Category: look at everything

Week links, #07



A new theory claims Homo sapiens beat out Neanderthals because of art
A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture proposes that our ancestors’ skill at art, as well as hunting, was essential to their ability to thrive. The study’s author, psychologist Richard Coss of the University of California-Davis, says there is “a causal relationship between the evolved ability of anatomically modern humans to throw spears accurately while hunting and their ability to draw representational images,” which is tied to the development of the parietal cortex in the brains of Homo sapiens. In other words, the art of hunting forced the evolution of humans.

Drawing May Have Helped Humans Develop As A Species
A new study suggests that for early humans, the hand-eye coordination necessary for hunting was the same that was needed for drawing.

How to start managing your energy levels instead of your time
The amout of energy you have should determine what you do

Writing Your Autobiography: What It Means to Truly Love Yourself
The stories that shape us shouldn’t define us

How Businesses Can Best Use Content Marketing to Generate Leads
New research on B2B companies highlights an effective way to bridge the gap between sales and marketing.

The Curiously Elastic Limits of Endurance
In an exclusive excerpt from his new book, Outside’s Sweat Science columnist explores the brain’s role in setting our physical limits.

Stay excited every day – Sairah Ashman on staying happy, and staying put.
Over the next few months, we will be chatting with some of the speakers who will be joining us at Collision. We’re joined today by Sairah Ashman, who will be speaking at creatiff. Sairah was recently promoted to CEO at Wolff Olins, the creative consultancy famously described by a McKinsey Partner as “the perfect blend of maths and magic”. We caught up with her to talk about how staying in the one company has its benefits, how tech and sociology overlap and why we should embrace AI with caution.

99 Reasons to Kill Your Dream? Accept the 1
You’re never going to be original, but that doesn’t matter anyway.

What I Look For
If you’re looking for a job at, read this.


Once upon a time, there was a creative industry with three different disciplines: marketing, advertising, and design. For a long time, these industries were happy. They were able to live in their own little houses, do their own thing, and occasionally talk and work with each other but then go back to their own private spaces and talk their own talk.

10 reasons why pitching is the biggest illusion of the 21st century
When I read an email with the line “you are invited to our pitch…”, or see more ‘refined’ phrases such as RFP or RFQ, I immediately assume that it’s going to be an intellectual stick-em-up. Created by an army of purchasing and pitching consultants, selling fake certainty to brands by approaching every collaboration as if they were buying Biros. Or worse: asking agencies for retainers and even kickbacks in case they are rewarded a loss-making contract after a long and expensive pitch process.

The end of the beginning of the end
Reacting to “the death of the ad agency” with some thoughts on creation, maintenance and destruction

Further gloom & doom…

It’s the End of Agencies As We Know It. Here’s Where We Go Next
Brands want streamlined partners who help them build trust


Why Joy is the Best Protest
Earlier this year, [IDEO] moved [their] Cambridge-based studio into a building in Central Square. We wanted to personalize our new home with some public art, but were uncertain about what final expression it should take, so we got started by slapping on a new coat of paint—transforming it from an oppressive gray brutalism to a welcoming white canvas. Then, a local connection, who shared our desire for more street art in Cambridge, suggested we look up Elton.

10 Laws Of UX, Illustrated
A handy guide for remembering Fitts’s Law, Jakob’s Law, and more.

Week links, #06


Who Is Robert Cialdini? Meet the Master of Influence and Persuasion
Dr. Robert Cialdini is the mind behind Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, one of the great and enduring works of social psychology, along with a number of other books, including Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. Cialdini’s work is among the world’s best resources on how we persuade others and how we are persuaded.

New study reveals why some people are more creative than others
It’s not just your ability to draw a picture or design a product. We all need to think creatively in our daily lives, whether it’s figuring out how to make dinner using leftovers or fashioning a Halloween costume out of clothes in your closet. Creative tasks range from what researchers call “little-c” creativity – making a website, crafting a birthday present or coming up with a funny joke – to “Big-C” creativity: writing a speech, composing a poem or designing a scientific experiment.

