Is clever working against us?

I think it’s safe to say that designers spend most of their time trying to be clever. All of the sketching and dot-connecting – it’s usually in search of a solution that has some kind of aw, sweet man! twist. Why do we do that? Is it worth the trouble? Worse yet: is clever actually working against us?

Information design:
professional vs amateur

After the lively discussion on the power of information design from my last post, I was compelled to gather more objective data to inform the conversation. So last weekend, I went back to this same big-box hardware store, and grabbed a few more images. Not sure if they help or hurt.

The supply chain game

It’s often said that trust is the most important part of a relationship. That adage is true for professional relationships, too – especially between design firms and their suppliers. When we explain our process to new clients, we pride ourselves on our svelteness. That is, the fact that we’re staffed entirely by designers. We don’t print or fabricate anything. When we need someone to do that for us, we hire the best-matched partner we can find for that project. That…

Information design:
professional vs amateur

We’ve got a great team of problem solvers here at Oxide, but I’ll be the first to admit we don’t have an answer to every situation. Also, while they taught me in high school to always write from a thesis statement, in this case I’m presenting an observation and hoping that you will help me discover the answers.

Gretzky Quotes logo

For those not familiar with him, Wayne Gretzky is most famous for playing hockey with the Edmonton Oilers and wore the number 99. I designed this logo on a lark – for a fictitious website featuring Gretzky’s timeless and astute quotations. As much as I would love to have The Great One as a client, we do not. I designed this logo simply after realizing that quotation marks resemble the number 99.

An open letter to Gov. Heineman on NE license plates

The following is an open letter written to Nebraska’s Governor Heineman (originally published on Facebook) following a public spec work competition for the state’s next license plate designs. More background on the original story is available here. Or, check here for a more subjective take on the matter.

An open letter to would-be purchasers of design

[This story was originally written by Drew Davies for Be A Design Group, and published on that blog on 26 Mar 2008.] On behalf of designers everywhere, I am writing you this letter with a very simple request. My message isn’t particularly novel – in fact, you may have heard something like it before. But, it’s become clear that it’s time to say it again as clearly as possible.

This week’s four-letter word:

[This story was originally written by Drew Davies for Be A Design Group, and published on that blog on 25 Feb 2005.] I know to some that it would seem that the design world has heard all it needs to about the practice of engaging in speculative work. But if the past week has taught me anything, it’s that we don’t talk nearly enough about it. The reality is that engaging in spec work continues to erode the value of…