This week, after our normal check-ins, we kind of go on a tangent about our recent horror movie binge, because Ursula needed to find some inspiration after a recent blow to her creativity. After that, we have an amazing talk with Dorothee Racette about how she stays productive!
Links for this Episode:
- Charity Spotlight: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
- Take Back My Day
- Dorothee Racette on Twitter
- Dorothee Racette on LinkedIn
- The Growth Mindset
- The Artist’s Way
- Ursula’s Thread on Midsommer
“Fear Turducken”—I think the “turducken” approach is a meta-category, that turns up in many media. My favorite personal example:
In 1983, I’m working as a typesetter in a little store-front printshop. Guy comes in who wants a business card. Okay so far, entirely within expectation.
He has two businesses, each with its own business name, service description, mailing address, and contact information. Both businesses go onto the front of the card, hauling business on the left, computer sales(*) on the right. (Because printing on both sides of the card would be too expensive…? I guess…?)
(* Remember, this is is 1983, so this side busines was, shall we say, aspirational.)
Remember that standard business cards are 3.5″ x 2″.
So there’s already A LOT of information on this card.
The design he ultimately lands on—for his business card:
(Don’t show this part to Ursula; I don’t want to cause her Design Trauma.)
We offer something like ten or twelve display fonts. (This is back in the days when fonts came on photographic film strips that you swapped in and out on the exposure drum in your typesetting console. So there’s a not-insignificant charge for each font change.)
He uses all of them.
Also, he’s a devout Christian, and he wants this Known, so we have to find a place for the Christian fish character, as well as a cross.
And a row of stars as a border around the outside edge of the card.
But wait! We’re not done! Of the several fancy cardstocks we offer, he decides he wants silver. (Looking back, I’m frankly amazed he didn’t choose gold.)
And a split fountain. That thing where you pour, say, red in one end of the ink feed, yellow in the middle, and blue on the other end, so you get a color gradient across the page. But remember, this is on A BUSINESS CARD. So it’s a color gradient across 3.5″ of text. Really tiny, at this point, text.
I kept a copy, filed away somewhere “for my porfolio.” (I did not put it in my portfolio.)
It all sounds very flashy? But the end result, when all was said and done, was (big surprise) a gray, muddy, unintelligible mess.
So thank you, Ursula, for the “turducken” coinage. (By the by, it’s probably innevitable that someone has tried a deep fried turducken…? I wonder what the hospital bills ran to, first for the burns, and then for the salmonella poisoning…?) This very concisely describes the mindset that goes into this sort of composition.
And is not the first (nor, I am confident in saying, the last) time I have encountered that phenomenon: “Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should.”
Sorry, sory, the line above, “Don’t show this part to Ursula; I don’t want to cause her Design Trauma,” should be edited to:
“Design Abuse Content Warning.”
I’m confident Ursuala is fully capable of gauging her own risk of Design Trauma. 😉