the design journal for the Carolinas | published by AIGA Raleigh |
F E AT U R E S Designing spaces: Designers talk about their workspaces by Connie Ness Form and function: Creating a space that works for you by Donald J. Miller
T H E BU Z Z Insight into current design issues 8 Voice 2: A call to action by Kelly Quiñones T H E G I S T The latest on skills and career development 10 Leaning to the left: What every creative professional needs to know to make it in the business by Ruth Arnold T H E P E O P L E Profiles of local professionals 12 Drawing on life: People and places influence Andrea Cobb’s style by Dena White T H E WO R D Design-related book reviews 14 Funky Monkeys: A review of The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd by Victoria Metz T H E F I N E P R I N T News of events and chapter affairs compiled by Anne Winslow 15 15 National events Regional events and chapter affairs
E D I TO R I A L T E A M
Melissa Will / Nicole Zeisz Creative Directors Ruth Arnold Editorial Director Anne Winslow Events Editor
We’ve tweaked tweak As you sit back to read this issue of tweak, get ready for a change. This issue marks a new direction for the two-year-old publication. As the design journal for the Carolinas, tweak has always supported the goals of AIGA Raleigh – to further excellence in communication design as a discipline, a business tool and a cultural force. With this issue, however, we’ve given tweak a more formal structure for meeting those goals. In addition to getting thought-provoking feature articles in each issue, you’ll now get a wealth of insight and information from the regular departments. The Buzz will bring you news about current issues such as design’s role as a social and political agent. That important topic was the focus of AIGA’s recent national Voice 2 conference, and you can read all about it on page 8. The Gist will present how-to pieces to help you keep your skills sharp and your career on track. This issue includes highlights of the invaluable advice business consultant Emily Cohen shared at AIGA Raleigh’s creative business and career seminar in April. And each quarter you’ll be introduced to one of our colleagues through the personal profiles showcased in The People. The Word will bring you reviews of important books
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relevant to our profession, and The Fine Print will keep you posted on upcoming events in our region and in the design community across the country. As an exclusive publication for AIGA Raleigh members, tweak plays an important role in the work of our chapter. We hope the changes we’ve made will help strengthen your connection with our local design community. However, tweak is by no means the only benefit of membership. Your board is working hard to deliver a range of activities that offer something of interest to every member. You can help by getting involved and attending chapter events. Upcoming opportunities include a chance to hear renowned interactive design pioneer Clement Mok, an advocate and thoughtleader in our industry, speak at our Annual Meeting in September. Get more details on page 15 and watch our Web site for updates as plans unfold. Sincerely, David Burney President, AIGA Raleigh
office. A reversible sign hangs on the door – “Knock and Enter” or “Do Not Disturb.”
D E S I G N E R S TA L K A B O U T T H E I R W O R K S PA C E S by Connie Ness photography by O’Neil Arnold
scanner, design and project management software, a fast Internet connection and resource books or CDs. And no matter how much they like their spaces, they need to get out of them at times to gain a new perspective. Oh, and one other distinctive similarity. They all cradle their backsides in state-of-the-art Herman Miller Aeron chairs.
This is Parrish’s space at SAS. Although her office is customized for her job and working style, the fact that she has her own office is not unique. All SAS employees have offices. “It’s the company philosophy. The privacy, the quiet and the ability to focus are key to everyone’s job here,” Parrish says. “We are all networked, so we can communicate by e-mail and phone as opposed to hallway discussions.” Parrish is the visual strategist for SAS publishing and spends a good portion of her time planning projects and overseeing the work of others on her team, so she appreciates having an office to limit interruptions and distractions. Not that she’s a hermit. There are meetings, of course, and Parrish and her work group escape to the Creativity Room, a comfortable space with a sofa and windows, to brainstorm. Parrish, the artist, also escapes to her studio space in Raleigh to renew her creative soul. As designer for SAS’s publishing arm, Parrish finds inspiration in the books her group has produced. She has most of them in her office. “When I need to look at the other books in a series to gauge what the next book should look like, it’s helpful to have the whole library in my office,” she says. The bookcases crowd the office, but this doesn’t bother Parrish. “I grew up in the mountains with hills all around me, so I like that feeling of being closed in,” she says with a laugh. SAS also helps Parrish organize another kind of workspace. She can drop off her son at summer camp, take yoga or Tai Chi, choose from several options for lunch (where she can also order leftovers for dinner), go to a
Does your ideal workspace look like a sleek Madison Avenue ad shop? Or could you be just as creative in the corporate world of industrial-grey cubicles? Do you crave the camaraderie of your fellow designers in a big open space? Or would you rather have a big heavy door to close so you could delve into the depths of your own mind? Three local designers let tweak into their spaces to share their thoughts on how their environments affect their creativity and productivity. Cate Parrish is a senior visual communications specialist for SAS Institute, Inc., in Cary. Greg Duell is a senior designer for Cassell Design Group, Inc., a graphic design studio in Durham. And Chris Harrell is creative director of his own company, Creativeye, and works out of his home in Cary. Although their workspaces are very different – Corporate America, design studio and home office – there are similarities. Number one, they all require the best tools of the trade – high-end computer system, printer,
Walls free Parrish to create A lamp turned toward the wall casts a dim light. No windows. Cozy. Take three short steps past two bookcases and a drafting table to arrive at the main workstation with side-byside computers. Two file cabinets and another bookcase are squeezed into this 8-by-10
on another. Our space facilitates collaboration and cross-pollination. We have access to each other,” Duell explains. In fact, they recently rearranged the space to open it up even more. They knocked down a few of the panels that formed cubicles, so now two people work together in a larger area with a shared production table. “One of the reasons we changed is just for the sake of change. If our space is set up the same day after day, we can get in a rut. Conceptually we stagnate,” Duell says. “Now when we come through the door, it’s different and we start to think about our work differently.” He and his three colleagues thrive in the shared space. “There is a relationship between the process we use in executing projects and the way the space is set up. It’s a team effort. Someone might be creative manager on one project and project manager The increased visibility has boosted interaction, too. “I can be walking to the CD player to put on a new CD and see something on another designer’s screen. I will be more inclined to ask a question or make a comment than I would have if he were
Cate Parrish’s office at SAS. A place to call her own. doctor’s appointment and drop off dry cleaning – all “on campus.” These conveniences free the workspace of Parrish’s mind from childcare concerns and the daily grind of scheduling errands and what-to-make-fordinner decisions. Instead, Parrish can focus on designing books that sell.
