Stuck with Chuck

Mar 27

melaniericcardi:

Orange

Ummm, this is awesome.

melaniericcardi:

Orange

Ummm, this is awesome.

(Source: melaniericcardi)

Oct 08

The end of this year has been quite a ride. My life, a couple months ago, had taken a new path due to some interesting circumstances.

Well, I’ll start at the beginning…

Back in LA, I started working for a digital branding agency. It was my first full time design position, other than my freelance “job”, of course. It was a great job (for a bit). I loved all the people there, and even the clients that we got to work with. Over a bit of time, though, the job started to wear on me. I finally realized something, I didn’t like the agency life/style at all. At times I would feel like a pawn, being worked to the bone and never receiving the credit I thought I deserved. Although it was hard, there were people there that truly cared for me, and displayed that every day. During the times of stress and chaos, they would reassure me that things were ok. They were more than just co-workers, they were good friends. Having the ability to love the people/team that you work with everyday is very good, and I would venture to say needed in any work situation. 

During that time, I had also been speaking with my friend Aubrey (the Design Lead at Color, and also a very good friend). He was telling me about his new job at Color. I was super excited for him, and couldn’t wait to see all the new stuff they were going to produce. Well, later that month (July) he called me and said “Hey, want to move to the bay area?”. He expanded on that a bit (I’m glad he did, because I was a bit confused) and told me that Color was hiring another designer, and he wanted me to interview. I jumped at the chance. I had had an urge to work in a start up environment. The thought of being able to fine tune, and mold a single product was incredibly intriguing, especially compared to my old job, which was the complete opposite. Long story short, I flew up to SF, interviewed, and got the job.

It was crazy timing, because not only was I not enjoying my previous job, but our (my wife and I) apartment lease was up in about two months, and we had wanted to move to an area with more diversity and energy. Things couldn’t have worked out better. I’m also very thankful to Aubrey and his wife for allowing me to stay at their place while I started work up here in Palo Alto. The situation couldn’t have gone any better.

Now, things are incredible. Color is amazing. The people that I get to work with on a day to day basis are awesome. Not only are they super smart, but they all have incredibly unique personalities. They also try very hard to make every employee feel like an asset. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work in such an awesome environment. My wife and I also moved into a small cottage off of Emerson in Downtown Palo Alto. It’s small, but homey, and very private. Oh yeah, and it’s about a 10 minute walk to work for my wife and I. My wife, Melanie, also transferred to the Palo Alto Apple Store.

Overall, these past few months have been pretty busy, but wonderful. Mel and I still don’t have a kitchen table to eat off of, or a couch to sit on in our living room, but we’re loving every moment of it. Things are good.

May 06

Simplify

Alright…

So I know I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. The truth is, work is busy, REAL busy. I haven’t really had the time to post anything, so I wait eagerly for that moment to arrive. Well, it’s finally here. A moment to breath, to relax, to enjoy everything happening around me. It’s incredible to finally know what it feels like to have relaxation in the midst of chaos.

In light of this experience, I am creating a goal for myself. Simplify my life. My passion for technology, and people sometimes cloud me from other small, good, and beautiful things around me. I fill my life with a ton of GOOD stuff that I don’t leave room for the BEST stuff. I have learned a lot from my friend Jordan Bakker, and if there is one thing that I remember that he taught me, it’s this, “Sometimes you need to say no to the good things in order to say yes to the best things.” The more and more I grow as an individual, the more and more I see how true, and important that statement is. There are plenty of good things in this world, but it doesn’t mean you take every single one of those things, and fill your life with them.

So, in reflecting on what is in my life right now, there are a couple things that I have resolved to do.

1. Delete a lot of the crap (or applications I like to have on there, but I never use) applications off of my iPhone.

2. Remove any unnecessary files, folders, documents, or applications from my personal computer (which is also my work computer. All the more motivating to keep it clean and tidy).

3. Keep my work area clean and tidy, to help keep my mind uncluttered.

4. To keep a minimal amount of NECESSARY items my person (no more stuffing multiple books in my bag, thinking I’m going to read all of them while I’m out).

5. Get away from the computer, and read real books, publications, etc.

6. Fit ONE design side project in at a time.

So, that’s the list for now. I know that there are probably a million more resolutions that can be added to that list, but we’ll keep it simple for now ;)

Charles

Apr 18

Rented a fish eye for the office, and it’s ben fun thus far. This is me, levitating.

