Below is a review of the inspirational, idea-generating links I found in my travels of the Web in May 2007.

Chuck Green

P.S. The current bestseller in the store is the InDesign Ideabook (there are also versions for PageMaker and Quark). If you don't have a copy yet, check it out here >


1 > Design ideas > Focus on the menu

What caught my eye here was the undulating menu at the top of the screen. It expands with the number of drop-down selections-interesting effect.

Glaceau Vitamin Water...


2 > Design ideas > Vectorization

Is "vectorization" a word? If so, this page personifies it. I like the simple shapes and fresh colors. In the proper context, defining an illustration style and using it throughout is a smart, frugal way to design. You can represent any concept and keep it within the boundaries of the design.

The cover page...

A second level page...

If you're not up to speed on vectors...


3 > Illustration > Characterizing information

Designer Eddie Jabbour demonstrates how eliminating data can actually improve communication.

Eddie Jabbour NYC subway map...


At the store...
Creative Advertising, Ideas and Techniques from the World's Best Campaigns


4 > Illustration > Josh Cochran

A good writer cultivates an approach to examining a subject and develops a unique set of skills for expressing their ideas about it. This illustrator, to me, offers that same type of methodical, thoughtful approach.

Josh Cochran...


5 > Print Design > The Adobe CS3 packaging

As soon as I saw it I wondered who was behind the new package design of Adobe's CS3 software suite. I particularly like the contrast of the free-flowing colors and shapes with the crisp, mechanical-looking type. It is by Tolleson Design.

Tolleson Design...


6 > Reference tools > Mapping a Web site

This site offers a free tool for mapping all the pages of a Web site (up to 500) and for exporting the map/list in several different formats. Why map a Web? It is another way to see how it is structured and to capture the URL of each page. It is also plays a role in optimizing a site for search engines.

Start mapping with


7 > Print Design > The magazine model

The premiere issue of a new magazine or the first issue of a re-design is often where you find the best of the best layout ideas. It is typically a highly developed model that a publication designer and his or her team have been working on for a long stretch with a significant budget-the ultimate execution of a new look and feel. (The issues that follow are likely designed by an art director within the parameters established by that model.)

For example, here is the first issue of Blueprint Magazine. I found it to be an excellent source of many powerful, fresh layout ideas.

Page through the premier issue...

I never would have thought to choose this typeface for the nameplate, but itworks...


If you use InDesign, PageMaker, or QuarkXPress...


8 > Design ideas > Systematic illustration

Very interesting to see the systematic approach Frog Design has developed for illustrating its Web. One large anchor illustration with (in many cases) a few small insets. It is a good reminder of the principle that complex subjects beg simple presentations.

An example of the format...

Take a look around, there is much to see...


Find out what competitors are charging...


9 > Learning > Is @issue: on your reading list?

I just looked over the most recent issue of @issue:. It is a 40-page, brochure-quality journal published by the Corporate Design Foundation, sponsored by Sappi Fine Papers, and designed by Pentagram under the direction of Kit Hinrichs. As they describe it: "Through real-life case studies and tangible examples, @issue: examines design from a business point of view, and provides useful information on how companies can make design an integral part of their overall business strategy."

@issue: Journal...

Apply for a free subscription...


10 > Design ideas > Using the unexpected

This site features a totally unexpected visual metaphor: a rusty old refrigerator. It works.

Luke Stevens Design...


11 > Graphics Tech > SlideShowPro

Here is an inexpensive, elegant solution for organizing and displaying photo galleries and slide shows on your Web.



12 > Print Design > Hatch Show Print

If you find yourself in Nashville, Tennessee, stop by Hatch Show Print-a working letterpress shop that opened in the late 1800s. (Its around the corner from the Ryman Auditorium at 316 Broadway.) They are still cranking out (literally) advertising posters using wood and/or metal type and hand-carved illustrations. I've been and can tell you its worth a visit.

An excellent photographic tour by Marshall Sokoloff

A good background on the shop


13 > Design ideas > The submarine effect

Small matter, but I like the way the ruled line bisects the menu and the information block below it.

West Side Organics...


About the briefing

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless otherwise stated, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples.

Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected]

> Chuck