Saturday, March 31, 2007

Street Art of th Ukrain

Folks from the Ukraine have their own unique take on street art.

There's more here from: >>> The English Russian.

That's Right,


And a big thank you to the cool kids over at: The Wooster Collective.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Effort Effect

If you've ever pondered the "half empty-half full" take on this thing we call life, I think you'll enjoy this.

According to a Stanford psychologist, you’ll reach new heights if you learn to embrace the occasional tumble.

The article explains that people have two kinds of mindsets: growth or fixed.

People with the growth mindset view life as a series of challenges and opportunities for improving.

People with a fixed mindset believe that they are “set” as either good or bad.

The issue is that the good ones believe they don’t have to work hard, and the bad ones believe that working hard won’t change anything.

Very cool read: >>> The Effort Effect

Have a great weekend!

That's Right,


Thanks to Marina Krakovsky and the cool illustration is by James Yang.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Awesome Promo!

Dude! Eleven 7-11 stores are going to be refurbished as Kwik-E-Marts to coincide with the Simpsons movie!

If all goes as planned, the convenience store chain plans to refit 11 stores across the U.S. to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Mart.

Austin or SA perhaps?

Probably Austin...

We're going to be able to buy products inspired by the nearly two-decades-old show, including KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee).

7-Eleven is also going to use Simpsons characters to promote 7-Eleven's line of fresh foods, such as placing the face of Homer and his classic "Mmmm . . . sandwich" quip on sandwich wrappers.


That's Right!

Big thanks to BoingBoing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Reynolds Wrap

This is genius.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, NY. Creative Director: Tony Granger

That's Right,


Thanks to Freedy over at Ad Goodness.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ten Tips for Coordinating Corporate Clients

Whether you’ve been put in charge of your corporate website, or you’re a freelancer who’s been hired on, designing a website for a corporation is never routine. There are turf wars, inner-departmental battles, upper management issues, and precedent that you must deal with.

Typically with freelancer jobs, there is only one client. However, in a corporation, there are many clients that you will have to deal with. These clients could be head of certain departments, divisions, or offices.

In regard to overall efficiency, getting the best results and maintaining a realistic time line, the tip that really hit home for me is about the importance of Establishing a Single Point Of Contact.

When dealing with departments or divisions, it is absolutely critical that there is a single point of contact for each one. If you don’t have a single point of contact, then there will be nothing to stop dozens of different people from contacting you and flooding you with content changes, design “suggestions”, and the like.

If you're like me, and you like to make sure things get done in the smartest, most efficient way, you'll appreciate these ten tips over at >>> Dev Lounge.

That's Right,


Thanks to Ronald Huereca.

Notice The Ground Beneath Your Feet

Big Gracias to illustrator and fast forward thinker Keri Smith.

That's Right,


Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Brette Moss Grieder!

Wow - the day my favorite little girl in the world Brette came home from the hospital - 13 years ago today - she was welcomed by a big rainy day just like today!

Happy Birthday Brette!

That's Right,


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Everything Is Interesting

Uncommon Knowledge: 002

Introducing a new Ace Jet. series: Uncommon Knowledge, or Stuff I wish I'd known much, much earlier in my career.

This second post from the series goes on to suggest a system for collecting and ordering the stuff all true designers collect.

The combinations thing goes for everything we do: On one level we combine colours with shapes and typefaces and words, and end up with logos. On another level we take an airmail letter and the idea of love songs and think about love letters, and end up with things like this, despite who the client is.

I totally agree, there's nothing like the power of some old fashioned juxtaposition to get the ideas and concepts generating. Couple that with the belief that everything is interesting and you're on your way to something special.

Looks like a great series and I'm looking forward to more - check it out >>> Uncommon Knowledge.

And I just totally dig Ace Jet's use of John Blyberg's awesome Card Generator to present the ideas.

