Monday, August 31, 2009

The Righteous Fury of Quincy, M.E.

I had planned on some devilishly clever and insightful entries that would have blown your mind, but that nonsense will have to wait.

A grizzled angel visited me and demanded that I devote days, perhaps weeks, in praise of the one true television show: "Quincy, M.E."

So strap in for a loving tribute. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How Not to Use Photoshop

Oh, Microsoft. You scamp. By now you've heard of the budget-minded blunder in which they Frankensteined a replacement head onto an ad model's body in an effort to curry the favor of the Polish market.

You'd think a world-dominating corporate giant could come up with other ways to save money. Instead, of springing for a new shoot, you do a ten-minute Photoshop job so conspicuous that you not only draw attention to the practice of stingy edits but also get everyone thinking you're racist.

I know you have to walk a fine line between diversity and market-specific targeting, but must you be so clumsy about it?

Here's what I came up with during my own ten-minute bit of Photoshoppery:

It's rough but much more evocative. And, no, I'm not being racist toward Mexico. I just love luchadores. They make everything better.

You've got to admit this now looks like the rare meeting where something actually gets done. Every PowerPoint session should end with someone getting a suplex.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So it begins...


It's a fantastic word. It sounds like an enormous rock chucked into a murky pond. KER-PLOOSH-glorsh.

You just don't see this word enough, outside of stuffy old Masterpiece Theatre parlor dramas where its power is lost among the haughty blah-blah-blah.

The English language is a gorgeous beast—musical, evocative and fun to play with but likely to take your fingers off if you rub it the wrong way.

In high school I was trained to write massive sentences that didn't so much flow as flood. We're talking William Faulkner jumbos stacked with participial phrases and garnished with appositives. Things of beauty.

In college, that writing style drew praise from some and derision from others. My favorite incident involved a grumpy literary criticism professor known for scribbling angry red diatribes on students' papers. Unable to find anything wrong with my arguments on Wuthering Heights, he'd punctuated my paper with a single snide remark:

"You have atrocious gramma."

As this was written to the edge of the page, I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he'd scrawled the absent "r" on his desk and that he wasn't insulting my grandmother.

For years, I've had that sentence up on my mantle next to some of my all-time favorites. It even has a similar cadence to the ultimate catchphrase: "He say you brade runna."

Who the hell am I? In a nutshell, I'm a graphic designer who's sitting around waiting to become the next Terry Pratchett. I was going to call this blog One Man Bland, but some cunning individual beat me to the name. However, that forced me to think beyond the pun, stirring that professor's comment up from the silt in my brain. The name says it all.

So my goal with this blog is—what am I saying?! I was an English major; I have no goals. What I plan to do is dress this blog up in several shades of nonsense involving graphic design, writing and pop-culture, layering it all in a nice, eye-watering plaid.

So stick around for crullers. You might be entertained, and maybe--just maybe--you'll learn something about yourself (most likely that you're sick of reading pithy blogs).