I am enjoying seeing designers respond to the changing social constraints that the global pandemic has created. Below are some that I found inspiring.

PPE:

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Airtight designs for clubbing that support drinking and vaping. (via dezeen)

In the midst of the impeachment hearing on 11/20/19, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. testified to Congress. He described his interactions with President Trump regarding foreign aid that Congress had authorized to help Ukraine’s military defend itself against Russia. At issue was what Sondland knew about the requirements that were being placed on President Zelensky to investigate Trump’s political opponent Joe Biden, or at least to publicly announce that there was going to be an investigation. His full testimony can be found online (npr).

It appears that President Trump was taking notes and wrote down what he…


The world of higher education is changing rapidly. If you are a parent who went to college and have a child who plans on going as well, you are going to find that the landscape has changed in some pretty important ways. The most fundamental change is the cost. This single critical element has altered the incentives in the system and drastically changed the stakes for today’s high school students. As a professor who has taught at a public research university and at a private liberal arts college and as a father of four, I am living both sides of…


I’m not sure what is in the marketing water that has caused an explosion of brand haikus, but everyone is drinking it. Traditional “haikus” are poems with three lines and a 5–7–5 syllable pattern. However, “brand” haikus (which I just coined) are words that are tacked on to logos or wordmarks that companies use to concisely explain their mission. (Marketers appear to include this in the more general category of “taglines”)

There is a common pattern of using three words to do this job. This might be because of a need to cut through the clutter of full sentences, or…


I notice logos and probably think about them too much. I have opinions about their design, the color choices and how they visually connect to other ideas (e.g., Starbuck’s logo design trajectory, the Helvetica documentary or the story of the Lucky Strike logo [pg 68]). I don’t have the creative skill to make good ones myself, but from time to time I have hired graphic designers to make them for my projects and organizations. I like the challenge of communicating values simply and visually. Of course, logos aren’t the only kinds of images that do this. …


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by Donald J. Patterson, Professor of Informatics, UC Irvine and Sandy Patterson, Design Consultant

Keeping up with our family’s use of digital technology is a lot like a trip to the beach. On most days, the ocean doesn’t pose too much of a danger to our four kids. They stay together, they have survived a few seasons of swim team and they already have a healthy fear of the big waves. Nevertheless, as a parent, we always keep an eye out, because, calm waves can grow dangerous and choppy water can turn into riptides without much warning. …

Don Patterson

I am a professor who develops people and ideas.

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