Give Duell wide open spaces Exposed-brick walls. Lights suspended from an industrial ceiling waaaay overhead. Daylight filtered through slat blinds paint stripes on the L-shaped workstations. A few short panels pretend to divide up the space into four distinct work areas. It feels big and open. This is Cassell Design, located in an old tobacco warehouse that is now Brightleaf Square. Here Duell designs logos, ads, annual reports, packaging and Web sites, to name just a few projects.
Greg Duell’s work area at Cassell Design. Big space with fluid boundaries.
behind even a little bit of a wall,” he says. “We see more of the process that each of us goes through on our projects.” And, believe it or not, they still e-mail and call each other. “I will still call if I need to talk to someone across the room. I won’t yell just because the space is more open,” Duell says. The openness has another benefit. “It keeps us on task. There is no place to hide.”
development. His clients include local businesses, universities and other design agencies. In fact, Harrell worked in a local design studio before he went solo. “When my son started school I decided I did not want him in daycare after being in school all day,” he explains. “It was a hard decision to leave the studio environment; but I could work from home where my wife could not.” Typically Harrell stays in his office all day. “I’ll go down for lunch but I’ll come right back up here just like I did when I worked in a studio,” he says. When his eyes need a break he’s got that window, and when his brain needs a break, he has an assortment of toys on top of his computer. “When I’m trying to come up with ideas, it helps to be surrounded with funny little objects whether or not they relate to what I do.”
With all the advantages of being his own boss and having his own space to arrange and rearrange at his whim, would Harrell return to a studio? “To be honest, yes. I miss being able to play ideas off of other people. This was a family decision.” Connie Ness is a Raleigh freelance writer specializing in marketing, public relations and corporate communications. She brings an insider’s perspective to her work from over 15 years’ experience as a marketing executive in the financial, insurance and catalog industries. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919 870 6161. O’Neil Arnold creates photographs that capture the essence of people and moments in time. View more of his work at www.oaphoto.com or contact him at 919 232 5017.
Harrell keeps his eye on design at home Sage-colored walls, handcrafted woodwork, accent cabinet from Nowell’s Contemporary Furniture. Now step into the office. On this side it’s a guest bedroom with a sleeper sofa; on that side it’s all business with an L-shaped IKEA® desk system and bookcase. Functional, practical. Plain walls except for the company logo. Harrell’s creative touch is visible throughout his home, but he hasn’t given his workspace quite the same designer’s attention. In fact, tweak’s impending visit was the motivation he needed to hang his collection of Parchtone prints on the wall next to the sofa. “I’m very much into designing my whole house. I’ve done all the woodwork, molding, landscaping. But I wanted my office to feel like an office,” he says. “This is my business. I’ve got a sign to remind me that I’m Creativeye Design. When I’m in here this is what I do, this is what I’m about.” Harrell specializes in print media, such as annual reports, logos, corporate identities and brochures, in addition to Web site
Chris Harrell’s home office. One corner that is all business.
