Thanks for subscribing! Below is a review of the inspirational, idea-generating links I found in my travels of the Web in August 2007.
P.S. The current ideabook.com bestseller is the InDesign Ideabook (with versions for PageMaker and Quark). If you don't have a copy yet, check it out here >
For InDesign > http://www.ideabook.com/indesign_templates.html
For PageMaker > http://www.ideabook.com/pagemaker_templates.html
For QuarkXPress > http://www.ideabook.com/quarkxpress_templates.html
1 > Illustration > Gina Triplett and Matt Curtius
Collaboration is no easy thing--especially for designers. I admire the way Gina Triplett and Matt Curtius combine their talents to produce such unique images.
A menu of their work...
2 > Illustration > Illustrators: Lee Hasler, Eyeport
I doubt my junior high mechanical drawing teacher ever even dreamed about this type of isometric drawing. The reason it appeals so much to me, I think, is that it expresses the asymmetrical in a structured form. That make sense? In any case, Lee Hasler (who spends at least some of his time parading around town on a tractor) produces some great work.
One of Hasler's illustrations (isolated)...
The Eyeport site with Hasler's portfolio (the numbered row at the top)...
3 > Web Design > Design ideas: A fluid, peaceful look and feel
Play with the width and depth of your browser window on this the home of Christian author Philip Yancey. It is the rare case (at least in my experience) when adjusting images and text to the width and depth of the reader's browser window seems to work. If you've read any of Yancey's books I think you will agree the designer has captured the spirit of his work.
In the Ideabook Design Store: Design-It-Yourself: Graphic Workshop...
4 > Marketing PR > Show versus tell
I think most advertising experts would agree that "showing" is generally more effective than "telling". By that I mean showing the point you are trying to make is, in most cases, preferable to describing it with words. That said, great design rarely survives a poorly crafted message. John Kuraoka seems to be one of those workhorse writers who knows how its done AND is willing to share that insight with others.
John Kuraoka's copywriting insights...
His independent guide to free and cheap small business advertising and marketing...
5 > Illustration > Alberto Cerriteņo
Labeling this guy an illustrator doesn't do him justice. He is a hell of a designer as well. If that weren't enough, he is also a master of the type of ornate organic filigree stuff you see popping up all over. I like the deep, leathery feel of some of his designs and illustrations. And the fact that he turns right around, does a head fake, and creates something bright and simple.
Cerriteņo's illustration portfolio...
His design portfolio...
And his blog...
6 > Learning > Soaking up what you see
I suspect that one reason, perhaps the main reason, you are here is because you are interested in seeing what other people are doing. One significant part of being a designer is keeping track of where your audience is heading. Design*sponge is one interesting spot for following trends. Brooklyn-based writer Grace Bonney uses it to focus home and product design but I think lots of what she covers is applicable to our universe.
Grace Bonney's design*sponge...
In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Page Design...
7 > Typography > Upside down, inside out words
An "ambigram" is an illustration that spells out a word and then respells it in another direction or orientation (if you are an expert, forgive me for the incomplete definition). It is easier for me to show you than tell you. Suffice it to say John Langdon is a master at creating them.
John Langdon's Ambigrams...
8 > Color > Color-play
Sit through a couple of cycles of the color changes here to see how they influence the mood and emphasis of the subjects.
The Asia Society...
9 > Typography > Symmetry in asymmetry
Watch how Jessica Hische designs a typographic still life. Click on her typography portfolio (click the "T") and page through. What strikes me is the near perfect balance of each composition.
Click the "T" to see Jessica's type design portfolio...
In the Ideabook Design Store: Brenner Pricing Guides...
10 > Marketing PR > The importance of a name
Simple is complicated. Particularly so in the naming process. Igor, a naming and branding agency says, "The best product and company names require the least advertising." How true. Not only do they offer their services, they readily share some important insights on naming via the Igor Naming Guide.
The Igor Naming Guide...
The Igor home page...
11 > Photography > Time machine photographs
A black and white photograph shot using a large-format camera often has a depth and stillness to it that is nearly indescribable. Some images are so sharp, the people so real, I fool myself into thinking I can sense what it would be like to be there-like a time machine. Shorpy.com, named for a child worker photographed by Lewis Wickes Hine in 1910, is a photo blog about "what life a hundred years ago was like." The challenge I pose to you is this: how can you and I apply this type of photographic storytelling to our design work?
A subset of Lewis Wickes Hine photographs...
12 > Learning > Super-designer
Reading Steven Heller's resume makes you wonder if he ever sleeps. Thirty-plus years as an art director at the New York Times, author, co-author, and/or editor of over 100 books, teacher, artist, reviewer, large animal veterinarian (made that last one up). Seriously though, Heller's site is a depository or wonderful insights, interviews, and writings by a designer who has done it all (or at least a lot of it).
Podcasts of Steven Heller's lectures from the School of Visual Arts...
In the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
13 > Learning > The world of the print buyer
Do you know a print buyer? Some are independent, most work for large agencies or businesses. They make their living policing the theme park between client and printer. They submit jobs for bids, negotiate prices, schedule jobs, troubleshoot technical issues, scrutinize quality, and keep everyone on track and in the know.
Most print buyers are high functioning folks. In addition to keeping up on rapid technological changes, the best buyers have superior management and people skills. If you don't know one, allow me to introduce you to one of the best: Margie Dana. She publishes a weekly column that reveals some "inside baseball" on the print buyer world. If you ever buy printing, you will find her insights valuable.
A sample article on Common File Problems...
Her article archive...
Dana's Boston Print Buyers web...
14 > Graphics Tech > The next level of detail
My friend Harold Thompson led me to news of the "Red One"-a nine pound digital cine camera with the quality of 35mm film and the convenience of pure digital. Suffice it to say, Steven Soderbergh, Director and Cinematographer of Ocean's Eleven says, "This is the camera I've been waiting for my whole career."
So how do you sell such a groundbreaking product? Whiz-bang flash animation? Nope. Crystal clear words and pictures that focus on three things: the architecture and design of the product, the images it creates, and what people in the know are saying about it. This is an excellent example of how, when faced with a complex task, a simple approach is often the most dramatic.
The Red One home page...
A gallery of images...
Ted Schilowitz of RED Digital Cinema Camera Company discussing the interface with Final Cut Studio...
In the Ideabook Design Store: Creative Business Newsletter...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org