Thinking vs Choosing

This is the first of two articles about critical thinking in design. In part one, I discuss why I feel there’s so much “design sameness” on the web, and the drawbacks of our tendency to focus on existing solutions. In the upcoming Part 2, I’ll present a model that I’ve found useful in making more […]

Sketch and Destroy

Designers love their tools and processes. Many verbal battles have been fought about code or images, Photoshop or Sketch, paper or screen. And these discussions are serious. You’d think they were about whether to kill all kittens in the world. “Why don’t you name your layers?”, asks Designer A, looking in disgust at her coworker’s […]

How I prepare data-merged designs for print using open source software

I co-organize some popular conferences in Amsterdam with a few friends/colleagues. As the resident designer, I’m often tasked with making the name badges that everybody wears. I used to make these in Adobe InDesign, which has a mail merge function that, while kind of weird (I seemed to be required to use UTF-16 CSV files […]