C R E AT I N G A S PA C E T H AT W O R K S by Donald J. Miller
The key to achieving a workspace that balances form and function is tailoring that space to you and the work you do, according to Pete Wesolosky, lead designer for Raleigh’s Storr Office Environments. Finding that balance begins with an understanding of what you need through a process Wesolosky calls a workplace performance evaluation. In his evaluations, he listens to customers’ wish lists and observes the work being done. The process can work for you, too. The evaluation breaks down needs into storage, handwork and computer work zones. Your storage area needs take into account how extensive a reference library you use, how much of a paper archive you maintain and even how much personal space you require. Whether you handle poster-size boards, blueprints, or just letter-size paper determines the size of your handwork area. Computer work zone considerations include whether you work on a laptop and the number and size of your monitors. Wesolosky also advises that you consider how you interact with others. Are you part of work team or is all your work done alone? The physical location of coworkers is critical and can often be defined by communication needs. Is your contact via phone, is it face-to-face, does it require conferencing, or is it done via teleconference? Keep it flexible Space flexibility is in ever-increasing demand says Wesolosky — right down to the office floor. Carpet tiles have become the floor covering of choice. Floor covering color still defines space just as it does with roll carpet but with carpet tiles, small sections can easily be swapped out, creating a new space definition without tearing out an entire room. Overhead lighting also offers new flexibility, blending form and function. Wesolosky recommends upward-facing, reflected light
wherever possible. Attractive pendants hung from the ceiling project light upward, washing the area below in shadow-free, reflected light. When space allows, as in many warehouse renovations, the addition of skylights can bring in warm, natural light even when the building lacks windows. Finally, dimmable task lighting can be used at your work surface. Those well-lighted work surfaces are integral to an overall more flexible workspace. A continuing emphasis on ergonomics encourages heightadjustable work surfaces that can quickly be set to individual’s needs, allowing coworkers to share space without compromising comfort. Work surfaces also may link between adjoining workers, providing a common work area for joint projects. When the joint work concludes, a sliding divider panel mounted on overhead rails can be positioned
to interrupt the line-of-sight between coworkers, effectively separating the work area. Gone are the days of isolating five-foot-high cubicle walls creating maze-like corridors. Wall panels of varying height now define individual space without obstructing a room-wide view. Fixed or sliding glass walls provide conversation privacy while maintaining openness. Wall panels also incorporate tack and dry marker boards, eliminating the need to mount those accessories separately. While several executives at Storr have configured their workspaces so that they work standing, the majority still prefer to sit, and seating options have expanded to fit every body. “User trials are extremely important. We often leave sample chairs for a week of use, letting customers see what fits them best,” Wesolosky said. One significant
Mobile divider panels, adjustable work surfaces and filing cabinets on wheels offer flexible form and function.
Office space is serious business for gamers
The Cary-based gaming software company’s furniture fit the stereotype of programmer’s haunts. The startup’s make-do attitude meant much of the furniture was cast off from elsewhere. Double-pedestal desks scattered around the room often supported 22-inch monitors and televisions at a fixed height with no keyboard or mouse rests. Dragged together as needed, couches that looked like frat house refugees served as conference areas. Drawings and charts were
taped to the walls. Power was only available at wall outlets and power strips on the floor meant crawling around every time a piece of equipment was added or removed. The overhead lights were either on or off — usually off so the programmers could better see their screens. Success brought the opportunity to create a workplace that blended form and function. According to Wesolosky, the mandate was simple, “The space had to adjust to the users, they did not want to adjust to the space.” Those adjustments included the need for
portability. Their team-based project style meant changes in group size and composition as often as every six months, requiring that all the furniture be easily movable within and between rooms. Their new desks are sized to roll through doors without lifting. Locking feet provide stability that wheels alone cannot. Work surfaces and keyboard rests raise or lower to accommodate whoever happens to be at a given workstation. Power connections are at the work surface, eliminating the floor crawl. Dimmable lighting allows each programmer to
design enhancement in seating is the use of removable “jackets” or “jerseys.” A single chair design can be left uncovered or be covered with a variety of easily changed materials from cloth to leather, creating a color-coordinated locationbased scheme. Don’t overlook storage and electrical needs Even workspace storage is moving to a blend of elegance and functionality. Wesolosky says that in the mid-90s there was a shift away from fixed overhead bins to movable, closet-like storage units that now provide secure storage for everything from rolled drawings to coats. Low, castermounted storage bins come with padded fabric tops to provide a handy seat for a visitor. That
same bench/storage bin is available with a flip-up handle so that you can roll your files to a meeting. Rails mounted on workspace dividers support a variety of shelves and bins to suit your needs. With an ever-increasing list of electronic office equipment options, power, phone, and data cable access is yet another level of functionality that is no longer taken for granted in design. Outlets and jacks now sit closer to the work surface instead of along the floor. Cable paths are now available along a central spine instead of being dropped via poles from the ceiling. Translucent ducts leave the enclosed cables visible, lending a “techie” look without the clutter. Wesolosky says that in any modern office, design consideration must be given to dedicated computer power sources providing an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS.
Give it some punch So what will this blend of form and function cost you? According to Wesolosky, “Customers always have a budget figure in mind. The problem is they may not know where to apply that money most efficiently.” With a good workplace evaluation, you might find that more emphasis should be placed on storage than on lighting. “You’ve got to figure out where you want your punch to be,” he said. Fortunately, workspace equipment manufacturers have deep product lines that give you the ability to achieve a balance between budget, performance and style.
set light levels to his needs. Comfortable, rolling swivel chairs with tablet arms allow groups to quickly gather for meetings. One thing that hasn’t changed is the stuff plastered all over the walls. The difference now is that the walls are tackable and dry markable, eliminating the need for tape. Same space, same tasks in a whole new form.
