It’s Friday! (And We’re Not Thankful)
This week on Overtime, Meg is shocked by the new TGI Fridays’ rebrand, and we try to figure out why the heck they dropped the TGI?!
Then, take a trip down memory lane as we look back at Milton Glaser’s iconic graphic design career (and his mother’s incredible spaghetti recipe). Plus, Interior and Lifestyle Designer Ashley Ochiagha stops by to chat about personal style, space design, and support systems!
Thanks to Basecamp for sponsoring this episode! Basecamp is the all-in-one-place to keep all of your stuff and run your design company the calm way.
Links mentioned in this episode
- TGI Fridays’ brand redesign
- Milton Glaser’s Very Special Family Spaghetti Recipe
- Full Time You
Meg: Well howdy there, partner! I’m your beautiful, devastatingly silly host Meg “She Likes Black Beans, She Likes Pinto Beans, She Likes Re-fried Beans, She Likes Navy Beans, She Likes Kidney Beans, She Likes Big Giant White Beans, She Likes Little Teeny Tiny Beans, She Likes Bongo Beans, She Likes Big Turtle Beans, She Likes Beans” Lewis! Ahh, yes. Here we go. I’m about to say the thing I always say: this is Dribbble’s weekly podcast where I give you the design news you want to hear, well, actually, probably not this week, to be honest. Plus, I’m going to give you the tips you need to create your very best work. In this episode, I cover a TGI Fridays conspiracy. It’s an international rebrand scandal, and I’m moving to graphic design hell because I finally learned about Milton Glaser’s iconic career and get inspired by his mother’s spaghetti recipe. And interior and lifestyle designer Ashley Ochiagha boops on in to talk about personal style, space design, and support systems.
So, the last few weeks, [there] have been a lot of really important news topics happening, especially in design news, also all over the world. And my job here is to report on the news, so I always like to do what I’m supposed to do and report on the news. And while I was perusing all of my news sources that I check every week to decide what stories I want to talk about this week, I stopped in my tracks because I found a brand redesign for a brand that is one of the most iconic brands of my life, TGI Fridays. And yes, there are more important things happening in the world. But this is my podcast and I get to choose what’s on here.
So, I want to talk about this TGI Fridays brand redesign, and I may have stumbled into some kind of conspiracy happening because the brand redesign of TGI Fridays UK is new, whereas the brand of TGI Fridays US is not new. And what gets even weirder and more interesting is that what happened with TGI Fridays UK is shocking news. They dropped the “TGI” in “TGI Fridays.” It’s just “Fridays.” When you go on to TGIFridays.co.uk, they haven’t changed the URL, the logo just says “Fridays,” and I believe that the tab at the top says, “Friday’s Restaurant.” Oh my gosh. So, something is happening in the UK where they’re not thankful anymore that it’s Friday. It’s just Fridays. I don’t know what that means. I am probably overthinking it. Maybe the US will change soon. So, if you go to TGIFridays.com, US version, you see the classic TGI Fridays logo that they’ve had for a few years now. It says TGI Fridays, black sans serif font, there’s like a red stripy diagonal situation happening around the border. It really screams “Thank god, it’s Friday!” It really lets you know that when you’re going into their restaurant, you’re going feel that sort of Friday, “how exciting” vibe. You know, you’ve been to one, you know what it feels like; very thrilling.
But when you go to TGIFridays.co.uk, the new logo appears. It just says Fridays, and it has this weirdly ornate border with two little bumps on it. So just imagine a rectangle that’s kind of scalloped inwards on the corner, and then in the middle between the “D” and the “A” in “Fridays” are two nubs. You know, I love a couple of nubs. So, I’m really into this logo, but I really want to know what happened to the “TGI.” I feel like I’m already talking about this too long. I don’t think anybody loves TGI Fridays as much as I do. But again, it’s my podcast. Hahaha start your own podcast. You could talk about whatever you want there.
