12.21.2009

Teenagers Unfriend Facebook

Driven to Distraction, Some Teenagers Unfriend Facebook - NYTimes.com:
We decided we spent way too much time obsessing over Facebook and it would be better if we took a break from it,” Halley said.

By mutual agreement, the two friends now allow themselves to log on to Facebook on the first Saturday of every month — and only on that day.

The two are among the many teenagers, especially girls, who are recognizing the huge distraction Facebook presents — the hours it consumes every day, to say nothing of the toll it takes during finals and college applications, according to parents, teachers and the students themselves.

Luring the Young Into Digital Jobs

New Programs Aim to Lure Young Into Digital Jobs - NYTimes.com
Hybrid careers like Dr. Halamka’s that combine computing with other fields will increasingly be the new American jobs of the future, labor experts say. In other words, the nation’s economy is going to need more cool nerds. But not enough young people are embracing computing — often because they are leery of being branded nerds.

Educators and technologists say two things need to change: the image of computing work, and computer science education in high schools. Teacher groups, professional organizations like the Association for Computing Machinery and the National Science Foundation are pushing for these changes, but so are major technology companies including Google, Microsoft and Intel. One step in their campaign came the week of Dec. 7, National Computer Science Education Week, which was celebrated with events in schools and online.

Today, introductory courses in computer science are too often focused merely on teaching students to use software like word processing and spreadsheet programs, said Janice C. Cuny, a program director at the National Science Foundation. The Advanced Placement curriculum, she added, concentrates narrowly on programming. “We’re not showing and teaching kids the magic of computing,” Ms. Cuny said.

12.15.2009

Teaching craft in a designed world

Teaching craft in a designed world - Nick de la Mare - On Design - Creativity Online

I think at this point it's important to remember that craft, by definition, is fundamentally a dedicated mastery of a chosen subject matter, not necessarily just the deep understanding of a specific material or tool. Richard Sennett, in The Craftsman, cites a commonly understood 10,000 hour figure as the time needed to master any particular skill, from violin, to carpentry, to painting, to surgery:
'As skill progresses, it becomes more problem-attuned, such as the lab technician worrying about procedure—whereas people with primitive levels of skill struggle just to get things to work. At its higher reaches, technique is no longer a mechanical activity; people can feel fully and think deeply about what they are doing, once they do it well.'

12.02.2009

Four Things I’ve Learned About Designers — AIGA | the professional association for design

Four Things I’ve Learned About Designers — AIGA | the professional association for design
For the last two years, I’ve been doing to designers what they usually do unto others. Which is to say, I’ve been observing and studying them, asking a lot of questions and trying to discern patterns. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

11.15.2009

Augmented Reality Advertising

Consumed - The Hype Around Augmented Reality - NYTimes.com
Very broadly, augmented reality can be thought of as an inversion of the venerable “virtual reality” buzz concept. Instead of plunging us into a completely digital environment, augmented reality means placing digital things into the regular old world. Those things might be bits of information or renderings of imaginary objects. And they, of course, aren’t really in the real world at all — they just appear to be there if you filter your gaze through the proper screen.

D.I.Y. Games

Can D.I.Y. Supplant the First-Person Shooter? - NYTimes.com

These game designers, a self-described indie scene, form a tightly knit group with a do-it-yourself culture and a rebellious spirit — something like a ’zine movement for video games. New and cheap technologies have enabled the movement’s rise. New tools for production and distribution — through smartphones, over the Web and via downloadable services on PlayStation, Wii and Xbox consoles — now make it possible for individuals to conceive, develop and publish their own games.

Rohrer himself is a kind of Thoreauvian game designer, a 31-year-old back-to-the-land programmer-philosopher who lives in Las Cruces, N.M., where he codes his eccentrically engrossing games, which can feel like digitally mediated poetic moods, on an ancient computer and makes them available free online. “Now anyone can do it,” he says, “which is not how the mainstream video-game industry works.”

11.12.2009

Email 101

Great advice for students learning how to communicate effectively with your Professors OR anyone using email:
Design Educator: Email 101
I will not begin this post with the word “netiquette” (you can get the book for more details), because the term dates to the 1980s and this is something I hope someone, especially my students, will read. I’m writing this because someone has to tell this generation of students about the meaning of the poor choices they repeatedly make , most especially in regards to email. OK, ok, twist my arm, I will. Listen up!

