Category: links

Worth Reading & Watching


Typically artists and business people operate in different worlds, where never the twain shall meet. MacLeod however is an artist obsessed with the business environment.


A beginner’s guide to copywriting: 6 essential reads to get you started

Why Science Fiction Is the Most Important Genre
“Today science fiction is the most important artistic genre,” Harari says in Episode 325 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “It shapes the understanding of the public on things like artificial intelligence and biotechnology, which are likely to change our lives and society more than anything else in the coming decades.”

Scott Belsky: How to Navigate the Messy Middle of a Creative Venture
The starts and finishes of a project seem to get all the headlines and press, but they don’t adequately reflect the extreme swings that occur during the middle section of a journey. In his new book, The Messy Middle, 99U Founder Scott Belsky shares lessons in entrepreneurship around the crucial, but overlooked part of a creative endeavor.

Creativity’s bottom line: How winning companies turn creativity into business value and growth
Most of us can remember a couple of favorite ads. They’re funny, clever, thoughtful. Creativity can delight, even inspire. But does it generate business value?


Consumed this Past Week

Forget Ted Talks: The Richards Group Wants University Students to Tune In to Stan Talks Instead 
The series offers lessons from ad legends like Keith Reinhard, Lee Clow and the late David Ogilvy

Subscribe to Stan Talks here

Keeping the Faith with the God of Creativity
FCB NY Chief Creative Officer Ari Halper offers up an assessment of what went wrong for the ad industry and why the industry deity – creativity – might just save us after all, writes Laura Swinton

An oldie but a goodie.

10 Modern Proofreading Tips to Catch More Avoidable Goofs
Traditionally, proofreading is a separate task from editing. And I still treat the two as different activities. However, the creative benefits of a consistent proofreading process surpass the classic definition of proofreading.

No more fixed budgets, rigid marketing calendars and long lead times: meet the new ad agency model
Why are not these Facebook “unicorn” success stories as common amongst clients managed by agencies?

Here’s Why Good Design Isn’t Negotiable For Your Business
Good design can make or break your business. Here’s why you should invest more in your design team.

Why Laughter Is a Key to Success, Especially at Creative Agencies
Owning your energy in a collaborative business

Milton Glaser on Making New Work at 89 and Why ‘Retirement Is a Trap’
Milton Glaser is the leading voice in the design world and has no plans of relinquishing that title any time soon.

When Europeans set sail for the New World, there were two key tasks explorers needed to plan for: first, how would they know if they were heading the right way; and second, who could tell them where the treasure was when they got there? From the findings in this year’s report it seems like the global strategy crew need to know their role in how they find the gold. But it’s these two things, direction and interpretation, where they can add most value to the modern-day exploration of uncharted territories.

Why Lego is ‘upping the ante’ on its in-house creative agency
Lego brought creative in-house a few years ago to ensure creative has “a seat at the table” and improve transparency, productivity and innovation.

Why Design Thinking Works
Occasionally, a new way of organizing work leads to extraordinary improvements. Total quality management did that in manufacturing in the 1980s by combining a set of tools—kanban cards, quality circles, and so on—with the insight that people on the shop floor could do much higher level work than they usually were asked to. That blend of tools and insight, applied to a work process, can be thought of as a social technology.


Recently Read & Watched

10 Ways to Lead a More Fulfilling Creative Career What is the secret sauce to looking back on a job well done, a satisfying career, and a portfolio that makes you proud?

The surprising habits of original thinkers


An Intro to the Five Foundations of Digital Asset Management First off, if you’re researching digital asset management (DAM) for the first time, welcome to the world of DAM puns. You’ll have plenty of DAM meetings, DAM calls, and DAM work to do.

A Master Plan for Taking Back Control of Your Life Our willpower is a highly limited resource, and it gets depleted by every act that requires its use. We outline 8 steps you can take to maintain peak performance.

Creative Lives — Creative technologist Mathieu Triay on ‘new’ news, computers and working at the BBC

The Good In Online Advertising For over 10 years I’ve been writing about how shitty, worthless, and dangerous I think most online advertising is. Today I want to talk about the good in online advertising.

Want to make great art? Stop making art The case for doing nothing.

The curious case of a creative genius I went to school with a guy who could well be the most intelligent person in the world. You might think that sounds like hyperbole. It’s not.

Beloved Artist Agnes Martin on Our Greatest Obstacle to Happiness and How to Transcend It 
“No-one knows what your life or life itself should be because it is in the process of being created. Life moves according to a growing consciousness of life and is completely unpredictable.”

How Matisse’s Cut-outs Took Over the Illustration World 
And your Instagram feed

Every Chapter of Thinking Fast, and Slow in 7 Minutes
Compact takeaways from the groundbreaking bestseller

Why climbing the corporate ladder may be the worst path to the top Conventional wisdom suggests that the way to success is to stay in your lane, climbing the corporate ladder and meeting people within your industry or sector.

The death of Don Draper Advertising, once a creative industry, is now a data-driven business reliant on algorithms. The implications are deeply sinister – not only for the consumer but for democracy itself.