Anyway, I think this is very fascinating. One of the older, I don’t know what the original TGI Fridays logo is, but one of the older logos used to have this ornate border and I believe if you just Google “TGI Fridays,” you’ll see that original-ish logo with the ornate border. So, it seems like they’re trying to bring that back with this new one. But it’s just black and white. There are no red and white stripes involved in the logo itself. But they have absolutely incorporated it into the brand system because if you go to TGIFridays.co.uk, you will understand what I mean. It’s very black and white and then you get those bold red and white stripes. Very exhilarating to me. Again, like every single brand redesign review that I do, I love part of it, I don’t love other parts of it, I just really have more questions than answers about what’s happening in the UK right now. Why are they not thankful that it’s Friday? They’re just kind of stating a fact by saying “Fridays. Welcome to Fridays. Do you like Fridays? This is Fridays.” Rather than “Thank God! Thank God, it’s Friday.” That really is an optimistic outlook on life and Fridays, just really, it’s stating a neutral point, and that neutral point is suspicious to me.
Okay, it’s time to make a slightly embarrassing confession for you, and that is that I had a kind of non-traditional design education in the fact that I didn’t really get a bachelor’s degree in graphic design of any kind. I never took a design history class. No one ever taught me who the titans of graphic design are. So, I’ve heard a lot of these names, and have never really taken the time to learn who they are, which is probably not the best admission. But now that we’re reassessing history and who defines rules and all of that, I feel okay, because now I’m going to start relearning history and make sure that I relearn all sides of history. But anyway, that’s beside the point. What the point is today is Milton Glaser passed away, which I’m sure you knew, because it was really big, big, big news in the design industry and every single news outlet that I combed through to figure out what stories I wanted to cover this week were including tributes to Milton Glaser’s work and career and sharing their favorite pieces and memorable moments from this legend’s huge, massive, very important career.
And so, I was like, “Oh shoot, I don’t know who that is.” So, I had to (laughs), I had to look it up. I don’t want to laugh because he did pass away which is very, very sad. So, I did want to look it up. So, I just want to kind of let you know what I found in case you’re like me and you also didn’t really know who he was. I had heard of his name many times. Many, many times. I knew about the “I heart New York” thing. I knew that was the thing. So, I looked him up and was like, “Oh, wow, yes, very important person.” So, Milton Glaser designed, of course, the “I Love New York” logo. He also did that beautiful, psychedelic Bob Dylan poster that we’ve all seen, like just saying that you probably could picture it. And then he also did the logos for DC Comics, what? Milton co-founded a studio called Pushpin Studios, and I didn’t know this, Milton, co-founded New York Magazine. What? A designer? Wow.
So, Milton’s career was absolutely huge, and he even got a National Medal of the arts from Obama in 2009. That’s a big deal. And so, I’ve really become kind of obsessed with learning about this career that I probably should have learned about a long time ago. That’s my bad, I will admit to that. Oopsy daisy. But I’m just kind of infatuated with what’s going on here, and especially with all of these publications posting their favorite stories and work, and just taking a look back on this amazing career that Milton Glaser has had, and I’ve really just been deep diving into all of this. And I don’t know if this should be my favorite, but my absolute favorite, honestly, thing that anyone has posted yet is a piece from AIGA Eye on Design, which I often talk about pieces from because I think they’re generally quite thoughtful and, you know, I do love them, but they had a piece called “That’s Amore! Milton Glaser’s Very Special Family Spaghetti Recipe, a Gift Straight from the Design Legend’s Recipe Book.”
And I saw this one and was like, “Okay, this is great.” So, I read through this article that AIGA Eye on Design posted shortly after Milton’s passing, where they were just kind of looking back on their work with Milton over the years, I think it was last year they interviewed him for their magazine. And in that interview, he revealed his family recipe for spaghetti that is very close to his heart, that his mother used to feed him when he was a kid and growing up, oh my gosh. And Milton says quote, “If I asked my mother for spaghetti, this is what I would get. She would cook it on a conventional stove in our little three-room apartment in the Bronx. It didn’t require sophisticated instruments and appliances. You could easily make it at any time because you usually had all the ingredients around you,” which sounds great for my lifestyle. So, I did what humans with eyeballs do best and I read the recipe.
