Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Windows 7 Burger.....

yuck. that is all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Is The Coolest Halloween Costume This Year. Definitely

Via One Plus Infinity

I couldn't resist this re-post. How awesome is this halftone dot print character? I love it. I am still working out my plan.....
The New Jersey-ite and I are going to be in New York visiting my friend Brooklyn and we're having dinner at Stanton Social, anyone been there?

I'm On This Show Today - 3:30 CST

I'll be talking about networking online - you can see it here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pepsi's Halloween Cans, Are They Even Trying?

This is Pepsi's "Halloween can". Ummm..... did they not know Halloween was coming up and had to come up with something quick? Like 5 minutes quick?

Buying A Suit 101: Caleb Gardner

I asked Caleb to help me with a suit buying post because after being asked by no less than 3 men in the last few months to help find a suit I realized that you guys out there need some guidance. Hope this helps!

Caleb Gardner is a marketing and social media consultant, clotheshorse, and family man. He calls Chicago home. The Exceptional Man is his idea of trying to help.

Buying a good suit is something akin to purchasing a work of art. You can no more tell a man exactly what kind of suit he should get than you can tell him exactly what he should be hanging from his walls. There are too many styles and genres from which to choose, and every man’s preferences will be different.

However with the right training and a keen sense of style, you can tell good art from the stuff hanging in the Holiday Inn. Similarly you can tell the difference between a man wearing a suit and the suit wearing the man.

First and foremost, it’s a matter of choice. Fabric, cut, lapels, vents – these are all decisions that need to be made. Since suggesting what you should buy depends on a number of factors, from body shape to the occasion, it’s difficult to make specific suggestions as to which suit is right for you. Owning your own shape and your own style will go a long way to figuring out what you can pull off.

So in general, I’m going to go ahead and suggest that, especially if this is your first suit, you should be buying a single-breasted, two-button wool suit with notch lapels and a center vent in the jacket. This should serve you well at most occasions and through most seasons. If you’re a slimmer gentleman you can take a look at a European cut; otherwise stick with the classic American. But no matter what you decide to go with, the most important thing to remember is what I would urge you to keep in mind with your entire wardrobe: fit.

Especially if you’re not familiar with your jacket size, try them on in ever decreasing sizes until you find the one that’s obviously too small for you – then get the next one up. Make sure your shoulders are being hugged, and there are no protruding shoulder pads. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than a fist’s worth of space between your jacket and your body, but should be able to button without straining. Your pants should only have a slight break, and should fit comfortably around the waist.

[Side note : the sales guy is not always your friend. He’s looking to make a sale, not make you look good. Know what you are looking for, and then stick to it.]

Then comes the ever important final step: tailoring. If the place your buying your suit from doesn’t have an in-house tailor (or you don’t trust theirs for some reason), take your new purchase to someone reputable. Tell them you want a quarter inch of shirt cuff to show on your sleeves, and if necessary have him alter your pants or take in your jacket. Remember: he’s not a miracle worker, so do everything in your power to get it right out of the store. Under no circumstances should a tailor attempt to reduce shoulder pads or alter a waistline any more than one inch either way.

I hope this simple guide will be a good starting off point for you. If you need any more specific advice for your situation, don’t hesitate to send me an email. I’d love to help you find your work of art.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Would You Rather See Street Art Or Ads? Artists Start Battling For Space.

Well, well, well.. things are getting pretty interesting in the advertising world these days as ads seek to be seen as street art - however well or poorly that turns out. (see below) While street artists are not allowed to put up their work in lots of places, Jordan Seiler founder of PublicAdCampaign says that ads are being placed in the very same places.
The New York Times covered the event on Sunday in New York where artists took to the streets whitewashing over "illegal ads" and putting up their own work. The ads were replaced shortly only to be whitewashed over again. The article is really worth reading.

VW Bus Speaker For Your Ipod.

Working From Wherever. Is This Possible?

