Prince Reigns

In 2004, George Harrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To celebrate, his son Dhani performed “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” written by The Beatles, alongside Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne… and Prince.

You can just see Prince, stage left, staring down an otherwise a formulaic, straightforward, undeserving cover – until it’s his turn at-bat, when he won’t let that happen. When you see the smoke start to rise off the fretboard. When he falls backward into the arms of a security guard and stares straight back at Tom effing Petty, bleeding swagger. When he finishes the solo by taking off his guitar without touching his hat, throwing it in the air, and walking off stage.

In a room full of Hall of Famers, Prince was the king.

Lowercase vs. Uppercase

Sunmaid Packaging

As a designer by trade, I way-more-frequently run up against an eternal battle: Do I set this type in all UPPERCASE, or will it work within the design as Title Case?

For all of my Obsessive Compulsive Habits™, uppercase is always the solution. It removes impurities and squares off any visual dissonance. But it also means: YELLING.

Sun-Maid recently redesigned their packaging, and they used title case on the word “Raisins.” And it works.

Sunmaid Packaging Image Courtesy of Brand New

‘We Work To One Standard, Which Is A Higher Standard’

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is my favorite car. The brand is infallible, and I have no doubt you’re aware of them despite only selling 5,152 of them in 2019 (which was the first time they’ve ever sold more than 4,000 in a year).

The 2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB

Top to bottom, the company – from Joshua Liles (the Bespoke Embroidery Specialist who says there is “no tolerance” in the stitching and that it “can’t be out by a millimeter, otherwise it’s completely written off”) to Mark Court (the Coachliner who freehand-paints every pinstripe on every car) to Alexandra Benga (the Starlight Headliner Craftperson who oversees the building of fiber-optic dotted interior roofs) – is bought in, and no one wavers about their values: “Our strive for perfection guides us.”

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The Netflix Effect

Molly’s Game was released on Netflix on April 1.

There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto, said the Mennonite. He had been holding his hat in his hands and now he set it upon his head again and turned and went out the gate.

Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian, p. 41

It’s often said that life is about the journey and not the destination.

Drummer Matt Greiner on Zildjian Live

Matt Greiner is the drummer for August Burns Red and is also known as one of the most important and technically proficient drummers in metalcore. He also happens to be a friend, and I love being able to support his incredible talent.

His band’s latest album, Guardians, was released last Friday, and the week before he appeared on Season Two’s debut episode of Zildjian Live to perform “Pteranodon,” written by Robert Sput Searight and Mark Lettieri, with Ghost-Note.

It also happens to feature one of the most seamless and moving uses of a bass solo I’ve ever heard.

Dear UX Designers

Don’t stop designing.

You’re going through classes and teachers are giving you an incredible education. You start to learn about how important usability is to the experience a user has on your website, app, or concept. You’re falling in love with inventing personas and finding your core user types to understand their needs, behaviours, and goals. You have fallen in love with Post-it Notes® and you’re furiously organizing them on whiteboards. You’re learning how to work in functional teams. You’re learning about sprints and stories and features and requirements. Workflows. Wireframes. Information architecture and navigation. Storyboarding. Rapid prototyping…

That’s all fantastic stuff. It scratches the human-behaviour itch that might have gotten you into the user experience field to begin with. Those are integral parts of the approach and process any UX Designer should embrace.

But, if you’re looking for a job in digital product design and want to make yourself the most marketable, please – for the love of all people looking to hire a good UX Designer – don’t stop there.

Designing is hard. Really, really hard. Getting something ready for turnover to a development team that’s production-ready requires the most unique combinations of technological, psychological, and pragmatic thought and exercise.

Don’t forget about the design part of being a Designer.

“There is a certain mystique attached to products with geographical uniqueness. Maybe grapes from one little 80-acre vineyard in France are really the best in the whole world, but I have always had a suspicion that 99% of it is in the telling and about 1% of it is in the drinking.”

Warren Buffet in a letter to Chuck Huggins
Dec. 13, 1972

See’s Candies was one of the first companies Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway bought outright. Immediately after, Buffett installed Charles Huggins as the CEO and wrote him a letter.

The best don’t always win.

Letter from Saber Capital Management | Zach Crockett

Chris Turner tracking drums for Oceans Ate Alaska’s new album

Oceans Ate Alaska wrote the best metalcore album of all time: Lost Isles. A lot of it is due to drummer Chris Turner’s jazz-like approach to writing music. OAA subsequently wrote Hikari, but they did that in 2017. That means they’re due for new music.

Last week, the cymbal company Sabian release a video of Turner tracking drums for that new album. Turner is my favorite drummer in metal alongside Tool’s Danny Carey. Watching him work is pure inspiration.

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

Max Planck
German theoretical phycisist

The basis of Planck’s Principle, which comes from Max Planck’s autobiography, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, published in 1950.