Now he's talking about combined print and digital workflow and adaptive design. Does this mean there is hope for the legacy publishing groups?
Well, it's better than last year's story.
More on this on my blog: http://rogerblack.com/blog/post/adaptive_design_its_all_about_to_happen
“Airlines Are Retrenching, and Alternatives Are Slim: The coming year will be a time of reckoning in business travel, as airlines reduce service at many airports and prospects fade for practical alternatives to flying, including the long-term promises of high-speed rail.”
Like the media business, the airlines are stuck in a broken model and unable/unwilling to change. A little creative destruction is inevitable. Clean start-ups like Virgin America are the future. (Used to be hopeful about JetBlue, but it grew too fast.) Following Southwest’s lead and abandoning the hug-and-spoke system devised by American’s Bob Crandall, Virgin keeps costs low, employes relatively happy, and service really pleasant. For example, the flight attendants don’t spend the boarding time chatting in the galley, they actually help passengers get seated so the plane can leave. And it helps that the planes are all new and interiors have cool lighting and don’t feel like a holding pens.
What we need is a new model:
• Direct flights instead of hub-and-spoke
• Staff incentives and transparent management that opens information channels and builds morale
• Pricing plan that favors regular customers instead of the least frequent
• Baggage service that is reliable and fast, so you don’t want to carry on your luggage
• The end of the TSA nonsense http://overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/24/9676807-frightening-frosting-tsa-confiscates-cupcake
As for high-speed trains, they may work in high-density areas like Germany, where populations have real centers served by networks of rapid transit that let passengers get to and from train stations easily and quickly. Compare this to the U.S., where populations are diffuse and the cities far between. Once you factor in the time to and from the depot, driving your car for, say, 200 miles, on your own schedule always seems like a better, cheaper option than a train.
For example, Amtrak takes four hours and 45 minutes from San Antonio to Houston, about 200 miles. (If you wanted to go tomorrow, it would be $50.) Deutsche Bahn’s ICE can do Hannover-Berlin, about the same distance, in 100 minutes. (Tomorrow's fare: €52.)
And we all love trains, and want to bring back the glory days of the Sunset Limted. And say that Amtrak got the old Southern Pacific main line, which is pretty straight and flat on this route, avoiding the cost new right-of-way ($12 million a mile in urban areas), and they put in medium-speed Acela service on the route, and did it in two hours and a half. How many passengers/day would they get, and what would they need to charge for the roadbed upgrade, trains, maintenance, depreciation, operations, and a little profit? Hard to imagine that they could bring it in for less than $150, the cost of an airplane ticket, one way, tomorrow.
And passengers from, say, Churchill Estates on the north side of San Antonio on their way Tanglewilde on the west side of Houston would not save much time taking the train, even if Amtrak was running at DB speeds, and even if they had friends take them to and pick them up at the stations. The problem is that few us travel from city-center to city-center. And let’s not even talk about the San Antonio or Houston bus system, which would take at least hour, with no traffic.
So trains are not the answer here. But somebody could fix the airline business.
"It’s possible that the ecosystems, like the railroad trusts of the 19th century, will come in and idiots will shoot all the buffalo, and the frontier will be closed. But this is a virtual frontier. Instead of fearing Google and Apple and Amazon, we can use them."
Completing the assignment in March for the redesign of the Tatler magazines in Asia, Roger Black is turning to work with the Font Bureau, on a quiet startup, and on a book, Laying It Out, promised for this decade.
With magazines like Rolling Stone, for newspapers like The New York Times and web sites like Bloomberg.com, Roger Black has been developing ways to communicate content more effectively.His teams have redesigned Reader's Digest, Esquire, The Nation (Bangkok) and the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, to name a few.
- St. Thomas Choir SchoolSoprano, 1958 - 1962
- Deerfield Academy1963 - 1966
- University of ChicagoPolitical science, 1966 - 1970
- Roger Black Studiomedia designer, 2005 - present
- Font BureauPartner, 1989 - present
- EdipresseGroup Creative Director, 2013 - 2014
- Danilo BlackPartner, 1989 - 2013
- Rolling StoneArt Director, 1976 - 1979
- New YorkDesign Director, 1979 - 1981
- The New York TimesDirector, Edit. Art, 1984 - 1985
- NewsweekArt Director, 1985 - 1987
- Interactive BureauPresident, 1995 - 1999
- The New York TimesArt Director, Magazine, 1982 - 1983
- The New York TimesSenior Art Director, 1983 - 1984
- LAArt Director, 1972 - 1972
- Roger Black, Inc.media designer, 1973 - 1999