That's Right,


Friday, March 23, 2007

The Visual Culture of International Tickets

One to One: by Tanja Backe

An international collection of over 1,600 various ticket stubs covering the past two decades. These tickets come from every imaginable source: tickets from airplanes, trains, ferries buses, the metro, cloakrooms, and parking lots, bank and taxi receipts, inspection labels, admission tickets for museums, theatres, cinemas, circuses, operas, zoos, concerts, ballets, even reptile shows.

Organized non-chronologically and non-linearly, the book can be read according to individual preferences. The collection reprints the tickets at actual-size, one-to-one, organized by colors.

Backe guides us through the variety of typefaces, languages, formats, styles, backgrounds, brand identities, illustrations, and other graphic elements of this sweeping collection.

Fascinatingly small, the ticket has a unique and intriguing format that demands efficiency and utility, and making the modest ticket a product of high design and ingenuity.

Get it! >>> Actar Printing

That's Right,


Thanks to Josh Spear

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Don't Be A Poser!

Although I still believe in the mantra "Nothing succeeds like the appearance of succeess", Dan Ritzenthaler reminds us that it’s incredibly easy to get caught up thinking that the bigger we are and the cooler we look, the better off we’ll be as a business.

The idea of looking “official” will get us more attention and credibility and a fancy office will legitimize everything we say…

You may or may not agree with that last rant, but hopefully you noticed nowhere in it was there anything about making the client’s life better or the world a nicer place. Neither of those goals may be the purpose of you or your company, but acting like it at any level other than what you really mean is the business version of a poser.

In the long run, posers lose.

Faking, pretending, and playing with people’s emotions can get you far… But not for very long… Don’t let yourself fall for tomorrow’s win when when you need to succeed next year.

Don’t be a poser - read more: Forty Media

That's Right,


Thanks to Dan Ritzenthaler for the keen insight. Dan's one of the big monkeys over at Forty Media, a high-end web design, web development, and branding agency based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Famous Fish and Chips Ad


Agency: Joe Public, South Africa

That's Right,


Thanks to Freddy over at Ad Goodness .

No Accounting For Design?

It's the design world's dirty little secret. Despite the growing consensus that "good design is good business," most companies lack objective financial metrics to help them calculate whether increased investment in design will, in fact, generate increased profits. Does it matter? Chuck Jones, Whirlpool's design chief, certainly thinks so.

Mixing design and business Whirlpool's design chief, Chuck Jones, is cooking up an effort to prove quantitatively that his work is a profit center and not just an expense.

Two years ago, Jones made a pitch to add some injection-molded ornamentation to a KitchenAid refrigerator's redesign, which would have added about $5 to the per-unit cost. The company's resource-allocation team asked him to estimate the return on investment, but Jones couldn't produce the numbers to make such a forecast. As a result, he was forced to fall back on a rationale that was simultaneously elitist and lame: Trust me. I'm a designer.

That argument didn't fly.

Defeated, Jones resolved to improve on what he dubbed his "Las Vegas approach" to investing in design, "where you're basically asking people to roll the dice and hope for the best." As a first step, he surveyed 15 "design-centric" companies, including BMW, Nike, and Nokia. To his surprise, few had a system for forecasting return on design. Most simply based future investments on past performance. "No one," Jones says, "had really figured this stuff out."

Read the whole thing over at Fast Company .

That's Right,


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tonight! Yee Haw!

El Noche Austin, Texas!

Yee Haw!

Lots more over at: Yee Haw Industries.

That's Right,


Jonathan Bean Illustration

I first discovered the work of Jonathan Bean a few years back at The Red Balloon, my favorite childrens bookstore here in San Antonio.

He did the covers for a series of books by Ellen Miles that star a teacher with a talent for telling Taylor-Made Tales. I just totally dig his casual style and especially his minimal color pallet.

Check out more of Jonathan Bean's Illustrations.

That's Right,


Monday, March 19, 2007

Uncommon Objects

Ah, it's good to be home. I just spent the last 5 days at SXSW roaming around and seeing too many bands to remember. Got a few band shots over here: SXSW 2007

In between bands and beers at The Yard Dog on Congress we stepped next door into one my favorite merchants of all things epehemeral, Steve Wiman's Uncommon Objects.

