We designed an add for our friends at Bar Carlo to run in a local paper. Have you not been there yet? They have fabulous breakfasts.
Monthly Archives: January 2009
Needmore’s office hours ran a bit later today, because we simply had to watch the inauguration ceremonies before coming into the office. Yes, Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America!
We at Needmore couldn’t be happier or more proud.
I have been enjoying Sketching User Experiences by Bill Buxton. This is a great book, filled with tons of visual goodies and great writing. He brings a lot of other ideas and disciplines into the fray, and it’s very encouraging.
One example: he observes that you really do want someone with illustration talent around, to help visualize your design ideas. However, he freely admits that he’s not very good at this. He writes:
“…One of the things that gave me great encouragement took place in New York City in 1997. My wife and I were going through a retrospective exhibition of one of my heroes, Robert Rauschenberg, at the Guggenheim Museum. About three-quarters of the way through the exhibit, I had an epiphany: There was nothing at all in the exhibition that suggested that Rauschenberg could draw!”
Interesting. I can’t draw either, but I do love design. To fill in those gaps in education, I’ve been thinking about getting a book, or taking a class, to get better at it myself.
At any rate, he sums it up well with this quote:
“The limiting factor is your imagination, not technology or technique. There is always a way to express an idea appropriately within your means.”
A number of Needmore clients are having art shows this weekend – and getting noticed around the web. All up and down the coast, there are incredible shows that should get you out and inspired!
Kate Endle is set to showcase her work at Habitude (opening this Saturday). Kate was also highlighted recently as Dwell’s featured Product of the Day. We just love Kate’s work (and are happily awaiting the arrival of a Kate Endle original of our own).
Closer to home, design*sponge highlighted Land, Sea, Air today – a diverse show at Mark Wooley Gallery featuring the work of Trish Grantham, Amy Ruppel, and Even B. Harris. We stopped in for a viewing last night and were blown away by the show – highly recommended.
Trish Grantham, The Museum of Natural History
Evan B. Harris and Amy Ruppel, The Braer Rabbit
Lastly, Amy Ruppel’s show Land of the Free at Zinc Details made an appearance on Daily Candy’s Weekend Guide today. Whew, Amy must have had a busy December as we also picked up a couple of her pieces at her early December art sale – looks as though there are a rare a couple pieces remaining for January.
Amy Ruppel, Primeval Explosion
There are a lot of things about 2008, technology-wise, that got me really excited. Here’s a few of my favorites from this past year.
iTunes’ Genius Feature
This one didn’t get a particularly lot of fanfare, but that’s because it “just works.” I tried out last.fm a bit first, and it’s nice, but it requires a lot of “maintenance.” With the Genius feature, you can just pick a song that you’re really enjoying, and have it make a playlist for you. It’s amazing! Plus, Apple built it to work with my iPhone, my iTunes, and our AppleTV right off the bat. While I don’t use it to shop on iTunes much, the playlists it makes on my Mac are a lot of fun.
Speaking of Apple, this was a big one. We got our iPhones in 2007, the day they came out, but they just didn’t live up to their potential until 2008, when Apple started letting developers build their own apps. This has been huge! It went from being a nice phone to being a killer device, which half the time replaces my laptop just fine. I now regularly manage my Netflix queue, discover songs just from recording ten second snippets, keep running grocery lists, manage my to-do’s, and more. Handy.
Adobe Flash CS4
We’ve been using less and less Flash over time, as a design studio, but I can see that changing. Finally. After years of releases that really just focused on (arguably) making life easier for programmers, Adobe finally did some things for designers. This release is filled with professional-level features for animation, which are long overdue. I can see us using Flash more in future projects now. In fact, the whole of CS4 is pretty cool.
Subversion Support in Some Favorite Apps
This year brought Coda, a handy app for building websites on the Mac, and an update later in the year brought support for the version control system Subversion. This is great, because you can keep backups of your code stored online, and revert to older versions at any time. This year also brought the release of several customized programs for working directly with Subversion code repositories, such as Cornerstone, which I use.
Seemingly Everyone I Know on Facebook
This is kind of a personal point, but still technical as well. Facebook seemed to reach some kind of critical mass this year, and I finally signed up. Before I knew it, it seems I’ve found folks on there from almost every “age” of my life! It’s pretty crazy. I still have some friends who joke about the whole thing, but I gotta say, it’s contagious. Some people are on there a lot. And it sure beats the pants off MySpace, which I never could stand to look at anyway. Gives me a headache.
At any rate, this is just the start of a list, but we’re looking forward to many more great things in 2009!
Bicycle Transportation Alliance
We’re big fans of moving to less oil-reliant forms of transportation; this year, we moved to using a Prius or scooters to get around. As all good Portlanders do, we also spend time roaming the streets on our bikes. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is working hard to promote bicycling and to create safe conditions on the road for cyclists, not to mention providing a surprising array of resources for cyclers.
Salmon Safe is a local organization working to keep watersheds clean enough for native salmon to spawn and thrive.
Green Empowerment is located right here in Portland and working on renewable energy for those without throughout the world. We were particularly impressed with Green Empowerment’s dual mission of working within communities for long-term sustainability while also focusing on education right here in the United Stated to promote an understanding of the importance of environmentalism, social justice, and sustainability worldwide.
We also spread a bit of additional love to folks near to our hearts – OPB. We cannot imagine our days without Rick Steves, Nova, All Things Considered, Think Out Loud, Frontline, and so on.
We want to thank each of you for being a part of making this happen throughout the year – Needmore clients rock!
How about no more references to the “got milk?” ad campaign ever, ever again. Pretty please.
For the second year in a row, we spent the days between Christmas and the New Year in Forest Grove at the Grand Lodge meeting about the year ahead (never fear, we found plenty of opportunity to relax and rejuvenate). Over the next week or so, we’ll be sharing some of what came of these valuable sessions.
We are excited to be back in the studio and working on a handful of inspiring projects. Thanks to each of you who made 2008 the best year yet for Needmore and we look forward to more in 2009.
Happy New Year!