Issue 1 April 2010
Carving Out Creative Time
Designerâ€™s Role in the Economy
Economic Survival for Interior Designers
Keeping Lighting Turned up And Budget Down
Design Smart Businesses
Nando Costa Interview
Tips for a Freelance Designer
Assigning a Budget to your Interior Design Projects
In the Kansas City that’s in Kansas— the dowdy stepsister of its larger and more glamorous namesake across the Missouri River—the vast stockyards are idle now, and the wealth they once produced is a thing of the past. But drive around some of the city’s weary neighborhoods, and here and there, between blue-collar cottages in varying traditional styles and states of dishevelment, you will stumble across a miracle of affordable modernism. These small homes, surely among the most gorgeous modular houses ever built, are the creation of the University of Kansas’s remarkable Studio 804 designbuild program, which aims to teach young architects-to-be not just how to design, nor even merely how to build, but also how to cope. For students, the process is essentially architectural boot camp run by a professor-cum-drillsergeant named Dan Rockhill. He’s a hard-assed modernist who tries to balance his quest for perfection with an understanding of the 22 “fragile young egos” working with him each year on the annual Studio 804 project.
But this year’s structure, completed in May, is more than just a cool house. It’s also a shining example of stateof-the-art sustainable design—and an illustration of the aesthetic and financial challenges sustainable design presents, especially in a place like the Midwest, with its brutal climatic extremes. In Kansas City, architects have to worry not just about heating and cooling but about tornadoes. It’s hard not to love Studio 804, which has always mixed mouth-watering modernism with ample social conscience. Its previous stick-built houses, in Lawrence, Kansas, where the university is located, were designed for the disadvantaged yet stand as a glorious rebuke to the notion that low cost (or low income) must mean dreary. When the program turned to Kansas City, where many lots were available at little or no cost and local community-development organizations wanted to participate, Rockhill had no intention of trying to site the studio’s work in the most comfortable part of town. “We seek out neighborhoods on the fringe,” he 5 says, “often in need of some resuscitation.”
Thatâ€™s when Studio 804 shifted to building in a large warehouse near campus and then trucking its work 40 miles to the city for assembly. Doing construction in a factory was less worrisome than dispatching students day after day onto I-70. The physical constraints dictated by the need to transport modules imposed a useful discipline on student designers. And since all the construction had to be done in a semester, building indoors provided valuable protection from weather delays, to say nothing of frostbite. The four beautifully detailed homes produced this way were all made to sit relatively lightly on the planetâ€”especially the fourth home, a crisp composition of wooden slats and snow-white panels. It features renewable materials, such as Forest Stewardship Councilâ€“certified Brazilian hardwood cladding and cellulose insulation, coupled with savvy low-tech strategies like a white roof to reflect the punishing summer sun and windows massed on the south side to maximize solar gain in winter. The modular houses went pretty far toward sustainability, but in 2008 Studio 804 took ecologically minded construction to a whole new level, turning its attention to the small town of Greensburg, Kansas, which was almost entirely wiped out by a devastating tornado in 2007. Following the disaster, Greensburg decided to rebuild as a green community, and the city council mandated that all municipally owned buildings larger than 4,000 square feet had to meet the stringent LEED Platinum standards. The sleek modular arts center that Studio 804 produced for the town just a year after the destruction was lauded by then Governor Kathleen Sebelius and became the first LEED Platinum building in the state of Kansas.
Likewise, S t u d i o 804’s latest effort, built onsite in the Rosedale neighborhood of Kansas City because of its size and gabled form, became the state’s first LEED Platinum house when it won certification in January. It will also be capable of functioning off the electrical grid—and feeding solar-generated electricity back into it. Building a Platinum, environmentally conscious home in the frayed community is in keeping with Studio 804’s history, not to mention Rockhill’s views on climate change. But there were pedagogical as well as ethical reasons for taking on the challenge. “Having gone through a LEED experience gives the students a leg up on employment,” Rockhill says, because “sustainability is at the forefront of the industry.” The shape of the Rosedale house, like nearly every other aspect of the project, was strongly influenced by the standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as by the desire to demonstrate that a substantial photovoltaic array could be
integrated into a typical roof line. “We wanted it to look somewhat conventional,” Rockhill says. The structure’s bluff face, a thinly disguised set of garage doors, is also partly the result of the environmental agenda, since moving the garage off to the side, the way it was done in other Studio 804 designs, would have meant a lot more paved driveway. In fact, the aesthetic challenges are evident at the very front edge of the property; instead of crisp-white conventional concrete, the driveway and walk are paved in a nubby, permeable species of concrete that looks and feels like white asphalt, edged wittily in coal. Rockhill explains that to get Platinum certification, a house can’t merely dump runoff into a sewer or allow paved areas to flood willy-nilly onto neighboring land. “You take responsibility for your storm water by absorbing it,” he says. The result is a barnlike dwelling that trades the smoldering sex appeal of its modular predecessors for the more mature virtues of ecological purity. Yet once you get to know the 2,500-squarefoot house at 3716 Springfield Street, it reveals itself to be sexy indeed, in its own more than
skin-deep way. How else to describe the matte-black kitchen countertops of paper composite? Or the blindingly glossy epoxy paint that, despite the absence of volatile organic chemicals, makes the downstairs floors look like polished onyx? Rainwater is collected for use in the garden. Wells tap into the earth to provide geothermal heating and cooling. The flooring upstairs is a luscious but environmentally correct jatobá (also known as Brazilian cherry) that is the color of dried blood. Parts of the house are made from 60-year-old Douglas fir recycled from a disused munitions plant in De Soto, Kansas. Forty feet of high-efficiency glass on the south side are shaded by louvers that were carefully placed to maximize passive solar gain in the winter while blocking the baking summer sun. The living-room windows look out on a small wind turbine that supplies extra power. The cladding is rich-looking South American hardwood (with FSC certification, of course).Rockhill was determined not to let the LEED requirements dictate the house’s shape altogether. “Although we have an eye on LEED, we don’t let it have such a pronounced impact that it shackles our design intent,” he says. For example, the Springfield Street design called for quite a bit of glass. “We liked the openness of the end elevations expressing the volume of the space and wanted to work like hell to keep that quality,” Rockhill says. That meant paying through the nose for the highestperforming window assemblies made in North America. Off-the-shelf products simply wouldn’t have made the cut for LEED.