That's Right,


Uncommon Objects. 512 S Congress Ave Austin, TX 78704 Phone 512.442.4000.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Field Studies

That's Right, Field Studies: The Best Tool to Discover User Needs

The most valuable asset of a successful design team is the information they have about their users.

Because when teams have the right information, the job of designing a powerful, intuitive, easy-to-use interface becomes tremendously easier.

When they don't, every little design decision becomes a struggle.

While techniques, such as focus groups, usability tests, and surveys, can lead to valuable insights, the most powerful tool in the toolbox is the 'field study'.

Because frankly, there is no substitute for real deal facts, hands on, relevant content and data. And to those that value and celebrate meeting deadlines, deadlines based on guess work and assumed knowledge, over real field studies and research, are only fooling themselves (and sadly, their clients).

Field studies get the team immersed in the environment of their users and allow them to observe critical details for which there is no other way of discovering.

That's Right! Read it all: Field Studies.


(Having just spent the last 2 years working for an agency that to this day "working" without providing Job Jackets for the design team, I can only say that it's a relief to finally be back in control of what I consider the most fundamental approach to getting the results that matter for the client: 101 Research!)

Thanks to Jared M. Spool

Monday, March 12, 2007

HMK In Logo Lounge 3!


The new Logo Lounge 3 book is out and features 12 HMK Archive logos!

You can buy it HERE, and no, I'm not making a ding dang dime from the sale of this book, but I do recommend it highly!

Or, you can hire me for a project and I'll not only buy you your very own personal copy, but it's possible that I just might increase the odds of your company's logo being featured in the next Logo Lounge 4!


That's Right,


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nice Color Palette Generator

Wow, get a load of this sweet Color Palette Generator!

Below is the color pallette it derived from the image of a proposed version of the "2008 Let's Go Nice!" travel book I'm working on as seen above.

This awesome little generator let's you enter the URL of an image to get a custom color palette that matches the image.

Just be sure to keep the file size of the image you upload under 150kb and you're good to go!

Whether you're a web designer, painter, an interior person or anyone that simply digs color harmony, I think you'll like this.

In the right hands, this is a super nice, smart and powerful little information tool - so why not use it. Although not totally perfect yet, it's a great start.

If this was mine I'd sell it to flickr - a perfect place for a tool like this to live.

That's Right,


Thanks to the smart folks over at De Graeve.

Who's Your Padre?

South Padre Island Spring Break 2007

Man, you just never know where your logo will end up...

Although yet to be fully implemented, the "Who's Your Padre!" campaign features this little Padre dude I created for the agency that handles the South Padre Island Convention Visitors Bureau, headed by the awesome Sir Dan Quant - all around nice guy and a perfect client if there ever was one!

Check out the site James Lewis, Erik Arradondo and I put together for the agency: South Padre Island.

Have a safe Spring Break everyone - I'll be up at SXSW in Austin rockin' out, checking out some indie flicks as well as all the cool interactive stuff goin' on.

Go Padre!

That's Right,


Friday, March 09, 2007

Louise Fili Rules!

This is the work of one of my personal favorite, award-winning designers, Louise Fili. Dig this totally killer logo she did for The Mermaid Inn!

Who says the word THE can't be bigger than the main title to work- a hyphenated title at that!


So, what about a travel guide geared just toward designers? Seems unconventional, but it’s been well received by creatives thirsty for inspiration and the insight that can come only from a leader of the industry and an Italian design devotee.

Read it all over at Step Inside Design.

That's Right,


Karma Boomerang

Close Call!

Our sweet puppy Dazy was hit by a car this morning. She dashed out as Chrissy was fixing to take Brette to school.

The *@%hole that hit her sped away with our neighbor Eric chasing the late model tan Jeep Cherokee with Texas plates up our street.

