ayana airakan-mance | design : speak

What Visual Designers Can Learn From Biggie Smalls | from the design mind blog

Posted in Design, LinkedIn, New Media | Multimedia, Process, Teaching by ayanaairakan on 2012/01/07

I found this post by Andreas Markdalen (twitter.com/youthprojects) on Frog Design’s The Visual Design Dept. blog on design mind quite interesting. Here he discusses how design and design thinking can benefit from Chris Wallace’s (aka Biggie Smalls) creative process in constructing his raps.

In his post, Markdalen outlines five areas that designers can use to create a five-prong strategic process. They are:

-Create “A Central Theme”
-Create “A World of Context”
-Rehearse and Repeat
-“The Non-linear and Organic Process”
-“The House of Cards”

You can read the full article via the link below. What are your thoughts?

What Visual Designers Can Learn From Biggie Smalls | Blog | design mind.

Updated Post: Film On Charles and Ray Eames and the Eames Office

Posted in Art, Business, Design, Design History, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2011/11/29

Charles and Ray Eames are clearly two of the most influential designers of the previous century. This film looks not only at their pivotal work, but also looks at their personal relationship and how they collaborated on some the most important designs of the 20th Century.

It can be seen in theaters and on PBS.

[via Fast Company: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665403/the-eames-studios-inspiring-history-and-unknown-dark-side]

Designing for Mobile Devices (via AIGASF)

Posted in Design, Design Education, Design Events, LinkedIn, New Media | Multimedia, Process, Teaching by ayanaairakan on 2011/10/26
Great presentation by the SF Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists last week. The demand for design for mobile platforms is growing at a lightening speed. There is a great need for those of us teaching in Multimedia Studies programs to advocate for the inclusion of these technologies in our curriculums.

Thanking Steve Jobs for “thinking differently”

Posted in Branding, Business, Design, Design History, LinkedIn, Macworld, Musings, Process, Social Good, Technology by ayanaairakan on 2011/10/06

Okay, here’s my tribute to the genius of Steve Jobs and thanking him for being a pentacle of the “think different” principle.

By creating the Apple Macintosh computer, he and Steve Wozniak changed my life, turning me into a geeky girl, and moving me into the world of graphic design, which I easily added to my early work as a performing artist and educator.

In the summer of 1989, I decided to take a basic computer class at Laney Community College, in Oakland, CA. The computers used in this class were Macintosh 512Ks. The 512K was released on September 10, 1984, and retailed for $2,795.00. (Source: Wikipedia) In this class we learned Microsoft Word 4, and Hypercard. I was hooked from day one.

Upon completion of the class, I found someone selling a used Mac Plus for $1000.00 (less than 1/2 the retail price) which my dear mother gifted me. The seller threw in a, now get ready, 20MB hard drive/power console combination unit. The operation system was version 6, and came on 6 floppy disks. I had a friend help me install it onto the hard drive, and imagine my delight after booting the machine and drive to see that I not only had MS Word 4, but Aldus Pagemaker and Freehand, Adobe Photoshop 2 and Illustrator 88. Hypercard was, at that time, part of the system software, so I had that too! I was totally hooked then and have stayed a loyal Apple Macintosh user.

After the Mac Plus (which I still have), I moved on to the Macintosh II Si, Quadra 800 (the first Mac tower), the iBook G3 (the white square one), the Power Mac G3 tower, the iBook G4, the G5 (dual processor), Macbook Pro (Intel Core Duo), Macbook (Intel Core 2 Duo), and as of last summer, the iMac (i3 processor, 20.5″). I still use the G5, Macbook Pro, and Macbook as well as the iMac.

In spirit, thanking you again Steve Jobs for being one of my examples always inspiring me to “think different.” May I too, inspire others.

And please support cancer research and all those working toward the eradication of this disease.

Think Different Ad

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My iBook G4 arrives. Mr. Big Fluff was more impressed by the box it came in.

Design is About Solving Problems | Design Informer

Posted in Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Process by ayanaairakan on 2011/09/07

One of my Twitter colleagues, Jan Jursa of Information Architecture Television (@IATV on Twitter) shared this interesting post by James Young on Design Informer (See link below) and I thought I would share it.

It is always good to step back and reassess where one is in respect to the design process. This is a good post followed by good comments. Enjoy.

Recently, a couple of things happened in my design career that have made me sit down and reflect a bit on where I’m at and how I can improve what I deliver to my clients and their users. I’d noticed that my source of inspiration had changed and that I was being inspired more by clever solutions and ideas than by visual flourish.

Like many designers, my RSS feed of inspirational websites is full of great work and posts. I’m also active on Twitter, and I meet up with other designers regularly at local events. But I find that at a basic level, I actually don’t draw that much inspiration directly from these things anymore.

The full article can be read here or via the link below.

via Design is About Solving Problems | Design Informer.

Wim Crouwel in conversation

Posted in Commentary, Design, LinkedIn, Process, Typography by ayanaairakan on 2011/05/04

“I’m a little afraid of design as art, of moving away from the client and creating your own content. Rarely people are good at both. Design and art are in the same neighbourhood, but they should not be in bed together. But, I am also curious about this border crossing.”

