Abecedarium

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Abecedarium

According to Wikipedia an abecedarium is "an inscription consisting of the letters of an alphabet, almost always listed in order. Typically, abecedaria (or abecedaries) are practice exercises." I suppose these entries are like practice exercises in thinking through writing. I was first exposed to the term thanks to an extended session from MoMA's R&D departement. A day-long event of the same name was curated by Paolla Antonelli to accompany the exhibition Is Fashion Modern? I didn't attend the event, but I did show up for the afterparty. Credit for re-naming this section of the site—formerly, "resources"—goes to Rob Giampietro who suggested it in this Twitter thread. Other suggestions included: Noted, Definitions, Knowbase, Blogroll, and A-Z of Me.

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Books

Aren't they lovely? Craig Mod has some of my favorite writing about books, especially the essay Stab a Book, the Book Won't Die. Speaking of books about books, Gutenberg's Apprentice is a great piece of historical fiction about the early days of printing. Designing Books: Practice and Theory was a trusty guide the first couple of times I designed books.

Budgeting

It's a foundational life and business skill. I love opinionated software like You Need a Budget(YNAB), which teaches you good concepts while training you with good habits. I've been pleased over time to find many other YNAB lovers.

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Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

I'm thankful to have been learning about designing for print publications at the same time as I was learning to apply concepts of stylesheets to web projects. Like many others, I learned the fundamentals from O'Reilly and New Riders books, articles from A List Apart and Smashing Magazine, and some blood, sweat, and tears. Edit in text editor. Save. Refresh browser. Repeat. When the Twitter crew originally open-sourced Blueprint it helped many web practitioners see a foundational design system built simply and efficiently. We learned by using it, cloning it, and critiquing it. Tachyons appears to be a solid evolution of the same concept.

Community

Bringing people together. There are plenty of articles, training programs, and courses on the topic. If you had to start anywhere, I'd start with the Get Together book. It'll get you more motivated and inspired than you already are.

Conflict Resolution

Before you can address the situation, you must understand that there is a situation. I regularly revisit and recommend this article from Fred Wilson, The Perception of Conflict is Conflict.

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Design Systems

They've become the topic du jour among many design professionals working at the intersection of design and technology. Adele by UXPin is an awesome open-source directory of Design Systems from organizations of various scales from around the world.

Designers

A clever bunch. Awesome designers have put together lists of other awesome designers who might be great for your open role, next project, to learn from, and connect with: Blacks Who Design, Indians Who Design, Latinxs Who Design, People of Craft, Women Who Design.

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E-books

"What e-book formats are used on what devices?" I've asked as author, publisher, and reader. See Wikipedia's Comparison of e-book formats. I've also struggled to get large e-books that aren't in Kindle format onto my Kindle for easy reading. This guide helped.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

I'm pro-electric vehicles. After owning a Tesla Model S for several years, and going through both the speed bumps (pun intended, not so bad) and joys of electric vehicle ownership, I'm rooting for the speedy replacement of petrol-powered vehicles for commercial and private ground transportation. Since moving to Asia, I've been observing many more EV brands (like BYD), and wider adoption of Personal Electric Vehicles (PEVs) like electric scooters and bikes than I'd experienced in the United States.

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Framing (art)

I've framed everything from family photos to works from blue chip artists in easy custom frames from Framebridge. I can't speak to the variety of frames, I've ordered the exact same frame every time. Each time I've been satisfied.

Framing (problems)

"Framing is the process of breaking down a problem into a set of choices, trade offs, and options that enable a team to make a call and move forward. Eigenquestions: The Art of Framing Problems is a real thinker of an article from the founders of Coda.

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Good

Capital-G Good is seeping into everyone's vocabulary. It's a vague proxy for creating positive impact through your work, which as the primary or a secondary objective. I'd describe it as critically important, personally inspiring, and full of murky topics demanding deep consideration. See also: themes of social impact, corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, triple bottom line.

Good (magazine)

A magazine and publishing outfit started in 2006 as the "free press for the critical idealist." Good's early creative direction was provided by Scott Stowell and his team at OPEN. Their work amplified a new to approach data visualization that has infused popular culture, publishing, and the design profession worldwide.

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Management

There's no shortage of material on the topic of management. These are my favorites. I return to them regularly. The Know Your Team blog is full of practical and actionable advice. High Output Management by Andy Grove. The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou (early Facebook designer and longtime design VP) put into words much of what I experienced as a designer who moved into management. It's a good read for anyone new to management, not only designers. Managing Humans by Michael Lopp was the first book on management I read. I've re-read it twice more since and recommend it to all new managers. It's full of anecdotes. You'll surely laugh at least five times while reading it. Managing Oneself by "the founder of modern management" Peter F. Drucker is a classic. Resilient Management by Lara Hogan is your brief guide for grounded, humane approach to management today.

Meetings

Meetings get a bad rap. It's not that meetings are bad. It's that bad meetings are bad, and most meetings are bad meetings. So, how do you make for good meetings? One of my favorites on the topic is Meeting Design by Kevin M. Hoffman.

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Q

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R

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Type Foundries

There are so many good foundries out there. Emigre was the foundry that first grabbed my attention as I came up in design. House excited me with their novelty and the print production of their promotions. As I developed my own design voice, Typotheque captured my heart and I used their faces for numerous client projects in the mid-2000s and as well as some staples from Hoefler (especially Mercury and Knockout). Commercial was a favorite, too. I used to be dismissive about the Google Fonts project, but it's gotten quite good too. It might be the best font browsing and previewing experiences around. Grilli and Klim are recent favorites. Oh No has caught my eye, but I've yet to try any of the typefaces. Despite having built products that that ship to customers in no less than six scripts (likely more), I lack the depth of understanding of non-Latin scripts that I wish I had. I guess that's what friends are for.

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