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While I pride myself on being a rule-breaker when it comes to design (because my ego won’t allow me to do anything standard and the insatiable need to hear people say they never saw anything like one of my designs) it is easy to get lost in the design and lose the message.
This seems to be a problem for many of us, as I hear countless designers complaining that the client has ruined their design with impossible limitations, and elements difficult to include.
We all know the endless stories of scams for free work, design-by-committee and micromanaging clients who fancy themselves as design geniuses— why do people seem to naturally assume that creatives are one-step from being zombies with computers? Despite the assumptions of how we live our lives, how we make a living and the differences between us and clients, it is our job to help guide the project to a successful conclusion. The first step to becoming even more creative is to understand that there may be limitations for a good reason. If you can understand the wishes of the client and take the limitations as a challenge and look for a unique but saleable solution, that makes you a great designer.
The New York City Subway Map, designed in 1972 (running until 1979 and then being “revisited” in 2011) by the recently departed Massimo Vignelli, is a classic example of the form having certain functions that had to be the foremost consideration and still Vignelli was able to design the most user beloved map in New York transit history.
The only complaint aired about the Vignelli map was that it didn’t show true ratios of mileage between stations. To this day, 42 years after it was introduced, people talk about the Vignelli map and the concept has been used on rail systems and metros around the world.
Paul Rand, who had an impressive reputation for designing on his own terms, still had limitations when designing logos for major brands.
Piet Zwart, a contemporary of the Swiss School designers, was too much of a rebel in his self-taught career.
Saul Bass, as with Rand, could handle the limitations of logo design but, even more remarkable, he was able to drive innovative design to Hollywood, which has traditionally been a conservative controller of creative output. When you understand all of your options, there are no real limitations, aside from specific requests.
If the answer is no (it has to be either “yes” or “no” and not, “a little, kinda”) then why should I look at your portfolio?
I know that sounds harsh, and judging by some of my former clients and the horror stories that abound in our profession, it seems impossible at times but as professional designers, we must take control, even when surrounded by those with “a pretty good design sense.” It can be one hell of an uphill battle but while giving the client what they want, you need to give them what they need or project failure will be blamed on you and there’s another one-time client, and a bad design with your name on it. Join our 746,498 subscribers and get access to the latest tools, freebies, product announcements and much more! In recent years, marauding teens took to the streets following the show in a gang "wilding" that's seen dozens of arrests. In 2010, more than 50 people were arrested as youths stormed businesses, harassed throngs of pedestrians and shot three people in separate acts of violence.
The youths, often sporting their gang colors, have historically gathered at the auto show before heading off in packs to Times Square. CHINATOWN — The federal Department of Transportation released more information Thursday on the dangers of Fung Wah Bus, including that the company allegedly falsified safety records, nearly a month after the DOT shut down the company over safety concerns. On March 1, the DOT slapped the bus company with an out-of-service order, labeling it an imminent hazard, when Fung Wah, a pioneer in Chinatown's cheap bus market, denied investigators access to its records. The so-called Chinatown buses like Fung Wah, which ferry intercity riders from curbside stops at cheap prices, have recently come under scrutiny for their safety records. In the weeks since the DOT shut down Fung Wah, inspectors found the company did not maintain its vehicles and falsified its own inspection records, according to the DOT. The report found that Fung Wah, which transported passengers between Boston and New York, failed to ensure drivers were qualified to drive motor coaches and failed to investigate drivers' backgrounds. The company, which had been in business for 10 years, isn’t the only carrier to be shut down in recent weeks. Low-cost, intercity buses have been involved in several accidents over the past couple of years, including a March 2011 crash that left 15 people dead when a Chinatown-bound bus flipped over in The Bronx. The brand "is almost too aspirational," says Cadillac Global Marketing Director Jim Vurpillat: Chinese car shoppers don't realize they can afford the cars, so they don't buy them.
The good news, Vurpillat told Business Insider, is that Cadillac's brand image is still very strong in China, unlike in the US, where the common view is of a once iconic mark that lost its edge long ago.
