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The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
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Goodbye, Speak Up

This is not easy. Not as I write this. Not as I made the decision with Bryony. Not as I made the realization. It is not easy to say goodbye to Speak Up, but this is what this post is meant to do. We are closing Speak Up for good. This is our third-to-last post. Tomorrow we will post a goodbye from Bryony and the day after that a series of goodbyes from some of our contributors and friends. And by this time next week, comments will be shut down and a new façade will overtake the Speak Up you have come to know.

It comes as no surprise that Speak Up has changed since its launch in September of 2002. I started the blog on a whim as a place to vent some frustrations and as a place for the endangered breed of traditional graphic designers in a jungle of web designers and developers. The beginnings were humble, with my basic writing skills, non-existent editing experience and a handful of visitors that had found solace in this blog. Somehow that was enough to propel Speak Up for the next two years, snowballing into larger and rowdier crowds gathering and chatting as if they had never had a chance to talk to other designers in this unfiltered manner. And, well, they hadn’t. None of us had. And it was liberating, exhilarating and we figured things as we went along. Between 2003 and 2006 we were constantly growing, yaking, doing, messing, having fun and driving some people crazy along the way. It was awesome. Then things started to change, for better or for worse.

When we started we were outsiders. I was a young designer from Mexico that no one had ever heard of. In my mind and heart I had it in me to become well known. Not sure why, but I just wanted that. And, in some sort of microcosmic way, I did. And my outsider status was gone. The same thing happened to some of our most popular authors, like Debbie Millman and Marian Bantjes who, all of a sudden, you couldn’t turn a corner without someone mentioning their name. Also, for a long period it seemed like we could all write posts all day long and keep Speak Up active forever and ever, but for the majority of our most ardent authors like Mark Kingsley, Tan Le and Jason A. Tselentis, life and work happened and their time for Speak Up became limited. Ditto for me. I also had less time to write and comment. Other authors left as they lost interest or time, or when we differed in the kind of content we expected on Speak Up.

Then there was the fact that now everyone had a blog. Blogdom wasn’t just the provenance of a devoted few anymore and with the ease of setting up a blog, people would post their own thoughts on their blog rather than commenting on Speak Up. This is no complaint, it’s just an observation that became clearer as more and more designers would e-mail me to let me know about their blog.

I always believed that the amount of time and energy that we — authors and commenters alike — were all investing in Speak Up would be impossible to maintain in the long run, it was bound to crash at some point. And it did. Since 2007ish, we have had less authors, less posts, less comments, less traffic, less energy. It’s natural I guess. We also split that energy into sites like Brand New, Quipsologies and now Word It — all topics that were born on Speak Up but that were prime for their own blogs. I also strongly believe that the kind of general-topic and long-form writing of Speak Up is just not as appealing as it used to be. With so many web sites devoted to quick bursts of visuals and the proliferation of short-message communication enhanced by Twitter and Facebook, it becomes increasingly hard to hold the attention of anyone. But this could all be debated. Maybe we just became lame or boring. It’s hard to define all the attributes that contributed to the decreased activity on Speak Up. And since the end of 2008 we have had this nagging feeling that its time had come.

Earlier this year, Bryony and I made the decision to close Speak Up. Seeing weeks and weeks go by where we have only two or three posts (and one of them being the Quipsologies round-up) has become too painful for us. It’s also like watching Ozzy Ozbourne today, still holding on to that rock glory but he can’t really rock no more, not like he used to. Posts that three or four years ago would have gotten 80, 90 or 100 comments in one day, now receive like 30 over various days — comment count has never been a big infatuation for me, but for a site devoted to interaction and dialogue they are indicative of how good or bad its meeting that goal. It’s just too demoralizing to see Speak Up not perform like it used to. And it never will again, because of the expectations I have put on it and the ones that you have all put on it. It’s just not the same. I really feel relieved that we are closing it. Its time has come. It served its purpose and it made its mark. Not many blogs can claim that and we are happy with what it’s done. Time to move on to other things.

We will maintain Speak Up live as an archive with closed comments, for future generations. Interestingly enough, a good portion of our traffic is to old posts anyway. Will there be a replacement for Speak Up? Maybe. Maybe not. We are thinking about something that would help fill the void of general-design content but we haven’t fully developed the idea; and when it comes, if it comes, we hope it can live on without the weight of what came before it. In the meantime we will be placing our energy on Brand New, Quipsologies, Word It and even The Design Encyclopedia (which has suffered of tremendous inactivity). We have one current blog in development and you will see that soon. We will also continue doing books and we are even working on one that will be self-published and mostly available by PDF to be able to provide it at a low cost. And there is an endless list of things we want to do, but we’ll see which ones we can get to.

Speak Up has made possible what we have done so far and what we will do — and Speak Up, itself, was made possible by all of your continued support. I get terribly nostalgic writing this and reading all the great goodbyes our friends have sent in. It all makes me question the decision but, ultimately, nostalgia never carried anything forward.

And we must move forward. Always.

Thank you.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 6034 FILED UNDER Speak Up Announcements
PUBLISHED ON Apr.13.2009 BY Armin
Bryony’s comment is:

Armin, it has been a great pleasure embarking on this journey with you. And while I am sad to see this ship come to rest, I know more will come for your energy and passion are one to behold. With your friends by your side, don't look back, and prepare yourself for sail once again.

On Apr.13.2009 at 07:23 AM
debbie millman’s comment is:

It has been an honor and a privilege, Armin and Bryony, and this forum will be deeply, deeply missed. Thank you for everything.

On Apr.13.2009 at 07:44 AM
David Earls’s comment is:

Understandable (to a point), but sad all the same :(

On Apr.13.2009 at 07:50 AM
Kimberley Crofts’s comment is:

Thank you and good luck.

On Apr.13.2009 at 08:03 AM
Andre Martins’s comment is:

Hell No!

On Apr.13.2009 at 08:09 AM
Penny Frank’s comment is:

Just months ago I set Speak Up to be my homepage because I thought I had been neglecting it... thanks for your vision, hard work, and wonderful site, and good luck!

