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October 2007
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Good morning. How are you? How was your Thanksgiving holiday? Did you have a good time? Thank you for all your kind comments on last week's monster, and on the anniversary monster before that. You guys are so sweet.

Somehow the monsters always lead to all-nighters now. I'm getting more and more into the little animations at the end, and the rendering alone takes time. But it's just too much fun not to do it. Sometimes it's a tiny detail in the original drawing that spark a nifty little sequence --- as it was again today. I hope you'll like the result. More importantly, I hope you'll tell me what this monster's story is. Clearly, there is a lot of mysterious stuff going on here:


I'm excited to see what ideas and stories you'll come up with for the creature. Because you always do. I really hope the Monster Book becomes a success, so we can do a sequel with all your new stuff! Why? Because 344 LOVES YOU


Good morning. How are you? Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on the Monster Anniversary. As I said before, you guys are both kind and brilliant --- a powerful combination for good, if ever there was one! You'll be on my mind on Thanksgiving.

Of course, I wouldn't let you go into the holidays without a new monster:

This one seems to have had his share of Turducken. What do you think is going on at his particular Thanksgiving dinner? Who else is attending? Are they having a good time? Braving traditional family tensions? Napping? Feel free to project as needed, and season to taste.


I hope that you'll have a non-taxing, heart relaxing, tension easing, palate pleasing, hug producing, sleep inducing Thanksgiving. Enter your food coma safe in the knowledge that 344 LOVES YOU


Good afternoon. How are you? The new Weekly Monster is in the works, but until that's ready, let me share a recent piece of mail with you. Yesterday afternoon I received a 6x9" postcard from Art Center College of Design, my alma mater --- a school that I love truly, madly, deeply. Here is the front of the card:


OK... not that exciting, but alright.
Design leadership. You got it.
Hit me with your message, school!


The message is... there will be a message! Soon!

Now... again... I love Art Center. My three years at the school gave me all kinds of excellent tools to make a life in design. I know a lot of the people currently involved in running the place. Even though they might not all agree which way the school should go, they all work with honest enthusiasm and dedication to give the students the best experience possible.

As a corporate entity the school also likes to talk a good game about environmental sustainability, about greening up. In fact, they're laudably doing so on their home page right now. So it's more than a little irksome to receive this non-announcement card in the mail. How many thousands of these cards went out to the alumni mailing list? How much energy was wasted on a card that says and does absolutely nothing?

Pay careful attention to my mailbox? Why sure! I was going to just take the next two weeks worth of mail and chuck it in the trash unopened. But now that I've received the heads up, I'll certainly keep my eyes open. I mean... for crying out loud. At the very least, give me a web link to go to. Or a phone number to call and inquire. Anything! Something to make this mailing something other than a complete waste.

I know it's a small thing --- a tiny misstep by an otherwise excellent school --- but if you're "leading the world in design" small things matter, and many small things add up to a big thing. (Also, there are pedantic cranks out there who like to blog about stuff.)

A good friend of mine works as a print rep. He is environmentally conscious, as is the printer he works for---which is one of the reasons I love them. He frequently teaches seminars on print production, sometimes with a focus on sustainability. When he talks about it, he acknowledges that all the soy ink and recycled paper in the world don't make printing a green activity. So the rule is this: Think about what you're printing. Maybe the correct answer is to send out an e-mail instead, or to build a mini-site. Save your printing dollars for the things that really need to be on paper. And when you do, put the information in a format people will want to keep. An object doesn't become waste until somebody stops using it.

I'm going to stop using this postcard now.

Bitching and moaning aside, you do know---don't you?---that 344 LOVES YOU


Addendum---Today's Mail: Two wrist pads,
sent in two separate 22x15x5 boxes. Good times!



Good morning! How are you? I hope that you had a good weekend, and that you're ready for Thanksgiving. Today is kind of a special day. Today is the first anniversary of the Daily Monsters. I can't believe it's been a year, and at the same time I can't believe it's only been a year. Who would've thought that innocent little Monster 01 would lead to another 124 films, and to hundreds more monsters on paper? Hell, who would've thought that we'd get to make a book together?