I think about location independent working and how to make it work for people all the time and it all started a few years ago when I realized 2 things:

1) My productive hours are from 7AM - 2PM. I can be productive again around 8PM.
2) I got a lot more done on days that I had the flu enough to stay home than I did in the office.

This got me to thinking about how many hours I spend getting ready to go to an office during my productive time and how many hours after I was chilling in my office but not necessarily getting much done. I also felt stifled by going to the same place day after day after day. It can be very uninspiring.
When I bring this subject up people almost always say "yes, that would be great but it wouldn't work in my industry" and I used to accept that as an answer. Now, I'm not so sure that it can't work for any industry. * The only industry this wouldn't work is in a retail setting where people need to physically check people out, make a latte, etc.

Since technology has come in and bowled over the workplace as we know it, people are much more connected. When I stopped working for someone else and opened my own business I realized that my network didn't change very much because my network existed online. I can change jobs or cities and I still e-mail the same people every day that I always did.
Granted, the freelancers and small businesses will be the first ones to catch onto location independent working because the overhead of keeping an office, desks, phone lines, etc. will force them to consider co-working or remote working. I think the bigger companies will follow eventually.
1) Productivity will go up. If people don't have to go to an office every day, office drama will decrease significantly. When I started adding up the coworkers birthday lunches, pointless on the spot meetings, and hallway chatter, I now wonder how I ever got anything done at all. By eliminating the social aspect of the office, people will not only get more done but they will then spend more social time with friends and family.
2) Companies Can Charge Less. The overhead that advertising agencies have to charge is enormous because everyone works in house. The same goes for a lot of other industries. What I've been trying to do is set up a core group of people that make up my company and when a client tells me what they need I contract those people accordingly. This means that when I don't have projects where I need a designer, they don't need to come and kill time at the office. This keeps my pricing very competitive.
3) Gen Y Will Demand It. Gen Y wants to know how everything fits into their life. They look for jobs that allow them to use the internet skills they have grown up with and that allow them to pursue their interests. Gen Y travels more than previous generations and will want to know how this fits into their job. Sound spoiled? I don't agree. I'd rather hire someone who has thought of a trip they wanted to take, pitched it to a company who agreed to pay them to blog about their experience, and come back with ideas, writing skills, and a knowledge of how to create work out of their experiences than someone who showed up at the office every day.
4) The Family Unit Has Changed. It took me a while to realize this one but it is relevant to this subject. Our families don't live as closely knit as they used to but things still need to get done. Most people don't have grandma cooking meals, or aunts doing laundry, or fathers next door to fix leaks. I was starting to feel like I simply couldn't get it all done and spend 60-70 hours physically at an office each week. Office hours are primo "get things done" hours so these errands had to wait until the weekend which meant I couldn't go and visit my actual family. Flexible work schedules mean we can answer e-mails while we wait for the plumber on a Tuesday.

I'm interested in hearing other thoughts on co-working or location independant working.Is anyone trying this ?
Here are some other places to read about the subject:
Location Independant
Free Pursuits
Wise Bread - Location Independent 101

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Do It Yourself Furniture Inspiration. Jimmie Martin

Jimmie Martin makes the coolest furniture I've seen in a long time - if you're one of those people that drags things home and resurfaces them (you know who you are, ahem, maybe you have a stack of 'to-do' furniture in the basement right now...)
This site will give you loads of inspiration!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Makes An Exceptional Man? My Guest Post

This post is a guest post on The Exceptional Man by Caleb Gardner. He's got great stuff for stylish men in any city.
There are a lot of great men out there. Leaders, speakers, cashiers, farmers, men doing any number of jobs in any number of cities that are really great. We know them by their accomplishments, their wardrobes, and their charming personalities. We date them, marry them, and befriend them. The list of characteristics that they have goes on and on and I've been hearing that list since I was 12 and trying to determine which ones I'd like to kiss.
The problem was, I didn't and still don't want to kiss a great man I want an exceptional man.
And exceptional?
That's a little harder.
Exceptional is Bourbon in a room full of vodka and tonic. It's Tim Burton after 10 Disney movies. Exceptional wears black tie when the invite says 'casual' and vice versa. Exceptional asks the question when everyone else is just thinking it. Exceptional welded the bike he rode in on. Exceptional isn't just great, he's different.
(read the rest of the post on An Exceptional Man)

Sand Animation

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is It Geeky That I Want This? Follow Me Tights

I should have these. $13 on Etsy!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Listening To: Kings Of Convenience: Declaration of Dependence

Their new album drops today after 5 years with no new tunes!


