plannersphere wiki

planner wiki

Hey look at what’s up with Russell Davies’s blog – it’s a wiki for planners and brand thinkers alike. If that wasn’t enough, this is how he breaks down the process to enter a post. “A few people have already asked questions about policy and ettiquette and I wanted to be clear that the rules are as strict and concise as they are for coffee morning and APSotW ie – just get on with it. Anyone can contribute, you can add whatever you think’s appropriate, don’t worry about breaking it, if you can’t think of anything to add there’s always some tidying up to be done. But, remember this, if you’ve not added anything yourself you’re not allowed to complain about what everyone else has done.” Refreshing.

Check it out at plannersphere wiki. There’s even a job board.

Yahoo Maps Mashup: Measure your running distance and save the information


Long before google attempted to create a measurement tool for their maps, Randy Troppmann created a mash up for runners using Yahoo Maps at The navigation and his instructions have improved over time, but the real benefit to this site is the fact that you can store your routes. By saving the information you can share it with others and watch your progress. There’s also a live chat feature. My only negative remark about the site is that the green lines that denote the route should be in a colour that contrasts more with the yellow. I’m sure my friend won’t mind a friendly online crit…

I was also happy to hear that he’s been getting some well deserved press. The Edmonton Journal published the article Need a running route? Just click and jog a couple days ago. Be sure to check out and his blog at

Using Photoshop to Render a Shoe


First Pullover, the excellent shoe design blog that is based on hummel shoes has a tutorial titled Footwear Photoshop rendering tutorial > part 1-6. Even if you only use Photoshop a bit and don’t design shoes, there’s some interesting techniques that could probably help you with other renderings that you might have to do some day.

Flickr Comment Spam

flickr comment spam

Yesterday I got hit with comment spam inside one of my flickr images. I checked the flickr’s forum and it seems to be a new issue creeping up. Apparently from flickr’s advice in the post I’ve been hit with Comment Spam it’s mentioned to click the Report Abuse link at bottom, explain the problem to staff… it will be over in no time… don’t delete their comments until their account is deleted… I’m about to do that with the issue I got hit with this image: I don’t expect it to be much of an issue after I report it…

UPDATE: Within an hour of reporting the issue to flickr it was resolved!

Creating a system for your design goals

goal tracker by David Seah

New year means new goals, or the chance to renew the energy to keep going on something big that you’re looking to achieve. Last year I set up a couple short and long term goals and divided my year into four quarters which kept me on track. I was able to accomplish most of what I set out to do which gave me a great sense of accomplishment. However during the break over this Christmas I was kind of stuck on those big goals for 2007. I didn’t want to settle now that I’m here working in New York. It’s time to build on what I started. One thing that kept coming up was the desire to be a better designer, but that’s not really a concrete goal. So my attention was piqued when I read David Seah’s blog today about his process for Creating New Year’s Resolutions with the Concrete Goals Tracker. “I could have a goal like, “be a better graphic designer”, and just “try harder”. That’s all fine and dandy, but I want to get a more quantitative sense of what’s going on. That’s where the Concrete Goal Tracker comes in.” David breaks down his points system and offers a pdf template that justifies his system. It’s very logical and has helped me refocus my energy. I’m probably going to adjust things and create my own document in InDesign so I can keep it digital, but without David’s breakdown I would never have been able to get to this point.

emergent tracker by David Seah

On a secondary note, he’s also created a flash application to track your design work time at The Printable CEO™ Online Emergent Task Timer. There you’ll be able to use it online or download it as a stand alone. The only catch is that you have to print the screen at the end of the day to keep track of it – you can’t save it digitally.

This kind of stuff really raises the bar in terms of self promotional tools that helps other designers. Merci David…

Wikia Search?

Search Wikia

I was surprised to read over the weekend via PSFK that Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia founder) is creating a new search engine at What I’m finding of late when I’m searching for something is that a wikipedia entry is coming up near the top of every search. I also recently added on the Googlepedia plugin to Firefox which has divided my search screen into two parts that had made my searching easier. So if wiki “like” content is already surfacing near the top, why try to create a new search? There’s probably more reasons then I can think of, but it certainly open options for people on looking at options. There’s a lot more in this area to talk about and I’ll be gathering some more notes in the weeks to come.

UPDATE: Here’s a couple more links I found. Q&A With Jimmy Wales On Search Wikia and Wikiasari, ‘Venice Project’…Will 2007 be the year of the ‘killer’?

Crit on the Wall


I think it’s easy for designer’s to take for granted the informal crits that they can have with their fellow workmates if you’re in a studio. But if you’re a designer that works alone or in a company where you’re the only creative one – where do you go to bounce ideas off with other designers? I received an interesting e-mail recently asking me if I knew of any web sites that offer crits because they work alone.

