This post is an attempt to catalog the creation of the TeeFury logo and the general design process I tended to follow 10 years. I wrote this around 2009 and am reposting for posterity. I was a co-founder of Teefury.com and designed (and coded) the original logo, brand and site (yeah PHP and MySQL!).
Time was running out. With only 30 days until launch of teefury.com we needed a logo like a fat man needs a doughnut. I had drained a few microns and burned through a Moleskine or two trying to create the perfect logo, but all my efforts were just redefinitions of FAIL. …
Life, as it turns out, happens in waves..
At the most fundamental level, creation is made possible by waves of light, sound, magnetism, and thought. When we build something, like a startup, we’re at the mercy of, and hopefully conquering, the waves of economies, technology, funding, and user adoption. There are waves within the waves — for example, technology waves rolled from the internet to the personal computer to the ubiquity of mobile.
Our lives happen in waves too. The wave of our youth, the wave of relationships and lovers, the wave of children and family, the wave of career and work — each wave lifting us up, knocking us down, and moving us along on our journey through the sea of life. …
Every designer knows the beauty of constraint. Choosing what to work on is just as important as choosing what not to work on. 4 years ago, when I was considering leaving Google to start a new company, Hunter Walk shared this forcing question “What are you optimizing for?” Money? Power? Influence? Free Time? Personal Growth? I’ve come back to his question every time I’ve had to make a decision about career and life.
“What are you optimizing for?”
— Hunter Walk
The people and relationships in your life will always be more important than the day-to-day work you do.
When faced with a fairly tough choice about what to do next in your life take, take a moment and think about what you would like to optimize for in your life. …
Despite devoted efforts, by a very talented and capable team, we have made the difficult decision to close Design Inc. Because people are and always will be the most important thing to us, we returned all remaining funds to our investors, dissolved the team, reimbursed our designers and closed the platform for good.
/me release heavy, audible and emotional sigh.
The universe teased me a bit today when I came across this quote:
Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts
— Winston Churchill.
Well Mr. Churchill, I have news for you. …
Imagine you’re a plumber. You have spent decades at your craft — first as an apprentice, then journeyman, and finally becoming a master.
One day, a dear friend calls you, with desperation in their voice, and tells you their corporate office has a massive slab leak and they don’t know what to do.
During the call you teach them how to turn off the water, minimize the water damage and pinpoint the leak. You walk them through 3 options of how to fix the leak (re-route, restoration or full repipe).
Your dear friend asks scores of questions about cost, implementation and longevity of the work. You’ve fixed hundreds of slab leaks, from simple to complex and are able to answer these questions accurately. Your friend is very impressed, has taken copious notes and thanks you for everything. …
I teamed up with Joel Beukelman to give a talk at Creative South 2017 in Columbus, Georgia to share tips for designers on a wide variety of topics from craft and work-life balance to the business of design. Joel works with me on Design Inc. — a company dedicated to helping companies find and work with amazing creative talent.
You can find the formal presentation at the end of this article. For your convenience we wrote it all out in longform, cause reading is cool. We’d love to hear your feedback and your top tips in the comments!
Yesterday we had a bunch of designers over at the Design Inc office. Over lunch we got into a discussion about soft skills, the words we use with each other everyday, and how they impact our mood and work relationships.
Here are some common phrases, quips and sayings I’ve accumulated over the years that have helped me. I hope they help you too.
Your working on a task and someone DMs you for a quick question. “Do you have a key to the office?” or “What’s Susan’s cell/email?”. …
Happy Monday everyone! I’ve been reflecting on 2016 and wanted to share quick learnings on what it’s been like to build our little company.
We are 9 months into Design Inc. and just pushed out our 3rd version of Design Inc. (check it out here), and the new version introduces a tweak to our business model — a model we arrived at from months of experimenting.
Startups are the ultimate science experiments — constantly building and testing to prove or disprove your hypothesis.
We had to take a step back with the most recent version of Design Inc. We initially built a bunch of features into Design Inc like messaging, portfolios, payments and project tracking — but have learned don’t really get to the heart of the real problem designers and companies are having. …
Hi Friends —This is a short guide on how to break down and create a proposal to land a freelance projects. This guide was first created for and shared with the Design Inc. community.
We will be using the following real world request for our guide:
We’d like some innovative user experience and mobile creative work for a new proximity based social networking app. We are a funded startup with a team of engineers and product manager building an app for easier collaborative sharing among friends and for creating new social connections. The team has experience building world class products at companies like Square and Facebook and we are looking for a creative partner to help create a new unique and creative social network.. …