I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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Entries about design

Apr 2, 2009

Why design is political

Here’s a little something I wrote ages ago which I should have shared with you. Never too late: Simple problems (problems which are already defined) are easy to solve, because defining a problem inherently defines a solution. The definition of a problem is subjective; it comes from a point of view. Thus, when defining problems, […]

Mar 31, 2009

What is the creative process?

It’s a tough question to answer. But let’s try to answer it anyway—visually! Check out Dubberly Design Office’s new concept map, A Model of the Creative Process: Here’s DDO’s brief description of the concept map and poster: The creative process is not just iterative; it’s also recursive. It plays out “in the large” and “in […]

Aug 14, 2008

Design Your Morning with Pantone Coffee Cups

Your morning just got a little cuter with Pantone’s line of swatch-inspired coffee cups. With a range of vivid hues and shades of espresso, they’re perfect for hardcore designers who crave a dose of design in the morning. I’d really be swooning if they were available in every Pantone color. It won’t happen soon, but […]

Aug 4, 2008

Is Workin’ 9 to 5 a Bad Thing?

My typical work day is 9:30 to 7:30. Often, my work bleeds into my “off hours”. This isn’t helped by instant messengers, twitters, tiny laptops, and my fancy new 3G iPhone. If someone “needs” me for a random assignment in the wee hours, I’m just a few buttons away–just a tug of the electronic dog […]

Jul 15, 2008

Flashback: Charles Eames TV Interview, 1956

Check out this 1956 TV interview of Charles Eames, featuring the debut of the classic Eames Lounge Chair: Half a century later, it’s still amazing. I especially love the video of the chair’s assembly, and of course, the special appearance by Ray Eames at the end. Thanks to Hugh for sending this my way.

Jul 10, 2008

Portfolio 101: Just Use Your Own Name, Dammit

I’m seeing a lot of design portfolios with titles like “Beyond Imagination” or “Passions” or “Reflections” or “Curiosity.” With all these vaguely conceptual names, it’s like taking a nauseating stroll through the Macy’s perfume department. Instead of titling your portfolio like the latest celebrity scent, why not just use your own name? Here’s my rationale: […]

Jun 6, 2008

Wells Fargo’s Exciting ATM Redesign

Holger Struppek, Design Director at Hot Studio and formerly of Pentagram, has a nice case study showcasing the redesign of Wells Fargo’s ATM interface. Check it out: Maybe, it’s time for me to ditch Bank of America. Read and see more images of the project here. It’s great to see examples of design like this–mundane, […]

Jun 3, 2008

How Much Do Designers Get Paid?

Wanna know how much dough designers make? Check out the AIGA Survey of Design Salaries. Results for 2008 are out. It’s dubbed “definitive,” but take it all with a grain of salt. You can view the results on their site or download the PDF.

Jun 2, 2008

Stephanie Orma Isn't Famous But Loves Being a Designer

The world has enough interviews of rock star designers, so I’m interviewing everyone else–designers who are happy, without the fame. Let’s start Stephanie Orma, a former student from my alma mater, the California College of the Arts. I first met her when I was a TA for Jim Faris’s information design class. I recently caught […]

May 15, 2008

Why You Should Never Forget Wolfgang Wienerschnitzelhaus

When designing anything to accomodate names”such as a business card, an address book, or a project management app”don’t forget about Wolfgang Wienerschnitzelhaus. Why? Because he’s a got really really long name. And he won’t be the only one. So while everyone else cozies up to the boring John Does of this world, make sure you’re […]

May 13, 2008

10 Reasons Why Your Online Portfolio Sucks

Kyle Meyer of Astheria has an excellent post on why online portfolios just plain suck. He must be reading my mind, because I was just about to write about my intense hatred for online portfolios. Thankfully, Kyle’s saved me the trouble. He’s combed 200 online portfolios to find these 7 common mistakes: Bad navigation Zoomed […]

May 2, 2008

Whatever's Clever: How to Take Screenshots Like a Pro

This week’s roundup is about screenshots, screenshots, and screenshots: 6 Screenshot Utilities You Should Know About “I use different screen capture utilities depending on the type of screen I’m trying to grab. Some are great for a quick and dirty capture of a page I want to send someone. Others are good for annotating an […]

May 1, 2008

Why Boring Desktops are Good

Some of us in the office are fed up with beautiful, distracting desktop backgrounds. So we’ve changed them to a medium grey: The solid grey reduces distractions and creates a nice neutral backdrop for design work. But it’s boring. So boring, it makes you want to spend less time mesmerized in front of the computer. […]

Apr 28, 2008

Portfolio 101: Pick a Least Favorite

When I review a designer’s portfolio, I love to ask: “Which project is your least favorite?” The answer I loathe to hear is: “Oh, they’re all my favorites and I love them all!” That’s when my eyes roll. The answer’s polite. It’s inoffensive. It’s safe. But it’s also the lamest response you can give. I […]

Apr 22, 2008

Get a Crash Course in Graphic Design

If you’re aching to learn design skills but don’t have the time–or the confidence–then check out Robin William’s The Non-Designer’s Design Book. The approachable, unassuming, and humorous book explains basic design principles in a way that anyone can grasp–from grandmas in Scranton to art directors in New York City. So what are these basic design […]