Rented a fish eye for the office, and it’s ben fun thus far. This is me, levitating.

Apr 08

Feb 01

Sitting Awake.

So I am sitting here on my couch awake. Letting my mind roll on about a bunch of different things. Sometimes, I feel like what people say about men compartmentalizing their minds is a lie. My mind feels so disorganized at the moment. There is so much that I want to do, so much that I am trying to prioritize, and so much that I am feeling overwhelmed over.

Anyways, I think that I have a lot to learn when it comes to organization, and mental flow. I think a lot of it comes from the “need” that I have for technology. I want to be involved, and immerse myself in all these different categories of digital, that I get completely immersed in clutter, and disorganization. All part of growing up I suppose.

Charles

“What digital delivery can’t offer is the satisfaction and pleasure of information embodied in matter, made tangible and solid” — Rick Poynor

Jan 21

To Connect.

To connect, interface, interact, socialize, be in contact, identify with. What do all these terms really mean in todays world of digital products? I realize that this subject is not new, but the start of this year has got me pondering the question. One of my “new years resolutions” for this year is to build some solid relationships with people in the design community, and not relationships based on a follow, or becoming a fan. Something much more concrete, and real.

I have started the year off with looking through my Linkedin contacts. I soon realized that my poor excuse for a contact list was void of individuals that I actually would like to be included. So, I made a promise to myself. That I would create more meaningful, and solid relationships with people in my industry (Advertising and Design). Let me set something straight. Linkedin isn’t the end all by any means, but it definitely helps to connect you with people in ways that other sites/services simply cannot.

Being connected with people is a great thing, and not for the sake of getting ahead in life, but to genuinely enjoy others as individuals. To be inspired by the ability, and special skills someone may obtain.

I have a few people in mind, that I would love to meet (in real life) someday. Ben Malbon (@malbonnington), Darrell Whitelaw (@darrellwhitelaw), Paul Schlacter (@paulschlacter), Aubrey Johnson (@aubreyjohnson), Seth Weisfeld (@seth_weisfeld), and David Pache (@helveticbrands) to name a few ;)

I am making it a goal to try to at least meet 1 of these people this year. We will see how everything unfolds, but that is the goal for now.

Charles

Jan 20

Inspiration Pipeline

Alright, I really need to highlight something here. His name, Paul Schlacter. His position, Designer at Google Creative Lab. He has got to be one of the most interesting, and creative people that I ever seen before. He has many projects that he undertaken, but there is one in particular that I want to speak about. His blog.

Paul uses his blog as a sort of clear mason jar to present small snippets of interesting things he finds in his day. It’s a photo blog of sorts. Never really posting anything more than a photo and a few words (if any). He has taken something that the world has considered a receptacle for 10 paragraph posts (not that all blogs like that are bad), and simplified it into something beautiful, and absorbing even. Whether it’s an image of a color palette from some clothing, or a drink that he was enjoying at the time, he always seems to capture it in a way intrigues me. Not to mention, he is a really nice individual.

It has really allowed me to remember, and pay attention to the simple things in my life, and understanding that I might think they are spectacular, and others might think are weird. Things I would look at and say “wow, I think that is really beautiful”, or ” I need to remember this crazy texture”. Anyways, Paul has really sparked something in my mind, and I am not sure what it will produce, but I am excited for it. Below are the two photos that I was referring to.

If you want to find him he is on Twitter @PaulSchlacter, or you can check out his blog http://paulschlacter.tumblr.com/. I definitely recommend the blog ;) Oh, and his personal site of course http://www.paulschlacter.com/index.php

Charles

Jan 18

“I don’t think in that moment, is that fashionable enough? I just react” — The Sartorialist

Oct 30

Oct 22

iTunes vs. Pandora

For a little while now my Twitter feed has been getting flooded by tweets regarding #Rdio, #Pandora, #EventBrite and other online services. All of these services provide users with tools to our normal everyday activities easier, and more fun.

The internet is becoming smarter, people are becoming smarter, and more and more internet services are replacing programs, applications, or even people. This includes Twitter, creating conversation quickly and easily, Pandora, searching and listening to music you love, Rdio, giving full access to a huge library of music for a minimal fee each month, and EventBrite, providing tools to manage and promote events. The most popular lately, Pandora Radio. Standard music libraries (stored locally on a computer) are slowly (and I mean slowly) fading away. Thanks to many of the online music services out there, like Pandora, we have the ability to listen to music for free, whenever we want. The one thing that sets Pandora apart from the rest is it’s ability to accurately (it’s actually not bad) predict what kind of music you like.