Personally I don’t know of any sites that do that, but if you do know of any – please post the urls. However I’m also thinking that if there isn’t anything like that, would you be interested in participating? Whether you are looking to get feedback or if you’re willing to share you’re experience with others. I don’t see this so much as a public site, but more about matching people up to share the drive to get better. But maybe there’s a better idea out there too. If you’re up to it, send me an e-mail or post a comment…

Understanding the Street

Above is the first vid. from Wallstrip, a new web show that talks about one company in depth for just a couple minutes in terms of investment through normal talk. Once you get to the site there’s lots of ways to keep track of the site afterwards – easy rss, podcast, link buttons and the ability to embed text. I’m just curious to see how they will archive their info after a couple months…

Understanding the Street

Above is the first vid. from Wallstrip, a new web show that talks about one company in depth for just a couple minutes in terms of investment through normal talk. Once you get to the site there’s lots of ways to keep track of the site afterwards – easy rss, podcast, link buttons and the ability to embed text. I’m just curious to see how they will archive their info after a couple months…

Likemind III

Likemind III

If you haven’t heard of Likemind and are in NYC, check out the site at Today was the third gathering and the second that I’ve been lucky enough to attend. Here’s a couple sites from people that were there today. I’m sure you’ll get out as much as I did from them.

cellar door:

Jack Chen:


Charles Gallant:


1938 Media:


and of course Noah Brier:

and… The Blgging Times:

Generate This!


BrazilName – Generate your own Brazil football shirt!

Your Name in Japanese :: Japanese Translator

The Baby Name Wizard: NameVoyager – The Web 2.0 Bullshit Generator

Web2.0 Logo Creator by Alex P

Websites as graphs – an HTML DOM Visualizer Applet


make your own hieroglyphic

3 Likeminds

3 Likeminds, originally uploaded by nbrier.

If you’re in NYC tomorrow and feel like waking up early, there’s the second happening. From the website of the same name:

who: people like you.
what: an opportunity to enjoy coffee and conversation.
when: friday, august 25 at 8am
where: sNice, 45 Eighth Avenue, at West 4th Street, NYC (yahoo MAPS)
why: because drinking good coffee with likeminded people is fun.
how: piers and noah thought it might be a good idea.
questions: ny — AT —

Tree Map app for Macs

Tree Map app for Macs, originally uploaded by Michael Surtees.

Here’s a pretty neat app for Mac’s for no other reason then it indicates where all your space is being used in relation to everything else on your computer. The only dumb thing about the app is that the colour is in stupid 3-D colour. Why do this? Let me choose if I want to do this.
Check it out and download it at Disk Inventory X
Via Mr Turuk.

Where have I been?

Sorry for the unuusal quietness of this blog, but hey I’m moving to NYC in a week and there’s a lot of things to get done. One thing that I’ve been to meaning to mention is the redesign of All This Chittah Chittah blog by Steve Portigal. Clean and easy to read, there’s something there that that will make you question your daily surroundings.

Web Eyetracking

Ever wonder what the hot spots on a web page are? According to Web Marketing Today, big block images should be avoided for nav. purposes while small images of people tend to work for page anchors. The above image illustrates the typical eye search of a web browser. Eyetracking and Images of People can be read at

via Uniquely the epitome

Paper and getting organized by yourself

If you’re still a fan of paper, D*I*Y Planner is the site for you. I won’t be able to do the site justice describing about all the things you can do to get organized with this site. Their tagline “Paper, productivity & passion” does sum the site up. Here’s how they describe the site “We are a community of people who see the value of paper as a medium for planning, productivity, creative expression, and exploring ideas. We encourage visitors to share advice and inspiration, and we love to see submissions for templates, kit images and story articles.”

Check it out for yourself at

The battle of the blogging platforms


Here’s an interesting comparison with wordpress and blogger. I dropped my design*notes url into the website as graphs website at This is what the colour coding means:

blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

I’ve found wordpress to be a lot easier to use and navigate, and the diagrams represent that.

Learning by Design


Debbie Millman, a friend and someone who I admire has posted one of her best blog posts about what she has learned. There’s 10 graceful points that most designers can take something away from her experience, learn and get better. About a year ago Debbie visited Edmonton for a talk titled “Design Stories from New York” for the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada Alberta North Chapter. We filmed the talk and you can watch the entire presentation at While Debbie’s 10 points from her blog entry are not mentioned directly in the video as such, a lot of her ideas are talked about in part 3 of the video presentation.

Below are the ten headers of Debbie’s points, to read the whole thing visit here blog HERE.