The One Thing You Need to Generate Great Ideas
A drawing is worth a thousand words. That’s my version of the age-old adage. When it comes to expressing the functional and emotional merits of a new idea, I firmly believe you have to make it visual.


Check Out Adweek’s Instant Reviews of Every Ad in Super Bowl LII
See all the spots again, plus our thumbs up or thumbs down

It’s Time to Stop Devaluing Creativity
TBWA Worldwide’s CEO reflects on how tech is creating more room for big ideas

The IAB says blockchain technology “is a natural fit for the digital advertising supply chain” with potential to increase efficiency, reduce costs and eliminate fraud. Blockchain can also significantly reduce the number of queries that ad-tech systems need to make each second; ensure that premium video inventory is bought and sold reliably; reduce the number of suppliers and increase transparency, according to the IAB.

Far Too Many Creatives Are Wasting Their Energy on Drivel
Need I make any additional remarks?

As far as creatives were concerned GGT stood for ‘someone beginning with ‘G’, Someone beginning with ‘G’ and DAVE TROTT’.


The Future of the Chief Procurement Officer… Is already here.
CPOs (Chief Procurement Officers) is the function in charge of leading this transformation. Many leaders within the procurement world are ready to realize the change that lies ahead. This much is clear after hearing about the CPOs that praised coming disruptions and transformations within procurement at DITx. This is a new breed of CPO.


Becoming a More Thoughtful User Experience Designer
The difference between creating good experiences and amazing experiences often comes down to how thoughtful we can remain during the design process.

The ultimate guide to user experience
The secret to a good UX is not to make users have to think about what they’re doing: it should come naturally to them to find what they’re looking for and interact with your site. In a web design agency, user experience may be the responsibility of the team as a whole or a specific UX designer. There are even entire firms that specialise in user experience consultancy.

Interview with Barry Katz, IDEO first Fellow, on Design Thinking.
Barry Katz is IDEO’s first Fellow and Professor of Industrial and Interaction Design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and Consulting Professor in the Design Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, at Stanford. He is the author of six books, including (with Tim Brown) Change By Design, and most recently, Make it New: The History of Silicon Valley Design (MIT Press, 2015).

Future of Print: How Design Brought it Back from the Dead
When we were sitting on our family computers in the basement of our parent’s Midwestern homes, downloading music from Napster, Limewire, and, we had no idea we were part of a revolution—a way of getting and hearing music that would fundamentally change the industry forever. We eventually quit because it was illegal and not worth the viruses, but not before that fundamental shift occurred. Nearly twenty years later, we don’t even bother with owning digital files, we stream them from various services. And we collect vinyl.


We Are Our Own Typos
As Wired summarized the problem a few years ago: “The reason we don’t see our own typos is because what we see on the screen is competing with the version that exists in our heads.” They go on to explain that one of the great skills of our big brains is that we build mental maps of the world, but those maps are not always faithful to the actual world.

Quick side comment about typos: I accidentally left a typo in an article I posted on LinkedIn last weekend. It made me eternally happy when I got a note from someone notifying me of my mistake. Someone actually read what I wrote!



Clients Want One Partner to Simplify the Fragmentation and Data — and Today’s Shops May Not Be Among Them

How Mr. Potato Head Changed the Advertising Business
A story of goofy vegetables and the power of television.

How big agencies work, and how small agencies can beat them
If you’ve ever worked at a big agency, you’ll know that it can feel like running on a crazy treadmill — a never-ending series of pitches, award entries and late nights. But did you ever stop to wonder why?

How copywriters write copy
Copywriting, much like making an omelette, shoplifting or choosing an analogy, is one of those things that seems easier than it actually is.

Will it blend? Will it end?
Advertising’s creativity industry continues to struggle with itself.

Why ‘David Ogilvy’ must die
If there were a Mount Rushmore of the advertising industry, Ogilvy’s face would be immortalized upon it. I remain in awe of his talent and a big fan. I love David Ogilvy. That said, “David Ogilvy” must die.

