The fine folks at the Barbarian Group just launched another “why didn’t I think of that” site —, a really clever promotion for Aquent (purveyors of contract creatives). You can click on each section of the page to learn more about the skills and people needed to get a modern website up running (as illustrated by the animated GIF below). And to top it all off, if you visit the website (and act fast), you can get a free t-shirt (and probably a lifetime supply of calls and mail from Aquent). You can read more about the site on the Barbarian Groups blog . Screenshot - it's animated!

iPhone 365 – 2009. Fin.

I participated in an iPhone365 project in the 2009. It was much more difficult that I thought it would be. Even with a cameraphone by my side at all times, there were days I forgot to take a picture, days where I wasn’t inspired to take a picture (those days: Wake up, go to work, come home, repeat = yawn) and towards the end of the year, I just didn’t get around to taking any photos.

When all was said and done (yesterday), I came out with 198 photos — an admirable effort, but well short of the goal. It’s still a blast to look through the photos and see where I was (or where my head was) throughout the year.

With that in mind, I made a quick movie of all the photos set to the song I listened to the most in 2009, Radiohead’s “Gagging Order” (199 plays, according to iTunes). Enjoy!

(and if you want to participate in 2010, it’s the perfect time to start. I’ve already posted my first photo for 2010.

iPhone 365 – 2009 from Kyle Johnston on Vimeo.

Urban Photo Safari 2009

The 2009 installment of Urban Photo Safari is coming up on June 13th and  this year Homer’s Coffee in downtown Overland Park is the starting point.

For those new to Urban Photo Safari, it’s a free event created to encourage you explore KC, get creative with your digital camera and—most of all—have fun (friends, family and non-creatives are welcome, too).

I’ve Safari’d 4 times now (’03, ’04’, ’06 and ’07)—it’s been a blast every time.

You can find the location, rules, tips and more at Hope to see you there! Until then, enjoy some of my shots from the 2007 Urban Photo Safari in Lawrence, Kansas.

Idea: Smaller as better?

A line in this interview with Alex Bogusky caught my eye:

“I’m always surprised by how wealthy people gravitate to huge homes. Who wants to walk a half block to get a midnight snack? But smaller alone isn’t really the whole story. Smaller and higher quality is really the opportunity.

This is something I often think about when I drive by high-end homes… outside of major cities, it seems like bigger is the only option available for non-retirees. What if builders offered smaller homes with better features?

Offerings I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Higher-quality building materials
  • Pre-configured wireless network (with or without tech support)
  • Home wind turbines and solar systems
  • Include a car, maybe a Hybrid in an exclusive model or color
  • Include bikes, Segways, or other low-impact modes of transportation for quick errands near the neighborhood
  • Neighborhood services like chefs, nutritionists, personal trainers or pet sitters

Ultimately, I think the offerings would need to appeal to self-interest and sense of status to be successful. Green features and community enhancement sound good on a list, but my cynical side isn’t sure they would translate into big business.

What do you think—is there an opportunity here?

    This has been the second in a series of random product/service/whatever ideas that pop into my head… ideas that I think are viable from a business and/or usage standpoint, but probably don’t have the time/desire/resources to implement.

    Would You Like a Pony?

    Excellent hidden-camera style spot from ally bank.

    On a totally unrelated note, this blog has been woefully neglected over the past few months in favor of—in no particular order—getting Creative Cohort off the ground, a couple of extensive freelance projects, gobs of activity at the regular gig and livin’ life. More posts to follow soon, probably a short burst of activity followed by another month or two of dead silence. Such is life.

    3.. 2.. 1.. Launch

    Creative Cohort

    I’m happy to announce the launch of a new site: Creative Cohort started life as a LinkedIn Group. The group quickly attracted a lot of smart folks who sparked a lot of great discussions and it didn’t seem fair to keep those discussions confined to the closed walls of LinkedIn, so Creative Cohort was born.

    All the articles are written by creative directors with the goal of helping fellow CDs and aspiring CDs grow and learn more about the in and outs of the biz. Seven other creative directors with a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences have volunteered to contribute to the site (and I’m always looking for more contributors). Be sure to check it out and bookmark it or add it to your favorite feedreader. That name again? Creative Cohort.

    And thanks to Sebastian Lopez for supplying the cool illustration.

    Mind Your Own Business

    If you’re in KC on Thursday, February 26 (and you’re an early bird), come on down to the AIGA office where I’ll be one of three panelists on a Mind Your Own Business panel talking about “the money”. You can read all about it on

    Here are the details:
    Thursday, February 26, 2009
    7:30 – 8 am – Registration and breakfast
    8:00 – 9 am – Panel discussion, Q+A.
    Kansas City AIGA Office

    Just $20 for AIGA members and $30 for non-members.

    Hope to see you there!