Thanks for subscribing! The best this month includes:
The best this month includes:
> How to design a wayfinding system
> Where to find sometimes quirky, always interesting paper products
> How to bust a marketing stereotype
And much more. Enjoy.
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
Learning > How to think of your design in context
These examples from the portfolio of Portuguese designer Goncalo Cabral reminded me of the how important it is to fully understand the context in which our designs will be used. It is not only is it important to grasp the literal environment in which the material will be used, it is also important to understand the underlying potential such as the pervasive mindset (if there is one) of the people who will be applying the design on a day-to-day basis. Or the current state of design in, in this case, the airline industry.
I don't pretend to know how deeply Mr. Cabal dug into the context on these projects, but I'm guessing it was well below the surface.
Here > Goncalo Cabral-design in context...
Here > An experimental postage stamp collection-a project where context is down right critical...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Moleskine Notebooks...
Typography > Where to get a fine, free font and witness some clever marketing
Recently, I've heard buzz from several corners about Museo, a font designed by a Dutch art director named Jos Buivenga and published by his foundry, exljbris.
There are two interesting things about it. First, it is a well-designed font that deserves a look. And second point of interest is how it is being marketed. The Museo family is listed on MyFonts.com in five different styles-what amounts to light to heavy. The mid-range weights are offered for free and the lightest and heaviest versions are priced like a regular font. A clever way to get you to try it. I, of course, want the other two weights as wells. Hence I will be light $33.
Here > Museo at MyFonts.com...
Here > A new family, Museo Sans at MyFonts.com...
Here > Jos Buivenga's foundry: exljbris...
Here > Jos Buivenga's blog...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Art Parts Clip Art...
Reference > How to write with your voice
Jott.com allows you to do just that. You call a toll free number and speak up to 15 seconds. Jott then translates your voice into text and emails you a notification. (Thus far I have found the voice recognition to be surprisingly accurate.) And, the basic service is free! Thanks to my good friend Daniel Will-Harris for introducing me to Jott.
Here > Take a look at Jott...
Here > Daniel Will-Harris introduced me to Jott. Visit his site...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Brenner Pricing Tables...
Web Design > How to learn more about ecommerce
If you're interested in ecommerce, you'll be interested in the Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog. It includes lots of in depth information on marketing, usability, design, and so on. Want to know how to minimize shopping cart abandonment? Or what to include in a comprehensive product description? Get Elastic is a good place to start.
Here > Get Elastic, the ecommerce blog...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Becoming a Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design...
Ideas 101 > I'm posting an occasional tweet on twitter
case you haven't tried it, twitter is a good place to get to know folks
in a slightly different way. You post brief thoughts and ideas (to be
exact, 140 characters or less) and people who are interested in
checking in answer back, make derogatory remarks, and so on. While some
folks use it to answer the question: "What are you doing?" I am using
it to answer the question: What are you thinking? Interested? Take a
Here > Ideabook (me) on twitter...
Color > Nine simple tips for using color in InDesign
That's the title of an article I wrote for the August/September issue of InDesign Magazine. It points to some of the simple ways you can tap the power of color within InDesign.
The bad news is you can't read it for free, you'll have to subscribe to the magazine. The good news is you'll have to subscribe to the magazine. Seriously, if you are a dedicated InDesign user, you'll find lots of thoughtful and detailed InDesign insight from simple to advanced. The masthead includes the names of top editors and authors you are sure to recognize including Terri Stone, David Blatner, and Sandee Cohen.
Here > Here's a free trial issue...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
Shopping > Where to find sometimes quirky, always interesting paper products
How about something on the light side? I added a new category to the "Design Shopping" section of jumpola.com recently titled "Paper products." It includes distinctive manufacturers and resellers of paper-oriented products. In it you will many types of archive materials, blank books and stationery, calendars, office supplies, and so on.
Here > Cavallini...
Here > Exaclair...
Here > Hollander's...
Here > Paper Source...
Here > QuoVadis...
Here > Russell+Hazel...
Here > Talas...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Copywriter's Handbook...
