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2004 Here we Come!

Happy New Year!

I would be a very, very bad host if I didn’t support the worldwide custom of New Year’s Resolutions. Yes, most of those resolutions are rarely followed and are usually superficial things like eating better and exercising more (number 8 and 9 in my list) but a new year means renewed energy, hope and determination — more realistically it serves as the perfect excuse to start with a blank slate.

With that said, it would be interesting (or fun, depending) if you came up with one single resolution as a graphic designer and followed up on it right here. It can be as small as paying for that unlicensed Emigre font sitting on your desktop to something huge as setting out to open your own firm.

What is that one thing — design related — that you want to get done? Let us know what it is… and if you get it done.

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PUBLISHED ON Jan.01.2004 BY Armin
damien’s comment is:

Happy New Year Armin - you're going to have to let us know what your one graphic design thing is as well.

After writing the Designer's Guide to Brand Strategy last year, (and getting a book deal out of it late last year) I intended to write more illustrated guides and even try to get something published with Speak Up...

So this year, I aim to plan how to get it done and try to get at least one or possibly two publications completed again this year.

Either way - Have a great year Armin.

On Jan.01.2004 at 01:10 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

To finally write my book: "Confessions of a She-devil and other Brand Blasphemies."

(don't worry Tan, you'll get your credit)

; )

On Jan.01.2004 at 01:16 PM
big steve’s comment is:

The best i can ask of myself, and the best i can offer as a suggestion for others new to the game:

stop being afraid.

Those daunting portfolios to be made, resumes to be sent, commissions to be chased - they're all intimidating to someone whose afraid of failure...

but i've been trying the Let Them Come Knocking On My Door method for a few months with little success. It's time to cowboy up and start the revolution!

On Jan.01.2004 at 02:25 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> Armin - you're going to have to let us know what your one graphic design thing is as well.

Design World Domination!

OK, no, that's not it. A simple resolution I have is to do a project where I am the illustrator — for those who don't know, I have terrible, terrible, handcrafty skills. It would be cool if I could do a poster or something like that with an illustration all done from scratch.

But on a bigger-scale… well, I can't say, otherwise I will spoil all the surprises I have that are Speak Up related. Let's just say that a lot of things are under consideration for 2004.

Oh, and write the foreword to Debbie's Confessions of a She-devil and other Brand Blasphemies.

On Jan.01.2004 at 02:51 PM
mitch’s comment is:

my resoloution this year, easy as it may be, is to join the AIGA. And as a secondary resoloution, is to start an AIGA chapter at my school, which apparently does not have one (as far as I can tell)

thats my story and i am sticking to it.

On Jan.01.2004 at 04:09 PM
brook’s comment is:


the student design org at my alum is a good example of how to run a university aiga chapter. look especially at the about sdo and constitution sections. should be a nice jumpstart for you.


On Jan.01.2004 at 04:29 PM
Neil’s comment is:

Honestly? Learn how to draw. Really.

I came into design via the web, and via a three-month, ultra-compressed introduction to the various required applications in 1998. I learned first how to use the applications, and then how to see, think, and do design. I'm lucky, in that I had zero drawing ability, and zero traditional design knowledge, but learned the latter as I was swept up in the bubble. This year, I'd like to remedy my abysmal lack of skill in the former.

On Jan.01.2004 at 04:55 PM
mitch’s comment is:

@ brook:

thanks much - that looks like a great group there. I hope i have the time + the help to get one started here.


the best way to learn to draw is to have an art teacher stand over you for 8 hours a day while you charkole nudes (thats how I learned anyway) but The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides is seriously worth the $12 from Amazon.

On Jan.01.2004 at 05:07 PM
Valerie’s comment is:

Happy New Year to all...

My one graphic design-related resolution is to learn photography. Not the digital point-and-shoot stuff, but the old-school wayl including film developing, cross-processing, etc. I work with photographers fairly often and I feel like I should learn more about the actual processes involved. I just bought a Holga camera with which I plan to start learning.

On Jan.01.2004 at 05:21 PM
Tan’s comment is:

I'm tired of making excuses for things. Like how bad the economy is, how bismal business margins have become, how I don't have time or energy like I used to, etc, etc...No more of that crap.

I sense big things in 04, not just for myself, but for the industry. My resolution is to regain my optimism, and make things happen again. Rule the world, kick some ass, and have fun again.

Oh, and buy a plasma HDTV if my wife will let me...

On Jan.01.2004 at 06:38 PM
Tan’s comment is:

...and of course, be first in line to buy an autographed copy of the lovely She-devil's book.

On Jan.01.2004 at 06:40 PM
Randy’s comment is:

My new year's resolution is to stop wasting cups from the coffee shop on the corner. Every day (oftern more than once), I walk to the corner and pick one up. And every day I think what a waste the cups and lids are.

