sam grigg archives

I.E. Pin Cushion by ChiGarden via CurvedWhite.

Complete with do-it-yourself instructions. Enjoy.

posted by sam on Friday, Feb 12, 2010

Why has it taken so long for somebody to finally make this?

Hand–le By Naomi Thellier de Poncheville via Curved White

posted by sam on Monday, Feb 08, 2010

This has to be one of the most bizarre and mesmerizing clock screen savers I’ve seen in all my days. I’d try to explain, but it’s something that you have to see to understand. Or not.


(via Smashing Magazine)

posted by sam on Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010

In a bizarre flood of memories this morning, I recalled one of the very first websites which pointed me in the direction of using CSS for layout. Whoever you are, BlueRobot, thanks.

posted by sam on Monday, Aug 17, 2009

Information from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

Have you ever stopped to think about what information is, really? If you’re as big a nerd as I am, you have. I was introduced to the concept through Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon and was reminded of it when I came across the above video from Maya Design (via etre)

If you haven’t watched it yet, please do so now….

Users are constantly picking up information from your site. What they can and can’t do, where they could go, where they should go, or whether they should go away all together.

Thinking about information abstractly will help you convey your message using more than just body copy.

Good luck.

posted by sam on Friday, Jun 05, 2009

Just a friendly reminder: if you find yourself in a rut, change something. Change your surroundings, your music, the food you eat, the books you read, or the sites you visit.

You can’t expect your designs to be fresh if your life is stale.

posted by sam on Wednesday, May 13, 2009

“If it comes easy, you’re not doing it right”
Malcom Gladwell speaks on the discipline of creativity @ the 2008 AIGA Business and Design Conference. (Hint: If you don’t have the patience to watch the entire forty-minute presentation for this quote at the end, you have little hope of having a personal creative breakthrough.)

posted by sam on Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008

Just learned from PRINT Magazine that iLife and iWork have an OpenType palette. Though it seems you can’t access all open type features (e.g. stylistic alternatives), you can still get to ligatures, small caps and old style & lining figures.

To access the Typography palette: from the Fonts palette, click the gear icon in the lower-left and select Typography.

Oh, and don’t forget the Glyphs palette in Illustrator & InDesign


posted by sam on Wednesday, Nov 05, 2008

“Turn off your internal problem-solver and just listen to people.”
Indi Young explaining her genius approach to usability in the lastest A List Apart

posted by sam on Monday, Oct 13, 2008

I will forever be in debt to Mig Reyes and Matt Born for this video because through it I discovered The Hush Sound.

Created for the Art Institute of Schaumburg’s annual Artimation festival.

posted by sam on Tuesday, Aug 12, 2008

Scooter popularity has been rising nearly as fast as the price of a gallon of gas lately. With this in mind, some former co-workers of mine have built themselves a scooter they would actually be willing to ride around town.

posted by sam on Monday, Aug 11, 2008

Typographers and their handwriting. Draw your own conclusions.

posted by sam on Monday, Jul 07, 2008

The photography of William Hundley, thanks Evan.

(more cheeseburgers)

posted by sam on Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008

This sweet baby was sitting outside the Triad Center waiting to do a spot on the local news about an upcoming race at the Miller Motorsports Park

posted by sam on Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Robert J. Blolesta’s Value Pac.

Alphabet made of raw hamburger. Each character hand-shaped, packaged, and photographed individually.

posted by sam on Sunday, May 04, 2008


Back in high school, when the rest of the world was busy playing football, basketball, or something else socially rewarding, I was in the marching band. I don’t regret my decision to join the band. In fact, it has taught me a few lessons that I find useful even today. One such lesson occurred to me yesterday as our design team was discussing the 2008 Web App Summit. One of the highlights of the conference was Jason Fried’s presentation, “The Little Things Matter: Building Web Apps with Laser-Like Attention to Detail”. He spoke about taking something great and making it even better. Walt Disney referred to this concept as “plussing”, a concept that allegedly started with the Jungle Cruise ride. “Walt Disney coined the term plussing as a way of making an idea even better. By telling his workers to plus it, even when they think they nailed it, gave Disney that extra edge when it came to quality animation back in the day. Pixar is a staunch believer in plussing their work. And it shows.” – ward-o-matic.

So the marching band story: In marching band, I was in the drum line. We had an amazing drum captain and were lucky enough to have a band director who had a masters in percussion performance (there is, I learned, a proper technique for playing the triangle, no fooling). The drum captain was extremely disciplined and had that same attention to detail that Jason was talking about. They both worked us hard making sure we were tight as a drum line: that we knew our parts and were together on our double-stroke rolls. We went on to place in every competition we entered and win a good number of them. However, before all this, in one of our first marching competitions, one of the bands before us had what I thought was a killer drum line. They all donned matching Chuck Taylors and had some killer stick tricks. In my heart, I wanted one day to be able to beat that drum line. As it turned out, our one day to beat that drum line was that same day. We very much beat that drum line. We didn’t have tricks as cool or outfits as flashy as they, however, we were much tighter and had paid attention to the details that matter in making a good drum line.

So when you hear people like Jason Fried, Walt Disney and John Laseter talking about plussing, the most important thing to realize is that they focus first on the details that matter. Only after that does it make sense to attempt to make improvements. So when I as an interaction designer ask myself what are the details that matter, I usually answer myself that they involve supporting the work flow of my users. Nobody is going to care whether you’ve timed your expand/collapse effect right if the application as a whole isn’t meeting their basic needs. How do you meet your user’s basic needs? The answer to that question is forthcoming in another article. But here’s a teaser: it involves talking to them.

posted by sam on Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008

“When you think about the responsibility of a performer it usually adds up to meaning, like, “Play your hit.” But I think there’s actually, like, a larger responsibility than that, and that is “don’t be mediocre.””
TMBG Podcast 32B

posted by sam on Monday, Apr 07, 2008

LeGrand Content is a brilliant animation by Clemens Kogler and Karo Szmit which “examines the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in search for its philosophical potential.”

Inspired by

narration text

posted by sam on Monday, Feb 18, 2008

“To clarify, add detail. And, clutter and overload are not an attribute of information: they are failures of design.
If the information is in chaos, don’t start throwing out information. Instead, fix the design.
Edward Tufte at the end of a video on iPhone Screen Design

posted by sam on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008

A perfect mix of high-tech and low-tech: This is the automated sink in the newly-remodeled bathroom on my floor. The faucet and soap dispenser are automated, but the towels are not, you can get soap without dripping water all over the formica, and the automated faucet does have temperature control.

The designer of this bathroom knew that water and soap work well being automated, but towels don’t.

posted by sam on Friday, Jan 11, 2008