Design studio focused on book design, illustration, and environment design




Safely landed and looking for some Jenkinses. All the overhead announcements on the plane were in Japanese, English and then Korean, but it took me most of the flight to realize it. I wasn’t paying much attention, but it seemed like there was a lot more information going out in “the other language” than I was getting in English. I’m out of practice, living in a monolingual culture.



Emmeline, not only do the people here in Japan use different words when they speak, they also use different letters when they write. See these letters?


Design, For EMM, Travel, Type Design, Typography

Landing in Japan

After a 12 hour flight, we’re starting the descent now. That is a lot of hours in a seat. Emmeline, each person has a little screen to watch movies or follow a little picture of the plane across a map of the world. Or onto a little map of Japan.20120705-172631.jpg


Like many experimental projects

this one is fragile. While on the runway, in the plane, I was trying to tweak the way the blog displayed (specifically how many posts it displayed per page) and I broke it. And because of the imminent departure, I didn’t have time to fix it. It’s not very broken, mind you, but a little broken.

One of my goals for this year (with encouragement from my team at MJM) has been to work on bringing projects to a point where they are “finished” and then going over them once more to give them a final polish before shipping them out for the client to review. In the hustle and bustle of multiple projects and timelines and cascading or nested deadlines, it’s easy to give a project a cursory glance and “call it good.”

The tension is always there, whether the zero hour is a printer’s deadline, the day a website should go live, or (in the case of today) the moment when the flight crew says that it’s time to turn off your gadgets so we can fly to Tokyo. (if I had a nickel for every time that’s happened…)

It’s not quite a choice between speed and quality, because neither is optional. Rather it’s a matter of balancing both, without sacrificing either.

Now, if anyone reading this has 1) a solid working knowledge of PHP, 2) a screen larger than an airline graham cracker and 3) time and the inclination, I could use a little help here. Just shoot me an email.


Time zones

Emmeline, as I’m writing this you are in bed in Sioux Falls and it’s dark outside–it’s the middle of the night where you and mommy and Sam are. But here in the plane, it’s lunch time and it’s light outside. When I get to Incheon, the city where Derek and Ashley live, it will be getting dark there, but you’ll probably be having breakfast.

It’s a little bit like the sun is a lamp in a house. Imagine if it were night time and there were only one lamp turned on in our living room. If you carried that lamp into the kitchen, it would be bright in the kitchen but dark in the living room. The sun can only shine on one part of the the world at a time, just like that lamp can only be in one room at a time.

What do you think about that?