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A blog about design thinking, business, growth and intellectual life.

July 24, 2014 at 10:16pm
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Hongkong Impression

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Hong Kong is a multi-culture city in China, probably now becomes one of my favorite city so far after seeing the real Hong Kong.

It is a city mixed with East and West culture: everything is bilingual - native Chinese can go around easily, as well as a foreigner. Under that impression, Hong Kong is also a mixture of Chaos& Order, Culture&Business, Old&New, Nature&Manufacture. Because of those mixtures, Hong Kong is famous for it’s tourism, business, food, architecture, design, shopping etc. The population is dense, diverse and grows constantly, thus land, houses living cost are extremely expensive. 

However, among all of the cities I visited in mainland China, Hong Kong are the few ones that preserve such great Chinese traditional culture. Details and little designs appeared everywhere in parks, restaurant menu, shopping malls and book stores. The student design show I went in one of the art museums are complete representation of the new generations’ interpretation of WEST and EAST. It is indeed such a fascinating city that balances between cultures.

April 8, 2014 at 10:56pm
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What is the difference between marketing and graphic design?

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After being trained as a graphic designer for years, I started to realize that this industry has many overlaps with business areas in marketing and managing. People sometimes treat graphic designers as the ones who only deals with craft ( How it looks), which we don’t really liked. And there are also people who think that graphic designers can help them to create a complete marketing plan, which we don’t really do. There is a conflict between how other people define graphic designer and how we would be willing to be titled. 

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March 25, 2014 at 6:29pm
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Paul Rand: A designers words

Some great words from Paul Rand, really enjoyed reading it. Here are some notes that inspired me.

  • Good design adds value of some kind, gives meaning, and, not incidentally, can be sheer pleasure to behold; it respects the viewer’s sensibilities and rewards the entrepreneur.
  • The roots of good design lie in aesthetics: painting, drawing , and architecture, while those of business and market research are in demographics and statistics; aesthetics and business are traditionally incompatible disciplines.

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March 18, 2014 at 7:38pm
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Olivia Fox Cabane →

7:33pm
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Just saw this video from Gary Vaynerchuk yesterday. Great talk, very inspiring.

Several things I still remember:

"Life is an expensive game, only once. Why spending it doing something you don’t like?"

"You don’t get paid for what you loved to do, but that will change, it build up for what you want"

7:14pm
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Diligence is a habit

One of my primary school (from 1997-2000) classmates - Yuting Liu at Hongqilu elementry school in Zhuzhou,  is working on her PHD at Yale University, and not to mentioned she graduated from one of the most prestigious school from China - Beijing University for her undergraduate. I came across an article she wrote for her high school and thought a lot about the definition of diligence and excellence.

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February 26, 2014 at 10:05pm
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Motivate student

I am teaching a class only have 6 students. Most of them are quiet and shy. Whenever we start critique, seemed only I was the one who talks. I was always thinking that I am pretty good at motivating, I used to share a lot of my own experience and teach Chinese students specific ways to be motivated. However, I have to say that culturally it’s so different, as everyone’s purpose to be in class is different. I talked to another teacher, he said that it is definitely hard to ensure everyone in the class the same level of involvement, since they have diverse background, personality, and ability to handle things. However, when I talk to another professor in our department who seemed very good at motivating students, I learned several possible ways that will somehow work.

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February 20, 2014 at 9:55pm
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OPA in between designer and clients

Recently, I heard about OPA planning system created by motivational speaker Tony Robbins. OPA means “Outcome, Purpose and Action” and it refers to the very order of achieving a goal and procedure to make it really happen.

I like the idea of looking into the result before any action. Many people, make a list of to dos everyday, but not really sure if any of those will create outcomes that we really care about. This is a visualizing process, when the goal is clear, the unconscious mind will at some point push our actions. Then it’s the purpose: WHY do we want to outcome?

