“Wired” to the iPad

I wasn’t sure I really cared about the iPad. I mean, how much more technology do I really need (I totally feel like my grandma saying that).

Here’s the thing: technology is changing the way we engage with each other and with content. The iPad is going to enable magazines to thrive again, using multidimensional experiences to re-engage with their audience. This is so cool! Check out this video by Wired on their new iPad App:

Letting Genius Catch You

Elizabeth Gilbert has genius, but she’d never go along with “being” a genius. It’s the natural way people thought about creativity and genius in the Western Culture before humans were at the center of the universe and began to refer to themselves as “a genius.” This is her TED talk. I found it funny, personal and surprisingly moving and hope you do too.

The Man With a Heart Made of Gold.

I’m fairly certain that Michael Osborne has a heart made of pure gold. He has an obsession with design, a true-love for it that keeps him designing round-the-clock for some amazing charitable organizations.

Photo by: Joe Carabeo, Astray Productions
Photo by: Joe Carabeo, Astray Productions

This is a picture of Michael Osborne and I moments after I met him for the first time. It was a unseasonably warm and sunny Sunday evening on November 15, 2009, at a special meet-and-greet gathering held by AIGA DC for the AIGA DC Design Continuum Scholarship Fund Circle donors. Michael was invited to join our social gathering and share some of his work from 1 Heart Press. Among Michael’s many passions is the fine art of letterpress printing. His love for finely set typography and skillful printing required more and more dedication and strict diligence, so in 1991 he decided to open his own letterpress printing shop in San Francisco. Since then he’s been letterpress printing anything from fine books to wedding invitations.

By day Michael is President and Creative Director of the San Francisco-based graphic design firm, MOD/Michael Osborne Design, Inc. Established in 1981, the firm’s work in corporate/brand identity, package design, and print collateral has been recognized by many organizations, and publications and is on display in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, and the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

With Michael there’s always love, or a heart, something he’s become well-known for in his design work. There are many different kinds of hearts in his body of work, but the majority have been created for projects at Joey’s Corner.

In 2004, Michael Osborne created a non-profit 501(c)3 organization called Joey’s Corner, a studio dedicated to providing pro-bono strategic creative services to non-profit groups focusing on healthcare, children’s and social well-being issues. The studio was founded to honor the life of Michael’s deceased son, Joseph Michael Osborne, 1980-2004. Joey’s Corner operates on donations, fund-raising events, and whenever possible, projects may be underwritten by a sponsor or by the non-profit client itself.

Joey’s Corner is the first heart in a series of Michael’s many hearts:


Next he created Valentines Day cards for sale with the proceeds going to Joey’s Corner.

Valentines Day Cards by Michael Osborne

Then Ethel Kessler, Art Director for Stamps, called up Michael and asked him to design Love Stamps for the USPS.

Heart Stamp_Candy Hearts

All of a sudden, there were Hearts in San Francisco. Hearts were all over the city, actually and most were designed and constructed by Michael himself.

Intel Heart

Then there is Heart to Heart, an orgainzation founded to save babies by teaching doctors abroad the art and science of open-heart surgery for children.


There’s a heart in yoga, The Art of Yoga Project. This organization’s mission is to lead teen girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability to self, others and community by providing practical tools to effect behavioral change.


I’ll conclude with one final heart, his work for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Walk.


Michael Osborne came to Washington, DC to give a presentation to the local AIGA Chapter on the work he’s produced at Joey’s Corner. His presentation moved the audience. A dozen plus people came up to me after the presentation to thank me for inviting Michael to our chapter. A few even marked this as one of their top 3 AIGA DC events, ever. I just couldn’t be happier.

Thank you Michael for coming to DC, but mostly for your boundless ability to inspire and delight designers and change organizations so their messages are finally heard.

Facebook shines through.

Catching up with friends is an amazing thing, but when you connect with someone online using a social network like Facebook it’s very web 2.0.

I was a little weary about joining facebook, but after this weekend, I’m happy I did. I connected with one of my great friends from high school. During senior year we both went to the same Classical Drawing Academy in good old Coplay, PA. It’s been probably about 7 or 8 years since we last spoke, and thanks to Facebook, we met for lunch yesterday while we were both home for the weekend.

There are some friends that you never loose touch with, but as we get older, meet new people, develop new interests and generally widen our circle of influence there are just some things that get left in the past. It’s all part of growing up but after this weekend I couldn’t help but wonder. Will the web 2.0 craze enable us to keep the friendships from our childhood thriving into our adulthood, and if so is that it’s purpose or is it just one more activity to add to the never ending list?

Facebook is like a bug bite on the top of your foot. You hate to scratch it because it will keep itching anyway, but dang it feels good to scratch it so hard it starts to bleed (and when you get it wet it stings a little but you find pleasure in the pain). That’s a darn good analogy for what Facebook has become for me. At first I set up my profile and added some friends along with a few choice applications, but now I’m on the darn network daily. Which means at any given moment when I should be working I’m either playing Wordscaper or commenting on friend’s photos or throwing gummy bears. It’s insane the amount of time I consume making “one quick visit.” But it’s true. I have connected with long lost friends on Facebook and without joining this social network I’m not sure that I ever would have connected with them again.

So there you have it just as I’ve been swindled by reality television, I too have become obsessed with online social networking sites. LinkedIn is another example but is more “professional.” If you’re weary to join any networks I’d start with LinkedIn, then slowly look into Facebook. And to all of you social networking haters out there – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.