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A Man On Omission

Call it payback. After years of cynicism regarding the whole “gluten-free” movement, my doctor recommended I cut gluten and sugar from my diet for the next two months. Gluten and sugar? Yikes! As hard as it’s been to accept, I’m off to a successful start on my newly restricted diet. I’ve also been a man on a mission. I can live without gluten and sugar (I think), but life without my beloved beer? Unthinkable.

After a few stops on my quest for the perfect gluten-free brew, I arrived at Omission. Created by Widmer Brothers Brewing Company in Portland, Washington, with packaging designed by Seattle-based D.S. Phillips, Omission offers a heady blend of surprisingly tasty brew and refreshingly disruptive branding.

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Personal White Space

We dropped our daughter off at college last week. And although it wasn’t quite as wrenching as that freshmen-year parting, saying goodbye to your sophomore isn’t all that much easier. Between her piles of furniture in the garage, her eclectic assortment of food cluttering up the fridge, and her “stuff” all over the house, a lot of space has suddenly opened up around here. And there’s also that empty feeling any parent experiences at such times.

I know from experience that it will take a little time to fill that emotional void. But the roomy fridge? The spacious garage? The tidy house? I’m already loving that stuff. They say that nature abhors a vacuum, but sometimes it’s important to push back and hang on to a bit of space.

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Vote For Milton Glaser!

As a graphic designer, artist, and influencer of culture, Milton Glaser has nothing left to prove. At 86 years of age, he can look back on an incredibly prolific career and an inventive and elemental body of work. From his iconic I Heart NY logo through countless now-familiar posters, album packages and corporate identities, Glaser is one of the true icons of American graphic design.

A big believer in the role of great design in making the world a better place, Glaser’s work has always put social considerations ahead of the commercial. No surprise then that he jumped at the chance to contribute when the AIGA put out the call for ideas for a 2016 get-out-the-vote poster. True to form, Glaser simultaneously created a great design and made an important statement with his “To Vote Is To Exist” poster.

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The Art Of Balance

One of the truly useful skills for any entrepreneur is the ability to keep all of the various balls in the air while maintaining a solid footing. Whether it’s a work/life thing, a financial chore, or finding the time to work on, as opposed to in, your business, maintaining a sense of balance is always challenging but absolutely essential.

From day to day, from project to project, I somehow maintain that balance, but there are times when life just throws the proverbial monkey wrench into the works and things get wobbly. A recent such “life happens” event found me in San Francisco, far away from home and office for a long three-week stretch to take care of some family business. Living and working remotely while dealing with other pressing matters was pulling me in several directions at once. And while I managed to stay surprisingly productive, my equilibrium was most definitely out of whack.

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What A Beautiful Mess

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

– Albert Einstein

I recently stumbled into this vintage photo of Albert Einstein’s desk along with the above quote. In addition to serving as a fascinating glimpse into the working life of a genius, it provided me with a little vindication as to the seemingly chaotic condition of own desk on any given day.

My clients, who come to me for clean, elegant design, might be a little shocked by the mess, but a recent study from the University of Minnesota’s Carson School of Management suggests that I may be on to something. The study had some subjects perform prescribed tasks in a messy environment, while others were asked to carry out those same tasks in a clean uncluttered space.

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