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I discovered some VERY intersting design-oriented links in November.
P.S. The InDesign Ideabook is the bestseller in the ideabook.com store (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 > Web Design > Toyota's Mind
North Kingdom, the Swedish interactive design firm, has created what they term a new branding site for Toyota Sweden. It is a combination of fantasy and fact in the form of a floating island in the sky. Suffice it to say, "Salvidor Dali ain't got nothin on Toyota."
The world of Toyota...
Here > http://demo.northkingdom.com/ihuvudetpatoyota/index_en.html
2 > Web Design > The clinical look
This is a very interesting, kind of "clinical" look for a German scientific organization: The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. I like everything about it. The delicate forms, the color palette, the way the layout is adapted to each page type, the use or type, and the sparse, bright illustrations.
The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science...
Here > http://www.mpg.de/english/portal/index.html
Another example of an information-rich interior page...
Here > http://www.mpg.de/english/resourcesCooperation/informationManagement/index.html
3 > Graphics Tech > Design Tools Monthly: Insider information for graphic designers
For 15 years now Jay Nelson has edited this gem of a publication featuring an eclectic mix of insights, tips, news, and how-to on the business, craft, and technology of graphic design. To do it, he mines a mountain of information and refines it-the result being enough relevant, interesting, "Hey, I didn't know that," stuff that even the industry elite are willing to ante up.
Here's a free sample...
Here > http://www.design-tools.com/html/free-sample.htm
4 > Graphics Tech > An ovation for a graph
My friend Charles Boisvert points us to a wonderful example of how innovative presentation enhances the communication of statistical data (and everything else). Meet researcher Hans Rosling. He uses his Tendalyzer software to tell a story about the developing world. (It is said that Rosling met the founders of Google an TED and sold them the software.)
Rosling's presentation at TED...
Here > http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92
Here is the actual graph...
Here > http://www.gapminder.org/
5 > Web Design > A fluid use of flash
Nessim Higson presents a very interesting use of Flash on iamalwayshungry.com. The layout changes and elements are repositioned as you resize your browser window or click parts and pieces of the design.
Nessim Higson's iamalwayshungry.com...
Here > http://www.iamalwayshungry.com/
6 > Packaging > Label designs with a message
Great labels stop you in your tracks. Sometimes they show outcomes, sometimes they tell a story, sometimes they have a life of their own. Two wonderful examples:
The SuperThrive label design...
Here > http://www.superthrive.com/page3.html
The Dr. Bonner's Magic Soap labels...
Here > http://www.drbronner.com/articles/Chicago%20Tribune.pdf
7 > Illustration > A master of the stipple technique
If computers were to disappear tomorrow Randy Glass would still be in business. As he explains it, "All of my illustrations are hand-drawn (no computer enhancement)."
Glass is a master of, among other techniques, stippling-defined as the process of "marking (a surface) with numerous small dots or specks." A technique that is especially favored in the newspaper world-where paper quality sometimes adversely effects reproduction quality (a well executed stippled image prints more clearly). He, like Noli Novak (mentioned in a Feb 14, 07 posting) also produces the stippled portraits made famous by the Wall Street Journal.
A product shot...
Here > http://www.randyglassstudio.com/product/product_stipple/Product-STIPPLE-Ortega-1.jpg
A gallery of his WSJ illustrations. Check out how the dots radiate from the eye (center portrait)...
Here > http://www.randyglassstudio.com/portraits/wsj/portraits/will_smith.html
8 > Marketing PR > Copywriting: It's not about fancy writing and big words
That's one of three fundamentals Brian Clark points when describing good copywriting skills. The other two are, "It's also not about being contrived or cheesym," and "It's absolutely not about inappropriate high pressure sales techniques that simply don't work." That sage advice is the foundation on which copyblogger.com is built. It offers a unique angle on copywriting with a major in marketing and a minor in blogging.
A good introduction to the site: Copywriting 101: An Introduction to Copywriting...
Here > http://www.copyblogger.com/copywriting-101/
A list of headline formulas...
Here > http://www.copyblogger.com/10-sure-fire-headline-formulas-that-work/
9 > Illustration > A true innovator
To me an innovator transforms some aspect of the world around them into something it would not otherwise be. They use their skills and talents to add something useful and positive to the conversation. Artist and illustrator James Gurney it that type of innovator.
Gurney transforms his world into this world...
Here > http://www.dinotopia.com/
And he tells us all about the process here...
Here > http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/search/label/Miniatures
10 > Graphics Tech > The amazing vectorization machine
There is good news for all of us who have tried (in vain) to explain that you can't create a billboard using a half-inch logo from a web page. VectorMagic.com, a research project by James Diebel and Jacob Nordapart at the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, allows you to import a low-quality pixel (bit-mapped) image and create a vector image from it. (Thanks to my friend Sheila Hanchard for sharing this.)
VectorMagic.com is a sophisticated, easy-to-use tracing tool. Some samples...
Here > http://vectormagic.stanford.edu/vctr/vctr_flex?p=s&s=2
The VectorMagic.com cover...
Here > http://vectormagic.stanford.edu/vectorize/
Not 100 percent clear about the distinction between bit-mapped and vector? Here is an article I wrote to explain it...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/tutorials/technology/graphic_file_formats.html
11 > Print Design > Build-it-yourself brochured
The Turner Duckworth design studio uses an innovative, build-it-yourself company brochure. As you browse the projects in their portfolio, you are invited to click on an "Add to brochure" icon and in doing so, add that project to a downloadable PDF brochure. The final version includes an orientation and a back cover. Very interesting.
To see how it works, choose "Portfolio," select an item, then click the "Add to brochure" icon at the top right. After you have added a couple of projects, choose "Brochure" from the menu then click "download brochure" to see the resulting PDF.
Choose "Portfolio," select an item, then click the "Add to brochure" icon...
Here > http://www.turnerduckworth.com/
12 > Illustration > Somnambulistic Sketches
Illustrator Mark Fisher explains "On the weekends I am the night watchman at a large old Civil War era mill complex that has been converted to business and office space. Alone from midnight to 8 am I draw and sketch in between my rounds. Sometimes while drawing I will suddenly awake and find odd lines or blobs that happened while I dozed off. I leave most of those accidents in the art." The resulting illustrations are on his drawger.com site.
Mark Fisher's somnambulistic sketches...
Here > http://www.drawger.com/fisher/?section=gallery&gallery_id=531&
13 > Photography > Are you a Photoshop junkie with few extra hours to spare? Could you use a Mac Pro with dual 30-inch LCDs?
I'm honored to have been invited to help judge The Crestock Photoshop Contest for 2007. There are four rounds with different themes. Looks like a lot of fun and they are offering an impressive lineup of prizes-one for each round.
Crestock is a high-end "microstock" provider of royalty-free images contributed by a worldwide network of photographers, illustrators, and designers. If you have not seen it, I guarantee you will want it on your list of resources.
Details about The Crestock Photoshop Contest for 2007...
Here > http://www.crestock.com/blog/photography/the-crestock-design-contest-2007-101.aspx
Here > http://www.crestock.com/blog/design/contest2007/judges.aspx
The Crestock Collection...
Here > http://www.crestock.com/
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.
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