As a writer, Donald J. Miller specializes in presenting the latest innovations in a way that is accessible to both technologically savvy and interested-but-not-expert readers. As an editor, he focuses on enhancing the writing of technology specialists to open their work to the broadest possible audience while maintaining the author’s voice. He can be reached at email@example.com or 919 838 9111.
a call to action
by Kelly Quiñones With this in mind, the question slants. It is no longer Can we do it? but How will we do it? As harbingers of information, we create a reality that we can then present to the world. Therein lies our responsibility. But, in keeping with ethical values, how do we do this? In her Voice2 presentation, design advocate Samina Quraeshi asserted, “You begin by bringing an understanding of the changes going on in the world, and a sensitivity to the many cultural values and traditions that give value to the human condition. Your next step is through your individual action at the community level...” It’s time to speak up Action. Our changing world – our new reality – is calling us to action. We must no longer be complacent in our boxes. We live in a society where change is the only constant, and image is revered. As creators, as shapers, as designers, we must act. Using our unique ability to “envision ideas from different perspectives while drawing inspiration from multiple disciplines,” Quraeshi says designers must channel the type of interdisciplinary thinking that allows us to create a successful, lucrative advertising campaign into more socially beneficial structures. It is our job and we have been ignoring it. In the post-9/11 age, there are no blinders. We are no longer able to quietly hide behind masks built to keep us turned ever inward. Rather, our role as innovator and shaper of change has emerged. In illustrations, advertising, brand identity, our voices are expected. How do we change the world? We do it by shedding our cynical, apathetic approaches to life. We stop thinking in terms of I and Me, and start enveloping the sense of We and Us – because now, more than ever, the designer is the spokesperson for the masses.
Can design change the world? This question set the stage for AIGA’s ninth biennial design conference, Voice2: More than Ever, which was held March 21 to 23 in Washington, D.C., and addressed design’s social and political agency in the mainstream consciousness. While many subsequent, equally complex issues were addressed, a dual theme emerged: The world as we know it is constantly changing. We, as designers, have a responsibility to portray that change to the masses. This idea of responsibility is not new. For centuries, humans have used images and words to impart messages, thereby creating knowledge. In this century, images and words have often been used to either uncover or subvert power structures that maintain social and economic divides, and it has been done by the proportionate few with the desire and ability to shape and inform. Whether dealing with civil unrest, military bravado or political agendas, the most effective, multicultural strategy for opening differing avenues of perspective is the word/image combination. From the Great Depression to the Vietnam War to the recent election debacle, it is the designer (read: creator/distributor of information) who brings to the public eye a new way of seeing that might not otherwise be acknowledged.
A new dynamic Being honest with both our communities and ourselves, we must strive for excellence at every level whether it be civic, social,
economic or political. We must search for the truth in all actions and represent them fairly, without bias and without egotism. We are no longer a separate tribe. This does not mean that merging into the diverse communities will be an easy task. Rather, it will require a sense of humility all but lost in our insular field. It will demand that we entrench ourselves not in “high design,” forsaking all for aesthetic value, but in each other – drawing forth a push/pull dynamic that places the designer square in the middle of humanity. It will compel us be aware of change as it happens, and force us to represent that change accurately. This is our responsibility. Without the polarization of individual versus collective, we can and will alter social perspective. Responding to events, both current and future, with an understanding of and sensitivity to our multicultural society, handlers of information will have no choice but to portray that event in such a way that each individual finds himself or herself in the collective. Once this happens, once the issues plaguing us as a whole are brought to forefront and addressed honestly, change is inevitable. It is a cycle, and when it picks up speed, it will gain momentum, creating and storing its own energy. Our job is to get the ball going and keep it rolling. Bringing together concepts and ideas from across disciplines and boundaries, melding our craft from ideas once divorced and alien, we can enact change. We can act, and we can change.
Enlightenment or limitation? But we must be aware of the pitfalls. The greatest, most looming one is easily addressed, though not so simply rooted out. There is no certainty. You can’t begin this task while clinging to the idea that there is a plateau, a ceiling, a comfort zone that when reached will relieve you of your duties and send you back into anonymity. It doesn’t exist. There is no “enough.” Voice2 presenter Milton Glaser reminded us of this point by retelling a phrase heard from a yoga instructor, “If you believe that you have achieved enlightenment, you have merely arrived at your limitation.” This limitation can spell failure, unless you embrace the fact that there is no enlightenment. There will not be a top of the mountain. If you become comfortable, you have closed off and must search out the unseen, frightening next step. In addition, remember that accepting failure is key to ultimate success. When you accept failure, you begin to take risks. It is when exploration and imagination come together that truly great things occur. This is the case with design, especially conscious design. We must put the same type of energy and confidence into the risky ventures that we do the safe ones. And risky does not always equal high profit. In this new world, the risks start at the lowest levels, so that as we move further into our roles, the danger of vulnerability – and ultimately failure – becomes so great it is an entity of its own. This is good. It erases the plateau; it forces a clear mind and sound judgement. According to Glaser, it also negates the idea that repeat success signifies ultimate success. With no ceiling, there is no
proscribed route to follow. That is, when straying from the chance of failure, no new avenues will open. Therefore, no real change can occur. We must not be caught in this type of circular trap. Never before have we been incited to this type of unity, both within our field and outside of it. Never before has so much been expected of us. But, we live in a time of exciting innovation and rapidly increasing technology. We live right in the center of Change as it is happening. We must be both the gatherer and the distributor of this change. We must be both designer and spokesperson of the Greater Good. This is the stuff of history. Once we accept our responsibility, we can act on it. Voice2’s mission – to force us out of our holes and into the public arena – is urgent. We must absorb the cultural, political, and social climate. And we must translate and present that information to the public, for the public. Now, more than ever, it is our time. This is our calling. Yes, we can change the world. Now, using our intellect and our visions for the future, let us step up to the challenge.
