Tuesday, January 9, 2007


Trend to Consider-
Authenticity is our quest for real in a sea of confusion. It is quite simply being real and presenting real textures, materials and ideas. Examples are everywhere. Consider the popularity of “Reality TV”. Dramatic craft and art are sacrificed for the feeling of watching a real experience.
We are searching for connections anywhere with unique but believable stories, and expect products and services to deliver. We have all grown visually weary by the onslaught of images. It pains me to admit (because I am very illustrative as a designer) that it is increasingly hard to impress anyone with a static image. Photoshop image doctoring has made it difficult to truly believe any photograph. We need to touch people with solids and spaces in a way that only a designed environment can. You can sense authentic places and people in a way you can trust. Have you ever felt that you were in the wrong neighborhood, bar, place? What about the feeling in good place, can a picture do it justice?
As our trust in enterprises erodes and human emotions are battered by dissolution, we look to connect with anything and everything to create complete experience in the absence of human relationships. One of the strongest reasons to attend a tradeshow is to get back the connectedness that we loose by working much of our lives in front of a computer. Exhibits are becoming more a place to create that connection experience rather than just trying to attract people visually. Maybe we are witnessing the change from Trade Shows to Trade Events .

My favorite example is an exhibit from EuroShop 2005. In this refrigeration company booth the wall beside the ‘cafĂ©' section of the booth is made entirely of real ice blocks. Yes, they were melting all the time. It is striking because it touched all your senses and it was the most visceral way to explain just what this company is about. It needed no logos cut in it or colors added or artificial anything. Logistically a challenge but the message was clear and the buzz was fantastic.

Hilary Howes, in the Sept. 2005 EDPA newsletter

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

In-House Designer Resources

Here are some resources from Doug Fuller, President, Art Directors Club of Metro Washington  www.adcmw.org
Membership is free in this association of corporate creatives and is required to get to their resources page on their site. There are some helpful articles in the Books and Articles section.


Design Management Institute
Very business-focused with some good resources and seminars. Expensive to join.

Corporate Design Foundation
Also very business-focused. Publishers of @Issue (see description below)

Beautifully designed and has great articles about the value of design for business. You can order back issues, which would be perfect  for making your case to higher-ups for the value of your in-house department.

How Magazine
They have articles on in-house design departments and an online forum for in-house designers.

MS Office Training
Yes, Word and PowerPoint really suck, but they are part of many in-house designers' reality. This place will come to your site and train you to make the most of these and other programs.

Misc. articles




Going Green

The green building movement is primarily being driven by the LEED criteria established by the US Green Building Council. The USGBC sponsors Greenbuild Conference & Expo, which is scheduled for November 14-16 in Denver (www.greenbuildexpo.org). This is the place to explore the impact of green building. Also, USGBC has partnered with McGraw Hill Construction who published a "Smart Market Report" last year on green building. (www.smartmarket.construction.com) $75.00 I believe. This is comprehensive data on the industry.