Over the weekend I was privy to the best work of college students from all over the country. For starters, I was honored to be a part of AIGA's annual student portfolio review here in Durham. I saw experimentation. I saw conceptual thinking and good execution. I saw (and heard) passion. It was really refreshing and promising. What I missed were the details. The little things. Some "junk" in the edges of an image. A conspicuous absence of business cards. And <gasp> questionable kerning.

Please don't get me wrong. As I mentioned, the work was really good. But I got the sense the students weren't being pushed to address the little things in order to make their work great.

Later on, I was just plain giddy to have the time to take in some of this year's amazing NCAA men's basketball tournament (the women's tournament has been full of drama as well).

With about 1 minute left in an Elite 8 matchup, the gritty Mountaineers of West Virginia led the storied Kentucky Wildcats by 7 points. At this point in the game, Kentucky had already missed 13 free throw attempts. 7 points turned out to be the final margin of victory for the 'neers.

In another matchup with a trip to the Final Four on the line, Michigan State's Raymar Morgan hit a single free throw with less than 2 seconds left to hold off a determined Tennessee team.

My take away? Kerning (and any other detail) is like shooting free throws.

+ It's totally up to you + People expect you to be proficient + You have to practice in order to be proficient + It's not glamorous + It's often the difference between winning and losing

So whether we're starting our fifth year of eligibility, our 20th year as a creative director or our first week as newly minted design professional, let's pay attention to the details, FTW.