10.08.2009

Living Climate Change Through Design Thinking

Living Climate Change: Actionable Ideas About Our Future

Help us expand the conversation.
Living Climate Change is a place where the most defining challenge of our time is explored through design thinking. It's also a place to show, discuss, and share compelling and provocative thoughts and ideas about the future.

10.03.2009

Student Bloggers on College Life

M.I.T. Lets Student Bloggers Post Without Censoring - NYTimes.com
Dozens of colleges — including Amherst, Bates, Carleton, Colby, Vassar, Wellesley and Yale — are embracing student blogs on their Web sites, seeing them as a powerful marketing tool for high school students, who these days are less interested in official messages and statistics than in first-hand narratives and direct interaction with current students.

9.26.2009

Client Advice from FreelanceSwitch.com

12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them – FreelanceSwitch
There are loads of different types of clients out there and chances are at some point you’ll get to meet all of them. So let’s take a look through some typical clients and see if you recognise a few of your own in there!

9.12.2009

Photoshop Disasters Blog

PhotoshopDisasters

Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? Clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching are our bread and butter. And yes, deep down, we love Photoshop.

9.08.2009

International Journal of Design

International Journal of Design
The International Journal of Design is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to publishing research papers in all fields of design, including industrial design, visual communication design, interface design, animation and game design, architectural design, urban design, and other design related fields. It aims to provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas and findings from researchers across different cultures and encourages research on the impact of cultural factors on design theory and practice. It also seeks to promote the transfer of knowledge between professionals in academia and industry by emphasizing research in which results are of interest or applicable to design practices.

9.05.2009

quirky | social product development

quirky | social product development

Everyone has a product idea. Chances are, you do, too. Our 22-year-old entrepreneur-in-chief, Ben, has launched two successful companies based on this premise, with write-ups in Reader's Digest, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and other mainstream media - including more than one primetime appearance on CNBC.

Among other things, mophie and kluster made him something of a posterboy for aspiring inventors. Over the past few years, he's received literally thousands of emails from people all around the world looking for the same answer: I have this idea for a product and saw your article/tv show/website and want your help getting it out of my head and into the marketplace - how do I start?

9.01.2009

Design to Improve Life Winners

INDEX:DESIGN TO IMPROVE LIFE

Here are the winners of INDEX:Award 2009. They show us, how design has the power to be part of the solution to major global challenges like climate changes, pollution, natural disasters, poverty, overconsumption and other important issues.

8.28.2009

Back to School Tips from Lifehack.org

Freshman 15: Coping with the First Year of College

What you do in your first year of college can have a big impact on the rest of your college years – not to mention on the rest of your life. A few missteps might be possible to undo later on, but too many wrong moves and you might well find it impossible to recover later. Blow off too many classes, for example, and your grades will suffer – and no matter how much you reform your ways in ensuing years, your GPA will always suffer. Do poorly enough, and you might find yourself on academic probation or even thrown out come the end of the school year!

It doesn’t have to be that way. And your first year doesn’t have to be an endless drudge, either. What’s important right now is not that you bury yourself in schoolwork until you bleed, sweat, and crap knowledge, but to establish a healthy balance of academic work, social activity, and just plain living – a balance that once established, you’ll find easy to maintain through the rest of college and into your future.


Back to School: Talk to Your Professor!

In one of my earliest posts here at Lifehack, I explained how to talk to a professor – today, I want to talk about why you should talk with your professors.


Back to School: Keep an Academic Reading Journal

Aside from partying, the thing you’re probably going to do most in college is read. Assuming you’re at all serious about your education, you’ll read so much that words will come out your ears. Unfortunately, much of what you read will also go pouring out your ears, or so it will seem looking back.

One of the best habits you can develop in college — or even in high school, if you have the discipline — is to keep an academic reading journal. This is more or less what it sounds like: a journal recording everything you read, with an added layer of academic analysis. The idea is, you record what you read, key ideas and quotes from the text, and your own reflections on the work, allowing you to fairly accurately recreate your initial reading at a later date, pershaps a much later date.

8.23.2009

Inspiration from Design Glut

Design Glut
The Design Glut website is here to inspire you. We interview creative entrepreneurs about how they got started and what they've learned along the way. We usually post 2-3 interviews a week. Our goal is to create a resource to help you springboard into working on your own projects.

Design Pricing

A great post with links on estimating pricing for design projects:
The design pricing formula | David Airey, graphic designer

8.19.2009

8.18.2009

Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars

Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars
This blog, and the forthcoming book, will be a collection of interviews from the best-of-the-best designers and creatives. The idea came about because of the number of people, both students and professionals, who have sought me out over the years and asked, “What do I need to do to succeed?” and “How do I get big clients and/or big projects?”