Okay, so let me break it down for you because Milton Glaser, clearly an important human, has this spaghetti recipe that is just epic and legendary, because you take a pound package of boxed Mueller’s Spaghetti, or any, I don’t know, Milton says Mueller’s, so we’ll go with Mueller’s spaghetti. And then, a whole half bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup. This is brand specific, okay, you know I love brands (TGI Fridays). Then, you blob in a half-pound of Velveeta cheese. Whoo, creamy, cheesy. And then, last but not least, a half-pound of chicken fat. And let me just tell you that I was a vegetarian for nine years of my life and I’m no longer a vegetarian as of a couple years ago. So, I don’t know, because most of my adult life I didn’t eat meat, I don’t know very much about meat, so I actually have no idea what chicken fat looks like. Can you go to the store and just say, “I’ll have a half a pound of just the fat?” I don’t know. What does it look like? Does it just look like a blob? Is it soft to the touch? Is it hard? I’m not sure. Actually, looking at the article from AIGA Eye on Design, there is an image of an object that looks kind of like a slice of Focaccia with Asiago cheese on top. That might be the chicken fat? Or maybe that’s just a slice of Focaccia, which is not mentioned in this recipe, so I’m confused. But I’m going to assume that a half a pound of chicken fat looks very similar to a slice of bread with some Asiago sprinkled on top of it.
Okay, so basically Milton says first, put a one pound package of Mueller’s spaghetti in a large pot of rapidly boiling water, and then allow that to cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until most of the water has been evaporated, so it’s kind of like you’re cooking rice. I have never. Wow. Okay, and then you add a half a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup and a half-pound of Velveeta cheese. I’m following. Okay, so the spaghetti absorbs all the water and then you add all that, and then Milton says continue cooking until all the contents have amalgamated. And then you allow it to cool and de-mold from the pot. It’s molded to the pot at this point because it’s all art. Wow. Okay, and then you divide into one-inch slices and fry in the chicken fat. So, it’s going to be crispy. Okay, this is – you got to try it. Okay, so you have the recipe because I just read it to you, but also go check out the recipe on AIGA Eye on Design, and possibly, if you read their magazine, which is called Eye on Design magazine, the gossip issue is where Milton’s giving this interview is from last year and that recipe is also in that issue. So, everybody learn history. Don’t be like me. Learn your history. Know why you make the design decisions you make and who’s the one that created the rules that you’ve been following throughout your career. Do not be like me and be oblivious to history. So, I’m going to get back and keep reading these articles and I’m going to make myself some crunchy spaghetti. Mmmmm.
Meg: As you know, personal style and self-discovery are two topics that I love talking about, and I’m constantly searching for other designers who speak about these things so I can take a little peek into someone else’s perspective. And we’re in luck because today, interior and lifestyle designer Ashley Ochiagha is here with us to talk about all things personal style, interior design, lifestyle design, and her brand Fancy Meeting You Here. It’s Ashley Ochiagha. Hey Ashley, how are you?
Ashley: I’m good. How are you doing, Meg?
Meg: I’m doing okay. I just can’t stop asking people that question. I feel like I’m setting everybody up for sort of a “psych!” moment, but you’re doing good considering the world is falling apart.
Ashley: All things considered, I think that’s almost like the “in silent,” as far as how it’s articulated is that all things considered, things are good.
Meg: That’s right. That’s a really good point. So you are, by trade, you are a space and lifestyle designer. You also have a brand called Fancy Meeting You Here, which is wonderful because you’ve created an environment which helps people to basically explore themselves and grow both visually, but also as humans, which are all things that I love and definitely want to talk to you about. So, quickly, tell us about your journey with design and really where you’re at right now.