Today, it ends.

I'm now taking my own container, and get this...it holds four cups and they only charge $0.88 for a refill. Beautiful

(thanks Mom for the stainless steel thermos, what a swell gift)

@ Mitch: Feel free to contact me about AIGA student chapter info. I'm Liaison for the Orlando Chapter.

On Jan.01.2004 at 07:42 PM
Sarah B.’s comment is:

I really want to finish learning Flash ActionScripting.. as well as I can on my own. And to pick up more design theory/history books, and actually absorb more information.

And maybe meet some of the people from SpeakUp ;)

On Jan.01.2004 at 11:13 PM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

Learn French

On Jan.01.2004 at 11:58 PM
Jeff G’s comment is:


I want to spend a decent amount of time at my favourite little print shop really learning about how the ink goes on the paper. I'm always asking them to try new/weird stuff. I'd like to be able to do it in an educated way.


CA's design & advertising annuals last year included a lot of stuff that made me think I could do that better. This year I want to actually do a project that's better. Some of the copywriting. Especially. Made me want. To puke.

On Jan.02.2004 at 06:15 AM
len’s comment is:

1. learn to draw is a good one. amazing how many people they let into this business who can't draw a stick figure to save their lives (myself included).

2. knowing the offset printing process better. i'm fortunate enough to have a very knowledgable (and patient) rep at my printer of choice, so this one might actually happen.

3. stop sending the interns out at lunch for 12-packs of bass ale and expensing it.

On Jan.02.2004 at 08:47 AM
kyle’s comment is:

1. Hit the sketchbook at least once a day...everyday if possible. Even if it's just a quick doodle.(I've kept to this one so far) :)

2. Get a PowerBook

3. And a strange one...learn to write in shorthand.

On Jan.02.2004 at 09:11 AM
Christopher Johnston’s comment is:

~ Learn to like PHP and MYSQL. (at least at a reasonable level)

~ Take chances and push comps based on gut feelings instead of MARCOM logic.

~ Scan anything that I can.

~ FOR ONCE: Save my freakin' receipts!


On Jan.02.2004 at 09:25 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

I probably should get my portfolio web site back up this year.

That and I really need to learn this .NET crap. I don't want to. But I gotta.

And yea, Chris has a good one...those damn receipts. Save those receipts (that resolution will last until Februrary if I'm lucky...)

On Jan.02.2004 at 09:35 AM
Bradley’s comment is:

1. Have an illicit affair with an older woman who owns a chihauha.

2. Get more dangerous work produced. I think we all do things that we say "they'll never buy it," and then scrap them immediately. This is common to the point of being trite; for some people its an accomplishment to conceptualize the gutsy stuff, but the real challenge is sending it off to the printer and distributing it. I'd really like to do something that makes me sweat or vomit because I'm so nervous about it.

Easier said than done, eh? So I guess I'll just spend this year doing things that are a serious risk to my career. What the hell.

On Jan.02.2004 at 11:57 AM
griff’s comment is:

I like Bradley's, so I am joining him and adding one more...

Destroy something I made in '03. Some thing I really like. Sometimes I feel stifled by past creations, maybe this will break that.

On Jan.02.2004 at 01:04 PM
griff’s comment is:

Oops, forgot the close tag above. Sorry. A lesson in previewing before posting. Perhaps another resolution in there some where.

On Jan.02.2004 at 01:05 PM
vos b.’s comment is:

1. start my own studio with my compagnon and best friend.

2. conquer The Netherlands even harder/better/smarter

3. enjoy the buzz it will bring.

(after finishing my internship at www.dumbar.nl ofcourse)

On Jan.02.2004 at 02:24 PM
Pepe’s comment is:

On a daily basis, listen to or recite the lyrics to the song "Wear Sunscreen" while doing the Macerena or some other fad dance. Oh and actually wear sunscreen.

On Jan.02.2004 at 04:37 PM
Brady’s comment is:

In general...

> to not suck.

More specifically...

> to get our company to a level to be reckoned with.

> to make AIGA Charlotte a thriving, vibrant chapter.


> to become a SU author.

snap snap, grin grin, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

On Jan.02.2004 at 04:58 PM
marian’s comment is:

I actually made a list of one- five- and ten-year goals a couple of weeks ago. There's a lot of stuff on my list, but as I'm Canadian, I'm really good at following instructions, so here's my one thing ;)

To write, illustrate and (v important) have published a children's book.

On Jan.02.2004 at 05:53 PM
Bradley’s comment is:

Here's another one: I wanna throw a big ass Speak Up party at some point this year. Drunken debauchery and good times for all. It might sound like a joke, but if people are willing to travel, I'd totally do it. With my non-existent bank account.

