Archive for May, 2012

Getting up to speed

May 31, 2012

Well it’s been a few weeks on the new job here at HOW now, so I’m starting to get my bearings a little bit. I thought it might be a good time to talk about projects I’m working on, as well as cool stuff I’ve seen so far:

The Logo Brainstorm Book by Jim Krause

Jim Krause is a name designers likely know. He’s the author of such books as Color Index, Layout Index and Type Idea Index. His newest book is all about creating logos and runs through a lot of exercises and variations that designers can employ. I didn’t edit the book (my good friends Lauren Mosko Bailey and Amy Owen had that pleasure), but I did get up close and personal with the book as it was being converted to an epub file. I think it looks great and has lots of great ideas for logo designers.

Archetypes in Branding by Joshua Chen & Margaret Hartwell (August, 2011)

This is a cool book that takes Jungian style archetypes and applies them to branding products, companies, individuals, etc. It’s an interesting study of human characteristics that brands can evoke. Strangely, one of the last projects I worked on for Writer’s Digest Books was The Writer’s Guide to Character Development by Victoria Schmidt (a book also centered on archetypes). It’s interesting to consider how much heroic archetypes (such as the Adventurer, the Explorer, the Rebel, and so forth) work their way into our perception of things. The people we see on television, the brands we tend to gravitate toward – all of these things speak to us because of traits that we perceive, and often it ties back into a set of ideals and archetypes do a good job of categorizing those ideals in such a way that we can analyze them. That’s what makes them such a useful tool for designers, writers, creatives – anyone who is looking to communicate in some way.

Blogging for Creatives by Robin Houghton

And speaking of communicating, here’s another new HOW book that caught my eye. This one is all about creating a blog and covers everything from initial set up to layout, typography, creating content, and promotion. It’s a good place to start if you’re thinking of starting a blog (or if you need help getting your ┬áblog off the ground).

HOW now, brown cow

May 21, 2012

Hello writers,

After about three and a half years working for Writer’s Digest, I’ve moved to HOW Books (a line of books for designers). I’ll still be editing, and likely expounding on writing/editing/publishing thoughts from time to time. So while I intend to still post about writing, the subject matter of the books that I’ll be working on will be changing a bit, and I’ll likely also be talking about some of my own personal projects a bit more.

I hope that you enjoyed the writing instruction posts I’ve shared over the past couple years, and I’ll likely still share my thoughts on the industry or share advice I stumble across from time to time. I loved working for Writer’s Digest. I learned a lot about writing and also about the publishing industry. The thing about writing advice is that its such an ongoing conversation. The way we get our words out there constantly changes and you have to stay involved and keep learning new things in order to be successful.

I’m sure much of the same will apply to the new realm I’m entering- that of publications and media for graphic design industry, where HOW specializes. I’m excited to learn about a different industry that communicates in other ways- using pictures and symbols, as well as words. I hope you writers out there will stick around and keep reading. I also hope to appeal to folks who love the integration of good design and good writing. I have always felt the two go hand-in-hand (some of my favorite people are graphic designers). After all, the ultimate goal is simply to inform … to entertain … to communicate.