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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

 

Favorite Music of 2018

As everyone knows, I am a music snob. Below is my list of favorite music released this year. It is not comprehensive and I know many great songs have been left off. But these are songs I listened to time and again, and defined the sound for the latter half of 2018.

The songs are in no particular order, except when I thought to scratch down the song as one I really liked. Gorillaz and Kacey Musgrave hold top honors as 2 of my absolute favorites on the year.

Now, I could have made a Spotify list, but admittedly I do not have an account and do not feel up to messing with getting one at the moment.

Gorillaz – Humility

Kacey Musgraves – Slow Burn

 

Other favorites include:

Israel Nash – Rolling On

Nathaniel Rateliff – You Worry Me

Low Cut Connie – Beverly

Haley Heynderickx – Oom Sha La La

Caroline Rose – Soul No. 5

Courtney Barnett – Charity

RayLand Baxter – Casanova

Amanda Shires – Leave It Alone

Christine & The Queens – Girlfriend

Neko Case – Bad Luck

Hop Along – How Simple

Mondo Cozmo – Shine

The National Reserve – New Love

Stereo League – Mother Tongue

Leon Bridges – Beyond

Lera Lynn – In Another Life

Jade Bird – The Lottery

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press

Swearin’ – Untitled (LA)

Your Smith – The Spot

The Nude Party – Feels Alright

Worth Reading & Watching

 

HUGH MACLEOD CONNECTS THE DOTS
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.

THE ENEMIES OF INNOVATION by Marty Neumeier
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE HIDDEN FORCES ARRAYED AGAINST CREATIVITY

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

JUST DO YOUR OWN JOB PROPERLY
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.

THE FUTURE OF STRATEGY: BE LESS COMPLICATED
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.