Archive for January, 2011

Refresh . . .

January 31, 2011 2 comments

The refresh button. It allows us to reset our creative meter and assimilate new information.

In our blogging workshop, we are learning about the marriage of text and visuals. Allowing the text to play a supporting role, while the visual images take a starring role in the story: illuminating, adding value, giving the eyes a treat.

symphony in spikes

Our assignment: create a color wheel. In photographs. Make selections that resonate with you and create meaning and context in your life.  With each photograph, the camera and I developed our relationship, moving closer to each other. Until at the end of the day, the person who used to be me slipped within the lens of the camera.

The setting: the Tohono Chul Park, in the Sonoran desert. The challenge: to calibrate the  brain-whirring down low enough to hear the wings of butterflies. To connect deeply and meaningfully with essential shapes, colors and patterns and let the tendrils of new connections, new ideas form. To refresh.

At lunch, we re-group and recount our experiences, share our photos. It was a day of finding new connections. And falling in love with the camera that the kind and generous Art Department at Flintridge Preparatory School let me use for this workshop (Tim Bradley, you rock!).

Categories: Uncategorized

Sorting . . .

January 29, 2011 8 comments

In an effort to organize the universe, we sort.  But why do we sort? To find. To understand. To differentiate.

pajama sorting at the Tucson Savers

How is your closet sorted? By type of clothes – sports, work, gardening? By color? Season? Favorites at the front, less favorites on the floor way in the back? How fast can you find what you are looking for in your closet? Retailers would like you to find what you want right away at their store. Sometimes, sorting sidles right up next to marketing in a retail setting, answering the question, “How can we get our product in your hands within 3 minutes?”

the wall of shoes at the Tucson Savers

A sorting system can use multiple ways of organizing. This wall of shoes ran almost the entire length of the Savers store in Tucson  – and was a visual feast of color, pattern and geometry. But when you are looking for shoes, what is the most important parameter of your search? Size.

the perfect shoe in the right size

And what a joy to discover that at Savers,  searching the 100+ foot wall of shoes is manageable because sorting is both by style and size. Amazing. And profound. Making the search process user friendly. It was the take-away lesson from the friendly folks at Savers: make it easy to search – and find. Keep a presence in the mind and heart of the user, anticipate their needs and keep the solutions simple.


Categories: Uncategorized

Unexpected euphoria

January 27, 2011 10 comments

booklover's paradise

Deep in the heart of Tucson, order lives. In neat, sweet categories like, pets, cooking, health, women’s issues, travel, kids. Books lined up on long blonde shelves. Kids books on the lower shelves (how thoughtful!), travel and finance on the top shelves. What secret saint did this? Made order from chaos? Add to all of the sweetness and order some savvy marketing on the top of the shelves: groups of books, artfully arranged, displayed to take  advantage of our browsing gene.  This is no bookstore. This is no library. It’s the Goodwill store near 4th street. Dubbed “the most expensive thrift store in Tucson” by the proprietor of the store next door, this Goodwill store has an advantage. Someone has done serious thinking about how the folks who use the store will look for books. And set up a system that makes sense. And maintained the system.  Who is the person? They have the soul of a librarian. The insight to provide an extra bit of service that makes the life of the book buyer a little easier, and a lot more fun. Whoever you are, thank you.