New Work Added to Portfolio

I’ve just added three new pieces to my portfolio pages, all in the logo/branding arena.

If you, or someone you know has a business, is starting a business, or perhaps striking out on their own as a freelancer or consultant, I can help with developing the perfect image and brand for you and your business.

If you like my work and would like to discuss how I can help you and your business, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to talk with you about your goals, plans, and needs and how the right image, brand and marketing strategy can help you succeed.


User Interface Time Travel

I just wasted spent a good portion of my afternoon doing a little user interface time travel, back to the glory days of pre-OS X Mac operating systems, courtesy of the Internet Archive classic Mac OS emulators.

I came to find out about these classic Mac OS emulators via the Tedium email newsletter (always interesting), which cited an article from Fast Company In it, author Mark Wilson reminisces about the classic Mac interface, and explores the virtues of elegance and simplicity over complexity and flash.

Despite its 1-bit color scheme and seemingly unsophisticated graphics, the classic Macintosh (not Mac) OS possesses a warmth and personality that modern operating systems struggle to convey. Susan Kare’s design, especially her icons, have become, well, iconic – leaping from that little 8-inch black and white screen into popular culture and design immortality. And maybe I’m remembering this more fondly due to the passage of time, but that cute little bomb icon made those system errors a little easier to take.

It may seem impossible to some people now, but to use that original Macintosh in 1984 was a truly revelatory experience. There was no color (OK, there were two colors – black and white), and the animations were rudimentary and limited And yet, it almost seemed alive, like a trusty companion rather than a tool. And that user interface was the reason why.

If you remember what I’m talking about, do yourself a favor and try these emulators out (my personal all-time favorite Macintosh system is System 6, but there are several from which to choose). And if you have never had the pleasure of using a pre-OSX system, take one of these classic mac OS emulators for a spin. I think you will be surprised and delighted.

To-do list psychology: Can changing what you call it make it easier to complete?

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Recently, I read a science fiction novel called “Network Effect” by Martha Wells (if you are a sci-fi fan, I recommend it highly, though you will want to read the novellas first). In it, the protagonist refers to a list of tasks he needs to complete as his “action list”. Not his “to-do list”, his action list.

This a chord with struck me – what a different connotation action list has, compared to to-do list. Action implies strength, forward movement, positive progress. A to-do sounds like a chore, a something that is reluctantly done, if at all.

My To-Do List System

Believe me, I speak from experience. I am a regular writer of to-do lists, though lately not a frequent doer of those list items. My system is simple. I generally write up my list on a small legal pad at the end of the day, adding items to be done the following day in whatever order they come to me. I divide the narrow column on the left in two – the first half for a numerical priority designation for the task on that line (1, 2, 3, etc.), the other half-column for the status of the task. An “X” denotes a completed task (sadly, not frequently seen), an “O” means that task is Ongoing, and so may spill over to subsequent days. The most frequently-seen symbol is the right-facing arrow, which brands a task as not ongoing and not completed, and therefore moving to the following day.

Is It All In My Head?

Like I said, it’s a simple system, but therein lies its strength. I don’t think the system is at fault for my backlog of incomplete tasks. But what is? Could it be all in my head? Is this a psychological problem, related to the negative connotation I attach to the phrase to-do list? What would happen, I wonder, if I started writing ACTIONS at the top of the page instead of TO-DOS?

A Different Approach to To-Do Lists

Well, I propose to find out. After all, I don’t think it will make meany less productive (I don’t think I could be less productive). So, beginning on Monday, June 8, I will start an experiment where I start referring to and thinking of my to-do list as my action list. My hope is that this will give the items on it a more positive meaning and a renewed sense of urgency that the old nomenclature just didn’t impart, thereby motivating me to actually take action on them. I will update my progress here on a weekly basis, until I get a sense of how it’s shaking out. Or not. Depends on how motivated I am. Either way, you’ll know, I guess.


How to Grow Your Sales and Leads During the Coronavirus Pandemic

How to Grow Your Sales and Leads During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The business landscape is changing in a lot of ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to survive and thrive, your sales and marketing efforts should be changing as well. This article from the JUST Creative blog tells how to grow your sales and leads during the Coronavirus pandemic, and not just survive, but thrive.

Via JUST Creative.


Create An Etiquette Guide to Help Staff Work From Home

With the new normal of videoconferencing and remote work, even some of us who consider ourselves to be tech-savvy can get a little bewildered. Beyond the technological considerations, there is a whole new world of behavior and etiquette to maneuver through. To help employees navigate this landscape, it can be helpful to create a guide that spells out expectations and eliminates confusion.

