Sunday, May 8, 2011

The View

The view out of my car window, in my mailbox, on my computer, in brochure racks and even in some of my favorite publications is not great. More often than not, it stinks. It's what we see all day everyday. From the moment we arise to the moment our heads hit the pillow. This multi-colored, mix-messaged, million-words-per-inch vista that we call advertising is everywhere.

It's like we have lifetime front row seats to a show that makes no sense. To a game that has no rules. To a concert performed ad lib. It's advertising. More specifically, it's advertising with bad design. You see, advertising accompanied by solid design makes sense. We understand it. It speaks to us in ways that we want to be spoken to. It's attractive. Possibly even improves the scenery around us.

The vast advertising landscape is here to stay. I, for one, want a better view.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Success Sans "The Numbers"

As I am reviewing and reflecting on the work RAD has completed in 2010 I begin to ponder a question. Even struggle a bit. Was 2010 a successful year for RAD and it's clients? How does one calculate success? Well, from a business standpoint, I suppose one must use "the numbers". I could go into detail here but we all know about "the numbers". I'm speaking of the lofty numbers that are set in January and seem to fluctuate just enough throughout the year to stay just beyond our reach (kinda like the rabbit on the rail at a Greyhound track). Large companies, small businesses, even solopreneurs create these conspicuous, devilish and often delusional digits.

So I decided to blaze my own trail. Agitate accountants, business people and professors worldwide. I decided to throw out "the numbers". I wanted to determine success sans "the numbers". After all, I am a designer. Numbers aren't really my thing.

First thing's first. Unlike most formulas, mine begins by subtracting a couple elements (probably not acceptable from a mathematics perspective but like I said, I'm a designer). Completely remove society's definition of success. That means how much money was made and how much stuff was acquired. Next, remove ego. O.K., now (however you see fit) factor in the following: overall happiness throughout each workday, how well needs were met, how well proper priorities were maintained, the quality of your relationships with family and friends, time spent away from work and how well resources were allocated. Others could be added, combined or subtracted as one sees fit but you see where I'm going with this.

Bottom line: When it's all over "the numbers" that seem to be the most important now will, I believe, be the one element that matters not. Now there's a formula that makes me smile.