Thanks for subscribing!

The best of the month includes:

> How to test your web in 85 different browser versions
> How to design for letterpress printing
> An illustration idea: mixing fantasy with reality
> Where to find great package design
> What professional term do you use to define what you do?

And much more...Enjoy! Chuck Green

P.S. Do you use InDesign, Quark, or PageMaker? See the bestseller 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


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ideas 101 > I'm posting on twitter

I've become a big fan of twitter--it is a good place to get to know folks in a slightly different way. You post brief thoughts and ideas (140 characters or less) and people who are interested join in.

Here > Ideabook (me) on twitter...
http://twitter.com/ideabook

Example of two recent tweets:

From the AIGA: The "Why" booklet (PDF). An outline of the role of design in business strategy. http://www.aiga.org/resources/content/3/6/1/0/documents/aiga_designingprocess.pdf

Thanks to http://ilovetypography.com/ for pointing to this excellent, free typeface (Nuvo) at http://www.fontfont.com/downloads/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Web Design > How to re-purpose web content

TasteBook.com provides tools for re-purposing web content--in this case, recipes. The idea is simple: You find material you like on participating web sites and compile it into a book that is then printed and shipped to you. It's smart on three levels: One, it allows the reader to pick and choose the content of their book. Two, it offers a new revenue stream for the participants. And three, it provides the developer with a way of offering unique content without having to create it from scratch.

Here > The cover page...
http://www.tastebook.com/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Graphics For Business...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_business_graphics.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ideas 101 > What professional term do you use to define what you do?

Do you call yourself a designer? Graphic designer? Communication designer? Commercial artist? Art director? Creative director? I believe this is a worthwhile discussion. As I began researching an article on the subject I found someone had already started the conversation--Errol Saldanha. Take a look here and tell me what you think.

Here > A discussion about communication design...
http://www.beyondgraphic.org/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Becoming a Graphic Designer
http://www.ideabook.com/store_becoming_a_graphic_designer.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Web Design > How to test your web in 85 different browser versions

Put this in the category of tools you will never need-until you need them. Browsershots is an online service (created by Johann C. Rocholl) that makes screenshots of your web design in as many as 85 different browser versions with a variety of settings (with and without Flash, various depth of color, and so on). If you wonder how others are seeing your work, this is a very educational and sometimes frustrating process.

Here's to all the folks who invest their time and spirit in the wonderful array of useful tools on the world wide web--if any of you are listening, thank you a thousand times.

Here > Browsershots compatibility testing...
http://browsershots.org/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Getting It Printed...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_getting_it_printed.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ideas 101 > How to recast a cold idea in warm terms

Don't get sidetracked with the joke here, this reality version of Photoshop communicates, without words, what a powerful software program Photoshop is. This idea of recasting a cold subject (software) in warm terms (boxes and cups of paint) helps the reader think about the subject in another way. Next question: How can I use the idea of substitution in my next project? Thanks to cartoonist George Coghill for pointing me to it.

Here > Recasting Photoshop...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2982281565/sizes/m/

Here > New in the Ideabook Design Store: Creative Advertising...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_creative_advertising.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Typography > What every designer needs to know about font embedding

FontEmbedding.com states it clearly: "Applications, authoring tools and operating systems provide various, often very powerful, ways to manipulate, package, embed and modify fonts. But just because your software makes it easy to do does not mean you have the legal rights to do so. That is why it is very important to understand the license agreement which covers various commercial fonts."

As we design web sites using methods such as sIFR (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement) and electronic documents using encoding processes such as PDF (Portable Document Format), we need to be aware of the underlying information being attached in the background.

Does a special license need to be purchased? Do security special measures need to be instituted? This is an ongoing discussion between communication designers, type designers, IT managers, and so on that is resulting in a mishmash of licenses and rules. Since you and I must understand and comply with the results, we need to be aware of the issue. In case you have not yet addressed it, here's an introduction.

