Category: think like a pro

White or Black?

Saturday 10.15.11

I went to buy a couple of new alarm clocks yesterday — we have a cat who is occasionally unruly and hurls everything on the bedside tables to the floor. no clock could stand up to such repeated abuse — and was reminded of how truly ridiculous we designers can be sometimes. As I was standing at the counter trying to decide between the black version or the white one and back again, the soft-spoken, very design-ey gentleman in charge of the shop inquired in the nicest way possible, “Does it really matter?” Instead of taking offense, as perhaps I should have, I burst out laughing. He’s right, it doesn’t freaking matter. It’s a clock for crying out loud. It’s unobtrusive, simple, well-designed. Who cares if it’s white or black? Would it really make a difference in my life one way or another? It’s not going to work better if it’s one color versus another. This particular clock is a re-issue of a design originally created in the 90s by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams for Braun. Oh, and for the record, I bought two black ones.

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Tuesday 09.06.11

I attribute these few words to Eric Asimov, a food and wine writer for the the NYT. He was referring to choosing a wine to pair with food (specifically oysters), not ruminating on the creative process. Although I suppose picking a wine to be compatible with a certain aliment could fall into that category. Anyway, I wrote it down and have been trying to remember it ever since. This is not to say that I don’t strive for exactitude, but I try to be mindful of it not becoming an end in itself. Or an obstacle to everything.

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Wednesday 07.13.11

Need help getting out of a design rut? Trying to think of some copy for that new design of yours? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This little crib sheet works wonders when it comes to re-routing your thinking. This used to be on my wall in my old studio. When we moved, I packed it up along with all manner of other odds and ends (that will gradually make their appearance) and haven’t seen it since. I’m not sure where it came from, but here it is.

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H.D. Stephens: Genius

Sunday 04.10.11

This brilliant flowchart is the creation of the late H.D. Stephens, the father of a long ago friend of mine. Mr. Stephens, as he would have been known to me, was a high school math teacher, who left the education world for that of computer programming…when no one really knew what that meant. I’m told he did pretty well with computers in their early days, later leaving a well-paying job with an oil company, for a life of happy self-employment. These are his words of wisdom.

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