We brought her to the emergency room and the Doc checked for internal bleeding, gave us some anti inflammatory meds and said to simply just keep an eye on her over the weekend and she should be fine.

Best news is that she does seem fine but might be a little sore come tomorrow.

Thanks to all our awesome dog loving neighbors that heard the thud and rushed ouside so early this morning - Eric, Lee, Justin, Charlotte and Michael!

And as for the heartless loser in the Jeep - I hope the guilt eats at you everyday until that Karma Boomerang eventually comes back and smacks you on the head.

And that's right - it will come back.



Monday, March 05, 2007

Bursting With Fonts

Looking for better font Management? So am I.

I found a great springboard for all of us with an ever growing font collection: Font Management

Thant's Right,


Thanks to Joel Sacks. Joel at UrbanFonts. He knows quite a bit about fonts and font management - features over 8,000 free font typefaces. Originally from South Africa, Joel currently lives in Canada.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bradbury Thompson: Alphabet 26

Alphabet 26 is Bradbury Thompson’s radical proposal for the redesign of the alphabet. Click here to read excerpts from an essay that he wrote to accompany a printed piece that he planned to have published at the beginning of 1996.

Bradbury Thompson (1911-1995) sadly died before its completion.

Sometimes called the father of modern magazine design, Bradbury Thompson was one of the most talented (and nicest) designers America has produced. Below is an excerpt from the inside flap of his book, The Art of Graphic Design (Yale 1988).

The art director of Mademoiselle and design director of Art News and Art News Annual in the decades after World War II, he also designed the formats for some three dozen other magazines, including Smithsonian.

Thompson is in addition a distinguished designer of limited edition books, postage stamps, rationalized alphabets, corporate identification programs, trademarks, and sacred works (most notable, the Washburn College Bible, in which the words are set in the cadence of speech).

When it came to the blending of photography, typography and color, nobody did it better than Bradbury Thompson. In his own quiet way, he expanded the boundaries of the printed page and influenced the design of a generation of art directors.

Learn more about: Bradbury Thompson and his Alphabet 26.

That's Right,


First Things First: 101 Research

This is from an article in yesterday's New York Times:

There are “brand aspirationals” (people with low incomes who are obsessed with names like KitchenAid), “price-sensitive affluents” (wealthier shoppers who love deals), and “value-price shoppers” (who like low prices and cannot afford much more).

The new categories are significant because for the first time, Wal-Mart thinks it finally understands not just how people shop at its stores, but why they shop the way they do.

Uh, yeah. It's amazing what can be accomplished and how much time and money can be saved when you do even just a little 101 reseach first...

If you believe in the concept of process and research (not to mention the obvious), It’s Not Only About Price at Wal-Mart is a great read.

That's Right,


Friday, March 02, 2007

Logo Design History

Although far from perfect this is a good start to a great idea.

Check out: Logo Design History.

That's Right,


Music Snaks

They Might Be Giants have embraced the ringtone as a stand-alone medium. The Brooklyn-based band, which was an early short-form innovator with "Dial-a-Song" - an answering machine that played a different tune each day for callers - has started composing original songlettes as an alternative to the canned loop.

"We take a little sketch of a lyric or idea and make it as intense as possible," says singer-songwriter John Flansburgh. "These songs are built for repeated listens." To prove it, TMBG composed several original "snacktones" just you over at Wired Magazine's Snack Attack.

That's Right,


Thanks to - Steven Leckart

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Connecting with Connectors

It has become part of our accepted wisdom that six degrees is all that separates us from anyone else in the world. How can that be? Because some of those degrees (people) know many, many more people than the rest of us.

Call them super-connectors. We all know at least one person like this individual, who seems to know everybody and who everybody seems to know. You'll find a disproportionate amount of super-connectors as headhunters, lobbyists, fundraisers, politicians, journalists, and public relations specialists, because such positions require these folks' innate abilities. I am going to argue that such people should be the cornerstones to any flourishing network.

Read more from this special excerpt at Fast Comany from the new book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.

That's Right,