On Jan.03.2004 at 03:24 AM
Tan’s comment is:

Hey Bradley -- a party would be good, but why not go one step further -- and organize a Speak Up Design Conference? I'm sure there are a bunch of people here with the experience and resources to make that happen.

You could have fun, drunken debauchery, as well as some substance and debate....just like we have here on a daily basis. In fact, that should be our motto: Debauchery, Design, and Debate.

I'm curious -- if we did organize a conference, and it was cheap & affordable, how many of you would be interested in going? Seriously -- a show of hands please.

On Jan.03.2004 at 12:03 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I'd go.

On Jan.03.2004 at 12:26 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

yes, please

On Jan.03.2004 at 12:33 PM
Tan’s comment is:

On second thought, let's save the conference call-of-hands for another thread. Continue w/ the resolutions, and we'll have a more serious discussion about the possibility of a SU conference soon. Promise.

On Jan.03.2004 at 12:58 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> But on a bigger-scale… well, I can't say, otherwise I will spoil all the surprises I have that are Speak Up related. Let's just say that a lot of things are under consideration for 2004.

Tan, actually, see my comment above. The conference idea is already brewing. More details, suggestions, whatever later on.

On Jan.03.2004 at 12:59 PM
vos b.’s comment is:

i'd go as well…

On Jan.03.2004 at 03:56 PM
Lin’s comment is:

- Learn Flamenco

- Start to translate dietary recipe and post them to my blog

- Eat slowly so that can enjoy more

- Talk slowly so that can listen to myself clearly

On Jan.03.2004 at 05:59 PM
Kevin Lo’s comment is:

Start an art movement :)

On Jan.03.2004 at 06:16 PM
Steven’s comment is:

I'd like to see my design theory, Organic Multiplicity, evolve beyond a personal pondering and be accepted as a credible alternative. How I achieve this will remain to be seen. But I have some ideas and that's a start.

I'm also resolved to have a more lucrative year, with more freelance/contract/fulltime work.

If I accomplish those two things, I'll be as happy as a clam at high tide.

On Jan.03.2004 at 10:29 PM
Justin’s comment is:

+ Graduate fromdesign school.

+ Get a real job that is actually design related and has real paychecks.

+ More sketch book drawing.

+ Better file management.

On Jan.04.2004 at 09:34 PM
Ginny ’s comment is:

So many...

* get back into the dark room and print all of those neg's that are collecting dust in my basement.

• take a painting class

• learn how to use my new digital camera's manual functions

• figure out my career path

• join AIGA for the first time in 3.5 years

On Jan.05.2004 at 10:34 AM
Brent’s comment is:

Mostly I'd like to concentrate on doing instead of talking. It's been a big problem for me in the past and is compounded by inate laziness. I'd definitely like to freelance more, especially using skills that don't require a computer, like screenprinting. Finding a job I like is the first priority though. Nothing makes you realize how bad it is like two solid wonderful weeks off.

BTW, cheers to everyone and a happy new year!

On Jan.05.2004 at 12:06 PM
laura’s comment is:

To quit my design job and move to the coast and not be afraid to find new work. Even if it means being a waitress again for a while.

On Jan.05.2004 at 12:44 PM
Gerardo Reyes Jr’s comment is:

The one thing I want to do is finally get a design job! Period. After school, I got side-tracked as a pressman, but have no creative input, and I feel like I'll shoot myself if I go at it even one month longer. It also doesn't help that many jobs I print aren't exciting to look at. I just want to do what I was put on this earth to do.

On Jan.08.2004 at 09:25 PM
Matt’s comment is:

I've always been a print designer; I've designed a few websites but never built anything more than a few static pages.

This year I will build a complete corporate site. I will use style sheets. I will learn Dreamweaver (because I just can't "see" a page in code). And I will learn to tweak HTML by hand.

I'm also an artist and this year I will sell my first piece! (you're all welcome to be my first patron, ha ha)

I think that's plenty for one year so I won't push my luck any further...

On Jan.09.2004 at 03:35 PM
Kevin’s comment is:

Happy New Year Armin!

My resolution this year is to focus on graphic art, rather than design. My entire life has been dedicated to music, so I really want to break into industries, like music, that respect art in design.

I will post several "awareness" posters to help inspire the general masses to be more critical of industry/people who have a large negative impact on the world.

I will try to respect the other designers in my group who are culturally unrich and on the brink of illiteracy.

Demand the money I'm worth.

p.s. Not sure what She-Devil has to do with branding, am I missing something here? Sounds like a book I'd like as long as it doesn't have anything to do with Sex in the City, or anything off-balance as such.

How are we going to keep track of everyones' resolutions via Speak Up?

On Jan.09.2004 at 04:17 PM