Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Multitasking +

Neuroscience is confirming what we all suspect: Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. Here's one man’s odyssey through the nightmare of infinite connectivity.

Check out this cool article from Walter Kirn over at the The Atlantic on the neuroscience that seems to prove my theory that multitasking actually makes us less, not more effective. I mean come on, we all have the same short day, right? If you're doing 3 things using 100% of your attention span that simply means that each task is only getting about 33 percent of your focus.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure this is a good article - I read it this morning while I was listening to NPR and playing tug-of-war with my dogs Ringo and Dazy...

Go: The Autumn of the Multitaskers.

That's Right,


Cool Illustration by Istvan Banyai.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Agency : BBDO Toronto
Country : Canada
Photographer: hanghoon
Retoucher: ReBecca Nixon
Executive Creative Director: Jack Neary
Creative Director: Ian MacKellar
Art Director: Steven Kim
Copywriter: Rachel Abrams

Thanks to AdverBox.

That's Right,


Sunday, January 27, 2008


Really digging this simple, yet super functional book display piece entitled Storylines from designer: Frederik Roije.

Available in six powder coated colors and two dimensions, these anodized aluminum storage shelves are ready when you are, exclusively from Studio Frederik Roije.

That's Right,


Friday, January 25, 2008

Thinking: Trends for 2008

The good folks over at Landor are sharing their thinking about how trends and consumer mindsets might evolve this year. What will marketers be dealing with, what will consumers be asking for, and how will that impact brands?

Learn what some of the experts at Landor expect to see in the coming year: Trends for 2008 and their impact on brands.

That's Right!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

10 Ways Digital Can Help You Thrive in a Recession

The question isn’t if we’re heading into a recession. It’s how bad will it be—and what we learn from it? As marketing budgets feel the squeeze of the housing crisis and a slowing U.S. Economy, now is a good time to think about opportunities. That’s right. Opportunities. It just happens that the digital medium could be your best friend in a time when belts tighten.

Here's just three of the ten ways on how digital can help your business or brand thrive in a recession, check out all ten from the wicked smart folks over at: Experience Matters at Critical Mass.

6. Prototype Often
Digital tools allow us to prototype rapidly. Sure we can start with paper—but why? Digital does not equal high fidelity—use the tools available to use bring new ideas to life which can help sell ideas during a time when everyone thinks about the bottom line. Embrace speed. Break a few rules. Make your digital ideas tangible as soon as possible.

5. Coordinate Infinite Touch Points
Don’t put all your digital eggs in one basket like a site or banner campaign—look at smart ways to distribute the experience across as many digital touch points as possible. Be smart about it. Think about how your user think and act digitally and meet them on their turf. Of course this doesn’t have to be digital—but in a recession, you might get more bang for your buck.

10. Listen
Digital gives you many ways to listen to customers – from direct engagement like Dell’s IdeaStorm to simple surveys or even A:B testing. All are excellent examples of using digital to turn up the volume on customer desires. Those brands that do the best job listening will weather any downturn. Listening doesn’t always mean doing exactly what the customer tells you—but it can make what you decide to do that much better.

That's Right!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Formulating Ideas

There are a countless benefits to investing time formulating ideas before rushing ahead with any project, in this instance, a website. Because after all:

It is more important to know where you are going than to get there fast.

Any time you spend actually thinking about the nature of your business and ways to improve it can only be a good thing. You may find that the processes put in motion by considering how best to present your content on the web have beneficial flow-on effects in other areas of the business which means you end up with a win-win situation: a website that achieves its goals and a business that is healthier overall because of new ideas generated during the development process.

If you can possibly manage the time, read the rest from the smart folks over at: Tyssen Design.

All we can do is hope to find the clients that get it, respect what we can bring to the table and keep the dialogue open. Bottom line, the idea and end result for the client has to remain your singular focus.

That's Right!


The bigger we get…the smaller we have to think. Customers still walk in one at a time.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Smallest, Coolest Apartments 2007

Check out the winners of the 2007 Smallest, Coolest Apartments contest over at: Apartment Therapy.

That's Right!


The Customer Is Always Right…

Step One

…is such a flawed statement. It’s the kind of phrase I can only suspect that some deceptive salesman concocted in the early days of American hubris. It reeks of that complete insincerity, which ultimately only says, “I’ll say anything, as long as you buy it.”

