// 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, March 31, 2007

Legendary Neville Brody

During some down time, I stumbled across a presentation Neville Brody gave on March 15th at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design, which translates from Portuguese as the Superior School of Arts and Design— Matosinhos, Portugal. The interview is very long, but if you take your design career seriously you'll watch the whole thing because Neville is one of the all time best designers in my book. If you're going through the motions, this one will be too long for you. He appeared rather nervous to me, something I hadn't expected. Just because your work is legendary, doesn't mean you are automatically a brilliant speaker. He actually does a great job overall, and his 100 plus slides speak for themselves. Neville now calls Research Studios home.

( via Quipsologies )

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Taxi Interviews: Heller, Sagmeister, Kidd

Another great Design Leader interview from Taxi, a design portal I've brought to your attention before, only under the name DesignTaxi. I can't tell if my former name for the site was in error, or whether they changed their name. Either way, this new interview features three heavyweights (skill not waist size) in the design profession: Steven Heller, Stefan Sagmeister and Chip Kidd. All in all a good three part interview. There are many other great interviews on the taxi Design Leader site, but I can't figure out how to make a link to them individually. Consequently if you are interested in any of those listed below, just go to the main site, and look at the bottom right under the category "EXCLUSIVE: Design Leaders" and click on the individual names there.

  • Neil French
  • Joanne Ooi
  • Duangrit Bunnag
  • Eikoh Hosoe (Japan)
  • Neil Leifer (USA)
  • Duane Michals (USA)
  • Michael Hockney, D&AD (Chief Executive)
  • Garry Blackburn & Simon Elliott, Rose (UK)
  • Christopher Liechty, AIGA Center for Cross-Cultural Design (President)
  • Jacques Lange, ICOGRADA (President)
  • Christopher Liechty, AIGA Center for Cross-Cultural Design (President)
  • Darrel Rhea, Cheskin (USA)
  • Sara Little Turnbull, Stanford Graduate School of Business (USA)
  • Adelia Borges, Museu da Casa Brasileira (Brasil)
  • Linda Fu, Linda Fu Design + Global iCome Consulting (Australia)
  • Esen Karol, Esen Karol Design Ltd (Turkey)
  • Mervyn Kurlansky, Mervyn Kurlansky Design (Denmark)
  • Saki Mafundikwa, Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (Zimbabwe)
  • Ravi Naidoo, Design Indaba + Interactive Africa (South Africa)
  • Sanja Rocco, ROCCO&PARTNER (Croatia)
  • Henry Steiner, Steiner&Co (Hong Kong)
  • Omar Vulpinari, Fabrica (Italy)
  • Tarek Atrissi, Tarek Atrissi Design (Netherlands)
  • Sean Bolan, University of Washington (USA)
  • Cristina Chiappini, Graphic and Interactive Design (Italy)
  • Halim Choueiry, Virginia Commonwealth University (Qatar)
  • Lorraine Gauthier, Work Worth Doing (Canada)
  • Andrea Marks, Oregon State University (USA)
  • Alejandro Quinto, Work Worth Doing (Canada)
  • Chang Sik Kim, San Jose State University (South Korea)
  • Maurice Woods , Achana (USA)
  • Henk van Assen, Yale University School of Art (USA)
( via Quipsologies )

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Great Quote: How Design Effects Profit

Came across this quote from Ben Terrett (Noisy Decent Graphics) from a roundtable he gave recently at the futuremarketing conference in London last week. It really struck me how this shows the tangible value some companies place on the role of the designer, and how design effects the financial bottom line. Not all companies understand this (though I've come in contact with a few recently who do). I agree with Ben this would be felt on Wall Street.

Imagine what would happen to GM's share price if they announced that (Apple's VP Creative Director) Jonathan Ive had joined their board as Head of Design - it would go through the roof. – ben terrett

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Book Design: Frances Baca Design LIVE!

