Words from the Wise

“The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is to cure it somehow, with design.”

Massimo Vignelli

Seen & Noted

Managing Yourself: How to Calibrate Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses
Smart self-assessment plus clearly defined requests for feedback can prevent imposter syndrome—and being caught off-guard by hidden weaknesses.

The Moral Peril of Meritocracy
Our individualistic culture inflames the ego and numbs the spirit. Failure teaches us who we are.

What Does it Mean to be a Holistic Designer?
Snøhetta’s Martin Gran on how graphic design should co-exist with other disciplines

Stop Trying To Do Everything

A Sprawling Birthday Celebration for R.E.M.’s ‘Reckoning’
Thirty-five years ago, R.E.M. released one of the great rock albums of the 1980s, sending the Athens, Georgia, quartet on the road toward global stardom. Here’s a track-by-track breakdown of the album, as well as conversations with Patterson Hood, Mitch Easter, and Scott McCaughey.

An Incomplete Design History

Frame by Frame
The legacy of mid-century masters Charles and Ray Eames is as much about their films as their furniture.

Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls
After centuries of war, Catholicism and science reconciled over meridian lines.

The Designer’s Growth Model
The growth of a designer, i.e. the maturity of design, goes through several phases. Different phases ask different things of a designer. In each phase the work and goal of a designer changes. In each phase, the maturity grows.

How “Good Design” Failed Us

John Maeda says there are three kinds of design—but one is most important

Two New Identities

A couple of new additions to the Identity oeuvre. Melissa Ratcliff Designs paints exquisite watercolors and makes fine art prints. Her business is taking off so she decided she needed a logo to start building her brand. How could I turn my wife down?

The other logo will break this month for Sysco Foods. The company is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and the committee asked for a logo to commemorate the event. This was a tough assignment. How do you NOT infringe on the existing graphic standards, nod to past achievements but keep your gaze firmly pointed to the future.

Send, Read, Heard and Absorbed

So, what have we learned lately? Here are a few choice readings over the past week or so:

The 7 TED Talks every designer should watch

Is creativity the enemy of productivity? On this week’s episode of Secrets of the Most Productive People, we discover that the creative process is a messy one.

Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.“Time management” is not a solution — it’s actually part of the problem.

How to apply a design thinking, HCD, UX or any creative process from scratch

How an MIT Research Group Turned Computer Code Into a Modern Design Medium. Bauhaus meets binary.

What is storytelling in design? We keep using that word. I don’t think it means what we think it means.

Camus and Corita

Kat Holmes: To Be Successful, Ask ‘Whose Voice is Missing?’ Google’s director of UX design says the ability to seek out a range of perspectives is a critical skill for leaders of the future.

Advertising Enters the Next Dimension – 7 Ways Spatial Computing is Evolving Advertising & Marketing

Digital Advertising: 25 Years Old and Already the Most Dominant Force in Advertising. From basic banners to epic experiences, here’s where we’ve been — and where we’re going.

The Balance Between Direction and Mentoring

The Science of Naming Brands. From iPad to Ice CreamWhat’s in a name? More than you think.

The Day You Became a Better Designer

An Immoveable Type Who Won’t Abandon His Moveable Type

The role of creative director in the new age of advertising