Miscellaneous writings

My thoughts on graphic design and most anything else that interests me

Form, function & inspiration

Finding valuable design inspiration in everyday places


My appreciation for good design grew enormously during the first year of my university design program. Each week throughout the school year, we traced hundreds of words from magazines onto layout paper.

At some point during that year, while tracing the lowercase a in a headline set in Helvetica, it occurred to me that...

Designers as strategic thinkers

Designers as strategic thinkers

Today's world demands more from us than decorating other people's ideas.

Chess board

The nature of our profession has changed, is still changing and will continue to change.

Designers specializing in one-off projects, like logos, flyers or banner ads, are finding it difficult to compete against lower-wage designers overseas, crowdsourcing, a glut of recent design graduates and the semi-automated, do-it-yourself services, like Canva and Wix. Going forward, this trend will only accelerate, which...

Ten things your design instructor didn’t mention

So you thought your new diploma meant that you were all set to go, right? think again.

Colored pencils

Four years and many thousands of dollars later, you got what you wanted — a great design education from a top-notch school. You've done everything right, and it's time to make your mark on the world. But wait, the professional world is turning out to be different from school. What happened?

Many former students have difficulty adjusting to the realities of work. All too often the skills and talents that lead to good school grades don't translate all that well into immediate...

The appeal of visual information & infographics

The appeal of visual information & infographics

As the old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Word cloud

The nature of our profession has changed, is still changing and will continue to change.

A recent study by Microsoft says today's typical reader has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. That's right, in a world saturated with information, people have become notoriously picky about what's worthy of holding their interest. Failure to immediately engage the reader too often means...

Staying current with technology

If you don't make a concerted effort to keep up, you'll soon be left behind.

Outdated tools

Paasche airbrushes, Castell pens, French curves, orange triangles and various other obsolete bits of yesterday's technology fill a couple of my flat file drawers. I'll likely never use these tools again, but I still keep them as souvenirs from the past. I've lived though at least two big technological transitions that ended or stalled out some design careers while providing...

High-altitude riding adventure

Summer fun beckons sprocketheads in the heart of southwestern Utah's color country.

Word cloud

Brian Head Peak tops out at 11,307 feet. Not really a peak in the classic sense, the mountain might better be described as a large knob sitting atop the Markagunt Plateau. Nonetheless, the view from the top is impressive. To the south and down from the summit, forest-clad mountain slopes wrap around the red cliffs of Cedar Breaks like the rind of a watermelon. Several thousand feet farther below, at the base of the mountains, lie the sun-bleached floors of...