A European Vacation Gone National Lampoon.

My wife and I spent two weeks traveling across southern Spain and Portugal in late December 2012. The first time for either of us in Europe, I assumed the worst of globalized neo-liberalism, picturing Europe as little more than (to paraphrase Homer Simpson) America Junior. It felt weird, even in 2012, to spend time and money simply to go someplace identical to everywhere else in The West, give or take some castles the fascists couldn’t be bothered to destroy back in the ’40s. Before leaving, I jokingly promised to bring people back Duck Dynasty gifts from the Wal-Mart there.

And…

Small Towns & Bigger Britches.

I enjoy working with sole proprietors quite a bit. Outside the Comfortable Tyranny of Full Employment© the past 7 years, I worked with a lot of local entrepreneurs; clients not all that dissimilar to myself.

  • They tend to be more connected to their work.
  • They tend to be engaged and generally passionate about what they do.
  • Design outcomes are based on one-on-one decisions made between two rational adults rather than some unending chain of committee and stakeholder meetings that never really settle anything other than to have another meeting later.
  • Working relationships feel more compatible when both client and designer…
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It’s not about hiring any studio, but the right one.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Investing in professional design means looking for a few key things in your designer. It’s up to you to judge if they’re the right fit, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to look for, and what exactly it is you should expect them to do.

What To Look For

The right designer will bring a mix of these four things to every project:

  1. Taste: A good designer has spent years in the visual landscape. A sense of style should come through in their work. Is it compatible with your market (or could it be)? …
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Designing from the inside-out will supercharge your next project. But how does this process fit into the upside-down model we’ve become used to?

A Whole Grain Approach To Design Starts With You.

Like its cousins User Experience and Brand Identity design, Experience Design is commonly misunderstood. As something to be had, design is often brought in as a veneer to show you’re ‘doing everything right’. Far too many struggling businesses dipped a toe in, failed to see an immediate return, and are forever skeptical of its value. This might even be you. Given all the press announcing The Return of /The Power of Design, the success of companies like Apple et al., and the various problems with Social Media and Advertising™ you’re curious about taking another pass at it.

First, Let’s Talk About What We’re Talking About

Instead of repeating mistakes, let’s take a step back (or fifty) to take in the more full-bodied perspective of design as the strategic use of graphic messaging.

The language I’ll…

Aaron Winters

An artist, a coder, a publisher, a reader, a writer, a creator and a fan, but, primarily, a designer. aaronwinters.net

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