On Apr.13.2009 at 08:32 AM
Kevin Steele’s comment is:

Thanks for everything. Speak Up was a landmark, but times have changed. I know I don't hang out at web sites like I once did.

That said, there’s no reason to call it over, just suspended indefinitely, pending different ideas and expectations.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:02 AM
Duane King’s comment is:

Thanks for your efforts Armin. Please know that Speak Up has been greatly appreciated. Although I understand your judgement, the site will be surely missed.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:16 AM
marc english’s comment is:

understand completely. thanx so much for everyones' efforts over the years. it's been great being able to point others - particularly students - to an intelligent and thoughtful source of design info. looking forward to keeping abreast with your other endeavors.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:18 AM
Justin Ahrens’s comment is:

Armin and Bryony, thank you for all of this. I look forward to what's next.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:19 AM
Lorraine’s comment is:

I'm so sad to see you close Speak Up: it is one of my favorite blogs. But I also can understand how hard it is to maintain. I just hope you can find a nice home for all of the excellent articles on here: it would be great to still be able to reference them.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:28 AM
Donovan Beery’s comment is:

Thanks for the contributions Speak Up has made, and I'm glad Brand New and it's siblings can keep alive what it has started.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:30 AM
*cg’s comment is:

A and B, with you guys it is never goodbye it is always a new beginning, so even though this may seem sad I know you guys have great things ahead.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:32 AM
Bob Zeni’s comment is:

Your warmth, acuity, honesty, good humor and common sense will be missed.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:35 AM
Karen Huang’s comment is:

Thank you for making it cool to debate about design, for giving designers a place to talk about things that matter to us without being trivialized.

It's always sad to end something, but it would've been worse to see it dwindle away. I will miss it!

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:42 AM
Stefan Mumaw’s comment is:

Armin and Bryony, thanks for the effort, it will be missed, but what's next will most definitely be as joyful. The medium constantly demands what's next, and I know personally, I'm looking forward to sharing your next passion. You guys rock!

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:42 AM
Doug Bartow’s comment is:


It's better to burn out than fade away...

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:45 AM
Ricky’s comment is:

I began reading Speak Up as a design student a few years ago and it has been the first site I bookmark as I've moved from computer to computer, followed by Brand New.

Thanks for the effort throughout the years and I hope that Brand New, Quips, Word It, and everything else hold your interest because each of these sites are very positive contributions to the design community.

Thanks again and good luck guys!

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:48 AM
Kristin Ellison’s comment is:

We all have a book called "life" and it is a series of chapters. Some are fantastic and we hate when they are over, but a mere turn of the page finds us on a new adventure. You have made an incredible contribution with Speak Up, I can only imagine how many meetings-friendships-partnerships, new ideas-new projects, smiles and things learned have resulted over the past 7 years. To make the hard call and to communicate it in such an honest and heartfelt manner is only fitting. Well done from start to finish, I can't wait to see what comes next!

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:49 AM
Lucien’s comment is:

I'm sad to see it go. I do understand the reasoning, as do many of us. It's time to move on, and I've seen it in myself, designers are becoming content and probably in some need of a revival. I personally have also started focusing on other hobbies and I'm using my design background to propel those new things...the circle of life. I'm sure your energy will be well spent on the other sites. See yah around!

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:51 AM
mike’s comment is:

this really was one of the best websites ever! I will miss you guys!

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:52 AM
Zinni’s comment is:

Wow what a shame, but I completely understand. It is upsetting to see such a well written and inspired blog go though...

Best of Luck

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:00 AM
Randy J. Hunt’s comment is:

Armin & Bryony,

Say it ain't so. Speak Up will be missed.

Thank you so much for inviting me in during this last wave. My contributions, though few and far between, have been a real opportunity to learn and I'm happy to have had such a visible forum in which to share them. I've met some wonderful people through the good company you keep.

p.s., Felix Sockwell, I'm going to miss your comments too.

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:18 AM
Andrew Klein’s comment is:

I started to read this site as a design student in 2005, I've always felt like this is the most legitimate and thoughtful design blog out there. Good mix of commentary, serious conversation and humor. Speak Up gave many designers a sense of community.

You will be missed.

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:21 AM
Prescott Perez-Fox’s comment is:

Although I came to Speak Up after the apparent Golden Age, I have enjoyed the commentary, and taking part in the discussions, especially issues relating to D.Education posed by Jason T.

We'll always have Paris. See you on the Internets.

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:25 AM
Emily Potts’s comment is:

Thank you for a pertinent and consistently intelligent design conversation over the years. Speak Up will be missed.

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:29 AM
Meg Paradise’s comment is:

Armin + Bryony,
I think it goes without saying that Speak Up and your insightful, witty voices will be greatly missed by the design community. Best of luck in Austin!

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:35 AM
Sam Potts’s comment is:

Thank you, Armin and Bryony, for all your work on Speak Up. Like Emigre (a comparison that I think we may see more of in the future), Speak Up needn't last forever. Its place in what is/has been going on in graphic design is solid and its relevance will pass on into its general importance.

Being involved, thorn in the side though I was, did a lot for me professionally and I'm grateful for it.

But: This is NOTHING like watching Ozzy Osbourne hold onto past glory. Wait, did Ozzy get a butterfly tattoo?

OK, now everyone get back to work!

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:44 AM
Mig Reyes’s comment is:

Thank you for being such a staple to the design community. It was an honor to have been able contribute, and I'm truly excited for what's next. Austin awaits you.

On Apr.13.2009 at 10:52 AM
Simon Robertson’s comment is:

this is sad, but understandable. all the best and thanks for making this place!

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:06 AM
Josh’s comment is:

Sadly, this one is my favorite and I didn't want to see it go, but it kind of felt inevitable given the lack of posts and new focus for you two.

I guess we'll have to find a new stirrer for the pot now.