Kelly Quiñones received her master’s degree in publishing and writing from Emerson College in Boston. She is currently contracted by InfoPro, Inc., a subcontractor for the RTP division of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919 541 4539.
leaning to the left
what every creative
by Ruth Arnold
professional needs to know to make it in the business
Be honest now. As a right-brained creative type, wouldn’t you be ecstatic if you never had to fill in another timesheet or develop another project proposal? Wouldn’t life be grand if the accounting and legal elves – those left-brainers pre-programmed to be good with numbers and negotiations – would magically appear and handle all the billing and contracts, freeing you to focus on creating good design? Isn’t that why you got into this field in the first place? While that scenario makes a good fantasy, the hard truth is that making it in the creative business – whether as an independent or as a member of a firm – requires engaging both sides of your brain: blending the creative skills of your craft with solid business skills and proven practices. Short of regular visits from the left-brain elves, it’s the only path to success. Emily Cohen learned that lesson early in her career. After earning a B.F.A. in graphic design and working for a few years as a designer in New York City, Cohen found herself drawn to “the left” when she became studio manager for a mid-size design firm. Around the same time, she also began working as an independent consultant in the evenings and on weekends, writing job estimates for other designers. “I’ve always considered myself creative, but I found I was a lot better at dealing with the business side than the creative side,” she said. “It made me happy.” Today, nearly a decade later, Cohen has made a Emily Cohen career of helping other ©2001www.kellymooney.com creatives master the so-called left-brain skills so they can spend more time focusing on their craft and reap more benefits and happiness from their own work. From her office in North Plainfield, New Jersey, she works with clients across the country, providing advice on pricing, proposal writing and contract drafting, as well as staff and project management strategies. She has written numerous articles for design magazines and is the author of AIGA’s “Standard Terms and Conditions for Designer/Client Relationships.”
Cohen was in Raleigh in early April as the featured speaker at AIGA’s Creative Business and Career Seminar, “Left-Brain Skills for Right-Brain Professionals.” Nearly 30 professionals – including independents, account managers and agency directors – attended the Saturday morning session, where the selfdescribed “fast-talking New Yorker” shared her insight on achieving success and staying sane in the design business. Here’s a sample of her advice for successfully winning new clients and projects.
Before you get the proposal To give yourself the best chance of winning new jobs, don’t wait until you get the proposal. “Always keep your studio and environment in the best shape,” advised Cohen. Invest in good equipment that will allow you to do the work you’re pursuing in a professional manner. Get a good accounting system and keep it up to date. Keep accurate timesheets and records of past projects. This information becomes invaluable in estimating new projects.
Ask the right questions When you do get an opportunity for a new client or a new project, you need accurate
information. Get used to asking the easy questions and the hard ones. The feedback you receive will be key in creating a winning proposal and building a good relationship. In addition to asking for a written design brief, get answers to the following questions: How did you hear about me or my firm? If the prospective client was referred by a long-time client, he’s probably fairly confident in your qualifications. If he found your name in the phone book, he may need more background about you or about working with a designer in general. Get a sense of what the client knows and doesn’t know. What’s the decision-making and approval process for this project? Cohen recommends aiming for an audience with the CEO or the highest-ranking decision-maker. If you can’t meet with the CEO, provide a written script for the individual who will attend that meeting. Use the script to explain the rationale behind design decisions and how they were arrived at. Learning about the process will also help you accurately estimate the amount of time for meetings and revisions. What’s the budget? While clients often skirt this issue, you need to bring it up. Knowing the budget will help you develop an effective
design solution and manage your own resources. It can also help you determine whether the client has a good understanding of design or whether you might need to invest some time educating him about the process. Who’s my competition? Designers like to ask this question about as much as they like to ask about the budget, said Cohen. But again, the answer will yield key information for winning a proposal. If a client is reluctant to provide names, ask for types of competitors. Is it a freelancer or a design firm? An ad agency? Knowing who you are competing against will allow you to highlight your own strengths.