Recently read…

  1. Building Brands That People Love to Hate
  2. MANAGING THE UNMANAGEABLE. So how do you manage the Unmanageables? A few weeks back, a friend and fellow plant-forward BBH Head of Strategy (hi @BenShaw) asked me for some top tips on how to herd those cats.
  3. The Power of Simplicity and the Art of Communication. It’s been said that life really is simple. But it’s we humans who make it complicated.
  4. Google’s CEO Doesn’t Use Bullet Points and Neither Should You. Google’s Sundar Pichai gives a master class for creating simple, engaging presentations.
  5. The design agency survival guide. Essential insights to help your design agency thrive, from business advice to self-promotion tips.
  6. The Henry Ford highlights work of Charles & Ray Eames The World of Charles and Ray Eames,î at The Henry Ford through Sept. 3, spotlights the lively artistic duo who pioneered radical new materials and processes to produce undulating modernist furniture from once-scorned plywood and fiberglass ó and had a blast doing it.
  7. A Bee C: Paul Rand’s Bee Fixation The 1981 Eye-Bee-M rebus is Paul Randís most iconic poster (the equivalent, say, of Lucian Bernhardís Priester Match or Milton Glaserís Dylan poster). It has become synonymous with the playful side of his IBM design directionóand a little controversy arose because the higher-ups believed that by toying with the sanctity of the corporate logo, the floodgates would open to anarchy.
  8. Why UX, UI, CX, IA, IxD, and Other Sorts of Design Are Dumb How to stop setting up definitions for overkill terminology and start doing the job. An opinion.
  9. Infographic: The Importance of Using Data Effectively and Creatively – 88% of marketers aren’t utilizing it to its full potential
  10. The secrets of the high-potentials personality Are there six traits that could really mark out your potential to achieve?
  11. Anything Worthwhile Takes A Long Time
  12. How to keep productivity from killing your creativity
  13. The artisanal trend away from copywriters and art directors to ‘storytellers’. What everyone loves about being called a ‘storyteller’ is that it can be defined as whatever you like, so anyone can claim to do it – says Dave Trott
  15. Chain Letters: Molly Heintz
  16. No, design systems will not replace design jobs, or
  17. Yes, design systems will replace design jobs
  18. We’re on the verge of a creative resurgence, and GDPR has led us there
  19. The Power of Listening in Helping People Change
  20. Why Being Obsessively Organized Makes You More Creative
  21. Design leadership as a subversive activity
  22. Michael Bierut shares the second-hand books which have “truly influenced” his practice

Week Links #15

Hire only “the best”
Hire super stars to work with you because that’s the only way to drive real change and sustainable innovation.

Ad agencies don’t represent the country we live in – and this needs to change
As a creative leader, one of my ambitions is, obviously, to find new ways of doing things; reshaping products and services that might be perceived as tired, haggard, boring. In order to achieve creative greatness today, we must strive for greater inclusivity in our teams – not simply focus on diversity.

Even if you’re not a writer by trade, you’ve probably written something at some point today—an email, a text message, a lunchbox note. Everybody writes.

Four psychology principles every UX designer should know
There’s a darn good reason why there are so many PSYCHOLOGY+UX articles floating around. User experience design has its conceptual roots in cognitive and behavioural psychology.

Type in Couture
In an interview with rock critic Lester Bangs in the 1980s, writer and punk musician Richard Hell said, “If you invent yourself, you love yourself. The idea of inventing yourself is creating the most ideal image that you could imagine.”

Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation
Ask a bunch of people who subscribe to design thinking exactly what it is, and you will get a bunch of answers, each of which varies just enough from the last one to give you the answer you’re looking for: There is no single, unifying, common definition of design thinking.

Why Design Thinking Works
Whether you are experienced with design thinking or have only just heard of it—strap in because we are kicking off a series covering many aspects of design thinking.

Extreme Constraints and Curiosity Lead to True Innovation
Boundaries force you to find truly new solutions. For your next project, remove a given like a big budget or access to electricity to push your ideas further.

Now That I’m 50, Here’s What I’ve Learned About Achieving Success That Escaped Me at 25
Hitting the big fifty requires reflection almost as a duty. So I focused mine on what I’ve learned about success since being half my current age.

8 strategies to embrace the future of content marketing
Just a few years ago, you could post 1, 2, 3, 300 blog posts on your website; furiously direct traffic to them through all your social platforms; amass zillions of inbound links; target a bunch of keywords; aaand easily rank on Google. Controlling your message and gaining customers was (well, almost) a piece of cake. No longer.

Ad Legend George Lois: Magazine Covers Are “Trash Today”
The iconic designer didn’t mince words in a recent interview, arguing that technology is “helping to destroy creativity in advertising.”

Your Own Personal Time Machine
5 Simple Ways to Recover the Lost Art of Note Taking

As S3’s copywriter, I’ve had some pretty challenging briefs during my two years at the agency. Being asked to pick the five greatest copywriters of all-time, however, stands out as my most challenging one yet. After all, how do we define not just great copywriters, but the greatest copywriters?