Monthly Archives: October 2011

Two Building Blocks of Storytelling

Ira Glass on Storytelling was a “must see” video I watched in journalism class. This is the first of four short videos Glass shares on the topic.

Storytelling is at the heart of many successful strategies whether it’s to sell a product, win over an audience, or move a country to action. For artists who need to market their work, I recommend Seth Godin’s book: All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works and Why Authenticity is the Best Marketing of All.

Ira Glass hosts the radio and television show, This American Life, on National Public Radio (“NPR”). He has spent the majority of his career on radio, and hosted NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation.

Watch Glass as he talks about the two important ingredients in storytelling: the anecdote and the moment of reflection.

Is digital storytelling any different from other types of storytelling? Read about 7 elements to include.

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Filed under Creativity, Inspiration, Writing

Ten Design Principles Worth Remembering

I was curious who was channeling Steve Jobs’ sense of style as I walked through the Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (showing through February 20, 2012).

Actually it’s the other way around. Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple is among those designers who have pointed to Dieter Rams as influential in their methodology.

Dieter Rams was born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1932. He was head of the Braun design team for several decades and oversaw the design of more than 500 consumer products including coffeemakers, calculators, radios, and audio/visual equipment. His work can be found in many museum collections around the world. In the SFMOMA show you’ll see some models and designs never before shown to the public.

Rams’s products exuded his ten design principles.

  1. Good Design is Innovative. Innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology and can never be an end in itself.
  2. Good Design makes a Product Useful. It emphasizes the usefulness of a product.
  3. Good Design is Aesthetic. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
  4. Good Design makes a Product Understandable. Make the product talk. It is self-explanatory.
  5. Good Design is Honest. It makes no promises that cannot be met.
  6. Good Design is Unobtrusive. It fulfills a purpose like tools.
  7. Good Design is Long-Lasting. It never appears antiquated.
  8. Good Design is Thorough Down to the Last Detail. There is nothing left to chance.
  9. Good Design is Environmentally Friendly. It conserves resources.
  10. Good Design is as Little Design as Possible. Less is better.

Rams said Apple is the only company currently designing products according to his design principles.

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Filed under Creativity

The Smiling Frog

Ze Big Hill

Ze Big Hill, painting by Mary Gow


This painting is a work-in-progress that began as a self portrait and morphed into a semi-abstract landscape. Can you see the smiling frog?

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Filed under Creativity, Images, Inspiration

3 Memorable Quotes from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs combined his passion for innovation with art.

Watch how in his commencement speech he talks about the calligraphy class he took and how much impact it had on him.

“Real artists ship.” is among my most favorite quotes from Steve Jobs. In Linchpin, Are You Indispensable?, Seth Godin explains that shipping is not about perfection but getting things out the door.

An artist of worthy note (that ships) is the talented calligrapher, Thomas Ingmire.

“You’ve got to find what you love. And the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart you’ll know when you find it.”

“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Thank you Steve Jobs.

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Filed under Inspiration