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Don’t design without a plan

Know what you’re building before you start Seeing your good work go unused is one of the most draining things about working as a designer. It’s hard to pour your heart, creativity and time into a piece and then watch it languish in your sketchbook or on your hard drive. There are a number of […]

This article is in: Creativity, Design, Illustration


New Zealand flag redesign

The four top candidates for the redesign of the New Zealand flag. Design as a public trust There are two design-related stories circulating in recent news that have to do with brands that are “public property.” The first is the logo for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The Olympic games feel like they belong to all of […]

This article is in: Branding, Community, Design, Logo Design


My worst client

There are some clients who are a joy to work with. They have all their material together, a clear idea of the goals of the project, and a definite timeline. They value the designer’s time and sanity, and give clear and constructive feedback in a timely manner.

Then there’s this client.

This article is in: Being Human, Community, Creativity, Design, Layout


WordCamp 2015

Salient thoughts from WordCamp Minneapolis 2015 For the past three years I’ve attended the WordCamp conference in Minneapolis (and have heard and made jokes about “NerdCamp.”) But each year I’ve learned a surprising amount for a one day event. As in the past, the volunteer presenters gave some solid sessions on web design and development, […]

This article is in: Community, Design, The Nerdatorium, Typography, Web design


The Creative Process-the reality

This is a continuation of an earlier post, The Creative Process, Part I: The Myth of Orderly Progress. Creative work is non-linear Some work follows a clear path. Step 1 is always followed by Step 2, and if you know how many steps there are you can have a pretty good idea of how the […]

This article is in: Creativity, Design, Ideas, Illustration, The Nerdatorium


The Creative Process-the myth

I don’t always know what I’m doing When I worked as a house painter, it was easy to figure how the work would go and how long it would take. You have a 2″ brush and 300 feet of trim to paint. There were occasional problems but for the most part the goal was clear, […]

This article is in: Creativity, Design, Ideas, Illustration, The Nerdatorium


Why you need a good design brief

Try this next time you’re at a restaurant: –What can I get for you, sir? –Well, I’m hungry but I’m not sure what I want. –Do you want me to give you more time with the menu? –No, why don’t you just make some things and bring ’em out. I think I’ll know what I […]

This article is in: Design, Identity, Illustration, The Nerdatorium


A redesign concept for the US $10 bill

The design of the physical money in our pockets says volumes about us: how we see ourselves as a nation; what we value as a nation (or at least what we say we value); what we consider to be quintessential elements of our national identity. It’s a daunting task to create a design that captures […]

This article is in: Design