Musings: Fighting Perfectionism

Wonderfully freeing thoughts on fighting perfectionism by Elizabeth Grace Saunders at 99U:

“To not do anything because it can’t be exactly how you imagined in your head on the first run will hinder you immensely.”

Musings: Hard Things Aren’t Always Bad

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

“Tools that make hard things easy can make us less likely to tolerate things that are hard.”

-Clive Thompson, in his Wired article on automotive automation

Personally, I long for a future with self-driving cars, but Thompson makes some great points in his article.  More important is the above sentence, which sums up a paradoxical challenge of modern life. In a society where we’re much less worried about subsistence and survival, concerns of comfort rise to the top. Unfortunately, in the quest for ease and luxury, trying to find ways to do less can have an overall negative effect on our ability to do things that are still difficult.

Striving, working hard, taking the road less traveled — whichever turn of phrase you prefer, it seems there is still a lot of value in embracing the hard things of life. “The hard” is often more satisfying, growth-inducing, and life-changing.

Interview at Freelance Unleashed

Hexanine: Tim Lapetino Interview at Freelance Unleashed

Hexanine partner Tim spent a little time talking to Chris Green of Freelance Unleashed, about the joys and challenges of building a design firm.

Here’s a snippet:

Be a designer because you love it. This profession is a little crowded with people who thought design was just cool, or who believed that this was a more practical path to an artist’s life. But Design with a capital D needs people who get jazzed about strategy and beauty combined.

Talking Design Strategy With HOW

Hexanine partner Jason Adam is featured in the latest print issue of HOW magazine, one of our favorite design publications. In the March International Design Awards Annual, he talked to our friend Terry Lee Stone about what makes design strategy compelling and crucial for all successful projects. Pick up a copy of the latest issue in print, or download it in the App Store.

Musings: The Impressive Difference

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

What’s the difference between trying hard to impress someone, and just being plain impressive?

The first allows a lack of confidence to push you into action, even if it’s unwise or hastily-planned. The second is just a state of being, allowing some internal strength, competence, or other compelling quality to shine. The harder you’re trying, the less impressive it will probably seem.

Feb 11 2013

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Musings: Saul Bass On Presentations

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

“I often think that presentations are more difficult than the work itself. A presentation has to share just enough of the process so that someone who has not been a participant can understand the ‘inevitability’ of the solution, and that the solution is the culmination of a rigorous and systematic investigation of all reasonable possibilities. It’s surprising how hard that can be sometimes.”

-Saul Bass, from Saul Bass: A Life In Film And Design

(Hat tip from David Airey’s LogoDesignLove)

Musings: Weave Passion Into Business

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

Sure, we all have to eat and pay the mortgage. But it’s easy to become a creative mercenary if you’re merely chasing lucrative markets or the next profitable, exploitable space. The wise and happy path:

Either figure out how to get deeply excited about the work you’re doing, or find a way to integrate your already-existing passions into your business. The world doesn’t need more creative hired guns; it needs more people who truly believe in what they do.

Musings: Confidence vs. Arrogance

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

After buying a new iPhone 4S this week, I’ve been reflecting on the chief person who helped create such a wonderful device. Steve Jobs. And that led me to consider one of his central tenets, that things in life, creativity, and business were either “insanely great” or “total shit,” and you can guess which side his opinions and ideas fell on. That is arrogance, not confidence.

There is a difference between the two. Arrogance is binary. It demands My Way. I’m right and you’re wrong. My idea is awesome and yours is utter crap. Confidence, on the other hand, shows trust in your own abilities and intelligence, especially if you’re right. But it also allows for the fact that there are other views, other options, and myriad possibilities beyond your own to consider. We would all be wise to suss out the difference.

Seeking the White Space of Life

White Space

It’s probably no surprise when I say that our blog, and Twitter account have been relatively quiet of late. Between moving into a new office, and a slew of new projects and proposals, we’ve barely had a chance to slow down, ponder, and drink in much of the outside world.

I speak for myself in saying this — that in the headlong rush towards the end of the year, I’ve barely been able to fit in daily tasks, much less the time to think deeply into open spaces. And I think my creative brain has suffered.

Read on…

Musings: Incrementalism

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

Everyone likes to make progress, but what does that look like? Doing things as they pop up, and making quick, iterative changes can sometimes be more soul-satisfying and profitable than putting all the eggs into one basket of “overhaul.” Sometimes the team needs to take small steps forward, doing things that are simple to do, in the name of incremental, forward motion. Momentum and inertia are as true in business as they are in physics. So, point out the small victories and the tiny landmarks on your way to the major initiatives. Both are needed.