Effort Toward Quality (Alexandria #036)

Adam Sadowski
3 min readDec 30, 2021


The best content related to design, psychology, and productivity. Sent sporadically.


Women in Type — Rediscovering Women’s Contribution to Type Historywww.women-in-type.com

“Type-manufacturers employed women as part of departments that were variously known as ‘drawing studios’, ‘type drawing offices’, or ‘departments of typographic development’. These women worked daily on developing and producing typefaces that were, eventually, almost always attributed to male designers. They merit attention as key contributors to the design process of many renowned typefaces that emerged throughout the twentieth century.

Women in Type is a research project highlighting the work of these women. It focuses on their roles and responsibilities between 1910 and 1990 within two major British companies: the Monotype Corporation and Linotype Limited (formerly Linotype-Paul Ltd and Linotype-Hell Ltd).”

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A New Magazine Explores How to Design for the Richness of Black Culture

“Would you ever have a science article next to a fashion spread next to a conversation with Roxane Gay? No, you wouldn’t,” says Eddie Opara, a partner at Pentagram, when discussing his and Emily Oberman‘s design teams’ latest collaboration: the first issue of Citizen, an independent magazine covering the richness of Black culture and experience.

Graphic Designer Bráulio Amado on Throwing What You’ve Learned Out the Window


“If you want to do something, don’t wait for someone to ask you to do it. Get off your phone and meet people. Get a full-time job you don’t hate, do your own art on the side, save money, and when you have enough saved invest it into creating something you like and believe in. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t. I have no idea what I’m doing either.”

How to Perform Well Under Pressure


“To perform well under pressure, you need several elements in place: an ability to distance yourself from destructive thoughts and self-talk; a way to cope with overwhelming feelings; the mental flexibility to respond in the most effective way; and, finally, to know what matters to you. Here are five steps to take to build this approach to performing well under pressure.”

Effort Toward Quality


“The people who work at a Lexus plant aren’t more tired at the end of the day than those that make the Cadillac Escalade. It’s not about effort. The same is true for the Dabbawalla who never misses a delivery. In fact, focusing on effort (and the effort of your team) is almost guaranteed to ensure that your quality problem will persist. Persistent quality problems are a systemic issue, and if you’re not working on your system, you’re not going to improve it. “How do we do this work?” is a much better question than, “who isn’t trying hard enough?”

How to Become High-Potential

“Tell me about yourself…” “What’s your story?” A lot of ink has been spilled over how to answer these questions. Many people now have a memorized and — let’s be honest — boring LinkedIn answer. But listing impressive facts about yourself is not the same as telling a story. Knowing how to tell a story separates people who get what they’re “qualified for” from those who soar into opportunities out of their league.

Accelerated Expertise


“Accelerated Expertise is about ‘taking the concept of skill development to the limit’. This is not a book about pure theory; nor is this a book about deliberate practice in well-developed skill domains. No: this is a book that pushes the limits of two lesser-known learning theories, and in so doing have created successful accelerated training programs in messy, real-world military and industrial contexts.”

How to Practice Paying Attention


“If, like me, your attention habits don’t feel reflective of your values, it’s time to practice redirecting your attention. When we think differently about attention — what it means about us, how we can steer it in support of our values — we can do much more with it. Here are five ways to practice paying attention and ensure your attention reflects your values.”