Thanks for all the great posts and conversation starters over the past years.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:07 AM
Sheepstealer’s comment is:

“And in the end, the love you take,
is equal to the love you make.”

Cheers until.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:07 AM
JT’s comment is:

It was a hell of a run. You definitely made your mark, in the industry and in my development as a designer.

Cheers to everyone that made this community.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:08 AM
Ethan Bodnar’s comment is:

Armin & Bryony, Thank you for everything that you have done here on Speak Up! It is sad to see it go, but it will serve as a great resource for us all to look back on. Looking forward to your new projects, the other sites, Austin, and a new chapter.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:21 AM
Antonio GP’s comment is:

Wow! Now my Speak-up T-shirt will be a true collector’s item. Time to take better care of it…


On Apr.13.2009 at 11:25 AM
Gigi F.’s comment is:

I have been reading this blog for most of its lifetime and I have loved every minute of it.

Thanks Armin and Bryony for all the effort you put into it, for the inspiration you gave us, and most of all for the great conversation.

You will be sorely missed in this context, but I know you will do even greater things than you have already - it has been really great watching you achieve your goals and become a staple in the design community.

Best of luck!

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:30 AM
matthew bacon’s comment is:

A/B: You are (and never will be) anything like Ozzy Ozbourne. Congrats on closing an extraordinary chapter. I'll be waiting patiently to see what's next. Cheers!

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:31 AM
Bennett Holzworth’s comment is:

Sad sad day, but I can totally understand. It will be interesting to see what you two do in the future.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:35 AM
b hagler’s comment is:

thanks for the years of dialogue, and good luck.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:41 AM
Jon Dascola’s comment is:

A sad day indeed. Speak Up was my first design sanctuary in the blogosphere. While I can understand your decision, I wish it wasn't so. Best of luck.

At least we have twitter.

Much Love.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:42 AM
Timothy O'Donnell’s comment is:

One of the hardest things to do (judging by how few people manage it) is quitting while you're ahead, before the eventual slackening in quality and enthusiasm. I'm sure it was a painful decision to make, but you're going out while still on top.

Very best of luck--


On Apr.13.2009 at 11:52 AM
agrayspace’s comment is:

I shouldn't be surprised. I have seen my passion for SU dwindle as both life and growing career have left me with less time to spend on its pages. And you're right, there are a lot more blogs and social networks to deal with, and the time needed to split among them is more and more precious.

It was a great run, and the glory years of SU were very special. Thanks Armin, Bryony and all the other authors. Look forward to what the future brings.

I'll miss my flame wars with Design Maven the most.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:53 AM
soo’s comment is:

Thank you for Speak up, it was a great inspiration in my younger days.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:58 AM
Amala’s comment is:

I only just found this place! and now it's going away...

I hope you all go on to do amazing things with your talents. The time and effort you've dedicated to this site was not in vain. And it is much appreciated.

Thank you.

On Apr.13.2009 at 12:10 PM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:


but congrats on what you guys were able to build from scratch. I certainly got a LOT out of this site when you started “back in the day”.

On Apr.13.2009 at 12:29 PM
James Song’s comment is:

You guys helped me get through design school. Thanks for the memories.

On Apr.13.2009 at 12:44 PM
Jim Bryant’s comment is:

The Graphic Design community has lost something very special.

Best of Luck to you both.

On Apr.13.2009 at 12:53 PM
Beth’s comment is:

Sad to see Speak Up go, but grateful I can follow the authors' blogs and Brand New etc.

Better to end strong than beat a dead horse, right?

On Apr.13.2009 at 12:56 PM
Jeremy Wheat’s comment is:

Armin + Bryony,
Great Job, I've been following for years and will continue to follow the underconsideration sites. Much appreciation.

Thank you.

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:12 PM
Khoi Vinh’s comment is:

This is sad, but thank you for everything!

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:19 PM
tricia’s comment is:

thank you and best of luck to you both in this and other upcoming changes.

(what will i read during lunch now?)

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:20 PM
Brad Connell’s comment is:

Bummer. Thanks to everyone who posted interesting things here on Speak Up over the years. Cheers to Armin + Bryony for creating it and best of luck with your future projects!

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:25 PM
Stefan Vervoort’s comment is:

It's very sad to read this. Thanks for everything you've done! Good luck with your projects.

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:30 PM
Daniel Green’s comment is:

Armin & Bryony,

I'm very sad to see Speak Up end, but I surely appreciate your efforts over the years. It's been a great place to find thought-provoking ideas and lively discussions. Though I've been unable to participate like I used to -- given workplace demands and changes -- I will continue to follow your new projects with great interest. Best wishes to you.

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:32 PM
Von K’s comment is:

I've been reading SU since right after I graduated in '03. It's been a big part of my learning in the "real world."

Thanks for making something so valuable to so many people--Tweets could never take its place.

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:42 PM
Diane Faye Zerr’s comment is:

Geez, first you announce that you're moving to Texas and now you're ending SpeakUp...what's next? Don't you dare say you are leaving the design profession!!!!!

This is too much, I am shocked and speechless but wish you all the best on your new ventures!

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:46 PM
felix sockwell’s comment is:

I'm actually really glad to see SU die. This way you/Bry can spend all your efforts on your best site to date: Brand New, which I assume is doing quite well (though you didnt mention how well. Really Well!)

its hard to imagine 2002 and what life was like back then but you've both done one helluva job and we're grateful.

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:46 PM
John Mindiola III’s comment is:

Absolutely phenomenal. This site has had huge influence on me as a designer. It charged me to think, not just create. I recommended your site to all my students! Thank you A and B. It's been great. Viva la BRAND NEW!

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:52 PM
Monika’s comment is:

Speak Up was one of the first sites I truly stalked. I was right in the midst of starting up my own design firm back in 2003 and it was so heartening to read about the experiences of other designers, and so much *fun* just to share the general love of design with like-minded people.
You made a profound impact on the design community, and that is something to be fiercely proud of. Thank you for everything, and thank you to everyone who made this blog what it is. I will miss you all!

