// 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).

Monday, June 30, 2008

Vedder Time-Life and Cassina Le Corbusier LC2

Recently research conducted on one of my Herman Miller Aluminum Group Executive Time-Life chairs uncovered the fact that it was McDonald's Corporation former executive board member B. Blair Vedder, Jr.'s personal Herman Miller office chair. The chair goes by the name Herman Miller Charles Eames Aluminum Group Time Life Executive Work Chair model ES 104 adjustable tilt swivel chair. The chair was formerly in the company's Oakbrook headquarters. I purchased it at a Chicagoland used furniture store. The chair has B. Blair Vedder, Jr.'s chrome nameplate affixed. Vedder was also one of McDonald's close knit group of executives as the COO of McDonald's former agency Needham who developed the slogan "You Deserve A Break Today". It is really rewarding for me and enjoyable to find this type of historic information. I collect for so many reasons. Information like I found on this chair keeps me hunting. Like this weekend when I found an original, likely mid-60's Le Corbusier LC2 chair, camel leather in wonderful original condition, stamped with the architect's name and the serial number 1370. It also has the Cassina Spa manufacturer label (pre-Knoll licensed model), and the Atelier label to boot. More on this in a future post.


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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Acuity Behind the Scenes: via Continuum Milan

Since having posted on Design Continuum and the Acuity Chair by Allsteel previously, I had the distinct privilege to speak one-on-one with Continuum's co-founding partner and director of their Milan office Bruce Fifield for about 10-15 minutes on Tuesday at NEOCON 2008. He shared his philosophy behind the design of the Acuity chair, a great deal about the process, and some behind the scenes information regarding the wonderful relationship he enjoys with Allsteel. I had hoped to meet Continuum's senior designer Federico "Chicco" Ferretti but he was walking the show when my colleague Dean and I stopped by the Allsteel booth, so unfortunately we were not able to meet as planned.

Suffice it to say it was the highlight of the show for me.

It was really cool to experience Bruce's passion for the craft and emotional side of design; to hear about the product and the process in detail; and to learn how he and Allsteel worked side by side and with a great deal of mutual trust and respect. I believe it was one of the more bold product introductions of NEOCON 2008, and in my modest opinion suspect the work will pay off big. I really don't see the Acuity chair as simply another product launch for Allsteel. I see it as a great leap forward in terms of their reputation for quality, innovation, leadership and design thinking in general. As I said in a previous post, and having lived in Lansing Michigan, one of the automaker hot spots of the past, I so wish the Big Three automakers would think and operate like the furniture industry does. It would be such a best foot forward toward helping turn our current financial situation around.

I so appreciate this opportunity to have met Bruce. My career is all about trying to be the best thinker, strategist and communication designer possible, and having exposure to projects such as Acuity and having the chance to speak directly with Bruce and to be able to correspond previously with Continuum's senior designer and project lead Chicco Ferretti are so helpful in my desire to continue to grow and learn, and add value to each and every effort I am involved.

NEOCON was everything I hoped for. It was a shot in the arm creatively, and it reminded me that I need to get out more often.

Since my return, I found Allsteel launched a full Aquity site, and
Continuum Milan posted a new Acuity video that Chicco co-directed. UPDATE: And I just found a really comprehensive write up at Interiors & Sources Mag here. Check out the new Continuum video here:

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pick Your Poison

How much caffeine would you have to drink 'til you're pushin' up daisys? Pick your poison.

( via Justin )

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday at NEOCON: Kid In A Candy Shop

Most graphic designers I know attend design seminars and conferences all over the world on a fairly consistent basis. I have not been for over 7 years. What I can recall about going is the sense of community it builds. And the energy and ideas and possibilities it fosters. But they're expensive and take time away from work. So for any number of reasons at this point in my career I have not been able to attend any of these. With one exception. NEOCON. As I have stated in a previous post, NEOCON is the SuperBowl to me. It's also free, and in my backyard, so it's very doable. I absolutely love furniture design. Contract and residential, and for that, nothing beats NEOCON. So I'm at NEOCON today. A kid in the candy shop.

Here's my previous post about NEOCON, and a slight rant about one of my favorite all time graphic designers, Alvin Lustig.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Take A Step into the Past: "Renting" Movies

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This song and video is growing on me

The song 'Alice', an electronic piece composed by Nick Bertke using sounds recorded from "Alice In Wonderland."

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Seth Godin: What Every Good Marketer Knows

I rarely talk about Seth. I also very rarely post about anything he says. Why? Well, because everyone else already does.

Yet from the list below, there's no denying why he's so highly regarded. I like his thinking. Always have. Ironically, much of what he has said here I have said over and over in my less-hyped career. But inevitably, people really only listen to this type of thinking when it comes from someone they don't know, or someone named Seth.

So, here's what the marketing guru Seth Godin thinks every good marketer needs to know...

Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.

Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.

Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.

Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market.

Marketing begins before the product is created.

Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.

Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing, though, that’s efficiency.

Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not.

Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.

Products that are remarkable get talked about.

Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your returns policy.

You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.

If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers realize that it is an investment.

People don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want.

You’re not in charge. And your prospects don’t care about you.

What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love.

Business to business marketing is just marketing to consumers who happen to have a corporation to pay for what they buy.

Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness. At the same time, new ways of spreading ideas (blogs, permission-based RSS information, consumer fan clubs) are quickly proving how well they work.

People all over the world, and of every income level, respond to marketing that promises and delivers basic human wants.

Good marketers tell a story.

People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Marketing that works is marketing that people choose to notice.

Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to.

Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.

A product for everyone rarely reaches much of anyone.

Living and breathing an authentic story is the best way to survive in an conversation-rich world.

Marketers are responsible for the side effects their products cause.

Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut.

Good marketers measure.

Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done.

One disappointed customer is worth ten delighted ones.

In the googleworld, the best in the world wins more often, and wins more.

Most marketers create good enough and then quit. Greatest beats good enough every time.

There are more rich people than ever before, and they demand to be treated differently.

Organizations that manage to deal directly with their end users have an asset for the future.

You can game the social media in the short run, but not for long.

You market when you hire and when you fire. You market when you call tech support and you market every time you send a memo.

Blogging makes you a better marketer because it teaches you humility in your writing.

Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.

( via the generous Michael at HMK - That's Right! )

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