December 9, 2011
Our brains are hard wired to respond to red. Evolutionary psychologists explain this by pointing out that in the time before writing, when our brains were developing, if you saw red, something was happening that was worth your attention. You could be leaking red blood, something might be trying to eat you with its red mouth, delicious meat was red, your loincloth might be on red fire, those red berries might kill you, etc. Because your reptile brain learned these things, we still fixate on the color today.
After black and white, red is far and away the most requested ink color by our clients. It’s so common, it’s cliche. For fun, ask a graphic designer to make something redder and bigger, sit back and watch them regret being born.
When your brain sees something close to red it responds like that dog in the Beggin’ strips commercial. “Is that red? It is! Red!”
• Red onions: Not red. That color is called purple.
Nancy Spungen said it best: “Never trust a junkie.” Especially not one with reverse red-green color blindness.
February 1, 2011
Black males in their 20s (and sadly 30s), who would reply in the affirmative if asked “Do you feel you live a Hip-Hop lifestyle?”, share many common interests with pre-teen white suburban girls. Don’t believe me?
1. They both get excited about anything with bubble lettering on it. Clothes, school supplies and shoes. Some of them will even write that way on walls or sidewalks, but only if they don’t think their parents will find out.
2. Speaking of shoes, they love to collect them. Like whole closets full. Even though they’ve only got two feet. If you’re obsessed with footie socks, chances are good you’re a black dude or a cheerleader.
3. On the subject of collecting, guess how they both feel about stickers.
4. You’ll often see them travel in packs at the mall. However, if their friends aren’t around they will often take every opportunity to tell you how much they can’t stand their “friends”.
5. They constantly post about their boring lives on Facebook. Guess what? We don’t care about your new mix tape, or what was said by Mrs. Shermer in algebra class.
Young black males: You dolts realize you have more in common with Hannah Montana than Tony Montana right? Honestly, I wouldn’t have such a problem with this new Roscoe Dash, Soulja Boyesque kind of young black male, but when did you guys decide to abandon your last alpha male bargaining chip?
I also don’t understand the very feminine matchy match need either. Your red fake eyeglasses matching your red Braves cap, matching your red skinny Levi jeans matching your patten leather red Nikes. Do you guys know the term contrast? It can be pleasant when two things aren’t exactly the same.
For instance, when men are not like girls.
September 1, 2010
Putting the word “final” in a file name of your artwork is the surest way I can think of to get something in it changed.
Yet every week I see files come to my inbox named “final” as if the person making them was dictator and lord of all graphic design. Firm in the belief that they have some sort of control over their client’s constantly changing taste. Then the file gets revised.
Perhaps it gives the designer a sense of satisfaction for having reached the conclusion of a job well done. Or maybe they feel powerful using the word, as if by declaring it, they are therefore masters of the creative process. “THIS is the final design. Yes, the buck stops with me because I’m the designer of THIS design.” they must say under their breath as they excitedly press the floppy disk icon.
Which, by the way, Adobe, a floppy disk? Half the people using Acrobat have probably never touched a floppy disk or even seen one outside of their 4th grade computer lab.
Everything changes. Nothing is final. Except maybe death, your eventual lot in life of cleaning up another mammal’s feces, or realizing that you regret not doing that thing you love so much now when you were younger.
In short, don’t name your files “final,” because I don’t think that word means what you think it means.