I wanted to share a website today that my friend Lee Currie shared with me over the weekend. The name of the site includes the f-word. I generally have a current blog policy to not use this word. While it may be a word I use in my personal life (and believe me, I've uttered a few in my day), I've never used it on this blog in an effort to not offend my readers.
This post may not be for you, if you're easily offended by language. But I hope you won't be, because there is a larger message at work here. Disclaimer over.
Good F#%@ing Design Advice (you can click on a link in the lower left of their main page to create a family-friendly—more or less—version) is the coolest web site I've come across in a long time. At first, when Lee sent me the link, I just looked at their store and thought, "Oh, that's cute. Cheeky, swears… racy humor for designers. Kinda cute."
Then I realized, "The product design is pretty tight."
Then I realized, "This site design is pretty tight, too."
Then I realized I loved it not just for the cheeky message, but for the perfect and copious use of Helvetica. And the color orange. And the white space.
Then I watched their video.
And I realized: I love this for the message.
I love the idea of a passion project—what would you do if you could focus on what you were passionate about, first and foremost. And how would that spill over into everything else you did?
Think about that. How many of you got into crafting or scrapbooking because of a true passion for the creative process? How does the act of creating spill over into how you live your life every day?
It reminded me of the day last summer when I realized that my tagline of "Taking the 'Crap Out of Scrapbooking" was truly a message that I not only connected to but that I had consciously been cultivating for years. I remember feeling so, so inspired that day, as if my passion and my work melded together in that moment and I was suddenly aware of how fortunate I was to be able to do what I did for a living.
These guys are really thoughtful young designers. Their message is inspired. Hearing their process on this project, realizing this isn't just about using an f-bomb for shock value. Then watching them screen print by hand, the whole tactile expression of beautifully executed design… this entire video—as a designer myself, I just feel inspired.
I connected to it on so many levels. On one hand, in my professional life as a graphic designer, I try to bring real passion and expertise to my work, even though my work is not going to show up in any design annuals or awards shows. I care about quality work. I care about how well that headline is kerned. Or if things are lining up on the baseline. Or if that sentence ends in an orphan. I wish I knew web design so I could truly have a blog that reflected my design aesthetic.
I care about simplicity and elegance and delivering the message in a clear and concise manner.
Now take that into the scrapbooking world—a world in which let's face it, many designers would scoff and say, "Design has no place in scrapbooking,"—this too is also something I really care about. About showing people what principles of design look like when applied in a thoughtful and caring way. And showing people what elegance and simplicity can do on a craft-based level.
So I decided to print out and take their pledge. If you think about it, how universal is the potential application? How many of us, as we strive to earn our daily livings, find ourselves faced with doubt or fear? How many of us will give into not offering up the best of ourselves to the tasks at hand? I know that for me personally, that's never going to be okay.
I hope you get a chance to watch the video. Or poke around their site a bit.
I just wanted to share something this week that reminded me of how much I love what I do. And to remind me to trust in myself, engage and connect to the passion at hand.
F-bombs or not.
Oh yeah, and to look forward to the coffee I'll soon be drinking from my new mug.