economics

I actually quit you Adobe

That's right. Actually quit. I summed up the balls of the design ages and nailed my thesis to the cathedral door and all of that. I even went so far as to uninstall all of it. Well on one machine at any rate. Adobe, I’ve quit you. I'm still scared though. And this is sad. I'm aware of that.

The fact of the matter is that in my old age I've taken to thinking about design in all sorts of high falutin' ways that didn't much matter before. When you're young(er), going to obviously live forever, drunk and partying a lot and full of optimism with a horizon of mainly imagined opportunity, you don't think about the politics of how you do things. However, recently I have.

It started with first deciding to not have any of my kids on Facebook because I didn't like the fact that a massive Internet company owns the images. Then it was more or less quitting Facebook altogether. Then I realised after using Sketch for a while and having to open Illustrator that not only are Adobe's interfaces anyeurism-inducing monuments to bloat and legacy software, but that one company had not just a global monopoly but an absolute chokehold on using a computer to create images. This flat out drove me old man, armchair yelling at the TV mad. So I quit. Going indie and all that. And we'll see how far I get, but its sadly exciting.

It’s also been a semi contrived exercise in creating constraints for my work. If I can't do it in Sketch, well, I guess I just won't do it - and if I can't find an example of it in Motion instead of After Effects, well, then I'll just have to actually work a little bit harder and be a proper designer about things. And that’s that.

Nobody’s Heroes in No Particular Order: Ian MacKaye

Its not often that you get a band tattoo in your 20’s that you don’t regret. Its even less often that you’re proud of it. Ian MacKaye exhibits a quiet fierceness that could only be some bastard step son of Thoreau and Churhchill’s fierceness and determination, a stick to your guns intensity that seems to have played through in just about everything he was part of shoving screaming out to the world.

In the 80’s Minor Threat disdained all conventions and instead of wallowing in the nihilism and beer of hardcore punk, turned it on its ass and made it about rejecting not just the establishment and the suburban society that we all hated and yet were firmly a part of, but rejected its escapism and substance materialism. But being straight edge became a thing and lost its way, and Minor Threat thankfully gladly hung up their guitars and went on to other stuff.

These guys thought a lot about what they were doing. I don't have a tattoo related to them though.

One of those was continuing Dischord Records and its main output, Fugazi of which I don’t have a tattoo like I do of Minor Threat, but probably should. Charging only $5 for shows and $10 for CDs, Ian and the rest of his Dischord cohort understood that economics are a lot more important than just the ‘screaming at a wall’.

How this relates to design you ask? It relates because we are also supposed to be creative people and most of us deep down inside are screaming at a wall and yet most of us, myself included don’t have the balls or the forethought to think about how we value ourselves or our output. We don’t think about how what we do should live in the world and who should have access to it. Instead we typically fight for scraps and the odd bone thrown in our direction. We have no record labels fighting the majors like they did in the 90’s and we certainly don’t have any equivalent of DIY shows full of sweat, anger and exultation.

Its about time we should.