Things I have learned by making a lot of mistakes

Number One:
Fabulous talent is equivalent to operational excellence

Number Two:
How you lead and what you represent is as important as your ideas

Number Three:
You need to know what you believe in, whether or not it is popular.

Number Four:
Vision is easy, strategy is much harder.

Number Five:
Know what you are talking about

Number Six:
Common vocabulary is not always equate with common behavior

Number Seven:
One day working on a creative brief is worth (minimally) one week of design time.

Number Eight:
Be aware of “artificial harmony”

Number Nine:
Seek out criticism

Number Ten:
Design Matters

The Agony and Ecstasy of the Diagram

Ticker Factory is one of those sites that has turned static diagrams and leveraged dynamic data entry into something for “the rest of us”, counting down to that great day you’re thinking about. Ok, I’m being somewhat sarcastic but is there anything really wrong with this type of diagram? Ticker Factory offers a lot of different types of countdowns; Trying To Conceive: Create a menstrual cycle day count, Pregnancy: Count your weeks and days of pregnancy, Due Date count down, Baby and Child Age, Display the age of your baby or child, Weight Loss: Display your progress, Count down to your target weight, Birthday: Count down to a birthday, Anniversary: Count down to your anniversary, Vacation & Travel: Count down to an upcoming vacation or travel, Event: Count down or up to a special event, Exercise & Fitness: Track your progress towards your exercise and fitness goal.

Once you’ve decided on the countdown, you get to pick out a lot of different graphics. There’s timelines, icons, ways to show the negative and positive steps to get to the goal. There’s a lot more to this that I’d like to say, but alas I have to head out for a workout…

Affirmation sticker and smart blog

Affirmation sticker
Originally uploaded by saralynncantor. just came on my radar tonight. It’s a nicely written blog by a retail planner, though I’m not entirely sure what a planner does…

The affirmation sticker post HERE is a good example of what you’re going to get with Sarah Cantor’s posts. I also like the word “Another.” It’s kinda like those ads – “Secret #24: Sometimes I fake an accent at parties” – you feel like there are at least 23 other Secrets. Here, the word “Another” makes you feel like you aren’t alone – there are tons of organized customers, and you are yet another of the already-overflowing pool of organized people in your town.

DesignMaven Revea!ed (Part Two)

This is the conclusion of the interview with the DesignMaven. Read part one HERE

MS: Who influences you?
DM: Outside of my Family Saul Bass and Paul Rand were instrumental, there were others.

I was born and bread on the Westport School. That was my vision and dream of what a successful Artist, Illustrator and Designer should be. The Westport School was a movement of Artist and Illustrators whom lived and worked in Westport Connecticut. They dominated the Illustration Style and Thinking of their era. Norman Rockwell, Austin Briggs, Albert Dorne, Steven Dohanos, Al Parker, Robert Fawcett, Jon Whitcomb, Doris Lee, Fred Ludekins, Peter Helck, Dong Kingman, Bernie Fuchs, Bob Peak, They wrote the Famous Artist Course, A Home Study Course. I never enrolled in the course. Nevertheless, all were very successful Artist and Illustrators.

The only Designer among them was a gentleman named George Guisti. Actually, the very first Designer I latched onto because he used the Airbrush. He was quite successful. Receiving the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement Award.

When I saw, Graphis 59, a collector’s edition, you can find it on eBay selling for over $100.00 dollars. There’s a portfolio of George Guisti’s work. Then there’s a portfolio of work by this young and promising Designer, named Saul Bass, no comparison. “I said George who”. The range of Saul Bass’ Design at that time was Magnificent in all it’s Glory. The range was unbelievable, Identity Design, Packaging, Film, Movie Advertising, Exhibits, Product Design. George Giusti whom I loved as child, range of work was not in the same league as Saul Bass. Mr. Giusti was a Designer that Illustrated he worked mainly for publications. Designing covers and posters. His son Robert Giusti became a successful Illustrator achieving fame. I don’t think Robert became as famous as his father did. Both, Bass and Giusti gave me what I needed.

I was already heavily into Saul Bass by this time. That issue of Graphis Magazine further solidified Saul Bass’ Genius.

