Just testing

This is a test to see if Facebook will include the damn image. Yes. I’m getting pissed off…

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Cheap logos cost me my pride

I was recently contacted via email by someone just starting a new business who was looking for a logo design and didn’t know where to start. This is what I wrote her in response:

“Price ranges for logos are all over the place. You can get cheap logos on the internet (google “cheap logos” and you’ll see tons of options – though I cannot vouch for the quality and/or professionalism of those services).

“On the other side of the logo design spectrum are design agencies that, from what I can tell, first want to know how much money you have, then charge you that plus 30%. I guess they think you’ll value their expertise better if you see it from the Poor House.

“I’m sort of in the middle, and I’ll be honest with you: a lot of my logo work is better suited (speaking in terms of price) to organizations that have been around for a couple years and are looking to take their identity to the next level. It’s been my experience that most companies just starting up have little to no real budget for logo design (it’s just not something most people consider).

“When you hire me, I give you a range of rough concepts (usually at least six) and I work with you from there to refine and narrow it down to one awesome and amazing logo. Then I provide you with letterhead, envelope and business card designs as well as a master file of your logo in various formats that you can use for other purposes (signage, advertising, packaging, etc.). My fee is for design only. Printing is extra (though we have some very reasonable suppliers).”

That’s what I told her, and I never heard from her again. Is that bad? Not at all. I’d rather work with someone who is interested in working with me rather than someone who is only looking for the cheapest deal.

Helping people you know with a cheap or free logo can be problematic because sometimes the worst clients are family and friends.

Recently I was asked for a cheap logo from a friend of a friend. This person didn’t want to pay my full fee, or even a half-rate fee, she only wanted to purchase two hours of my time. Reluctantly, I agreed.

In the end, I spend about 4 hours on her stuff, but told her we’d keep the bill to the agreed upon two hour cost. Here are a couple of the rough logo ideas:

happy acres logo roughs

A couple rough ideas for two hours of my time.

She decided to not use me any more and went another direction, whatever that means. Ouch. That hurt.

So either I’m not a very fast designer; or not a very good one; or a combination of both. Since I’ve done a few logos over the years, I suspect that forcing me to cut my process down to two (or even four) hours is not the best way to use my talents.

I don’t blame the person who wanted the cheap logo. I blame myself for agreeing to hamstring my design process – I won’t make that mistake again.


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An Oral History of the Epic Space Film The Right Stuff

RightStuff10-featImg

I am in hog heaven having just read the wonderful Oral History of the Epic Space Film The Right Stuff. Without a doubt, The Right Stuff is my all-time favorite movie, no question.

Watch the movie. Read the book. Check out the article on Wired. Really.

I saw this movie in the theaters at least four times in 1983-84. It deserved to win Best Picture but lost to some piece of shit called Terms of Endearment (which no one ever watches).

The Right Stuff is a film everyone should see.

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Interstellar

Mrs. Sigmadog and I went to see the movie Interstellar last weekend. I thought it was one of the better movies I have seen in a long while. I particularly enjoyed the attempt to convey actual science in the story, rather than the usual Hollywood magical bullshit.

Here is an interview with director Christopher Nolan and physicist Kip Thorne in WIRED.

Also, here’s some thoughts of a political nature on the the movie by Mark Steyn.

You should go see this movie on the big screen.

Tiny Universes are boring

For years we’ve been told we hold an inconsequential place in an ever expanding Universe. Social media changed all that. Now everyone is the center of their own universe.

Instead of expanding, each universe now intersects with other universes in an ever-larger chain of Venn intersections. We don’t expand. We don’t grow. We connect.

Like a foamy cloud of bubbles rolling against one another, we float in a breeze, obsessed within our own bubble of awareness, and ignorant of the larger universe outside our tiny, soapy membrane. Our sensory input of the outside world is limited to what can fit on a tiny retina-screen.

Sure, we live our lives and then report on it to others, but how much more living would we accomplish if we put down our devices?

