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I try to keep up on the latest font development tools as much as I can and take advantage of them. There are a lot of tedious and technical aspects to making fonts, and anything that helps with that is welcome. I’m mostly self-taught and love to learn about new tools and techniques. Sometimes I think I spend more time doing that than actually making fonts, but it has served me well.Mark Simonson.

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Learn as much about our culture as you possibly can, by reading, by traveling, by involving yourself in things that go on. But don’t become an artist. Don’t think, «I’ll do it intuitively.» You have to learn if not to code at least to appreciate code, to understand code. Because code is what nuts and bolts were a hundred years ago.

If you don’t know anything about mechanics, you can’t survive in this world. If you don’t know anything about how a computer works or code works, as a communicator, which is what a designer is — the interface between machines and man, that’s what we are. We are the interface, we interpret what the machine says into visible language. If you don’t understand how the machine works, you’re going to be laughed out of the room by the engineering guys, because you can’t communicate with them.

Erik Spiekermann .

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When you procrastinate, you’re more likely to let your mind wander. That gives you a better chance of stumbling onto the unusual and spotting unexpected patterns. Nearly a century ago, the psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik found that people had a better memory for incomplete tasks than for complete ones. When we finish a project, we file it away. But when it’s in limbo, it stays active in our minds.

Begrudgingly, I acknowledged that procrastination might help with everyday creativity. But monumental achievements are a different story, right?

Wrong. Steve Jobs procrastinated constantly, several of his collaborators have told me. Bill Clinton has been described as a «chronic procrastinator» who waits until the last minute to revise his speeches. Frank Lloyd Wright spent almost a year procrastinating on a commission, to the point that his patron drove out and insisted that he produce a drawing on the spot. It became Fallingwater, his masterpiece. Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter behind «Steve Jobs» and «The West Wing,» is known to put off writing until the last minute. When Katie Couric asked him about it, he replied, «You call it procrastination, I call it thinking.»

Adam Grant.