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Weekly Inspirations: July 15th, 2016

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Michael Bierut on Finding Your Voice

He mostly gets noticed on the street by designers who have seen the movie “Helvetica,” yet New York-based designer Michael Bierut’s work is amongst the most recognized in the field. Before becoming a partner at Pentagram 20 years ago, Bierut apprenticed for legendary designer Massimo Vignelli. Along the way he has netted hundreds of design awards, including the prestigious AIGA medal. Meanwhile, the list of companies Bierut has worked for are as iconic and diverse as Benetton, The Library of Congress, Princeton University, The New York Jets and the Museum of Sex. This article is a sit down with the Ohio-born designer to dig deeper into his journey and were rewarded with the origin story of his own path, as well as the advice he gives the next generation of designers coming through.
Read the article here

The brilliant mechanics of Pokémon Go

If you haven’t seen it already, you will soon when you are walking down the street. Every person you pass who is fervently looking at their phone is likely playing the No. 1 game in the country right now: Pokémon Go. You might think it’s popular because of the brand. Nintendo, which refused to make a Pokémon game for the longest time on a smartphone, has finally caved and brought its beloved franchise to the small screen. But what may be overlooked amid all that is that the game, on its own, is phenomenally well designed, despite myriad bugs and endless server outages. If you look at all aspects of the game loop — engagement, retention, virality and monetization — it nails pretty much everything on the head. Niantic managed to hit a very rare, exceptional home run on every textbook point of the game’s development. That’s not an easy feat. Only a few games in the history of the iPhone have managed similar success. The closest analogies are probably Minecraft and Candy Crush Saga, which also rocketed to not only the top of the App Store download charts, but also the top-grossing charts. Pokémon — much like Minecraft before it — launched immediately at the top of the charts. So its immediate success, based on the App Store rankings, isn’t necessarily unprecedented.So, what makes this game so engaging and, from what we’ve seen so far, potentially very addictive?
Read the article here

Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice.

We are in the Age of Authenticity, where “be yourself” is the defining advice in life, love and career. Authenticity means erasing the gap between what you firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world. We want to live authentic lives, marry authentic partners, work for an authentic boss, vote for an authentic president. “I certainly had no idea that being your authentic self could get you as rich as I have become,” Oprah Winfrey said jokingly a few years ago. ”If I’d known that, I’d have tried it a lot earlier.” But for most people, “be yourself” is actually terrible advice.
Read the article here

The UI That Could Help Make E-Sports A $100 Billion Industry

With 2.2 billion fans worldwide and $124 billion in revenue, professional sports is big business. But ask Mike Sepso, senior vice president of Activision Blizzard Media Networks, and he says that’s nothing compared to the potential of e-sports. By 2017 alone, Sepso says, there will be 2.1 billion gamers on the planet, who between them will generate more than $107 billion in revenue—and just keep climbing from there.
Read the article here

Work/Life balance is bullshit.

There is no question being asked more often than how I manage my work/life balance. Every time someone asks me that question I struggle with a straight answer. For me the concept of work/life balance is bullshit. The fact that we call it work/life balance automatically implies that one of the two is negative and we need to balance it with the other. It usually implies that you have work on the evil side, and life on the other. It makes it look like these two things are competing for your attention and well being. But work and life are not separate. They are the same, there is only one thing, it’s called LIFE. Work is part of my life, it’s not competing against it.
Read the article here

MasterCard Gets Its First New Logo In 20 Years

Today, MasterCard revealed a redesign of its consumer-facing logo, the first in 20 years. The way we buy and pay for things has changed dramatically in the past two decades ago—think about the proliferation of payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Apple Pay. While MasterCard has evolved with the times by introducing digital products and creating new technology for credit card payment systems, its logo—two intersecting circles with a wordmark superimposed—was stuck in the 1990s. To create an identity system that could simplify and clarify the brand to the millions of people around the world who use its services, MasterCard brought on the esteemed design firm Pentagram.
Find out more here

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