consistent and favorable brand impressions, and numerous other tangible advantages. In turn, design tangibly impacts their companies' bottom line.

In the
Design Index by DesignCouncil (the Canadian equivalent to our own AIGA, for which I'm a member) – statistics prove out this point again and again. I recommend the DesignCouncil site to all my colleagues. It's a treasure trove of insight, rationale, research and inspiration. It's the type of site you might even suggest to your customers. Or potential customers.


Werner's Wonderful Werk

Back in WWII (actually, it was the late 80's), when I was a young designer, I followed the work of the Duffy Design Group. They produced outstanding design, but always struck me as weird that an annual report for a healthcare company could look exactly the same as one for a financial institution. Since that time I've tried very hard not to limit my design solutions to a specific "style."

Well, 20 years have passed, and the rest is history. Duffy & Partners are a mega successful, legendary design powerhouse, and well, I'm not.

I digress.
A designer who cut her teeth at Duffy has gone on to a long and celebrated career, and is now considered amongst the best in the biz. Many of you reading this are well aware of her high profile work, but for those of you who aren't, her name is Sharon Werner. Her site, WernerDesignWerks, is testomony to a wonderful, enviable design career full of top notch work. I really admire her thinking. And her approach. And her client list. You will too.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Plethora of Book Industry Stats

Ironically at lunch the other day, I was sharing with a fellow colleague my desire for more and better research and stats on the book trade. Then, shazam!

UPDATE: These stats are a few years old. Never the less, they do prove intriguing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Comments, Please.

If you've read any of the posts on this blog, click the comment button at the end of any post and write something. Comment on the post you read. Just say hello. Give me an alternative perspective. Whatever. Throw me a bone. I am brand new at blogging and it would be great to know you stopped by. And use your name. I would have removed the "anonymous" option if I was smart enough to figure out how. And oh yeah. Tell everyone you know who might like this to stop by too.

Send them to http://www.studiosmith.blogspot.com

Okay. Now back to work. Or to your family. Or whatever it was you were doing.

Designwire: Design Community


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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rob Roy Kelly - Thought Leader

Seeing often has more to do with understanding than it does with observing.

Just because something is new or different does not always mean that it represents progress.

A sense of responsibility is revealed by the actions of an individual and not their job title.

Cost is never to be confused with value.

More from the late (and great)
Rob Roy Kelly

( via swissmiss )

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Get Y'er Drawin' On!

Want to improve your drawing skills? Then it's time for Illustration Class. An incredible resource for the doodler in you! Complete with how-to's and downloadable images (!) for deconstructing the work shown on the site. Blam!


( via designwire )


Teaching the Value of Identity

One communication designer's attempt to educate his clients and the community at large as to the value of corporate identity. A wealth of good information that includes high profile (and not) case studies, categorized by year. The case studies are great for both beginner and seasoned designers who want to get better at writing design rationale. This site celebrates and credits corporate leaders and designers around the world for outstanding work.

( via DaleHarris )


Friday, September 08, 2006

Marketing. One Customer at a Time.

It kills me when a copywriter actually uses the words "You, the customer" in an ad, something like...

"We value you – because you, the customer, are our customer."
Ads cost the same amount of money to produce and execute whether they're good or bad. In the case of marketing, advertising and communications in general, producing disingenuous material equates to a "missed" opportunity. When marketing communication's are approached like a standard conversation and the audience is fully considered, only then can a message resonate.

To communicate this point, over the summer my wife sent out a letter, as many teachers do, to all 29 of her students. This letter introduced herself; wished them a nice summer; told them how excited she is to meet them; then provided tangible activities they could do during the summer to best prepare them for the school year ahead. The letter was heartfelt, yet exactly the same for all 29 students.

When the first day of class rolled around just recently, a half dozen or so of her students came up to her at different points during the course of the day to tell her how special it was that they received such a personal and encouraging letter from their soon-to-be 5th grade school teacher. The letter obviously made an impact and communicated the fact that she was looking forward to having them on board.

The Point (Yes, I have one):

My wife's "audience" consisted of 29 distinctly different little people and their immediate families. However, based on how she fashioned the communication, each student felt as if they were the only one who the letter was written to. The same effect may not have been realized had the letter said something like...
"I personally welcome you, the student, to a wonderful year..."
Effective marketing should be approached like a personal conversation. Honest, genuine, compassionate, respectful of who you're talking to, when you talk, and how much you say. Because after all, your brand's the collective feeling your audience has about you. And your audience are in fact people, who live and breathe (like you). They reach their conclusions based on the collective interactions and communications they're exposed to, by you. And the receptionist. And through conversations on weekends. You get the drift.

Like this post suggests, the problem with marketing is unfortunately so often, well, marketing. Follow this link to Mark Bixby.com. He too sees this from a similar angle as I. Mark is smart.

"Keeping it Real"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Here are (but just) a few links to real
creative and real unique ad campaigns for real companies by real advertising agencies who charge real money to develop and run real expensive ads and create real communications for what has the potential to be real customers that if pursuaded might become real customers.