And the follow-up…

His methods still matter – a response to ‘David Ogilvy must die’
… the suggestion that Ogilvy’s approach to marketing needs to shuffle off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and join the choir invisible is demonstrably false.

Something doesn’t ad up about America’s advertising market
Stockmarket investors are wrong to expect an enormous surge in advertising revenues


The New Walking Men Logo
The Fascinating Tale of a Rebranding tout en finesse

Working with a designer (four paths)
Most of us want to look good online, need a website, maybe even a logo. More and more individuals and organizations are discovering that they need to hire a professional.

Chain Letters: Sarah Doody

Design is never done

The Business Value of Design Pt. 3: Drive Engagement & Loyalty
Pt. 3 in our series exploring The Business Value of Design focuses on driving engagement and loyalty to maximize brand value.


Belief Versus Doubt — Welcome To The Creative Mind
You have the angelic you on one shoulder, and the devilish you on the other. The battle of right vs wrong, good vs evil, and confidence vs crisis.


How To Create Your Own Rules at Work
Unfortunately, the culture in most workplaces does not encourage brilliance from its employees. Instead, it accepts the just enough to get by approach; this being the required amount to get your monthly pay cheque.

To Find Meaning in Your Work, Change How You Think About It
Why is it that some people can be extraordinarily well-paid and work in pampered settings but feel empty, while others can work in the sewers of New York City and feel fulfilled? Part of the answer is purpose.

The most powerful question of your life
We often try to find fulfilling relationships with others, without first having one with ourselves.

Week links, Week #01

Check out the biggest posts of 2017 below—and be sure to click through to read any you missed.

“Everybody is creative” – The Big Lie That’s Killing Mad Ave.
Three words that creatives come across a lot these days.

Hands up who’s heard of John Fuckin’ Knight?

2018 Will Be a Massive Shift for UX Design
The year UX designers break beyond screens.

Ideo Says The Future Of Design Is Circular
A new guide for designers encourages them to create products that stay in closed loops and business models that discourage waste.

Strategic Leadership: Building Credibility In the Workplace
When you speak, do people listen? …Do you have the ability to sway a room? …Will you be trusted with your organization’s next big project?

How to Rank in 2018: The SEO Checklist – Whiteboard Friday
It’s hard enough as it is to explain to non-SEOs how to rank a webpage. In an increasingly complicated field, to do well you’ve got to have a good handle on a wide variety of detailed subjects. This edition of Whiteboard Friday covers a nine-point checklist of the major items you’ve got to cross off to rank in the new year — and maybe get some hints on how to explain it to others, too.

What traditional marketers need to know about SEO
If you think SEO is a bag of tricks to rank first in Google, you are 10 years out of date.

Google X and the Science of Radical Creativity
How the secretive Silicon Valley lab is trying to resurrect the lost art of invention

Samsung’s top US marketer says ad agencies should feel threatened by influencers
Samsung’s top US marketer Marc Mathieu has suggested that agencies should see social influencers as a threat to their business models as brands seek more direct ways to have conversations with their audiences.

Learning From the Feynman Technique
At Princeton, Feynman started to record and connect the things he did know with those he did not. In the end, Feynman had a comprehensive notebook of subjects that had been disassembled, translated, and recorded.

10 New Principles Of Good Design
With a nod to Braun legend Dieter Rams–whose 10 principles for good design remain indispensable, though somewhat narrowly concerned with the particulars of industrial design–here are 10 new principles for good design.

What the advertising industry should watch out for in 2018
We ask advertising bosses what’s in store for the year ahead.

PR Pros Must Embrace the PESO Model
Monique Bonner, the vice president of marketing at Dell, who told Mashable, “It drives me crazy when PR people say they aren’t in marketing.”

Week links #51

Alvin and Elaine Lustig. More about Mr L is a future post.