Other influences were Designers, Illustrators, and Fine Artist such as, Alberto Vargas. George Petty, Adolphe Mouron Cassandra, Jean Carlu, Abram Games, Joseph Binder, Otis Shepard, German Designer Tony Zepf. The list also includes Painter, Ernst Haas. The list included Super Realist, Chuck Close, Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, John Salt, and Richard Estes. Illustrators, Charles White III, Dave Williardson, Hajime Sorayama, Doug Johnson, Phillip Castle, Thomas Blackshear, Alan Aldridge, and Robert Grossman, Fantasy Illustrators, HR Geiger, Syd Mead, Frank Frazetta (others). I never got into Fantasy Art. All of these Luminaries incorporated Airbrush into their work. Most used airbrush 100% of the time. I was heavily into airbrush. I’d been using airbrush since I was fourteen. I was introduced to airbrush by my teacher Mr. Carleton T. Washburn.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention African Americans, Georg Olden, Reynold Ruffins, and Archie Boston. Georg Olden was the First African American Director of Graphic Arts CBS Television, 1943. As well, Georg was Designer of the CBS Eye Identity with his boss William Golden. Reynold Ruffins is founder of Push Pin with Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast. Archie Boston is an Advertising Phenomenon and Luminary. He created a lot of ground breaking work.

Perhaps the most important and influential person that has had a profound effect on my work and me is George Lewis aka Roif A Love. He was a senior at Chamberlain Vocational High. Without question the most gifted Artist, Illustrator and Designer I’ve ever encountered in my life. George was so gifted, our teacher Mr. Washburn let he do whatever he wanted. George never did any jobs out of the assignment book. Each week he worked on a different painting he was commissioned. At eighteen, his technical facility was on a level he could block in a painting with a paintbrush and no pencil outline. Make the painting or portrait look as if it were breathing or coming to life. George at eighteen was as gifted as Vermeer, Rubens, Close, and Estes. Its funny, he was a realist, I wanted to be a realist. We saw each other periodically. And I was instrumental in bringing him to the University I attended. Later on the advice of my sculpture instructor Bill Taylor he enrolled at Corcoran School of Art in D.C. We hadn’t seen each other in about three or four years maybe longer. When we talked. He had changed his style. And was influenced by the Bauhaus, Kandinsky and Klee. It was surreal, because I was telling him. I was heavily into the Bauhaus, Herbert Bayer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Xanti Schwinshy. We just fell out crying laughing at how much in tune to one another we were in reference to our career influences. As well, the natural progression and evolution. We had known each other since High School. Few years later I learned that George Lewis passed. Dying of Cancer. Survived by his wife and son. My life hasn’t been the same. I carry the torch for both George Lewis and my teacher Mr. Washburn.

The movement, which had the most profound impact on my life, was the BAUHAUS. The Bauhaus gave me a new vision sense of purpose and direction. Responsible for opening Conceptual Doors. I didn’t know this was possible. The merging of Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Art, and Architecture with Business and Technology. Without boundaries. It wasn’t being practiced in the United States. Maybe it was, but wasn’t old enough to see what was happening. I have my typography instructor Mr. Ramkisoon, bka Ram and my painting instructor Yvonne P. Carter to thank for introducing me to the Bauhaus. That movement changed my life forever. The Bauhaus led me to other movements, Dada, Russian Constructivism, DeStijl, and Swiss Design. And most important, these movements led me to American Modern.

The rest is History.

MS: What type of education do you believe designer needs, and how did your education open the design world to you?
DM: That’s a loaded question. The best education for a Designer is Hands on Experience meaning, an Apprenticeship with a Designer, Firm or Consultancy. That’s the Best Training and Experience anyone involved in the Creative Arts can get.

Not to Blast Formal Training I’ll get to that later in the interview. Apprenticeships allow you to get Practical Real World Experience. There’s no better exposure for the Designer, Artist or Illustrator. Art & Design Schools try to simulate that experience in the classroom. It’s not the same.

The drawback of the classroom, if your instructor doesn’t have any practical experience in the real world. Then you’re studying with a professional student. That has only advanced them with a Degree. The flip side, the problems or assignments are not real in the classroom. They may be practical on some level. You don’t get the tug of war, feedback, and resistance you get with real clients. In the classroom, you don’t write a proposal for the project.

You don’t give a presentation, and you don’t do any market research. Nor do you deal with outside venders, such as printers, sample departments, paper suppliers, etc. You don’t multi task. These are all things you encounter on the job in real world situations. Rarely, if at all in school, is your contributions part of team effort or collaboration. In order to be successful on the job, you have to learn to play nice in the Sandbox with others.

At the same time, four (4) years of Design School Education is equivalent to 2 Days on the job.

Most important, Design & Art Schools have their advantages. Nothing can beat the Creative Atmosphere and everyone feeding off each other. The open competitiveness, the camaraderie, friendships and associations can last a lifetime. With Design School the unwritten rule is each one teach one. That’s what makes school so great. The instructor can only set up guidelines and parameters. It is the healthy exchange among peers that facilitate personal growth and development. As well, harvesting and fostering a sense of purpose, direction, community and culture you cannot get this on a job. You have to already be there at a mental state in you life.