Frances Baca caught my eye months ago and she and I bounced emails back and forth. Basically I admired her work when I first discovered it on her Flickr set. She was busy working at that time, with the goal of having her personal website go live. Well, she emailed me today and she's officially up and running. I hope to see more of her work in the future (please, pretty please), but for now here's a look at her work. From my perspective Frances' work could be best described with words such as just right, just enough, not too much, conceptual and communicative, and inspiring. She is definitely gifted, and I believe you'll enjoy seeing her work for yourself. Let her know what you think by leaving a comment and/or emailing her here.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Adobe Inspiration: Stories

Adobe presents stories about how their technology's helping revolutionize how people engage with ideas and information. This is another great micro site on the content rich Adobe family of sites. Their DesignCenter micro site is yet another. One of my interests in producing BarryBlog is to share what I find interesting in the event you do too. These Adobe sites are one's you know about perhaps, but are too busy to pay attention to. Hum...too busy to pay attention. That's something worth discussing in the future.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

John Piper: A Loving Tribute to Dad

Hello, My Father Just Died

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BumpTop Prototype: Pushing the Desktop

Bumptop, an idea by Canadian programmer Anand Agarawala is a cool look beyond the current GUI desktop interface. The company is actively pursuing the development of a prototype into a complete desktop replacement that can be installed on any machine. We'll see. But for now, check it out in action.

( via NYT's Pogue's Posts )

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

MadeThought: Precision, Clarity, Beautiful

MadeThought has a brilliant aesthetic which takes me back to math class. Precision, clarity, beauty. An outstanding multi-discipline design firm. They're known for a deliberate and crafted look, and emmersing themselves fully into their client's work. High praise.

( via screenfluent )

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

761 Hotel Labels: In Their Graphic Glory

Thanks to AceJet, via davidthedesigner, via Serif, I came across a great Flickr set of hotel tags.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Photoshop Online: No Big Surprise

Like others, I'd seen this coming. Here's an interesting article regarding Adobe's move to a hosted web version of Photoshop. It will be free, and the business model will rely on online advertising. I suggested in a couple previous BarryBlog posts here and here that this was likely going to be the case sooner than later.

( by Martin LaMonica and Mike Ricciuti Staff Writer, CNET News.com )
( via Damien at designwire's newswire )

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Vocalist, Comedian, Whatever: Reggie Watts

Don't know much about Reggie Watts, and from his website it doesn't look like we have much in common but the haircut, but no denying the brother can kick it. One thing I do know is I want him and his sampler on my team for the World Team Karaoke Championships.

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AIGA: Artist Video Series (HillmanCurtis)

Reading about fellow designers and seeing their work can be inspiring. Hillman Curtis, by way of the AIGA main website, for which I'm a member, allows us to experience leading designers through sound and motion. The Artist Video Series has been available for a long time, but only recently was able to find time to watch these great videos. You might also enjoy exploring the rest of the HillmanCurtis site while you're there.

If you want to save time and follow my recommendations, my favorite is this. Also try Sagmeister, Carson, Glaser.

( via AIGA Inspiration )

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dylan + Seuss

Dylan + Dr. Seuss = Too good to be true. A fully downloadable album. See it to believe it.

( via Everything's Better With Brentter )

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Big Picture Thinkers: 7 Secrets

Thinking big is an ability of mine. This can be annoying to many and an asset to others, but in either case is related to the way I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Fortunately for me, thinking big was modeled well and often in my career as a communication designer and strategist. The ability to think big first hit home in my early career as a result of the tutelage of Lauren Ciesa of the design firm of Ciesa & Associates in one of my formative design experiences in East Lansing Michigan. Lauren taught me what design can do for a companies' bottom line and the difference between strategy and decoration. Later, under the guidance of Jim Thomas of the JD Thomas Company, I learned how design and content were one. He taught me how to think big, and how great design thinkers are valued and compensated professionally as a result of the value this adds to a business model.

So being interested and involved as such, I came across an article which in theory shows how you might also become a better big picture thinker.

Here goes:

From CEOs to independent professionals to work at home moms, Big Picture Thinkers inspire others and lead the way in their fields. Without their insights and actions, our world would be lacking in innovation, new products, and fresh approaches.

Now there is a way for you to connect with your larger vision and see it through to success. You can bring out the creative thinker in you by following these seven success tips. Whatever direction you're headed, these strategies will help you move forward and make the most of your natural strengths and great ideas.

1. Catch your ideas
No matter how outrageous or silly, catch your ideas and revisit them from time to time. You might have a diamond in the rough that you can't yet see. Write it down, tell it to someone, draw a picture, pace the floor, use whatever technique helps you remember and develop your ideas, use it!

2. Understand your strengths
There is an old saying that goes something like this: Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. A big challenge for creative people and entrepreneurs is concentrating your efforts on what comes easily and effortlessly. To pinpoint your strengths you can take a formal assessment, but I often ask clients to start with a simple question and jot down whatever comes to mind: If I could devote my life to serving others- and still have the money and lifestyle I need- what would I do? How would it look?