â€œThereâ€™s nothing fun about time management. Even the Term itself is boring. -Bi l l Ca ha n, f o und er of Cahan and Associates
To make a designer stare you down like Courtney love or Mike Tyson after a bad night, just mention two words: Time Management. “There’s nothing fun about time management,” says Bill Cahan, founder of San Francisco based Cahan & Associates. “Even the term itself is boring.” Boring. Bland. Bean-counter blather. Back off, you meticulous clockwatchers. Can’t you see our artistic minds are drifting through daffodils, lost in ether, waiting on muses? But despite our protests and denials, the real world keeps ticking. And all the while we’re bombarded with distractions, details, and duties. E-mails. Phone Calls. Paperwork. Billpaying. House Cleaning. Family. Friends. Parties. Facebook. Gym. TV. Restaurants. Blogs. Books. Music. Magazines. Laundry. On and on. To carve out time for creativity, designers must ultimately hold their noses, grit their teeth and get a grip on time. Because at the end of the day, time management is simply deciding how your time will be spent, rather than wondering where it went. “If I’m not careful, small distractions can take my time,” says Byrony Gomez-Palacio, an Austin, TX-based designer, blogger, and author. “Distractions might be articles, blogs, emails, photos, web links, books or my kids—who by the way don’t have to be present to offer distractions.” So what’s the remedy for designers who loathe the notion of time management but have to create on deadlines? The answer is to sit somewhere in the middle- a balance between the extremes of being a time-blind slacker or a time obsessed autocrat.
“I’ve learned to divide my energy, focus and devotion in a balanced way,” says Gomez-Palacio. “I have precious minutes to create my work, and wasting those minutes only makes me fall behind.” Seattle based speaker and trainer Jeni Herberger agrees. “I am a mom, wife, and owner of three businesses,” she says. “I find that if I allot certain times or days for different functions, I can limit distractions. I group things together, like phone calls and paying bills, brainstorming and concepting.” Schedules and deadlines also help Steve Heller, protean designer, New Yorker and prolific author or editor of more than 100 books. “If I left on my own without strict strictures, I’d be a basket case,” Heller says. “I need the outside pressure of knowing that something has to be done or there will be consequences.” For most creatively dy namic people, the solution seems to rest not so much in a managing time but in managing themselves. Here are nine No need to become an obsessive-compulsive Libby techniques to help you Listmaker. But most time gurus- and many highly gain balance and carve creative designers-point to a simple daily list as a out creative time. core tool for managing time. “I use the early morning when all is quiet and the coffee is hot to jot down things I want to accomplish for the day,” Herberger says. “I do it on a single notecard. Then, in a lavish ceremony, I toss it away at the end of the day.” Gomez-Palacio also touts lists. “My list encompasses all aspects of my life-from returning portfolios for our new book to scheduling day care to placing photos in InDesign files. “I also list items needing to be completed days later,” she continues. “That way, projects can simmer and take the shape in my mind while I’m jogging, washing dishes, or driving my daughter to the gym.”
After jotting out a list, rank each item’s importance. “I quickly prioritize what needs to be done each day,” GomezPalacio says. “This helps me be more efficient with my time and more creative and effective with each project.” Also consider assigning repetitive tasks to specific time slots. For example, Cahan suggests reviewing all e-mails at the end of the day when there are fewer distractions. “Receiving up to 200 e-mails a day,” he days, “I found I could get through all of them in a couple of uninterrupted hours at home.
Are you forever fighting fires and reacting to whatever raises its red-hot head in front of you? If so, you may be spending too much time on issues that seem urgent but aren’t really that important. “Urgent matters scream for immediate attention,” says Steven Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Important matters are those that give valuable results. Sometimes urgent matters are important sometimes they are not.” Make sure precious creative time doesn’t get shoved to back burners by high-flaming crises that lack importance. If you’ve read my books or attended my workshops, you know I passionately advocate exploring for creative insights. Such handson research leads to glimmering ideas. But time limits have to be set, or deadlines cruise by while we’re still Googling for the original text of Rand’s writings on functional-aesthetic perfection. “I try to decide up front how much research time I’ll spend on a project-whether out in the field or on the internet,” says New York City designer Jessica Tillyer. “These parameters help keep me focused.”
