THE STONE Blog

  • Relax

    Since starting to gather work for this site, I began to think about just how much had been created over the last few months and years and the people that we collaborated with. The energy, laughs, nervousness and excitement over new directions and ideas. The setbacks and the successes. But in the end, it’s always about delivering an experience on time, that met and exceeded our clients expectations, and a job well done. 

    Then it struck me that after a given project is delivered, we rarely take the time to relax, celebrate and appreciate what was accomplished. We just think about “whats next.” Maybe it's a symptom of the world we live in. The "creative" world. When sports teams win a championship, they celebrate. When a new ship is launched, they celebrate. When an olympic competitor crosses the finish line first, they jump for joy, wrap a flag around their shoulders and take a victory lap. I thought, when was the last time we took a victory lap? Or just sat back and relaxed to enjoy the moment of what we had accomplished before moving on to the next assignment?  We have become so accustomed to "what's next" that we sometimes forget to celebrate the accomplishments that we as creative people, put our hearts and souls into on a daily basis. 

    Its time to wrap that flag around our shoulders, thrust a fist into the air and take that well deserved victory lap, then sit back for a few and just appreciate what it took to get there.

  • Looking ahead...

    We just finished a great naming and identity project for a new lifestyle/outdoor product. It's a very cool, edgy idea that is also practical and solves a problem that no one has really addressed before. Which begs the question—Why? The problem has been there for a long time. People are concerned about it. Yet no one had (until now) addressed it in a way that actually solved it. I can't say what the problem or solution is just yet, but our client came up with a simple, beautiful, solution because she was looking ahead. She didn't look back and say "Well, it's never been done, so why try?"  She simply had an idea and asked "Why not?" That sort of thinking energizes us and inspires us to keep looking towards the future. Towards better days, bigger ideas, and the realm of possibility. There is a quote, and I am not sure of the author but it says. "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you will always be right." 

    Innovation begins with "Can".... the rest is just hard work and fun.

  • Keeping it simple

    I have noticed a trend building for quite some time.

    Simplicity seems to be getting lost in the maelstrom of our lives. Where one use to be able to connect with a simple note or call, now we have email, texting, texting while talking while driving. Web sites that require a users guide to figure out when all that was really wanted was to answer a simple question. Information is bombarding us from every angle, day and night. Ringtones, vibrations, and flashing lights 24/7.

    I was recently asked if I was interested in an open position at a large "Branding" firm. (more on this "branding" in a later post) In simpler times I would have sent my resume and if it seemed that I met the qualifications, I would be invited to come by to meet the Principals and show them my work. They would get to know me and ask questions over the visuals, and see if my sense of design and my approach to creative would compliment their culture. We may go to lunch or an after-work drink, and it would be either be "yes" or "not quite what we were looking for, but thank you."

    In this case I was asked to apply online using their "Resume download program", PDF, Word, JPEG, you name it, just don't fax or email, or mail anything. Once the PDF was loaded I was informed through email that I should look at what the downloader saw. Every combination of "ti" was turned into a 7. Now being a Crea7ve Director, prac7cing Crea7ve Direc7on and having held that posi7on for many years for a variety of companies, you can see what the problem was. Either I would be viewed as having something wrong with my ability to spell the posi7on I was applying for, or I really paid no attention to details. Either way it would not get me to the next level. I spent the next 30 minutes, correcting the problem.

    Also the downloader decided that it should take all parts of my resume, regardless of how I designed it, and put everything in chronological order. So although Standingstone is and has been my business for over 12 years, it decided that my current volunteer stint as Vice Mayor of Tiburon should appear first. My first query, if I was reviewing this man's resume for the position of Crea7ve Director, would be why is the Vice Mayor of Tiburon applying for the Crea7ve Director role? And why can't he spell? 

    Then I was asked to take a "survey" that defined my personality. "I thought meeting me and reviewing my resume would do that" I said.... Nay Nay. "This tells us if you have the right disposition for the job you have been successful at for the past 20 years." Where was this survey when I got into this crazy business? I took the survey and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I was thought to be a self starter, a creative leader, a person who could be counted on for great ideas, with a temperament to rebound quickly from setbacks, a person with vision, humor, well respected and looked up to. I was viewed as patient, detail oriented, trustworthy, with integrity and focus to accomplish any task at hand. Not bad.... I'm impressed... I have everything they stated they were looking for in the job description in spades and it seems I was just Knighted by the Survey gods.... Just a quick phone interview and the world of Big Time "Branding" would open to me like the doors of the Filenes Bargain Basement (Boston) Memorial Day Sale!

    Days passed and as I was putting the finishing touches on a 40 page website redesign for a global client, the email dropped. (not once but 3 times) "Thanks, we love your work, you are amazing, perfect for the job if only you could spell (just kidding) We have another candidate that isn't the Vice Mayor..... (kidding again) that has more video experience..... " WHAT? In the job description "video" was an afterthought, one word hidden in the midst of 70 skills that were required. I have directed videos, written videos, produced videos. Did you read my resume? Did anyone read my resume? I guess the Downloader just didn't scan the right words in the right order.  

    No problem, really just wanted to make a point.

    Why does everything have to be so complex. Because we make it that way, and I am hoping that this trend can be altered by us creat7ve people. After all EVERYTHING is designed.... EVERYTHING! And we as designers, art directors, creat7ve directors, industrial designers, web designers, etc. etc. can, and do play an important part in designing the future.

    We just need to tell the stories simply, beautifully and with meaning. Its that simple.....