The place where we share all our stories, ideas, insights, highlights, announcements, events, tips and tricks. Read on.

09.30.2008  /  

Cliché of the Week: Debbie, the Time Life Operator

You’ve known Debbie for years. She’s been there for you since you were a little kid, waiting patiently at the other end of an 800 number to fulfill your most urgent needs: that night when you just had to have the Mysteries of the Unknown collection or that rainy Sunday when you couldn’t live without […] Continue Reading

Design / Diary / Message / Strategy

09.29.2008  /  

Commuting With Moths

Given my hour-long commute, my iPod is constantly loaded with audio books and podcasts, and I’ve learned over time (and at great personal risk) which ones have the power to engage and which have the power to put me to sleep. I was among the first subscribers to the TEDtalks podcast, for instance, and I […] Continue Reading

Delivery / Message

09.26.2008  /  

The Three-Second Test

The Magazine Publishers of America have released their finalists for best magazine cover of the year. [link via Kottke] In our information-rich, attention-deficit society, Nancy’s concept of “glance media” applies to an increasing amount of our daily experience. And it puts us in the role of “design judge” every time we choose one magazine over […] Continue Reading


09.24.2008  /  

Happiness is…Inspiration for a Palette

You can find inspiration for a template or color palette almost anywhere. I keep Charles Schultz’s little Happiness Is… at my desk because I think it’s “my” color palette. The book doesn’t follow “normal” book convention. The cover has no title, and the back and spine don’t have all the publisher’s required identification junk. The […] Continue Reading

Design / Diary

09.22.2008  /  

Cliché of the Week: The Water Ripple

The presenter clicks, the water ripple fills the screen, and you wake up five minutes later to his “In Summary” slide. Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen this on a slide. Yeah, we’ve seen it, too. This is another one of those visual metaphors so overused that it has gone over and joined the […] Continue Reading

Design / Message

09.17.2008  /  

Adaptation of Visuals

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Guy Kawasaki present. He spoke at WWDC, and we tweaked the slides for his presentation. Woot woot–my earliest brush with fame. His session was standing room only, so I watched him from an overflow room with the developers. That presentation was in 1996, when Guy was an […] Continue Reading

Design / Strategy

09.15.2008  /  

The Cliché

In the preface to her wonderfully inspiring book If You Want to Write, Brenda Ueland says (of the students in her writing class), I freed them from clouds of automatic verbiage, from “uninterestingness”. Lovely, isn’t it? I bet you’ve never seen those words strung together before. It’s fresh and new. An original and poetic way […] Continue Reading

Book Reviews / Design / Message

09.10.2008  /  

Comics Communicate

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how do comic strips rank? In Robert Horn’s book Visual Language, he credits Rodolphe Topffer for inventing the combination of illustrations and words to tell a story–the world’s first comic strip artist. When comparing the effectiveness of the comic strip to traditional prose, Horn states, “…with its dual […] Continue Reading

Delivery / Design

09.05.2008  /  

Tricks for Getting to the Core of Your Story (Part 3)

The thrilling conclusion to our 3-part series on Story-Coring tricks. Don’t skip part 1 and part 2! 3. Baptism by Fire Sometimes you need to jump into the water before you know how to swim. Stand-up comics do this all the time, trying out new material on an unsuspecting audience. Though not necessarily the most fun or […] Continue Reading

Delivery / Message

09.02.2008  /  

Presenting from an iPhone

I’ve been anxiously waiting for this day since February when I first met Scott Harrison at TED. I sat next to him on the bus that schlepped people from the aquarium party. After he saw my enthusiasm for his work with the mercy ship Anastasia, he whipped out his iPhone and gave me one of […] Continue Reading