The Missing Scarf

This is a brilliant, beautiful, enigmatic short film by the very talented Irishman, Eoin Duffy. The transcendent George Takei lends his powerfully resonant pipes to narrate the tale of loss, perspective, everything, and nothingness.

09 Oct 2014

We Are the BBC Music World

An amazing collection of talent gathered to promote BBC Music, including the man who wrote the song. If you want to know who’s who in the video, check out this link. And no, the large lady isn’t Adele in a wig, although it would have been appropriate to have her finish the song.

09 Oct 2014

Dear Apple, Re Watch

Following the debut of bigger iPhones and the new Apple Watch, I’m riddled with questions. If you will humor me, I will fire a few at you.
Don’t you realize that the iPhone is why most of us stopped wearing watches?
So aren’t you supplying a consumer market that really no longer exists?
Or did you attempt to work to make wristwatches obsolete so you could reinvent the wheel?
Why do your operating systems all appear to have their own, independent aesthetic guidelines?
Why would I want a device that reminds me how little exercise I get?
Your use of typography is inconsistent at best. Why not take a holistic approach to brand typography and adopt a type system that can be applied company wide, across all your devices?
Why have you have made yet another device to distract us from our families, jobs, driving…?
Why do you continue to ignore that crumbling cornerstone of your business called iTunes?

09 Sep 2014

Variety, Robin Williams death deserves respect.

First off, no shit — you myopic Hollywood ass clowns.
Second, this is in colossally poor taste.
Given the source, perhaps we should be grateful that they exercised some editorial restraint and weren’t compelled to use favorite words like boffo, or to employ some grating pun.
Still, no excuses. Fuck you Variety.

11 Aug 2014

An Open Letter to Avi and Boaz

This is an open letter to Avi Lerner and Boaz Davidson. These gentlemen are respectively the Chairman/Founder and Head of Development & Creative Affairs for Millennium Films (aka Millennium, aka Millennium Entertainment). I do not know either of these men, nor have I met them. But they are familiar with my work. I designed the Millennium Films logo.
Dear Mr Lerner and Mr Davidson:
My name is Bill Dawson and I designed your Millennium Films logo. Unfortunately we did not meet during the development process of your brand identity. I am pleased that you have continued to use my design to represent your studio. Had we established an ongoing professional relationship, it might have resulted in a more effective application of the logo — and in turn, your brand identity — in your films and elsewhere.
My original design is seen above this post.

04 Aug 2014

Hey Venture Capitalists, Secret Weapon for Hire

XK9 helps clients solve problems they may not know they have.
Are your prospects getting their message out and promoting themselves effectively?
Can considered design solve marketing and awareness problems?
Can effective communication be a key to a venture’s success?
For bold new ventures, clear communication could mean the difference between funding and failure.
I’m a career designer and creative director. For my clients, my role is creative partner and secret weapon. My job is often to examine and define problems and help clients communicate in ways their audiences will embrace. We turn challenges into opportunities for success.
My company XK9 creates Tactical Media designed to illustrate products and experiences. For the past 4 years XK9 has been working closely with Google to help them debut and promote their products. We’ve helped Google realize better ways of communicating messages to their clients and stakeholders.
Until Google buys us out, we can make our expertise and collaboration available to you.
XK9 excels at creating effective brand identity solutions. We make ideas and concepts into concrete messages that share the intent and essence of products, ventures and emerging businesses.
XK9 can help you and your clients share their ideas and missions with expertly made short films and compelling graphic design. We can also give your VC prospects a head start at looking successful on their way to success.
If you are interested in a consultation, contact me. I’ll be here.

30 Jul 2014

XK9 Communication Cornerstones: Typography

This is the first of a series of XK9 Communication Cornerstone essays. The intent of these articles is to encourage business and marketing leaders to consider the form and style of their business communication. A poorly delivered message is a missed opportunity. If effective communication is the goal, the content and structure of any message must be thoughtfully considered and strategically crafted and delivered.
The first topic is typography.

Typography is the act and result of communicating with type. A typographer is someone who composes text in type by selecting a typeface, size, column width, line spacing, and other specific attributes of typeset communication. Anyone who writes an email – or memo, essay, or report – on a computer or mobile device, is a typographer. You may use the default settings of your mail application or word processing software, but you are setting text as type.


29 Jul 2014

The Murky History of the SalaryShark Logo

The logo for SalaryShark isn’t particularly bad. Neither is it great.*
But the way SalaryShark obtained its logo is bad business. Actually, referring to the transaction that provided their logo as business is incorrect. The SalaryShark logo was created by a MaidenBrands as a submission to a logo contest “project” posted on the site According to Freelancer, 80 different so-called freelancers submitted a total of 142 entries.
The accent in is certainly on “free.” 79 of the 80 entrants received nothing for their designs. The winner, Phillippines-based MaidenBrands submitted 9 designs for the SalaryShark logo contest. MaidenBrands received $290 for their winning entry. MaidenBrands appears to be Maiden Soliven, a “self taught graphic designer” from Manila. One of Maiden’s comps is above the title of this post. The typo is hers.

22 Jul 2014

The Airbnb Logo’s Vaginal Birth

Overheard at Airbnb’s San Francisco headquarters:
“Um, guys? Do you think that we’ll be accused of adopting a vagina as our symbol?”
“HA! So you’ve never had sex with the lights on? Or was your last contact on your original birthday?”
“OK, it’s a stretch. But can you think of a more welcoming place to visit?”
“Maybe some puerile snarks with little understanding of female anatomy will claim that we’ve snatched our logo from our adolescent wet dreams.”
“So we can probably expect a brouhaha about our hooha?”
“I think we’ve fingered found our new logo.”

I really like this symbol and its role in the new Airbnb brand identity. I was surprised by the dust up about its resemblance to every bit of anatomy found at the human conjunction junction. This is a very primal response to this mark. And the reaction for Airbnb is certainly not a bad thing.
As human animals, our pattern recognition skills make us predisposed to see faces in any image even vaguely resembling a face. This is an imprinted survival instinct that allows us to recognize friend or foe. Likewise, our innate consciousness also prompts us to be stimulated by sexual imagery. We are wired for sex. We are predisposed to see sexual imagery even in the abstract. Our ability to be inspired by our primal instincts to creative and original endeavor is something profoundly human. Dwelling in the primal impulse is decidedly unevolved. Kind of like my humor above.
Respected designer Khoi Vinh commented that he sees all manor of naughty bits in Airbnb’s new logo. I’m not surprised by the observation. I am surprised that someone so bright would make such a pedestrian public admission.
Yes, I see it. But so what?

17 Jul 2014
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