I talk to students all the time that are seniors ready to graduate and have not been placed in an Internship Program. It should be mandatory. If you don’t get that practical experience you have nothing to offer a prospect employer. Design is an occupation upon entering; you must HIT THE GROUND RUNNING.
General Graphic Design Education must be coupled with Business Classes and Public Speaking Classes. In this new Millennium Designers will become more Independent and less reliant on staff positions. Designers must have a clear sense of Business Acumen. Simple task such as Organization and Time Management Skills cannot be learned in Design Class. The Designer must be able to sell him/herself. There’s nothing like Public Speaking or Drama Classes to knock down those barriers. The only way to learn it is taking business classes or being in that arena.

The extra year or two spent in school will be in the capacity of on the job training. Internship offers the prospect Designer employment opportunity in various venues. Design Education may have to be extended to five or six years. With those credits going toward the Masters Degree.

The Education of a Corporate Identity Designer is demanding. Long story short. Corporate Identity is a Grand Father Profession. Meaning the positions are inherited through lineage or generations of Designers. Corporate Identity is the Pinnacle of Visual Communication. Yet, there is not a Degree Granted for Identity Designers or Identity Consultants. Why? Salary wise, the average Identity Designer or Identity Consultant earns well over $ 100.000.00 dollars per year.

There should be a curriculum leading to a Degree.

Identity Designers and Consultants need a curriculum that address Design, Marketing, Communications and Trademark Law. This curriculum should be supplemented with Business Management Classes, and Public Speaking. Most important, Semiotics, the language of symbols and signs should be included in the curriculum. This will possibly be a five to six year program as well leading to a Masters and PHD. Because of the Scientific Nature of Corporate Identity on the Marketing side more time will be needed for research and analysis. Perhaps a Bar will be necessary or exam similar to the CPA Exam. This will insure Corporate Leaders Identity Consultants are qualified. Time spent in post secondary education will equal time spent by Medical Practitioner’s. Education accomplishment for Identity Designers and Consultants will justify their salary.

In reference to my Design Education, I’m very largely self taught. Yes, I have a Degree in Design. The school I graduated cannot take credit for my Accomplishment, Knowledge and Design Acumen. I’ll explain.
My mother enrolled me in a Professional Advertising Art Program at Chamberlain Vocational High School in Washington D.C.

At age fourteen, (14) I studied under Mr. Carleton T. Washburn, renowned Fine Artist, Illustrator, and Advertising Artist a protégé of Norman Rockwell. Mr. Washburn taught Advertising Art at Chamberlain Vocational School for thirty-eight (38) years. The program was highly regarded. With a 99.9% success rate of graduates entering the Profession of Design, Advertising, and lllustration straight out of High School. Going to Chamberlain Vocational School and studying under Mr. Washburn was akin to going to the Allegemeine Gewerbueschule aka (Basle School of Design). Acknowledge as the Worlds Best. Education wise the American Equivalent would be Art Center, Rhode Island School of Design, Cranbrook, and School of Visual Arts or Cooper Union. I site Cooper Union because they don’t offer a Graduate Degree in Graphic Design. Once you graduate from Cooper Union with an undergraduate Degree. You’re ready for the world. Graduating from Mr. Washburn’s Advertising Art Program you did not need College Training. College or University training was an option if you needed to further your career academically.

Mr. Washburn was renowned and acknowledged by Professionals, Industry Leaders, Institutions, and All Creative Job Market sectors across the United States. Mr. Washburn was renowned for getting students jobs. Working Professionals and Students made a Pilgrimage to his classroom. At least Mr. Washburn taught 89% of the Decision-Makers and Art Directors in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Upon entering his class, there was a big chart with jobs he got students straight out of High School at Advertising Agencies, Production Houses, Art Studios, Design Firms, Design Consultancies, Walt Disney, Local Television Stations, Warner Bros., Department Stores, Publishing Houses, Fortune 500 Corporations. The list was endless, growing and intimidating. Nothing was fabricated. Students would come back to visit him and ask his advice. Request a portfolio review.

Drop in to say hello. After teaching from 7:30 am – 3:00 pm Mr. Washburn for thirty-eight (38) years taught an adult education class in advertising art, five days a week. Which began at four in the afternoon and ended at 8:00 pm. His adult education class was reserved for working professionals. It was standing room only.

The only program that comes close to Mr. Washburn’s Advertising Art Program is Leon Friend Program at Lincoln High in New York. Both, I’ve been informed were more advanced than most college programs, at that time.

