Category Archives: General
I spend a lot of time lamenting the unwillingness of designers to get on the telephone and actually talk to clients or suppliers. Apparently so does Greg Storey at Happy Cog. He recently wrote a great post about it and rather than re-hash it, we thought we’d make a nice motivational poster. Greg, hope you see this, and hope you like it.
Illustration by our own Marty Cook.
After having quite a few chats amongst ourselves and some of our associates about the kinds of design events we’d like to see in Melbourne, we decided to try something new.
We’ll unveil the details over the coming days, but in the meantime, if you want to:
• Enjoy a few drinks in the company of your colleagues;
• Hear a brief interview with two exciting local entrepreneurs; and
• Have an informal chat about the intersection of business and design;
you should mark your calendars now:
WHEN: Wednesday, 29 February, 6:00 PM
WHERE: The Rainbow Hotel, 27 St. David St., Fitzroy
It’s not merely social. It’s not just networking. It’s not a seminar. We call it The Nudge, because we think the design community can always push ourselves to be a little bit better.
We hope to see you there.
Every year Austin, Texas, is invaded by web, coding and design folk who want to learn more about their industry, eat barbecue, drink and meet fellow people with passion.
It’s time for South by Southwest Interactive, or “SXSWi” in shorthand. This March, Floate Design Partners will be well represented by me and Ross Floate as we take part in the biggest interactive conference, festival and all-round get-together the world has to offer.
Also appearing in the podcast stadium will be Boxcutters, a weekly look at the world of television I’ve produced for the last six and a half years.
Boxcutters is the first Australian podcast to ever be invited to produce a live event at SXSWi and we think that’s a pretty big thing.
SXSWi is an impressive event. Last year there were almost 20,000 people there. Ross and I will be there the whole time and are always up for a chat. Come and say hi if you see us. We’ll do the same if we see you. (We look like this, but colorised.)
Four weeks and counting.
(This article originally appeared in The Big Issue Australia #366)
As long as I can remember, I’ve worked in a world where the conventional wisdom has been that print is dying. If you listen to a lot of pundits (mostly online pundits, naturally) you’ll hear that print is already dead; it just doesn’t know it yet.
The big stories in media for the past decade have been the collapse and decay of the formerly glorious print empires and the rise of a succession of online juggernauts. Everyone who works in the print media watched the final series of The Wire and recognised the glib refrain ‘we must do more with less’. We’ve heard it for over a decade.
But the strange thing is that while the traditional methods of producing newspapers and magazines might be going the way of the fax machine, print is very much alive. At the recent South By South West Interactive conference in Austin, Texas I was pleasantly surprised to see that in the very heart of the online world, people are finding ways to keep print alive and thriving. New web-to-print technologies are making print cheaper to create and distribute. Crowdsourcing and online collaboration are combining to give editors access to a pool of talent that the media barons of the past could have only dreamed of.
As if to prove this very point, in May a group of people got together and created 48 Hour Magazine in, you guessed it, 48 hours. The time between when they released the theme of the magazine to their thousands of hopeful contributors until the moment they finished designing and put it up on the online distribution system MagCloud was two days. Talk about doing more with less.
There are projects like this taking place all over the world, and there are businesses popping up to support these projects and to evangelise print. Newspaper Club is a website in the United Kingdom that provides you with all the tools you need to produce 500 copies of a 12-page newspaper. Why do they do it? Because they love ink on paper.
And you know what? I think we all do. I think that in some sense, we miss the touch of paper, the smudge of ink, and most of all we miss the days when information was something we could touch. I’m confident that we’ll be able to get ink on our fingertips for a long time to come.
Ross Floate’s latest project is as co-publisher of a newspaper of content originally created for the web entitled And Now It’s In Print.
Because I came to design through a circuitous route, I don’t tend to think like most designers. And for that, I remain very thankful.
One thing that I worry about with many designers is their constant stultifying specialisation. Once they begin to get good at one area of design, there’s a tendency to stay in that area of comfort. I see it a great deal with designers in their 30’s who still steadfastly refuse to consider doing any web design.
It’s not only a career dead-end, it’s an intellectual one too.
Design shouldn’t be about becoming good at solving one kind of problem over and over. The challenge is to turn your skills and intellect to solving all kinds of problems. If you don’t, you risk being left behind when the culture no longer needs your narrow skillset to solve a small range of problems.
The obvious example now is that of print designers who are unwilling to move toward solving problems in an on-screen context. But think also of the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from people who currently design using Flash. They aren’t up in arms because they think Flash is the best solution for developing content for mobile devices. They’re scared that they’re going to have to learn new tools, and that they won’t be as comfortable as they are within the cognitive framework they’ve built around the skills they have.
That’s sad. A designer should look at new mediums and new technologies as an opportunity and a creative challenge. I know I do.