How bad has your year been so far? It seems like we've been talking about this way too much lately, but it really feels like 2009 is off to a horrible start when it comes to the economy — devastating for some companies, still hopeful for others — and no one can deny the sense of anxiety that it's likely to get much worse before it gets better.

How's that for an upbeat greeting? I will admit that we are all feeling the pressure. Okay, so you're not all in the publishing industry, but have you seen what's been going on? Mad magazine, founded in 1952, goes from being published monthly to quarterly. Electronic Gaming Monthly and Domino closed entirely. Maybe you don't read those magazines, but those are just three examples of the many that are — or were — in trouble. Tough times for us all.

But that's our publishing side of the biz. For more a relevant look at how the entertainment technology industry is dealing with the recession — I think we're officially allowed to call it that now — check out Ellen Lampert-Gréaux's in depth look this month at how manufacturers and designers are coping in “The Economic Challenge,” on page 30.

But then, there is always hope. Our own editorial director and associate publisher, David Johnson, mused that the astonishing US Airways landing on the Hudson River by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was a good omen for 2009, and I am inclined to embrace that attitude. Let's face it: no one has ever seen a survival story like that one, so why not see it as a sign of good things ahead?

And let's keep applauding the great work being done out there. In fact, you can check some of it out right here, particularly with our Second Annual Live Design Excellence Awards nominees, starting on page 18. Vote for your favorites online at livedesignonline.com/2009_excellenceawards.