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This month we talk typography, pay a visit to the Photoshop engineers, take a look at one of my client projects, and much more.
P.S. Do you use InDesign, Quark, PageMaker? See the my ideabooks 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
Typography > Type: The "essential raw ingredient"
Scott & Nix is a publishing firm specializing in nature and science books. What you might not know (if you are not another obsessed type nut) is that it is owned by Charles Nix who also happens to be the current president of the Type Directors Club.
I tell you that to tell you this: the Scott & Nix site includes a list of fifty-plus typefaces S&N designers use in their work. The accompanying lead begins: "Typography is both the form of type and how it is used. It plays a major role in differentiating our products from the rest. We consider the typefaces below to be essential raw ingredients to our work."
They know of what they speak.
Here > The Scott & Nix typeface list...
Here > There is also a list of 100 Typographic Books...
Here > The Type Directors Club...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Moleskine Notebooks...
Web Design > Simple. Simple. Simple.
Simple is my mantra-often said and rarely achieved. In a world that becomes increasingly complex, visual simplicity seems most appealing to me. That said, simple is THE most difficult type of design. It requires a unique talent for pairing elements that, at the same time, speak quietly and deeply. Designer Nicholas Feltron has that talent, here are two examples.
Here > The Barterhouse site...
Here > A presentation from Penguin Books' We Tell Stories web...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Color Harmony Guide...
Illustration > Tips and tricks for technical illustration
ITEDO Software develops products for the creation and viewing of technical illustrations and they offer an "information portal for technical illustration." It features an in depth collection of tips and tricks for producing illustrations including labeling drawings, shadowing of lines, and so on.
Here > Here are the tips and tricks...
Here > And the gallery...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Task Force Clip Art...
Typography > A new source for fonts
I received a heads-up from Dave Seidl of Ascender Corporation pointing me to their new commercial/reseller font web at fontmarketplace.com-I found it to be an interesting new source. They offer a unique End User License Agreement that allows them to sell certified true type fonts for $5.
Ascender is the BASF of the typographic world. By that I mean they could easily adopt BASF's famous tag line: "We don't make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better."
For example, Ascender's Steve Matteson designed a family of fonts named Convection for the Xbox 360. And they are also credited the design of Droid, a family of fonts licensed to Google for Android-a new open, free mobile platform.
Here > The Convection family for the Xbox 360...
Here > The Droid family for Google's Android platform...
Here > Ascender's new FontMarketplace.com...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Brenner Pricing Tables...
Reference > A book EVERY designer should own
Need details about the 22 possible elements of a copyright page? How to punctuate an indirect one-word question? Under what circumstance to abbreviate the books of the Bible? It's all in the The Chicago Manual of Style: "One essential reference for all who work with words-writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers."
A searchable version of the fifteenth edition is now available online (it started as a pamphlet in 1906 and is now 984-pages). An individual, one-year subscription us $30 and they offer a 30 day free trial.
Here > The Chicago Manual of Style Online...
Here > A list of proofreader's marks...
Here > For those into the nitty-gritty: The University of Chicago Press Art Submission Requirements (570KB PDF)...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Creative Business CD-ROM...
Graphics Tech > Inside Photoshop, literally
It is fascinating to peek behind the scenes at the software giants. What I remember most vividly about a distant trip to Microsoft in Redmond, Washington was how interesting it was to see the Microsoft campus, meet some of the insiders, and hear about what was up and coming. It gave me a new appreciation for the creativity and complexity of software development.
So I was intrigued to find this article about a visit to the Photoshop engineering department by one of the folks at PhotoshopNews.com. If you've got some geek in you, this is certain to bring it to the surface.
Here > Visiting the Photoshop Engineers...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines...
Illustration > A simple look at a complex system
don't often point to my own work but I think this is a nice solution to
complex problem. Click2Mail offers a system for creating,
personalizing, producing, and mailing print materials such as
brochures, postcards, and letters. To explain how it works, we created
a big-picture diagram and added mouse-over captions that provide in
depth information to those who want it.
Here > Click2Mail, how it works...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Art Parts Clip Art...
Typography > Good news from Argentina
Here's the presentation catalog from Tipos Latinos 2008 in Buenos Aires. I am particularly taken by the typeface Presidencia on page 12 designed by Gabriel Martinez Meave of Kimera Type.
Here > Tipos Latinos 2008...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Copywriter's Handbook...
Print Design > Green covers don't sell
That's part of book cover lore explains designer John Gall in this interesting documentary short from Barnes & Noble Studio-The 5 Rules of Book Cover Design.
Here > The 5 Rules of Book Cover Design...
Here > An interview with Gall at Step Inside Design...
Here > And a nice collection of his covers...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Color Harmony Guide...
Reference > Do you use a contract?
This link leads to the AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services-a model for establishing a fairly rigorous set of terms and conditions with clients. If you are a designer I'd like to know if you ask your clients to sign a similar agreement and the extent of it. And if you are a client, I'd like to know if you have been asked to sign such an agreement and the extent of it.
Here > AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services (450KB PDF) ...
Here > While you're here: another series from the AIGA that speaks to the design business and ethics...
Here > Considering joining the AIGA? Here's an interesting conversation...
Here > NEW in the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
Graphics Tech > Web Trend Map
iA, Information Architects Japan, has published the latest version of its Web Trends Map-an fascinating index of what the authors view as the world's most successful and influential websites. The twist is the presentation-it is laid out in the form of a mass transit map (I could re-state in another way that but it wouldn't make any more sense the second time). Instead, have a look.
Here > The printed poster...
Here > A clickable version...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Design-It-Yourself: Graphic Workshop...
Ideas 101 > The hidden value of a good headline
Maybe a more apt headline is, "the hidden value of smart thinking." If you study the list of the "Latest News" headlines on the cover of cnn.com, you'll spot a tiny t-shirt icon next to one or more of the listings. Click it and you are whooshed off to CNN Shirt where you can order a t-shirt emblazoned with the headline and stamped with the date and time it was created.
The idea is the work of The Barbarian Group, the folks who designed the site. I point to it because I think it is worth noting the little things that go into building big successes. As you'll see in a brief story about the project, it has created lots of buzz and (not surprisingly) sold some shirts. Dual-cool.
Here > Look for the t-shirt icon to the right of the Latest News headlines...
Here > The CNN Shirt archive...
Here > A story about the idea...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Templates for InDesign, QuarkXpress, or PageMaker...
Web Design > Does stacking simplify?
The Mohawk Fine Papers web employs an interesting paging technique. It communicates the content via a stack of single pages which (to me) effectively mask the scope and complexity of the content.
Two questions. First, do you agree that the design communicates a sense of "less?" And second, do you see that as a positive or a negative?
Here > Mohawk Fine Papers...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Desktop Publisher's Idea Book...
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@example.com