How to Apply the “Joy” Rule to Design

The desk of Jack + Mo


At the end of 2015, I read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. So many of my clients were referencing it, I felt I needed to be in the “know” as to what the KonMarie Method was.  It was such a good read that I flew threw it and immediately followed up with her Spark Joy (the illustrated version). I’ve been an avid organizer for years so her level of crazy made perfect sense to me!


Here is the book’s premise in essence:

Hold each object you own in your hands individually and make a decision- does this item bring joy to your life? Do you enjoy using this item? Does it make you happy? If not, discard it. Thank the item for it’s role during the time you had it, and wish it well on it’s way to a donation spot like GoodWill.

Keep only what brings joy. Find a place for everything.

Read More

Resources for Printing Business Cards Online

There are a plethora of factors to consider when choosing a printing company for business cards– beyond sheer budget. Who knew there were so many options??!

▸ Do you want a traditional shape or other?▸ How many cards do you want to print?▸ Do you want raised print? Spot gloss? Metallic Finishes? Die cuts?

▸ Do you fancy a particular paper type?

In working with various clients, I’ve found the following sites to be great resources for excellent printing, offering a variety of options. Here is a quick list of some of my favs:

Complexly Simple

A few weeks ago, a client stated that among the most important factors for her new branding, she wanted a design that was complexly simple.Whenever I need to ponder a thought, I typically get up from my desk and walk around a bit, refresh my coffee, walk outside; this is exactly what I did after reading this.

Complexly simple? Is she requesting the impossible? How can I achieve two antonyms in one design?

The more I thought about this, the more I realize how gravely important the “complexly simple principle” is for any design concept: branding, studio art, interior design, motion design.

A design too simple can pose the problem of being forgettable. A design too complex can become messy and revolting. (Studies show the brain associates difficult words, images with danger and risk.)

So, how can one achieve both- simple and complex?

I’ve reduced the complexly simple design principle to 4 actionables:

Allow the eye to move freely. Create white space, spacing between elements, patterns for the eye to follow. Most viewers review a space beginning at the top left and ending at the bottom right. Consider this viewing pattern.
Viewing Pattern

Develop balance or symmetry. Symmetry is most often considered beautiful. “In the natural world, anything symmetrical is usually alive. Animals, for instance, have symmetrical shapes.” -V.S. Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego

Depict details that become memorable. Create elements that stand out and “stick.” “Is it so memorable, in fact, that it can create change, that it can spur someone to action?” -Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point

Create an experience. Have a core idea that is consistent for users to develop emotional attachments. “The only way to do this is to develop a real understanding of the target audience.”-Forbes “Rethink experiences from ground up to create magical moments.” -Tony Fadell, former SVP of iPod Division at Apple

Less is more, but too little is not enough.

“But simplicity is really about comprehension and clarity of purpose…can we design such that people instantly understand what’s going on and make a confident decision about what to do next?” –52 Weeks of UX

How to Create the Right Business Name

How to Create the Best Business Name
Creating the perfect business name takes research, planning, thought– created to withstand time and serve a wide range of purposes. A few pointers to consider:


Search it. Are the words unique enough that searching online for your company will be easy for potential customers?

Say it. Try pretending you are answering the telephone. How would you say the company name? Do you get tongue-tied? Is it a name you are proud to say aloud? Is it a name your customers would pass along?

Ask around. Ask a few unknowing people what they think of when they hear the business name. This could bring out associations you haven’t considered.

Keep it short. Simply put, shorter names function better. Most successful companies are 2 syllables: Apple, Google, Nike. Your company name does not have to describe all aspects of your business. Too many descriptive words can be difficult to remember.

Be Flexible. It’s important to choose a name that won’t “box you in.” If you want to expand services or add products, choose a name that will allow your company to grow, change and develop.

Take risks. Inventing an entirely new word can make your name stick, becoming instantly memorable for your customer base.

Trust your gut. Asking around for opinions and associations is important, but ultimately, your name can be as original and unique as you’d like it to be. To be sure the creators of GoDaddy heard resistance on such a name, but much of what your company becomes depends on branding and marketing.


Choosing the right name can determine business success. Have fun with it and above all else, choose a name you’ll be proud to market and work hard to build and develop.