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Hopefully these monthly mailings appear altruistic. Truth be told, they
give me an excuse to spend a ridiculous amount of time wandering
around the Internet. Here is the best of what I found in February.
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 > Web Design > Web design from beginning to end
Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain is among my favorite designers. I have used some of his web page structure ideas recently in my own work. His layouts are simple, elegant, and accessible. Here, he shares a behind the scenes look at the development of a web for Embrace Pet Community.
Embrace Pet Community web design...
Here > http://www.31three.com/projects/epc/
More from his portfolio...
Here > http://www.31three.com/work/the_orthodox_union/
2 > Illustration > The art of illustrating information
For our purposes, I am more interested in the expression of this idea than in the idea itself. Not that I think it is a bad idea, just that I am so impressed by the spirit in which it is discussed and illustrated--with such enthusiasm.
Nick Sherman's Modern Day Type Specimen Book...
Here > http://nicksherman.com/degreeproject/index.html
Another well-illustrated article...
Here > http://nicksherman.com/design/Intercut/
3 > Typography > A blast from the future
I have been a Tim Girvin fan for many years. He has long been one of the premiere calligraphers in the world. So I was excited to see his name on Will Sherwood's blog a couple of weeks ago--it was a real blast from the past. What I found is that there is nothing "past" about this innovator. His work is at the forefront of design and his knowledge of marketing and branding is second to none.
Tim Girvin's visual world...
Here > http://www.girvin.com/
Here > http://blog.girvin.com/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_tintbook.html
4 > Photography > How to use panoramas in conventional business web design
Here is a stunning collection of 360 panoramas. I'm somewhat surprised we haven't seen this technology used more in conventional web design. (You typically see them used to tour a house or an automobile interior.) Have any suggestions?
360icon spherical HDRI panoramic photography...
Here > http://www.360icon.com/VR/index.html
More on the process and tools at panoguide.com...
Here > http://www.panoguide.com/howto/
5 > Reference > A look inside the designers toolbox
Designers Toolbox is a collection of resources worth a look. It provides quick reference to topics such as envelope, pocket folder, and DVD/CD cover and label dimensions, standard stock sizes, lists of HTML characters, proof reading marks, and so on. They also offer a variety of paid products and services. All nicely designed.
Here > http://www.designerstoolbox.com/designresources/
6 > Learning > A site that uses every Flash move in the book
This site (for a planned community in Florida) is a lesson in movement. Watch the flips, slides, drawers, reveals, rotations, and so on. You could argue that it is motion for the sake of motion but I think viewing it in whole, it is successful vehicle for establishing a unique identity.
Lake Nona and Nonalogy...
Here > http://www.learnlakenona.com/
In the Ideabook Design Store: DIY Graphic Workshop...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_graphic_workshop.html
7 > Learning > The History of Visual Communications
Elif Ayiter is a graphic designer, artist, and design instructor, living and working in Istanbul, Turkey. Her site offers a labyrinth of first class instructional material. One section, The History of Visual Communications, she explains, is loosely based on Phil Meggs' much acclaimed A History of Graphic Design. (I attended Virginia Commonwealth University in the Communication Arts Department when Meggs was teaching there.) Not only is the information worth seeing, her many forms of presentation are equally as interesting.
The History of Visual Communications...
Here > http://www.citrinitas.com/history_of_viscom/index.html
There is much to see on Ayiter's site...
Here > http://www.citrinitas.com/2008/work-archive.htm
A little about Meggs who passed away in 2002...
Here > http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/medalist-philipbmeggs
8 > Web Design > Choices within choices
Watch how the designer gets you to explore topics here. Just below the title "Explore/Themes" you can choose to page through a series of other choices and remain on the background page. Interesting take. By the way, this is a recently launched makeover of the British Museum site.
By the way: I realize I often point to the obvious. I do so because I believe to truly understand a particular design structure, you need to identify and examine the parts of its foundation. Looking back, many of the most useful lessons I have learned were communicated by someone showing or describing something others considered too obvious to mention. I love simplicity--it is (by far) the most complex, difficult form of communication.
Here > http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/introduction.aspx
9 > Photography > How to create a visual connection between a series of diverse images
Here's another interesting illustration technique. Group94 adds a mesh or screen overlay to the background images of its portfolio. To me, it adds a sense of continuity to the diversity of images. The same type of effect could be equally valid in print. The question becomes: What type of screen or overlay can I employ in my work to create a visual connection between a series of diverse images?
The screen effect...
Here > http://www.group94.com/#/website/work/worldwide_business
In the Ideabook Design Store: FontHead Typefaces...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_fonthead.html
10 > Ideas 101 > How to design using multiples and miniatures
The first link is a great example of my rule of miniatures: Showing an image at half its size makes it twice as interesting. I think the actual demo of this template is beautifully designed, the point is, I like it even better shown in miniature.
The second example proves my rule of multiples: The more images you show, the more interest you generate. Each image is interesting in itself, but show a grouping of images and the whole becomes more interesting than the sum of its parts.
The rule of miniatures...
Here > http://www.quommunication.com/
The rule of multiples...
Here > http://www.crateandbarrel.com/trends/default.aspx
11 > Marketing PR > How to write direct response copy
If you have ever attempted to write direct response copy you know that it can be quicksand. By that I mean it looks harmless enough when you step in it but, after a good deal of flailing around, most of its victims sink out of sight. If you don't do it regularly, if you aren't willing to learn the complexities of direct response, it is dangerous territory. Richard Riccelli makes it look easy. The project I point to is a reminder of the extent you need to understand a client's product, service, or idea to market it effectively.
The art and science of direct response copywriting...
Here > http://www.riccelli.com/proof_book/html_email.htm
12 > Illustration > Bob Staake and the fountain of youth. Or how to reinvent yourself with Photoshop.
Bob Staake has found the secret of youth. Somehow, as he ages, his illustrations get fresher and more interesting. If you don't know his work you will find it on the pages of publications such as Time and The New Yorker and among projects produced for clients such as Disney and American Express. He has also authored and/or illustrated over 40 books.
You may be surprised to learn that, though he had a good thing going in the early nineties, he dared to reinvent himself. He not only made the move from the drawing board to a computer, he dramatically changed his illustration style. His story is a good example of how assessing and reinventing your approach and skills can lead to even greater success.
Bob Staake's portfolio...
Here > http://www.bobstaake.com/portfolio/slideshow/
His main site...
Here > http://www.bobstaake.com/
The story of how Staake reinvented himself...
Here > http://www.bobstaake.com/pixfix/process.shtml
13 > Web Design > How to create a compact design
I like the spare nature of Funnel Creative's site. It is small, compact, and easy to navigate. No bells, no whistles, and no man-eating animation. Bigger is not always better. Flashy is not always the best solution. Complex is not the only path.
The Funnel Creative portfolio...
Here > http://www.funnelcreative.co.uk/portfolio/
Funnel's front door...
Here > http://www.funnelcreative.co.uk/
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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