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Never ceases to amaze me the width and breadth of print and web design that is available online. Here is the best of what I found in January of 2008.
P.S. The InDesign Ideabook continues to be 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 > Photography > How to create illustrative photography
If you are not yet familiar with HDR (high dynamic range) photography, here are some images and tools to pique your interest. An HDR image is photographed using a range if exposures that are then converted to form a composite. The resulting image provides a more complete range of information than a conventional image and gives the artist far more control over the range of shadow and light, the manipulation of color, and the application of effects. So much more control that I think of some of these examples as more illustrations than photographs.
Pete Carr's tutorial for creating composites using a conversion tool called Photomatix...
Here > http://www.vanilladays.com/hdr-guide/
Ryan McGinnis's tutorial for creating composites using Photoshop...
Here > http://backingwinds.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-create-professional-hdr-images.html
More example by Michael Seljos...
Here > http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=2109184567&size=l
2 > Web Design > Revealing your personality through your design
Jeff Bridges is not only a talented actor, he has an eye for design. His web is a series of sketches and handwritten notes that (to me) make him seem friendly and accessible. Thanks to Sharon Carro for pointing us to his work.
Jeff Bridges' Sketchpad
Here > http://www.jeffbridges.com/main.html
3 > Web Design > Watching for navigational design ideas
ShopComposition.com is a retail store web site that demonstrates some different ways of doing things. I doubt you will buy into all of the navigational bells and whistles-I find some are not intuitive-but it will certainly get you thinking. Thanks to my friend Daniel Will-Harris for pointing me to it.
ShopComposition.com navigational ideas
Here > http://www.shopcomposition.com/
BTW, do you know Daniel Will-Harris? If you don't, you're in for a treat...
Here > http://www.will-harris.com/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_tintbook.html
4 > Learning > How to design instruction
Rouxbe.com is a site that will teach you some of the finer points of cooking. It uses video tutorials to walk you through each step of a recipe showing you specifics about details such as the consistency of chopping necessary and so on. I think it is a particularly strong instructional model-simple to use and easy to navigate.
Here > http://www.rouxbe.com/viewer/free/79
5 > Typography > A design that breaks typographic rules
There are understood "rules" in all disciplines of graphic design. In typography, there are widely accepted practices for the leading of lines, the kerning of individual characters, how and where lines of type should break, and so on. This example shows how you can base a design on defying those rules. Designer Miguel Ripoll demonstrates his keen understanding of type by transforming headlines and subheads into word illustrations.
Breaking typesetting rules...
Here > http://spanish-portuguese.berkeley.edu/
Here > http://www.miguelripoll.com/#
6 > Print Design > Are you using icons on your business cards?
Have you considered integrating icons into your print design? Here's a nice example from Gardner Design. I guess Bill Gardner, principal of Gardner Design, is a bit of a business card icon himself. In addition to being a talented designer, he is the creator of LogoLounge.com, a top-tier resource for exploring the current state of logo design.
Business card icons...
Here > http://www.gardnerdesign.com/default.aspx?mode=2&p=150
The Logo Lounge...
Here > http://www.logolounge.com/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Brenner Pricing Tables for graphic designers...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_brenner_pricing.html
7 > Print Design > How to design a book cover
Ask any author, publisher, or bookseller-a book cover design can have a dramatic effect on the interest in and sales of a book. It is considered so critical to sales, cover design is almost exclusively under the control of the publisher-yes, even for design-oriented books. Needless to say, I have great respect for those with a talent for finding the essence of a few hundred pages and presenting it in one compelling, provocative image. Designer and illustrator Ben Gibson has a real talent for it.
Ben Gibson's portfolio (1MB PDF)...
Here > http://www.ben-gibson.com/BenGibson_Design.pdf
Here > http://www.ben-gibson.com/
8 > Typography > John Boardley demonstrates his passion for type
Why does a guy from the United Kingdom move to Japan to write about letters cut from German potatoes (01/13 post)? To explain it, John Boardley, the voice of ilovetypepography.com, invokes the words of type designer Eric Spiekerman, "I can't explain it; I just like looking at type. I just get a total kick out of it. Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever...I just get kicks out of looking at type."
Boardley offers a refreshing look at typography, both serious subjects and the simple joys of form and expression.