Moleskine, maker of the popular notebook that bears its name, is headquartered in the Italian city of Milan, and although they had begun putting together a remote working strategy before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had not yet fully implemented it. As it became apparent that their mostly office-based workforce would not be able to continue to work on-site safely, they had to accelerate their plan and begin their work-from-home program practically overnight.

To help their employees transition to a kind of work that most of them were completely unfamiliar with, Moleskine created a 12-page “Smart Working Etiquette” guide. This guide covers basics, like what you should wear (no pajamas) to where your workstation should be set up (the brightest, most comfortable part of your home), as well as how to run efficient virtual meetings and carry on effective communication with teammates.

More details and some excellent ideas in this ZDNet piece.


Step Up Your Video Conference Background Game With GotYourBack

Video calls and conferences are fast becoming the new normal, in both our work lives and everyday lives. While you may not mind your colleagues or friends getting a glimpse into your home during a chat, GotYourBack can help you up the cool factor of your video meetings with custom backgrounds contributed by some of the world’s best artists, designers and museums. From the GotYourBack site:

Whether for work or personal use, many of us spent the last weeks in and out of video conference calls.

Far from ideal. But it sparked an idea.


An ever growing collection of virtual backdrops for use in video call apps. Expressions of optimism and art by the world’s best designers, illustrators, animators, photographers, filmmakers and artists.

Adding some much needed creativity to video conferences whilst also raising awareness for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and promoting artists and their art. Everybody benefits.

The backgrounds include colorful abstracts, whimsical photo manipulations and illustrations, fine art paintings from the Dutch Rijksmuseum and breathtaking photography. There are even several animated backgrounds, if that’s your thing. The site’s FAQ gives instructions for using the backgrounds in Microsoft Teams and Zoom, and they are also perfect for desktop wallapers.

All of the backgrounds on GotYourBack are available to use free of charge, but you can make a voluntary donation to the COVID-19 Response Fund when you download.

Via It’s Nice That.

Level Up Your Skills With and Your Library

With most everyone spending more time at home lately, now might be a good time to finally learn that new skill you have been meaning to add to your repertoire.

Your local library, even with physical branches closed, is an excellent resource for learning new skills. For example, many public libraries offer patrons (library card holders) free access to, the popular, video-based tutorial site that features courses on a huge array of subjects. A quick scan of the offerings includes an eclectic mix of topics, including basic computer skills, management, languages, public relations, and many, many more. No matter what your interests are, you can probably find a course that will work for you.

I am currently taking a course on Digital Marketing, hosted by Anson Alexander. It’s a beginner-level course, and it is not going to earn me any kind of certification. It is, however, teaching me a lot about digital marketing that I did not know before, and helping me decide if I want to take that next step and get certified. I would say it is a very worthwhile use of my time.

One of the many useful courses offered by

One note: was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015, and rebranded as LinkedIn Learning. The service is still offered under the name by libraries, and in order to access this free resource you will probably need to go through your library’s site. Check with your particular library for the details.

The Art and Science of Cyanotype

Cyanotype by photography pioneer, Anna Atkins

Looking for a fun, kid-friendly (or maybe just easy-for-adults) art activity to occupy some of your quarantined day? Something that functions as a science lesson, as well? Look no further than cyanotype printing.

Although cyanotype is, technically, a photographic process, special chemicals or a darkroom are not required. In its most basic form, all that is needed is some easily-obtainable, specially-coated paper, some interesting objects (leaves, flowers, glass trinkets, lace) and sunlight.

The basic process is simple and safe enough for even very young children. Simply pick a sunny spot in which to place the paper, arrange the objects on the paper, and expose for a few minutes (around 2-5, depending on the strength of the sunlight). Next, remove the objects and wash the prints in regular tap water to develop the image. You will be left with a light image on a blue background. Kind of like an architectural blueprint, which uses the same basic process.

While cyanotype is very simple in its basic form, you can get more elaborate with it, if you desire. For example, you can print photo negatives on transparency film with your home inkjet printer and use those to print your own photos as cyanotypes.

You can also buy the chemistry needed and coat your own watercolor paper, or even fabric and other objects. This is only slightly more complex than using pre-coated paper, but allows for some very interesting results.

If you would like to learn more about the cyanotype process, has a wealth of information, including free downloadable materials. This Instructables article details the entire process, including printing a negative and coating your own paper.

It’s simple, safe and fun – give it a try!