Ashley: Absolutely. So, I will do kind of the very quick “What happened to get me to where I am.” I have always been drawn to interior design, and as a kid, I was always drawn to going to the hardware store and picking out paint swatches and sketching my room layouts, and really leaning into that. But I also always thought about fashion design. And so, I just constantly debated like, is one more practical than the other? Being that I’m a first generation American, I definitely feel like a common thing you’ll see is kids will either do engineering, healthcare or law. And so, for me to say I wanted to do design, I basically was extra determined to succeed because so many people were doubting me or thinking like, “That’s wild. Why would you do that?” So, yeah, here we are now. I graduated back in May 2015, from the [University of Minnesota] College of Design here in Minnesota. And I’ve been working in the industry as a commercial interior designer with my NCIDQ certification and doing my whole side business thing as well. So, it’s been really a fun journey. And the determination I think, just kept pushing me to say I am going to prove you wrong.
Meg: That’s so great. I feel like humans go one of two ways whenever they’re faced against adversity or people are pushing against what they want to do and who they want to be. It’s either you let the fear prevent you from moving, or you let the fear drive you into doing and saying like, “I gotta prove this.” So, I’m glad, we are all very thankful that you did the latter.
Ashley: Right, yes, me too. Thank you!
Meg: So, as you have moved through your career as an interior designer, primarily, I’m definitely noticing that you’re branching into other areas, which I’m very excited about. So, have you found that fitting into one specific label or sort of specializing or niching down into a thing has held you back? Or has it helped you thrive?
Ashley: I love this question, because I think that it’s a balance of both. I think that this journey, especially with FMYH and bringing it to life, it’s like [the] fear of wanting to not come off as like I’m dabbling too far into too many things, because then it’s like, “Well, what’s this girl about? What does she actually do?” But on the flip side, I’ve been told that people expect you to have one expertise and they’re not going to trust you if you have others. But to me, I just truly believe space and lifestyle really play off of each other and one impacts the other. So, I’m looking at that intersection and how you can do the work on the inside, and also how the space outside of you supports that and vice versa.
Meg: Fascinating, I completely agree. So, you definitely, when it comes to wardrobe, interior design and all of that, especially with your brand design, you definitely have a strong personal style, which I love. And how would you say that for you, and also for other people, how is having a strong personal style beneficial?
Ashley: Oh, it’s great because I think that it’s just a part of your identity, and I think the biggest thing for me is about self-expression. And growing up, I remember with one of my best friends growing up, we would sit down every summer and be like, “Okay, we’re planning out our individual styles for this school year,” and almost reinventing and reinventing, and I think for us, it was two black girls that were like, “We want to go to Hot Topic and buy band tees, but we’re scared because people are going to mock us.” And this is before you even saw like, it was just a lot of like, assumptions of what certain people should wear. So, I think that from an early age, I knew that clothing in particular, and even my space of my room design really helped me lean into myself. And the more you do that, and the more you can feel confident in your own skin, the more you can better just go out there and do it and let people see you for who you are. And I think that’s the magic these days as everyone rushes into wanting to start their own thing. It’s like, don’t emulate who someone else is, really deepen into figuring out who you are and what your unique message is.
Meg: Oh my gosh, absolutely. And I think you’re a really great living embodiment of that. And I think the magic to of being yourself very originally and outwardly is that, hopefully I mean, you’re definitely going to inspire other people to be like you, but I would hope that it also really inspires people to see being yourself, you know, a person that’s unlike anybody they’ve ever seen, and that would hopefully then inspire them to do the same for them, which I think is really important work that you’re doing.
Ashley: Yeah, I totally agree, and that’s my hope. And I love one of the questions that you sent over just thinking about, like, when people are developing personal style, should it be an individual journey? Or should it be more of a group journey? And I think that that balance point is, again, having friends who you can experiment with, and who can push you and encourage you and say, “Yeah, dude, do that. You can do that,” or whatever it is, I think that that’s good. And on the flip side, you don’t want to be so tight into that group, that if you deviate from what that group deems acceptable that you feel uncomfortable, so you retract back. So, I think it’s all about just mixing your friend group up too so that you have exposure to different people, and just different inspiration.