Our culture (inappropriately) feels so starved for a sensation of control, that we’ve come to love this phrase, regardless of the fact that deep down we know it is a complete and utter fallacy.

This is an awesome repost that's always nice to re-read. Big thanks to Eric Karjaluoto over at: Smash Lab.

Or, you can skip it and do yourself a favor by keeping this one thing in mind:

The idea and end result for the client has to remain your singular focus.

I choose to work with suppliers and partners who argue with me when I’m wrong. I would certainly prefer to be proven incorrect, as opposed to being erroneously lauded for my oversights or lack of knowledge. Put simply, if we care at all about the welfare of our clients, it is our duty to tell them the truth, even if it means upsetting them, or losing their business. It is both responsible and ethical.

When you finally start to say “no” to client requests which you believe to be misguided, it almost becomes hard to imagine doing it any other way.

Two Types of Clients

There seem to be two distinctly different types of clients. The first looks to you for your insights and professionalism. They clearly articulate their needs and ask you to direct the creative process, acknowledging that you are the professional in your field. These are responsible clients, and we have learned to count your blessings for these ones; likewise, we take their contributions seriously, as they are generally valuable and inform our work. These clients often seem to be quite successful. They find good talent, manage well, and get out of the way when their knowledge is not as strong as another’s, on a particular topic.

The second is the type of client who will make you question why you ever got in to the business. They will not respect your profession or knowledge. These are the kind of clients who say “I just want to sit next to you and tell you what to do. I know what’s good when I see it, but I just don’t know the programs.”

After over 15 years of dedicating every moment I have to this practice, and selectively choosing to bring incredibly talented designers to our studio, I feel no compunction to press buttons mindlessly while a wayward client exorcises their need to do something “kind of neat.”

These clients are hard to say “no” to. When you do, they will remind you that they have paid you substantially, and as such, you are indebted to do as told. The implied message here is “We’re paying you big, so bend over.” When a client sees the people in our firm as software operators, I politely suggest they work with other designers. I’d encourage anyone to do the same. Believe me, you sleep way, way better at night as a result.

Good clients will respect you for your principles, and for fighting for what you believe is in their best interest. Our friend, and client, Mishtu (perhaps the smartest person I know) often laughs about our first meetings. He jokes about how brash we initially seemed when we told him that he couldn’t do certain things, without damaging what he was trying to accomplish. That being said, his company’s interests were always central in our suggestions. As such, he has come to see our positions less as bravado, or “being difficult”, and more as us acting in his best interest.


Read the whole thing over here: Always Right.

That's Right!


Got MLK?

Dr. Martin Luther King.

That's Right,


Thanks Jane!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


HEMA is a Dutch department store that opened in Amsterdam back in November of 1926. With over 150 stores all over the Netherlands, HEMA also has stores in Belgium, Luxemburg, and Germany. In June of this year, HEMA was sold to British investmen t company Lion Capital.

Check out this awesome HEMA product page. It's in Dutch and you can't order anything but just wait a couple of seconds as the page loads, it's worth it...

That's Right,


Thanks Jane!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Vintage Typewriter Ribbon Tins +

Janine Vangool, from the smart group of folks over at Uppercase Journal out of Calgary is sharing a super nice flickr from her collection of vintage typewriter ribbon tins.

You can check them out over here. And oh yeah, while we're on the subject of sharing and nice, informative sites, dig this y'all: Graphic Exchange

That's Right,


Yellow Submarine

As we live a life of ease
Every one of us, has all we need,
Sky of blue and sea of green,
in our yellow submarine.

Dig the strangest, yet super sweet car as far as I'm concerned, on display at this year's Detroit Auto Show. The Chinese-Made Detroit Fish amphibious electric car.

The car is a concept from China's Li Shi Guang Ming Automobile Company.

More cool stuff over at Auto Spies.

That's Right,


Thanks to Jim West/Sipa Press.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Think Big. Think Small.

If you're serious about working on corporate identities and discovering the core and soul visual representation of an organization, including its logo, design, typefaces and colours, as well as its philosophy, you'll appreciate the English version of this smart and informative springboard of knowledge from this Dutch site: NRCV.

It's broken into three sections. The first, a booklet about the general concept of corporate identity, unfortunately is not translated. Suggested reading in English is the book Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler.

The Resources section contains additional information about corporate identity, including a bibliography and links to related sites on the internet.

