Show them what you got

Whatever it is you do – show them in EVERYTHING you do.

Each customer communication is a chance to remind your audience what it is you do and reinforce the essence of your brand.  There is never a moment when the show is not on – never a minute when you want your audience to see that man with the crazy hair pulling levers behind a curtain.

Whether it’s answering the phone, checking a bag or printing out a ticket, every customer touchpoint is part of a larger story playing out.

When you join Seattle Art Museum, of course you get your membership card and a welcome letter.  At many places that might be all you get.  But at SAM you also get a little bit of what they do – which is art.

Simple but gorgeous onboarding materials let you know you’re in good hands.  As you handle the nicely printed paper and read the content, just like that – you’re taking in a private exhibit at your kitchen table.  The SAM brand has come to you.

Which makes it a lot more likely you’ll now go visit SAM.

Onboarding materials from Seattle Art Museum.


Typeface is all important to your design.

If text is involved, typeface is at the heart of the user experience.

In spoken language, the same sentence could come across very differently depending on accent.  Think of the range of tones between London, New York, Bombay, Dublin.

Which one does your brand speak in?

It’s the same for language we read.  Typeface creates the experience and should always be carefully considered.


Back to the human

In many ways, we have gone full circle on technology mania.  In the midst of ever more machines, the unmistakable sign of the human is what now distinguishes good design.

People are making their own typefaces out of hand written letters.  Drawing is highly visible.  The look of touched and worn pages is common.  For UI wire frames and flows, a casual hand drawn look is standard.

If all our creative work is taking place huddled around white boards, why shouldn’t final products also have the look of the hand crafted?  We are attracted to things made by hand and not machine.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival raises the curtain on 2016

In just a few weeks, one of America’s great theatres kicks off its new season.  Oregon Shakespeare Festival, located way down in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, may be in the middle of nowhere geographically.  But it’s really like midtown Manhattan considering the impact this long-running gem has on the entire American theatre ecosystem.  OSF is great stuff, and a visit to Ashland is unlike almost any other artistic experience you’ll ever have.

I love taking photos when I visit OSF, and this year I was lucky enough to have two of my images featured in the 2016 season catalog.  If you’re on the OSF mailing list, keep an eye out for pages 4 and 31.  If you’ve seen any of my photos before, you know I like the long exposure night shot.  And that’s what they’ve selected here.

Thanks, OSF – for the chance to share some of the beauty and drama that is OSF!