My life was very different a year ago. For one thing, I didn't know any of you. Sam, Simon, Emily, Victoria, Annie, Terry, Bill, Yi Shun, Cat, Charlotte, Eliza... It's unfair even to mention names, because so many of you have given your time and energy to the monsters, and all of your names deserve to be put into song. Many of you have long since become friends. All of you are an absolute blessing. Thank you for always being here to play with the creatures. They couldn't ask for better company and neither could I. None of this would've happened without you. (Or without Russell, Ze, Alissa, or Armin & Bryony, for that matter.)

To mark the occasion, I'd like to introduce you to a little fella who has been keeping me company on the road over the past month. If you saw me speak in Denver, on Orcas Island, or in Minneapolis you'll recognize him. He seemed like a good host for this anniversary post. He's currently still rendering (with a special message) and he'll appear right here later in the day. I hope you'll like him as much as I do.

In the meantime, I just filmed a Thanksgiving dinner monster for Wednesday -- along with a new opening credit. So please do also check in again before you leave for your Thanksgiving holiday. He'll get a bit of motion by then, too. For now, let me say THANK YOU again for a completely unexpected year of fun. I'm excited to see what Year 2 will bring for all of us. For now, you had better believe that 344 LOVES YOU


Good morning. So that took a little longer than I thought it would. Sometimes the monsters just want to show some leg, but this week No.122 had a little journey to go on. What can I do, but make it happen? I would never tell the monsters what to do or what not to do. I'm just here to help. I hope you'll like the result. If you have a few minutes, maybe you'll post a story below, or record a monster sound. Either way, I'm excited to see what you'll come up with!

In other news, Monday is the 1st Anniversary of the Daily Monsters. Can you believe it? There will be a new monster to commemorate the occasion, of course. Right now, I'm finally off to bed---but asleep or not, you do know, I hope, that 344 LOVES YOU


ALL ACCESS (Chinese Edition Sighting)

Good morning once more. Fiel Valdez is one of the people featured in my first book All Access. She just spent some time working at Wieden + Kennedy's new(ish) Shanghai office. One of the designers there, one Ling Meng, had a copy of the Chinese edition of the book on his desk. Fiel was good enough to take a picture for me. I got a copy of this edition from my publisher (and recently received a very exciting $240 royalty check for it), but I'd never seen one out in the wild. I just had to share it with you. Why? because 344 LOVES YOU



Good morning. I just got back from my trip to Minneapolis. I had an excellent time meeting all the designers that came to my little presentation at Target. Target has a corporate dress code, and I have to say it works for me! This was far and away the most stylish audience I've ever had the chance to address. As much as I love Los Angeles, I will always prefer a crisp tie/sweater combination over an untucked shirt, and a pair of sleek boots over the ever-present, ever-dreadful flip-flops of my chosen home. (Mind you, it was also pretty damn cold in Minneapolis, so there are some obvious pros and cons.) Look... all I'm saying is, I had a great trip, and the designers at Target are one good-looking bunch.

I failed to take any pictures while I was on the ground, but I got a few nice wing shots for my collection. I thought I'd share my favorites. I also took a few minutes of film of the landing and taxiing at LAX. I love the little tractor that zooms alongside the plane for a while. On the original file you can actually hear that the camera picked up the music from my headphones. Which makes me think that I must've had it on at a pretty obnoxious level. Somebody I used to know a long time ago told me that there's always one asshole on the boat. "If you look around and you can't find the asshole, then you're it." And so it is. If you were sitting next to me on the plane --- 09-E, 08-F, 10-F --- I really apologize. I had no idea. And still 344 LOVES YOU

You can click on the images for a bigger view. These plane shots make nice desktop pictures



Good morning. I'm getting ready to fly out to Minneapolis today to give a talk to the design team at Target tomorrow afternoon. After that, I'll head over to an AIGA Minnesota fundraiser. If you're in the Minneapolis area and are so inclined, please come on by and say Hello.

In the meantime, I'm happy to present the new Weekly Monster. It's a simple one this time (compared to last week's Cinemascope witchcraft), but I hope you'll still like it. (A slight warning: If you're watching the monsters with your kids, an ever so slightly PG surprise waits at the end of the clip.) I hope you'll take a minute to post your thoughts and stories about Monster 121, and I do hope you realize that 344 LOVES YOU


P.S.: Make sure you listen to the eminently suitable sound by Flo.