Seth Godin has been a failure. And that’s why he is so successful. He’s not afraid to fail. He celebrates failure because, from experience, he has come to learn that failure can only lead to success. Because, if you continue to stumble and fall it means that you have also continued to move forward, continued to pick yourself up. As clumsy as falling over repeatedly may seem, you will never learn to walk by not hoiking yourself back up on to your feet.
Most of the emails I receive in my inbox are promptly deleted, consigned to their relevant email folders through auto-filtering or resigned forever to the spam folder. There are only a handful of emails I genuinely look forward to reading, mainly personal emails. But the daily email I receive from Seth Godin is one of those emails, one of the mails that I will read, ponder on and consider, even discuss, every day. I’ve often commented to friends on how the topics of these emails are eerily in sync with a conversation I had just the day before receiving them. And, Mr. Godin has an uncanny knack of taking what seems like a complex and multilayered concept and condensing it down into a short paragraph that is inspiring through its clarity of thought and motivating through its emotional honesty and integrity.
Today his daily mail announced that he has posted the 5,000th post on his blog. That’s pretty impressive! If you’re not familiar with Seth Godin or what he does, you don’t need to be. But, if you work in a “creative industry” (hell, any industry), are an employer or an employee, or are interested in how to think and (try to) be better at what you do you should definitely subscribe to his blog.
Last month, Fontsmith announced the launch of their latest font family FS Emeric with a series of posters each designed by different design studios and a beautiful specimen book. The book landed on my doorstep today and it’s quite lovely. Printed on GF Smith paper, with a wrap around cover, it uses spot colour and foil blocked shapes to reflect FS Emeric’s Modernist leanings.
The typeface works particularly well with signage (obviously) but the specimen illustration of how FS Emeric could be used online and on mobile is stunning. I’ve been on a humanist kick lately, perhaps over-indulging in Whitney and Gill Sans in some recent work, and am looking forward to the project where using FS Emeric is the perfect solution.
These photographs of Hutt Lagoon by Steve Back tick so many boxes for me when it comes to images my brain finds visually pleasing – saturated colours arranged in strong, graphic shapes complemented with soft watercolour textures and rough, charcoal like lines all cooled down with some chalky (or, in this case, salty) white space.
Some lovely, graphic work from No Studio/Miles Chic. What I really like about the images displayed on No Studio is the lack of definite style or adherence to a particular method of image making that really highlights the feeling of play in all the work.
“Economic degradation begets environmental degradation begets social degradation.”
Quote from an old TED talk by Majora Carter. Amazing how sometimes a few words can sum up a complex idea. Having recently come back from a visit to New Orleans, where the after effects of Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are still felt and a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government in power, “bedroom taxes”, The Recession, the dismantling of the NHS, the death of Thatcher and whether her policies improved or destroyed, this quote seemed particularly relevant today as it was in 2006.
The blog went silent over the last month, mainly because I’ve been been busy, busy with a great new client and project. The Frothy Whisk is a new baking company in Belfast but you can forget the sugary cupcakes full of artificial colours or twee little buns that make you feel guilty that you ate them. This is baking for people who enjoy eating good food, food that can be delicious AND nourishing, inspire us to eat better and celebrates the act of eating as a social experience.
It’s been a really fun project to work on and I’ve really enjoyed literally getting my hands dirty, creating inky letters for the logo and marks for the textures. And looking at images of all the delicious cakes and breads they’ve baked had me in the kitchen as well – I’m not nearly as skilled at baking as The Frothy Whisk but I have baked more carrot cake and banana bread in the past three weeks than I’ve eaten in my lifetime.
A full roll out of the identity is planned over the coming weeks but in the meantime here are the initial branding elements:
Slab serif loveliness in the 1984 manual for PBS identity by Chermayeff & Geismar.
via Aisle One
I’m slowly but surely running out of shelf space so lately I’ve had to decide whether I should or shouldn’t buy a book based on whether I have the room for it or not. However, last month I couldn’t resist buying Structure and Substance, the new-ish monograph of the life and career of British designer Ken Garland.
I wrote both my 2nd and 3rd year college essays about Garland and discovering his writing and that of Victor Papanek was a lifeline during my studies. I was baffled and disheartened by the lack of discourse and general conversation both from tutors and students, something which I expected of third level education. The focus instead was on image production as evidence of growth as a “visual communicator”, with no real foundation of rationale or informed process, reinforcing the model of designers as tools of an influential advertising industry and commercial marketing, driven only by commerce and profit.
So, when buying this book I thought I was familiar with Garland and his work. But this monograph has renewed my admiration for him, partly because of the quality and range of work shown but also because of his attitude and the way in which he worked and lived as a practising designer. There are some particularly inspiring passages about Garland and the man that makes the designer. With his lack of blustering ego combined with quintessential British whimsy, he was able to apply his firmly held convictions about the role of design to his work and help clients speak to audiences that were becoming more visually literate while avoiding being shouted down by a booming advertising industry, or suffocated by expensive campaigns and corporate identities.
And the range of work shown is wonderful, arranged chronologically allowing you to see both how Garland’s work and attitude developed as well as the impact of technological advances on his work and style. There are so many pieces I hadn’t seen before, work that reveals the warm and approachable aspect of Garland’s work and his reluctance to fully adopt Swiss formalism which led to designs that were elegantly simple but full of character and personality.