The notebook of Jamie McCue. A collection of pieces from around the web that inspire my work and thinking.

Show Work Every Day

Most people – if you can imagine this – you can’t draw very well, but even if you can draw very well, suppose you come in, and you’ve got to put together animation or drawings and show it to a famous, world-class animator. Well, you don’t want to show something which is weak or poor. So you want to hold off until you get it to be right. And the trick is, actually, to stop that behavior. We show it every day when it’s incomplete. If everybody does it every day, then you get over the embarrassment. And when you get over the embarrassment, you’re more creative. And that’s – as I say – it’s not obvious to people, but starting down that path helped everything that we did. Show it in its incomplete form. There’s another advantage to doing that, and that is, when you’re done, you’re done. Now, that might seem silly, except that a lot of people – they work on something. And they want to hold it, and they want to show it, let’s say, two weeks later to get done – only, it’s never “right”. So they’re not done. So you need to go through this iterative process. And the trick was to do it more frequently to change the dynamics.

Ed Catmull: Pixar, Keep Your Crises Small

Data is useless without context

“Observing users in person provides you with data that surveys and behavioural data simply can’t, just as surveys and behavioural metrics provide you with data and reliability that qualitative work can’t. You need both— and you need to do both well— if you’re serious about understanding how people use your product.” – @mgallivan

Silent Season Letterpress


My first letterpress project for Silent Season.

The album is part of a new series called Elements [SSE01]

This special edition CD is constructed of thick black 18pt French Muscletone 100% recycled paper. The jacket is letterpressed with the Silent Season tree logo in silver metallic ink.

The CDs are hand assembled, stamped and numbered. Each package includes a Silent Season sticker sent with love from Canada.


For recent stuff i’ve been making check out my Dribbble. Currently it’s the easiest place to share snips of what new.


Design Advice

I still remember my first design critique while working at my first web design job roughly 10 years ago. At the time it was difficult and awkward listening to someone question my fancy visual decisions and superfluous additions of unnecessary extras. I’d sweat it out and go back to the drawing board. I quickly learned that design is not art and a design critique is not an art show. It was a hard lesson to learn but one of the most valuable of my career. Despite seeming negative, criticism often presents an opportunity to learn and grow as a designer.

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” – Aristoteles

Since then I’ve grown as a designer and have come to enjoy the design review process and I encourage regular check-ins with team mates (clients are also on the team). Your team will make your work better. With their help, you can do more than you could on your own. But for that to happen, you need to trust and rely on them for feedback.

Critique is about iteration and refinement. So long as you’re looking to improve on whatever you’re designing, you’ve got an opportunity for critique. The results will show in your work.

Some good design advice to remember…

“No one gets it right the first time. You have to explore. You have to prototype. You have to test. You have to see it live. You have to see someone using it. Only then do you get a refined design. No one gets it right the first time.” – Dan Saffer

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