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Defining our industry's methodologies, standards, and culture have long been a part of Happy Cog's values.

We started Cognition as a product to offer advice, create a dialogue, and serve our industry and clients to help them with their goals and aspirations.

Learn more about Happy Cog at happycog.com.

  1. Bicycle Illustration by Chris Cashdollar

    Not everyone’s a technophile

    6/16/11

    by Mark Huot

    When you engage Happy Cog in a full scale web redesign, you typically come out of the project with a fully integrated content management system (or CMS). The implementation of a CMS implies that you and your team will have access to a tool that will facilitate updating content across the entire website. The system creates an abstract of the website using simple forms to enable content entry. Completing those forms will generate all the necessary callouts, sidebars, related links, archives, etc. from which your site is built.

  2. Suit Illo by Yesenia Perez-Cruz

    The Cult of Personalities

    6/9/11

    by Dave DeRuchie

    In a service industry like ours, we work with a lot of people. Certain people bring out the best in us; others, not so much. Consider your last difficult workplace exchange. How would that encounter have been different if you had a better sense of your own personality? What if you understood the person you shared the encounter with better?

  3. The Secret Ingredient

    6/2/11

    by Chris Cashdollar

    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…

  4. Isle of Creative Direction Illustration

    But What I Really Want to Do is Direct

    5/26/11

    by Jeffrey Zeldman

    In my apprentice days, I worked for Marvin Honig, a Hall of Fame copywriter who created indelible commercials for Alka-Seltzer, Cracker Jack, and Volkswagen during the 1960s and 1970s, and who assumed creative leadership of Doyle Dane Bernbach upon legendary founder Bill Bernbach’s death. It was not one of those bloody successions that stain the pages of history and advertising. Bill chose Marvin to carry on in his place.

  5. Waterloo.

    5/19/11

    by Greg Storey

    A month ago, after drinking a few Sundowns in celebration of turning forty years of age, I bought myself a pair of Old Gringos. They are a worn-in light brown and are adorned with a fierce phoenix stitched in the front of each boot. For those who know me, they’re thinking that this purchase was completely influenced by a tequila fueled mid-life crisis, but they would be mostly wrong. For you see, I acquired this tall footwear after being advised that you can’t do business in Texas without a pair of cowboy boots.

  6. The Devil is in The Invoice

    5/12/11

    by Greg Hoy

    If you run a creative services business and haven’t seen Mike Monteiro’s F*ck You. Pay Me. talk, take 40 minutes and watch it. In his ever-so-subtle style, Mike provides a real world overview of the red flags that result in you not getting paid for your work. A lot of the talk focuses on the importance of having a sound contract and a lawyer’s ear, both of which are crucial. While Mike’s talk hit on the big points, there are also some smaller details that can a make big difference. For example, how you invoice.

  7. The Art of Details

    5/5/11

    by Brian Warren

    “Whether the type is set in hard metal by hand, or in softer metal by machine, or in digital form on paper or film, every comma, every parenthesis, every e and in context even every empty space, has style as well as bald symbolic value. Letters are microscopic works of art as well as useful symbols. They mean what they are as well as what they say.”
    — Robert Bringhurst The Elements of Typographic Style

  8. Face the money

    Face the Money

    4/28/11

    by Russ Unger

    I think I started holding down jobs when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. It started simple—a newspaper route in glorious Mark, Illinois, population somewhere around 250-300. Believe it or not, there were two paper routes in this little village. Mark had lots of hills, but also lots of great people—and even a couple of first generation Italian immigrants—who made the route worthwhile. It wasn’t just about the cash money to buy Atari 2600 cartridges and fireworks I received from them; it was often about those homemade lemon cookies made from a recipe that probably never existed on paper.

  9. Sustainable design

    Sustainable, Not Pixel Perfect

    4/21/11

    by Kevin Sharon

    Last week, Happy Cog was nominated for two Webby awards for our work with Zappos.com. I know some people don’t like awards, but as someone who didn’t grow up in an era when “everyone gets a trophy,” I still think they’re pretty rad. Seriously though, I think of a nomination like this as a recognition of doing great collaborative work with our clients. When I heard about the nominations, I was chatting with one of my coworkers who wondered, “can we really take the credit for this work?” As I typed the words, “shut your stupid face hole,” and considered whether to press enter, I thought about his question for a moment and the life of our work after we hand it over to our clients.

  10. Are Doctypes the New Lunch Tables?

    4/14/11

    by Jenn Lukas

    Viewing source has gotten pretty rad these days! Looking around the web, a good command + u (yes, I use Firefox/Mac) can provide an afternoon of exciting show and tell. One thing I like to look into is at which DTD table everyone is sitting these days. When the HTML5 doctype was introduced, some folks grabbed it and never looked back to the land of system identifiers again; others were cool with rocking a doctype that has been working for them for the last decade or so. This has caused some separation between those who see the choice as the past versus those who see it as the future. The cool table versus the lame table.