Monthly Archives: March 2013

Predatory Thinking Book by Dave Trott

There aren’t many books I buy simple because of the author, but I did with Dave Trott’s new book, Predatory Thinking.

(If you can’t wait until preorder, check out the website:

I’ve been a big fan since his first book, Creative Mischief. This has been my most read, and lent-out book. I have started recommending it to everyone because although Dave is an Ad Man, the messages and stories are relatable to anyone.

As well as these books, I can recommend reading his blogs: and

Finally some great videos on The Art of Persuasion from Dave:

That should keep you going until the book arrives!

If you consume, you should collate

I realised this today as somebody said to be ‘What new site are people talking about?’ my mind went blank.

Looking back at my twitter history (mainly links to GIFs and frivolous comments) and delicious (nothing of substance) I turned to my Readability list (just articles).

I’ve done posts in the past ( and that collate what I have consumed over the week, and I think it is much better way of documenting what is going on, because otherwise I just forget!

I watched a talk by Gavin Strange (@jamfactory where he had a page full of things that interested/inpired him recently. Braun watches, old sticker packets and wicked-awesome camera rigs. I’d like to play with creating one of these a week/month as a visual representation for the things that I have consumed.

On The Jazz

First off, this phrase isn’t what you probably think it is. The version I am talking about is:

On a mission, focused, determined. Popularized by the TV series the A-Team. When Hannibal Smith came up with a plan to defeat the bad guys, they always referred to him as “on the jazz.”

As a big A-Team fan this is a phrase I like using.

It is also a powerful state-of-mind to be in.

Design is a form of problem solving

Design is thinking made visual(*), it is problem solving. But this process takes time. Things cannot be ‘designed’ overnight. That is styling. Unfortunately many don’t know the difference.

It takes a real understanding of the problem to provide the right solution. This means designers need to be involved at the very early stages of a project. Thinking that a designer can come along at the end and ‘design’ it basically means that they are looking for someone to simply style their solution.

Design is not simply styling.

If this happens, and if you willfully let it happen then you are harming the profession you work in. To get away from this situation, you need to educate those you work with.

Designers should be involved at the very beginning. This avoids a ‘chinese whispers’ effect of others interpreting the requests a certain way and relaying them. It is best to be with the client or stakeholder to understand their requests firsthand. Afterwards, write a brief and have all parties agree to it. This will be the brief that the design solution is marked against.

This is the start of getting away from simply styling other peoples’ solutions.