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Archive for February, 2010

The Michelin Man brings it in Logorama

Watch your favorite brands in an epic battle to save themselves from themselves in this Oscar-nominated short film. Censored on YouTube, watch it here.

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Gayle Troberman

Good news today, if you are a Microsoft fan. They just appointed a Chief Creative Officer.

Now, was the news greeted with the expected barrage of cynicism? Of course. But for me, it further supports my theory that there’s a gradual revolution going on at Microsoft. The company is growing up and becoming a skillful marketing organization.

(Full disclosure: we do some work with Microsoft. So you can ignore everything I say if you want.)

Not an easy transition for an ultra-technology-driven company that keeps its emotions behind a firewall. Apple was fortunate that they had both technology and marketing genius at the top. Microsoft has just not depended on marketing the way most of its Fortune 500 sibs have. I think the organization is realizing that it’s time to get serious about getting really good at this thing. World-class good.

I hope I’m right. I’m pretty sure I’m right. I see this revolution (gradual as it may seem to outsiders) happening at various points distributed throughout this unimaginably huge entity. (Is it a single entity?) I’ve witnessed it ramping up over the last year or two. The appointment of Gayle Troberman is further evidence of this. From my brief experience with her a long time ago, she’s got the guts and spirit and sense of humor you want in this position.

It’s heartening.

– Doug

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Michael Bierut of Pentagram

OK, I’m going to send you to the blogger who so dilligently wrote down the slide titles and reported on the experience of Michael Bierut’s talk about the designer and the client, because this person did us all a great service. I’m also going to repeat the titles of Bierut’s talk below because they’re so important.

To some of us, this reaffirms many of the hard lessons we’ve learned over the years. To others, this might help you get through the hard lessons you’re about to learn.

Either way, this stuff is completely and absolutely true (and I don’t say that about nearly anything). Confidence versus fear. Exactly.

Agencies: ask yourselves if you’re treating your good clients like gold.

Clients: ask yourselves if you’re good or bad.

Michael Bierut talks about clients.

  • Clients can be the best part of the design process.
  • Clients are the difference between art and design.
  • My clients are the same as yours.
  • The right client can change anything.
  • The best clients love design, or don’t give a damn about it. (i.e., they have confidence)
  • The worst clients are somewhere in between. (i.e., they have fear)
  • Never talk about “educating the client.”
  • What makes a great client? Brains, passion, trust and courage.
  • “You’ll never go wrong when you work with someone smarter than you.” (Tibor Kalman)
  • Warning: Your great client may not be my great client.
  • Great clients lead to more great clients (and more great work).
  • Bad clients lead to more bad clients (and more bad work).
  • Bad clients take up more of your time than they should.
  • Meanwhile, we take great clients for granted.
  • The trick is to reverse this.
  • What do I owe a great client? Loyalty, honesty, dedication and tenacity.
  • Once you find a great client, never let them go.
  • If you can find five great clients, you’re set for life.
  • “You’d better find somebody to love.” (Jefferson Airplane)
  • Good luck.

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