GM's plan for China involves moving production to the country, to avoid the costs of importing its cars.
The press days at the New York International Auto Show are done, and there's a lot of buzz around the new luxury sedans from Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, BMW, and Audi. The company is saving the official debut of its 2015 A3 sedan for the Shanghai Motor Show next month, but didn't want to let its rivals hog all the spotlight this week. The packed event at Pier 59 in Manhattan was open only to journalists, so the public won't have the chance to see the car in person for a while. So even without a car on display to rival the BMW 328d, Cadillac CTS, and Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, Audi is being talked about.
The Guinness World Record for tightest parallel parking job has been beaten by two brothers in the UK.

The new vehicles are designed to be safer, more fuel-efficient, and more comfortable than those in use today. Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan and Renault, was on hand at the show to show just how easy it is to load a wheelchair-bound passenger into the van. NASA's Super Guppy transport plane can swallow everything from rockets to International Space Station modules to trainer aircraft, which fit inside its humongous cargo compartment. In March, the Guppy was used to move two T-38 planes from the Dryden Flight Research Center in California to El Paso, Texas, to be partially disassembled for parts.
BUSINESS-TRAVEL writers have made much of a study released earlier this month by Topaz International, a travel auditing firm, which found that, despite its low-cost reputation, Southwest Airlines does not always have the cheapest rates. Here's one way to think about this result: Southwest Airlines was the cheapest option far more often than any other airline.
Readers of this blog will know that any single airline is unlikely to be consistently cheapest in every market.
Early this morning, electric car maker Tesla announced that it is exceeding its previous guidance on auto sales and turning profitable for the quarter.
PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 1, 2013) - Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced today that sales of its Model S vehicle exceeded the target provided in the mid February shareholder letter. Also being announced today is that the small battery option for the Model S will not enter production, due to lack of demand.
The customers who ordered this option will instead receive the 60 kWh pack, but range will be software limited to 40 kWh.
Tesla is also revealing a small Easter egg today: all 60 kWh cars have been and will be built with Supercharger hardware included.
Tesla Motors seems farther than ever from hitting the mass market after announcing Sunday it will cancel production of the cheapest version of its Model S sedan. According to a press release, the demand for the Model S powered by a 40 kilowatt-hours battery is not sufficient to justify production. Only four percent of customers wanted that version, with an estimated range of 160 miles, at 55 mph. The weak demand for the small battery model is not surprising, as the biggest downside to electric cars is their limited range. While reasonable, the decision to cancel the 40 kWh Model S undermines Tesla's insistence that it is not making expensive toys for wealthy drivers. The 40 kWh version of the sedan started at $52,400: a bit over that mark, but not by too much.
The bigger news in Sunday's announcement is that Tesla is exceeding its previous guidance on auto sales and turning profitable for the quarter. But in terms of Tesla's longterm goal, to offer "a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars," it represents a step backward. To protect a stretch of New York City's A subway line from the kind of severe damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy flooding, the city's Metropolitan Transit Authority is building a two-mile wall of steel between the tracks and the water. The wall will run on the eastern side of the tracks on Broad Channel, an island in Jamaica Bay. Crossing the bay, the A train leads to the Rockaways, the peninsula that was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
That section of the train, which carries, 30,000 riders per day into Queens, has been out of service since the storm.
The wall is made of thick steel designed to withstand erosion from salt water, and each section is being planted 30 feet into the ground. They think they are asking for one thing but in their attempt to explain something in “design terms” it strays in a completely different direction, as with my infamous tug-of-war with a company president who kept using the word “sophisticated” for her design parameters when she really meant “whimsical.” Two very different directions! The same ability to visualize things in our heads is what stops us from seeing the larger picture. It’s important to know how far you can push not only your imagination without boundaries, but how far you can go with certain limitations and be great within the lines.
Although the New York City subway map has changed to show the proper ratio of distance and above ground locations, Vignelli’s lesson on how to show multiple train lines and transfer points is still present. Even today, his early work stands out as brilliant solutions that still stay within the realm of the grid.
