All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.
UPDATE: This video has been taken down, but can be found at a new location.
Mornings typically consist of approximately three albums, selected at random, shuffled if necessary.
Picked this up at the Farmer’s Market in Portland a few months ago. It’s traditional music of Zimbabwe, and it’s perfect for background music while you work. Helps to clear your mind, and relax.
“Accordions from France”
I don’t know what the actual title of this album is. I think I copied the two CD set from a friend some time ago, and only recently started listening to it. It’s perfect, relaxing, and reminds me of France. No words, just accordions!
I’ve managed to collect about ten Charles Mingus albums, and I tend to put them on shuffle and leave it playing much of the morning and into the afternoon. I enjoy a lot of old jazz, but this is a favorite. They’re catchy!
The afternoon gets a little more energy. I usually start to play music with lyrics as the afternoon wears on, and more upbeat as well, to keep us alert. The type of work we do in the afternoon is typically different as well – more creative, less technical. That way I can usually manage to sing along, since I’m not using the mouth part of my brain for work. There is a mouth part of the brain, right?
Afternoon music lately is Wolf Parade, old R.E.M., or various new wave or rock compilations. Although this might all change, due to some good recommendations from last.fm. Stay tuned!
As much as we love taking on new projects, we often turn down new work when we do not believe we are the best match for a potential client in terms of design philosophy and/or technology. We do not take these decisions lightly; often, a lengthy treatise will go out with these notes letting folks know why we might not be the best match for their project. Hopefully, the information will help them to find the studio that will best suit their needs. Today, we received such an encouraging and gracious response to such a longwinded explanation that I just had to share.
I really appreciate your frankness
and wish you all the best for your designer-future.
You will go a long way if you stick to this honesty.
Believe me, I have a long experience,
people like you are rare in today’s world.
The salary calculator is an excellent resource for finding average salaries, by position, in the area. These no-nonsense numbers are so valuable for a small studio such as ours to use as a gauge for setting goals for both ourselves and future hires. Not surprisingly, Portland salaries appear quite a bit lower than other metro regions for similar jobs. For example, the Portland median salary for partners in a design firm is $60,000 while the national median is $95,000 – Portland is second to the very bottom of 25 metro areas reporting, above only Detroit. With the rise of the creative class here in Portland, how long will this trend continue? Are we too over-saturated as a city?
Looking at industry averages, though, our profession is steadily growing in worth. Cautionary signs exist – Employed designers reported high business activity during 2007, yet this did not translate into higher compensation as the budget for design projects were consistently characterized as extremely tight. Even with these signs, the AIGA remains confident in the important roles designers and design thinking play in creating value for both the corporate and civic sectors. Hence, [they] believe that the demand and compensation for design services will rise as the economy grows.
Salary is but one piece of the pie when it comes to design as a vocation; It is also worth noting that, as the essays in this publication articulate from a range of perspectives, compensation should be only one criterion in a young designer’s consideration of employment. We were just chatting here in the studio the other day about how lucky we are to be in the place we are, doing what we love. Often, when running off to photograph a client’s cafe or spending the day creating lovely mockups, we just don’t feel like we are actually working at all. And this benefit is priceless.
Remarkable use of Flash – simple, clear and memorable.
Metalsmith Amy Tavern has unveiled her first piece in her new jewelry of the month collection. Amy notes:
jewelry of the month is a way for me to realize designs that don’t fit into my regular collections or studio jewelry. these pieces are an opportunity to take ideas from sketchbook to workbench and share them with you. each edition will be limited to less than 10 and will come with a numbered and signed card.
Aren’t these gorgeous!