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The Final “Noted” of the Year

Last year at this time, I was at my in-laws with little to do so I read like a madman, posting all my favorites. It was a lengthy list. This year, not so much – just a few things that came across my feed over the past week, some of which were originally published earlier in the year:

Never heard of Fold before, but To Be An Underdog, Interview with Dave Trott will bring me back to their site again for further investigation.

Late in the Fall, Ideo broke its silence on design thinking’s critics. It’s still bullshit.

In the spirit of the holidays, read Nakatomi Space, about the building where my favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard, took place. I referred to Die Hard as my favorite Christmas movie long before it was the popular thing to do.

Design Observer’s Chain Letters series is fantastic, especially this posting late in the year with Celene Aubry of the Hatch Print Show.

2018 was not a banner year of rebranding, and 5 Brand Logo Redesigns That Pissed People Off proves it.

Favorite Articles in 2018

Back in 1996 when I worked at The ForeFront Group, we had a piece of software called WebWhacker (the packaging is elsewhere on this site). WebWhacker was designed to pull content down from websites to read later when you were offline. A genius app, until WiFi and mobile devices with unlimited reach became the norm. Google’s Pocket is the modern equivalent of WebWhacker. I use it every single day, sometimes throughout the day when I find things that interest me but don’t have the time to read at the moment. Apparently, according to Pocket I read a lot:

Although this is not a comprehensive list, here are some of my favorite articles I saved to Pocket during 2018:

Where Are All the Female Architects?

A museum grows in Houston

The Rise of Riso

It’s Time to Embrace the Creativity Explosion Advertising Is Undergoing

Soul Of A Subversive

Everything Goes With Everything … 

These are the conversations you need to have as a new manager

Creative leadership

Why You Need To Pay Attention To Gen X Leaders

TITTER YE NOT by Dave Trott, of course.

Fear is the enemy of creativity

Creatives Are Overworked

I Visited A Shrine For The Patron Saint Of Procrastinators

Is Jeff Goodby the Best Copywriter at Goodby Silverstein & Partners?

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule

A Designer’s Guide to Getting Shit Done

The Curbed Guide to Texas

Stan Lee Knew About Managing Creative People

The Curse of the Honeycrisp Apple

The Library of Congress Has an Incredible Collection of Early Baseball Cards

R.E.M., in Retrospect



A mixed bag of links to share this week, starting off with a favorite piece of music:

Simon Sinek Explains What Almost Every Leader Gets Wrong

With a daughter considering studying architecture in college, Where Are All the Female Architects? resonated with me.

No matter what stage you are at in your career, Weighing the Risk: What’s the Cost of Not Making a Life-Changing Career Choice? offers some good food for thought.

I don’t know a single person who focuses their attention on just one thing. Marketers need to be polymaths: the modern-day marketing challenges confirms my findings.

Perhaps the single most important thing you will read this week is The Scientific Case for Eating Bread.

Promise yourself you will read Living up to Your Brand Promise from my pals at R+M.

Design Debate: Should You Work In-House or Freelance? has been on my mind a lot lately.

HBR is right. In Set the Conditions for Anyone on Your Team to Be Creative anyone can be creative, givven the right culture.

Design leaders at Microsoft, Google, Ideo, Pentagram, Gensler, and more weigh in on The 9 big design trends of 2019.
Jim Steranko may be one of the greatest unsung influencers of the latter half of the twentieth century.

New logos, new typefaces and even new names abound.



The future of advertising is not just martech but a re-emphasis on branding
This re-emphasis on branding will not be about the logo or brand colours. Those will be there but businesses will realise that these are details in the larger scheme of things.

Brainstorming — Why It Doesn’t (Always) Work
There is an ongoing debate between die-hard believers in the power of brainstorming and those who think that it is a bunch of nonsense. After decades of brainstorming sessions in every conceivable setting, you’d think that there would be a consensus about the value of this approach to generating breakthrough ideas. But, there isn’t.

The Most Valuable And Timeless Skills You Need to Thrive in The 21st Century
We live in a world of constant change, where skill sets can become obsolete in just a few years, you have consistently upgrade and reinvent yourself.

What Digital Creative Agencies Can Expect in 2019
One industry veteran says it’s a race to the middle, but there are opportunities to break away from the pack.

Transferable Lessons from the Geniuses of the Renaissance
The Renaissance Holds the Simple Key to Thriving in the 21st Century

Beyond the idea – does your creative process stop too short?
As such, a great many creatives have trouble determining the right time to put the pencil down. Too early, and your metaphorical hedge animal is ragged and indistinct. Too late and you’ve inadvertently lopped off a flipper.


The Art of Noticing Newsletter No. 1: Thank Somebody, from Rob Walker

The act of drawing something has a “massive” benefit for memory compared with writing it down

Six of the biggest graphic design trends for 2019
What’s been happening in design this year, and where are we heading?

The 2019 Outlook for Agencies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Continued leadership changes and in-housing, but also unprecedented opportunity

Seen, Noted & Worth Sharing

I watched this little YouTube movie three times this past week… will probably watch again.

John Hegarty: In-house model is for ‘boring creatives’. Veteran creative was speaking at Connect: London event.

Intercomcom merges with noted International Art Museum.

What We’ve Learned from Dieter Rams, and What We’ve Ignore by Alexandra Lange

We are verbs, not nouns

The 3 Elements of Great UX Writing

Introduction to Design Futures from AIGA. Learn more about how the context for the practice of design has changed and what these changes mean for the future of professional work and education. By Meredith Davis.