Proudly presenting QUAD, the University of Oxford’s new Alumni Magazine

There aren’t many occasions you get the chance to design a new magazine from scratch. But that is just what I did in this creative project.

Working closely with the energetic and clever Richard Lofthouse as editor, for me the most amazing part of this brief was the freedom I had in the design. From creating a grid system, colour pallet and font style sheet from scratch, being able to design irregular columns and working very much by eye. A graphic designer’s dream.

Even the politics of creating the magazine weren’t that painful. Sure, some things went right up to the wire, but for a new publication, what do you expect?

As for the cover art, it features one of the paintings from an article about Cool American Modernism at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. This is the first exhibition to explore the ‘cool’ in American art in the early 20th century, from early experiments in abstraction by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Paul Strand to the strict, clean precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth.

Another nice thing about the magazine is that there are very few adverts. Inside front and back cover, that’s all. Nothing to spoil the look and feel as you thumb through the pages.

Any downside? This is an annual publication. So you’ll have to wait until next year for the next issue.

And finally, while nothing beats feeling a hard copy in your hand, here is a digital issuu version for you to take a look through.

 

Richard Reed: how to turn your passion into a career

Want to start your own business?  Founder of Innocent Drinks Richard Reed explains how it pays to be prepared when starting out a new venture.

Start working on your plan

“Turning what you love into a career can be a series of small steps, not a massive leap into the unknown. While you’ve still got your regular job, spend some of your evenings, as well as time on the weekends working on your plan. It’s a bit like being a student – you’ve got to revise and prepare.”

Learn how to make the most of your spare time

“A fair amount of time passed from the day me, Adam and John (Innocent co-founders) came up with our idea, to when we actually handed in our notice. We used our spare time to work on our business plan, and make samples to sell at market stalls. We researched the shops we thought would be interested in our product, and tried and tested as much as we could to give us confidence.”

It helps to be cheeky

“Did I always want to come home from a hard day’s work and launch myself into my plan? Of course not. There were three ways I approached it. Sometimes I just had to get on with it. Sometimes I did decide to watch TV – I’m only human. But did I sometimes work on my own stuff during my regular job, when my boss wasn’t looking? You bet.

“You have to keep within the spirit of things, and certainly never be immoral, but it helps to start thinking creatively about how to get things done.”

Keep your home out of the equation

“I would strongly advise to any aspiring entrepreneurs, who are also homeowners: don’t gamble your home. Start squirrelling away as much savings as possible so you’re not at risk of losing your home in the process. And on that note, I would advise against using your home as the guarantee for the debt to start a business, it’s too risky.”

Enjoy the benefits of doing what you love for a living

“Doing what you love provides a better quality of life, helps you take control, and attracts like-minded people.

“I’m not for one second guaranteeing that setting up your own business will go smoothly, or that you should approach a career change without a clear direction. However, with proper planning the upsides of giving it a go are infinite – you gain all that learning and experience.”

 

 

 


First published in Travelers Companies

Your street on your chest?

Fancy a creative and unusual t-shirt? Then take note of this inspirational enterprise!

As the site says (in German):  raubdruckerin is an experimental street printing project that has been printing details of the urban texture of selected cities on streetwear, fabrics and paper. Printing is done by hand: on manhole covers, ventilation grids and other reliefs that the infrastructure of the urban landscape presents. 

The public space is regarded as a printing workshop and stage for unusual motifs that are often overlooked in everyday life. An imprint of the city, which takes away the hustle and bustle of mass production and also attaches a unique souvenir to the body of the people.   

The process of transforming an urban detail into a picture worn on someone’s chest can be considered a reverse street art. One part of the city is pulled out of its origin and brought to life in another context. By wearing the picture, people themselves become part of the project, opening up possibilities to stimulate perception of the relationship to our environment, to discover beauty where it would not be expected.

Enjoy and be inspired!

 

 

 

 

Relinking to an old idea: the basic income

“Ideas can and do change the world,” says historian Rutger Bregman, sharing his case for a provocative one: guaranteed basic income. Learn more about the idea’s 500-year history and a forgotten modern experiment where it actually worked — and imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.

If you want to hitchhike across the universe…

Over 100 linguists are currently beavering away at Babbel HQ to develop the best language-learning app ever. Over one million active subscribers are already convinced. So who are these people and what are they doing so right?

 

If you are interested in languages, this article in Babbel Magazine is worth a read!

Are you sabotaging your own projects?

Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain from 99% on Vimeo.

You get a really good idea. That’s the first step. But we all get good ideas — how do we turn them into reality? That’s where Shipping comes in. That’s what Seth Godin calls it: getting it out the door. But, he says, our Lizard Brains conspire to keep us from shipping. Watch the whole drama from a 99 Percent conference held by Behance.

Don’t be a pigeon

A brilliant article written by Harold Jarche

Let’s say you are a consultant and have just received a call to do some urgent work. Feel free to replace the term consultant with freelancer, programmer, designer, advisor, or anything else. This post is for people who work for themselves and sell some type of intangible good, whether it be code, advice, reports, strategy, etc. Anyway, you got THE call. Now go ahead and do a little dance to celebrate.

Shortly after you say that you are available, you are asked about your hourly rate. If you say it’s $25, you’re wrong. If you say it’s $250, you are still wrong. Agreeing to work an hour for a given rate plays into the industrial trap, promoted by Catbert’s in HR departments everywhere. Many of today’s HR policies are still based on the Principles of Scientific Management developed in 1911, the dawn of the industrial age. These principles were built on F.W. Taylor’s flawed assumptions on how men shoveled iron and coal. And so began some of the modern myths of the management of ‘labour’.

Time and motion studies, such as those done by Taylor and others, were based on the assumption that certain types of work were of equal value. Labour, as defined by Taylorists, is replaceable. It’s all about standardized work and standardized recompense. But talent is unique. Talented people who set hourly rates give up their uniqueness.

A few years ago I was offered some research work that the client had calculated would take one week at $40 per hour. The total amount was not that attractive to me but I looked at the scope of work anyway. Much of the research was work that I had already done, with my ongoing PKM practices and other projects. I realized that I could complete the report in a few hours, by curating my own blog posts, social bookmarks, and other resources I had. Someone relatively new to the field of workplace learning, the subject of research, would have taken much longer and possibly more than one week to produce something similar. I accepted the work, under the condition that I not be paid by the hour. Why should I have been paid $120 for high quality work that would earn a less experienced person $1,600? Time at work is an antiquated concept.

You are not a ‘Human Resource’ and you do not have an ‘hourly rate’
(repeat as necessary).

I know that it is often the easiest route to just agree to an hourly rate when it comes to securing contracts. But can you really equate an hour of my time with yours? Does it matter? What matters is what is produced.

Instead of agreeing to an hourly, or daily, rate, start by asking a few questions:

  • What does the client want to achieve?
  • How will the client know it has been achieved? What are the indicators?
  • What is the smallest thing that needs to be settled first?
  • Is this something I can do for the client?
  • How much is that worth?
  • Does the client care how long it takes? Then set a deadline.
  • If I take longer, will the client pay me more? [probably not] Then why would the client want to pay by the hour?

Hourly rates only help to put you into a pigeon hole so that HR and Purchasing can easily classify you. You are not a pigeon.