Time Time

I recently answered a question for a How magazine article about focus. Oddly, Michael Vanderbyl had just told me the best story about two international clients who insisted that he must, “f#%k us!” It was very important the he, “f#%k us very hard!” Only later, after several awkward silences did he realize they meant “focus.”

Time, of course, is at the heart of the issue. Is there enough time before the deadline to focus on a solution? Can you carve out time during the day to not be interrupted? Does the email requesting another pdf need to be answered immediately? For me, it’s easy. I can’t think about more than one thing at a time, and am rather dull witted. So I have no choice. I must concentrate with no distractions to solve any problem. I also realize that work expands to fill the time you give it. And nobody has run screaming into the path of a bus because they didn’t receive an email response about a paper issue. Time to think and concentrate uninterrupted is not a luxury; it’s a requirement, regardless of the profession.

Which brings us to this incredible promotion about Time designed by Massimo Vignelli and Peter Laundy fort Champion Paper in 1983. I’ve carted this promotion around with me since I received it in college. It’s a little dinged up, but one of the possessions I don’t allow away from my desk. And it took several hours today to photograph it, stitch the pages together in Photoshop, and post it to this blog. But, it’s important, so it deserved the time.

The Mystery of the Clichéd Typography

The hate mail with corny typography

Getting criticism is part of the deal we made when we accepted that first speaking engagement, or magazine article. If you put yourself out there publicly, you’ll get some nice responses, and conversely, not so nice responses. The New York Times had asked Noreen to respond to a question, and obviously somebody didn’t like her answer. I’d love to say we were hurt and upset when this anonymous note showed up. Noreen was in New York, and the rest of the studio thought it was hilarious. Trying to solve the mystery of who sent the note became an ongoing project. Note the clues: the old How magazine logo, but I’m pretty sure Bryn Mooth at How didn’t send it; she’s actually one of those people who is good to the core. The consensus was that it came from a woman-owned company due to type from Cosmopolitan magazine, and the Hollywood postmark limited the attacker to Southern California, or a tourist at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Unfortunately we never solved the mystery. We hid the note in a drawer so Noreen wouldn’t see it. I wanted to wait until she was having a really bad day to show it to her. I’m that nice. The upside was that I didn’t like our website’s navigation, and now I had validation in the form of hate mail even though it used pretty expected typography.

The spineless no return address envelope for the hate mail with corny typography