News & Ideas.

Our most recent projects and thoughts on business, branding, and the state of design.

The Devaluation of Stock

On Monday, March 2nd, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell under 7,000 for the first time since 1997. NPR had assured me of this as I was packing up for the day. Since I rarely concern myself with the stock market, the numerically sound fact struck me as something that surely related to design, but I couldn’t remember what that was. I wrapped a scarf around my neck and headed out, one foot in front of the other trying to reconnect-the-dots in the frigid winter air. As soon as I entered my apartment, I began fervently shuffling through papers in the recycling bin. Whatever complacent connection I was trying to make was in there somewhere.

Dress Code Conundrum

What to wear, what to wear… Most professionals habitually ask themselves this deceivingly simple question each and every weekday morning. It’s a valid question, with a solution usually made infinitely easier by looking for helpful cues around the workplace; construction workers throw on jeans and work boots, accountants select between a black or blue suit, and nurses slip into their scrubs. Graphic designers, on the other hand, have had a difficult time throughout history defining an appropriately unique look, and have, for the most part, resorted to inheriting the fashion trends of other professions. In an industry whose practitioners solve complex visual problems on a daily basis, it might come as a surprise that the most perplexing visual problem is what to put on before heading to work. Even so, designers remain undoubtedly confused when it comes to personal attire, and this isn’t simply a problem of individual identity; evidence suggests the dress code conundrum has been an underlying crisis for an entire occupational demographic since graphic design’s inception.

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