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Manufacturing and the Lost Art of Making Things (Happen)

If you want to learn something about how business works and things get done, go study manufacturing. The act of turning a drawing on paper into a finished and shippable product is a  “meta-skill” that, once you grasp it, can totally transform your approach to life and work. Manufacturing is the discipline of getting things done—making them real. Without […]

The Many Faces of Design

“Design” and related words like as “compose”, “choreograph” and “orchestrate” all describe something like the process of artfully arranging seemingly unrelated components in a way that is greater than the sum of the parts. But would it be possible to say that a beautiful piece of music has been designed? Or that a successful business deal […]

Ballerina Project

5 Design Lessons from a Shoe Repair Sign

On a recent field trip to DIYpsi, the Modern Animal team explored downtown Ypsilanti. We came across a clever, historic sign that advertised a shoe repair shop. This sign has endured years of extreme Michigan winters and still remains intact. I’ve been fascinated with vintage signs like this one ever since I was a child and my […]

Creative Field Trip

Why We Love Creative Field Trips

At Modern Animal, we plan creative excursions at the beginning of every season to help our team stay inspired and think freely. We recently took a field trip to Ypsilanti, Michigan for DIYpsi, an indie art fair. This outing helped us dream up unique projects for the Winter. Creative gatherings are also an opportunity for us to […]

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The Hard Work of Seeing Things Differently

The hardest work in good design is emotional. We sit down to solve a problem together and quickly realize that each member of our team sees it differently. But what initially looks like a potential source of conflict doesn’t have to be a conflict at all. A good designer knows that this is not about my ideas […]