The coolest part is the catalogue containing descriptions of a large number of corporate identities. Bookmark this one!

And while we're on the subject of getting to the core and soul of organizations - check out this awesome marketing gimmick in the form of a book that was given away by VW dealers in 1961 titled either THINK SMALL or COMPLIMENTS OF YOUR VOLKSWAGEN DEALER. Both of these titles are used. It's full of the great cartoonist and humorists of the time.

Thanks to Mike Lynch and his cool cartoon site.

That's Right,


Thursday, January 17, 2008

'Mac People' More Open, Liberal Than PC Users?

People who prefer Apple's Macintosh computers over PCs have long been considered to be on the artsy, hip end of the personality spectrum - and now a study proves that "Mac people" indeed are more liberal and open-minded than average folks.

According to Mindset Media, people who purchase Macs fall into what the branding company calls the "Openness 5" personality category-- which means they are more liberal, less modest and more assured of their own superiority than the population at large. Mindset Media helps companies with strong brands develop ads targeted to people based on personality traits or people's "mindsets," and does research to that effect.

Read the rest of this cool article by Elizabeth Montalbano over at PC World.

That's Right,


Thanks to my bud Brett Calvert for the heads up.

Call The Design Police!

Ahhhhh! Help! Call the Design Police!

It happens all the time. You're minding your own business, enjoying the day and then it happens. You see a poster for an event or product that's so amazingly uninspired, half-assed, lazy and just flat out bad, that it makes you mad. More eye polution crap produced by either a clueless overruling committee or one of the numerous uneducated and talentless wanna be self proclaimed designers that believe more is always better.

(Dude, just because you know how to use a mouse and you have a collection of FREE and nasty bastardized fonts does not mean that you're automatically qualified to be a communication designer.)

So you stand there, asking questions out loud and to know one in particular...


What were they thinking?

Somebody paid good money to some JV, Helen Keller School of Design graduate to produce this piece of crap?

Who chose those colors and fonts?

Is that suppose to be a logo?

Ever heard of kerning, hierarchy, or legibility?

Enter the Design Police and their 5 different templates of stickers that'll apply to just about any design mistake people can make.

I got mine - now please, go get yours and help stop the madness of the NTAC!

Join the cause for smarter, better design and get your stickers over at Design Police.

That's Right,


Thanks again Freddy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Separated At Birth?

This is interesting. Take a look at Dieter Rams designs for Braun back in the 1960's.

Braun's Atelier TV vs. Apple's iMac 24, Braun's T1000 radio vs. Apple's PowerMac G5/Mac Pro, Braun's T3 pocket radio vs. Apple's iPod, Braun's L60 sound system vs. Apple's iPod Hi-Fi, Braun's LE1 speaker vs. Apple's iMac.

From Wikipedia:

Dieter Rams (born May 20, 1932 in Wiesbaden) is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun. He is regarded as one of the most influential industrial designers in the 20th century.

After World War II, Rams studied Architecture at the Ulmer Werkkunstschule Wiesbaden as well as learning carpenter. After working for the Architect Otto Apel between 1953 and 1955 he joined the electronic devices manufacturer Braun where he became chief of design in 1961, a position he kept until 1995.

Rams once explained his design approach in the phrase "Weniger, aber besser" which freely translates as "Less, but better." Rams and his staff designed many memorable products for Braun including the famous SK-4 record player and the high-quality 'D'-series (D45, D46) of 35mm film slide projectors. He is also known for designing the 606 Universal Shelving System by Vitsœ in 1960.

Check out Dieter's first commandment!

Many of his designs — wonderfully sleek coffee makers, calculators, radios, audio/visual equipment, consumer appliances and office products — have found a permanent home at many museums over the world, including MoMA in New York. For nearly 30 years Dieter Rams served as head of design for Braun A.G. until his retirement in 1998. He continues to be a legend in design circles + most recently designed a cover for Wallpaper magazine.

Rams' designs have been very influential on Jonathan Ive of Apple, Inc., designer of such products as the iMac and the iPod.

Ya Think? Go Dieter! Thanks for the design tips.

That's Right,


2008 Macworld Stevenote

Flying Macbook Pros with dilithium crystal-powered nano warp drives, leaked speeches, intentionally cryptic banners, it can all mean only one thing: the 2008 Macworld Stevenote is less than 24-hours away.