Here > An overview of font embedding...
http://www.fontembedding.com/fonts-and-the-law/

Here > An example of how one leading foundary (Hoefler & Frere-Jones) addresses the issue: "What's involved in using fonts on websites?" and "Can I use fonts to make PDFs?" ...
http://www.typography.com/ask/topics.php?topicID=10#Faq_15

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: FontHead Typefaces...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_fonthead.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Web Design > How to find the right system for managing web site content

For the uninitiated, it is broadly referred to as a content management system (CMS). The idea is, instead of starting from scratch, you build your web to sit on a proprietary or open source CMS platform. That way you profit from all the thinking and development already contributed by others. Here is a good place to compare systems head to head.

Here > Compare hundreds of different content management systems at cmsmatrix.org...
http://www.cmsmatrix.org/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Moleskine Notebooks...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_moleskines.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Print Design > How to design for letterpress printing

If you have never designed a piece printed using the letterpress process, you're in for a treat. What you see here is the result of pressing a rigid, raised plate against a soft paper surface. Ohio based CrankyPressman.com, founded in 1934, has a portfolio that will get your creative juices flowing.

Here > The CrankyPressman.com site...
http://crankypressman.com/crankyideas.html

Here > Their Flickr portfolio...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/crankypressman

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Color Harmony Guide...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_color_harmony.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Graphics Tech > A visit to The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

If you are familiar with terms such as "Amberlith," "burnisher," "waxer," and "Presstype," I suspect you will experience a bit of joy from a tour of The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.

Here > The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies...
http://www.drawger.com/show.php?show_id=32

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_tintbook.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Graphics Tech > Where to learn about basic search engine optimization

There mountains of speculation about what makes a web site search engine friendly. On November 12th, Google published a paper that sets the standards. There is nothing new here, what is new is that Google put their name on it. To me, we now know the standard. Seems like everyone who wants to be Google-friendly should check to ensure that their sites comply.

Here > The post on Google's Webmaster Central Blog...
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/11/googles-seo-starter-guide.html

Here > Google's SEO Starter Guide PDF (519KB)...
http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Templates for InDesign, QuarkXpress, or PageMaker...
http://www.ideabook.com/ideabook_templates.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Illustration > An illustration idea: mixing fantasy with reality

I saw one of Serge Bloch's illustrations in a magazine the other day and looked him up. I really like the idea of combining objects with illustrations and I wanted to see if he had done other projects using that same technique. He has. Here are a few examples.

Here > The basic idea is to combine an object with an illustration...
http://www.marlenaagency.com/bloch/blockimages/Bloch_0114.jpg

Here > Another nice example...
http://www.marlenaagency.com/bloch/blockimages/Bloch_0078.jpg

Here > And something a little more complex...
http://www.marlenaagency.com/bloch/blockimages/bloch0205.jpg

Here > Serge Bloch's portfolio...
http://www.marlenaagency.com/bloch/bloch_frame.html

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Design-It-Yourself: Graphic Workshop...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_graphic_workshop.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Print Design > Where to explore graphic design from other cultures

The AIGA is behind an exhibit of the design of everyday items from around the world. As they put it, "From the wood screenprinting blocks used to make sari patterns in India to the cartoon-like graphics on Japanese stationery, there are many beautifully designed and highly functional items that may inform and inspire other kinds of design."

Here > Everyday Design...
http://www.everydaydesign.org/gallery.html

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Page Design...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_page_design.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Print Design > Where to find great package design

What is the equation for excellence? One aspect of it, certainly, is a passion for the subject. Dieline.com is a site created by package designers for package designers-folks with a real passion for it. As they put it, Dieline.com's "purpose is to define and promote the world's best examples of packaging, and provide a place where the package design community can review, critique and stay informed of the latest industry trends and design projects being created in the field." It is all that and more.

This is one of my top 25 web sites for communication designers.

Here > THE packaging design playground...
http://www.thedieline.com/blog/food_drink/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Page Design...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_page_design.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 protected]

> Chuck