7.28.2009

The Personal MBA ™

The Personal MBA™ - Training the Next Generation of Self-Made Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Business Leaders

The Personal MBA (PMBA) is a systematic program of business self-education designed by Josh Kaufman to help people master advanced business concepts without enrolling in a traditional MBA program. Instead of spending time in a classroom, PMBA members believe it’s possible to get a great education by reading good business books, applying what you learn to your daily work, and discussing advanced business topics with others.

The Personal MBA consists of three main components: (1) a recommended reading list of best-in-class business books; (2) participation in the PMBA community forums; (3) optional personalized coaching to help keep you motivated and moving forward toward your business and personal goals.

The official PMBA reading list and manifesto is a collection of the very best books the business press has to offer. The list is the tangible result of hundreds of hours of research and evaluation, and covers every important topic currently addressed in traditional MBA programs. To learn more about the reading list, read the PMBA manifesto.

7.25.2009

100 Years of Design Manifestos

100 Years of Design Manifestos -- Social Design Notes
Since the days of radical printer-pamphleteers, design and designers have a long history of fighting for what’s right and working to transform society. The rise of the literary form of the manifesto also parallels the rise of modernity and the spread of letterpress printing.

This list of design manifestos was buried in a previous post but deserves its own permalink...

7.20.2009

The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies – Drawger
Welcome to The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies... where tools of the trade that have died or have just about died a slow slow death are cheerfully exhibited.

Operating System Interface Design Between 1981-2009

Operating System Interface Design Between 1981-2009 | Webdesigner Depot
A Graphical User Interface (GUI for short) allows users to interact with the computer hardware in a user friendly way.

Over the years a range of GUI’s have been developed for different operating systems such as OS/2, Macintosh, Windowsamiga, Linux, Symbian OS, and more.

We’ll be taking a look at the evolution of the interface designs of the major operating systems since the 80’s.

I should mention that this article showcases only the significant advances in GUI design (not operating system advances) and also not all of the graphical user interfaces and operating systems existing today.

Social networks for creative pros | Create | Creative Notes | Macworld

Social networks for creative pros | Create | Creative Notes | Macworld
I
If you’re like most creative professionals, you rely on advice and inspiration from peers to stay on the top of your game. Mainstream social networking sites such as Facebook include thriving design communities, but finding the relevant information means wading through random quizzes and personal drama. For more focused interaction and education, a better option is using the many social networking services built specifically for creative pros.

7.07.2009

CUSTOM LETTERS

CUSTOM LETTERS - FIRST HALF 2009 — LetterCult
As we approach the halfway point of 2009, we’ve begun seeking out the best and brightest in the ol’ Custom Letters Dept. And we are asking for submissions—if you see something we’ve missed, please send us a link.

Custom Letters is an evolving category that includes calligraphy, sign painting, graffiti, stone carving, digital lettering, hand lettering, paper sculpture, and type design (we’d prefer to feature new/original type over, say, revivals).

Custom, in this instance, means built from scratch; we aren’t looking for customization—a type treatment or 3d treatment—of an existing typeface.

We’ll be adding more pieces as the year progresses, culminating with a Best of 2009 at the end of the year.

Now to the good, the great, and the notable stuff we’ve seen so far in 2009.

7.03.2009

A Fine Line - How Design Strategies Are Shaping The Future of Business

A Fine Line - How Design Strategies Are Shaping The Future of Business - Hartmut Esslinger
A Fine Line offers a step-by-step overview of the innovation process — from targeting goals to shepherding new products and services to the marketplace — in order to reveal how to arrive at an authentic human design that connects strongly with consumers. With a unique perspective, rich stories, and a global mindset, Esslinger explores business solutions that are environmentally sustainable and contribute to an enduring global economy.

6.23.2009

Design is in the details...

A Portrait of the Designer: Child’s Play
You would think that something like letterhead or business cards would be so simple that anybody could design it. After all, it’s just an application of the client’s logo and contact information onto a blank canvas. When I would bring my first round of comps to Lisa, however, she would immediately point out details that I have never before considered. Direct but patient, she indicated inconsistencies in the spacing of elements and half-point differences in type size that rendered my work inelegant.

