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Philosophy Blog

While there are many reasons that small businesses work with the wrong design partners, the most common would appear to be cost. After all, doing it yourself, off shoring the work or hiring the cheapest designer around would seem to be motivated by price. However, I have found that bargain hunting is often a symptom of a larger disease. They are in a rush, and in attempting to budget for everything at once they are willing to accept anything in terms of quality. I call it the “fast food” approach to branding. If having business cards that look like they were ordered off the dollar menu doesn’... More
When visual communication was rendered through oil on canvas one would not have a hard time arguing that it was the oil, and not the canvas that mattered most. While a well-crafted substrate was essential it was also something to take for granted. The great masters were painters and the skill with which they applied their medium was the measure of that greatness. Today’s canvas of choice is the web. It is so powerful, dynamic and ubiquitous that it has devoured all other forms of media. Music, theater, film and even traditional art are now most commonly seen on the Internet. Often times... More
By now, most of you have probably seen the hugely successful Christopher Nolan film Inception. It is a movie that explores that possibility that an idea can be planted in the mind of a person without them knowing it. From Hollywood’s standpoint, it is a science fiction twist on an old-fashioned heist film. However, from the standpoint of a marketing communications professional, it is something much closer to pornography. For decades these folks have sought to plant ideas in the minds of consumers. Albeit, less dramatically. While Inception is a work of fantasy, it seemed to me in watching the... More
I am one of those people whose mind is always churning about something. Count me among the poor souls who lose sleep ruminating on the events, conversations and ideas of the day. You can imagine that design and branding would be among the topics I favor having made it my vocation.  Nothing high minded, but I often consider the challenges my clients face. Despite the diversity of their services, I’ve found they tend to have a lot of the same issues. Most of them are small and medium size businesses or initiatives. Many have only made modest investment in their design and brand communications.... More
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