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I LOVE a good bookstore. Nothing triggers my creative senses more than the inspiration from amazing cover art and the unique production values of printed material. This cathedral-turned-bookstore in Zwolle, The Netherlands, checks all the boxes and then some. I’m just in awe of Dutch design and architecture. Talking about execution… Woah!
Photos by Joop van Putten and Hans Westerink, via Colossal
If the Tumblr ‘Savour' doesn't make you want to buy a magazine (and a coffee), I don't know what will.
A few shots from my tiny stand at last month’s Web Directions South in Sydney. I had a blast meeting lots of familiar and new faces from the Australian web community. Once again a big kudos to Maxine and John for putting on a great show!
Photos by Chris Gleisner
This visualisation of Ira Glass’ approach of getting better at what you do continues to inspire. I can certainly find myself and my journey with Offscreen in there a lot.
I’m so grateful that Offscreen has a small, yet very passionate following and people always ask me how they can best support the magazine and secure future issues. This is how.
This probably applies to pretty much any indie publication out there, so please share.
Amidst all the excitement of preparing the launch of issue No6, I almost forgot that my friend Elliot is launching his new magazine Digest today! So, to honour his launch day, I’ve moved the release of Offscreen No6 to Monday next week!
Until then, make sure to have a closer look at Digest:
It sure looks great in the photos. I’m hoping to get my hands on a copy soon, too!
For your weekend reading pleasure, some profound advice on how to live a meaningful life. Admittedly, it’s less directly related to the web industry or Offscreen’s mission, but it’s a post (by Zenhabits.net) that I’ve come back to several times, as it nicely summarises the values I’d like to instil into my own life and that of the people close to me. Enjoy!
I have six lovely children — one of them now an adult, and a couple more almost there — and I give a lot of thought to what I think they should know as they grow up and go out into the world.
What could I best teach them to equip them for life?
This is what I’d like them to know:
You are good enough. Most people are afraid to do things because they are afraid they’re not good enough, afraid they’ll fail. But you are good enough — learn that and you won’t be afraid of new things, won’t be afraid to fail, won’t need the approval of others. You’ll be pre-approved — by yourself.
All you need to be happy is within you. Many people seek happiness in food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, partying, sex … because they’re seeking external happiness. They don’t realize the tools for happiness aren’t outside them. They’re right inside you: mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, thoughtfulness, the ability to create and do something meaningful, even in a small way.
You can start your own business. As a young man, I thought I needed to go to college and then be employed, and that owning a business is for rich people. That was all wrong. It’s possible for almost anyone to start their own business, and while you’ll probably do badly at first, you’ll learn quickly. It’s a much better education than college.
Everything useful I’ve learned I didn’t learn from college … I learned from doing.
That said, I’ve had some amazing teachers. They’re not always in school, though: they’re everywhere. A friend I met at work. My peers online. My mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts. My wife. My kids. Failure. Teachers are everywhere, if you’re willing to learn.
Spend less than you earn. Thirty percent less if you can manage. Most people get a job and immediately spend their income on a car loan, high rent or a large mortgage, buying possessions and eating out using credit cards. None of that is necessary. Don’t spend it if you don’t have it. Learn to go without, and be happy with less.
Put away some of your income to grow with the power of compound earnings. Your future self will thank you.
Learn to love healthy food. It’s all a matter of adjusting your tastebuds, slowly and gradually. Learn to cook for yourself. Try some healthy, delicious recipes.
Learn compassion. We start life with a very selfish outlook — we want what we want. But compassion is about realizing we are no more important than everyone else, and we aren’t at the center of the universe. Someone annoys you? Get outside of your little shell, and try to see how their day is going. How can you help them be less angry, less in pain?
Never stop learning. If you just learn something a little a day, it will add up over time immensely.
Have fun being active. Sure, there’s lots of fun to be had online, and in eating sweets and fried food, and in watching TV and movies and playing video games. But going outside and playing with friends, tossing a ball around, swimming, climbing something, challenging each other … that’s even more fun. And it leads to a healthy life, healthy heart, more focused and energetic mind.
Get good at discomfort. Avoiding discomfort is very common, but a big mistake. Learning to be OK with some discomfort will change your life.
The things that stress you out don’t matter. Take a larger perspective: will this matter in five years? Most likely the answer is no. If the answer is yes, attend to it.
Savor life. Not just the usual pleasures, but everything and everyone. The stranger you meet on the bus. The sunshine that hits your face as you walk. The quiet of the morning. Time with a loved one. Time alone. Your breath as you meditate.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are some of the best teachers. Instead, learn to be OK with mistakes, and learn to learn from them, and learn to shrug them off so they don’t affect your profound confidence in who you are.
You need no one else to make you happy or validate you. You don’t need a boss to tell you that you’re great at what you do. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to tell you that you’re lovable. You don’t need your friends’ approval. Having loved ones and friends in your life is amazing, but know who you are first.
