// 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).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Charles and Ray Eames: Polaroid SX-70 In Depth

Charles and Ray Eames are my mentors. Though we never met, I continue to learn so much about design from this one couple. And thanks to typographer Stephen at MidCenturyModernist for yet another great share, I have learned even more. Search the term Eames on this blog and you'll find quite a few posts that discuss the Eameses greatness and contribution to business.

(via MidCenturyModernist )

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stevie Wonder: Sesame Street Superstition

The incredible Stevie Wonder, who like myself and Earvin Johnson (okay..."Magic"), is another famous brother from Lansing Michigan. (Okay, I'm not famous). More on why I posted this later. HINT: Wurlitzer 200A.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clairtone at 50: Stupid Lucky

Instead of trying to explain Clairtone's contribution to design, just watch the video I've embedded. Founders Peter Munk and David Gilmour took a representative best foot forward and put Canada on the design map with this stunning achievement. Something tells me I will never find one of these at a tag sale or at thrift.

In celebration of the 50th year anniversary of the company's founding, Canada's Design Exchange is running an exhibit until October 2008, and has a nice website with more info on this company. Also, there's a book about Clairtone by Nina Munk and Rachel Gotlieb, titled The Art of Clairtone: The Making of a Design Icon, 1958-1971 The 184-page book is designed by Hambly & Woolley Inc. and published by McClelland & Stewart.

( via Retro thing )

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Looking for the Needle in the Haystack

This is a long post. And I'm writing it for a single person. Is it you?

Nearly seven years ago to the day, my wife and I moved to Illinois from Michigan. Like many creatives, owning a design consultancy was an idea I’d often entertained, so about a year and a half into having taken this plunge, things were progressing well. But...(skidmarks)...to make a long story short, and due to a variety of factors and serendipitous relationships and circumstances, I was given the opportunity to help build a similar consultancy within the framework of a major Christian Publisher called Tyndale House Publishers. The exact story of how all this happened would require an entirely separate post.

Much has happened in 7 years at Tyndale, and it's been an interesting and fulfilling ride. To give you some background, the final project I did transitioning from my consultancy to my current full time gig was what's often referred to as a "chick calendar" — you know — a beauty calendar meant to help a Rock-n-Roll radio station make money. By many standards the calendar was a designer's dream. A client who wanted to push design to it's visual limits, and the opportunity to work with one of the best shooters in the country. Literally. But you see, even before this calendar, it was becoming very apparent to my wife and I how my skills were going to waste. I was spending night and day with the sole focus of helping promote commerce (not that turning a profit is useless or sinful, rather, my work felt empty). Without significance. Some of you might understand the feeling. So I share my story with you not to pass judgment, rather, to share with you how I felt God's leading in my life, and how using my talents for His work has been a life changing venture, or should I say adventure.

It is with gratitude and deep prayer that I have considered how best to share this, mainly because I've worked very hard for over 2 years on BarryBlog to post about personal issues, separating as possible my personal voice and opinions from my work responsibilities as a Senior Art Director. But in this case it's a bit difficult to separate the two. So I post this today with the hope that someone, just that special someone, may also be feeling led by the Holy Spirit, to break free and follow the call of God.

You see, Tyndale's Commercial Design team has an opening.

We're looking for a thinker—someone who loves to communicate with pictures and words. A communication designer with a marketing communication design background. Someone as adept at strategic thinking as design execution, with the desire and ability to add to a small team, and collaborate with internal marketing clients. Someone with a servant heart, and someone who brings a voice. It's an agency-pace position that requires swift and thoughtful work, and the day to day is never boring. Responsibilities might include client meetings, brainstorming, strategic and creative development, design presentations, design execution, research, growing your colleagues and learning from others, plus a ton more.

Our team is small by design. Consequently, we’re focused on finding the needle in the haystack. Someone whose work will blow us away, especially as we consider why we are called to work in the first place. We use the term “senior” in terms of the level of work and the ability to foster strong relationships with internal clients and fellow colleagues.

In a feeble attempt to avoid displaying bias (if that's possible considering how totally sold out I am to our companies' mission), I will state that Tyndale is an incredibly special company. God's work is being done all over the place. In us. Through us. Despite us. But it is really tangible. You can feel it. And at times see it. The company actually cares about their employees. They invest in us, and us in them. Kinda simple really, and a bit old fashioned. Which in this ever changing and at times superficial world is rather refreshing in my estimation. And that's not all. Not only are our skills being employed to glorify God, Tyndale’s Book design and Commercial design team are second to none. I’m uniquely qualified to say this as you consider the wide variety of previous professional experiences I bring to Tyndale, and to this discussion. It is truly one of the strongest creative teams I have ever had the chance to serve with.

So is it you we're looking for? Maybe someone you know? If so, I recommend two things. Number one, do not contact me personally. I tried this approach early on, then I realized how disrespectful this is to the process. We have a structured and measured method of bringing people on board, so if you are interested and are deemed qualified to move forward by those whose job it is to make this determination, you will eventually meet me. Second, you can follow this link. If you get tripped up in any way or need answers, simply call our front desk and ask for our Human Resource department.

So I hope you feel it is of no coincidence that you are reading this. I promise you that if you join our team, I (and our entire team) will invest heavily into you. We will make you a stronger communication designer. And your contributions will matter like never before. We will support you like mad, and do everything we can to see you succeed. And to grow our company. I can say this because I have been on the receiving end, and like I said before, Tyndale is a special company.

Speaking for our entire Design team (without permission in this case), we look forward to meeting you and growing with you. May God bless you and give you the peace and strength to step out in faith and answer this call.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ars Longa - Generosity forges Community

Recently I discovered the journal Ars Longa. Developed as an outlet and to share with others of a like mind, it's one man's perspective and documentation of his lifestyle of collecting, which he's coined "thrift shop archaeology." The journal is developed by sllab studios (I presume that refers to his "lab" - and the Scott Lindberg initials to boot), and it covers fine art, modernist design, and other such mid-century modern artifacts, decorative arts and general goodness.

Scott echos my sentiments when he suggests that designed objects and beautiful artworks can be affordably attained by everyone, you just have to know where to look.

That is in fact what thrifting entails. Knowledge. Timing. Research. And a healthy appreciation for the past. Thrifting ( my new verb) is a pastime to some in the way watching TV or going to a movie is for others. For the hard core thrift store shopper, the hunt is important, the purchase secondary, and the friendships primary to the overall effort. All in all it's an adventure, and it's no doubt fun to share along the way.

Scott's journal has provided many clues as to some of the high end items I have thrifted that I had yet to identify. Sharing information is a big thrifting thread, and Scott's website is a rich resource. The list of links alone is worth checking out. He also painstakingly developed a designer directory, so you can search based on designer keywords. It's really cool how by reaching out with knowledge and generosity, friendships can be forged and communities can be built.

Bravo Ars Longa. I salute you.

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