Examples of his work show genius in his freedom and self-confidence but his work for commercial clients, such as the Nederlandse Kabelfabriek Delft (the Dutch Cable Factory in Delft) show incredible thought about the limitations of the product and a brilliant way to show the product, clearly and informatively while making for an eye-pleasing catalog… of cable wiring!
The distance between his corporate logos, albeit brilliant design, is light years from his illustrative design work. Because we use computers in digital design, we are often more focused on the placement of individual design elements and then balancing the next element with the previous design element decision. Take it to the logical solution, until you are proud of what you’ve designed… then put it aside as a reject.

Speider is a former member of the board for the Graphic Artists Guild, co-chair of the GAG Professional Practices Committee and a former board member of the Society of Illustrators.
Using Twitter and other social media, the teens tell each other where to meet following the event. Many are forsaking the neighborhood altogether, staying at hotels in Downtown Brooklyn rather than near the Javits or Times Square. Days after Fung Wah closed, the DOT also shut down Ming An, which had routes from Chinatown that ran along the East Coast. It will open about 100 new dealerships and has hired Brad Pitt to hawk its products, advertising its sedans as luxury products within reach. Brand sales are up 32 percent in 2013, and 70 percent of people who buy the new ATS — the sedan designed to win over new owners — have never owned a Cadillac. Car and Driver, Jalopnik, USA Today, the New York Times, the Detroit Free Press, and many others reported the reveal.
Did any business traveller believe that Southwest was always the cheapest option on every route?
That's why it is essential to compare prices — and essential that airlines provide information that allows business travellers to do so accurately. As customers who note their Model S serial number this weekend will realize, vehicle deliveries (sales) exceeded 4,750 units vs. Only four percent of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version.
It will still have the improved acceleration and top speed of the bigger pack, so will be a better product than originally ordered, and can be upgraded to the range of the 60 kWh upon request by the original or a future owner.
Tesla is taking a slight cost risk that ultimately all customers will want to buy the Supercharger upgrade and receive unlimited, free long distance travel for life.
Even the most powerful Model S has come under fire for running out of power: For the review that sparked a fight with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, John Broder at the New York Times drove the version equipped with the largest available battery pack (85 kWh), which starts at $79,900. The project will cost $38 million and should be completed by May 1, according to Transportation Nation. Once finished, the wall will stand seven feet tall, which the MTA believes is high enough to stop future storm surges from damaging the tracks. Often it is mired in the power struggles between different departments in a large company or the interpersonal, one-on-one relationships we have with a smaller client.
We color outside of them, make new ones, hide existing ones and earn our place among great art on our parents’ refrigerator.
There are some people who use cut-out elements and move them around a piece of graph paper but making layout sketches is still considered the key to exploring great layout possibilities. The client didn’t “ruin” the project… you did by not handling the challenge to design within limitations and now you have a “a little, kinda” portfolio! But if you're feeling lucky and don't want to compare prices, your best bet is still Southwest.
Customers are voting with their wallet that they want a car that gives them the freedom to travel long distances when needed.
Even for those that never drive long distances, this will improve the resale value of their car to people that do.
The challenge in design must always be a clear message and sometimes, being more visual than wordsmiths, we just don’t see why our designs may be confusing to the client or just off their perceived brand. Obviously Zwart saw it as a challenge and created an incredible Bauhaus influence to the project.
The Topaz study compared Southwest's fares with those of eight competitors — American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Delta Air Lines, Frontier, Spirit, United Airlines and US Airways — across 100 popular routes.
Hence the supposedly "low" 40 percent number — which was still the best of the nine carriers under consideration. As a result, Tesla is amending its Q1 guidance to full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP.
The fact is, that usually clients better represent their targeted demographics — unless they are 58 and working at MTV — they hold some hints as to what design direction will please, and win.
You now have every possibility that works within the limitations of the product itself… and a few that are really out there, but that’s good! You have not been neutered as a designer — you are still challenged to create the best solution possible. You will see a marked difference in all of them and can send 3-5 of them to the client, assured you met and exceeded all of your personal limitations, as well as those of the medium on which the project will appear.

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