Nice Lights From Tent London.

SKK Lighting is one of the exhibitors at Tent London, a design show that just wrapped up. The site is worth going to because there was clearly a lot of talented people and groups there. I wish I could get these lights in the US!!
SKK caught my eye because they have a huge range of work from lighting projects in buildings to signs to stores to products all of them really cool.

SNL Had One Sponsor This Weekend, And They Blew It.

I have to preface this post by saying that I am starting to really get into watching advertising campaigns this year. I've been following what a lot of companies are doing and it's been really interesting to see what people are trying, how they are using social media, and poking some fun at those who are flailing a bit.
I don't know if you watched what Mad Men and BMW did this year but I thought it was brilliant. Mostly brilliant. Mad Men had 1 commercial sponsor: BMW. The sponsor got the entire commercial break and they made their commercials tailored to the audience that they knew was watching Mad Men so they had lots of video of BMW throughout the years, trivia that pertained to advertising and/or the 50's. I thought it was relevant and nicely done.
SNL decided to do the same with Bud Light's Golden Wheat beer during this weekend's show. I was really interested in seeing if the beer company would capture this great opportunity by creating some targeted content for SNL viewers.
The first fail came in when they touted all over the place that Bud Light's Golden Wheat was the ONLY sponsor and then proceeded to show plenty of other commercials. hmmmmm.
The next fail was when they showed fairly tame (i.e. boring) commercials to an audience that was there for comedy.
They tried to show some interesting content by pulling reels of old dress rehearsals at SNL but in my opinion, didn't pull any really good ones.
Lastly, they tried to seem like they were "social" by broadcasting groups of people at a bar in NY holding up beer bottles.
I think that the concept of the 1 sponsor per show is a good one but the sponsor HAS to then take advantage of the type of audience watching that show.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Great New Video From BMW

I like what BMW has been doing lately with it's BMW TV. This video is great and I love the Audi reference at the end. Worth the watch, I hope they actually put this on TV.
Truthfully, BMW could get a lot more mileage out of these videos by sending them to bloggers or to other video outlets in addition to just having them on their TV page but it's gotten some good pass along as is.

Listening To: Lupe Fiasco Samples Jimi Hendrix

This came from my girl at Prima Mag, supposedly this could make it onto his upcoming album (Lupe's that is, not Jimi's).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Milk Cartons I'd Buy: Bill's Dairy Farm.

Bill's Dairy Farm in South Africa made these great cartons for their flavored milk shakes. How cool would these look int he fridge?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Banksy Interview In Swindle.

I love his irreverence. I'm not saying he's always right but damn if he's not going to tell you what he thinks.
Here's why:
"The art world is the biggest joke going. It’s a rest home for the over privileged, the pretentious, and the weak. And modern art is a disgrace – never have so many people used so much stuff and taken so long to say so little. Still, the plus side is it’s probably the easiest business in the world to walk into with no talent and make a few bucks."

Rest of article here.

Shrink It: Coke Introduces 90 Calorie Cans

Coca Cola is following suit where many snack brands have gone in order to offer a "healthier version" of their product. Oreos, Goldfish, even yogurts have shrunk themselves in an effort to appear like a harmless little snack. Coke will introduce it's 90 calorie can of all of it's products. Hmmmm....
I'm not sure this is the answer to healthy eating, and I think most soda's already have those tiny little cans but maybe they'll get a cool designer to do the labels.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My 2nd Video Debut Today - 3:30 CST
I think I'm better in writing than on video but....
these guys at Requisite Video are friends of mine and we have a good time doing this show!

