Comparing apples to dumptrucks: Why price doesn't equal cost in choosing a design company

So, you just got three estimates from three design companies and you’re trying to decide which one to pick. The temptation is to flip to the back page and look at the price tag. Making a choice based on the bottom-line makes sense, right? After all it’s an objective, straightforward and fiscally responsible strategy … right?

Seth Godin & the lizard brain

In this video of Seth Godin speaking, he talks about quieting the lizard brain and shipping it. Inspiring as always. Seth is my hero.


Seth Godin

Naming: Naming your company, your book, your project...

Choosing a name is a big deal. A bigger deal than most people may think. The name will be spoken, written, and represented by and to you and your audiences over and over again. So you want it to be a name that will stick in people’s minds.

Here are a few guidelines for naming your product or organization and avoiding some common pitfalls.

Cell size and scale—How to visualize scale

Sara suggested this site: “Science fun! University of Utah geneticists created this zoomable application to compare the size of things like sesame seeds, photoreceptors, viruses and so on — all the way down to a single carbon atom.”

We guarantee you’ll do it at least twice!

Cell size and scale

How do designers choose colour? Part 2

I remember being struck by colour for the first time when I was five years old. It was cold out and I was in my winter coat — it was a bulky wool number that went to my knees. I was all wrapped up in scarves and mitts — I remember the mitts because I had to take them off in order to pick up an object that was the most beautiful, amazing colour I had ever seen. There was an abandoned robin’s egg shell on the ground — it was very delicate and tiny — and it was such a zingy, crisp, turquoise that it seemed to be singing and vibrating next to the browns and grays of the wintery yard. I felt excited just by looking at it! So I took it home, and kept stealing glances at it like I was taking little licks from a lollipop.

Lost Generation—video poem

Lost Generation is beautiful and clever video that was submitted by a 20-year old to a contest sponsored titled “u @ 50″ (Sponsored by AARP). The video won second place. The screening received an emotional and enthusiastic response from the audience. Watch it. Very smart.

Lost Generation Video

How do designers choose colour? Part 2

If I had a definitive answer for this question then I would invent a button that I could push to get the colours that work every time. Ha. I wish. Colour is way too tricky for that. Colour is a key element in human expression and therefore plays a big role in how we perceive, feel and respond to what we see. Every project has its own specific set of idiosyncrasies, requirements, intentions, technical limitations and opportunities and should get its own carefully considered solution that makes the most of colour. When deciding about colour we need to take many things into consideration, weigh them, balance them, analyze them and then make strategic decisions. Every colour decision should have reasoning behind it.

Chris Brogan—Community Buiding and Social Media Specialist

Are you curious about social media and the role it can play in building relationships? Chris Brogan is a fantastic resource. He puts out a great newsletter and is a very engaging, emphatic speaker. View video on his site. His book, "Trust Agents", is a very worth while read.

The Value of Whitespace

Just because it is empty does not mean it is unnecessary. I’ll demonstrate here, with illustrated examples, the value of whistespace in the practice of design. Whitespace is crucial to making a great impression, encouraging your audience to continue absorbing your message, achieving designs that withstand the test of time and conveying the message you actually intend. By the end of this article, you’ll want way more whitespace.