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:53 PM
Ricardo Cordoba’s comment is:

Dear Armin and Bryony,

It's sad to see something so great end, but life teaches you that things do come to an end. Thanks so much for Speak Up, and for all your energy and initiative through the years. Last but not least, thanks for giving me the opportunity to post a couple of book reviews here. Best of luck with your future endeavors!

On Apr.13.2009 at 01:59 PM
Eric Baker’s comment is:

All good things come to an end.
Thank you for all the GREAT work.
You have made a BIG impression.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:00 PM
tomfutrell’s comment is:

SpeakUp gave designers a place to hangout in the vast caverns of the internet. It will be missed.

Although, like Felix, I am happy to see you guys pour your energy into Brand New. It's a great site!

Thanks for your continued dedication to the larger design conversation even when you were too tired, too distracted or simply didn't give a damn that day. It was always appreciated.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:01 PM
Jose Espinoza’s comment is:

Thank you.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:04 PM
Eddy’s comment is:

I've been following since the early days; thank you so much for the depth of articles you provided, for your labor of love.

I'm looking forward for what's next.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:05 PM
karen’s comment is:

armin & bryony... thanks so much for doing what you guys do... it means a lot. i've been reading speak up since the beginning, but i've noticed that most of my time lately has been spent with brand new & quips. thanks for keeping those going, and for all the great things speak up has brought us over the years.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:21 PM
Liana’s comment is:

Sad to hear, but understandable. I've been noticing the decline as well. It's been so enjoyable and educating to have Speak Up as a design resource. Thanks for the effort to all who have been involved.

Maybe a resurrection could happen at a later time. One can hold out hope right?

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:22 PM
Nicole Peterson’s comment is:

I'll be very sad to see the blog go, but thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute writing to Speak Up.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:28 PM
Andrew Kopietz’s comment is:

Speak Up was an introduction into both design and communication for me back when i was just getting started and a small spot in my heart will always be there for it.

Thanks for the whit, the intelligent discussion when no one else would bother, and the awareness of what's going on in our industry. Honestly, i'd be no good without it.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:42 PM
Damien Newman’s comment is:

Armin, Bryony -

It must have been a sad transition to see happening but I'm sure you don't let go of what a vibrant and important part of the design community Speak Up was.

Speak Up saved my life*. Up till I came across it I was a militant type-designer wannabe, below-average graphic designer finding fault with everyone else's' graphic design. Yet I was focused on trying to become a graphic designer and finding it tortuous. Then I came across Speak Up. People like Tan, Felix, Jason, Sam, Graham? (from Tomato), Debbie, DESIGNMAVEN (have I got that right?), yourselves and many others (don't mean to leave them out) and they all sorted my shit out promptly. I was no longer angry about my lack of talent, I resigned to it easily. I tried to make my own new and unique position about graphic design and loved the discussions, arguments and thoughts from all of the above.

I loved that the interview Armin published with Heller was by handwriting Heller a letter asking for an interview. I was continuously amazed at the reach Speak Up had and how it drew people in.

I loved having the chance to contribute very lightly to Speak Up, and definitely got more out of it than I gave (for which I apologize). Thank you Armin + Bryony for so long hosting a place for us to meet up and speak up.



*Yes, okay I'm being silly. But I ended up moving away from trying to practice graphic design which helped things a lot.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:53 PM
Gabriel DeWitt’s comment is:

I start every morning with Speak Up. I am truly sad to see it go.

On Apr.13.2009 at 02:55 PM
Viviana Cordova’s comment is:

you have been a great source of information, part of me is sad but glad that Speak Up will be live as an archive. Thank you!

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:04 PM
Caren Litherland’s comment is:

Thank you both so much. Cheers. All the best.

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:10 PM
Varick Rosete’s comment is:

Thanks for all the good stuff! Gonna miss it...

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:15 PM
Derek Munn’s comment is:

I could go on and on about how this blog has shaped my ideas, theories, principles, hopes, dreams, goals, and standards.

I hoped one day to have a post on Speak Up. I guess the irony is I didn't speak up. Maybe another day and time.

A big "Thank You" to the "staff" at Speak Up. I will shed a tear as I remove the bookmark from my nav bar.

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:29 PM
Arvi Raquel-Santos’s comment is:

So sad. Good luck with all of your future endeavors (including your up-coming move). Thanks for all the good reading in the past few years.

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:30 PM
Joe Clark’s comment is:

So you’re saying that at no time did you start or perpetuate Speak Up so it could advance your career?

As, for example, getting hired by Pentagram?

And now that your career is doing so well you can move to Austin and coast on a couple of clients at a time, you don’t need the blog anymore?

What part did I get wrong?

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:31 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Ah, Joe Clark, I will miss you most of all on Speak Up. Let's see...

> So you’re saying that at no time did you start or perpetuate Speak Up so it could advance your career?

I don't think I said that. I said the contrary, Speak Up made my career basically.

> As, for example, getting hired by Pentagram?

I met Michael Bierut through Speak Up so, yes, I did "use" Speak Up for that. I doubt Michael hired me for my blogging capabilities alone, though.

> And now that your career is doing so well you can move to Austin and coast on a couple of clients at a time, you don’t need the blog anymore?

Twist words much?

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:39 PM
Michael Wiemeyer’s comment is:

Thanks for the years of providing a platform for the design community. I commented only a few times but spent hours reading posts and comments. Can't wait to see what you will do in the future. Best of luck.

On Apr.13.2009 at 03:55 PM
David Sherwin’s comment is:

Thank you for creating the first and best major forum for spirited dialogue about graphic design.

I'm sad to see Speak Up end, but no matter where you go next, please continue to stoke it with your passion for design in its many manifestations.

On Apr.13.2009 at 04:23 PM
Michael Bierut’s comment is:

I for one am grateful that Armin Vit started Speak Up in order to trick me into hiring him at Pentagram. So much harder than, say, dropping off a portfolio, but that kid never does things the easy way.

I love you, Armin. Thanks for everything.