A quick note: While cobbling together my list of interesting articles read this week, although it may be clear what week these were actually read in, but it might not be apparent if you land on my site haphazardly. So I decided to label the weeks and will continue to do so in 2018. With that, here are the links from the 2nd to last week of 2017:

How to Kill Creativity
Tina Seelig
Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stanford. Author, What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20, inGenius, Creativity Rules

How To Unleash Your Creativity, From A Stanford Professor
Everyone has ideas. Some of us even have great ideas. But not everyone has ideas that grow into multi-million dollar businesses. What is it about those few people that makes them capable of using their creativity in such clever entrepreneurial ways? How do they go from a simple idea to full-blown successes?

18 Designers Predict UI/UX Trends for 2018
Designers are always looking toward the future — in our “build and ship it now” industry we’re programmed to iterate ad finitum. In the end, a designer’s obsession always circles back to one simple question: How can we improve the user’s experience?

How Digital Marketing Will Change In 2018: 15 Top Trends
The move into 2018 also comes with a shift in digital marketing. New trends are entering the marketplace and your company needs to pay attention or you may be forced by the wayside. With the need to become more visible and reach more customers, the digital marketing of tomorrow offers advancements in emerging technologies as consumers demand a more integrated experience.

Your 2018 new year’s resolution: ignore the digital hype and be channel-neutral
The birth of any technology usually leads to enthusiastic overuse and then eventual moderation. Gartner’s Hype Cycle is a good visualization of the pattern. As the New Year approaches, many companies are climbing towards the Peak of Inflated Expectations by moving towards digital with abandon that just might be reckless.

Why Great Experience Design Starts With A Story
Sometimes, words are worth a thousand wireframes.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150
The Curbed guide to the most famous architect in U.S. history
Frank Lloyd Wright’s talent, creativity, and output are the reasons he’s still remembered on his 150th birthday, lionized for launching a modern, multifaceted American architecture.

Feeling the Squeeze?
“In the past, an author who published a book probably would’ve paid a freelancer $5,000 to create and update his site,” says Jeffrey Zeldman, one of the two web-design masterminds behind An Event Apart. “Today, if your clients are just looking for a beautiful site with a little bit of content, Wix and Squarespace will definitely cut into your market share. And if you’ve been charging $300,000 on projects, that market is narrowing too. You need to do more than spit out a boilerplate proposal that lists the client’s technical specs and create something pretty—you need to become a strategic partner.”

“By aligning strategies from revenue, video, editorial, and audience departments, news products can lessen the assault on their users’ senses. If we understand and attempt to calibrate internal competing goals, we fix the external experience.”


10 reasons why creatives should start working with a pen and paper
Have you thought about the effect technology has on your creative work? Maybe you should. Over the years, as agencies connected our desktops to the internet, wired our offices with wifi, doled out laptops and finally, smartphones, few paused to consider their impact on our work.

Dreamweaver: Maryanne Moodie spins us a yarn about technology, the art of the loom, and slow creativity
Welcome to Life Well Lived: an ongoing conversation around how we can use technology to improve our lives. In this final installment of our series, we spoke with Maryanne Moodie, Instgram’s and the design world’s favorite modern loomer on the link between coding and weaving and how technology informs her creative practice.

Journey Mapping is Key to Gaining Empathy
This article is for people who already have a basic understanding of journey mapping, but if you are totally new to the tool and how to create one, UX Lady has a great example where she uses the metaphor of baking as a way to map out experiences.

The future of marketing is in the past
These are your customers: talk at them or talk with them?

Don’t Hack It. 5 Things You Can Do to Gain Real Respect as a Thought Leader in 2018
Thought leadership is a lifestyle decision, not a LinkedIn headliner.

Social And Emotional Skills: Everybody Loves Them, But Still Can’t Define Them

Friends First. Then Design.
Genuine Connections and The Messy, Wonderful World of Good Design

Elaine Lustig Cohen on the late Alvin Lustig and the art, and archiving, of the book jacket.