Learn to be good at change. Change is the one constant in life. You will suffer by trying to hold onto things. Learn to let go (meditation helps with this skill), and learn to have a flexible mind. Don’t get stuck in what you’re comfortable with, don’t shut out what’s new and uncomfortable.
Open your heart. Life is amazing if you don’t shut it out. Other people are amazing. Open your heart, be willing to take the wounds that come with an open heart, and you will experience the best of life.
Let love be your rule. Success, selfishness, righteousness … these are not good rules to live by. Love family, friends, coworkers, strangers, your brothers and sisters in humanity. Love even those who think they’re your enemy. Love the animals we treat as food and objects. Most of all, love yourself.
And always know, no matter what: I love you with every particle of my being.
This post first appeared on zenhabits.net and is copyright-free for everyone to share.
This is my editor’s note that first appeared in Issue No2 (now sold out). Some folks wanted me to put it online so they can link to it. Here it is:
What a nurse, a landscape architect and a construction worker have in common is that they most likely don’t spend their Sundays polishing off their side-project to make it look good on the iPhone. They are probably not listening to work-related podcasts while lifting weights at the gym. And they almost certainly don’t set up their workplace for the day at the local coffee shop.
For ‘outsiders’, our industry must seem strange. We willingly work long hours, we go to great lengths to make free things, and we recognise our peers by their Twitter avatars. While our friends may complain about a long day at the office, we skip lunch to fit just a bit more time in the day. The negative connotation of the word ‘work’ is gone; we do it because we love it, we are passionate about it and we feel blessed and lucky that someone else is willing to pay us for it.
Our contributors and interviewees in this issue are a great reminder of how unique our industry really is. Like Dan Counsell, whose business idea was sparked by a tool he developed on his daily train commute. Or Shaun Inman, who managed to make a living through his own web apps so he can now create the games he always wanted to play. Or Christian Reber, whose first company was born out of a technical experiment during Christmas. Or Andy Mangold, whose love affair with his Game Boy has been crucial in determining what he does for a living today.
Reading through all these personal stories there is a fairly obvious underlying thread: it’s the willingness and desire to create something new, to make something better and, most of all, to enjoy the process. We are a tightly knit community of job-lovers, problem-solvers and can-doers. Surely, it’s not easy all the time, but it’s fun most of the time.
I hope that this issue of Offscreen, only the second one of hopefully many more to come, will once again inspire you to find your own story, to follow your own passion and feel at home in a community where playing Mario Kart may actually benefit your job profile and where determination outweighs a university degree any time.
Thanks for helping make Offscreen possible. Please keep spreading the word!
As a web designer by trade I’ve been producing digital stuff for pretty much all of my professional life. Recently, I started publishing a real magazine and have since become aware of and learned a lot about the ways in which we experience real, physical products. I’m fascinated with the power that emanates from them.
I love doing what you may call “usability research”. I walk into one of my stockists and observe how my magazine is being picked up, carefully inspected, smelled, touched, flicked through, skimmed and then either put back or purchased.
There is something unique about the “check out” process when you buy real products. Your immediate judgment asks you to consider whether this thing in your hands is worth the price tag. You rely on all of your senses to make that judgement call. If it feels right (literally) you might end up walking out of that shop with a new read.
However, I still sell the vast majority of my (print) magazine online. As weird as it sounds coming from me and given the subject matter, this is somewhat unfortunate, because it breaks the physical experience. Yet, it still makes for some very interesting observations.
When I shipped the first issue I didn’t expect every other tweet to be about people having a great time sniffing my mag once they unwrapped it. Some incoming emails tried to persuade me to start producing notebooks with the same paper, as they had fallen in love with the touch of the stock. Some folks actually bought two copies, one to peruse and one to leave untouched on their shelves.
I love technology, and just like everyone else I spend (too) much of my days staring at screens. Producing Offscreen reminds me why we all still love the occasional “real” book, why we spent big bucks on novelty notebooks to scribble in or why letterpress has seen such a renaissance.
It’s the longing for a truly sensual experience and physical ownership. Give it dog ears. Leave a coffee stain. Make it your own. Take it along for the ride. It’s almost like a witness, a physical proof of “been there, done that”. Printed objects have a sense of origin and uniqueness that digital objects will never have. We give them more of our attention. We respect them for what they are (enough to put them on your bookshelves like trophies). We proudly lend them to our friends under the provision that they take care of them.
No, Print is not dead. It’s just waiting to be rediscovered by those worthy of it.
This post was first published on the Pastry Box Project.
Our friends at Designerfund just started a new blog series that is very close to our own “A Day In The Life Of” feature in each issue of Offscreen. In the first episode they take us through a typical day in the life of designer Ryan Sims of Rdio fame. Some really excellent photography with a great bit of storytelling in there.
Editorial by Laura Brunow Miner, photography by Helena Price.