If you’re not familiar with the History of Lincoln High in New York and Leon Friend. Seymour Chwast, Gene Federico, Bill Taubin, Alex Steinweiss, Irving Penn, Jay Maisel and many other luminaries were all taught by Leon Friend at Lincoln High.

The 1970 Chamberlain Yearbook state, The course in Advertising Art is designed to equip the student to meet the exacting demands of the modern world. They are trained in perspective, lettering, and the basic principles of layout, type anatomy, graphic arts, color and its significance in advertising. Students learn the many different techniques such as airbrush, pen and ink, watercolor, tempera, and scratchboard. Students must be thoroughly familiar with the use of overlays and various types of color separation as well as a working knowledge of reproduction and printing techniques. The student must know the many different kinds of advertising media such as direct mail, poster, newspaper, magazine, and visual aids. They must understand how to work with photographs, cropping, and retouching them for advertising purposes.

Mr. Washburn Developed an Advertising Art Program based on his Professional Experience. It consisted of one hundred jobs (as we called them) or assignments to be completed over a course of three years. If you completed the course of 100 jobs you received $ 100.00 dollars worth of Art Supplies. Only one person completed all 100 jobs in thirty-eight (38) years. It was an astronomical amount of work. The way the program was set up. School began at 7:30 am, which included tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders. Since I was in the 10th grade, our advertising art class began at 7:30 after roll call and pledge of allegiance. And ended at 12:00 pm with an hour for lunch. After lunch we went to Math, English, Science, Physical Education. It was mandatory that you participated in the Military Cadet Program. The only way you did not was to have a medical excuse. We came back to Mr. Washburn for Theory, Critique and Figure Drawing. On more than one occasion we were told how lucky we were to get North Light. When he designed the Program 38 years ago. He was adamant Artist and Illustrators needed North Light. Which is why Artist, Illustrators and Designers build their studios in their homes. North Light is reserved for the studio. The defining characteristic of North Light is its quality. It’s big, soft, and diffused. Since it’s coming from the north, it catches the direct sunlight and bounces it off the sky. Mr. Washburn explained how the florescent lighting, design of windows in the classroom. And trees destroyed North Light.

The program was Designed so that we spent at least five and one half (5 1/2) hours a day in Advertising Art with the rest of the time divided between the other classes on alternate days of the week. Critique, everyone participated on all levels. Mr. Washburn made it clear that what he was doing was revolutionary. Even at the college level. The teacher critiqued Work and students did not participate in critiques. They just paid attention and listened. He was absolutely correct. Talking to other Designers and Illustrators informed at that time only the instructor-critiqued work on the college level. Nice to be apart of something ground breaking because we critiqued each other’s work. This was back in 1970 at the High School level. We worked from a job book to begin conceptualizing and generating ideas you went to the Morgue. A term that still frightens me until this day for those not familiar with the term. The Morgue, is traditionally an Artist or Illustrators term for Dead Picture File. We had hundreds of thousands of photographs, illustrations, magazines, packaging and designs to assist in facilitating our conceptual process.

The job book was simply a notebook full of briefs. It read like this, Advertisement for Tire Manufacturer. Ad should depict the tire manufacturer is selling. Your choice of Illustration technique to make ad interesting. Headline copy should be 14pt type. Headline copy should read. Goodyear Tires Always Dependable. Body copy should be 9pt only indicate. Tire can be rendered in India ink, lamp black wash, or airbrush, your choice. Rendered on 15 x 20 Illustration Board, hot pressed. The assignment gave you the amount of time expected of you to complete the project. As jobs progressed they became more difficult. Skills overlapped to increase your knowledge and understanding as well proficiency with tools of the trade.

Other assignments were similar in scope, except the illustration called for the use of all the instruments we were taught to use.

Ruling Pen, Crow Quill Pen, Speedball lettering pens, Tempera Paint, Gouache, Watercolor, Sable Brushes, Zip-a-tone for effect. We did everything by hand. We were not allowed to use neither press type nor a projector. All lettering was commenced by hand. We chose a type specimen book selected a typeface and drew it by hand. And filled in the outlines with ink using a crow quill pen, ruling pen, sable brush or cut frisket and filled in with airbrush. Frisket in those days was masking tape. We were not allowed to use Rapidiograph pens. The juniors and seniors were allowed to use rapidiographs. We did everything with a Triangle, T square, and French curves. We sat at our drawing tables with drawing boards and Newsprint for tracing paper to transfer our drawings to Illustration Board. The upper class would joke with us because they could use Blue Pencil for layout and drawing. At the time, that was the rage of the industry. We all said to one another next year we would be using Blue Pencil for Illustration and Layout. It was something to look forward. They also informed us the industry was no longer drawing type by hand and were using press type for headlines or lettering machines. It was like telling a child there was no Santa Claus. We rebelled among ourselves. Calling the program outdated and outmoded. We didn’t know any better. It was all about Discipline and Perfecting Craft. That was the Best time of my life there were many, many gifted and talented people in that class. It was simply the Best training I ever had in my life. Nothing will ever come close to that experience. The Coupe d’etat, I learned three (3) years of course room instruction in one year. I sat at the third desk on the right of the classroom. Near the middle, there was not anyone behind me, except an empty desk. The two front desks were the areas Mr. Washburn used for theory class. Theory dealt with principles and rules of procedure in advertising and graphic arts. All aspects of the printing business, and graphic arts were explained. When the juniors had theory, I stopped what I was working on and listened intently. Same with seniors learning theory it was like I was an upperclassman because I was sitting among them.