Graphics Tech > How to capture the texture, soul, and spirit of vintage printing
A good communications designer knows how to parse what they see-they disassemble the parts to figure out what's going on. One key part that is easy to overlook is the influence of the medium on the design. For example, the difference between a typeface in print and the same face displayed by pixels on a computer screen.
Recently, the folks at Mister Retro were kind enough to share a new product with me. Permanent Press is a collection of filters for Photoshop that allow you to simulate the effects of various forms of printing. The filters include effects such as rubber stamp, vintage decal, washed out CMYK, and and so on.
The results are very convincing. You have only to look at the samples shown on the page I have linked to. If you are interested in a subtle (and not so subtle way) to distinguish one piece from the others, I encourage you to check it out.
Here > Mister Retro's Permanent Press vintage print plug-in for Photoshop...
Here > MR offers a bunch of very interesting filters...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
Shopping > A fun, frugal Christmas gift
My client (Click2Mail.com) just launched http://remindsanta.com (I did the design). It's only $7 and 20 percent less when you use this discount code at checkout: IDEABOOK
Here > Send a letter from Santa...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Color Harmony Guide...
Graphics Tech > How to create a custom text cloud for a document or web site
A word cloud is a visual representation of how often a particular word appears within a particular document. So if you have a document in which the word "design" appears 20 times and the word "color" appears 10 times, "design" will be shown at twice the size of "colors."
Jonathan Feinberg's Wordle is a cool online utility for creating a cloud from any web page, web site, or a document. You identify the text and then choose a font, layout, and color scheme.
It's very interesting to see what words predominate.
Here > A word cloud for ideabook.com...
Here > Jonathan Feinberg's Wordle...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Design-It-Yourself: Graphic Workshop...
Illustration > How to illustrate in three dimensions
For my money David O'Keefe is the world's top 3D caricaturist. His sculptures are absolutely spot on-at once, humorous and revealing. They have appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Mad Magazine, The Village Voice, within the pages of TIME, and so on.
Here > An example of David O'Keefe's sculpture, in this case, of David Letterman...
Here > O'Keefe's sculpture menu...
Here > David O'Keefe Studio cover...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Templates for InDesign, QuarkXpress, or PageMaker...
Print Design > How to design a wayfinding system
There are two things I want to point you to here. First is Lance Wyman's work. He specializes in the design of wayfinding systems, as he defines it: "the branding, signs, maps and directional devices that tell us where we are, where we want to go, and how to get there." He is a master of it.
The second thing I want to note is the layout of his web site. It is a lesson in usability. It shows a time line of his work, uses a rollover image system to categorize the work (across the top, "Corporate," "Events," and so on), and it allows you to dig deeper by highlighting a logo and clicking through a string of images to see how it was developed and implemented. All from the same screen. Very interesting. (Thanks to son Rob for introducing me to Wyman's work following the designer's recent visit to VCU.)
Here > Lance Wyman's one page wonder...
Here > An excellent overview of Wyman's work and the development of wayfinding systems...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Desktop Publisher's Idea Book...
Print Design > How to bust a marketing stereotype
One way is to make fun of yourself. And that is what got me to actually read one of the bazillion credit card offers I get every month. Somebody must have said, "These letters are a joke to consumers, let's laugh at it with them." Hats off the the copywriter or art director who though it up and to the corporate folks who let it stand. This is definitive marketing.
Here > Blah, blah, blah...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Page Design...
Illustration > Where to see a history of the comics
Barnacle Press is a rather odd source worth knowing--odd because it seems rather anonymous and covers some material that is not easily divided by two. Dig in and you'll find lots of ideas about communicating and comic illustration.
Here > Comics 1.0 from Barnacle Press...
Here > A Rube Goldberg classic...
Here > Papercraft toys are from the LA Times...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color...
Web Design > How to break another barrier with your web readers
Yes, I agree this is kind of gimmicky but I can see that, if the message was right and the talent, talented, it could work.
Here > An example...
Here > The Onsite Videos page...
Here > Another variation that my friend Chris Miller pointed me to called Bubble Guru...
Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Graphics For Business...
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