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The best of the month includes:

> Sam Potts and The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company
> How to run a creative business
> Why are you a designer?
> Meet the faces behind the fonts

And much more...Enjoy! Chuck Green

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For InDesign > http://www.ideabook.com/indesign_templates.html
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For QuarkXPress > http://www.ideabook.com/quarkxpress_templates.html


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Ideas 101 > I'm posting an occasional tweet on twitter

In 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 look.

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

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Marketing PR > Marketing in the real world

As with all lessons, some of the most profound marketing lessons are learned outside the office. Two back-to-back segments of the December 19, 2008 episode of This American Life pose stories that got me thinking in marketing mode.

The first segment, the Prologue, looks at how profoundly one point of view can effect the communication and dissemination of a message.

And the second, titled "Shots in the Dark," is a stark reminder of the significance of the shift in attitudes between old attitude of "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" and the new belief (of many) that "everyone is entitled to make the choices that they consider best for their own situation."

Give them a listen, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here > Click "Full Episode" and listen to the first two segments...
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1275

In the Ideabook Design Store: Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_pantone_guide.html

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Learning > Why are you a designer?

David C. Baker poses that (in most cases) a designer's primary motivations are control and influence. Here is a two-page snippet that could save you a lifetime of flailing around, attempting to align your purpose with your profession.

Here > How hard can this be, you ask? (1MB PDF)...
http://www.recourses.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/0/dcb1735f461826cce189c316a90fa7ce/pdf/education.pdf

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

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Packaging > Sam Potts and The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

If you happen to be traveling on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, I can't help but think the storefront at 372 would catch your eye. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. stocks some fairly unusual products--including gallon cans of Gravity, jars of Sasquatch Mucous, and a giant container of Helium Gumballs.

What it is, in reality, is a gateway for 826NYC--a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students, ages 6-18, develop their writing skills. Here's the story:

Here > Tell me-if you were walking down this street--the Brooklyn Superhero storefront wouldn't get your attention!
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=372+Fifth+Avenue+Brooklyn+NY+11215+&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=83.876672,58.886719&ie=UTF8&ll=40.676513,-73.986515&spn=0,359.988735&z=17&g=372+Fifth+Avenue+Brooklyn+NY+11215&iwloc=addr&layer=c&cbll=40.671322,-73.984497&panoid=6ZUm48MlQGsjc0g4QlU9QQ&cbp=12,303.16115486305137,,0,3.726108033643762

Here > Another view of the storefront...
http://www.sampottsinc.com/work/img/bssco_storefront.jpg

Here > Inside the store is the entrance to 826NYC...
http://www.sampottsinc.com/work/img/bssco2.jpg

Here > Some of the featured products...
http://www.sampottsinc.com/work/img/bssco3.jpg

Here > The store was designed by Sam Potts Inc.--which features an equally interesting portfolio of work...
http://www.sampottsinc.com/

Here > This is the 826NYC web site...
http://826nyc.org/

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

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Graphics Tech > Do you need Adobe CS4?

Whenever a major software upgrade surfaces, I am tempted to dive right in. I have been using Aldus and Adobe products for over twenty years and I have yet to be disappointed.

But as the programs are more and more feature-laden, I find that my skill level and/or production time is not all that much improved. Perhaps it's because when you have used a program for a long time, you discover ways to work around missing functionality. By the time a better or faster way comes along, the work around you created is so ingrained, doing it the way you've always done it just seems simpler.

So, this time around, I need to do some homework. To delve into whether the features are compelling enough to justify adjusting my workflow. It is less a about cost than it is about the investment of time and resources it requires to purchase, install, and learn a new version of a complex program.

To that end, Adobe TV is an excellent place to hear and see the Adobe evangelists talk about the latest and greatest program features.

Here > Here, for example, is a feature tour of Adobe Illustrator CS4...
http://tv.adobe.com/#vi+f1556v1683

Here > Hard to believe it was 1985 when I first started using Version 1.0 of PageMaker...
http://www.makingpages.org/pagemaker/history/

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

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Learning > When you need some intellectual inspiration

Arts & Letters Daily is a ready source of stories, reviews, essays, and commentaries-one more interesting pond to fish for ideas and inspiration.