John Boardley's ilovetypepography.com...
Here > http://ilovetypography.com/
9 > Ideas 101 > Design ideas 101: Make words into objects
We expect to see type in two dimensions-flat on the page. The proliferation of type shadows in recent years has had a profound impact on both print and web design. Today we regularly see words that are animated, distorted, made transparent, and so on. Here is yet another basic idea that needs pointing to: the technique of recasting words as objects. The purpose of these 3D posters is to recruit designers. I can't imagine anyone, who happens on them, missing their message.
Make words into objects...
Here > http://adsoftheworld.com/media/ambient/serviceplan_recruitment_lego
Another example (-1MB PDF)...
Here > http://www.poets.org/media/NPM2008poster.pdf
In the Ideabook Design Store: Color Harmony Guide...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_color_harmony.html
10 > Graphics Tech > Basecamp: A collaboration engine
I have been using Basecamp for a few months now and I recommend it without reservation. In short, it is a collaboration tool that allows you to easily create a separate, password protected project center for each of your clients. You simply add a new section for the client and Basecamp automatically invites them (via e-mail) to enter the project center. The space resides on Basecamp's server, but it is branded with your organization's name and logo.
Your Basecamp subscription includes space for multiple projects and provides the tools for managing jobs, interacting with clients, editing copy, sharing files, and so on. It is a truly elegant solution. Thanks to my friend, web developer and designer Jesse Gardner of plasticmind.com for pointing me to it.
Having read the comments, let me add this: This experience also punctuated one of the fundamentals of marketing-less is often more. Basecamp is a product of 37signals, a true web innovator. Their philosophy states: "We believe most software is too complex. Too many features, too many buttons, too much confusion. We build easy to use web-based products with elegant interfaces and thoughtful features. We're focused on executing on the basics beautifully." They deliver just that. I never would have tried Basecamp had it not been for the simplicity and elegance of the interface. It looked usable to me and, more importantly, to my clients.
Take the Basecamp tour...
Here > http://www.basecamphq.com/tour
11 > Learning > Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars
I just got a birth announcement that I am eager to share. Will Sherwood, principle of The Sherwood Group, has kicked off a blog in the last few days titled "Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars." If that doesn't get your attention (got mine), the list of designers he interviews will. Interviews with Petrula Vrontikis, Luba Lukova, and Andrea Cutler are posted now and upcoming are interviews with others such as Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff, Bill Cahan, Noreen Morioka, Dave Mason, Rick Valicenti, Mike Salisbury, Woody Pirtle, Stan Richards, Chip Kidd, Kim Baer, Mirko Ilic, Jennifer Morla, Margo Chase, Steve Wedeen, and so on.
What is so enticing to me is that the questions are being posed by a designer who knows what he's talking about. We're going to get a different type of information than we would from someone who is simply an interested interviewer. Don't miss it.
Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars...
Here > http://willsherwood.com/
Will's design credentials...
Here > http://www.thesherwoodgroup.com/
12 > Color > A well concieved and executed color palette
I happened upon truthdig.com recently and was impressed by their color palette (my interest is entirely apolitical). It uses a wide range of muted colors to visually organize the subject categorys-A/V BOOTH, ARTS & CULTURE, REPORTS, and so on. Click on a subject and you'll see the designer carries the color into the category section. Notice how the background colors of each article darken as you scroll down the page-giving you a sense of a difference between the top and bottom of the listings-another nice touch.
The truthdig.com color palette...
Here > http://www.truthdig.com/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Design-It-Yourself: Graphic Workshop...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_graphic_workshop.html
13 > Marketing PR > A pillar of effective marketing: How to tell a story
This wonderful little site reminds me of a passage from Ogilvy On Advertising. In it David Ogilvy recommends you "Write your copy in the form of a story." Among the examples he sites is one written by John Caples for International Correspondence School under the headline, "They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano-But When I Started to Play..."
Onesentence.org offers a sound lesson in writing. As host Ryan MacMichael describes it, "It is about telling the most interesting or poignant story possible in the least amount of words." To you and me, the challenge is to take the lessons learned here and apply them to writing copy.
Telling a story in brief...
Here > http://www.onesentence.org/stories/popular/all/
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