The average office worker os interrupted 73 times a day for calls, emails, questions, crises and other issues, according to a CubeSmart study. And once interrupted, it takes you 20 minutes to get back to the level of concentration you were in prior to the interruption. We can’t, of course abolish all interruptions, nor should we try. But we trim the intrusions, especially during those robust bouts of creativity. Close your door. Post “Do not disturb” signs. Wear a noise reduction headset. Switch off your email and the phone. “I turn off AirPort on my Mac when deep into work,” Tiller says. “That way I won’t absent mindedly interrupt myself to look at the New York Times, Flickr and other sites.” List three ways you can body block mindless, needless interruptions. Put these into action. yep, I know all about the Packrat Rizzo at the end of the hall, the dude whose office books look like IED explosion, but who always puts his finger on whatever he needs. Most of us don’t possess the guy’s cataloging skills. And besides, consider how imaginative he’d be with an uncluttered brain (and workspace)? A simple filing system frees the mind. You’ll spend less time shuffling through stacks and more time creating. For years, I created long-winded, formally formatted briefs for each project, large or small, because my first boss taught me to do so. While preparing yet another of these masterpieces late one night, I asked myself if it was really necessary, if all those pages were actually read and used by me or teams. My answer was a resounding no. So I quickly borrowed the 5W’s from Journalism 101 and boiled everything into who, what, where, when, where, and why. The condensed format shaved hours and has served me well ever since. Step back and look at your routines. Are you operating out of sheer habit when other methods might be quicker and more effective? “ I found e-mails were a time suck because of the hours spent constructing them in exactly the right way,” Cahan says. “Often I just needed to call and have a conversa15 tion.”
My creativity is most fertile in the early morning. (In fact, I’m writing this paragraph at 5 a.m.) Consequently, I schedule most creative work for morning hours; you’ll rarely catch me reading e-mails or checking facebook until after noon. For many others, late night ignites their imaginations. For some, it’s the middle of the day. When’s your right brain rocking? Earmark those times for highly creative projects and shift routine tasks into less-magical hours. Considering everything Heller accomplishes in a week, you might think he never wastes time. But you’d be wrong. “TV is my biggest time waster,” he says. So how does he deal with this culprit? “ I watch it,” he replies. Smart answer. Because no matter how prodigious, creative people never possess assembly-line efficiency. Plus, there’s joy, freedom and inspiration in sometimes going with pleasures before us- be they silly sitcoms and trashy books or mindless chatter and nonsensical games. And during those times, the subconscious often detects great ideas.
So give yourself a break and squander hours here and there-but store away ample time for creative execution. “I do a lot of things,” Heller says, “so it appears my time is well managed. Fact is, there are plenty of things I don’t do that might be fun to do-but they take too much time.” Clocks tick, life happens, deadlines approach. And all the while, we can decide how many seconds, minutes, and hours to spend on creativity. Our choice. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time,” H. Jackson Brown Jr., author of “Life’s little instruction book,” has been quoted as saying. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” 17
What is a product? When referring to production economics, the product is the result of an industrial process. From a market economy point of view, the product is one of the elements that make up the marketing-mix, and that has been manufactured to satisfy a need. Design‘s function is therefore to make products sell. The notion of product clearly falls into the field of economics. Yet, design schools hardly admit the discipline’s relation to this field. What does design bring to economy? What does the relation between design and economy imply? What does this lack of recognition of the economic role of design reveal? Designers task is to come up with more useful, more functional and more beautiful products. Those creations should also provide better services, be more ergonomic and easier to use. They even should sometimes display a form, an image or a reasoning, which evokes a sense of pleasure in its user and facilitates its appropriation. By rationalizing production methods or by increasing the sales of products, design favours added value and thus profit for companies. Then we shall assume that design is the “henchman of profit and capitalism”.
What a deception for creators who thought design to be ethical and humanitarian! They are confronted with scornful criticism and suspicions of perversion, lies and superfluity. The economic issue seems to be even more disturbing for higher education institutions (especially European). It is not only because theyâ€™re not at ease with â€œcompromisingâ€? creation with the production of added value and benefits; admitting the relation of design with capitalistic economy, based on the doctrine of self-enrichment is also a moral problem for those institutions. If perceiving the adventure of capitalism is perceived as being not very moral since it allows the rich to become even more so and the poor to remain so forever, design not only stops to be ethical, but even more so becomes perverted by economics. This ambiguity is even more accentuated when companies use design as a cultural or ethical banner to sell their image and products. Design is thus an excuse for an intention, which is difficult to admit. How can we then reconcile design and capitalistic economy?