The Internet was going to expand our horizons and open up new vistas of information and knowledge. Instead it’s become a cesspool of narcissism and compulsive branding. The knowledge and information is still there, but who has the time after watching hours of LOLCats and uploading meal photos?

What passes for deep thoughts in social media often amounts to shallow platitudes cribbed from other sources. We lack the capacity for honesty and introspection because we’re wasting time looking for the perfect Gandhi quote.

Others enlist social media to take the place of needed psychoanalysis. Facebook Therapy is cheap, but it’s also ineffective and off-putting to many.

The fact is the old, expanding universe we’ve discarded is vastly more interesting than the trivial, banal, and noisily intertwined little bubbles with which we’ve replaced it. It’s reality, after all.

Reality is hard. It’s a cold and uncaring Universe. Many instead opt for the familiar and unchallenging comfort of synthetic connections. The great illusion of social media is that these things we do online are real. They aren’t.

It’s all pixels. It’s all advertising. Advertising is about image making; and the image isn’t necessarily true. My Facebook friends don’t know me; they only see the illusion I create. They see my Brand. The brand isn’t me. I keep that for myself and those closest to me (in the physical world).

The world of social media is an illusion and a wast of time. As I get older I realize how little time I have left. Why waste it chasing an illusion?

I choose the real world.

Don’t worry, I am not deactivating my Facebook and Twitter accounts; but I am attempting to refocus my efforts on things that are more important. Art. Writing. Walks with my dogs. You will likely see less of me in social media circles. I will still be here at Almost Daily, blogging away for no one.

My Boys

Last year we took the dogs for a long hike up to Thompson Pass on the Idaho / Montana border. Although it doesn’t look like it from this photo taken after the hike, they were exhausted.

Wrong Way Clay

Almost Daily Digital Painting #3

Almost Daily Digital Painting Series #3 - near Moab, Utah - copyright 2014 Sigmadog LLC
Almost Daily Digital Painting #3 - near Moab, Utah - copyright 2014 Sigmadog LLC
Almost Daily Digital Painting Series
In an effort to improve my art skills, I’m attempting an Almost Daily Digital Painting Series. The time limit for each painting is one hour, and the size is generally 6 inches square (though that might vary). This is one of the series.

Near Moab, Utah

Almost Daily Digital Painting #2 - somewhere near Moab, Utah - copyright 2014 Sigmadog LLC
Almost Daily Digital Painting Series
In an effort to improve my art skills, I’m attempting an Almost Daily Digital Painting Series. The time limit for each painting is one hour, and the size is generally 6 inches square (though that might vary). This is one of the series.

Almost Daily Painting #1

Almost Daily Painting - a digital painting near Moab, Utah copyright 2014 Sigmadog LLC

Near Moab, Utah

Here is a quick digital painting I did last night. I set a time limit of 1 hour, and the size is 6″ x 6″

I’d like to try doing this on a regular basis. The recommendation by many artists is to strive for a “painting a day”, but in typical Sigmadog fashion, I’m shooting for an “almost daily” painting.

For this painting, I referred to a snapshot I took from the road somewhere in Utah near Moab on our trip in September.

Mostly bullshit

A friend posted the following on Facebook:

Would somebody out there please take a moment to explain what Obama has done to create all this hatred. Unemployment is half of what it was when he took office. The stock market is nearly double. Housing prices are rebounding. Gas is almost $2 a gallon lower than 2008. Gay rights have swept through America. He killed Bin Laden but made sure General Motors stayed alive. Maybe, maybe, he messed up the Libyan embassy. But that’s still thousands and thousands fewer body bags than his predecessor gave us. Why the hate?

I read things like this all the time on Facebook and it gets irritating because deep down I suspect a lot of this is embellished if not completely made up. So I decided to look up as much as I could to see if the facts (such as they are) backed up the above assertions.
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Beorn enjoying a warm November

Beorn on the deck

He’s more inclined to enjoy the cold, but Beorn still enjoys a bit of sunshine now and then. Here he’s taking advantage of some unusually warm November weather on the deck, while also keeping an eye on me.