important business skill you’ll ever have,” she said. “The sooner you learn to identify those red flags, the better off you’ll be.” Before taking on any new work, Cohen recommends pre-qualifying both projects and clients. Pre-qualifying a project requires a good mix of both left- and right-brain skills. Conduct your research. Do the math. Determine whether the project will be profitable. But remember, too, that even projects that don’t bring big profits can be good for you or your firm. Does it excite your staff? Is it a cause you feel passionately about? Does it fill a period of what would otherwise be downtime? Pre-qualifying a client tends to draw more heavily on your innate right-brain skills. For that task, Cohen’s advice is simple: “Look for that personal connection.” That’s also what clients look for when they’re searching for a designer. Find out who the decision-maker is and build a relationship with that person. Be sure you feel comfortable working with the individuals on the team. “You’ll know when the chemistry is right,” said Cohen. “Learn to trust your instincts.” For more of Cohen’s insight into the design business, visit her Web site at www.emilycohen.com.
Decide if you really want the project Anyone who’s been in the business very long knows that there are some projects and clients that you don’t want. Cohen believes that every difficult situation and problematic relationship is signalled early in the process. Learning to read those signals is key to maintaining the health of your business and your sanity. Clients with unreasonable timetables can signal trouble. So can those who require too much handholding or too many drawn-out meetings. “The ability to say no is the most
The left brain controls: The right side of the body Logic and order Critical thinking Vocabulary and grammar Evaluation Sequences Facts Numbers
The right brain controls: The left side of the body Pictures and colors Imagination and creativity Body language Intuition and feeling Concepts Music Rhythm
Ruth Arnold is a communication consultant and writer specializing in corporate and marketing communication. Her left-brain activities include developing and executing communication strategies, and producing print- and Web-based media. Her right-brain activities include cooking, gardening and prowling local thrift stores. She can be reached at email@example.com or 919 232 5124.
drawing on life
and places influence andrea cobb’s style
by Dena White
Life in Durham, North Carolina, is a far cry from life in New York City. Andrea Cobb knows that. The thirty-something Durham native returned to the Triangle in 1996 after spending a decade in the city that never sleeps.
“Everything here is very separated and pre-defined,” Cobb, a freelance illustrator, explained. “In New York City, you live between one extreme and the other.” Cobb does editorial, packaging and corporate illustration for clients including The Independent Weekly, Carolina Power & Light, GlaxoSmithKline, Duke University and Whole Foods Market. She is also earning a certificate in Web development from Duke University to make herself more marketable to design firms.
projects is contracted out. “The kind of work environment we create is probably a lot like a writer’s,” Cobb added. “Although you may think illustrators just ‘draw pictures,’ all design fundamentals are essential in the process of delivering a successful product.” Approaching illustration with a fine art foundation has been the way to work for Cobb. Her style the past few years has leaned toward Matisse-oriented cutouts: simple shapes, bright colors and patterns. “Klee and Picasso are my big inspirations right now. Playful and edgy,” Cobb explained. “I hope that people will always recognize my work, and know that they can expect to see it evolve. I want to get back to more line work,” she added. “The paper cutout phase has been well received, but I’m ready to move into another stage.”
Cobb, who enjoys mixed media and gouache painting, reminisced about her days at the Parsons School of Design where she earned a B.F.A., followed by years in New York as a working illustrator. She chose to attend Parsons, in part because it was situated in the Big Apple. After graduating, she worked for an art supply store, public schools, a real estate company, for one of her teachers, Steven Guarnaccia, for several design firms, and for a company that makes prototypes for the toy products that emerge from movies like “The Lion King” and “Nightmare Before Christmas.”
A fine art foundation
“At this point in my career, it would be ideal to be on a design team,” Cobb said, “whether it’s in my own studio at home or someplace else.” Traditionally the illustrator’s role in
To gain freelance work, Cobb shopped her portfolio around prolifically. “They have a really good system in New York where each
Illustrator Andrea Cobb aims to create recognizable work in an ever-evolving style. Two examples of her work appear at the left.
publication and design firm has a drop-off date so you can bring your portfolio – one day for photographers, one day for illustrators, and so on.” Things are a little different in the Triangle. “I’m not sure if people prefer to meet the artists with their books, receive direct mail promos, come to my studio, or what. I do know that, like a lot of artists, I feel awkward half the time. I’m a very strong businessperson, but not a natural networker. This is where the Web is great for showing work. It’s much cheaper and very convenient for everyone.” Cobb finds showing her portfolio to be a generally positive experience. “I think artists can be really sensitive about what people tell them about their work, but any criticism is constructive.”
She attributes much of that attitude to a former teacher, Clyde Fowler, at the North Carolina School for the Arts in WinstonSalem, which she entered at age 15, following in her brother’s footsteps. “Fowler,” she said, “was blood, sweat and tears. He kicks butt! Having talent is only a fraction of the big picture. Clyde taught everything from skill to presentation to tweaking a Southern accent. He gave you what it takes to grow up and be ready for the world.”
