(Photo of me, taken by me, showing what’s needed when working from home)

For those of you that know me, or know my story, you know that I worked from home for a decade (from 2001 to 2011). Early this year I took a job that is fully remote, so I’m back to where I was almost a decade ago.

Since that time, many things have changed both technologically (I had no Slack, or Zoom, not even an iPhone) and socially (anyone taking a “work from home” day was non-existent). When I started working from home, my desk was the size of an ironing board, and I worked from a small corner of…

Some simple guidelines for productive and effective meetings.

In my 25 years of working I’ve experienced nearly every flavor of meeting one can participate. The larger the company and the more grand the job title, the more frequent and more protracted meetings become. People show up 10 minutes late, no one stays on topic, there’s no discernible agenda, a handful of people dominant the conversations, and by the end after nothing has been accomplished, another hour long meeting is scheduled.

In far too many instances a meeting is used as a means to escape work, rather than a means to prompt it. But meetings are a necessity. They…

How Anxiety Is Worse Than Not Being Able To Eat Wheat: Or A Microscopic Lesson In The Power Of Fear

The first time I started to realize I was getting old was when I turned 36 years old. I was slowly moving out of those age ranges that are grouped with twenty-somethings and more and more with middle aged folks. That seems to be the age when your body starts to more rapidly decay — heart and blood and skin and prostate and colon and breast and all your parts get tired and mean, like they want you to die. …

In the dark and distant past, when our design ancestors — the cave painters, the illuminated manuscript doodlers, the church muralists, the stained glass artisans, the poster printers, the annual report elitist, the cyber pixel-pushers — lived in a world where the design profession was regulated to the dark corners of subjectivity, between art and marketing, between personal perception and emotion. Designers were haunted by the painfully unhelpful phrases uttered by clients, such as “I’ll know it when I see it”, “This doesn’t pop”, or “Could you make the logo bigger?”.

In today’s diversifying universe of tools, technology, and specialities, it’s important to understand how and why the terminology around design needs to be consistent and inclusive.

Photo by Mia Baker on Unsplash

There was a time, not long ago, in a distant land of message boards, HTML tables, blazing dialup internet speeds where you could download a massive 12MB of information in just an hour, and where those that created commercial art where called “graphic designers”. A time when we were asked to create logos, design business cards, layout brochures, understood what it meant to get artwork ready for color-separated films, and if you had a copy of GoLive CyberStudio you might be able to create a “web site”. …

I took this on our last vacation together to Sunset Beach, NC. A long time family tradition.

I know you will never read this. At this very moment I’m not even sure how much of you is present. Being here now, after getting up at 5am to drive hundreds of miles so I could arrive to you by the afternoon, is as much for me as is it anything. I feel lost. You’re my mom and even at the ripened age of 46, I still want your anchor so I don’t drift away.

I didn’t know the last time you hugged me that it would be the last. I didn’t know that the last time you said…

There is no traditional or normal path when it comes to having a career in graphic design. Here are some things I wish I knew before I started my two decade long journey.

Photo by Pablo Garcia Saldaña

I’ve been a graphic designer since 1995. In that time I’ve seen quite a bit of change within the industry, but throughout those two decades (I guess that makes me graphic design-osaur — get it? Yeah? Yeah? No, you’re right, that was terrible) the objectives and practice of “good” design has not changed. While I in no way consider myself an expert or authority on design, I have accumulated a fair amount of insight that I hope young and or beginning designers might find useful.

Understand The Purpose Of Design

“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t…

Photo by Jonatan Pie

Despite the ubiquitous nature of user experience, many teams are over-complicating its practice and under-simplifying its purpose. UX is more than just data analytics, A/B tests, and user research.

We only know him by his initials: W.J.

During World War II W.J. was injured twice, after which he began to increasingly suffer from debilitating blackouts, convulsions, and seizures. In 1962 he underwent surgery to split the two hemispheres of his brain (called a corpus callosotomy) in order to decrease the intensity and frequency of his seizures. The surgery was seemingly successful.

In 1967 two neuroscientists, Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga, were conducting experiments to study the different hemispheres of the brain and how independent and unique they were from each other. One of their subjects for their research was…

This is a photo I took of my daughter on a small mountain near Castle In The Clouds New Hampshire

A short list of ways to improve your life and maybe even the lives of others.

I’ve started a (nearly) annual tradition of writing about things I’ve learned or observed about life on my birthday (I try to write as many things as my age, so yeah, I’m 45). I don’t write these because I’ve mastered life or am an expert on anything, but mainly as a reminder and challenge to myself that I need to grow and learn and change.

Hopefully you’ll find something interesting, amusing, or even helpful for your life.

  1. Actively put limits on yourself. Try not saying more than 100 words in a day. …

There’s a common and pervasive lie we’ve all been told, and one that almost all of us believe without thought or investigation; the lie that we are an individual. While it’s true in a very primitive understanding, overall it’s a complete lie.

If you don’t grow your food, find materials to construct your home, or cobble your shoes, or sew together your clothes; if you don’t draw your water, or provide your electricity, or dispose of your waste and sewage; if you don’t pave your roads, or establish road safety rules, or erect road signs, traffic stops, and guard rails…

Paul Armstrong

Head Of Design at Pixel Recess, pixel fabricator, artisanal vector craftsman, creative thinkvisor, husbandist, fathertian, one-time baby, long-time idiot

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