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The Little Things

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I’m learning that what sets designers apart is their attention to visual details. I remember the first time I noticed bad kerning between letters. Once the uneven spacing stood out to me, I could never read that word the same way. As a student studying design, I’m learning the importance of these details. I see that it takes a trained eye to pick up on the little things.

I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past three weeks learning from, and working with the Manoverboard team. I’ve observed their attention to detail and ability to pick up on discrepancies instinctively, and as a result I’m learning to become more attuned to noticing these details myself.

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Iceland Is Our Future

Photo of Reykjavík, Iceland

Many years ago I remember reading about Iceland and its use of Hydrogen powered cars. The country felt like it was in a world of its own, as if it was living in the future. The use of renewable energy is not a new idea in Iceland as the country has been in the game for over 100 years. The first hydropower facility was built there in 1904 and the country’s first use of geothermal energy for heating was in 1907.
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Honouring the Favicon

18 years ago in March of 1999, Microsoft released support for favicons with Internet Explorer 5.

Have you ever noticed that many websites display a little icon in your browser’s URL bar and bookmarks? That’s a favicon (which is short for favorite icon). While often taken for granted, the favicon can be an outlet for creativity, and an opportunity for a web developer to put a “special touch” on a website. The smallest size of a favicon is 16×16 pixels (seen below). That’s really tiny!

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The Purpose Project Recipe

Let's take matters into our own hands.

Manoverboard celebrated its 15th anniversary in January. While I’m not big on celebrating business-focused events, I am well aware that this is a milestone.

I’ve reflected upon this anniversary quite a bit, actually. Staying in business for a single year is hard. Doing it for 15 years somehow seems like defeating the odds.

But we did it.

And I’d like to think that the longevity has a little bit to do with giving away work.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive. It might even sound dangerous. But when I started the company in Brooklyn fifteen years ago, the dot-com economy had crashed and, in its wake, I saw an abundance of nonprofit organizations who were in dire need of design and technology services. My goal was to start a business that would help those nonprofits and, on occasion, give the work away for free or at a lower cost. That was the goal.
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I like to think that life is like a marathon, in that everyone races for their own reasons. Sometimes you meet up with fellow runners and other times you come to a fork in the road where you part ways. You must be lead by your inner voice telling you what is important, rather then just finishing the race with the best time or the most calories burned. All of the clients that I have had the privilege to work with at Manoverboard are either focused on causes related to helping community or the environment.

When you are gauging your company’s impact on the lives of inner city youth or the amount of beets you planted in a community garden, it’s not as simple as dollars and cents on a balance sheet. Impact is fluid and often difficult to nail down, but there is a great way to demonstrate your purpose that will leave customers, investors and other stakeholders happy—and that is through an impact report.

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