Check out Wired's online Gadget Lab, iLounge or Engadget now and tune in for second-by-second coverage.

Start time is 9 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday. Don't be late!

07:00AM - Hawaii
09:00AM - Pacific
10:00AM - Mountain
11:00AM - Texas
12:00PM - Eastern
05:00PM - GMT / London
06:00PM - Paris
08:00PM - Moscow
02:00AM - Tokyo (January 16th)

That's Right,


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Something In The Air

Man, I can't wait until Tuesday...

I'm really digging this quote from analyst Gene Munster over at Fortune:

“We expect Apple’s Macworld announcements on Tuesday, January 15th to set the bar for CES ‘09 — in other words, we see Apple as effectively one year ahead of its competition.”

With that said, it's a sure bet that Steve's gonna give us something to talk about. I'm guessing we're going to see a sexy new thin laptop complete with a solid state flash drive - the future of all hard drives. Online movie rentals and probably some crazy new wireless thang for movies and tv.

That's Right,


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

And Then There Were 3

Well, I think I've narrowed down my new ride choices to 3. Either the Smart Car, a Vespa or a new bike. We're getting an official Smart Car dealership here in San Antonio with a scheduled opening sometime in February. I've been drooling over these for ten years after spotting my first one in France back in 1998.

Smart USA has officially announced pricing and sale date for the new ForTwo. It'll be available in three trim levels with the entry level Pure Coupe starting at $11,590.

All models get a five speed gearbox with an automatic clutch that can be shifted manually or left to switch gears automatically. The middle offering (above), the Passion Coupe, is the one I've got my eyes on. It's $13,590 and comes complete with a glass panorama roof, alloy wheels, and air conditioning.

For $16,590 drivers will be able to get open air motoring with the Passion Cabrio.

All three models get a 1.0L three-cylinder 71hp engine and should get mileage in the low to mid forties.

That's Right,


Rebranding: Xerox

At a town hall meeting and live webcast on January 7th, CEO Anne Mulcahy and president Ursula Burns of Xerox unveiled it's radical changes to it's logo and branding to Xerox’s 57,000 global employees.

I like the lowercase logo but the ball is not working for me.

Developed with Interbrand, it looks like it's from the same bag of marbles as the .Mac, Sony Ericsson and new AT&T mark...

Get the full press release and more over at Xerox

That's Right,


Thanks again Freddy!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gallery of Book Trade Labels

Ahhh. Fresh coffee and two of my favorite things: Books and design with typography. Enjoy this great little collection of Book Trade Labels from publishers, printers, binders, importers, distributors and sellers of books new, second-hand and antiquarian.

Above: O. Henry Book Store, San Antonio, Texas, Bean's Stationery and News Depot, Bangor, Maine and E. Broekhuis & Zonen Boek & Kunsthandel, Boekbinderij
Hengelo [Overijssel], Netherlands.

All courtesy of Greg Kindall's Seven Roads

That's Right,


Perpetualy Fresh

Start the new year of fresh with a hip new Perpetual Calendar!
Go Retro with HMK or...

Go Classic with Massimo Vignelli.

That's Right,


Monday, January 07, 2008

Modular Dwellings

I've been doing a little research for the new studio add on and I really appreciate the modernist approach and clean lines of some of the stuff that's surfacing from the Prefab architectural movement. Check out the latest prefab offerings from Edgar Blazona, a former Pottery Barn designer who offers some pretty sweet backyard structures over at his Modular Dwellings site.

And while we're on the subject of researching cool casa ideas, this is an exceptionally nice resource.

That's Right,


The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

I'm really digging the smart use of the ephemeral tickets to reinforce the subtext of the archive photos in this print campaign for The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, USA
Creative Director & Copywriter: Joe Alexander
Art Director: Lee Dayvault
Photographer: JFK Library Archive
Producers: Jenny Schoenherr, Cindy Hicks

That's Right,


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Cruz Rosa Argentina Postcard

Click To Enlarge.

Very nice, straight to the heart postcard campaign for the Red Cross Argentina from Leo Burnett, Buenos Aires. Creative Director: Fernando Bellotti

That's Right,


Thanks again Freddy!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Eye Candy

How's this for an exciting first post of the new year? Check out these groovy little collections I found over at flickr: Signs!

Vintage Illustrated Supermarket Signage

Vintage Transistor Radios

Happy New Year Y'all!

That's Right,