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19 January 2018
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Friday, 15th April 2011
Free pitching
Sometimes; it depends on the size of the project; if it was something I really wanted to do; as long as they pay expenses...
Take it from me and the other 13,300,000 Free Pitching hits on Google – giving your creativity away for free is the worst thing any self-respecting designer can do.

I'm not going to outline in detail why free pitching is bad (you'll find more than you can read in a lifetime on Google). 

I'm just going to say, I've been there, done it, got the T Shirt and I feel bad about it. 

Time to wrench back my self-respect!

Sunday, 10th April 2011
It's easy to miss the point
The clever idea that passed me by for 17 years!
In the April edition of Creative Review the editorial staff voted for their top 20 logos of all time. As they said in their introduction to the feature, it was a case of lighting the blue touchpaper and standing well back. 

It was an interesting selection. The Woolmark, designed by Francesco Saroglia in 1964 came in at Number 1. I remember as a schoolboy with an interest in design, marveling at its beautiful complexity. 

Many of the usual suspects appeared in the Top 20. Coming in at Number 20 was the FedEx logo, designed by Landor in 1994. CR said: “It might appear simple, boring even, to the casual observer. But once you have the forward-facing arrow created by the negative space between the ‘E’ and the ‘x’, it is impossible not to think ‘that’s clever’. 

Now I usually get ideas quickly, but like any 'casual observer' I failed to see the arrow. I only noticed it for the first time when it was mentioned in the CR article. It is clever and once you see it, it sticks, but it's also very very subtle and if you don't, you never will, unless someone points it out to you. I took a quick poll and asked a bunch of friends (not designers – ‘casual observers’ – read customers) if they could spot the arrow. No-one could! 

It may spoil the purity of the idea, but if FedEx want there customers to see the ‘point’, then maybe the arrow should be less subtle.

Saturday, 02nd April 2011
Drawing, but not as I used to know it!
After chastising young designers for not being able to draw, I felt it was time I got my sketchbook out.
I used to fill a sketchbook every week. Now I have lots of half-filled sketchbooks, full of notes, rudimentary scribbles of logo and typestyle ideas, but very little drawing for drawing's sake.

My recent post on Creative Design Pros, a Linkedin discussion group, saying I thought it was a shame so many designers couldn't draw anymore, received over 300 responses in a month and it has really inspired me and I think many others to draw more. (See the full post – Designers Who Draw in the March Archive).

One response waxed lyrical about a software programme available for iPads called Sketchbook Pro. I was staying in New York and had the most incredible view of the Empire State Building from my suite. Guiltily I downloaded the free Sketchbook Express version. I quickly zoomed through the tutorial and sketched the drawing above. I have to admit, I enjoyed the whole process. The fact that I had to sketch and paint with my fingers meant I wasn't quite as precise as if I'd been using a pencil or stick of charcoal, but I liked the spontaneity and freedom it produced and I didn't even get my fingers dirty!

My iPad is my constant companion, and it's fun to know, that it can now also be my sketchbook.

If anyone from Creative Design Pros read this, they'll think I'm a heretic! Ha ha!