I am real tired of this.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tobias! Outerwear for Books.

A book designer with a nice blog and real healthy client list.

Baker Publishing Group
* BookPros * Broadman & Holman * Dana Press * Guideposts Books * Hachette Book Group * Harlequin * Hartmann * Integrity Publishers * P & R Publishing * Reader's Digest * Regnery Publishing * Shepherd Press * Thomas Nelson, Inc. * Upper Room Books * Waterbrook Press * Zondervan

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How Far Did I Run?

If you've ever wondered how far it is from point A to point B on a map, try this. It's especially helpful if you are a runner.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Look Mom, One Hand Only!

Hi, Please may we order another 200 thumbthings. Thanks.
Fraser Jansen, Methven's Booksellers Windsor

A brilliant new invention for reading books – it makes reading more comfortable.

( via swissmiss )


Want a Zestimate of your home's worth?

Type in any address in the USA – and viola - it's home value is displayed for all the world to see. An amazing and somewhat creepy (in a stalker kind of way) concept.

Try it for yourself!

Your Logo Doesn't Matter (Sort of)

Don't get me wrong. A logo is an intregal part of your product or corporate identity. However for all that it "is" – some things it's "NOT."

Here's one person's take...

( via Mark Bixby ) Highly recommended.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

While on the subject of logos...

Plenty sites showcase logos. Some are cool. Some, not so hot. Then along comes LogoPond. A collection of user submitted logos that allow viewers to rate (on a five star system). Kinda demographic, right?

By the way. Don't rip off other people's logos. These sites are for reference only. But you knew that.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Da HipHop Raskalz, Kickin' It Grade School

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Da HipHop Raskalz are grade-school students in Harlem who make their own kind of music… much of it about candy. Their producer is an acclaimed classical musician with a rather unusual day job.

Stock Photography - Top 10 Cliches

As a routine part of my job as an art director, I spend mucho time sifting through stock imagery. It never ceases to amaze me how many useless shots I pile through for every good one. 200 to 1 perhaps? Now thanks to Forty Media, I realize I am not alone. They've generously developed a Top 10 List of the most cliche images you can't avoid.

( via swissmiss, via chrisglass, via design*notes, via fortymedia )


Outstanding Graphic Designer

An outstanding
designer. Period.

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You, an author?

Here's yet another LuLu-like self publishing model. Since I work at a publishing company, and considering one of my best friends is an author relations director, I know first hand how unlikely it is to become a published author. Therefore I'm curious about these sites as an option to those with Oprah book deals on their minds. If you have experience with this site, LuLu or others, I would enjoy your comments.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Labor Day Live" Launch Message (1:51)

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Teach Design Thinking to Kids

As God would have it, my wife and I are currently sans-children. Should we ever realize such a blessing, I just might refer back to this resource.

It's written by Dr. Charles Burnette, and edited by Yi Ji Hyun, and is provided free to anyone interested in teaching children and young adults the creative and critical thinking skills they need to cope with any subject or situation.

Admittedly, I have absolutely no idea if Chuck is a wacko or not, but judging by the website, it appears this site is legit.

( via swissmiss )

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Designer; Mother; Blogger Extraordinare

Who comes to mind when you think someone who's always slightly ahead of the curve? With style. With information. For me, that person is Tina Roth Eisenberg. Not only is she a great designer, but she's also a new mom. She somehow manages to create and update my favorite blog everyday.

Props to swissmiss. The blog of a swiss designer gone NYC.


How high is your word ranked?

If you're a wordsmith like myself, you'll love this site.

A visual barometer presenting the 86,800+ most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonness.

Way Better than "OKAY"

Many of you have seen or heard of Dave Werner. If you haven't, you're in for a treat.

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Around Town Chicago

I've found this to be of particular interest as the inlaws come marching in to town.

Gapers Block is a Chicago-centric web publication providing information on news and events around town. There are many terms for the slowdown in traffic that occurs when there's an accident on the side of the road. Some people call it rubbernecking, others a lookie-loo. Here in Chicago, we call it a gapers block (or gapers delay). What better name for a site that asks you to slow down and check out all the cool things in the city?

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Innovative Product by Penguin Books

On vacation in Colorado, I stopped in the infamous Tattered Cover bookstore on Colfax Avenue. Inside I found a free standing floor display by Penguin Books. My attention was drawn to the incredible cover designs and their clean and highly simple typographic solutions. To make a long story short, the books are a rebranded Reference Library, and have sold well over a million at 3.99/each! Most are two color covers, but letterpress I believe.

I've since researched and discovered that Penguin's in-house designer designed a similar line called "Great Ideas," which was the precursor to these books. Penguin Claims...

“Some were bought by people who wanted accessible versions of the text, and some by people who liked the packaging.”
I find the latter statement highly interesting.

If you are interested in learning more, check out these articles...

Penguin uses design to revitalise its back catalogue with Great Ideas and a revived Reference Library

New ways to judge books by their covers

Great Ideas = great design

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