Designers have the power and the duty to produce offer. They must make sure that this offer is fruitful and promotes progress, since human beings and uses are central to their reflection. Designers create wealth and must strive towards a
Let’s reconsider the designer’s role. His economic responsibility prevails in that it reaches beyond the market, beyond requirements and beyond demand. Designers have the power and the duty to produce offer. They must make sure that this offer is fruitful and promotes progress, since human beings and uses are central to their reflection. Designers create wealth and must strive towards a progress-dedicated economy. Their objectives are above all progress, comfort and happiness, and should not be mixed up with those of the company employing him. He should not forbid himself to generate, on the contrary. Profit becomes a means… and the market offers opportunities of exchange. How fortunate to be able to spread that which is good! The market will reflect back to the designer the recognition of his work, as well as its justification. Designers’ place and responsibility in the system is therefore to add an ethical dimension to companies.
By placing mankind at the heart of their strivings, the designer is in charge of replacing economic-driven
with humanitarian reasoning. Profit hence only becomes a means and the designer becomes the key person of an â€œethical companyâ€?. What a beautiful vision of the craft the schools could diffuse!
veral months have i e s t s a l e Thsign community. Designerndeed changed our interior deicenter of an explosion ne s and architects once at the epd remodeling have experienw construction, renovation an business grinds to a halt. ced an economic implosion asmes, there are proven stra Despite these challenging ti der to survive this current dtegies we can apply now in or siness begins to move forw ownturn and succeed when ard again bu .
onths have indeed challenged our several m in t s a l e explosion of new constructio terior design n a Th f o r e t ce n community. Desi n, ren epice architects on d n a s g r e n o o a t h s a d l n t v i . r D g a s e s s t e p at the i n i i t o e these c c bus hallen n and remodeling have experienced an economi sion as ging tim implo der to survive this current downturn and s es, there are proven strategies we can apply ucc n or now i and most important strategy is to adjust fix eed when busi ness begins to move forward once again. ed and i rst variable The f oming through the doors. Avoid making c overhead expense oportionate to the uts eq ue c s pr ually ac s e s n e s u p c x h e a n i s a y t o r reven e u c r e m s ross the bo arketin rea c n i y l a l r g d s ince it may be important to efforts actua ong term commitments such as lease payme i n order to nts on in l secure new work. Negotiate reduc siness expenses, your emp u o b y l f t tions s f o i c c t e st e space, equip loyees e of the mo rtant, y n o m d e o a n n a t s r l e a n t n p s e e d h i t f f i n i c d u d l e t e m t i n t m i h es. The you second eir benefits. Remember if you donâ€™t ask, you get what f l o s r w a l i l n o g d i n e h a t s n wonâ€™t p t d out by rategy is . K ee to increase cash flow â€” the lifeblood of asking usiness s e l i k m i e t t l h a c e i s t f e i , r o c i any b t g r may also l rin be imp arger initial client deposits and billing clients ptly. Du n g i c i t o r p y l o a u i c r e v p e s o prom r g y r best clie t rin nts, th ant to sacrifice profits in order to increase cash Try offe g n i p y r a o p m f o p y t l r y o . o t flow. s i s h e a that your f i rm has a trusting relationship with ho have and w
rategy is to increase your market survival st ing eff t x e n o e the time to take on pr b y a m T he w o N es . ojects t rts, casting a wider u c ts d o r tional servic i d n d p e h a t g b n y i r o e f f a m e a t d n â€™ n t s h t e a o t d n i i t t i n w a ill be ne the past y ision, cessar ou might have passed on, but should you this dec a p y s s o i o n n e v f a o t h r . r o o T make hat is a p t t rm ath su ake on every project, such as work that you are no to perfo re to en skilled tical or similar profiles to your best clients that d in failure. I and pr den nstead, look for new clients ojects a have i r business face in front of them in as many tion. nd do what yo ways y you u can to capture their atten o f r m e h t o f n o i n t e n w u e s t l Keep n e c t o t a ers, blo dc gs, pre n. Offer relevant educational information and -focuse u l f m s s e a c r c k e u s t i a n g o s t client c s y a e m r k e p paign i ch. The n good leases and updates to your Web site just to kee in tou cessful marketing during down times: reac a n d bad time th out suc s is consistency. An additional stra to your rk is with the businesses o w w e egy to n r e o f a nd i n existing clie rget that th o esource f d n n r e t t s f . o D s e r i s e i g n t v a c e h r s a o t n i r d e i c d e s o a s e u t less to m b ts are arket t als that we have worked with in the past. Current ast clien p p m l a e d t t e n o n o c e w o t n p s s r e a ince a tr ojects wh st on usting relationship already exists. They will en e the fir also b e you with referrals â€” but only if you ask th the economy turns around and are in the best position em to vid play tha to pro t team positi on.
uiet times, learn new skills and ng these q impro i r u d t ve your ge and make you more com d e l Nex w o n k r ill education. petitiv you e c Take a class or a workshop that w n e a w i i s o t n h e o n s b , e d s t n u t y i enh o me for s s ar elf-im our field. You wonâ€™t find this free time once the my turn pro econo ness management, green design or aging-i n-plac vement. Consider topics such as digital photograsi u b , y n i k g r , professional a e design ph d with netwo nd bus egy for baby boom t involve e g i n ers. The fifth success strat o n e i t g h n e i t d n e e s s p i p s g a n h is s p s â€™ o r t ofession cieties. T ha here is absolutely no better avenue to about w than t a n , d s r t e h n e g r i e s e i s D o n learn r o o i b b r ecome act etter wa te ive in associations like the American ty of In y to le oject developments th r p l a i t n Socie a e t r o n p an w about the lo rces and cal business environment, new nd effort, but doing so hen network a t n e m t resou i m m ing with you It increas time, co r peers and business associates. es your takes competitiv e edge.
