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Seen & Noted

How Design Thinking and Employee Experience go hand in hand
Create an environment in which people want to work

Is political correctness to blame for the dearth of great advertising?

Avoiding the Standardization of Imagination

Why the Creative Digital Consultancy Is the Ad Agency of the Future
A new model for a new age

Why You Need to Design Your Design Culture

Marketing And Modesty from the Ad Contarian

Aaron Dignan: Being a Leader Means Giving Up Control
The author and entrepreneur says too many companies are clinging to Stone Age ideas about what it means to lead.

Pretend That You’re An Advisor to In-House Departments by David C. Baker

First Hand — Designer Matt Gardner on overcoming the pressure to be a ‘creative’ creative

How Brands Exploit the Aesthetic of Relevancy
Social media, design, and the meme machine that capitalizes on “wokeness”

Seen & Noted

Managing Yourself: How to Calibrate Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses
Smart self-assessment plus clearly defined requests for feedback can prevent imposter syndrome—and being caught off-guard by hidden weaknesses.

The Moral Peril of Meritocracy
Our individualistic culture inflames the ego and numbs the spirit. Failure teaches us who we are.

What Does it Mean to be a Holistic Designer?
Snøhetta’s Martin Gran on how graphic design should co-exist with other disciplines

Stop Trying To Do Everything

A Sprawling Birthday Celebration for R.E.M.’s ‘Reckoning’
Thirty-five years ago, R.E.M. released one of the great rock albums of the 1980s, sending the Athens, Georgia, quartet on the road toward global stardom. Here’s a track-by-track breakdown of the album, as well as conversations with Patterson Hood, Mitch Easter, and Scott McCaughey.

An Incomplete Design History

Frame by Frame
The legacy of mid-century masters Charles and Ray Eames is as much about their films as their furniture.

Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls
After centuries of war, Catholicism and science reconciled over meridian lines.

The Designer’s Growth Model
The growth of a designer, i.e. the maturity of design, goes through several phases. Different phases ask different things of a designer. In each phase the work and goal of a designer changes. In each phase, the maturity grows.

How “Good Design” Failed Us

John Maeda says there are three kinds of design—but one is most important

Send, Read, Heard and Absorbed

So, what have we learned lately? Here are a few choice readings over the past week or so:

The 7 TED Talks every designer should watch

Is creativity the enemy of productivity? On this week’s episode of Secrets of the Most Productive People, we discover that the creative process is a messy one.

Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.“Time management” is not a solution — it’s actually part of the problem.

How to apply a design thinking, HCD, UX or any creative process from scratch

How an MIT Research Group Turned Computer Code Into a Modern Design Medium. Bauhaus meets binary.

What is storytelling in design? We keep using that word. I don’t think it means what we think it means.

Camus and Corita

Kat Holmes: To Be Successful, Ask ‘Whose Voice is Missing?’ Google’s director of UX design says the ability to seek out a range of perspectives is a critical skill for leaders of the future.

Advertising Enters the Next Dimension – 7 Ways Spatial Computing is Evolving Advertising & Marketing

Digital Advertising: 25 Years Old and Already the Most Dominant Force in Advertising. From basic banners to epic experiences, here’s where we’ve been — and where we’re going.

The Balance Between Direction and Mentoring

The Science of Naming Brands. From iPad to Ice CreamWhat’s in a name? More than you think.

The Day You Became a Better Designer

An Immoveable Type Who Won’t Abandon His Moveable Type

The role of creative director in the new age of advertising

So, what did we learn this week?

With all the rationale design thinking being bantered about these days, The lost art of designing for pleasure is totally refreshing. In college I took an intro to business and my mentor thought I was nuts. Why Designers Need to Learn about Business seems to agree with my thought all those years ago. Speaking of ages ago… I started reading CA in 1986. Hard to believe that Communication Arts is turning 60 years old. And one last thought about age: Why late bloomers are happier and more successful. I’ve always prided myself on my work ethic, but Workism Is Making Americans Miserable made me think a little differently. Another interesting thought about the modern offie in How Consensus Kills Innovation. And finally, a story about a favorite subject in The curious story of how transatlantic exchange shaped Italy’s illustrious coffee culture.

What did we learn this week?

We learned about redesigning the business of advertising from Cindy Gallop. It’s Nice that taught us that Logos date like clothes and six designers debate what makes an ideal brand identity. Our friends at 99U told us to Check Your Ego to Making Meetings Less Scary for Introverts. Wolff Olins tells us why great strategies and ideas often fail. Adobe wants us to Reconnect with the Idea of “Creating for Tomorrow”. My favorite new site, Fold Magazine, teaches us How to Master the Art of Doing. Bob is on fire lately and The High Cost Of Online Trash is no exception. Alissa Walker reminded us How Design Observer Founder William Drenttel Changed the Conversation. And finally, Fast Co. showed us how Wieden+Kennedy strives to make advertising that transcends branding and drives the pop-culture conversation.