In a great article about the importance of detail, Naz Hamid argues, “It’s a phrase you hear often: design is in the details. With design, paying attention to small details—and in some cases, obsessively focusing on ‘what isn’t right’ — can take a design from ‘nearly there’ to ‘there’ and beyond.” Paula tells me that this specificity is the basis for craft — what makes Pentagram Pentagram.

6.10.2009

Inspirational Typography Resources

42 Amazing Resources for Inspirational Typography: Speckyboy Design Magazine
There are many theories to what constitutes good typography, its not as simple as choosing an appropriate font and setting it in the style of a particular project, that would be too easy. Theories and tutorials are one thing, putting typography into perfect practice is another, and is perhaps the hardest part of any design. Every designer you ask will give you a different answer to what constitutes good type, where is the benchmark?

6.09.2009

PutItOn.com

PutItOn.com - Home to the World's Undiscovered Artists

* 1 gigabyte of space for your portfolio
* No transaction charge when selling your work
* Ability to stream audio/video works in their entirety
* Live personal broadcasts to your followers
* Translation of your words into 10 global languages
* And many more robust portfolio management features"

6.08.2009

An Open Letter to Design Students Everywhere

A must read for all my IDD Majors:

Design Observer: An Open Letter to Design Students Everywhere
With structure comes freedom. And freedom, let’s not forget, is what education is all about. It is a great time to be a student. Go out and make great things, things that help us, inform us, enlighten and change and impact the world in millions of meaningful and glorious ways. Your education will not end the day you graduate: on the contrary, what you're doing is learning how to learn, and how to think, and how to visualize the ideas that percolate in your brain. So here's what you do: never stop thinking. Never stop asking questions. Never, never stop reading, looking, imagining what else can be done. And don’t be afraid to start small. You’ll get there, eventually. And when you do? Send somebody a thank you note.

6.02.2009

Lots of Inspiration

Fast Company: 100 Most Creative People in Business
“There are no rules about creativity. Which made constructing our list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business a tricky task. We looked for dazzling new thinkers, rising stars, and boldface names who couldn't be ignored. We avoided people we've profiled in the recent past. We emphasized those whose creativity addresses a larger issue -- from the future of our energy infrastructure to the evolution of philanthropy to next-generation media. So read on. Enjoy. Quibble. Complain.”


Business Design: The curriculum of 2012

“In the near future, I believe that you'll be able to get an advanced degree in Business Design.
Some programs like the d.school (a formative experience for me) and Rotman are playing with this idea, but I don't think these programs really nail it yet.
The educational experience would be applied and pragmatic. Classes would be harder than fluid dynamics (ok maybe not, but close). As a student you would feel as inspired and challenged as you would in the most advanced studio art class. Theory alone wouldn't cut it. If you didn't do something practical by the end of the term in each class, you would fail. We would get things done.”

GOOD Transparencies Archive

“An archive of Transparencies that have run in our past issues and online at www.good.is”

5.21.2009

Yale Graphic Design MFA 2009

Lux Et Veritas: Yale Graphic Design MFA Exhibition 2009

I had the opportunity to visit the exhibition last Friday – the final day of the show. I was intrigued enough by the presentation of the work that I scrawled some notes that I thought I’d share.

5.17.2009

Steven Heller on Hand Lettering

Graphic Content | Hand Lettering - The Moment Blog - NYTimes.com

I am a big fan of this anti-type typography. This may be because it is something I can do without mastering complex techniques. But it is more complicated than that. Nonetheless, hand lettering is liberating. Sure, most official documents, in fact, most things we read (like books, magazines and blogs) require official typefaces — the more elegant, readable and legible, the better. But not every type treatment needs to be standardized. The hand offers a more human dimension and individual personality.

3.24.2009

Very funny...

in a totally design geeky kind of way...

M A X K E R N I N G

3.07.2009

More on sketchbooks

"Sketchbook" by Timothy O'Donnell

Sketches provide a truer reflection of a designer's thought processes, preoccupations, and problem-solving strategies than can be had by simply viewing finished projects. Highly personal and idiosyncratic, sketchbooks offer an arena for unstructured exploration — a space free from all budgetary and client constraints. Sketchbook aims to elevate these books — visually arresting objects in their own right — from mere ephemera to important documents that provide valuable insights into the creative process.

2.24.2009

Design Student to Design Professional

Never Sleep

There is a major disconnect between the life of a design student and the transition to being a design professional.