Shwood Sunglasses From Portland.

These are so cool and at $95, not too expensive!

Chair Love: Thanks Russia!

From Russian Art/Design studio Tsesler & Voichenko


A Post In Which I Can't Hear Myself Think.

Fall is always a really stressful time for me. The bad weather makes me realize how much slacking off I've done all summer, projects start coming in and piling up, and I generally find some sort of crisis to add to the mess (right now it's moving all of my stuff into an apartment that is meant to hold about half of my stuff).
So I've been trying new ways to lower my stress level like hip hop dance. To make a long story short hip hop was more stress inducing than relief. So the New Jersey-ite and I were invited to a concert last night and I decide that live music is exactly what I need in my life and although it's not a band I know (Dinosaur Jr.) we go anyway.
I like bands like Lykke Li, Metric, Zero 7, and I used to listen to punk music in college and I'll pretty much see anything live so I relax and start people watching when I get into the venue. When the music starts it's so loud that I can't even make fun of anyone to our friends. It's so loud that I am watching the couple of diehard fans that look like they are having a seizure up front and I'm thinking they are crazy. I hate music like this and start feeling like I want to leave.
Then I discover something.
I can't hear myself think. I've heard my mom say this more than once when I was young but I've never thought it myself. This is better than yoga. I can't even think over this incredible noise. Suddenly I am more relaxed than I have been in weeks! And for a minute, just one loud minute, I completely understand why that hardcore dude up front is having such a great time. He can't even hear himself think.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Listening To: Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition

It's top of the London Indie charts, I like it more and more with each listen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

MilkyEyes / Enrico Ascoli Video Goodness!

Smooth And Smoothie Bench And Table

These are designed by Florent Degourc and would be perfect for seating in a more progressively styled design agency.

Netflix It: The Girlfriend Experience.

It took all day yesterday to move my giant couch from my old apartment to the new one. I shopped for couches for 3 months until I bought this one and it's my favorite thing. Shallow? Wait until you sit in this thing.
Anyway, I rewarded all my hard work (by hard work I mean I held the door open for the people who were actually working hard carrying my couch) by making some tea and watching "The Girlfriend Experience" last night.
I liked this movie in a weird way because it's all about this girl who is basically an escort that's trying to grow her business. She didn't live in a crummy apartment, or get beat up, or show the seedy underbelly of being an escort she was a regular girl who dreams about Micheal Kors dresses.
Along the way she has a lot of people giving her business and finance advice and she's got to navigate all of these fake "great deals". I related to it. This girl could have had any consulting job and run into a lot of the same things. There's loads of people out there who have a great way to get you moving forward that aren't real. There are lots of people out there who will give you totally conflicting advice about your job and money.

You should watch this if: You like Indy films a lot
You are a consultant
You like movies in which the main character has really nice clothes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Site To Check Out: Expense A Steak

This site is hilarious. Put in your expense number and it spits out crumply and convincing receipts to back you up.

Time To Pretend

This picture makes me remember that I need to figure out what I'm supposed to be for Halloween. My sister says that I'm "being immature" because I kind of want to be Jessica Rabbit. I decided this when I was 98% asleep and having a conversation with the New Jersey-ite and apparently told him that "if I was a cartoon I'd want to be Jessica Rabbit" after he asked me a totally unrelated question.
So anyway, that's what I'm thinking for Halloween.
How much does it suck that if you live in an apartment you get no Trick Or Treaters?
How awesome is it that every year I still buy candy for them and know that it's really just for me?