Learning as they learned. Technically, I knew as much about the business as the seniors. Whenever theory class being taught I was sitting with the upper-classmen learning as they learned. Some would come to me and ask if I remembered some aspect of the lecture. I did and imparted the information. That’s when I began to absorb information and become obsessed with knowledge.

Later that year, Mr. Washburn wife passed. He retired from teaching at Chamberlain Vocational School at the end of the year.

I was the last student to see him. I helped him pack and move his belongings. We talked and in my own metaphysical way. I told him I would stay the course. And keep his name alive as one of the students he nurtured and benefited from his teachings. The next year I transferred enrolled in public school. At that time, I was so advanced with Mr. Washburn’s teaching. My High School teacher Rose Auld did not know what to do with me. She was extremely beautiful and a gifted artist. She had just graduated from college. Rose came from a lineage of artist and musicians her mother was Georgia Mills Jessup, a renowned African American Artists. Ms. Auld tried to simulate what Mr. Washburn did. It wasn’t the same. Because, I was in Art Class for one hour three days out of the week. At Chamberlain, I was in Advertising Art for five and one half (5 1/2) hours a day no comparison. Nevertheless, Rose had high hopes for my dreams and aspirations of becoming a Professional Designer.

At the college level I wasn’t challenged enough in my Advertising Design Program. I longed for those days with Mr. Washburn. One of my advertising instructors asked me about my prior education coming to college. I informed him I studied with Mr. Carleton T. Washburn Chamberlain Vocational School. Walter Lattimore informed me he knew Mr. Washburn, and taught some of his students. Explained how problematic the students were. Because they would correct him in the classroom and inform him “that wasn’t the way Mr. Washburn taught us”. Mr. Lattimore, said he finally went to Chamberlain to meet this Mr. Washburn. He was amazed and overwhelmed and in disbelief at the level of proficiency of the program. As well the level of achievement of his students he looked me in the eye and said, “if you studied with Mr. Washburn I image you’re pretty much bored here’. ‘I said you’re correct’.

Yvonne Carter, my painting instructor informed; if I wanted to be a Better Designer I should study Sculpture. Didn’t understand it then, I absolutely understand it now. Sculpture or 3 Dimensional Design gave me a better understanding of form and the principles and elements of Design. I almost majored in Sculpture. Until my Sculpture Instructor Bill Taylor informed me if I took the Senior Class for my Degree, he would have to fail me. I brought that up to him recently when we embraced at a restaurant. He iterated, “boy you haven’t changed, you still telling everybody that same lie”. I couldn’t do anything but laugh. We exchanged pleasantries had dinner and talked about old times.

On so many different levels, I carry the flame for Mr. Washburn. His professionalism, drive, determination, dedication, spirit, selflessness, business acumen, superior skill and capability lives within me as if it were an internal flame, that will never die. Certainly his archives of Design Ephemera influenced me at an early age to collect.

Only two of us continued down the righteous path of Creativity Mr. Washburn laid out for us James Ridley and myself. Last I heard James was in living in California and quite successful practicing Design. We both grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same junior high.

My long-winded sermon in reference to my education is to pay homage to the only REAL instruction I had in Applied Arts.

I owe it all the Mr. Washburn, my junior high school art teacher Ms. Bodie, encouraging my mother to place me in the program. Most important, my mother for having the foresight to facilitate my aspirations and dreams.

Down side, I didn’t benefit from Mr. Washburn’s connection in the job market. Not to worry, I’m not doing to shabby as an Independent Identity Consultant. It’s certainly a Badge of Honor for me to have known, been in the presence and educated by such a Great and Giving Man. His teaching will live within me for as long as I’m alive.

MS: Did you have a mentor? What did you gain from the experience?
DM: In the traditional sense of having a mentor, no.

