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Cognition

Articles By:

Chris Cashdollar

  1. Avoiding #RWD Limbo

    Posted on 4/10/14

    Almost four years ago, I wrote a Cognition post about my Rule of Threes. In it, I explained that pushing a design effort far enough often resulted in stronger, better-conceived, and more thoroughly vetted solutions. If you didn’t read the article, let me give you a quick recap:

    At the conclusion of the information architecture phase, multiple designers worked in unison to evolve three unique design concepts. Each effort was aimed at different, but agreed upon goals. By varying art direction, user-interface interpretation, and content prioritization, the Rule stressed designing a “range” of static mock-up solutions to present to a client. Whichever concept garnered the most attention became the “base model” that was iterated on and drove the overall look and feel moving forward.

  1. Better Stakeholder Interviews

    Posted on 5/9/13

    Remember the childhood game of “Telephone”? One person whispers a message into the ear of their friend, and that action is repeated until everyone in attendance has heard and relayed the statement. The last person blurts out to the group what they heard, and, usually, laughter ensues.

    Everyone understands why this happens. Translation and less-than-pristine reinterpretation damage the fidelity of the message. There is no copy-and-paste equivalent for verbal storytelling. A photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of an image will always render that image indistinguishable from the original.

  1. Anatomy of an Illustration

    Posted on 11/8/12

    Time flies by. Cognition recently crossed its one-hundred-article threshold. While there is nothing particularly newsworthy about this milestone, the interesting fact is that numerous hands cooperate each week to birth a new post. One unique part of this behind-the-scenes magic is the weekly pairing of our author with an in-house illustrator. Editorial illustration, when done well, helps to bring the essence of the article to life via a single, compelling image.

  1. Before You Hit Send: A Few Honest Tips for Job Seeking Designers

    Posted on 6/28/12

    Hiring a new designer is exciting. The hiring process is not. As someone who has recently been on the receving end of hundreds of applications, I’m noticing a few alarming trends. New graduate or seasoned veteran, it doesn’t seem to matter.

  1. Dear Branding Agencies,

    Posted on 3/1/12

    You’ve crafted the “big picture” view. The client loves the new branding direction; they can practically smell the future you’ve unveiled for them. Now it’s time to get to work. That means you likely have a bazillion different projects in play to bring this new brand to life: identity packages, brochures of all shapes and sizes, tickets, annual reports, bus wraps, on-site signage, and, yes, the website.

  1. Escape the Fear Factory

    Posted on 9/29/11

    With my Pittsburgh roots comes a 30+ year fandom of the NHL hockey team the Pittsburgh Penguins. But one of my favorite Pens memories didn’t happen during a game; it was actually a text message. A message sent by owner and legendary player, Mario Lemieux, to the team and coaches before decisive game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals.

  1. The Secret Ingredient

    Posted on 6/2/11

    Variety is a blessing. Here at Happy Cog, each and every design project is radically different. Show me the day when any two client design challenges are exactly the same and I’ll turn in my font library, ergonomic chair, and scribble-filled Field Notes. Retirement at 34? Sounds good. Now, where’s my fishing pole…

  1. Watch Your Language

    Posted on 2/10/11

    He invoked a sense of dread every Monday and Wednesday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. At the age of 18, “color theory” wasn’t something I necessarily “got.” Yet the facts were unavoidable. The class was mandatory. All design majors had to take it and endure it. And almost all of us were clueless in the art of discussing design. We were at the mercy of the scariest design professor this side of the Bauhaus, Keith Newhouse.

  1. The Magic Number

    Posted on 10/28/10

    At the age of three I decided that three was the best number. This was based on sound science: my toddler-brain resolved that being 3 was the best age. This infatuation has stuck around for years, and now taken root in my design methodology. Ever since my first creative director demanded three different concepts, I’ve always subscribed to the Rule of Three (3): it’s my de facto way to structure process and unveil work to clients. Want Happy Cog to design your website? You’ll probably get three different solutions to choose from.

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