Pandora has taken one of the most commonly frequented mediums, the internet, and established an amazingly smart online music service. With over 48 million users  (and growing) Pandora is taking over a small piece of the music industry. People don’t ask, “what kind of music do you own?” instead they ask, “Do you listen to Pandora?” It’s fantastic to see a company surviving in the music industry, especially with iTunes making music purchasing so easy.

I commend the people at Pandora, and can’t wait to see what other innovative online tools they build. Will Pandora, or someone else, replace the local music library someday? What kind of features would you want that would help you make the switch?

Let me know.

Thanks,

Chuck

Oct 15

Brand Downgrading.

Ok, first, let me throw this out there. I am not Brand New. I in no way want to affiliate myself with them, or steal their idea. I am simply identifying something that I observed today. p.s. check them out, they’re awesome. http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/

So, today I am doing some research for a Swiss client that we have You can imagine all the amazing stuff I am finding). I start by checking out some Swiss sites, looking through different swiss projects, art forms, companies etc. I quickly came across a company that is very well known for being very reliable and very Swiss, Credit Suisse. I went to their website and really wasn’t impressed. The logo seemed dated, and the website structure was in no way appealing, and did not have a good UX flow. I went to a website to pick up the eps version of the logo to put into the research. While I was there, I discovered something. There was a previous logo that I had not yet seen. At that moment, I was amazed. The previous logo was AMAZING. It seemed progressive, revolutionary, and super Swiss. I thought that there was a mistake. “That must be the new brand” I thought to myself. Nope, I found out that they “rebranded” in 2006 and replaced this fantastic logo with their current logo.

Anyways, It goes to show that sometimes people make bad design decisions (We know this fro the Gap rebranding), but life goes on. I wrote this post mainly to give recognition to the old Credit Suisse logo, and to encourage designers to think smart. Don’t create things that just look good. Create a good idea. Create for others, and not only for your own mind, and pleasure. It will work out better in the end.

Chuck

When He Sleeps

Oct 13

23 & Married.

There has been a lot going on in my life lately. I feel like the last couple months have been a roller coaster ride packed with joy, stress, and busyness. Granted, I think all those things are appropriate at one time or another, but it’s all in the way that you treat, and react to them. Being married has been a huge growing process for me. It is extraordinary to see all the selfishness that begins to be rooted out, once you tie the knot. I think you realize that any expectation that you ever had, anything you ever drank or ate, and things that you did for fun, when you were single, were rooted basically in selfishness. Granted, when you’re single, you look out for numero uno right? Or at least that is what culture teaches.

It’s been an amazing trip to say the least. I think I, like many twenty three year olds, were frightened at the thought of being married at my age. Something immediately popped into my head. “What would I lose, or never get to experience once I was married?” I think once I realized what I was thinking, it really showed me how amazingly self centered I was. I’m not saying that if you want to experience things, then you should just tell yourself to shut up, and get married. I am just saying make sure that your mind set is in the right place. The only reasons I had for not getting married were because I wanted more for myself. It made me re think my desires, loves, and idols. What were the things that really had a hold of my life. What would I not be willing to give up and why? It was a good time of reflection, I can tell you that.

I think the biggest thing I learned from that time of reflection was that, if I really desired to walk with Jesus, If I really wanted to desire what He desires, live how he lived, and have faith like He does, then how would I continue to do that? How would I be strengthened? And that is when I knew that I needed to learn to love selflessly. I needed to remove all expectations, fantasies, and lusts from my thinking, in order to be able to think clearly, and love someone the way that Christ loves me. This is something that the culture does not understand, and sometimes I don’t understand. But I hope that Melanie (my wife) and I can become a reflection of the love that Christ has for us. He came to love, even when we didn’t deserve it. I hope that I can love Melanie like that always. I know it will be hard, and I won’t always want to, but I will CHOOSE to.

Now, we are living life, and moving forward with great momentum. I work at an amazing Branding Agency, and she has an awesome job at one of the most amazing technology companies this side of Simi Valley (Apple Inc). We decorate our apartment, work on our blogs, and our favorite, watch TV Shows and movies together. She’s a pretty rad person ;) to say the least.

I hope that you are encouraged by this post. There are a lot of great things in this world, but none as great as Jesus Christ. Grab a bible sometime. Read about him. He’s the real world changer.

Chuck