nomic indicators point to a reco liable eco very w e r l a r e eady climb, so be strategi t s d n a Seve w o l s , it c in yo ll after the first of ery v a e the year. While this is great news u b r a s n t i r o d n n a g a p s s c o e s t n i i w il l t ions. Do ion when bus what is required in your business now in the ec to be in onomy order begins to move forward once again.
Architects are often asked to provide more design for less money. That was the challenge that faced Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, architects in Manhattan, who designed the new Lozoo Chinese Kitchen Restaurant and Bar. One ceiling was too low to install overhead lighting, another so high that sound bounced mercilessly. ‘’The goal with all these rooms is to play up their peculiarity,’’ said Paul Lewis, a principal, above at left, with his partners, Marc Tsurumaki, center, and David J. Lewis, his brother. They made inventive use of inexpensive materials like felt and acrylic to make five odd-shaped rooms jell. Where the bar was too low for overhead lights, light was let in through slits in the back-lighted banquettes. It was let in from below through holes cut over the basement’s ceiling lights, and even from the tables. For that trick, the firm sandwiched layers of translucent acrylic into the table tops so that a candle in the center would project light to the edge. Lozoo is at 140 West Houston Street, near Macdougal Street; (646) 602-8888. Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis is at (212) 505-5955.
seems to be working. Butler leads a team of 60 designers—a mix of graphic When David Butler joined Cocaand industrial designers, some poached from companies such as Apple Cola (KO) almost five years ago, he (AAPL), Nike (NKE), MTV (VIA), Target (TGT), and Electrolux—at four was given, as he tells it, “the Postcenters around the world. All are focused on what Butler describes as a “fix it Note mandate: We need to do the basics” strategy. The Old Simplicity Gone While there are few compamore with design. Go figure it nies with a richer design heritage than Coca-Cola, in recent years the comout.” Butler, who had come from pany seemed to have lost its design savvy. The iconic Coke “contour” bottle, a gig as director of brand strategy adorned with the globally recognized script and the simple ribbon graphic, at the interactive marketing and for instance, had given way to a plastic bottle or aluminum can on which the consulting firm Sapient, had soon logo had to compete against random bubble graphics, extraneous marketing written up a 30-page manifesto messages, or seasonal images. When Butler reviewed the state of design at laying out a design strategy for the Coca-Cola on his arrival, evaluating everything from the branding creatcompany. But if Butler, who’s now ed for the then-recent 2004 Olympics in Athens to the process that the vice-president for design, has made company’s 300-plus bottling partners went through to get approval an impact at the beverage giant, it’s for new bottle designs to the customer experience of buying a Coke not because of some heady proclamafrom a vending machine, he found a lot that needed fixing. Cocation. Instead it’s because he has learned Cola was a global company with 450 brands, more than 300 difthe most effective way to implement design ferent models of vending machines, innumerable bottling and strategy at a company as large and complex as retail partners, and no consistent global design standards. It Coca-Cola: avoid the word “design” as much wasn’t that the company had forgotten about design altoas possible. “If I’m at a meeting with manugether. Former president Steven Heyer, who resigned in facturing people, I’ll say: ‘How can we make the 2004 after being passed over for the CEO job, helped can feel colder, longer?’,” he says as an example. start Studio Red, a collaboration with hip New York de“Or, ‘How can we make the cup easier to hold?’” sign and architecture firm, Rockwell Group. As Tucker In other words, he talks about the benefits of smart Viemeister, then creative director of Studio Red says: design in a language to which those he’s talking to “Our mission was to be innovative in any aspect that can relate. Based on several recent brand redesigns— we could. We had this gigantic canvas.” Studio Red including the new Coke identity work that won the came up with lots of interesting projects: the Coke Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions awards program in Cruiser (a scooter with a cooler at its front conceived June—and innovations such as an aluminum bottle and as a mobile vendor at festivals or concerts) as well as a a new family of coolers, this surreptitious approach
the Design Machine and describes as “the Nike tasting salon, a retail environment where people could sample ID of internal design.” The tool allows dea new drink like Coke Zero. But many of them never made it signers at the company’s many bottling partbeyond the concept stage. “It wasn’t necessarily easy to find a ners to create new bottle or can label designs place for our ideas,” says Viemeister, adding: “In big corporaor even promotional posters. Because of pations there are lots of ideas—and you can’t do all of them.” For rameters built into the tool, the final design Butler, the lesson was to avoid cool concepts that would never will always conform to the global standards see the light of day. Instead of generating ideas and then trying set by the corporate design team. The neat to find a place for them, Butler addressed his efforts on ideninternal use of Web 2.0 technology cuts back tifying basic problems that design can solve. His strategy has on the need for top-down control from the focused on three areas critical to Coca-Cola—brand identity, brand managers in Atlanta, allowing greater user experience, and sustainability. An Aluminum Bottle brand flexibility A Witty Update Butler and Feels ColderSeveral of Butler and team’s design efforts comhis team have also begun a review of the 450 bine elements of all three. Consider the aluminum contour brands in the company’s portfolio, focusing bottle, first introduced in 2005 and released again in a limfirst on megabrands such as Coke. The plum ited edition set of eight created by Chinese designers as part redesign commission went to the San Franof the company’s Olympics