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Lessons From A Vexillonaire: Creativity, Simplicity, And The Rigorously Constrained Life

The flag of Chicago is broadly considered one of the best city flags within the United States, maybe in the world. It’s definitely one in every of the preferred. You’ll discover the flag of Chicago printed on t-shirts and mugs, tattooed on native musicians, and flying along streets, over rivers, and above doorways throughout the town.

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The flag has three white bars and two blue stripes. The white areas symbolize the three essential sides of town: North, West, and South. The blue stripes stand for the north and south branches of the Chicago River flowing into Lake Michigan. In the center of the flag, there are 4 pink stars symbolizing historic occasions in the town like the good Chicago Fire.

Vexillology is the scientific study of flags. The flag of Chicago acquired stellar 9.03 out of 10 score from the North American Vexillological Association and was ranked 2nd out of a hundred and fifty city flags by flag experts known as vexillologists. (1: Go and brush your shoulders off, Chicagoans.)

Let’s talk about why good flag design can educate us an important lesson about life.

The American flag and the flag of Chicago fly in entrance of a building in downtown Chicago.

Easy methods to Design a fantastic Flag

“A 3×5 foot flag on a pole one hundred ft away seems to be about the same dimension as a 1×1.5 inch rectangle seen about 15 inches out of your eye. Try drawing your flag on a rectangle that’s 1×1.5 inches. You will be stunned at how compelling and easy the design can be if you hold your self to that limitation.”
-Ted Kaye, vexillonaire (2: A vexillonaire is a very passionate breed of vexillologist who actively goes out into the world and lobbies for better flag design. Go get ’em, vexies.)

In case you needed to design the very best flag potential, then you’d need to suppose creatively. Your first thought could be give your self as many prospects as possible. “Give me a blank slate. I need tons of colours and an enormous poster board to design this on. I want house to be artistic and let my imagination run wild.”

What you actually want, however, is a 1×1.5 inch piece of paper. Inserting this straightforward constraint on yourself actually makes your design higher.

You see, flag designs that usually look good on paper fail in the real world. A design that looks good within the pages of a report is often complicated and unrecognizable when it’s flapping in the breeze one hundred feet away.

What makes the flag of Chicago so compelling is its simplicity. In the event you had been to attract the flag of Chicago on a 1×1.5 inch piece of paper, it could still seem like an excellent design. The same precept could be utilized to our on a regular basis lives. We frequently assume that we’d like extra sources when a carefully constructed constraint would ship better outcomes.

The Carefully Constrained Life

The ability of nicely-chosen limitations extends far beyond flag design. Imposing easy constraints in our personal lives can lead to properly-designed and more practical lives as nicely.

Listed here are just a few examples from my very own expertise:

As an entrepreneur, I saved up $10,000 before I started my first business. This cash was my constraint. I needed to learn to create products, market my enterprise, and reside off of that money until I turned profitable. This constraint compelled me to start an online enterprise, scale back overhead, and–after a number of years of different projects–construct this webpage.

As a traveler, I pack ultralight and often journey for two weeks with only a vintage alabama shirts 19-liter backpack. This tiny bag is my constraint. It still amazes me how little I really want when I’m on the street. Furthermore, my small backpack required me to search out probably the most useful and efficient gadgets for my wants. It did not simply make my travel lighter, it made my travel better.

As a author, I set a publishing schedule and this deadline is my constraint. Has it always gone easily? No manner. Sometimes I don’t feel like displaying up, however I still do. And since I have religiously saved this publishing schedule, I’ve some very talked-about articles to indicate for it. Genius solely reveals itself when you show up enough times to get the common ideas out of the way.

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