On Apr.13.2009 at 04:30 PM
oneoftwenty’s comment is:

While I didn't comment much, reading Speak Up has become a part of my routine for the past few years and it will be greatly missed. I wish you the best in all your other current/future efforts.

Nick Healy

On Apr.13.2009 at 04:37 PM
Christian Palino’s comment is:

Speak Up has had a wonderful run and we are all very grateful to Armin and Bryony for their constant energy. Onward I say! Catch you at Brand New.

On Apr.13.2009 at 04:48 PM
Haik Avanian’s comment is:

I'm looking forward to whatever replaces this in the future!

On Apr.13.2009 at 04:50 PM
Struan’s comment is:

This saddens me enormously :( I'll miss Speak Up.

On Apr.13.2009 at 05:13 PM
Craig Hughes’s comment is:

You have been a wonderful resource and the most productive time-waster to more designers than you can ever count, and you will be greatly missed!

On Apr.13.2009 at 05:33 PM
Naz Hamid’s comment is:

I admittedly haven't read Speak Up in a two years or so but from the very beginning I did and I'm quite grateful for having met you and Bryony when you were both here in Chicago.

Speak Up has been a great resource over the years (and I still wear my Bantjes SU shirt with pride). I'm quite glad that both of you were honest with the site as a whole and have decided to close up -- if anything, it's best to know when to end it right.

That said, I feel it's not a complete loss as Brand New (which I do read) and your other endeavours are great and relevant sources of design inspiration and discussion.


On Apr.13.2009 at 05:38 PM
Nikki Mueller’s comment is:

Armin, I saw you speak once at a HOW conference and have been following this site ever since. I've never commented, but have been an avid reader of your posts for the past few years. Alas, I guess I'm a part of the forum's death. Apathy kills. SpeakUp RIP.

On Apr.13.2009 at 05:39 PM
Robert Henderson’s comment is:

An amazing blog, a real shame to see it go. Good luck with all your future projects.

On Apr.13.2009 at 05:57 PM
Nick de Jardine’s comment is:

Speak up is easily one of my favorite sources of compelling content and inspiration. Many thanks for all your efforts over the years, you will be missed.

On Apr.13.2009 at 06:02 PM
Quality Vintage’s comment is:

You have to admit, it's been a hell of a ride. Some great posts along the way, UPS, VH1, Design Maven ramblings/flamewars, Logo Smackdowns, those first batches of word-its. Groundbreaking. Followed SU from the beginning and although I read it infrequently towards the end, it still always managed to chew up a lot of my time. Spawned so may imitators and exposed so many great designers that are now household names. Thanks to all.

On Apr.13.2009 at 06:11 PM
Jason Laughlin’s comment is:

It has truly been a pleasure to have learned so much and to be made to think so much. Perhaps other wonderful forums for design will arrive, but they will never replace that Christmas morning feeling, that new car smell that was Speak Up. Sincerest thanks and best wishes.

On Apr.13.2009 at 06:22 PM
Jean François Porchez’s comment is:

Understandable. The nature of the web changed a lot and it's not easy to maintain such places today. Thanks for everything. j f p

On Apr.13.2009 at 06:29 PM
Tan’s comment is:

No good thing ever dies.

Speak Up's influence will live on. And its touch will continue to resonate in the many lifelong friendships that have been made possible by this amazing little website.

Thanks Armin.

On Apr.13.2009 at 06:32 PM
Amanda Woodward’s comment is:

Awww, sad to see it go. Grateful for the learning and collaboration I have experienced because of Speak Up. Times are changin' though and I can't seem to read long blogs like before...

Thank you for your passion and energy, Armin & Bryony.

On Apr.13.2009 at 06:36 PM
Jeremy’s comment is:

Speak Up will be missed.

Now that it's over, can the veil be lifted?

WHO IS the Design Maven?

On Apr.13.2009 at 06:37 PM
Robynne’s comment is:

I've enjoyed SU for many years. Sad to see it go but life goes on. Good luck Bryony, Armin and Maya. xxx

On Apr.13.2009 at 07:28 PM
pedro vit’s comment is:

I'm really sorry to see SU close. I followed it from its very inception and admired its contribution to the design scene. The posts/discussions/comments were sensational and they allowed me to "know" a lot of the contributors.
Chapeau to Bryonny and Armin for all their hard work (They put all their soul in this endeavour).
I'll will surely miss my daily routine of the last seven years of checking up on SpeakUp but luckily there are other websites by this same pair of great designers/people Bryony and Armin and will certainly wait for their newest work.

Hasta la vista SpeakUp - you'll certainly be missed!!!

On Apr.13.2009 at 08:05 PM
martin gee’s comment is:

thank you for everything.

On Apr.13.2009 at 08:18 PM
Nicholas Ceron’s comment is:

"nostalgia never carried anything forward"
amazing phrase.
-enter... speak up!- the BOOK!

On Apr.13.2009 at 08:55 PM
Keenan Cummings’s comment is:

Luckily you guys have been prescient and prolific enough to follow the conversation where the community wants to take it. Will Speak Up be missed? Of course, but it moves along on Brand New and Quips and I am excited to see where you guys take it next.

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:30 PM
Hollis’s comment is:

Armin: Your future favorite beer is called Shiner Bock! Be sure to check out Austin City limits (show and music festival), and enjoy your new surroundings. Best to you both ... G'luck

On Apr.13.2009 at 09:31 PM
John’s comment is:

Armin + Bryony:

Thank you so much for this gem on the web. I am so grateful for those I met through this site as well as soaking up all the amazing content throughout the years. Inspiring others is your gift to the world. I can't wait for round 2.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:00 PM
Ben Weeks’s comment is:

Thanks for all your hard work on this site Armin and Byrony. I loved it. Great source of writing and opinions. Glad to see you're keeping the wordits and your other sites going. Underconsideration was consistently ahead of designobserver for hits on alexia-to me, that's a bigger measure of success than number of posts, so congrats on a great run!