marketing. From a branding cisco office of the branding and packaging firm perspective, it is a sexy update of the classic glass bottle Turner Duckworth, which had previously worked that feels more modern but is less expensive to produce. on Coke Zero and Tab Energy, a relaunch of the From a user experience perspective, the aluminum old diet drink. “Coke is the iconic brand, the ideal feels colder than glass and also has a re-sealable cap. design project,” says principal David Turner. “Yet And from a sustainability perspective, the aluminum when we were first approached by Coke to work on bottle is manufactured using recycled material and the brand, we had mixed feelings.” The concern was is itself recyclable. Similarly, a new family of sleek, that the past decades of branding for the soda included sculptural coolers gives the brand a bold presso few examples of great design. Did that mean it would ence, but also boasts a more ergonomic door be impossible to get good design through the system? handle, LED lighting, and other technoloEventually, Turner’s firm decided to take the job, and the gies that reduce energy usage by 30% to resulting work— a cups-to-trucks redesign that replaced the 40%. The cooler project also illustrates cluttered imagery on the market with a simple update of Coke’s the ways in which Butler has learned to classic branding—won the Grand Prix at Cannes. Turner says work within the constraints of CocaButler and the design leaders at Coca-Cola North America “have Cola’s complex partner relationtirelessly advocated for good design. That’s really why the good stuff ships. Coca-Cola doesn’t own is happening.” Whether or not you call it “design,” Coca-Cola is bethe coolers—they are bought by ginning to show some of the savvy that originally helped to make it the the various retail stores. While most widely recognized brand in the world. Coca-Cola would prefer to have the new coolers installed in all stores so as to have a consistent brand presence, the company can’t force its retail partners to upgrade. For those stores not wanting to invest in all-new coolers, Butler’s team designed a set of panels that can be attached to an older cooler to give it the modern look. Another example of working within the peculiar constraints of Coca-Cola is a Web-based software 33 tool that Butler calls
Nando Costa was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finishing college there and promptly moving to the United States in 1999 to begin his design career. He worked for some of the bigger and better design companies out there, such as WDDG and Digital Kitchen, all the while dabbling in most all medias. You see, Nando has been drawing and painting since he was knee high to a fly, however these days you’ll find most of his work in print, on the web, and in animations for little companies like HBO, VH1, and Cartoon Network. He has also worked on projects for clients such as Nike, Diesel, Coca-Cola, and Dolce & Gabbana. Yeah, no small deal.Also heavily involved in online design circles, Nando has contributed to such web heavyweights as K10k, Newstoday, Infourm, and Designiskinky, as well as having his portfolio website, Hungryfordesign, win it’s own bucketload of praise, including it’s fair share of awards (Macromedia, Webby Awards, etc). He has spoken at several major design and Flash conferences, as well as having shown his work in both US and international galleries. Not stopping there, Nando has shown his incredible animation at Resfest, the acclaimed international film festival, created design and video for many major and minor label musicians, and has since traveled back to Brazil in order to run Nakd, a motion and animation firm creating work for MTV, AMC, Nike, and the Anime Network. So, a little while back, not satisfied with how he thought most people perceived his beloved native Brazil, Nando assembled and published a book titled “Brasil Inspired” in which he gathered many of today’s established and emerging talents to show us their interpretations and impressions of Brasil using only their art. It was wonderful. So in other words, the guy has more creativity in his little pinky-toe than most of us have in our whole wasted noggins, he seems to never stop working, is incredibly interesting, and is a really nice guy as well. See for yourself... Shane: The exquisite book you’ve put together, Brasil Inspired, is a fantastic collection of supreme talents conveying the Brazilian vibe using their signature styles. Such a huge endevour had to have been incredible to tackle, so how exactly did the book go from idea to publication? Nando: My initial idea was a book about the young scene of Brazilian Graphic Design. After I approached Die-Gestlaten with the project, I had numerous conversations with their staff until we re-shaped the idea into inviting artists from around the world to create original material that would represent their impressions
on Brazil and its culture. The process took quite some time to be finished mostly because after we reviews the material, the publishing house realized they needed more, which brought us to a second phase of inviting more contrinutors and etc. We initially also had a DVD with animations created for the same theme. The publishing house was not content with the amount of videos provided so the project was canceled. It was quite sad because I was the only contact they had for the project so all the guilt fell on my shoulders. This is one of the reasons to really make the project happen so my plan is to once again invite more artists to create animations whcih will be featured in a DVD to be launched early next year, if everything goes well. Currently I am putting together this little magazine entitled “Brasil - Uninspired” which, as opposed to the concept of the Brasil Inspired website, will be focusing on the other side of the Brazilian culture and asking local Artists to create images that speak about unfriendly subjects. As of right now it’s still in a very early stage but I believe it will be out for sale in October. The intention is not necessarily to do the opposite of the Brasil Inspired project, but to let people create art about things we read in the newspapers or experience in everyday life in Brazil. I believe it is important to put it out on paper rather than see it all with our eyes and not even bother expressing out opinions. It seems like Brazilians are becoming way too passive about things the country’s problems. Most are selfish for focusing only on their own lives, and not the well being of the country and other people. I can’t say I’m the example to be followed but at least I have realized it and wish to change at least some part of what bothers me. You’re involved in both the incredibly well portfolio’ed Ebeling Group, and a cornerstone of Nakd.tv. It took