Meg : Yeah, that’s a very good point about keeping communities and groups of friends because, I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly struggled throughout my to find those right people that made me feel supported and encouraged, no matter who I wanted to be. And I know that that’s such a crucial first step is finding one person, two people, a small group of friends, or just a community in any way that makes you feel safe enough to explore who you are and what you want that to look like. It’s so important.
Ashley: Yeah, absolutely.
Meg: Yeah. So, whenever you’re helping other people to feel unstuck, or discover who they are, finding a personal style for them in some way, have you found that there’s a step by step plan of any kind that works for everyone? Or do you feel like you have to tailor it to each individual person?
Ashley: You know, as with everything, there’s that sweet spot balance. I sound like a broken record, but I just believe that. I like to start with a self-discovery sort of session/inventory, and that’s really to just lay everything out, get all of the feelings that you’re holding inside, whether they’re ones you’ve never shared with anyone or just the things that are on the top of your mind and getting those out on the table, and then unpacking it further and further and further and trying to figure out like, where are the thorns in people’s sides, and how do we extract those, and even figure out why they’re there to help flip assumptions, because I think that that’s all about the idea of helping to fix self-esteem. And by no means am I an expert in that side of it, but what I like to do is apply design thinking to the experience of your lifestyle design and creating the life you want. So, one common question is often like, “When you were younger, what did you want to be? What did you gravitate towards and what brought you joy? And how do you find that core human? Is it still there? Or has it evolved? And how do you tap back into it?”
Meg: Oh, my gosh, absolutely. You just hit right on some of the things that I always point to. I’m always just trying to get people to assess what’s always been true about themselves since they were a kid, because that’s most likely going to remain true for you as you get older too. And those are the things that have stayed within you no matter what has changed around you, which I think is really impactful. But we’re taught to suppress a lot of those things, because those are the things that make us different. It’s such a bummer.
Ashley: Yeah, it is. It truly is, because I significantly believe that the individual, that’s your magic, and so many people are taught that, “Oh, nope, I can’t put that out there.” And then they do themselves a disservice, and they end up working for somebody else, and adapting to what that person wants. And I just, I don’t know, the more you lean into yourself; you have this beautiful mix of chemistry that makes you you, and the life experiences as well, so yeah, I think the biggest trick has just been leaning into that. And I’ve noticed that the more I lean into it, the more people are like, “Oh, what’s she doing over there? I’m interested in this project, how can I get involved?” versus when I’m really tuned into like, “How do I cater to this audience and get them to like me?” You know, that’s when I don’t see the engagement or I don’t see the interest, so it’s really interesting.
Meg: That is fascinating, and I’ve also found that to be very true. Well, thank you so much, Ashley, for being here. Where can everybody find you on the internet?
Ashley: Yes, well, you can find me at FMYH.co. That stands for Fancy Meeting You Here. That’s probably the best hub to just find a little bit of everything in my world. And you can see everything from the FMYH club schedule for the rest of 2020 where we do intersectional conversations virtually, to my blog, to my creative services, and it’s always evolving, just like me, but it’s a good place to find me. Otherwise, you know, the gram is another good spot: @fancy___ashley, three underscores in between.
Meg: Alright, thank you, Ashley!
Ashley: Thank you so much, it was great to talk to you Meg!
Meg: That’s it for this week’s episode of Dribbble Overtime. If you liked this conversation about personal style, Ashley actually has a video chat group session happening July 15, and it’s all about space and lifestyle. I RSVP’d immediately so I’ll see you there. Go to FMYH.co to RSVP yourself. I, me, Meg Lewis, also have an online class on finding your personal style and the registration is open now. The class is four weeks, it starts next Monday, it’s led by me, and actually, this one, this class only is 40% off this time because I know how much everyone, myself included, is struggling during this pandemic. I also have scholarships if you want to take the class but just can’t justify the price. I totally understand. So, go to fulltimeyou.co to learn more. And this episode has been great, one of my top fav’s personally. Thank you for letting me giggle about TGI Fridays, I mean Fridays, excuse me, Milton Glaser’s crunchy spaghetti, and let’s not forget the actual useful and insightful conversation that I had with Ashley. Okay, bye buddy. Hear me next week!