Logo Design Master Class with Aaron Draplin

Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. in Portland Oregon has been a great logo designer for a long time. I have seen hm speak at Adobe MAX and always loved his work.  He recently did a video for Lynda.com where he takes on designing a new logo for a small cement company. It sounds simple but it shows off his love of blue collar brands and his process. He goes from sketching, to bringing his ideas into Illustrator, and tests and tunes the different iterations. Along the way, he provides tips for freelancing, finding inspiration, and providing clients context for logos that won’t just live in PDFs. You can watch the video again or click here to watch it on...

Weekly inspirations: December 12th, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   The 5 Coolest Things About The Revamped Smithsonian Design Museum After closing its doors three years ago for a massive renovation, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is finally reopening the century-old mansion that houses the design museum. In its new incarnation, the Cooper Hewitt taps into what distinguishes a design museum, which celebrates functional objects built with users in mind, from any other museum full of beautiful objects: It allows you to play with the collection, rather than just look at it. Read the article here   The Urban Dictionary Of Design Slang Joining the ranks of any profession is the same as committing yourself to learning an entirely new language, most of which is frankly gibberish. (TPS reports, anyone?) Design is no exception. This article asked some friends at...

Weekly inspirations: December 5th, 2014

This week has been an embarrassment of riches and brings the largest inspiration list of the year so here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   Girl Scouts byting into digital for cookie sales For the first time since sales began nearly 100 years, Girl Scouts of the USA will allow its young go-getters to push their wares using a mobile app or personalized websites. And the best news – they can have cookies shipped directly to your doorstep. More than 1 million scouts, from kindergarten-age Daisies to teens, were expected to opt in as cookie-selling season cranks up this month and the scouting organization gets digital sales underway. But the tactic is intended to enhance, not replace, the paper spreadsheets used to generate an estimated $800 million in cookie sales a year — at anywhere from $3.50 to $5 a box, depending on scout...

If you’re a horrible creative person you’ll love this Cards Against Humanity expansion pack

  After all these years I can’t remember ever received an agency holiday card that I could remember even an hour after I saw it but The Juggernaut, a Toronto-based animation, design and visual effects studio, came up one this year that is one for the ages – Advertising Against Humanity. I will shamefully admit that I only recently came to know the horrible and twisted brilliance that is Cards Against Humanity but am now proud to say that I am the owner of a game (and every expansion pack). This expansion seems perfect for the ad industry – now I just have to figure out how in the world I am going to get my hands on one of these...

Weekly inspirations: November 28th, 2014

Because of the holiday the end of last week I decided to push the weekly inspirations back to Monday so here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   5 Creativity Myths You Probably Believe i know tons of creatives who buy into the myth that having an idea comes with a ‘light bulb’ moment which is a complete myth. This article does a great job of looking at the misconceptions that cloak creativity in mystique and they foster elitism—the idea that the potential for innovation and imagination is a rare gift enjoyed by only a select few “creative types.” Here we debunk five persistent myths that misrepresent the true neuroscience and psychology of creativity. Read the article here   McDonald’s Has Released An App To Protect Your French Fries This smells more like a PR stunt than solving an actual need but I thought it was funny that...

Weekly inspirations: November 21st, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   The Week Apple Watch Became Real This week so many questions about Apple Watch were finally answered with the released of WatchKit – the Apple Watch developer SDK. Here are a few of the most interesting articles about the Apple Watch and what you will find in WatchKit. Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines – This is the bible of designing for Apple Watch. If you want to design for this new form factor then you better read this cover to cover. Read the design guidelines here 11 Things We Just Learned About How the Apple Watch Works – The Verge did a nice article of 11 new things that they learned crawling through WatchKit and the video Apple released on how to make apps for Apple Watch. Read the article here Apple Releases Its Most Important Typeface In 20 Years...

Weekly inspirations: November 14th, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   Can A New Web App Help Solve The “What Movie Should We Watch” Conundrum? As streaming services proliferate and fewer people have cable TV, deciding what to watch is increasingly left up to the viewer. Though many have tried, till now there has been no one service that provides, a simple, accessible breakdown of the possibilities. Movieo may just be the solution to this modern conundrum. On Movieo, films are listed in either a icon or list format and can be ranked by a variety of IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Mouse over a film and a pop up summary will appear along with its release date, runtime, genre, director, cast, and ratings. A slider on the left allows you to filter films by the era they were released. Other filters include country of origin and genre. The search function on the...

Delivering the keynote at FUSE Agency Client Summit 2014

I’m happy to announce that I will be delivering the keynote for the Agency and Client Summit presented by FUSE taking place December 9th at the Innovation Loft in New York City. This is a rare departure for me as I have never spoken at a “client-side” event before. I generally believe that they focus on the wrong things by having client side teams focused on why they are inferior as opposed to how they can be world-class centers for creativity and innovation. This event is different since it combines separate client-side, agency-side and joint working sessions to look at the intersection of client struggles and agency frustrations. You can find out more and register for the event here and I hope to see you there.

Weekly inspirations: November 7th, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   SoundKit: A professional sound library designed for UI projects If you have ever tried to find sound effects to add to a UI then you know just how much of a challenge that can be. They either all sound the same or are so cartoony that they don’t work for anything but kids apps. Now there is SoundKit which was specifically created as a sound library for user experience. Explore the SoundKit library here. The Steve Jobs Guide To Manipulating People And Getting What You Want Steve Jobs didn’t launch two of the most valuable companies in modern times by following the rules all the time. Jobs faced many obstacles to get Apple, and later Pixar, off the ground. But Jobs had a unique way of crafting his own reality, a “distortion field” that could persuade people to his personal beliefs were actually...

Digital Designers Are Becoming As Dysfunctional As Politicians

It seemed like Election Day here in the United States was a good a day as any to talk about a long-standing but growing trend I’ve been seeing among digital designer – becoming technology politicians. It is a natural response to feel passionately about something you own especially if there is a competitor who make something similar product. Examples would be Coke vs. Pepsi, Cats vs. Dogs, Playstation vs. Xbox and Apple vs. Android. I think that it is really necessary to have this type of competition so that each side forces the other to keep innovating and making their products better. Without that competition the products tend to atrophy as the companies can become complacent from the lack of competition. I would to point Adobe as an example of this as i feel that their pace of innovation was much higher when it was Adobe vs. Macromedia instead of now when applications...