Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson

Freelance since '08 Joined over 2 years ago

  • 0 stories
  • Posted to The Engine — built by MIT, in reply to Clay W , Sep 20, 2017

    The 'Brutalism' thing in a nutshell:

    1. Designers coming out of art schools like ECAL, Gerrit Reitveld, etc. in the mid-2000s start bringing some of their experimental work into the small print magazine movement (mostly in Europe at this point) after print starts getting less scrutinised in favor of digital. See:
    2. Hits NYC from Europe (to be fair people in scenes like RISD were always woke) when guys in publishing like Richard Turley bring the aesthetic into the mainstream on publications on Bloomberg Businessweek
    3. More traditional (not product focused) design agencies/studios bring the aesthetic to the web after the fall of skeumorphism and the rise of web type
    4. SF Tech bros who hang out on Dribbble finally take notice when these sites get posted on SiteInspire, steal the term "brutalism" to describe it since it doesn't look like a stripe landing page.
    5. 'Brutalism' becomes a catch-all term for any website that contains an aesthetic nod to a design movement that didn't happen on Dribbble
    6. Myself and others find this amusing and post snarky/snob-ish finger-wagging comments on DN

    Also, see Aaron's comment below, this site falls much more under Swiss International Style than it does this so-called "web brutalism."

    2 points
  • Posted to How does Ueno get clients like Airbnb, Uber, Slack?, Sep 20, 2017

    The reason big companies use design agencies is the same reason they contract out services like legal, auditing, advertising, capital management, janitorial services, catering, architecture, real estate acquisition, etc. etc.

    Airbnb, Uber, Slack, etc. almost certainly have in-house legal departments, however they also retain external legal counsel from various specialist law firms. To add some examples to jrtorrents response:

    No company does everything well It doesn't make sense to invest in anything that isn't core to your business. Design is an extremely wide discipline. Just because you have a top notch in-house team of product designers working on the core product/service, doesn't mean they would be the best team to put on a marketing site or an advertising campaign when compared to the team at an agency that specializes in that work.

    Projects are temporary, in-house employees are not If a firms need for a certain service (ie. marketing design) is cyclical they will often farm this work out to agencies so they don't have have to fire members of their design team after every big project and expose themselves to bad press and lawsuit risks.

    External agencies are faster The bigger the company is, the slower it moves. When you've got a big project with a deadline to meet, hiring an external agency is an immediate way to get a competent team on your project without jumping through the slow bureaucracy of your company. For example, say you want to redesign one of your product landing pages, but your team is already at capacity. Instead of taking 12+ months to source, interview, vet a creative director and then source, interview, and vet a team to place underneath that person...the agency could have finished designing that page 10 months ago.

    Outside perspective Internal design teams are often averse to change and new ideas after spending years learning about legacy systems, old processes, bureaucracy, etc. They become unable to question the status quo for fear of losing their jobs or Stockholm Syndrome. An outside agency can bring fresh perspective to a project your in-house team is struggling to nail.

    Agencies can be cheaper Since agencies often work on a fixed SOW or retainer, their cost is 100% transparent, accountable, tax-deductible and can be negotiated down by your procurement people. You can't walk up to your internal design team and say, "Guys, budget is tight this quarter...will you take 40% less salary on this project?"

    25 points
  • Posted to The Engine — built by MIT, in reply to Alex Camp , Sep 19, 2017


    5 points
  • Posted to Can anyone tell me cool design podcasts?, in reply to Ollie Barker , Sep 07, 2017

    I upvoted because it's true, however afterwards I realized how amusing it is that the top comment in both this thread and the recent Newsletters thread is basically...Meh. Everything sucks...haha

    Seems to be an amusing quirk that we will always give the negative top position. If I were to ask "Hey, guys what are some good blogs?" I'd be willing to wager a large chunk of money the top comment would again be something like...Meh. It's all a bunch of content marketing crap.

    1 point
  • Posted to Crello - A Graphic Design Tool for Everyone, in reply to Ismael Branco , Aug 31, 2017

    Hand woven textile workers used to make good money in the 19th century as well. So did coal miners. There was a better and cheaper way to do both of those things, and hence, the world moved on. People have two options. Change with the times and prosper...or get left behind and become bitter.

    1 point
  • Posted to Crello - A Graphic Design Tool for Everyone, in reply to Ismael Branco , Aug 30, 2017

    This is the level of work they are targeting:

    I don't think even "low-mid quality" designers were planning on making a career out of social posts and banner ads for the local flower shop (and if they were, I'd strongly suggest aiming a bit higher).

    Personally I love the idea of sending this product to all my friends who always ask if I can "quickly photoshop something for them."

    0 points
  • Posted to Do older generations prefer a different design style? , Aug 16, 2017

    We're gonna need a screenshot of the design in question for further diagnosis. But it sounds like maybe a wierd way of saying the work in question is off-brand for its particular purpose.

    edit just went to Can confirm, super millennial...haha

    For example, if you were working on a project for a regional bank with an average customer age of 45, it would be off brand use a playful serif with neon images of young people and a headline like "Banks fucking suck. Join ours. It's not shit." The 45 year old customer wouldn't respond favorably to the tone of that visual design and copy voice.

    13 points
  • Posted to ASK DN: Do you contribute to retirement funds?, Jul 23, 2017

    I used to work in the finance industry and by far the best resource on the web for long term investors is the Bogleheads forum. Ridiculously amazing stuff here:

    If you don't want to bother doing your own research I would defintely just dump your money into a roboadvisor like Wealthfront or Betterment. Their investment strategies and asset allocation are sound. However you could easily replicate their strategies on your own without paying their fees.

    A word of caution, their Tax Loss Harvesting and rebalancing claims are very overblown and do not at all justify their fees. 0.25% might seem small but due to the nature of compounding this will likely add up to $200,000+ in fees over your lifetime (or more, depending on what you make).

    The only value they provide is the convenience factor and realize that you are paying a big premium for it.

    Here's more reading on wealthfront and betterment's TLH claims:

    On the impact of percentage based fees:

    My advice: open an account at Vanguard, assemble a portfolio of crazy low fee ETFs, and rebalance/harvest losses yourself. It's the only way to get maximum returns. Never forget: fees are gaurunteed, returns are not.

    Take a week or two doing research on Bogleheads and you'll have all the information you need for a lifetime of investing.

    2 points
  • Posted to Site Redesign: Pentagram, in reply to Axel Valdez , Jul 21, 2017

    If your visual impairment is bad enough to the point where you can't read black on white 35px body copy (re: the Pentagram site), you're gonna have a bad time on a site showcasing graphic design.

    In regards to generating business, would the people I mentioned above ever be in charge of vendor procurement on a $500,000 visual rebranding project?

    0 points
  • Posted to Site Redesign: Pentagram, in reply to Aaron Wears a hat , Jul 20, 2017

    Is it really a massive assumption to make that blind people aren't into graphic design and graphic design agencies? I'd be happy to change my mind if you have some examples.

    I also don't think its a big assumption to think there aren't illiterate people researching the exploits of an exclusive B2B corporate branding firm doing $500,000+ projects.

    They should've totally thrown alt tags in because the effort would have been minimal and it's good for SEO anyways. However accessibility concerns being the top comment given the context and purpose of this site makes zero sense.

    This site isn't the same as the mass market digital products we work on in our day jobs (where accessibility is at the top of the crit list, as it should be).

    3 points
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