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:09 PM
steven Morris’s comment is:

Armin & Byrony -- You'll be missed -- Speak Up will be missed. The social media world and creative community will not be the same without you.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your tireless and passionate efforts!

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:21 PM
Su’s comment is:

I spend a week holed up in my office to finish a project(yes, I owe you an e-mail; tonight, I promise), and look what happens when I peek out.

It's been fun.

But we all know you're doing this because the whole getting hired at Pentagram thing was a complete failure. You were after Landor.

(Shiner Bock is boring. Go for the Black variety.)

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:30 PM
Zana Fauzi’s comment is:

This is a bummer. Thank you for the vision and the effort poured into the making of one of my favorite sites on earth. Speak Up will surely be missed.

On Apr.13.2009 at 11:41 PM
Chris Gee’s comment is:

This is a really sad day but as the owner of both a neglected blog AND podcast, I understand. Good luck you two!!!


On Apr.14.2009 at 12:07 AM
Ty Wilkins’s comment is:

I think I'll always hold out hope for a Speak Up resurrection.

On Apr.14.2009 at 12:39 AM
kim’s comment is:

thank you for speak up

thank you for "...nostalgia never carried anything forward.

And we must move forward. Always."

thank you, thank you, thank you,
Now forward always!

On Apr.14.2009 at 12:49 AM
Daniel’s comment is:

I found Speak Up in 2003 while attending an MA course in Huddersfield, UK. After about three months of voyeurism, I decided to write. On November 15th, I wrote. I had my ass handed to me by Bradley Gutting. It was exciting.

I never wrote much, and now Speak Up is going away -- like being out of touch with a good friend for a long while, then being invited to the funeral.

I've quietly absorbed a lot from Speak Up.

Thanks Armin. Thanks Bryony.

On Apr.14.2009 at 01:24 AM
Enrico’s comment is:

It'll be sad to see the place go quiet, but glad to see the (deep, rich) archives will still be up. Thanks for a great run. Design owes a debt to Speak Up for keeping the dialogue going in the way that it did.

On Apr.14.2009 at 02:18 AM
Andreas Lanjerud’s comment is:

Good luck and thanks for everything. You will be missed.

On Apr.14.2009 at 02:50 AM
Derrick Schultz’s comment is:

Emigre (partially) blames SpeakUp for its shuttering, SpeakUp (partially) blames Twitter for its own demise.

Sorry, thats a macabre joke, but seems sadly fitting.

I can't say I argue with you, but I will say that its disheartening to see really discussion slowly being eviscerated by quick snippets. I guess I know what its like to be an old dude now. I will miss the opportunity to read some lengthy dialogue with some substance in it. In our complex world, I wish we could have some complex discussion that wasn't character-limited. I'm sure something else will come along soon to try and replace you, but you guys did a really good job and it will be hard to come close to the amazing output here.

All the best in future endeavors, and thanks for giving me/us a place to rant and even write every now and then.

On Apr.14.2009 at 02:54 AM
Andy Malhan’s comment is:

What a long strange trip it's been.

Thank you both for everything.


On Apr.14.2009 at 04:43 AM
Philip Twine’s comment is:

Armin & Bryony,
Many thanks for all the years, and consistent high quality, of Speak Up.

When Emigre stopped publishing, Speak Up was the natural successor. I'm not sure what comes next for those who want a little bit more than just URLs from design blogs.

Good luck with your next adventure.

On Apr.14.2009 at 05:31 AM
koan’s comment is:

so sad :(

On Apr.14.2009 at 06:50 AM
Sascha Brossmann’s comment is:

I understand the reasons, while I mourn their result.

One less place for a somewhat deeper design discourse, providing a contrast to the omnipresent plethora of shallow show-and-tell wanking-off (not that I'd totally dislike some candy, sometimes, but it doesn't make you grow well). Something which is dearly needed in this disclipline of ours.

But maybe it's simply about time to move on – and try to find (or create) new ways and places to fuse practice with reflection.

Anyway – thank you, Armin & Bryony, for all your time and effort to make it happen right here.

“Now is a good time to make any changes.” ;-)

On Apr.14.2009 at 07:50 AM
Jason A. Tselentis’s comment is:


On Apr.14.2009 at 09:05 AM
elv’s comment is:

I've been a quite silent reader all along (except for my contribution to the Word-it book :) but will nonetheless miss Speak Up. To me it's been the home of the finest topics about design and communication, and the finest comments too.

On Apr.14.2009 at 09:51 AM
Chris Rugen’s comment is:

Thank you all for this fantastic site and for the time you've poured into it. It's been a pleasure to read about and comment on and discuss design here on Speak Up.

I will miss it, but fortunately we've got Brand New and others to fill a bit of the gap.


On Apr.14.2009 at 11:11 AM
Josh Ege’s comment is:

I feel I have learned quite a bit through the stories and posts over the past several years. Speak Up will be missed by many, but I hope for much success in your future projects. I look forward to reading them all.

Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into Speak Up, it is greatly appreciated.

On Apr.14.2009 at 11:31 AM
Brent Seehafer’s comment is:

Thank you for providing this forum for so many years, it's helped me in more ways than one. Best of luck to you both with everything to come. Cheers!

On Apr.14.2009 at 12:48 PM
Thom’s comment is:

After buying the Speak Up booklets I totally forgot about this site...and only found it again today now that it's closing down. The cruel speed of the internet.

All the best with whatever you do.

On Apr.14.2009 at 12:58 PM
Emily Gordon’s comment is:

You've made the designosphere better, and I know you'll keep doing just that. Thank you!

On Apr.14.2009 at 01:21 PM
Andrew Boardman’s comment is:

Very sad to hear this news, Armin. Sadder still, however, is your (perhaps correct) theory that Twitter and other instant media may be challenging our reading behavior and abilities.

