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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. The best laid schemes for house and screens

    4/28/16

    by Amanda Buck

    “If you can design one thing, you can design everything” –Massimo Vignelli

    My husband and I are in the midst of buying our first house together. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper but nothing too major. Our first priorities are to refinish the floors, repaint, redo the kitchen, and update the bathroom vanity. The house is nothing like the Modernist glass box I once dreamed of, but it definitely has character.

  2. Thoughtful Communication

    4/21/16

    by Joe Rinaldi

    Comedian/actor Eddie Izzard makes an interesting point in his 2011 stand up Dress To Kill about communication. Through a (famously misunderstood) historic example of JFK’s 1963 address in Berlin, he illustrates how what you say, is often overshadowed by how you say it. The literal translation of what JFK said could have been interpreted in one of two ways. It could have been interpreted to mean he called himself a jelly doughnut. Because of the powerful way he delivered his message however, and the connection he had crafted with the Berlin crowd, they properly understood his meaning and responded enthusiastically when he declared himself a Berliner at heart.

  3. Search to Show We Care

    4/13/16

    by Dave DeRuchie

    As many of you may know April is Autism Awareness month. As noted on the Autism society’s website: “Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.”

  4. On Board with Artboards

    4/7/16

    by Aura Seltzer

    Over the past nine months, our design team has been using Photoshop CC’s artboards feature (new with CC 2015). If you’re not familiar, artboards allow you to create multiple canvases within a single Photoshop file. While we had used artboards in Illustrator, the shift in Photoshop wasn’t a breeze. In the short term, artboards disrupted our keyboard-shortcut habits and file management workflow. Multiple design concepts and dozens of artboards later, they’re a part of every new design system we create.

  5. What Will They Say About Me?

    3/31/16

    by Dan Delauro

    For most of my life, I’ve subscribed to the #zerof*cks mentality. I rarely cared about what people said or thought. I was a real maverick. Ahem, jerk. I broke rules, I did whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and nothing got in the way. Nobody mattered but me and the awesome things I wanted to do. Anyone who did get in the way got trampled (sorry about that). It worked out pretty well – for a while. I managed to align myself with a group of similar people who all wanted the same things out of life. That all changed when I got a ‘real’ job and began taking life seriously

  6. Help, I’m stuck!

    3/25/16

    by Dana Pavlichko

    I looked at my screen from far away, went for a walk, and took a break. I find myself pushing around the same elements in Photoshop in different arrangements with no success. I’m focused on requirements, but letting them dictate my choices. Time is running out. It feels like there is no room left to experiment—that it’s just time to get the job done. My comp’s arrangement isn’t working. Is it too late to come up with something fresh?

  7. Under the rocks and stones, same as it ever was

    3/21/16

    by Michael Johnson

    A few days ago Erik Spiekermann offered some perspective on a mobile-first article, relating its situation-based process to print design: “I always start with the smallest element and work up from it. In a book that may be the footnotes, in a timetable that would be the numbers, in a magazine the main text.” He goes on to say:

    “You do the same for screens. So what’s new? The present generation of UI/UX designers may think that they invented a new way of designing, but we’ve had these issues forever.”

  8. A Key Player on a Wicked Team

    3/10/16

    by Abby Fretz

    Recently I attended a workshop run by the legendary designer and boundary-pushing problem solver, Bruce Mau. The workshop, hosted by PennPraxis and the Penn Institute for Urban Research (PennIUR), focused on a large scale (citywide) question, “How Do We Design a More Equitable Philadelphia?”

  9. A Tale of Two Launches

    3/3/16

    by Joe Rinaldi

    We’ve launched two projects with NYIT and Philly.com in two weeks and it’s got me feeling reflective. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a launch, especially when I’m so very pleased with the results, but a faithful launch isn’t always certain.

  10. Expressive Type for Copy Blocks

    2/25/16

    by Mark Huot

    How many times have you been coding a navigation and found yourself overriding the default padding on a list? Or, have you ever dove into a teeny tiny “product meta block” only to find that all your paragraphs have this ridiculous default font-size of 16px? What do you do? Well, you do one of two things… you override everything or you set more simplistic defaults.