There are two types of mentors. The first, being someone on the job taking interest in you. Facilitating you by guiding your career and showing you the ropes of the profession. Assisting with employment situations by giving advice and referrals. As well, introducing you to his/her inner circle of friends.

The second is in Professional Organizations or Educational Environments where you foster friendships, and camaraderie. Which lead to networking forming alliances, exchange of information. Cultivating advice, referrals and instant gratification due to the inner circle of Professional Organizations or Educational Environment.

Within Education usually your instructor is responsible for opening doors and knocking down barriers. Depending how connected he or she is.

As an Adult, I’ve met a few people I bounce things off. Namely, Mr. Robert W. Taylor my good friend, former Saul Bass Associate and Mr. Thomas Ruzicka, former Design Manager of Bell Telephone System and AT&T 1968 -1984. I feel I can talk to them about anything. I’ve never asked them for anything. Maybe I have, I’m always begging for more Bass, artifacts for my archives. What I get from them money cannot buy. What I get from them is a sense of brotherhood and mutual respect. Robert W. Taylor being in his sixties and Mr. Ruzicka being in his eighties.

Their combined ages exceed a century. Without question a wealth of knowledge.

They’ve seen it all, and they’ve done it all. It’s good to have that repartee.

Others are Mr. John Harrod founder and Executive Director of Market Five Gallery in D.C. Mr. Harrod has been a benefactor in more ways than one George Lewis, aka Roif A Love, now deceased, personal friend. Senior Classmate in Mr. Washburn’s Class.

The most gifted Designer, Artist, Illustrator; I’ve encountered on earth in this lifetime. Bar None.

Come to think of it. Yeah, I’ve had some Mentors in more ways than one. The aforementioned friends were always in my corner. Available whenever I needed them.

What magazines do you read?
DM: Are you Serious?

Read Design Magazines. I look at the pictures. The purpose of becoming a Designer or Artist is that you can go four (4) years through College or Design and Art School and never have to pick up a book. That’s the reason for embarking a Design Degree. Design and Art Classes are the only curriculum on earth where you don’t have to read a book to earn a Degree. That my change with my revelation. On many levels very true.

I peruse Magazines today. I’m endeared to Idea Magazine Japan. It’s simply unmatched by any current publication or in History. Idea Magazine has been number one over forty (40) years. Equal to Idea was Design Quarterly published by the Walker Art Center and Industrial Design Magazine.

When in bookstores, I peruse the usual suspects, ID, Graphis, Print, Communication Arts, Eye, Step, How (others).

Depending on Content and Feature Articles, likely to purchase any one of them.

I’m saddened and disappointed, Rudy Vanderlans is no longer continuing Émigré.

Baseline Magazine is Great. I always look for it quarterly a great European Typographic Magazine. Simply the best and unmatched by any Typographic Magazine ever. (Bar None)

Occasionally, I’ll purchase Gebrauchsgraphik on eBay. The oldest Design Publication continues to circulate. Sold under the name Novum.

Being a man of fifty (50) with considerable KNOWLEDGE WEALTH and TASTE I am more refined and inclined to read Design Publications from MIT PRESS I’ve amassed and impressive number of Prominent Historical Significant Design Periodical Collections throughout the years. Now need another storage facility for the collections I have amassed.

The only magazines I have a subscription to are Graphic Design USA and Brand Packaging and Package Design. These are complimentary because I’m in the Design Profession.

MS: What’s on your ipod?
DM: Surf Music, Dick Dale and the Dell Tones, The Ventures, The Sufaris, The Lively Ones. I can listen to Surf Rider and Miserlo all day and night.

Nelson Riddle, Route 66, and various other discographphy’s.

Astrud Gilberto, The Girl from Ipanema, various other discography’s.

Common, The Corner, and various other discography’s.

Kanye West, Jesus Walks; Diamonds are Forever, various other discography’s.

Mobb Deep Shook Ones, various other discography’s.

Francis Albert, Strangers in the Night, My Way. Luck be a lady tonight, My kind of town, It was a very good year,

The Flamingos, I only have eyes for you, various other discography’s.

Pookie Hudson & the Spaniels, Goodnight Sweetheart, various other discography’s.

Latest Projects?
DM: A couple of packaging projects can’t say much about them because of confidentially.

At least three Retail Identity Projects two within the Washington Metropolitan Area.

The other is out of town. Scope of each Project is from concept to rollout to include, Identity, Interiors, Packaging, and Evironments.

If time allows, self-publishing. Of course the subject matter will be Corporate Identity.

MS: Any Famous Last Words or a Personal Credo?
DM: “I must Create a System of my Own
Or be Enslaved by another Man’s
I will not Reason and Compare
My Business is to Create”

William Blake


Read part one HERE

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