work a s always been extremelly important for me so I would like to find a way to keep on doing some of that. Who have been some of your favorite clients to work with thus far? I have to say that I feel very fortunate about the clients I have had not just as Hungryfordesign (www. hungryfordesign.com) but also at Nakd. Most of them have been quite open to what we propose to them. The largest job we’ve ever had has been the creation of a network ID package for the FIne Living Network. It was basically our first job in 2003 and they came back to us this year with the same task. Besides Fine Living, we have had some interesting experiences with MTV and CMT (Country Music Television). Probably one of the most excitting jobs we’ve had was doing Network ID’s for The Anime Network, we had wuite a lot of creative freedom while working on those. We get a lot of cool stuff in the mail here at Crown Dozen (and please keep it coming yall), and I was wondering what kind of swag a man of your influence gets in his mailbox. What are some of the best things you’ve gotten? Honestly, not much. I’ve been moving around so much that I never get to receive many things from friends. But a few months ago, I got this large photograph and this collage from my friend Recife from Misprintedtype (www.misprintedtype.com).That was really excitting. How do you go about creating a video piece for those of us who don’t work in that field? Well, it really varies. At Nakd when a project comes in, it’s usually pretty bare so we have to develop concepts and also work on a few style frames that define the overall look of the piece. Sometimes that is enough to start animating with. Otherwise, and specially if there is a shoot involved, we create a detailed storyboard. (like the 3FM h
me a bit to wrap my head around what all you were involved in and who you worked with, so would you mind breaking it down for our readers? Nakd (www.nakd.tv) is a design studio located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was created by myself and my wife Linn Olofsdotter (www.olofsdotter.com) along with a partnership with the founder of the Ebeling Group (www. theebelinggroup.com), Mick Ebeling. We create mostly motion graphics for TV Networks and Advertising Agencies from the US, Europe and Japan. The company has plans of either expanding or moving its offices to New York City and / or perhaps Los Angeles. Hungryfordesign (www. hungryfordesign.com) is my personal website which i use as a live archive of all my professional and personal work. We can tell that you like to pull lots of different people together around common ideas. Do you actually like to collaborate with others or are you more of a one-man band? For a while, I was, like other creatives, a bit protective of my own work and felt strange when it had to be manipulated by other designers. Since the beggining of Nakd, where I had to creative direct as many as 10 individuals at a time, it was necessary to let go of the selfish ownership and start to look at others for collaboration. My wife was the first to experience that since I started to integrate a lot of her hand-drawn illustrative work with my vector shapes. Nowadays I really enjoy working wih other designers and it does not feel like a c0ompetition anymore. Instead it feels like it actually makes the work better. Do you do much work off the computer screen? Unfortunately yes. But since June I have started to paint once again which besides being quite relaxing, has also inspired myself and Linn quite a lot. It was after this change that we created Lard and Joy (www.lardandjoy.com) which will be our little online store to seel our artwork, wearables and prints. The site will be launched within the next weeks. Do you consider yourself successful thus far, and do you see yourself in the same field in 20 years? It’s satisfying to get recognized for what you like to do. I guess anyone can agree with that. Even to be able to get a job is an important step and maintaining it is another, so I guess I can consider myself a successful person in my profession. As far as being in the same field. Yes, I’m positive I will be doing something creative. I’m not sure if I will continue doing animation for much longer though. It’s very tiring and demanding which keeps me from being able to do my own creative projects. My personal
storyboard that I have attached). We have a pretty small team of animators so everyone here does a bit of everything. At some point I usually step out of the process to start working on another project that may have come in while still creative directing the first one. Many late nights and busy weekends later we have a finished piece.With a style as free as yours, it’s hard to tell whether your work is well-planned, completely free-styled, or right in the middle. How much do you plan before beginning? Again, that changes from project to project. A project like the “Trikala” for example, there was a lot of planning. A full brief was written before the company I was working for at the time approved the internal project. I find it really helpfull to write and specially to discuss ideas with other Designers. The project becomes much richer.
It’s when you create something just on your own that you end up wishing you had shared your ideas earlier because so many good ideas are left unexplored. Other projects like “Tubes” are a lot more spontaneous. For this one I created a very long image that was intended to be a poster, and then just animated it based on music. I’m definitely in favor of projects actually meaning something, whether it’s for the artist or the viewer’s enjoyment. But sometimes, to feel in control of the tool and the language of animation, a designer needs to practice. Most of these partially unplanned experiments turn out great and usually are the ones that generate more excitement from others.
