Last month Modern Species turned 9 years old. In human years that means fourth grade. In business years we're somewhere between 39 and 58—because 50% of businesses die within 5 years, and 75% close within 10 years (According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). So as we sit here, one month into our 10th year, all I can feel is humble, yet somehow proud, and grateful to still be going strong.
As we head into the adventure that is 2017, the Modern Species team has collected 12 essential things to keep us sane through the current political and cultural rumpus. We thought these things were worth sharing—for a chuckle and for inspiration. Check out the Guide to explore which ones you want to add to your own survival tool kit for the coming year.
Perhaps the best way to introduce “The Green Design & Print Production Handbook” is through an excerpt from the book itself:
“The intention behind this book is to turn that feeling of alienation, of powerlessness, into one in which you feel not only connected with what is happening and why, but you understand the practical part you can play in reducing your impact on the environment through your role as a publisher, printer, or author.”
Many companies pour considerable funds into R&D, design, packaging, and promotion of products that they only intend to sell for 2-3 months because it’s unlikely to sell at all outside that window. It’s a high risk business, so why do so many companies take the chance? Because of a little psychological phenomenon called Loss Aversion.
This July I had the pleasure of joining Diane Gibbs on The Design Recharge Show to discuss my recent string of talks called "Recipes for a One-Pot Life: blending your passions and work into a more fulfilling career". We talked about how I got into the design field, how I ended up working my passions, and how you – yes you – can do the same thing, too! Check out the full video of my interview after the jump, and hop on over to Design Recharge to see more awesome shows in the archive (including one with Von Glitschka).
The tricky thing about the design process is that there are so many different forms beauty can take. For example, one hundred different designers could come up with one hundred equally beautiful, but quite different solutions to a brief. Some of them might achieve the business goals. Some of them might be on brand. Some of them might even save you money. So how do you avoid getting caught in the tractor beams of all this beauty in order to find the solution that really works? You put on your branding cap, that’s how.
The advantage studio owners have over potential employees is that we know what it’s like to be on the other side. I don’t think anyone could go through the job search process without having that painful time burned into their memory banks. It’s tough trying to look through job posts, reading through boring lists of requirements, getting excited about a particular company only to find that you don’t qualify, seeing a position you do qualify for but finding the company rather boring. It’s rough being the applicant, but it’s also pretty rough on the other side. Having been a studio owner for over five years now, I’ve been surprised to learn that this side of the equation is a bit of a hair-pulling experience as well, so I thought I’d share my insight for anyone who wants to know how the other side experiences job hunting.
QR codes are not exactly new, however they are as annoying to me today as they were the day that I first came across one. Not that the QR code itself is a problem, it’s just that most people do not use these things logically and therefore usually waste ink and precious page space. This month, however, marks the first time that we have ever suggested to a client the use of a QR code and to celebrate this landmark I have compiled a list of when it is appropriate, inappropriate and stupid to these little pixel puzzles.