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February 14, 2014 at 4:22pm
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Reblogged from designersof

 

Name: Seth Neilson

Tumblr: http://wasa.tumblr.com

Description: The intersection of the three main influences in my life: my family, the outdoors, and design. The Skier’s Alphabet is the fourth installment, joining the Alpinist, Backpacker, and Cyclist’s versions, with more to come. Three color screen prints on French Paper True White Speckletone. Use promo code “SNAFFLEHOUND” and save 10%: http://wasa.bigcartel.com

From: http://wasa.bigcartel.com

February 13, 2014 at 11:30pm
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Why did I enjoy teaching Drawing Foundation

A new course I am teaching this semester - Drawing 1.

I sure had fun in the class. Around 20 students might be the biggest number that I have since I taught. Every time when finishing this course, I just felt very satisfied and filled with pleasure all over my mind. Almost 3 hours class felt like 30 min, it just passes through.

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February 12, 2014 at 9:57pm
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In the Minneapolis 2013 AIGA conference, I was chatting to random people who walks around during breaks. When I saw this man with white beard that seemed filled with wisdom, I cannot help to talk to him. I asked if he is a designer and how often does him come to AIGA. Without finish the complete answer, our conversation was interrupted by a young lady whose name is Su Mathews. She asked me: Is this your first time attending AIGA, how could you not knowing Kit Hinrichs? At that moment, I know exactly how much wisdom and inspiration was hidden behind those white beard. The next day, I hugged Kit and told him that I sure should know him, because of the amazing things he has accomplished in his design career.
Accidentally, I saw a course today on Lynda.com introducing Kit Hinrichs and his studio. I finished watching it all at once. Again, this well-known graphic designer seemed so live in front of me telling all his passion about design, illustration, business and American flag collections. Just loved his mind-set, philosophy and creative energy on design and life. 
To learn more about his studio, go to link: studio-hinrichs.com

In the Minneapolis 2013 AIGA conference, I was chatting to random people who walks around during breaks. When I saw this man with white beard that seemed filled with wisdom, I cannot help to talk to him. I asked if he is a designer and how often does him come to AIGA. Without finish the complete answer, our conversation was interrupted by a young lady whose name is Su Mathews. She asked me: Is this your first time attending AIGA, how could you not knowing Kit Hinrichs? At that moment, I know exactly how much wisdom and inspiration was hidden behind those white beard. The next day, I hugged Kit and told him that I sure should know him, because of the amazing things he has accomplished in his design career.

Accidentally, I saw a course today on Lynda.com introducing Kit Hinrichs and his studio. I finished watching it all at once. Again, this well-known graphic designer seemed so live in front of me telling all his passion about design, illustration, business and American flag collections. Just loved his mind-set, philosophy and creative energy on design and life. 

To learn more about his studio, go to link: studio-hinrichs.com

4:17pm
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Just came across a random video today, was really touched and moved when watching it. It was produced by lifevestinside.com, a non-profit organization founded by a TED speaker - Orly Wahba.

They claimed that their mission is “to encourage people to embrace the incredible power of giving and recognize that in times of hardship, kindness, like a life vest, keeps the world afloat.” What a beautiful statement! Anything that reaches to our deepest part in our heart, connects everybody together without even a word.

Help people today, in whatever matter, in what ever scale. As you can see, everything returns back to you.

1:02pm
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Personality vocabulary collection →

January 24, 2014 at 3:28pm
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Graphic Design, A freelancing future

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Work from home - image by meccabey.com

As now everyone stays longer and longer in front of a computer, most tasks can be done online as a designer. BRIANA EVERETT in his The future of work: a freelance economy mentioned that there are 14 million full time freelancer so far and by 2020 one in three people will be working online. In the past, a person maybe working for one company for years, but now as a freelancer, we may work for 5 different companies at the same time. This form of working online and at home are in the intuit 2020 report as well.

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October 21, 2013 at 10:16pm
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Are you happy at your current situation?

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” - Unknown

Two things happened recently made me want to write about this article.

First, While attending the Minnesota AIGA (Association of International Graphic Artist) conference, I encountered one of my friend from previous graduate school. She’s about to graduate next May and was wondering about my choices accepting this offer to teach in the south in Arkansas area, where design culture is obviously not that strong and active. She asked me: “have you thought about being as a teacher before, and are you happy now?” I answered yes, and explained to her some of my thoughts.

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