3. Avoid “overwhelm”
Overwhelm can be described as either having too much on your plate or PERCEIVING what you have to be too much. The first step to take is getting real with time management. If your time management skills are poor, then you will feel overwhelmed and it will zap your energy and your focus. Next, learn how to say "No." Accepting too many responsibilities will burn you out, blur your focus, and zap your big picture thinking gifts.

4. Listen
What do you hear people asking for? What are they NOT asking for? What are they griping about? Become a great listener in all your interactions. Ask open ended questions (ones that can't be answered with a yes or no). Keep your ear to the buzz and maybe you'll zero in on the next big thing.

5. Develop your intuition
Learn to trust your hunches and listen for inner nudges. Your next great idea may already be inside of you yearning to break free. Visionary thinkers often act on these hunches. Become best friends with your intuition and see new possibilities come to you.

6. Talk about your ideas
Create a personal board of directors: a supportive group of people who you respect, trust, and encourage you. Ask for their honest feedback, brainstorm with them, or call on them when you need help.

7. Give your mind time to wander
If you're sitting in front of a computer frustrated because a solution isn't presenting itself, then change your location. Take a walk. Get out and play. Get out and do something (anything!) other than what you SHOULD be doing. Studies show that the most creative, innovative thinkers are not slaves to the desk. They add variety to their lives and keep their minds sharp by enjoying all the gifts the world has to offer.

Big Picture Thinkers have the natural gift to see the potential in just about anything. When you sharpen your visionary skills, you too can enjoy success and joy in all aspects of life and business.

( via Nancy Marmolejo @ comadrecoaching )

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Mentor Relationships Come in All Forms

“He was an extremely important mentor for me. He is well-known for being tough and hot-headed, but also incredibly smart. He showed me a set of operating principles, how to articulate an idea, an impatience with theory and a passion for practical experience. I didn’t learn diplomacy from him, but he taught me the value of telling people the truth and letting them sort things out for themselves.”

Lowell Williams on his legendary mentor Saul Bass

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Harvard Working Knowledge

Resources aren't that hard to find anymore, but for me good ones aren't so common. Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge website is one I recommend, as I draw on it quite frequently. As the name suggests, it’s a rather informed look at just about anything known to man (literally). Look things up by topic, by industry, by specific faculty, by Geography, by Date, or by Features or Most Popular—the latter two of which are on the left sidebar on the main site.

Nice articles on Brand Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Strategy, Human Resources, Managing Effectiveness, Developing Strategy, Creativity, Leadership and Management, and tons more.

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A Favorite Quote

After you plant a seed in the ground, you don’t dig it up every week to see how it is doing.”

William Coyne, former vice president of R&D at 3M, in a speech at Motorola University

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

REPOST: Confidence -vs.- Enthusiasm

Those who know me well may be surprised to hear me admit that deep down I'm not particularly confident. Admittedly I fake it rather well. But between me, myself, and I (and now you), confidence has never come naturally. To the contrary, and to make up for this deficit, I've spent a career planning, paying attention, and practicing in order to be a strong performer. Therefore I believe it's safe to say that being a good performer isn't necessarily indicative of confidence in oneself.

Having said that, my desire to perform well and serve others and the passion and fitness associated with that, compared to my lack of confidence of late, has really been troubling. Deeply. Having internalized this much of late, I can't tell you how grateful I was to get a new perspective on just what it is that's been digging at me of late. In this article, by a smart person who I admire, and whose blog I subscribe to via his RSS feed, he shares five reasons why enthusiasm is better than confidence. To me, this is a refreshing bit of encouragement—news to my ears if you will, as it helps me to consider how enthusiasm and passion, two things which do come naturally to me, may in fact be related to my desire to do great work and produce value for my employer.

Boiled down to it's essence, confidence is always about yourself. Your position and concerns. Enthusiasm on the other hand, is about the work you’re presenting, the information you want to share, the message you’re trying to get across, etc. Not about your own position, rather the concern for others; your desire to share and learn and teach. And ultimately as an creative leader, to do great work that adds value.
I can't say with certainty this will resonate with you in the way it has for me, but I find Mark McGuinness's perspective innovative, refreshing, and a huge encouragement which couldn't have come at a better time. Read the entire article here.

( via wishfulthinking )

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Self Publishing Favorites

Self-Publishing is something that interests me. Over the last year or so a couple websites have piqued this interest, and I've slowly begun experimenting with a few. Some are significantly better than others, but they're all fun to experiment with in different ways. I generally consider the site a "best" if the account side of the user experience is easy to use, and if the commission is reasonable, among other things.

