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Wolfgang Wagner, RIP

The grandson of Richard Wagner died Sunday at the age of 90. Alex Ross points to something almost beyond belief: that the grandson of a man born in 1813 should survive well into the 21st century.

So what’s that got to do with design? Nothing, really—unless you subscribe to the notion, as many do, that Grandpa’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is the greatest work of art ever created. High praise, to be sure. Not to mention controversial. But I’m inclined to agree.

Bonfire of the Inanities, part I

In this, the first in an ongoing series devoted to shining the clear light of reason on bad English (that is to say, unpleasant writing and speaking, not the lame 1980s band), I draw your attention to one of the most heinous of practices: using nouns as verbs.

An example that really sets my teeth on edge is “reference”—you know, “Excuse me while I reference my notes,” or “We’ll need to reference our expertise in this proposal.” AAAUUUGGGHHH!!! Whatever happened to “refer to”?

Here’s why you should care: When you deliberately flout the quite reasonable rules of English syntax, you come across not as a refined and sophisticated raconteur, but as someone who simply doesn’t know any better.


There’s a $10 bill here at AMD corporate headquarters for the first person who can name one—just one—advantage of Daylight Savings Time. I’m not talking about how much everyone enjoys the extra light at the end of the workday; I’m talking about a tested, proven, and verifiable benefit to humanity.

Stumped? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Do People Read Anymore?

I’m a reader. Always have been. When I was a kid, while my friends were doing whatever it is normal kids do, I’d spend my Saturdays in the basement reading room at the John Steinbeck Library. Finding out as an adult that there are, in fact, people who don’t read was difficult for me to understand. You may as well have told me that there exist people who choose not to breathe.

It’s become an unassailable fact in the minds of many that not just some, but most people don’t read anymore. No time. No interest. Too much competition from the Internet, satellite television, and the golf course. While it’s certainly not the last word on the subject, this study begs to differ.

Perhaps the apocalypse is not yet upon us.

I’d Rather Be Stripped Naked, Smeared with Peanut Butter, and Locked in a Cage with Angry Wolverines

That’s pretty much what I told the suits here at AMD when I was asked to contribute to our official blog. (“Contribute,” of course, means “become the chief architect of,” “manage,” and “do all the heavy lifting.”)

Turns out it’s not as bad as it sounds. I get to write about stuff that interests me and, I hope, whoever accidentally stumbles upon the site. Plus, I get to keep my job—a “win-win,” according to the suits.

So. Welcome to our blog. We hope it’s everything you imagined and more.

From My Perspective

grammostola rosea

iNid climbing the front of her iMac

As I go about my day, working on design files, sorting through numerous emails, answering technical support questions, talking on the phone, etc., I wonder if life would be more satisfying staring out from the inside of an iMac vs staring at the iMac?

About AMD

Anderson Mraz Design, formed in 1988 in Spokane, Washington, is a communications design group operating in local, regional, and national markets. Our expertise includes brand strategy, corporate identity, print, collateral, packaging, website development, and environmental graphic design across a diverse and wide-ranging client base.

The embodiment of everything a company stands for, a brand is the sum of our perceptions of product, service, experience, and organization. The art – and science – of branding is about creating positive associations and expectations; about making an emotional connection between consumer and product while providing clarity through differentiation.

Embracing a host of disciplines that includes graphic, architectural, interior, and landscape design, environmental graphic design is the arrangement of three-dimensional space to communicate emotions and ideas. It’s the combination of words, images, and sound to stimulate or soothe; to inform, educate, and inspire.

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