Here > Arts & Letters Daily...
http://www.aldaily.com/

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

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Print Design > How to publish your book, brochure, or catalog for online viewing-elegantly

Issuu.com is a platform for publishing all types of documents for viewing online using an elegant, simple to navigate interface.

Here > An example of a booket, Random Stuff #1 by Louis Fishauf...
http://issuu.com/louis.fishauf/docs/randomdstuff1

Here > The front door of issuu.com...
http://issuu.com/

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

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Graphics Tech > How to troubleshoot problems with Adobe software and related hardware

A friend asked recently how I troubleshoot Adobe software and hardware problems. While I realize they have an excellent support department, I know too that they can't answer every question, every time.

When I hit the wall--I turn to the Adobe User to User Forums. That is where you will find a bunch of other folks who are using the same software, sometimes even on the same brand and model of machine. More often than not, you will find someone who has run into the same issue and who, in many cases, has already discovered the answer.

Here > Here, for example, is the Creative Suite for Windows forum...
http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.2ccd8a3f/

Here > Here's a listing of all the forums...
http://www.adobe.com/support/forums

Here > They even have forums on specific subjects such as design and typography...
http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/[email protected]@.eea5b3a

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Art Parts Clip Art...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_art_parts_2.html

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A new source of design inspiration

The (new) Book Cover Archive for the appreciation and categorization of excellence in book cover design is the work of Eric Jacobsen and Ben Pieratt. It looks to be the beginnings of a great new resource.

Here > The Book Cover Archive...
http://www.bookcoverarchive.com/

Here > The associated blog...
http://blog.bookcoverarchive.com/

Here > A nice introduction to the site by Yves Peters over at The FontFeed...
http://fontfeed.com/archives/the-book-cover-archive/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Task Force Clip Art...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_task.html

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How communications design can improve sales in an economic downturn

The UK's Design Council is offering an interesting series of case studies that demonstrate how companies large and small are using design to improve performance.

Here > Designs to overcome a downturn...
http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/en/Case-Studies/All-Case-Studies/Design-in-a-downturn/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Brenner Pricing Tables...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_brenner_pricing.html

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Ideas 101 > How to run a creative business

ReCourses, Inc. is a management consulting firm that specializes in working with advertising agencies, design studios, PR firms, interactive companies, and the in-house marketing departments of large corporations.

I recently stumbled upon their generous collection of free position papers. A few examples:

Saying "No" and Caring Too Much
Changing Client Perceptions
Common Struggles in Firms
Don't Always Listen to Your Clients
Navigating a Downturn
Hobby, Job, or Company
Raising Your Prices
Recognizing Growth Pains
Promoting Timekeeping Compliance

Here > The collection...
http://www.recourses.com/position_papers/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Copywriter's Handbook...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_copywriters_handbook.html

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How to leverage someone else's audience

No matter what your politics are, you've got to admire the efforts of the marketing department at furniture maker, Ikea. The tactic is to find a passionate audience and declare yourself a part of it.

Here > Ikea invites you to create your ideal Oval Office...
http://www.embracechange09.com/

Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The Copywriter's Handbook...
http://www.ideabook.com/store_copywriters_handbook.html

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Learning > Documenting your design life

I have tried all types of systems for taking notes, recording research, and brainstorming ideas--and I always revert to paper and pencil.

So I was happy to see this great post by a designer's designer, Pentagram heavyweight Michael Bierut.

Here > Michael Bierut in 26 Years, 85 Notebooks...
http://designobserver.com/archives/entry.html?id=38831

Here > More about his process...
http://www.designobserver.com/archives/entry.html?id=17485

Here > Bierut's medalist profile on the AIGA's site...
http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/medalist-michaelbierut

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

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Typography > Meet the faces behind the fonts

Check out this interesting series of interviews by font mega-reseller MyFonts.com. It includes profiles of some of the best including Jim Parkinson, Mark Simonson, Christian Schwartz, and David Berlow.

Here > Creative Characters from MyFonts...
http://www.myfonts.com/newsletters/cc/

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

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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