On Apr.14.2009 at 01:25 PM
RTwerk’s comment is:

In 2002, having sublet my Brooklyn apartment for a pretty penny, I was then living in Vienna, Austria on a lark. I was freelancing in graphic design from an apartment which I took near the center of the city, with an office desk in the living room in a perfect spot near a few windows, propping up my g4 tower and Diamond Pro CRT monitor (ha! Customs!) I was so inspired by everything in Vienna, that I often fought my impulse to just stay in playing Word It! or reading/exchanging ideas about design on Speak Up. I discovered much about myself during that time... some of which was shaped by the content, no, the spirit of the writing on Speak Up! It is an institution which I never assumed would fade into an archive.

Good luck and thank you for the inspiration!

On Apr.14.2009 at 01:33 PM
inspirationbit’s comment is:

Thank you for the insightful articles, for inspiration and wisdom. Speak Up will definitely be missed. All the best and good bye.

On Apr.14.2009 at 02:34 PM
Joe Isaak’s comment is:

Dearest A and B, your voices will be missed in this environment, yet that means we will perhaps hear you more in your books and speaking engagements, and...

It's been a good run.


On Apr.14.2009 at 03:05 PM
Joe Isaak’s comment is:

Dearest A and B, your voices will be missed in this environment, yet that means we will perhaps hear you more in your books and speaking engagements, and...

It's been a good run.


On Apr.14.2009 at 03:06 PM
Jean Fletcher’s comment is:

Wow. I'm sad to read your good-bye, relieved archives will be maintained, and feel fortunate I came across Speak Up during a frustrating design class. It helped put things in perspective. A humble thanks and hope to see you all in the future!

On Apr.14.2009 at 04:03 PM
JimK’s comment is:

We'll miss you!

On Apr.14.2009 at 06:22 PM
Christine Zoltok’s comment is:

Speak Up will always be remembered as paving the way for online critical writing in design. Thanks for everything, and best of luck in Austin!

On Apr.14.2009 at 06:43 PM
marian bantjes’s comment is:

A big, big thanks and hug and kiss to Armin & Bryony for having the vision and the energy to do this for so many years.

And big thanks as well to all the other authors and commenters for the time, energy, good shit and bad shit.

It was super great to meet you all.

On Apr.14.2009 at 06:45 PM
Jim Harvie’s comment is:

Is it irony that I read of your closing the doors and turning out the lights in the same blog where I first hear of you? The comments suggest this was a well loved site but that is not enough. Good luck in the future.

On Apr.14.2009 at 08:11 PM
ps’s comment is:

speak up for a while was what i went to first when i woke up and last before i was done for the day. it was the forum not to be missed. i met a good group of people that hopefully will be friends forever. and it let me speak up. and shit, we had some great debates - didn't we? thank you.

On Apr.14.2009 at 09:02 PM
Kevin’s comment is:

Dear Bryony, Armin and all past and present Speak Up authors, I've never clearly voiced this before, so I'll do it now before I lose my chance.

Being selected as one of the original authors on this site was an indescribable honour for me as a student fresh out of university. Here was democracy in action, and I had so much to say and so much to learn. All I had to do to take part was send Armin an email with my favorite serif and sans-serif fonts (I still remember what I said too; Mrs. Eaves and Futura!). Though I only managed to contribute sporadically, Speak Up has been with me my entire career as a professional designer, acting as a dear friend and a credible reference. My most recent cv still proudly states, "former editorial author on Speak Up, the leading graphic design web forum."

Speak Up has not only allowed me, but forced me to grow as a designer by challenging my assumptions and fostering an interest in areas of design I didn't think I cared about. Beyond the wealth of design knowledge I gained hanging out here, I also learned about the importance of a distinct editorial voice. This comforting, honest and entertaining voice is what I will miss the most in my daily reading. If I am anything beyond a competent designer today, I owe a lot to the countless hours "wasted" here.

It's been years since I've been an official Speak Up author, yet every Christmas when I return home to my mother's apartment in Toronto, I find a beautiful letterpressed card from A + B waiting for me. And it means the world to me, sent from people I have yet to meet, it reminds me that I was part of something special, something started and lovingly cared for by sincere and caring people.

So thank you both. You've done an amazing job here. It might sound silly, but I'm damn proud.

PS. In case you were wondering Armin, the "R" in my Nightmare Word It submission stood for Requiem, the typeface it was set in, and now one of my favorite serifs.

On Apr.14.2009 at 09:09 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> In case you were wondering Armin, the "R" in my Nightmare Word It submission stood for Requiem,

As a matter of fact, yes, I'm still wondering almost six years later. Specially with the renewed energy in Word It and the book, I still wondered what it stood for. Thank you!

On Apr.14.2009 at 09:16 PM
Sash Fernando’s comment is:

This is a sad sad day -- I refuse to work today.

Love you guys! thank you thank you and thank you

On Apr.14.2009 at 09:20 PM
Mark Notermann’s comment is:

I've been appreciating how lucky I was to be able to experience this site's prime days. It was a unique combination of qualified writers, passionate regular commenters, and of course the guiding hands of the founders which made it rise to be something greater than any of the component parts. It really had a life of its own.


On Apr.14.2009 at 11:40 PM
Joe M.’s comment is:

Shine on!

On Apr.15.2009 at 12:42 AM
cchs’s comment is:

All good things ____ ____ __ __ ___.

On Apr.15.2009 at 01:54 AM
The Pageman’s comment is:

Goodbye Speak Up!

On Apr.15.2009 at 05:29 AM
katrina’s comment is:

I learned so much from Speak Up! It's so sad to see it go. Hope you guys all the best!

On Apr.15.2009 at 10:05 AM
Kenneth FitzGerald’s comment is:

As I'm more into eccentric than useful credentials, I'll always be proud of providing the title for the Speak Up favored quotes compendiums. And, as public commentary on my writing is so rare, I treasure the high-water mark for feedback that was that long-ago Rant book club discussion. I may still be "a bundle of anger and resentment" about the rest of graphic design but not Speak Up. Thanks Armin and Bryony.

On Apr.15.2009 at 10:24 AM
Colin’s comment is:

Sad to see it go, but thank goodness you're not getting rid of the other sites — I don't know what I'd do during lunch without Brand New and Quipsologies.

