Humans are meant to work alongside other humans—ideally very different from themselves—toward a mutually profitable goal. And as we were reminded during the pandemic, this can be inconvenient if not downright risky. After months of government lockdowns, I’ll never take it for granted again.
Having logged more hours sitting on video conference calls over the past couple of weeks than I care to remember, I’ve noticed a few trends that (for me at least) can totally make or break a call.
I have long thought that a mark of true craft was the ability of an object to endure — and perhaps even flourish — with the passage of time. Baseball gloves, fine furniture and violins become more distinct and reveal the hidden genius of their construction as they age. Your experience with them is richer for their having been used before. It’s troubling to think that those of us who build objects for the web don’t share in this tradition.
This seems like it might be a step in the right direction: Future Friendly.
Three questions before taking on a project:
Can we make money from it?
We’re a going business. We have mortgages to pay. We have tuitions to pay for our kids. We’re not ashamed of making money.
Are we gonna be proud of it when we’re done?
There’s nothing that will break your heart faster than working three months on a project and then, when it’s all done, you’ve sold your soul and compromised and you don’t even want anybody to see it.
Can we learn something new?
That allows us to continue to grow in the skills that we have. It allows us to be better filmmakers and writers and coders and art directors. And it keeps things interesting.
From Bootstrapped, Profitable & Proud: Coudal on Signal vs. Noise
1. You can only work for people that you like.
2. If you have a choice, never have a job.
3. Some people are toxic. Avoid them.
4. Professionalism is not enough.
5. Less is not necessarily more.
6. Style is not to be trusted.
7. How you live changes your brain.
8. Doubt is better than certainty.
9. On Aging: It doesn’t matter.
10. Tell the Truth.
From Milton Glaser’s AIGA talk in London | November 22, 2001 | Read the rest
For all the bad it did the Chinese people, the Cultural Revolution produced some amazing art and graphic design. If you need proof, just consider this striking two-color print of an oddly European-looking fellow trying to decide between his pick axe and his rifle. Did he go with the Mandarin salad or the Peking duck? Hard to say, but this photoset of clip art from the Cultural Revolution is well worth a look.
Recently launched, GOOD magazine’s reworked (and relocated) interactive component raises the bar on everything a website should be. Three reasons GOOD.is is one of the best sites on the web today:
Elegant, intuitive and innovative: GOOD.is surprises the user with its familiar interface and infinitely flexible layout. Bold graphics and photography contrast with the subdued tones of the site itself. If you’ve ever picked up the magazine, you’ll immediately notice that they did a fantastic job of translating that same look and feel onto the web. WordPress has rarely looked this good.
All this snazzy design is really just a beautiful (albeit extremely usable) container for the loads of awesome media and content that gets pumped onto the site. One of things I like most is that the user experience is rewarding whether or not you’re a magazine subscriber, and it does more than just pressure you to become a subscriber. Even the advertising is tasteful, relevant and unobtrusive.
Go to GOOD.is. Click “Choose GOOD”. Then select the amount of money you’d like to pay for a subscription to their excellent magazine (from $1 to $1,000). Now, GOOD will give 100% of that money to the participating sponsor of your choice. The simplicity of the idea is simultaneously baffling and inspiring. This is what web can should do. Earn the eyes… then do some good!
Looking for the perfect gift for that hard to please typophile on your list?
Well, look no further. You’ll be sure to squeeze their serif with this 2008 wall calendar from my dear friends at Pentagram. They’ve produced a desk/wall version (12 x 18) and a fantastic super-sized version (23 x 33) featuring a different typeface for each month of the year. They have them for sale over at KenKnight.com. And to those of you who think this post belongs in Obsolescent, I have only one thing to say: iCal can’t touch this… ever.
Who is the Superest of them all?
This simple question serves as the premise behind a delightful game being waged between Kevin Cornell (of Bearskinrug and ALA fame) and Matthew Sutter (hailing from sunny InkFinger). Basically, one player draws a hero with a super(esque) power, then the opposing player draws a hero with a power that trumps the first. This goes on and on, deep into the realms of absurdity and glory. It’s not unlike Extreme Rock, Paper, Scissors… but with really terrific drawings. Have a look!
The brand-new Radiohead album In Rainbows was released for download today. After wading through a very slow page load and online transaction (due to the heavy traffic, no doubt) I was able to download the entire album (that part was quick) as mp3 files. It’s mine. I own it. No DRM to rain on my parade.
Of course, the really newsworthy part of all of this is that I got to set my own price. Zero dollars. Ten dollars. One hundred dollars. Well pounds and pence technically. But, the point is that I got to decide the value of this music for myself. That and the fact that the band actually gets to keep the money I paid for their album since they’re not paying a label for distribution and promotion. Total paradigm shift. Very exciting stuff. Oh, and the album is excellent as well. Name your price and pull down your very own copy here.