2006 2007

2006 was an important year for a lot of people, including myself. I left highschool and started college, started working for Weblogs Inc, put a name to a lifelong passion (cognitive science), and made a fantastic group of new friends in San Francisco. But as interesting and exciting as last year was, I think this one will be even better. All signs point to me moving to New York City in the fall to attend City College and Queens College (both schools in the City University of New York system) to continue my degrees in graphic design and neuroscience. This will be my first experience living alone, out in the big, bad, “real world,” and I couldn’t be more excited. In addition to this major life turning point, there is a considerable list of things I’m hoping to accomplish in 2007, and I see no reason why I shouldn’t be able to see all these goals achieved by this time next year. The list is as follows, in no particular order:

- Lose weight and get healthier through smarter eating and regular excersize.

- Finally learn Python and XHTML/CSS.

- Find more time to read books for fun (as opposed to assigned reading).

- Fully implement and stick with a GTD system.

- Get up and running with Cognitive Creative.

- Fall in love (cheesy I know, but shut up.)

- Other less specific but still important things that I can’t seem to remember.

Elvis or The Beatles; Designers Decide

“Now I’m gonna ask you a bunch of quick questions I’ve come up with that more of less tell me what kind of person I’m having dinner with. My theory is that when it comes to important subjects, there’s only two ways a person can answer. For instance, there’s two kinds of people in this world, Elvis people and Beatles people. Now Beatles people can like Elvis. And Elvis people can like The Beatles. But nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice. And that choice tells me who you are.”

This famous line from Pulp Fiction got Donovan over at Be A Design Group thinking; what equivalent questions would one designer ask of another? Here’s what he came up with, as well as my answers and justifications for why I answered the way I did.

Sans or Serif? – Sans in almost all situations unless serif is required for stylistic reasons, or in the case of long body copy.

Coated or Uncoated? – Uncoated. I’m a huge fan of the aesthetic achieved by the reflective ink on a matte paper.

Gray or Grey? – Grey. My spelling of this colour is most likely a product of my British colonial (South African) upbringing.

Nano or Shuffle? – Shuffle (2G). The Nano is nice and all, but to be honest I very rarely listen to music in any way other than shuffle mode. This combined with the Shuffle’s diminutive size and sexy looks make it the clear winner in my book.

InDesign or Quark? – InDesign. People still use Quark?

Photograph or Illustration? – Photograph. While both have their uses in different situations, I’m a much better photographer than illustrator.

Justified or Ragged? – Ragged, ideally carefully done to ensure minimal variation between line length.

Symmetry? – Asymmetry, but balanced. Symmetry is boring.

Emboss or Deboss? – Emboss. Not too pronounced though; something along the lines of the letter-pressed look.

RGB or CMYK? – CMYK. This is kind of a silly question, as both are used for very different purposes. However, I work with print more often than working with on-screen stuf

Note: To try and keep with the idea that, “nobody likes them both equally,” I limited myself to answering either one way or the other. In reality though, to be a good designer, one has to be able to adapt to the situation and use all possible tools to accomplish the task at hand.