On Apr.15.2009 at 11:35 AM
raymond prucher’s comment is:

Dear Armin and Gang,

I found you a few years ago, a relief in a wilderness, and hope you will remain so in spirit.

All the best on new ventures.


On Apr.15.2009 at 01:59 PM
Sam Sutanto’s comment is:

Sad to see speak up gone.
But can you keep "Quips" up?
Got a lot of inspirations from that.

On Apr.15.2009 at 05:39 PM
Bruce’s comment is:

Thanks for facilitating great discussion and fostering brain-pounding thought.

On Apr.15.2009 at 07:23 PM
Jessie’s comment is:

speak up has been great and has taught me a lot. gave us all a great community to be a part of. good luck to everyone in the future.

On Apr.15.2009 at 07:35 PM
Mauro’s comment is:

Sad. Sad. Sad.
Good luck.
A loyal reader from China.

On Apr.16.2009 at 12:29 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Bummer. It was fun!

On Apr.16.2009 at 02:28 AM
Alex Lai’s comment is:

Awww shit. Looks like I came to the party too late. I just recently found Speak Up, and now that I did, there's all this sappy talk. Glad to hear that will be some sort of archive, because I need to do some major catching up.

G'luck to your future ventures, whatever they may be.


On Apr.16.2009 at 03:30 AM
Amy Graver’s comment is:

Bryony + Armin,

Thank you for your years of devotion and the gift it has given all of us. Speak Up will be missed but I know you will find new ways to capture our attention and passion. I look forward to what's next.


On Apr.16.2009 at 05:55 AM
Dani’s comment is:

Dear Armin & Bryony

Thank you for your all passion and dedication to what was and always will be a special site... you should be so very very proud!

Looking forward to climbing onboard the next ship.

Good luck with everything

On Apr.16.2009 at 09:05 AM
Schmittyapolis’s comment is:

Best of luck Armin and Bryony in Austin.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!


On Apr.16.2009 at 10:36 AM
Tony Siino’s comment is:

A sad goodbye.

On Apr.16.2009 at 06:22 PM
yael’s comment is:

Armin! I can't believe it. This has been one of the best blogs and design sites out there for me. I have to say that Speak Up has definitely influenced my attitude and appreciation for design. I've learned a lot from this amazing site and enjoyed the lively comment strings. Thank you also for allowing me to share my thoughts in this respected forum (remember Sales Copy Gone Wild?) - that was fun. I'm relieved you're not shutting down Quipsologies since that is for sure my favorite now (with my reading time dwindling to nothing, it's a quick easy read.) Thanks for everything you've put into Speak Up and for setting the benchmark for great design publishing online. I think I'm definitely just one of many thousands of designers who've been inspired and influenced by you and Bryony's work. Kudos to you! -Yael

On Apr.17.2009 at 01:12 AM
Andy Polaine’s comment is:

Sad to see you close, but god luck with everything.

On Apr.17.2009 at 04:02 AM
Michael Holdren’s comment is:

Back in mid 2004, this site saved me from a complete burn-out. Over the next few years it fed me what I needed: design conversation. However, I haven't visited much since early 2007. The sadness is in the truth, knowing that it's time to say goodbye. What a great journey this was, I'm looking forward to the new ones.

On Apr.17.2009 at 10:43 AM
rick Valicenti’s comment is:

armin and bryony,

thank you thank you for all of your inspired personal energy and passion to design and the community that is all of us.

it seems like it was just yesterday that you paid a visit to my home outside of chicago as you looked for the next step out of atlanta. chicago was that next step for you back then and perhaps it was the isolation of the midwest that catalyzed your need to Speak Up.

today you both can look back at your Speak Up time as rudy looks back on his Emigré archive with the knowing that you captured the spirit of the time. you were interested and interesting. you were mirror and reflection. you were friend and impresario.

again, thank you.

these words from your almost final post signaled your simultaneous sadness for the passing of your own creation and the joy for the potential of what is just around the corner from the light of day. i hear you! I feel you!

"It’s just too demoralizing to see Speak Up not perform like it used to. And it never will again, because of the expectations I have put on it and the ones that you have all put on it. It’s just not the same. I really feel relieved that we are closing it. Its time has come. It served its purpose and it made its mark. Not many blogs can claim that and we are happy with what it’s done. Time to move on to other things."

On Apr.18.2009 at 04:28 AM
A. Lashley’s comment is:

As a designer who got started in the mid-90s, I think this site bridged the gap between generations. The more official Design Press (Steven Heller and others) were represented here, while connecting to and engaging with a web-seasoned generation of designers from 2004 onward. I can see how the time of the blog format has passed. But the community?* Honestly, I don't know where a design community exists that replaces Speakup online.

*I say this as a casual, somewhat inactive reader.

On Apr.18.2009 at 11:47 AM
Colin’s comment is:

discovered the blog a few days ago and was so excited i did!
sad to read this.. will browse the archives then..

good luck in all your future projects!

On Apr.19.2009 at 08:29 AM
Golden’s comment is:

A few weeks ago in one of my classes, a professor said when speaking about current design blogs, "...and then there's Speak Up. We had never heard of this guy, Armin Vit, but all of a sudden he was the expert on everything and everyone important was listening."

After saying goodbye to a few newspapers it's weird to say goodbye to a blog. Thanks to everyone who contributed and commented.

On Apr.19.2009 at 11:57 AM
Matt D’s comment is:

Well then,

I have never posted here yet I have been coming here for about 5 or 6 years now. Never consistent but always stopping by and spending hours catching up on what I have missed through the week (in some cases weeks).

Today I came to peruse my usual readings and saw this post...A and B thank you so much for your time and effort in this endeavor. As so many have already said it has been a blast over the years to come here and see good discussion and worthwhile posts going on, it will be missed.

Good luck with whatever is coming to you guys in all aspects of your life.


On Apr.19.2009 at 01:51 PM