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Issue № 335

Banish the inner critic that blocks your creativity and tear down the wall between you and your client that design buzzwords create.

Banishing Your Inner Critic

by Denise Jacobs45 Comments

Everybody has one: the inner critic that tells you you’re just faking it, that others have more talent, that you’ll never achieve the success you seek. The inner critic is an unconscious deterrent that stands between the seeds of great ideas and the fruits of achievement, making you hate your designs, giving you “writer’s block” as your deadline looms, keeping you stuck in a project’s initial thinking stage because something isn’t quite right. Denise Jacobs anatomizes and shows how to quash your inner critic, giving you the mental space and energy to let your true talents emerge.

Demystifying Design

by Jeff Gothelf15 Comments

Mystifying design with jargon only we understand makes us feel like heroes and creates a sense of job security. But it also creates an “us and them” atmosphere which excludes non-designers, obscures the true value of design, and generates antagonism when only cooperation will yield the best product. By revealing our process and inviting others into our world, we can create a team that is invested in the success of our work, and deliver better design. Jeff Gothelf discusses the steps we can take to increase the value of our practice and of ourselves as practitioners.

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Columnists

Rachel Andrew on the Business of Web Dev

Getting to the Action

Was that conference worth it? There were smart tips and awesome people. Should you buy a ticket this year? For a freelancer or small business, it can be a significant expense. Wouldn’t it be great to know if the investment in time and money is likely to move the business forward?

From the Blog

10 Years Ago in ALA: Pocket Sized Design

The web doesn’t do “age” especially well. Any blog post or design article more than a few years old gets a raised eyebrow—heck, most people I meet haven’t read John Allsopp’s “A Dao of Web Design” or Jeffrey Zeldman’s “To Hell With Bad Browsers,” both as relevant to the web today as when they were first written. Meanwhile, I’ve got books on my shelves older than I am; most of my favorite films came out before I was born; and my iTunes library is riddled with music that’s decades, if not centuries, old.

Valediction

When I first met Kevin Cornell in the early 2000s, he was employing his illustration talent mainly to draw caricatures of his fellow designers at a small Philadelphia design studio. Even in that rough, dashed-off state, his work floored me. It was as if Charles Addams and my favorite Mad Magazine illustrators from the 1960s had blended their DNA to spawn the perfect artist.