THE PEOPLE Each issue of tweak includes a profile of a member of the Triangle design community. If you would like to nominate someone to be profiled, please send the individual’s name and a brief description of his or her work or career highlights to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dena White is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business communication. She lives in Raleigh and may be reached at email@example.com or 919 834 1646.
a review of The Cheese Monkeys
by Victoria Metz that helps readers recall that time in their own lives and to remember how it felt to be changing and growing through a discovery and deepening understanding of design. The physical qualities of The Cheese Monkeys make owning a copy of your own almost vital. The novel was, for me, a great way to take a step back, relax and think about what life was like before I was able to easily identify typefaces on billboards or evaluate the world in terms that, after a few years of study in the field, are entirely unavoidable. The book is also a quick read, perhaps because of its ability to immediately suck you in and hold you at full attention until you turn the last page.
Any designer who has come across a copy of Chip Kidd’s The Cheese Monkeys on the desk of a coworker or in a bookstore probably asked to borrow it or bought a copy right away. The book aesthetically grabs you right from the start. With its hidden messages and use of front and back inside covers, the book itself is both interesting and appealing. The real intrigue, however, lies in the text.
After establishing himself as a leading designer of book jackets, Kidd has proved with his first novel that he is a master not only of the visual elements of a book, but of the written elements as well. The Cheese Monkeys is a journey in selfdiscovery and enlightenment. You see life through the eyes of a college freshman as he meets new people and learns how to deal with both their influence and his new understanding of art and then of graphic design. Having experienced scenarios similar to those in the novel – though none as drastic as those provided by the larger-than-life graphic design professor Winter Sorbeck – I was immediately drawn into the book. The nervous knot in your stomach before your first crit. New professors and new studios
and never really knowing what either will entail. Learning to understand people who are so different from yourself and yet so intriguing. These aspects of the book are so easy to relate to as a designer and as a student. Kidd simply will not leave it at that however. He draws us deeper into his characters’ lives through some unexpected and unpredictable surprises. From the brilliant art student Himillsy Dodd, to the sincere Maybelle Lee to Professor Sorbeck and others – Kidd’s characters have an uncanny familiarity and add dramatic depth to the story. Following the timeline from entering college, surviving the first semester, to Winter break and then on to second semester, the book provides a logical sequence and coherence
Victoria Metze is a senior at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you read a good book related to design? Tell us about it at email@example.com.
the fine print
THE FINE PRINT
news of events
REGIONAL Clement Mok to present at the AIGA Raleigh Annual Meeting Raleigh, September 27, 2002 Clement Mok is both an advocate and thought leader for the design industry. He has received hundreds of awards from numerous professional organizations and publications. In addition to taking on the role of president of AIGA, Mok has opened his design firm, Renowned leader in The Office of Clement Mok. interactive design, Previously, Mok provided Clement Mok creative leadership at Sapient and played a crucial role in making Sapient synonymous with interactive design. Mok joined Sapient in August 1998 with the acquisition of Studio Archetype, a worldrenowned interactive design and branding agency based in San Francisco. He founded the firm in 1988. Prior to forming Studio Archetype, Mok spent five years as a creative director at Apple Computer, where he spearheaded a variety of corporate communication, event marketing and product launch projects. He began his design career in New York, where he developed print, broadcast graphics and exhibition projects for clients such as Rockefeller Center, Republic National Bank and CBS. Mok also founded two other active and successful software companies. CMCD offers the Visual Symbol Library, a CD-ROM title providing royalty-free silhouetted images for digital manipulation. NetObjects, one of
Fortune magazine’s 1996 Top 25 Coolest Technology Companies, develops Web site authoring software. He holds patents to the company’s award-winning software, NetObjects Fusion. He is the author of Designing Business: Multiple Media, Multiple Disciplines, a book on applying design and business principles in digital media.
NATIONAL Gain: A Business and Design Conference Minneapolis, October 25-27, 2002 Where do we go from here? What difference can design make to the bottom line? Gain, AIGA’s fifth biennial national business and design conference will explore these questions and generate many others. Participants will examine tactical approaches to current design and business challenges, such as the repositioning of brands for the long haul and developing sound customer experiences designed to withstand future economic downturns. In a unique departure from most design and business conferences, many of the participants will be your clients. No more preaching to the choir! At this critical juncture in the evolution of designer/buyer rapport, don’t miss an opportunity to truly advocate the integral value of design to business strategy. We all stand to gain new prominence from clarifying our professional direction as we prepare to flourish in challenging commercial environments. Join us next fall in Minneapolis for three charged days of provocative presentations, practical case studies and invaluable insights from business and design partnerships – all calculated to help you gain and maintain professional momentum.
Mok earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Art Center College of Design, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Please check www.raleigh.aiga.org for information updates. LitARTcy – AIGA Raleigh’s benefit art auction for literacy is a great success Every other year, as a contribution to the Triangle community, AIGA Raleigh produces an auction that raises money for both our scholarship fund and a local nonprofit. This year’s auction benefited Art and interaction were on display at The Orange County Literacy AIGA’s LitARTcy event in Raleigh. Council, The Durham Literacy Council, and The Literacy Council of Wake County to the total of $6,300, which the literacy councils will split equally. Donations at the door and proceeds from the raffle table garnered an additional $1,700 for the AIGA Raleigh scholarship fund. A grand total of $8,000 was raised, making this year’s LitARTcy auction the most profitable in AIGA Raleigh history.