Time Off: An Extreme Case

Every 7 years, Stefan Sagmeister closes his design shop for one year to work on other projects and take a general sabbatical.
A one year sabbatical! I started thinking about this and wondered if it was realistic? Could a company potentially do this? Could every employee do this (not at the same time obviously)?
Royce over at FIWK brought up this subject a few days ago and I think the wanderlust is a little catching because I've started thinking about where I'd go if I could go anywhere and what I'd do. A one year sabbatical would be awesome, just wonder who's paying for it?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

7 Eleven Is Getting Japanese Domo Cups!

7 Eleven is getting Domo packaging this fall!!! I am really geek-ily exited about this. How awesome are those coffee cups?

Verizon Makes A Pretty Decent Ad

I love when he says "the can-you-hear-me-now dude is right behind me!"

Blogging And The FTC.... Making Sure We Know We're NOT Celebrities.

I am not at all shocked by the recent rules put into effect by the FTC regarding bloggers disclosing their endorsements.
I'm not shocked because every time I read a mommy blogger or beauty blogger talk about how great this or that product is I have to wonder if the company sent them that item for free. Did Cuisinart send them the blender they love so dearly or do they really love it? I mean, would you tend to review something more favorably if it came for free? What about if someone actually paid you to write the positive review? Also, I'm curious as to which bloggers are getting free stuff and which are just reviewing in hopes of getting free stuff.... and who are the ones reviewing things they genuinely like. Honestly, I have seen some pretty damn good bloggers go down in flames because of over endorsement in their posts.
For the record, no one sends me free stuff. Maybe because I swear in my posts or maybe it's because I'm generally poking fun of advertising. Maybe it's because I have strange taste. Who knows.
So for my curiousity about who is getting free stuff I kind of like this rule.

That said, there are a LOT of things I don't. For example, celebrities.
Side note: I have celebrities on my mind as I'm writing this post in LA, the mothership of free celebrity schwag and I'm more or less surrounded by people that make me feel poor and not cute which is I'm pretty sure the goal of most beauty advertising. Should you want to see a 45 year old with a 20 year old body wearing tights (not pants) this is your place.

Anyway, product companies send celebrities free items all the time and then tell magazines that Sharon Stone loves their jeans. In fact, celebrities have been doing the "subtle endorsement" for years and years fueled by the gossip rag industry. Now bloggers start to get in on the fun and suddenly we need a rule about it.

To make the FTC rules simple you basically have to remember one thing: if it was sent to you for free or if you're being paid to write about it then you have to tell your readers. Most bloggers that I know are pretty protective of their readers and would disclose this kind of information in a heartbeat with or without a rule. Most bloggers respect their followers enough to tell them honestly what they think of a product so this would never be a problem. This rule is to stop the type of "pay per post" blogging that I have learned to dislike. If you accidentally end up on one of these types of blogs you'll know immediately.

Lastly, I'll close with this: if you're really worried about the rule consider this: How in the world is the FTC going to police the millions of blogs out there?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Documentary Looks So Good: Lemonade

hat tip to the New Jersey-ite for finding it.
By the way, check out (on the documentary), his stuff is pretty funny.

When Stress Comes Out In Weird Places.

I'm headed to L.A. tomorrow morning at 4AM and while I go to New York regularly I haven't been to L.A. in years. While I'm there I'm doing a whole bunch of meetings and I guess I'm nervous about them because the first thing I did after I booked my tickets is decide that my entire wardrobe was totally inappropriate.
I do this when my stress level gets really high. Despite the fact that I buy new clothes all the time and probably have plenty to wear. The funny thing is, when people were asking me how I felt about my meetings and the trip all I could say is.... "I have no clue what I'm supposed to wear."
So I spent the entire day on Saturday looking for something. I fumed about it and called everyone and complained that "the Midwest has horrible shopping".
I have totally convinced myself that I am, in fact, not stressed about the trip but about my clothes.
I cannot wait for In'N'Out burger though... YES!!!!
Good sites to visit if you live in L.A.
Racked LA
Bleach Black
California Style
The Coveted

Monday, October 5, 2009

Psyop Animation. Or, A Video With Genius Animation.

MTV MHD "Crow" from PSYOP on Vimeo.