Sharing an interview with one of the most influential (in my opinion most certainly) designers and typographers. Enjoy.


Nice pre-#w2e talk with Maria Giudice (@mgiudice) and Kaitlin Pike (@kcpike), sharing an overview of Maria’s 3/29 Web 2.0 Expo session.

Posted in Business, Commentary, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn, New Media | Multimedia, Process by ayanaairakan on 2011/03/30

It’s my second day at the Web 2.0 Expo here is San Francisco, and while on break, I listened to a pre-Web 2.0 Expo interview by Web 2.0’s K. C. Pike of Hot Studio’s CEO and founder, Maria Giudice who is talking about her Web 2.0 Expo session called: Don’t Go It Alone: Using Collaboration to Solve Creative Design Problems. Her session will focus on building a creative culture in your organization.

Some gems from her insight:
Be a good listener and facilitator.
Build fun into your organization and a bit of spontaneity.
Treat everyone as a contributor
Make sure your company is iterating and evolving on a regular basis and that your employees are part of that evolution.
You want to turn your naysayers into your strongest advocates.

You can catch the full interview here: http://bit.ly/h6RlYG

Macworld SF Expo 2011: Disappointing, but . . . #apple #macworld #in

Posted in Commentary, LinkedIn, Macworld by ayanaairakan on 2011/01/31

Yes, it was that time of the year again, and I made it to the Macworld 2011 Expo here in San Francisco, albeit the very last day. I have yet to attend any of the conferences. Here are my thoughts and highlights of the Expo. My compatriots were Cherie Carter and Jeanne Hendrickson. And I also ran into Adam Helweh, and photographer extraordinaire, Duane Conliffe.

I was very pleased to see the new inventors space (can’t remember the actual title) where I met two men who created a collapsible, pocket-size stand for the iPhone and iPad using Kickstarter to raise venture capital to develop the product and get it to market. I thought this was pretty cool. The interactive tables and whiteboards by SMART, Inc. were interesting.

Another highlight, was meeting these four entrepreneurs who have created “Off the Chain,” for iPods, IPads, iPhones, mobile phones, and mp3 players. They were incredibly enthusiastic and working the expo floor quite well. You can check them out at: http://digitaltrendsetters.com.

I also found a great productivity mobile app (for iPhone/iPod  and IPad) made by Appigo, and a great remote clone tool made by thinkoptics, inc. I liked the thinkoptics, inc. app so well, that I’m finally going to update to the latest iPod Touch, so I can use it. I’m also purchasing MacKeeper a tool that has a great security feature in the event a computer is stolen. The Mac Geek Gab featuring Dave Hamilton and John Braun from The Mac Observer, Inc. was enjoyable and informative. It was good to see BusyMac who makes BusyCal as well, and I’m sorry I missed the OmniGroup booth. I didn’t see them. They make that great tool Omngraffle.

Although I did find these great products, talks and services, I will say that this year was a disappointment in that there were no products I could find that addressed my core interests as a Macintosh computer user in the areas of graphic design and photography on the Macintosh platform. Most vendors offered tools for the mobile platform. The fact that Macworld is having a mobile app conference and expo in Barcelona this year leaves me asking why did they dedicate 95% of the expo to mobile app developers.  Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Seagate were the only prominent vendors here this year. It would be great if Adobe, Quark (yes Quark), and Apple saw we who use their hardware and software as a valuable consumer market. By the looks of this year’s Macworld, it is quite clear that this is not the case. See my addendum below.

It also seems that the focus of Macworld is only on the conferences and the expo is an afterthought. I think I’m finally at the point where I am seriously looking at not attending next year. I don’t do the conferences, as they are quite pricey.

Feeling a bit sad about the direction Macworld is taking. Maybe I’m too old-school. I miss the Geekdom of the Macworld of yore. Love to know your thoughts.

Just finished having a nice talk with my neighbor David Morgenstern, a blogger at The Apple Core on ZDnet and definitely one of my go to people for anything Apple, and he shared his thoughts about how many vendors who would like to show at Macworld could not do so due to the high cost of the exhibitors price. He also felt that companies like Adobe could not justify the cost in regard to their ROI (Return on Investment). Maybe Macworld needs to look at lowering its exhibitor’s fee or move the event to less costly venue. I think his point is well taken, and I thank him for sharing it.

Again, love to know your thoughts.

Starbucks looks beyond coffee w/new logo design (via @fastcodesign) #in

Posted in Business, Design, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2011/01/06

Full article here: With Eyes on World Expansion, Starbucks Drops Its Name From New Logo | Co.Design.

And a message from Starbucks. via erik spierkermann.

Is A Revamped Brand Enough: The U.S. Postal Service Is Dying. Why Not Radically Rebrand It? | Co.Design

Posted in Branding, Design, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2010/12/31


In this era of digital communication, one has to question whether revamping the U.S. Postal Service’s brand is enough. I think the designs Chase proposes are quite good, but are addressing the problems the postal services is dealing with that not only concern the prolific use of digital forms of communication that many of us are using, but also the many internal issues the service is dealing with, the most important being the laying off of employees due to a diminishing budget. What do you think? The full article with all design explorations can be read here: The U.S. Postal Service Is Dying. Why Not Radically Rebrand It? | Co.Design.