Center Line Productions graciously hosted LitARTcy in its salubrious downtown Raleigh digs. We all ate, drank and mingled while shopping at the silent auction for art donated by some of the area’s most talented designers, artists, photographers and craftspeople. Additional artwork was sold during the live auction by Teak Tabor, a six-year veteran of the Raleigh advertising and design scene and weekend on-air personality at 106.1 RDU. And there were plenty of goodies, donated by local merchants, to win at the raffle table. Cosponsors of this year’s event with AIGA Raleigh were Unisource, Mowhawk Paper, Potlatch Paper and Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Congratulations to the literacy councils, and our sincere thanks to all who generously donated time, talent, art, goods and services toward making our auction a great success. We look forward to your participation in 2004. Bowl-O-Rama: Bowl for new members! Thursday, May 30, 7:30 - 10:00 pm Raleigh, Western Lanes Watch your e-mail and log on to www.raleigh.aiga.org for news of the First Annual AIGA Bowling Night to come in May. Pack up that swirly magenta bowling ball and tie on those snappy two-toned shoes and join us for a night of networking, beer and bowling. You’ll be teamed at random with other Triangle design pros. $10 buys too much fun! Bring a potential new member or renew your own membership and and bowl for half price.
PA P E R This issue of tweak is printed on Sappi Fine Paper’s NEW Strobe Matte 80# Text. NEW Strobe Matte has the lowest paper gloss in the Strobe family and the smoothest, most uniform surface in the matte category. Unrivaled ink gloss and snap deliver incredible printed detail and contrast for results no other matte can match. Available in 80# and 100# text, and 80# and 100# cover. For more information, please call the Idea Exchange at 800 882 4332 or visit www.ideaexchange.sappi.com.
PRINTING This issue of tweak was printed by GraphicsInk in Durham. Visit GraphicsInk’s Web site at www.graphicsink.com.
tweak would like to thank the following people for their commitment to this publication and all their hard work that has enabled another successful issue:
NEW MEMBERS In each issue of tweak, five to 10 new members will have the opportunity to highlight themselves in this column. If you joined AIGA Raleigh after January 1, 2002 and would like to be highlighted, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for the Q3 issue is July 15, 2002. Contributions received after that date will appear in the Q4 issue. Please include in the e-mail the following: • Name/company • Contact info • Brief statement about yourself or your company (maximum 30 words) The live auction (above) and a silent auction raised $6,300 for local literacy groups.
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O’Neil Arnold Ruth Arnold David Burney Jason Duignan Graphics Ink Victoria Metz Donald J. Miller Connie Ness Shauna Queen Kelly Quiñones Dena White Anne Winslow Xpedx / Sappi
If you are a designer, writer, photographer or illustrator and are interested in producing work for the next issue of tweak, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
the fine print
M E M B E R S O N LY
tweak has become a members only publication! It is just one of the benefits of being a member of AIGA Raleigh.
If you think a successful print job is all about ink and paper, think again.
2001-2003 AIGA RALEIGH BOARD MEMBER BIOS Jason Baxter Jason is a first-year graduate student in the Graphic Design Program at North Carolina State University College of Design. His favorite activity is going to flea markets. Julie Spivey Julie recently returned to North Carolina from Auburn University where she taught visual design. She is currently freelancing and teaching at North Carolina State University. Melissa Will Melissa is a graphic designer in Durham. Other than her passion for design she also loves a good game of volleyball and naps in the sun with her cats..
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AIGA Raleigh President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Programming Programming Programming Programming Events, co-chair Events, co-chair Interactive Communications Publications, co-chair Publications, co-chair Competitions & Shows Public Relations Membership (acting) Community Outreach Education Design Explorers Student Representative Ex-officio
Board of Directors
David Burney Open Ashley Moore Millicent Baker Hillary McGee Shauna Queen Julie Shaffroth Jason Baxter Jason Duignan Zulay Smith Open Melissa Will Nicole Zeisz Kristen Wall Anne Winslow Shauna Queen Michelle White Laurie Churchman Julie Spivey Lauren Gilstrap Christy White
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American Institute of Graphic Arts Raleigh Chapter PO Box 10849 Raleigh, NC 27605 www.raleigh.aiga.org
The purpose of AIGA is to further excellence in communication design as a broadly defined discipline, strategic tool for business and cultural force. AIGA is the place design professionals turn to first to exchange ideas and information, participate in critical analysis and research and advance education and ethical practice. The opinions and views of the articles in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of AIGA Raleigh.
PA P E R / X P E D X & S A P P I PA P E R S
This issue of tweak is printed on Sappi’s Strobe Matte 80# text. For more information about Strobe Matte and other Sappi Papers, please call the Idea Exchange at 800 882 4332 or visit www.ideaexchange.sappi.com.
PRINTING / GRAPHICSINK
This issue of tweak was printed by GraphicsInk in Durham. Visit GraphicsInk’s Web site at www.graphicsink.com.