On creating brand identities, writing honorific epics for your supper, and settling.

Fail Safe: Debbie Millman’s Advice on Courage and the Creative Life, Maria Popova

While I understand where she is coming from - we had pretty similar beginnings - if you are a brand consultant and it doesn't bring you joy to shape identities, to work within the constraints of who your clients are, what they want to become, and what they can reasonably be within their current situations...

... then I'm not sure I'd want to pay you top dollar. That's all.

There's nothing dishonourable about writing honorific epics (creating brand identities and everything that goes with it) for your supper. There's no shame in the enjoyment of craftsmanship, in the pursuit of it.

But maybe I'm just saying that because I'm a mediocre nugget who happens to really like writing honorific epics for my supper. And when they have truth and soul in them, even better.

I guess the difference is that while I dreamed of being an illustrator when I was a younger, juicier nugget, and I too, chose the path of stability and sanity that was available when I started out, I don't think I settled.

I think I found something just as good, if different. What I do now - that isn't settling.

Yeah if I'd stayed a print designer, and ONLY a print designer, that would be settling.

But with all the stuff I get to do now, I don't look at illustration and go, 'O woe is meeeee! If only my life had been different I could have had that! How I want that! I (claim) I would give it all for that!'

No. Just no.

The article felt more like a regretful monologue of a 'I wish I was a fine artist' type designer. I've got nothing against fine artists, but I really wish that frustrated fine artists wouldn't work as designers.

Nick Kelly: How lies and white male privilege can get you to high places, fast, even if you probably shouldn't be there.

"Getting every staffing agency within a thirty–mile radius to try to find you a job is no easy task. It took months of work and sleep deprivation to build up a portfolio that people would actually pay attention to. I spent a lot of time redesigning mobile applications from big name brands and then posting them on my website as “concepts” so that I could make people think I had worked for that brand, but really I hadn’t. Basically, I had to manipulate my way to the top. It worked."

I find this terrifying.

Redesigns from outside-in are easy. Here's a very eloquent article on why you should keep your unsolicited redesign to yourself. Particularly good is the bit on why, from the outside-in, even a seasoned professional like Andy Rutledge makes basic mistakes due to personal misconceptions. It's terrifying because due diligence wasn't done to verify that he had actually worked for the brands on his portfolio, and he got away with it. At least, that's what he implies in his piece.

I also wonder whether he'd have had quite the same result if he were a black woman (or a non-white woman!) instead of a white male.

Or to put it another way...

"How I became an Art Director for the largest advertising network in the world… Before I turned 21"

(Because I'm white).

Wait, nugget! What are you on? Well... have a look at these articles (just a few of many), and then go back and read Nick Kelly's piece.

It's terrifying because it's a great illustration of getting a job 'because I'm white' + 'male' without necessarily having the skills to do said job.

It's terrifying because a place I once worked at, and loved with all my heart, was bought by Wunderman a few years ago.

Beyond that, I don't really have much else to say.

Neil Gaiman on the importance of reading fiction, and libraries.

"When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You're being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you're going to be slightly changed."


"[...] all writers – have an obligation to our readers: it's the obligation to write true things, especially important when we are creating tales of people who do not exist in places that never were – to understand that truth is not in what happens but what it tells us about who we are. Fiction is the lie that tells the truth, after all."

- Why the future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming, Neil Gaiman, The Guardian

Now, I just wish I liked his prose as much as his comics. I've read novel after novel of his, and I've found all of them somehow... hollow. Beautiful, but hollow. Same goes for his films MirrorMask and Coraline.

It doesn't have to be flat or skeuomorphic. It 'just' has to be appropriate. ._.

“We made a conscious decision to embrace modern typographic design and avoid the excesses of skeuomorphism. But like skeuomorphism, flat design also has excesses.”

Thus was born what might be called (with apologies to Duarte, who never used this term) “quasi-flat design,” which is now fairly well entrenched across all of Google’s products.

“Tactile cues are important in touch interfaces, giving users a sense of what they can expect that’s touchable, and how it’s going to behave,” he continued. “It’s not just good from a familiarity perspective; It also touches the fundamental reptile parts of our brain, which knows that is a thing and it has identity and mass and lives in relationship to other things.”

From a brilliant interview with Matias Duarte, Head of design at Android, by Christopher Mims.

Wow... a sexist ad that I actually find offensive. XD Whodathunk?

I found the Evony ads hilarious, and I don't actually mind the bouncing... apple... ones I see on The Pirate Bay.

But this one... this one was on shanghaiist.com, and it really annoyed me. ._.

Maybe it's a case of, well, what do you expect from The Pirate Bay?! Lol! That's fine then! But for a site that isn't in that part of the general interwebs...

...and as a gamer nugget, doubly offended. ;) I'm not sure if my girl-e-peen is more offended, or just the girl-nugget non peen bits. XD