Chuck Green's Design Likes
Greetings -- thanks for subscribing.

Kick me if you catch me talking in absolutes. Too often I hear people (me for example) talking as if their studied opinions are to be treated as truths. That's dangerous stuff. I've come to believe that there are very few absolutes. Yes, design is this and design is that -- but there is almost always an exception. And in the world of design especially, the exception to the rule is sometimes the innovation that redefines the rule.

Be well, Chuck 


Check out my Adobe InDesign Ideabook: 315 template files in 19 different categories
Everything from brochures, newsletters, and direct mail to packaging, calendars, and books (one CD works with both Mac and PC). Use two or three files and you'll pay for the entire book and disc...

 


A return to pay-as-you-go display type?

Well here's a heck of an interesting turn of events: A return of the photo-lettering idea -- buying words and headlines set in a particular, premium display typeface without buying a license to the font.

House Industries, publisher of many high-end, rather pricey display faces, is offering an engine for previewing and outputting words as vector files -- a smart alternative to spending lots of bucks for a typeface you will only use for a single project.

Here > PhotoLettering.com...

Here > The FAQ...

Here > http://bellsouthpwp2.net/b/c/bcarberry/tp.html

Here > Sidelight: A charming language lampoon by 102-year-old Ed Rondthaler, formally the head of Photo-Lettering Inc.,...

Here > While we're on the subject of type, I added a "Webfonts" section to Jumpola.com: Web Design > Toolbox > Webfonts...

Discuss this topic here... 
 


For pure inspiration: Print ads by the thousands


If you need pure inspiration, print advertisements are hard to beat - each one reveals a different architecture for drawing a reader in and communicating a message through an abbreviated set of words and imagery.

If you learn to distill and combine and deconstruct those ideas, you'll have an endless stream of ways to kick-start your thinking. How do you create something new a fresh? Get a sense of what's already been done.

Here are some good sources to track.

Here > For an overview: AdWeek's AdFreak. (Love this New York City subway staircase in the middle of Charlotte, North Carolina.)...

Here > For deep international coverage, Ads of the World...

Here > Lürzer's Most seen ads this week...

Here > For some history: Duke University's 30,000-plus advertisement collection...

Discuss this topic here...


 
A logo/icon with three things going for it

I happened on this logo/icon and had to show it to you. It has at least three things going for it:

1. Skillful rendering
2. An interesting metaphor
3. A unique color scheme

Difficult to do it better.

Here > The icon in use...

Here > A closeup without the ray burst...

Here > More icons (and other design work) by MadeBySofa and designer Jasper Hauser...

Discuss this topic here...



Photoshop etiquette: How to prepare files for other human beings

Design is often a collaboration. If you're sharing files with clients, other designers, and developers, it's worth asking yourself if the files you produce are user-friendly. In the case of a program such as Adobe Photoshop it's possible to produce a similar result using two, or three, or ten different approaches and common to produce dozens of layers.

To every problem a solution -- enter Dan Rose and his Photoshop Etiquette Manifesto for Web Designers: "A collection of ways to improve the clarity of a PSD when transferred. You stay organized, your developer stays happy."

I can't say every step is necessary, but it certainly offers some excellent ideas to consider.

Here > Dan Rose's Manifesto...

Discuss this topic here...



Recent Tweets from http://twitter.com/ideabook
and posts from  http://www.facebook.com/ideabookfb

Just when you think there is not another way of seeing something common -- an uncommon approach by Magda Nikx Wasiczek...
Here > http://tinyurl.com/6h28evg

Do you alert folks to problems with their web pages?
Here > http://tinyurl.com/64rdald

Two more interesting, free typefaces from myfonts.com...
ArchiLogo: Here > http://tinyurl.com/6cgpmsh
Scriptina Pro: Here > http://tinyurl.com/5tj7u7t

Is it just me or do you find it distressing that so much top creative energy is expended on liquor and sneakers?

2011 Webby Awards: Best Home Page... pretty impressive animated illustrations...
Here > http://tinyurl.com/3a8zqqe

Behance is beta-testing a new portfolio site model you can customize using your own domain name and branding: Prosite...
Here > http://prosite.com/home

Want to hire a graphic designer? These are the two extremes...
Here > http://tinyurl.com/3p3ly23



QR codes and graphic design


I'm relatively new to QR (Quick Response) codes. Though they've been in wide use in Japan since the 1990s they haven't been adopted elsewhere (in a big way) until recent years.

The idea is simple: The code - which can be printed on a billboard, a business card, and everything in between - is scanned using a mobile device that is equipped with a QR code scanning APP.

The code - which can be used to contain text, map locations, web URLS, images, email addresses, and so on - then automatically finds the information contained in the code or to which the code points and displays it on the mobile device's screen. There are variations and other options, but that's the scenario most touted.

Some think the QR code will remain the standard for a time, others call it a gimmick. The latest controversy is that Google, an early adopter of QR codes is now turning it's attention to a chip-based scanner (reader) known as NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC is said to offer the prospect of even more advanced transaction capabilities.

In any case, whether you simply want to ride the wave by including a QR code on your client's business card or you want to fully implement a campaign and an accompanying mobile web site, the option should certainly be on your radar.

Here > Here are some examples of how QR codes are being used...

Here > An example of how a code is used in an advertisement. If you have an scanning APP you can follow the code to the mobile site created for the ad...

Here > There are lots of sites that will allow you to generate a free QR code (I don't know the owners of this particular site so I can't recommend their paid services)...

Here > Looks as if Starbucks is at the intersection of the QR/NFC battle...

Discuss this topic here...



Some out-of-the-ordinary navigation and transition ideas


I want to point you to this gleaming website design to draw attention to the rather unusual navigational structure. It's both high-design and practical - a rare combination.

Here > Click the arrow at the left of the screen to see the unusual image wipe between pages...

Here > Now check out the symmetrical home page and its drawer-like menu...

Here > The site is another created by a frequent groundbreaker: Summit Projects...

Discuss this topic here...
 


Paper is alive and well

I'm fully involved in the digital world but I haven't lost my love for paper. My first book, The Desktop Publisher's Idea Book, was all about designing and outputting interesting and useful products on paper. These paper-based resources are a reminder that lots of folks still rely on print to stay organized.

Here > Create an 8-page, pocket-sized organizer from a single 8.5 x 11 inch sheet. A PocketMod. Create your version then choose "Folding Guide"...

Here > ClickBook is a utility used to output conventional documents in "printing order" (there are Windows and Mac versions)...

Here > DIYPlanner.com is a site dedicated paper-based productivity, planning, journalling and other creative techniques...

Here > And the original idea book still sells...

Discuss this topic here...



From the Ideabook.com Design Store

IDEO Method Cards
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/ideo_method_cards.html

Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector: A palette of 25,000 CMYK process colors in print...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_tintbook.html

Color Harmony Guide: From French designer Dominique Trapp...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_color_harmony.html

Communicating With Color: Based on Leatrice Eiseman's seminars on the psychology of color...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_pantone_guide.html

The Copywriter's Handbook: Bob Bly's classic guide to copywriting...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_copywriters_handbook.html

Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to Graphic Design: One of my favorite design books...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_copywriters_handbook.html

Getting it Printed: How to wrestle control of your printed work...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_getting_it_printed.html

 
 
 

About the briefing

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless I tell you otherwise, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] 


Chuck Green