LearnThe Carsonified Blackboard


Ryan Carson
writes on January 22, 2008

I think humans have an real need for creativity – we must have space to express our thoughts without being worried about whether they’re perfectly formed or precisely measured.

I thought a great way to encourage that creativity and open discussion would be to paint one of our walls with blackboard paint and turn it into a massive chalkboard, and BAM, the Carsonified Blackboard was born.

Ryan talking in front of the Carsonified Blackboard

The best thing about a chalkboard is that it’s positively analogue. It’s dusty. It’s messy. It’s beautiful. You can’t capture it and put it on Google Docs – I love that.

Now that we’ve been in the office for a couple weeks (videos coming soon – don’t worry), we’ve used the board for several meetings, brainstorms and just screwing around – and it’s worked really well. I’m hoping that it gets used more for fun stuff than meeting stuff, but only time will tell.

Lisa and Gill rocking Guitar Hero and smiling

How do you guys keep creativity fresh in your life?


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0 Responses to “The Carsonified Blackboard”

  1. your web site is broken all over the place. wtf

  2. I am a whiteboard guy myself.

    When I see blackboards it goes through me, I always think of the scene from Jaws where that guy scrapes his nails down the blackboard. *shudder*

    Agree totally with the theory though.

  3. Nice idea. I bought a huge whiteboard the other day (still in packaging) – now you’ve got me thinking…

  4. I’m more of a Wii Bowling nut myself. But I just can’t seem to hold on to that Pro Status on a regular basis!

    At my old company, the best ideas always came around to us during an all day Beer-fest, Steaks at one of our Canadian Luxury Retreats that we so often used for Brainstorming ideas.

  5. Recently instead of using the normal straight lines, shape tools and anchor points on illustrator I have favoured the pencil tool to write paths. It has been really liberating, I know it is still digital production but I basically use a document as a digital whiteboard. Some sketches work, others don’t and that is just fine. I enjoy the scrapiness of it and DigiKev has taken a new dimension as a result (the only remnence of previous design being my twitter feed!). Nice work Ryan, keep hitting us with your creative outlets they are truly inspiring.

  6. Holden McGroin on January 23, 2008 at 12:38 pm said:

    Ryan, your a genius!

    blackboards, who would have thought!?

  7. Blackboards are cool but I hate it when they squeak.

  8. Great idea, Ryan. And for the whiteboard v. blackboard argument, I find writing/sketching on a blackboard much more… ‘creative’ than a whiteboard. Perhaps its the whole feeling of crumbling chalk to etch out my ideas. Or maybe I’m just loopy.

  9. Matt – You won’t regret it. It’s a ton of fun and actually cheaper than a big whiteboard.

    Andy – Yes, good ol’ Guitar Hero. It’s a fricken blast to play in the office 🙂

  10. Ah, Guitar Hero.

    The game that my wife pesters me to play… mainly ‘cos she kicks my arse at it.

    It also helps maintain office creativity. There’s nothing like some rock, to motivate the troops.

    I’m a massive fan of the whiteboard as a brainstorming tool, once I get myself out of my current one-man-band stage a whiteboard’ll be the first office purchase.

    There’s something about the smell of the pens and scrawling ideas the size of your upper body that just makes me feel good.

  11. We have done something similar with a large whiteboard. It has weekly planning stuff but also quotes etc. When we move to our new studio I think we’ll be doing the same as you…

  12. I’m more of a whiteboard guy myself. To each their own.

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