A Frank Discussion with 99Designs

A big thank you to 99designs (and good friend Sam Lundquist for hooking it up) for inviting me onto a very important discussion panel with them, sharing thoughts about the industry, perceptions on crowdsourcing (read: spec work) and the future of the industry with companies like theirs in the picture. And thanks to the rest of the panel; Stacy, Holly, and Chris for their valuable insights and contributions.

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 12.26.45 PM.png

As controversial as the crowdsourcing business model is, I'm very happy to see market leaders like 99designs approaching the professional design community and getting their valuable, unfiltered thoughts. While it's uncertain if they're considering ditching the contest model altogether, we were encouraged to be brutally honest, which leads me to believe that they're at the very least aware of the issue within the design community, and making an effort to address it. I'm cautiously optimistic, but moreover I'm grateful to have been a part of the dialogue.

The Psychology of Infinite Revisions

The Psychology of Infinite Revisions

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down to lunch with my old boss and creative director, Fabian Geyrhalter. We were discussing the idea of getting better clients, doing more rewarding work as a designer, and spending less time dealing with the parts of the business that we hate. That's when he dropped this massive knowledge bomb that I am about to share with you.

How to build a cheap, portable white noise machine.

How to build a cheap, portable white noise machine.

As a husband & wife design consultancy, we have the benefit of being able to work together to solve some design challenges at home, as well. We wanted to help our oldest daughter, who we suspect is struggling with SID.

We tried just about everything from aggressive consequences to adjusting her workspace, but none of it really made a difference and it felt like various forms of punishment instead of support. In addition to this, as many parents can attest, we have little to no control over what goes on at school. Then it dawned on me. Instead of trying to change all of my daughter's environments, I decided to create one that she can carry around with her.

A new docuseries about design.

A new docuseries about design.

We're currently binge watching Abstract: The Art of Design.

The 8 episode documentary series by Netflix covers a variety of interesting design topics such as illustration, footwear design, stage design, architecture, automotive design, graphic design, photography, and interior design. Each episode focuses on one rockstar designer in their respective field as they immerse you in their process and reveal the various creative challenges they face.

The Year of the Rooster

Portrait of a Rooster by James W. Johnson.

Portrait of a Rooster by James W. Johnson.

Today we celebrate the Lunar New Year, and the beginning of the Year of the Rooster.

More precisely, 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster! As the tradition goes, Fire Roosters are known for their strong work ethic, holding punctuality and trustworthiness in the highest regard. I can't think of a better year to have relaunched Dragulescu Studio.

Happy Lunar New Year to our friends here and abroad! May all your projects be dutifully completed on time and under budget.

Date night at The Broad.

Date night at The Broad.

Every once in a blue moon, Heather and I find ourselves sans-children long enough to do something fun and grown up. We call it "date night," even though it's been known to happen during the day. On a Thursday morning this week, we found ourselves at The Broad, DTLA's hip contemporary art museum that opened just last September.

A face with no name.

A face with no name.

One request I get a lot, especially from startups, is to create a logo for them that is powerful enough to stand on it's own without a word mark. Somehow, spelling out the name of the company next to the mark feels passé these days. At least in terms of aspirational corporate culture or design aesthetic, these startups tend to compare themselves to Apple a heck of a lot, definitely more than any other single company. So naturally, they want the logo to fit the bill.

The California no.

The California no.

I made a promise to myself when I started writing this blog that I would never use it as a sounding board to disparage anyone I've ever worked with before. So, rather than outing any of my business associates, I will talk to you directly about the problem instead. It is a pattern of behavior I see cropping up more and more in modern business, and it is perhaps my biggest pet peeve in the professional world.