2013 is well under way and Philadelphia continues to inspire me to add more color to my life. That's right, Resolution Color continues.My latest inspiration was the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day. It traces back to the 17th-century Swedish holiday tradition of visiting neighbors' houses while singing, dancing, making noise and drinking. (Did you know the Swedes were the first settlers of Philadelphia?) This later evolved into masquerades and parades.And I'm pretty sure the big event just wouldn't be the same in black and gray. Check it out!It is equal parts strange and amazing. Much like the city of Philadelphia, I suppose!Tell me, what is your New Year's resolution? And what is inspiring you to keep it up?
Recently, a few of my creative co-workers and I were taking our daily stroll to grab some lunch. If you remember from Resolution Color, these are the very co-workers who tease me for wearing too much black. So as we were walking, I snapped this pic:Turns out, it's not just me. They were all wearing black, too.It's pretty bizarre, but creatives really do wear a lot of black. Especially in advertising. It's something that probably cannot be explained.But if I were in middle school science class, and Mr. Duva asked me to form a theory about this phenomenon, I'd say maybe it's because black absorbs light and color. And therefore, maybe black absorbs creativity. Maybe, just maybe, it's the secret to our creativity.Ridiculous? Probably. But that's why I majored in design and not science. And why I will continue to wear black.Tell me, why do you think creatives wear so much black?
A couple of months ago, as you may have read in my post, Resolution: Color, I decided to add more color to my life. Around the same time, I started seeing Color Run imagery pop up all over social media sites. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube...Considering the first ever Color Run was just in January 2012, word sure was spreading quickly. Over 22,000 people signed up in Philadelphia alone, and I don't think I saw a single ad. Just fun, vibrant, amazing pictures all over the interwebs. Oh, the wonders of social media in advertising.If you actually haven't seen it, The Color Run is a 5K held in numerous cities throughout the nation. Participants wear white and are covered in different colored dust at every kilometer.Considering my color resolution, I thought it inappropriate not to sign up!Before (That there on the right is team "Pantones." All two of us.)AfterThe incredible clouds of color at the finish line festivalProps to founder Travis Snyder for creating this unique event that is getting the country talking. And more importantly, exercising.So tell me, do you have killer pics of your city's Color Run (or as it's also known, "The Happiest 5K on Earth")? Link us to them in the comments. We want to see!
We are in it now! The prime of wedding season, that is. And I have designed about a dozen wedding invitations. In doing so, I was recently asked, "When you design these, do you get upset that you're not getting married?"The answer came rather quickly.... Nope!And it's true.Fact is, I haven't found what I want yet. Therefore, I will wait. It's cool!Then later, while writing my blog post "Resolution: Color", I came across the website for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. While browsing the site, I fell madly in love with one mural in particular. It read, "For what I want, I can wait."My thoughts exactly. I had to check it out.So this past weekend, I drove to West Philadelphia. And as I neared the corner of 48th and Market, the mural came into site. Though it sounds sappy, the biggest smile appeared on my face. It was gorgeous! I love the bright blue color against the bright blue sky, the simplicity and the strong message.The mural was designed by Stephen Powers. It is actually part of a 50 mural series entitled "Love Letter". The series adds amazing color and energy to West Philly. If you don't live in the area, you can see some examples at muralarts.org. And if you do live in the area, apparently there is a "Love Letter" train tour every Saturday and Sunday. Another thing to put on the "to do" list, for sure!So tell me, what is the big hurry?
In an attempt to add more color to my life, I finally took the time to frame and hang a poster that I received one year ago. It is Milton Glaser’s iconic poster for Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, 1975. It is colorful, psychodelic and was signed by Milton Glaser himself after I attended his Summer Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.For the non-designers out there, Milton Glaser is a design icon. He is best known for co-founding New York Magazine and for creating the sustainable “I Love NY” logo.Unrolling his poster one year later allowed me to look back and reflect upon my time with him with fresh eyes. Everything Mr. Glaser said throughout the week was insightful, thought-provoking and inspiring.Unfortunately, I never passed along the lessons that I learned. How selfish of me! Luckily, I have a blog now. A means to share his insight with you all.So, here they are. The Top 7 Things I learned from Milton Glaser:7. “Only work for people you like.” Enough said.6. “Design is not about appearance. It is about effectiveness.” First and foremost, design has purpose. Good design puts order and clarity above looking pretty.5. “What you think is accomplishable determines what you will accomplish.” One of our assignments (which I will keep a secret, as requested by Mr. Glaser) seemed too large to bear. However, Milton assured us that in years past, no one had ever failed. After we finished, exhausted from staying up all night, Mr. Glaser told the group, “When I told you yesterday that no one had ever failed, that may not have been true. But the reason you could do it was because I convinced you you could. I changed your perception of what you thought was possible.” A great lesson for everyone: If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t.4. “You develop personally by stumbling into things you don’t know how to do.” If you only do things you already know how to do, you won’t grow. Profession does not encourage development.3. “Passivity doesn’t get you anywhere.” In a hypothetical conversation about where I want to be in five years, I mentioned "my Creative Director". Mr. Glaser stated, “You could be the boss. You don't have to position yourself as working for someone.” Woah. Then he said, “You have the right to aspire to a life.” It was in that moment that I realized maybe my dreams were too small. I learned to dream bigger, and to write my dreams down. Because writing them down is a commitment, and as Milton told us, “Once you commit to your future, invariably you will move towards that.”2. “Every person is either toxic or nourishing to you.” Milton Glaser first heard this theory from Fritz Perls, a gestalt therapist. Milton Glaser recommended testing this theory by spending an hour with someone. Then, by deciding if you are more or less energized. If you are tired or less energized, that person is toxic to you. Don’t waste your time with toxic people. Spend time with people who nourish and invigorate your life.And my favorite of them all:1. “As soon as you pay attention to anything, it becomes astonishing.” This world is full of incredible things. Pay attention to them. Enjoy them. Don’t be unconscious. We live in the most amazing universe possible.As you can see, Milton Glaser is an incredibly insightful man. I feel lucky to have been in his presence.At the end of the program, he stated, “I hope this class makes you feel more powerful”. It did.I hope this blog post can do something similar for you.If this post has intrigued you, I highly recommend checking out the documentary, “Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight”So tell me, which lesson is your favorite?