Thursday, July 31, 2008

Design Mind for Design Minds

I was surfing my RSS feeds the other day and came across this new magazine from the famous frog design studio. It's called Design Mind and they have a great online version of the mag too. I've already checked out a few blog posts and online articles and they appear to be well-written and thought provoking. Might be worth your time.

(BTW, I'm in no way affiliated with frog design or its magazine. I believe in the "We are smarter than Me" philosophy of my good buddy Steve Gordon and I'm just passin' on the knowledge.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Love My Job!

Being an in-house designer, I get a huge variety of design related tasks: everything from boring forms to photography to design, to a bit of Flash and everything in between. Some days, the job just rocks, though, and today was one of those days!

I was tasked with developing food allergen icons for our redesigned website. There are eight major food allergens are: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, soy, and wheat.

I wanted something simple that would read well super small (we'd use them in print too), but would convey the meaning quickly. I wanted to use the letters if possible, as I felt that would give me the result I desired. But just doing the letters by themselves didn't seem like it would be the answer. So I did a bit of research and soon it struck me that I could use the asterisk in the icon! Asterisks are commonly associated with notes, warnings or other info.

I originally wanted to put the letter inside the icon, but that just didn't read well at all, so I ended up put them side by side. And as soon as I did that, I just knew it was the answer. My face lit up and I was giddy as little kid again. This is what design is about: finding that one simple yet elegant solution that does its job and looks awesome. Today was a perfect day for design and this is what I live for!

Feel free to share why you love your job and/or the great projects/jobs you've had where you really felt in the at the top of your game.

Here's how the icons turned out (click to view the entire image):

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Font Conference

For designers, typographers, or anyone else who loves/works with type, you will love this's a great use of fonts...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Helping Singles to Not Be Single

Yes, I'm 34 and I'm still single. Sometimes it's great: do what a want when I want, nobody to check with, nobody to wake me up from an impromptu nap. But really, it would be great to find that one special woman, the love of my life. I'm not the best at asking women out, and I figure that there are more great guys like me out there that are in the same boat.

I began to think on this problem as I kept in mind one of mantras "Design your life." So I got to thinking. I wear a lot of t-shirts. I figured that if I could advertise on t-shirts, maybe I could spark some interest in, well, me! So I put a few keywords on my t-shirt of who I am and who I'm looking for and had Zazzle print me up a shirt. I've just ordered my shirt and I'm expecting it to arrive next week. I've also developed a line of products called me+u singles and posted a few items for sale on my Zazzle store. So far I've got a men's and women's t-shirt as well as men's and women's profile cards. I may add more items as demand grows.

It will be an interesting social experiment to say the least. And at the best, it could be a cool way for me to use design to help others.

Here's the shirt I designed for myself:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cool Leaves

I was out mowing my yard last week and I found a clump of leaves that had freed itself from my tree in the front yard. I was about to toss them into my yard waste bag, but I took a moment to look at the leaves first and discovered that they were beautifully textured, so instead, I put them aside, finished my yardwork and when I was done, took them out back to this old wooden bench and shot some photos. I did enhance the photos a bit, but it helped that Mother Nature made them neato-cool to begin with. BTW, if you like these images, they are for sale here.