To demystify the transition, we share the failures, successes, and surprises during our years in college and progression into the field: the creative process, monetary problems, internships, interviews, mistakes, and personal relationships. We include the work from our first design class to our most current client work, along with side stories and interviews from our mentors, teachers, and peers. This book will serve as the ultimate companion for design students, educators, and anyone breaking into a creative field.

2.23.2009

Computerlove | Connecting Creative Talents.

Computerlove™ | Connecting Creative Talents.

Computerlove {cpluv.com} is a unique social platform and source of inspiration for talented creatives. www.cpluv.com/www/editpost/15158
. Find inspiration and get fresh, hot design news
. Share you work with talented and awarded creatives (Population: 20, 000+)
. Stay connected with creative people you know and admire
. Promote yourself to find a job or get famous !

Every free account include: Personal blog/ RSS, Gallery & portfolio management tools, plus a networking engine.

2.18.2009

Student Expectations & Grade Disputes

Student Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes - NYTimes.com

A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that a third of students surveyed said that they expected B’s just for attending lectures, and 40 percent said they deserved a B for completing the required reading.

2.16.2009

Homage to Shigeo Fukuda

Speak Up › An Homage to Shigeo Fukuda

We define reality through sensory experience. Some experiences challenge our notion of what is real, so we call them illusions. I could argue that illusion is reality and reality is illusion, but I won’t. Instead, I offer this: If you change the way you look at the world, the world itself changes. No one knew this better than Shigeo Fukuda.

How can you look at the world differently? How can you reveal other realities, other possibilities? How can you approach a design problem from a different angle?

2.09.2009

Ever wondered about working at Pixar?

Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age: A New Model for the Workplace | Edutopia

Pixar University’s Randy Nelson talks about what they look for when hiring at Pixar:
“…the proof of a portfolio over the promise of a resume…”
“…more interested than interesting…”

Keys: depth, breadth, communication, collaboration

Another article about Pixar University from the NY Times
And another article: Pixar's tightknit culture is its edge

smARThistory

smARThistory.org

Why We Made smARThistory
For years we have been dissatisfied with the large expensive art history textbook. We found that they were difficult for many students, contained too many images, and just were not particularly engaging. In addition, we had found the web resources developed by publishers to be woefully uncreative. We had developed quite a bit of content for our online Western art history courses and we had also created many podcasts, and a few screencasts for our smARThistory blog. So, it finally occurred to us, why not use the personal voice that we use when we teach online, along with the multimedia we had already created for our blog and for our courses, to create a more engaging 'web-book' that could be used in conjunction with art history survey courses. We are also committed to joining the growing number of teachers who make their content freely available on the web.

2.08.2009

Michael Bierut on Becoming a Graphic Designer

Preoccupations - Drawing Board to the Desktop - A Designer’s Path - NYTimes.com

IN 1972, when I was a sophomore in high school in suburban Cleveland, I was asked to do a poster for our drama club’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” I found a nice big piece of cardboard, did the most elaborate piece of hand-lettering I could manage with a couple of black felt-tipped pens and turned it in to the director.

That was on a Friday. When I arrived for class on Monday, my poster was in every hallway, in every stairwell and on every bulletin board in school. Among my peers, I was considered a good artist, but the miracle of mass production took things to a different level. More people saw my poster than would see the play. It was then that I decided to become a graphic designer. My dream was to design album covers for rock bands.

2.02.2009

Michael Bierut’s Design Notebooks

Design Observer: 26 Years, 85 Notebooks
On August 12, 1982, I took a 10 x 7 1/8 inch National Blank Book Company composition book from the supply closet of my then employer, Vignelli Associates. From that moment, I have never been without one. I always have one at my desk. I take one with me to every meeting. I am now in the middle of Notebook #85. It's in front of me right now. Together, these well-worn books create a history of my working life that spans three decades.

1.07.2009

Michael Bierut on Design & the Recession

Designing Through the Recession

Even if you don't know much about the economy, you've probably noticed that something went horribly wrong in 2008. And 2009 doesn't look much better. I've been working as a designer for over 28 years, and depending on how you count, this is either my fourth or fifth recession. Here's what happens, and a few things you can do about it.

1.03.2009

Inspiration: Student Innovations

The New York Times special section on Education Life is devoted to student innovations:
Education News - Education Life - The New York Times
Today’s students have heard more about Bill Gates than F.D.R. They thrive on speed, and love to innovate. Not surprising, entrepreneurship education is booming.

1.01.2009

A little Flash inspiration for the new year.

A very simple, but elegant little Flash experience. Give it some time & enjoy. :)

Book of Numbers