A recent conversation with a colleague prompted me to share these with the BarryBlog community. Those I'm sharing are just the tip of the iceberg—there are hundreds more out there. I would really enjoy hearing about other ones that you know about, with any background you have working with them. Leave a comment on this post and let me know about them.

So, here they are: Etsy, prickie, threadless, LuLu, ZAZZLE, moo, cafepress.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Business of Design: Business Upturn

According to Gordon Kaye, editor of GRAPHIC DESIGN USA newsletter | March 07, one of the dark little secrets that everyone who writes about design knows is that graphic designers tend to be pessimistic by temperment, and to downplay their successes and prospects in business. But the conventional wisdom is turned on its head by the upbeat findings of a Winter 2006-2007 survey by The Industry Measure.

Specifically: 78% of all creative professionals reported that business conditions are as good as or better than in the past 12 months. And the number who said business was poor or very bad fell a few percent.
Solid and positive all around, even a bit sunny. Not to worry, though. This was all before the recent stock market slide so, hey, relax; you can still find something to fret about if that makes you feel comfortable.

Fellow blogger and graphic designer Chris seems to mirror this finding in this recent post as well as this one regarding new work.

( via GDUSA Newsletter )

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Monday, March 05, 2007

DesignWire Community: New Header Design

Damien from the wonderful designwire community kindly contacted me this evening. The community has adopted my banner for the whole of the month of March. It feels nice to contribute to this community. They are such a great resource for so many. I've posted on them before.

( via Damien )

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IDEAS: Innovation. Creativity. CExO. Change

Profile of Jonathan Ive
“We try to solve very complicated problems without letting people know how complicated the problem was. That’s the appropriate thing…The way the parts [of the iPod shuffle] fit together is extraordinarily tight. I don’t think there’s ever been a product produced in such volume at that price, which has been given so much time and care. I’m really excited by that, and even if you can’t articulate its value, at some level I hope that integrity is obvious.

Gore-Tex is "fostering ongoing, consistent, breakthrough creativity"
“Bill Gore threw out the rules. He created a place with hardly any hierarchy and few ranks and titles. He insisted on direct, one-on-one communication; anyone in the company could speak to anyone else. In essence, he organized the company as though it were a bunch of small task forces. To promote this idea, he limited the size of teams — keeping even the manufacturing facilities to 150 to 200 people at most…[One employee says,] ‘Your team is your boss, because you don’t want to let them down. Everyone’s your boss, and no one’s your boss.’”

Coming soon: Chief Experience Officers
Adaptive Path interview with Lou Carbone: “When you look at the organizations of the past, [they were like] bus drivers driving buses along the prescribed route, [with a] certain number of stops to make and doing the same routine over and over again. And the customer really came along for the ride. Today, [when it comes to] doing business, the model is considerably more like taxis. We’re not even sure what the customer needs until the customer communicates [it to us] and we can anticipate what they want. Then what we end up doing is snapping together a set of capabilities to deliver the experience that they want. And that’s very, very different.”

Why is change so hard? Change or Die.
“Of course, radical change often isn’t possible in business situations. Still, it’s always important to identify, achieve, and celebrate some quick, positive results for the vital emotional lifts that they provide. Harvard’s Kotter believes in the importance of ‘short-term wins’ for companies, meaning ‘victories that nourish faith in the change effort, emotionally reward the hard workers, keep the critics at bay, and build momentum. Without sufficient wins that are visible, timely, unambiguous, and meaningful to others, change efforts invariably run into serious problems.’”

MORE of the same...

( via the geniuses 37 signals, and their Signal vs. Noise Blog )

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It's Just Like, It's Just Like. A Mini. Mall.

The original.

The Spooky Remix

The Remixed Remix

A cappella

Welcome to Hollywood

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BONO: "God, My Friends, is with the Poor..."

"...and God is with us if we are with them...We can be the generation that ends extreme poverty."

Bono speaks to the world in his acceptance speech at the NAACP image awards where he was given the Chairman's Award.

( via bagofnothing )

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Design Firm: Ding3000

Ding3000 is a great design team, with an emphasis on product design. I have a ton of Billy Bookcases from IKEA, and they've designed a couple shelf accessories especially for the Billy line that are real fun. Peruse through their site and you'll find furniture, lighting, accessories and the like. Their work is really excellent.

( Thanks to my friend Nathan Stock for the heads up)

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