Monthly Archives: December 2005

Can the U.S. remain competitive, design-wise?

I just read an excellent, and perhaps scary, article written by our own Niti Bhan and published on the Innovation Blog.Her article, A Competitive Nation, by Design, notes that the United States, long a leader in innovation and design, runs the risk of falling behind in this category as nations like India and China — today regarded as low cost manufacturing centers — are pouring far greater resources and placing far greater emphasis into design than the United States:Niti observes that policy-makers and professionals in the U.S. have acknowledged the threat on the part of China and India — not to mention Korea and Japan — to the U.S.’s dominance in technology and innovation and have taken steps to both grow domestic and attract foreign scientific and technological talent. However she also notes that there is no corresponding effort to grow and attract future design leaders.

However, one must raise the concern: What about design? Is any of the increased funding to the National Science Foundation and other basic research focused on design methodology and tools, the building blocks of innovation? We’ve all heard the success stories in which design-led innovation has directly increased existing market share, grown new markets, added value to the bottom line, and raised the visibility of brands.

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TPM named to “Top 10 Design Blogs of 2005”


What a great honor it is to have been named to “The Top 10 Design Blogs of 2005”, compiled by the guys over at Industrial Brand.2005 has been a special and very unpredictable year. Here’s to hoping that 2006 brings also so many pleasant surprises!.chris{}

Graphic Designers least qualified of all discliplines

I admit that is a very sensational headline, but it caught your attention, I hope! Core77, the industrial design supersite, has just posted the results of their 2005 Salary Survey online and I couldn’t help but note this factoid.If you look at the Overall Results Summary, you’ll note that the graphic design discipline has the highest percentage of high school graduates and the lowest percentage of masters degree holders. Their highest salary reported is also second from the bottom, fourth out of the five disciplines listed. The five disciplines reported by the survey respondents (# of respondents in brackets) are:Design Management (212)Graphic Design (648)Industrial Design (1127)Interactive Design (212)Interior Design (91)Naturally, given the proportion of respondents, I wouldn’t place much emphasis on interior design, but certainly there is a sufficient sample of graphic designers that the results are statistically significant. The results can be sorted by job title and discipline, but even before I drilled down any deeper, these points in the summary were a matter of concern. Or are they? How important are qualifications in today’s economy for a practicing professional designer? Is an advanced degree required? I’m going to ask the Core77 guys to tell me if they found any correlation between the high end annual salaries (200K+) and graduate degrees, but until then, I’d love to hear your views and comments on this topic.

Brand consciousness in India

The first two pages of my Flickrblog are photographs from an upscale shopping area in posh South Delhi where I spent the last week visiting friends and family. The first thing that caught my eye on this trip to India after a gap of three years was the proliferation of luxury brands available in the Indian market. In addition, there are even more cases of global brands localizing in ways that we never imagined to suit the Indian customer and wallet. I’m working on detailed reports on the market, the economy and of course, the design industry and innovation in India but thought to share this with you first.Thank you for inviting me to join The Prepared Mind, Chris, terribly sorry it took me a week to post on the blog after your warm welcome.

The Education of a Graphic Designer -Book review

Noted graphic design author and editor, Steven Heller, has added another title to his list of over ninety books. Actually, The Education of a Graphic Designer, has been a staple for design educators since 1998. The recently published second edition seamlessly picks up where the first edition left off. Edited by Heller, this edition has forty new essays, bringing the title into the 21st Century.The Education of a Graphic Designer, tackles tough issues about how we learn what we learn and how we teach what we teach. Contributors explore ideas and methods to enhance design education and produce better equipped graphic designers. The book is comprehensive with topics ranging from design theory to the problem with problem solving, the designer as producer to the designer as author, motion graphics to environmental responsibility.Gone are the days of starting a graphic design career with 50 bucks, a couple of markers, a 360 pad and a t-square. Whether working for a firm, corporation or independently, today????????s professional graphic designer is part artist, typographer, technician, business person, marketer, anthropologist, researcher and more. Heller and his contributors provide a map through the maze of a very complex educational process.Thought provoking, challenging and inspirational, this tome isn????????t just for educators. It????????s also an excellent resource for practitioners. The concepts discussed in the book will no doubt get novice and seasoned veterans thinking. Thought spawns ideas. Ideas spark dialogue and dialogue is good for the graphic design industry-at-large.Whether you????????re a graphic design educator, student, recent grad or an experienced pro, The Education of a Graphic Designer will be a valuable addition to your library.

Podcast #12: Errol Saldanha, is it time for graphic designers to change the word “graphic”?

Today we speak to Errol Saldanha, creator of the website Beyond Graphic. Errol talks to us and makes the case for why it might be time to change the word “graphic” in the term “graphic design”.Listen to the podcast

  • 0:04:07 Where do we go, beyond “graphic”?
  • 0:11:40 Reactions from the design industry
  • 0:11:40 Do we know there is a problem?
  • 0:43:04 Unique period in time: opportunities for designers
  • 0:55:50 Changing roles in technology
  • 0:59:50 Designers must become more strategic
  • 1:09:46 Seeing design from a bird’s eye view
  • 1:23:04 Redefining the designer’s role


Welcome Niti Bhan!

I want to take this opportunity to welcome Niti Bhan to the The Prepared Mind family! Niti has founded her personal blog, Perspective, as well as the blog Does Size Matter?. You’ve probably also seen her writings on the Core77 website as well as heard her in The Prepared Mind podcast #7, when we talked about D-Schools and new design thinking.Niti has agreed to join our family, blog here from time to time and embark in a few other exciting things we’ve got in store (shhhhh, it’s a secret!). I always love reading Niti’s writing and am looking forward to reading her words right here on this very blog.Welcome Niti! :-).chris{}