Welcome to the this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. As always, we are merely your humble internet servants, bringing you a collection of links we found interesting or enlightening this week. So brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and enjoy.

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Aaron Draplin Designs a Logo »

Aaron Draplin — co-founder of Field Notes, great designer, and all-around hilarious guy — took on a challenge from Lynda.com to design a logo for a fictional concrete company. You get to watch over his shoulder as he sketches ideas on paper, brings them into Illustrator, and iterates on them while explaining the thinking behind his choices. It’s a fascinating peek into a designer’s mind and process.

We liked this bit about his appreciation for old-school logos:

When you go back and look at this old world, there’s just sort of reminders of just a simple little logo. Y’know, a simple, couple little shapes. I like things that worked 40 years ago, and then work right now in the smack dab of 2014.

Somewhat related: our recent review of the DDC Stuff Sheath.


Day One and the Journaling Habit »

Our own Chris Gonzales wrote an article about journaling habits on The Spark Journal that shifts into a review of Day One for iOS:

Day One is one of those apps where, once I started using it, I wondered how I ever got along without it. It makes me_ want _to journal. As I said earlier, I actually feel guilty when I neglect to open the app and write something in it once in a while. There aren’t many other apps I can say that about.

Over at our sister site The Sweet Setup, we chose Day One as our favorite journaling and logging app.


Helena Price on The Great Discontent (September 2013) »

We always enjoy The Great Discontent’s interviews, but in looking at some of their less-recent ones we thought photographer Helena Price really hit the nail on the head in regards to documenting life with a camera:

…I always took photos, but I never thought of it as a creative thing; it was more of a utility. I thought of it as simply a way to document my life. I had a mentality of believing that if I didn’t document something, then it didn’t exist. I have a pretty horrible memory as well, so that probably contributes to it. I still have piles and piles of photo albums and old paper printouts of everything. They just take up space in my closet, but I take comfort in knowing that they are there. If they weren’t, then those things wouldn’t exist to me.

Working For the Man Should Be a Last Resort »

This one’s for those of you who dream of escaping your “corporate stooge” job. You’re not alone, friends, and here’s David Cain to light a fire underneath you:

According to my critics, even if you find your standard weekday boring, painful or unfulfilling, you ought to embrace it, simply because a third-world coal miner would kill for your benefits package. When so many have so little, attempting to_ escape _a situation in which you can reliably feed yourself and fund a retirement could only be an act of the utmost ingratitude.

A minority of us believe the opposite is true — that escaping from an unfulfilling mainstream lifestyle isn’t a moral failing, but rather a moral imperative. It’s precisely because we have all the necessary freedoms at our fingertips (and because others don’t) that spending our lives in the stable isn’t just foolish, but wrong. To remain, voluntarily, in a life where your talents are wasted and your weekdays are obstacles is to be humble in all the wrong ways.

We discovered this article thanks to Álvaro Serrano, and it resonated with us in many ways.

Neil Gaiman on the Importance of Daydreaming »

When asked where he gets his ideas, Neil Gaiman often gives the pithy answer, “I make them up. Out of my head.” When a seven-year-old asked the same, he felt compelled to expound a bit (or rather a lot, really, but for our purposes here we’ve edited out most of it):

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. […]

All fiction is a process of imagining: whatever you write, in whatever genre or medium, your task is to make things up convincingly and interestingly and new.

And when you’ve an idea – which is, after all, merely something to hold on to as you begin — what then?

Well, then you write. You put one word after another until it’s finished — whatever it is.

When it comes to doing creative work, looking out a window and daydreaming from time to time may look to others like “doing nothing” but is in fact critical to the process.


The World’s Growing Love Affair with the Most Wasteful Form of Coffee There Is »

To our dismay, we learned this week that K-cups now account for 26% of the U.S. market for ground coffee. And that’s not even taking the rest of the world into account, or even other such single-serve, disposable coffee pods.

“We can get to a cup of coffee dozens of different ways,” Martin Bourque, director of the Ecology Center, a non-profit in Berkeley, California, told the East Bay Express last year. “The best way is a large volume of coffee that goes into a cup that’s washed and re-used a thousand times, and the coffee goes to compost or mushroom production. That’s best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is these pods.”

With all due respect to the Keurig fans out there, why not pick up a reusable K-cup? Or better yet, get a little taste of superior brewing methods in our guide to awesome coffee gear.

Sean McCabe’s “Lambo Goal” »

You may know Sean McCabe (aka seanwes) from his Learn Lettering video course, but he also podcasts about business and marketing, sometimes on video. In a recent video installment, he and a friend discussed something they are calling their “Lambo Goal”, comprised of three tenets:

  1. Sean’s dream is to buy a Lamborghini Aventador, a $400k super car.
  2. It must be paid in cash.
  3. This will only happen when the cash represents 10% of his money.

Needless to say, it’s a crazy goal — but that’s the point. It’s about not thinking too small, or self-limiting your options in life. If you have 80 minutes, watch the video and you might just be inspired to set up a crazy goal of your own to work toward.

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If you’ve got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage, please send an email to Shawn Blanc.