Author: ratcliff

2017.10.21 links

Get Ideas Out of Your Head & Into the World
In reality, creativity requires a complex set of skills, attitudes, and actions, intimately related to imagination, innovation, and entrepreneurship. To harness our creativity, we need a robust set of definitions for all parts of the creative and entrepreneurial process.

Nike’s Chief of Design Doodles All Day

The Culture Cliché
If you’re looking to shift your company culture, it starts with understanding what culture is in the first place.

Design in the Age of Anxiety
To create a better future, understand the now

Focusing on a Flexible Future: A Talk with Jeffrey Feldman

I Used Design Thinking To Reinvent My Career—Here’s Why It Worked
A former lawyer explains how the methodology led her to try out life as a pastry chef before getting a master’s in psychology.

Two articles by Mauro Porcini, SVP & Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo
The world is changing. And Design? and Confidence, Elegance and Leadership

Zen and the Art of Designing Startups
How Kelly Robinson creates inspiring offices for the likes of Airbnb, Headspace, and SoundCloud.

A Short Guide to Strategy for Entrepreneurs
It sometimes appears that the traditional rules of business are being upended by today’s mega-trends of multisided platforms, big data, machine learning and AI, crowdsourcing, the internet of things (IoT), and more. These trends have transformed the world of business immeasurably. But they have certainly not repealed the timeless rules of strategy.

The Joys of the Creative Scrapbook
Whether stored in book or digital form, having a scrapbook of ideas and inspiration can be vital to creativity, says advertising creative director Hugh Todd.

Exclusive: Ideo’s Plan To Stage An AI Revolution
The prominent design consultancy acquires Datascope, a Chicago-based data science company, to help merge machine learning and human-centered design.

The Best New Graphic Design Books in 2017
Discover 40 new graphic design books are filled with ideas, advice and inspiration.

Why design for experience? Because designing isn’t the only thing that designers do
Experience Design has become one of those annoying business terms that is grossly overused and widely misunderstood.

The Rich Visual Feast

Printmaking was why I got into design in the first place. Drawing was cool, but you did one drawing and that was it. I have always been fascinated by mass producing images.

I learned to silkscreen in Mrs. Hopkins’ 10th grade art class. We exposed the screens in the storage closet at the back of the room.

The first thing I printed was my interruption of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. I had seen the movie, loved it and created my own version of it as a one color print with lots of contrasting white spaces and dark shadows to create these forms that became a scene from Rick’s American Cafe.

I took two semesters of printing once I got to college. One was a silkscreening class taught by Lynwood Kreneck, and the other was a lithography class with Terry Morrow the head of the art department. I loved both those classes in very different ways.

I also had Kreneck for a freshman drawing class, which I think the university made him teach. The thing is, he only wanted to work with students who were committed to making art, not the kids who were there just to get a humanities credit, or worse, there to find a husband. He could be cruel to say the least.

One thing Kreneck said to the class one day has always stuck with me to this very day. “Mr Ratcliff, always strive to create the rich, visual feast”. Make something so compelling that you cannot take your eyes off it. So interesting that you can see something new in it every time you look at it. If you’re going to all the trouble to make art, make it interesting.

Just look at all the glorious detail. The pea green cabinets in the background with the red plates popping in the front with little red accents scattered throughout. This was deliberate and exceptionally well-designed. Chapeau to the Art Director.

I was watching FX’s series “Better Things”, with Pam Adlon, a funny and poignant show about a single mom raising three daughters. I swear my wife and oldest daughter have had some of the same arguments I’ve seen on the show.

Beside the stories, the best thing about “Better Things” is the art direction. It is the most beautifully shot show on television. Even the simplest of shots are cinematic and break-taking in scope. With the sound turned down, the show is beautiful to watch. The backgrounds are colorful and deep. You see into their world, understand a little better about who these women are.

The rich visual feast.

I cannot take my eyes off the show even though some of the stories can be hard to sit through. The visuals and so stunning, so evocative, so captivating, I can sit perfectly still for 30 minutes and drink it all in.

Kreneck was right. When you make something so rich and interesting, you cannot help but make the world a better place in the process.

2017.10.13 links

All ideas want is to fit

Words still matter
Medium’s mission — five years in

How Graphic Design Is Evolving

Max De Pree, 1924-2017
Former CEO Max De Pree’s relationships with designers and architects put human-centered, problem-solving design at the heart of the company he served for more than 40 years.

How to fail in digital
Over the past few years, companies have gotten increasingly better at wasting their time and money in digital.

Print Ain’t Dead!
“Print is in a co-dependent, productive relationship with digital, and the function, meaning, and use of a magazine is simply evolving as times and habits change. It’s no surprise that the Internet does fast, cheap disposable content and vital, instant news much better than print does, which is why newspapers have had to adapt: its true a certain kind of print is dying, but digital media has created a space for more interesting, thoughtful, and innovatively-designed printed material.”

Creativity in constraint: Unlock new forms of video storytelling with 6-second YouTube bumper ads

The Vision of Charles and Ray Eames
How two designers from the 20th century influenced and predicted the way people would live in the 21st

The Physics of Luck
LUCK—success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions

John Le Carre: Storytelling Lessons For Managers
“No problem exists in isolation, one must first reduce it to its basic components, then tackle each component in turn.”

Design Systems are for People

An Innovative Approach for Aligning Marketing with Sales

THERE’S HOPE FOR ADVERTISING YET
After 15 years of “hey, your big ideas don’t matter”, Colleen DeCourcy, Global ECD at Wieden + Kennedy Portland, can see a “correction” coming in advertising, and it will come through a trusting and nurturing relationship between creatives and clients.

This is a particularly bad idea


For the life of me, I cannot think who in the world thought that this was a good idea. I suppose the ad wizards are trying to say we’re all the same inside.

Maybe? But that sure isn’t how I see it, nor the rest of the world.

A word of advice to advertisers: Quit trying to be topical and/or political. Focus on the benefits of you brand and get them in front of potential customers in a compelling way. Washing yourself does not have to include social commentary.

Don’t try and make a statement. Did not work for Pepsi earlier this year, isn’t working for Dove now.