Freelance graphic design can be very rewarding. You are your own boss, you’re not stuck in an office (at least not sitting beside that noisy guy with the weird tie) and there is really no limit on how much you can potentially earn. But it’s no walk in the park either. Before you begin to think about becoming a freelance graphic designer. You should ask yourself some questions and look at some facts…
Things You Will Need.... 1) A Good Name. You will need to pick a good name that will help you stand out from the rest of the competition and sounds professional. Really try avoiding the word freelance in your name. Pick something that sounds like it’s more than just a solo act. You will most likely need to check with local authorities whether or not your name has already been chosen. Registering a name prevents others from using this name, and prevents you from taking others that have registered.
1) A Dedicated Place to Work. Without a doubt, you will need a place where you will not be distracted or disturbed by the outside world. Office space is ideal, but many freelancers can work out of their homes with success. If working from home, try and have a whole room or even wing of the house dedicated to this business. Trying to work while your kids are taunting you to build a Lego spaceship can be testing and distracting. This is your place of work. Keep it that way. Pick a large room to work from where you won’t feel cramped. Look for a large desk or something with a large surface area. Having room just enough for your computer/office equipment isn’t enough. You should have a place where you can lay out written ideas, drawings, printouts, and more. Have a filing cabinet to keep all of your clients information in along with other important documents and agreements. Have your phone in a good place where you don’t have to move away from your computer/work area. 1) A Website With Your Own Domain. A business these days without a website is outdated. A freelance graphic design business without one should be burned to the ground. With the huge explosion in technology and the Internet, to not have a website for your freelance graphic design business would be business suicide. Website hosting these days is cheap, with plenty of space and resources at your disposal. Forget the freebies like Geocities and that kind of thing. Save those sites for playing around with ideas of your own. Pick a reliable website host, upload your site, and keep the site updated. This is important in conveying professionalism. What good is a site if no one can find it? You will also need your own domain name. Rather than having a long winded, cheap looking address provided by a free website hosting service, register a domain name so clients can click on www.yourname.com rather than something like http://members.icenterwebsites.net/~huebs . This kind of address looks terrible, and shows you don’t even have the patience and time to do something as simple as this right. Domain names cost around $10 or higher a year, depending on where you look.
When you go into a travel agency to book a holiday there are two things the agent needs to know from you. First, which part of the world do you want to visit? Secondly, what’s your budget? You may have fallen in love with the idea of spending August in a Tuscan villa, complete with vineyards and pool, but your budget may suggest a trip to the English Riviera in April as being more realistic. Your budget should be the amount that you are happy to spend to achieve the result that you desire. It is your responsibility as the client to have a clear idea about your budget before you start looking for your designer.Once you have decided the sum you wish to invest in home improvements, it often helps to check the feasibility of that budget by allocating portions of it to different areas of expense. For a simple living room refurbishment you might allocate the budget into seven areas; for instance, floorcovering, wallcovering, curtains, furniture, light fittings, accessories and designer’s fee.A useful tip is to think in terms of percentages rather than cash. We all think money is still worth what it used to be worth in the “good old days”, and even millionaires complain about the price of butter. However, by allocating percentages to your project, you are better able to see what you can afford, and are willing, to spend on each area of the redecoration. If you want to have an elaborate curtain treatment, you may have to reduce your budget for the floorcovering, or vice versa. This method also helps you to prioritise your decoration requirements. By being honest with your interior designer about your design priorities and your budget, you are more likely to receive a design and service that will surprise and delight you If it your desired object isn’t within the scope of your defined budget, the designer can get back to you early on in the project to juggle the budget allocations. The designer will welcome clear information on your budget because it is a real time saver for both of you. If the budget extends only to slipcovers for existing furniture, let the designer know this before they set off to pound the pavement in a search for brand new furniture. If poker really is your game there is nothing wrong with keeping a percentage of your budget in reserve without telling anyone (in fact, this is quite a good idea). If the budget runs over (and if the project requires building, plumbing or electrical work, this can happen when surprises like dry rot, rising damp or structural problems are uncovered), you then 40 have a cash reserve.
is the first official issu e of B ia magaz ine. Here at zine we strive a g a m a t i o c B reate e a sustaina ble magazin s e n s o s t u o c n o l f y about that art, bu t about the economy m a a i g B a . z l i l n e e i w s a bout as the des igner playing an o l r e t i n n a t t h r e o econo imp my. N o matter how bad the my is, there will alw o n o ays b ec e some thing that needs T h . i s g m n i a n g a g i z ine gi d es ves in sight from creative l s a a n b out how essio f o r t o c on p tinue to l create beautifu e p f u o l H l y . b n y g r i e s a ding de this m agazine, the viewer i r e p d s n a i n d e n b o l l t feel wi like th e weight on their f t o h s e bad eco lder u o n h omy s is impe ding in their e c s s o . r A p g n a in, tha g d es i nkyo u for ch ecking out our n a d , w e n e i l z o a o k forw m ag ard to a long relationship t h n e i f u u t o u y re. h t i w