Let me introduce you to Psyop, an amazing animation shop. Amazing. This video reminds me of fall when I start wanting to watch cheesy horror movies every night.

Listening To: I Don't Need Love I've Got My Band - The Radio Dept.

These guys are from Sweden. The name was taken from a gas station/radio repairer shop in Lund, Sweden which had a large sign with the name "Radioavdelningen, ("The Radio Department" in Swedish) hanging outside their shop.


What's A Service Worth? Pricing Yourself.

"Believe it or not, I can actually draw." Jean Michel Basquiat

A lot of people have been sending me e-mails lately about getting started with consulting / their own business so I've decided to start a series about how to get yourself going. I have had a few businesses, done some things right and a lot of things wrong so at the very least you could probably avoid some rookie mistakes and I can tell you some things that people just don't bring up when you're starting out.
Here's the first thing you need to know if you're going to be consulting starting a business, or freelancing:
Set Your Prices Where They Need To Be.

This is the single most important thing to do and the one thing that I see really talented people doing wrong all the time.
It doesn't matter if you are planning to get started as a fashion stylist, a graphic designer, marketer, or contract builder it will kill your business if you don't price correctly. I know this because I sunk my first business when I underpriced my services.
Pricing is directly related to your confidence level in your product or service. Some people might disagree with me but at baseline I think this is absolutely true particularly with services. I remember pricing out my first project with my first business and coming up with what I would need to charge and thinking "God, no one is going to pay me this. I'm only one person." I then cut that number in half and charged that. Looking back, that was the moment that business was doomed. I didn't believe people would pay for my work because it was a service and not a product.
Know Your Value. Know that your time is valuable and you are doing something that other people can't. I've chosen the Basquiat quote above because essentially you have to believe that you are capable and have something people need. This is incredibly difficult because starting a business can take your ego down a notch or two to begin with but being confident in your service is the first step towards being paid for it. Rachel Zoe is a stylist in LA and is in high demand for celebrity events. If you read her book you'll see that she loved clothes as a child and spent a lot of time buying them, creating them, trying different looks. She could easily have said "Demi Moore isn't going to pay me very much to dress her for a cocktail party" and stuck to C-level stars but she didn't. She knew that she could come up with a dress for the Oscars better than anyone else and charged accordingly. This is for picking out an outfit!
Know Your Bottom Line. This is another thing that I see freelancers and small businesses not doing frequently enough. Deciding how much money you need to make to sustain the business and also support your lifestyle will help you price your work. It's why paintings cost so much. Artists spend a lot of hours, supplies, etc. on those paintings, they know how much they need to give the gallery for showing them, and how many they'll need to sell to live on it. You will have to do the same. I have lots of friends that "just came up with a price" for their work. For example, a graphic designer friend tells me that he's charging $2,000 for a 2 month project. I ask him if he is too busy with this project to take on another of equal size.
"kind of."
"So can you live off of $2,000 for 2 months?"
"not really."
"Could you have gotten $3,000 for this project? Or $4,000?"
"I don't know, I didn't ask."
Knowing how many projects you can take on at one time is also very helpful. If you can do 3 big projects, those will need to cover your costs.
To my shock, when I doubled my prices not one of my clients blinked, balked, whined, or left.

Pricing also should be in line with the market value. Take note of the marketplace value of your service or product but don't let that be the only factor. Your experience, network, specialty, and bottom line should be equal factors.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

'Jesus Help Me Find My Proper Place' Solo London Show: Cyclops

Wow, this London show looks absolutely amazing and is presented by Black Rat Press. Cyclops (Lucas Price) is a major up and coming art star and works with street artist Sweet Toof to create skeletal works all over the city and the world. This show " will be exploring the fringes of society in a show which tackles narratives of homelessness, dereliction, madness, drugs and redemption."

Skull Wallpaper? Yes Please.

Check out the skull wallpaper by Bronze on Oil Slick. It's tremendously expensive but it changes color when you walk past it. Great for a bathroom no?